Sunday, May 31, 2009

Peeples ends Henderson’s streak, DelBiaggio notches first win of the season

Peeples ends Henderson’s streak, DelBiaggio notches first win of the season

By Matthew J. Sullivan

Race number five of the 2009 racing season at Redwood Acres Raceway completed this past Saturday night under cool and cloudy conditions, weather akin more to early springtime weather rather than late. Nevertheless, another good fan count showed up to watch another thrilling night of racing on Eureka’s 3/8-mile paved oval.

With only four cars racing in each division, both the limited street stocks and the mini stocks saw a limited number of laps. Kenny Demello won the trophy dash for the limited streets while Fergy Ferguson won the 10-lap feature over Demello, Stan Young and Bill Middleton who was making his first start of the season. Craig Baker won the dash, the heat and the main event for the mini stock class. Brian McIntosh was able to hold off Scott Baker in the main for second while Steve Smith rounded out the field.

Jim Redd won the real stock trophy dash holding off Ryan Walters, Jim Hathaway and Roger Linn. Dustin Walters won the heat ahead of Hathaway, Nick Green, Redd and Ryan Walters. Coming from the second row, Redd moved to the lead going into the first turn of the 15-lap main event. By the end of the first lap, Ryan Walters had moved from the back to second position. The field spread out and the race was relatively calm until the final laps when Walters tried to make a move by Redd for the lead and the race win. Walters tried to get Redd loose in turns three and four on the last lap with a bump. Redd’s bumper fell off and slid up to the wall harmlessly and it wasn’t enough to shake him out of the lead as he took the checkered flag first over Walters, Linn, Dustin Walters and Casey Mitchell.

Redwood Acres Raceway’s newest division, the roadrunners, continues to see an increase in the number of cars showing up. Bill Snow won the dash over Nick Bundy, Dustin Delbiaggio and Carrie Cook. Oscar Koskinen took the heat race victory over Delbiaggio, Eric Mendes, Bundy and Snow. The main event for the roadrunners proved to be a rough and tumble affair. Upon starting from the outside position on the front row of the main event, Koskinen took the lead from Charlie Anderson. The first caution flew early on when Anderson got loose going into turn three, got into Snow sending Snow into the wall. A few laps after the restart, Delbiaggio drove a bit too hard going into the third turn getting into Cook and sending both drivers spinning and bringing out the caution flag. Both drivers were able to avoid suffering any damage and were able to continue in the race.

Koskinen continued to hold lead over Bundy in second and Snow in third. On the tenth lap, Snow got into Bundy in turn three. Bundy did a 360 and kept going without a yellow flag. On the final lap in the final corner, Snow bumped Koskinen going into the third turn. Behind those two, Bundy got into Cook sending her spinning in the fourth turn. In the end Snow crossed the line first ahead of Koskinen while Bundy was third, Wyatt Roach in the track car in fourth and Cook fifth. After the race, officials deemed Snow‘s driving to be too aggressive. The end result was Koskinen the main event winner, his first of the year breaking Bundy’s streak of four.

Joe McDonald made his second appearance in the sportsman division this year and took home the trophy dash victory beating Brandon Barnwell, Dennis Delbiaggio and Angelo Marcelli. Jerry Peterson took the heat race win over Barnwell, Pries, Marcelli and McDonald. Peterson used the pole position to his advantage as he took the lead early on in the 25 lap sportsman main event. On lap three, Barnwell moved to the high side of Peterson and the duo dueled side-by-side until lap five when Barnwell took the position away. Delbiaggio was able to use the same move a lap later to take the second position. A lap later, McDonald did the same thing to move by Peterson into third.

On lap seven, former real stock driver Shawn Craig, who was making his debut in the division on this night, got loose off the fourth turn, got into the infield but was able to safely maneuver his car on the track not causing a serious accident. On the ninth lap, Delbiaggio found the inside line under Barnwell to take the lead away. With a few laps to go, Barnwell got loose off turn four and spun. Fortunately nobody else got involved, but unfortunately Barnwell was forced to the rear of the field on the restart. Delbiaggio took the restart over McDonald with two laps left in the race. McDonald couldn’t muster the strength to make a move on Delbiaggio and at the line it was Delbiaggio first over McDonald, Larry Pries, Peterson and Marcelli.

