Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mic Moulton returns to Acres victory lane

Mic Moulton returns to Acres victory lane

By Matthew J. Sullivan

It proved to be a fairly clean night of racing Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway. The racing action got started just after 6:30 in the evening and was finished just before 9:00. In between there was close competition, tight finishes and familiar faces taking home trophies for the mini stocks, real stocks, thunder roadsters and sportsman divisions. Unfortunately, for the second straight week the limited street stocks were not running.

After a serious accident in the previous race at the Acres, Jim Redd came back to win the trophy dash over Trevor Miller, Shaun Craig and Ryan Walters who was making his first race of the year behind the wheel of Bill Middleton’s yellow number 11. Dustin Walters won the heat race narrowly beating out Miller, Craig, Redd and Bob Lima. The first two laps of the main event were lead by Lima, until Craig took the help at lap three, stretching out to what would prove to be an insurmountable lead. Miller would prove to be the only car capable of running down leader Craig, but Miller was unable to get by Redd and Lima until the 8th lap of the 20 scheduled. At that time, Craig had a straightaway and a corner lead on Miller. By the end of the race, Miller was able to cut the lead to less than half a straight, but of course it wasn’t enough. It was a strong victory by Craig who had suffered engine woes the previous race. Redd held onto third while Ray Robinson took fourth and Lima fifth.

The mini stock dash was won by Denzil Barrett, a thin margin ahead of Chad Grammer who was driving Max Capps truck on the night. Craig and Scott Baker rounded out the dash finishers. Craig Baker won the heat race over brother Scott, Grammer, Barrett and Brian McIntosh. The lead in the main event was taken by Craig Baker in the early laps while the field stretched out. The lone incident of the night took place between Grammer and Scott Baker when the two made contact in the second turn. Craig Baker proved to have the race in hand as he was able to cruise to victory. Grammer moved his way into second with Barrett third, McIntosh fourth and rookie Brian Murrell, Jr. having his best finish of the year thus far in fifth.

Paul Peeples, Jr. must have had something to prove on the night in the thunder roadster division seeing as he was unable to win the previous race’s main event. Right off the bat in the dash Peeples was victorious over Tommy Payne, Bruce Ziemer and Mike Ward. Peeples followed up with the heat race victory over Doug Pulver in Jay Bahner’s car, Payne, Ziemer and Chris Lawrence. Dave McMurray led the first two laps of the main event only to be passed by Peeples on the third. From that point on, the race was for second position. Things got tight on lap nine when Robert Miller and Ward briefly locked their cars together, but both were able to separate and get back to racing. Payne held on to Peeples for a while, but at the end nobody was within range of pressuring Peeples and he took the victory over Payne, Ward, McMurray and Miller.

The trophy dash in the sportsman division went to Mic Moulton as he was able to beat Dennis Delbiaggio, Brandon Barnwell and Larry Pries. Jerry Peterson used the high line on the last lap between turns three and four to take the lead and the heat win away from Barnwell. Marcelli, Delbiaggio and Pries finished third through fifth. Al Acuna took the early lead in the main before Marcelli grabbed it away on lap four bringing Delbiaggio with him. Going into the third turn on the same lap, Delbiaggio got in too hard and spun out. Acuna had nowhere to go and ran into the side of Delbiaggio busting his radiator and ending his night.

Delbiaggio was able to continue as the top five to the green was Marcelli, Moulton, Barnwell, Peterson and Pries. On lap six Peterson used the high line to get by Barnwell. Three laps later, he used the same trick to get by Moulton for second and Marcelli for the lead. On lap 14, Moulton moved under and by Marcelli. On lap 24 Keith Dias spun bringing out the yellow flag. The restart proved to be just what Moulton needed. Coming off the green and down the back chute, Moulton moved under and by Peterson for the lead. Moulton was able to stretch his lead at the end and take the checkered flag first with Peterson second, Pries third, Barnwell fourth and Delbiaggio coming from the back to finish fifth.

Racing returns to the Acres August 9th. Joining the local classes will be the North State Challenge Series late model tour cars who will be making their second start of the season at the Acres, and their first race in several weeks.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Division titles still up in the air at the Acres

Division titles still up in the air at the Acres

By Matthew J. Sullivan

Only five races remain on the 2008 schedule for Redwood Acres Raceway and the battle for the championship in four of the five divisions are tight with no clear-cut favorite. In fact in several of the divisions, the points title can still be claimed by at least five drivers. For the limited street stocks, mini stocks and sportsman cars, there are only four races remaining while the real stocks and thunder roadsters will decide their champion at the Acres’ Fall Spectacular at the end of September.

