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.

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