David Henderson was able to beat Paul Peeples, Jr. in the thunder roadster trophy dash by literally inches. Chris Sarvinski and Robert Miller rounded out the finishers. The first roadster heat featured an incident that unfortunately ended Belinda Ward’s night. Jay Bahner took the heat win over Dave McMurray who was making his first start of the year, Rob Nelson, Dan Browne and Jim Rich. Miller held off Peeples for the win in the second heat while Mark Arroyo, Mike Ward and Sarvinski were the other top five finishers. Nelson and Bahner took the field to the green in the 35 lap thunder roadster feature. The two battled side-by-side in the opening laps before Bahner, who was sporting the new roadster body style took the lead. Meanwhile, the faster cars of Tommy Payne, Miller, Peeples and Henderson were quickly dicing their way through the field. By the third lap they were third through fifth in that order.

Miller tried to use the high line to get by Peeples on the fourth lap, but just as quickly as he made that move, Peeples found room under Payne to take the second spot. Henderson filled the hole behind Peeples and moved under Miller for fourth. On completion of the same lap, Bahner got too high off turn four allowing Peeples to get under to take the lead. Peeples began to pull away as Banher, Payne, Henderson and Miller all battled for position. It wasn’t until lap eight until Henderson was able to get under Payne for third.

After a brief caution period, Peeples got a fantastic jump on Bahner on the restart and was able to pull to a sizeable gap. Henderson got under Bahner on lap 11, opening the door for Payne and Miller. Three laps later, Miller moved by Payne for third. It appeared as though Peeples would go unchallenged as he had built up what looked to be an insurmountable lead over Henderson before the caution flew for Rich’s spun car in turn four with just six laps left. Peeples led the field to the restart, but unlike the races past this season, Henderson didn’t seem to have the strength to provide a challenge for the lead. Miller was able to pounce on Henderson for second and was able to take the position. By then though, it was too late for Miller to mount a challenge on Peeples and it was Peeples winning over Miller, Henderson, Payne and Sarvinski.

Racing returns to the Acres this coming Saturday night. Of note is a schedule change. The June 13th Father’s Day Weekend race has been cancelled. Another race has been added for the Redwood Acres Fair Classic on June 28th.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Henderson, DelBiaggio and Walters early season points leaders

Henderson, DelBiaggio and Walters early season points leaders

By Matthew J. Sullivan

Four of the scheduled 15 races have already been completed for the 2009 season at Redwood Acres Raceway and the points standings for most of the five divisions are still fairly close. There are a few drivers than have flexed their muscle thus far and have made it known that they are the driver to beat every night.

The limited street stocks have only raced on three of the four scheduled race nights due to a lack of cars in the division. Kenny Demello is the points leader with 143 total over Fergy Ferguson by only two points. George Young has scored 133 points thus far and is in third place while Bill Middleton has 10 points.

Scott Baker has been a dominant force in the mini stock class. Baker has two main event wins and has 269 total points. Brother Craig Baker is second with 255 and a main event victory followed by Brian McIntosh (242), Steve Smith (225) and Brian Murrell, Jr. (166). Smith won the most recent event on May 16th.

The new roadrunner division has seen an influx of cars from the first race of the season. Of all the drivers though, Nick Bundy has proven to be the class of the field. Bundy has won all four main events and has 266 points. Jimmy Murray is second with 232 while the raceway’s track car is third in points with 166. Despite missing two races, Dustin Delbiaggio is fourth with 135 points and Oscar Koskinen is fifth with 125.

Ryan Walters returned to the real stock division for 2009 and has shown not to have any rust behind the wheel. Walters has won three main events and has a total of 276 points. Pat Conway is the other driver in the division who has won this season, winning the April 25th event. Conway is second with 252 points. Casey Mitchell is third (246) while Jim Redd and Roger Linn, Jr. round out the top five with 238 and 227 points respectively.

Of all the divisions at the Acres, the sportsman class has been the most competitive. No driver has scored more than one main event during the season and the points standings show the closeness of the racing that’s been seen so far. Despite not having won a main event, Dennis Delbiaggio is the points leader with 261. Angelo Marcelli, who scored a win on April 25th is second, a mere point behind. Larry Pries who won the season opener is third with 254 points while Jerry Peterson is fourth with 230. Brandon Barnwell sits at fifth with 134 and a main win on May 9th. The other main event winner this year was Aaron Byers who won May 16th.

Though the points do not reflect it, David Henderson has clearly been the man to beat in the Thunder Roadsters. Henderson has won the past three main events and sits first in points with 283 scored. Last season’s dominator, Paul Peeples, Jr. is second with a main event win and 271 points. Tommy Payne is third at 235 while Chris Sarvinski has 231 and Mark Arroyo has 229.