Although the limited street stock class has had problems fielding enough cars to race at times during the year, the points battle is tight with three drivers who have a realistic shot at winning. Acres veteran Fergy Ferguson holds the points lead with 240 total. Tied for second are Duayne Mayo and Kenny Demello with 227, only 13 behind leader Ferguson. The duo of Romeo Venza and Craig Huffman hold down fourth in the points with 169 gained, while defending champion Scott Lyons looks as if he’ll have to wait until next year to win as he’s fifth with 153 points.

Only 41 points separate the top five drivers in the mini stock class. Scott Baker leads the field with 451 points. Brian McIntosh is second only 10 points behind. Scott’s brother Craig is third with 440 points. Brian Murrell is still in the hunt for the title with 431 points, while Denzil Barrett in fifth has an outside shot with 410.

Real stock driver Jim Redd took the points lead after race one of the season and has managed to hold on to it up to this point. Redd holds a 23 point lead over second place Trevor Miller, 454-431. Barring any unfortunate accidents, it appears as though the points battle will be decided between those two drivers as third place Ryan Robinson is 67 points behind the leader. Shaun Craig is fourth with 362 points and in fifth is rookie Dustin Walters with 349.

The points title for the thunder roadsters is defending champ Paul Peeples, Jr.’s to lose. Among all the points leaders at the Acres, Peeples is the one with the biggest points cushion by a substantial margin; 120 points. Second is division rookie Robert Miller with 381 points gained. Mike Ward is third, a mere two points behind Miller. Troy Combs is fourth with 327 points coming off his first win of the year. Gerhy Foster is fifth with 325 but will likely move down the standings due to his car being irreparably damaged in a wreck a few weeks ago.

With a win in the main event in the last race, Brandon Barnwell was able to take the points lead in the sportsman division. Barnwell leads Dennis Delbiaggio 455-451. In third is Larry Pries with 431 points. Lissa Uselton is fourth with 407 and Angelo Marcelli is fifth with 405.

Racing returns to the Acres this Saturday night, July 26th with all five local classes. After a break, the action returns August 9th with the North State Challenge Series late model tour cars joining the schedule with their first race in a number of months. Fan Appreciation night is August 23rd while the Judy Fox Memorial race will be September 6th. The memorial race will again be the final points event for the limited street, mini stocks and sportsman cars. The season will wrap up September 27th with the Fall Spectacular with real stocks, thunder roadsters, IMCA modifieds and the North State Challenge Series returning.

Points Standings (numbers in parenthesis state how far back a driver is from the points leader)

Limited Street Stocks
1. Fergy Ferguson 240, t2. Duane Mayo 227 (-13), t2. Kenny Demello 227 (-13), 4. Craig Huffman/Romeo Venza 169 (-71), 5. Scott Lyons 153 (-87)

Mini Stocks
1. Scott Baker 451, 2. Brian McIntosh 441 (-10), 3. Craig Baker 440 (-11), 4. Brian Murrell, Sr. 431 (-20), 5. Denzil Barrett 410 (-41), 6. Max Capps 373 (-78), 7. Marty Walsh 132 (-319), 8. Brian Murrell, Jr. 108 (-343), 9. Norm Carmichael 65 (-386), 10. Ryan Ahrens 59 (-392), 11. Nick Karanopoulos 13 (-438)

Real Stocks
1. Jim Redd 454, 2. Trevor Miller 431 (-23), 3. Ryan Robinson 387 (-67), 4. Shawn Craig 362 (-92), 5. Dustin Walters 349 (-106), 6. Ryan Peeples 310 (-144), 7. Dana DeVane 262 (-192), 8. Nick Green 237 (-217), 9. Don Hyman 235 (-219), 10. Casey Mitchell 197 (-257), 11. Bob Lima 181 (-273), 12. Marvin Savage 170 (-284), 13. Bill Middleton 168 (-286), 14. Mark Mullan 137 (-317), 15. Ray Robinson 105 (-349), 16. Pat Conway 78 (-376), 17. Ray Middleton 57 (-397), 18. Roger Linn, Jr. 53 (-401)

Thunder Roadsters
1. Paul Peeples, Jr. 501, 2. Robert Miller 381 (-120), 3. Mike Ward 379 (-122), 4. Troy Combs 327 (-174), 5. Gerhy Foster 325 (-176), 6. Jay Bahner 313 (-182), 7. Donn Cole 305 (-189), 8. Thomas Payne 299 (-195), 9. Rick Crawley, Jr. 275 (-226), 10. Mark Arroyo 260 (-241), 11. Leroy Marsh, Jr. 244 (-257), 12. Dave McMurray 237 (-264), 13. Bruce Ziemer 234 (-267), 14. Chris Sarvinski 220 (-281), 15. Chris Banfill 136 (-365), 16. David Henderson 116 (-385), 17. Belinda Ward 78 (-423), 18. Chris Lawrence 54 (-447), 19. Doug Pulver 49 (-452), 20. Ron Borges 45 (-456) 21. Rob Nelson 43 (-458)

