Sunday, August 10, 2008

Miller wins main #1 in thunder roadsters, #1 Moulton two in a row in sportsman division

Miller wins main #1 in thunder roadsters, #1 Moulton two in a row in sportsman division

By Matthew J. Sullivan

It was an absolutely gorgeous evening Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway, perhaps the best weather that there has been on a race night all season. Although the limited street stocks were absent from the racing schedule once again, the mini stocks, real stocks, thunder roadsters and sportsman cars treated the fans to yet another thrilling night of close and intense racing action.

Craig Baker continued his dominance on this night in the mini stock division winning the four lap trophy dash over Brian Murrell, Max Capps and Scott Baker. The heat was no different as Craig Baker took the victory in that race ahead of Denzil Barrett, Capps, Brian McIntosh and brother Scott. McIntosh took the early lead in the 20 lap main event ahead of Capps, Scott Baker and Craig Baker. Capps made a daring pass by McIntosh on lap four in the first and second turns to take the lead. It wasn’t long though before Craig Baker began to make his presence felt. On lap four he moved by Scott. A lap later Craig moved into second getting by McIntosh. While Craig was closing the gap on Capps, McIntosh spun in the fourth turn on lap seven. On lap nine Craig Baker took the lead away from Capps and never looked back. The rest of the race was run cleanly with nobody able to put any pressure on the driver ahead of them. At the line it was Scott Baker, Capps, Craig Baker, Murrell and Barrett.

Trevor Miller won the real stock trophy dash over Ryan Walters subbing for Shaun Craig, Ryan Robinson and Bill Middleton. Jim Redd took the 10 lap heat race win over Bob Lima, Middleton, Walters and Casey Mitchell. Redd started from the outside pole in the main and took advantage of it by taking the lead and pulling out to a sizeable gap over the field. The faster cars of Ryan Walters and Miller weren’t able to move near the front until lap seven when Ryan passed brother Dustin for third bringing Miller with him. On lap 10 Ryan moved under Mitchell for second position with Miller following again.

Miller used the outside line to get by Ryan Walters for second on lap 12 and began to chase down the leader Redd who had a straightaway lead over him. On lap 14, Robinson spun in between turns three and four but got going again. Five laps later, Nick Green spun in the fourth turn but he was also able to return to racing. Meanwhile, Miller was rapidly catching Redd. On lap 20, Redd got loose in turns three and four allowing Miller to close right up on him. The final few laps saw close but clean racing between the two with Redd using up as much race track as possible to hold off Miller, and Miller trying to get by Redd as cleanly as possible. Coming to the line, Miller got under Redd coming off the fourth turn but unfortunately for his case Redd was able to win the drag race to the line. Ryan Walters took third with Mitchell fourth and Middleton fifth.

With Paul Peeples, Jr. not at the track on this night, it was wide-open as to who would win any of the races in the thunder roadster class. Robert Miller won the trophy dash over Mike Ward, Tommy Payne and Chris Banfill. The heat race belonged to Banfill as he held of Payne, Ward, Bruce Ziemer and Miller for the victory. Dave McMurray took the early lead in the main event while Miller and Ward raced wheel-to-wheel for the second position. Ward took the position on lap three and set his sights on McMurray for the lead. On lap four the two cars touched in turn four bringing out the yellow flag. Ward was forced to the rear on the restart while McMurray was done for the evening.

Miller inherited the lead over Payne, Banfill, Ziemer and Rick Crawley. Banfill moved by Payne for second on lap six. On lap 10, Ward moved into the fourth position getting by Ziemer. Banfill had his hands full as he was trying to get by Miller the leader, but he also had to worry about Payne making a pass on him too. Many times Banfill looked to possibly have a run on Miller but he couldn’t quite find the grip he needed to get by. At the checkered flag it was Miller holding off Banfill, Payne, Ward and Ziemer.

Veteran Dennis Delbiaggio won the sportsman trophy dash over Brandon Barnwell, Mic Moulton and Marty Walsh. Jerry Peterson won the first heat race ahead of Moulton, Angelo Marcelli, Romeo Venza and Barnwell. Larry Pries took the second heat over Delbiaggio, Lissa Uselton, Keith Dias and Marty Walsh. Unfortunately while warming up for the 30 lap main event, Dias lost control and spun his car into the wall in turns three and four prematurely ending his night. Uselton was able to take the early lead followed by Pries and Delbiaggio. On lap four, Walsh tried to move by Delbiaggio but got loose and made contact. Peterson had nowhere to go and hit Delbiaggio’s car. Fortunately all three drivers were able to make it back out.

Uselton took the green on the restart leading Pries, Barnwell, Moulton and Kavin Conn who was making his first start in the sportsman division. Pries moved under and past Uselton on lap five allowing Barnwell and Moulton to follow. On lap nine, Barnwell moved high to get by Pries but couldn’t do it allowing Moulton to move under and by to take the spot. The yellow flag dropped on lap 12 when Conn spun his car in turns three and four. Moulton tried to use the restart to get by Pries but was unsuccessful. The yellow flag came once again when Walsh and Uselton made contact on the seventeenth lap.

Pries led Moulton, Barnwell, Delbiaggio and Marcelli to the restart. On lap 19, Marcelli went into the infield and then into the pits a victim of a flat tire. Moulton was finally able to move by Pries on lap 22 after several laps of close racing. The yellow flag dropped once again bunching the field. Under the caution period, Delbiaggio pulled his car into the pits. Moulton now lead Pries and Barnwell to the restart. With three laps remaining, Pries and Barnwell made contact in turn two bringing out the caution flag again. The final few laps were fairly chaotic. Pries and Barnwell continued their duel to the last lap when the two made contact again. Pries’ car hit a patch of pavement going into turn three briefly getting airborne before getting on the track. In any case it was all behind Moulton who took the victory ahead of Walsh, Uselton, Pries and Barnwell.

There are only three events left on the 2008 schedule for Redwood Acres Raceway. The next race is Fan Appreciation Night on August 23rd.

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