1. Brandon Barnwell 455, 2. Dennis DelBiaggio 451 (-4), 3. Larry Pries 431 (-24), 4. Lissa Uselton 407 (-48), 5. Angelo Marcelli 405 (-50), 6. Jerry Peterson 399 (-56), 7. Romeo Venza 348 (-107), 8. Keith Dias 284 (-171), 9. Al Acuna 251 (-204), 10. Marty Walsh 210 (-245), 11. Rick Fox 146 (-309), 12. Tim McCracken 136 (-319), 13. Ken Hallis 119 (-336), 14. Mic Moulton 55 (-400), 15. Frank Billy, Jr. 20 (-435).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Combs defeats Peeples, Barnwell returns to victory lane

Combs defeats Peeples, Barnwell returns to victory lane

By Matthew J. Sullivan

The racing this past Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway must have left many people scratching their heads. The car count in three of the five divisions was unexpectedly low, but that didn’t mean that there wasn’t close racing. Usually when there is close racing, there usually comes contact and accidents, and that’s exactly what happened. By the end of the night, four drivers were able to bring their cars home victorious and intact, Craig Baker in the mini stocks, Trevor Miller in the real stocks, Troy Combs in the thunder roadsters and Brandon Barnwell in the sportsman division. Regrettably the limited street stock class was unable to run due to the lack of cars at the track.

The mini stock trophy dash was won by Scott Baker over Brian Murrell, Brian McIntosh and Max Capps. The main event saw eight cars start the race. On the first lap, rookie Norm Carmichael hit the turn four wall head on bringing out the yellow flag. Thankfully Carmichael was not injured in the incident. Craig Baker took the lead early in the race and was able to maintain a comfortable distance throughout the event all the way to the checkered flag. McIntosh finished second with Murrell third, Capps fourth and Scott Baker fifth.

Shawn Craig broke Trevor Miller’s track record in the real stock division but unfortunately his night was cut short in the trophy dash when heavy smoke began to pour out of his vehicle while leading. Miller was able to inherit the lead and take the dash win ahead of Ryan Peeples and Jim Redd. The heat race featured a wreck on the front straightaway on the start between Ryan Robinson and Dustin Walters. Both drivers were able to continue to race. Peeples lost his engine in the heat ending his night prematurely. Miller took the win over Redd, Robinson, and Dana DeVane. The main started off with a red flag after a turn two wreck between Walters and Redd. Walters was able to continue but Redd was out of the race. Miller was able to cruise to an easy victory over Robinson, Walters and DeVane while Redd was credited with fifth.

Mike Ward took home the trophy in the dash for the thunder roadsters holding off Troy Combs, Paul Peeples, Jr. and Robert Miller. The heat race saw contact between Donn Cole and Miller while racing for the lead. Unfortunately, Thomas Payne was collected while trying to avoid the incident and damaged his car enough to where he was out for the rest of the night. Peeples was able to take the win over Ward, Combs, Miller and Chris Lawrence. Combs was able to wrestle away the lead early in the main event and was able to hold off the strongest of challengers in Peeples to claim his first main event win of the season, and only the second main event win by someone other than Peeples. Miller took third with Ward fourth, Cole fifth and Lawrence sixth.

Mic Moulton made his return to the sportsman division winning the trophy dash over Larry Pries, Dennis Delbiaggio and Brandon Barnwell. Barnwell won the first heat race over Delbiaggio, Ken Hallis, Romeo Venza and Keith Dias. Jerry Peterson held off Lissa Uselton in the second heat while Marty Walsh, Angelo Marcelli and Pries completed the top five finishers. Delbiaggio took the lead early in the main event and was able to gain several car lengths over second place Walsh. Meanwhile, Moulton moved his way from mid-pack to third. After many laps of running in Walsh’s mirror, Moulton was able to maneuver by for second.

On lap 26, Moulton moved inside of Delbiaggio for the lead. The two made contact going into turn one sending Delbiaggio spinning. Officials placed Moulton at the rear of the field and now the race lead belonged to Barnwell over Walsh, Pries, Uselton and Hallis. With two laps left, Delbiaggio, Venza and Dias spun between turns one and two bringing out the yellow. The restart was a simultaneous green and white restart. Moulton tried to time his start perfectly and was able to move into second going into turn one. The race to the line was absolute chaos. In turn four coming to the checkered flag, Walsh and Pries made contact sending them spinning. Meanwhile, Barnwell crossed the line first with Moulton second, Uselton third and Hallis fourth. The action still wasn’t over as Venza’s throttle stuck and he drove over the side of Walsh’s car right at the start/finish line. Officals deemed Moulton to have restarted before the green flag waved which moved Uselton into the second finishing position, Hallis third and Marcelli fourth. In any case, Barnwell was still the winner.

Racing at the Acres take a break for one week before returning July 26th for more excitement from the five local divisions.