Racing at the Acres resumes this Saturday night, June 6th and will be followed up next Saturday night with Father’s Day race on June 13th.

Redwood Acres Raceway Points Standings after 4 events:

Limited Street Stocks
Track Record: Trevor Miller 17.143
Kenny Demello 143, Fergy Ferguson 141, George Young 133, Bill Middleton 10

Mini Stocks
Craig Baker 18.597
Scott Baker 269, Craig Baker 255, Brian McIntosh 242, Steve Smith 225, Brian Murrell, Jr. 166, 50 Len Bowman/Frank Billy 161, Brian Murrell, Sr. 130, Nick Karanopoulos 117, Denzil Barrett 89, Norm Carmichael 22

Nick Bundy 21.825
Nick Bundy 266, Jimmy Murray 232, Track Car 166, Dustin DelBiaggio 135, Oscar Koskinen 125, Carrie Cook/Kent Campbell 123, Charlie Anderson 109

Real Stocks
Shawn Craig 18.763
Ryan Walters 276, Pat Conway 252, Casey Mitchell 246, Jim Redd 238, Roger Linn, Jr. 227, Dustin Walters 191, Ryan/Russell Robinson 153, Nick Green 106, Bob Lima 57, Doug Way 51, Jim Bailey 11

Shawn Andrews 15.794
Dennis DelBiaggio 261, Angelo Marcelli 260, Larry Pries 254, Jerry Peterson 230, Brandon Barnwell 134, Frank Billy, Jr. 126, Kavin Conn 116, Aaron Byers 76, Joe McDonald 63, Al Acuna 53, Lissa Uselton 11

Thunder Roadsters
Paul Peeples, Jr. 16.839
Dave Henderson 283, Paul Peeples, Jr. 271, Thomas Payne 236, Chris Sarvinski 231, Mark Arroyo 229, Robert Miller 228, Mike Ward 218, Bruce Ziemer 203, Rob Nelson 183, Belinda Ward 181, Chris Banfill 141, Jim Rich 129, Dan Browne 93, Jay Bahner 89, Shane Toole 48, Donn Cole 10.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Henderson scores win number two on the season

Henderson scores win number two on the season

By Matthew J. Sullivan

Racing at Redwood Acres Raceway returned for the third time this season this past Saturday night. A large crowd turned out to watch all six local classes return to action once again at the 3/8-mile paved oval. As usual, there was much close racing but unfortunately there were a number of incidents that cut short the night of several racers.

The limited street stock class timed in only three cars and only ran the trophy dash. Fergy Ferguson took the dash win over Kenny Demello and George Young. The roadrunner division saw an influx of several cars on the night. Keri Cook won the dash in her first ever start beating Nick Bundy, Oscar Koskinen and Dustin Delbiaggio. Costinin won the heat race ahead of Bundy, Delbiaggio, Cook and Jimmy Murray. The first lap of the main event was led by Murray before Bundy took the top position on the second lap. Bundy would not look back from that point on. On the last lap of the race, Murray and Delbiaggio made contact and spun on the front stretch. Bundy crossed the line the winner while Delbiaggio and Koskinen finished second and third.

The real stock trophy dash winner was Casey Mitchell followed by Ryan Walters, Jim Redd and Roger Linn. Walters followed that win with another in the heat race over Pat Conway, Mitchell, Redd and Dustin Walters. The battle for the lead on lap one of the main event was between Ryan and Dustin Walters with Mitchell right in the mix. By lap two, Ryan took the lead away from Dustin and set sail while Mitchell was able to follow through into the second position. Redd was able to pass Walters for third on lap three. The best battle on the track was for second between Mitchell and Redd. Redd was able to successfully take the position on lap 10 after dueling side-by-side with Mitchell for several laps. On lap 19, Redd spun on his own in the second turn bringing out the yellow flag. The restart was merely a delay to victory lane for Walters as he was able to hold off Mitchell at the line to win his second main event on the year. Conway finished third with Dustin Walters fourth and Linn fifth.

The mini stock division has a few more cars show up to race for the evening. Scott Baker won the dash over Brian Murrell, Brian McIntosh and Denzil Barrett. Baker followed that up with the heat race win over McIntosh, Murrell, Barrett and Craig Baker. The main event proved to be a wild one. On lap three, Scott Baker, Barrett and Brian Murrell, Jr. came together along the front straightaway sending Barrett’s vehicle over the rear wheel of Murrell’s car. Murrell was finished for the night. On the restart it was his father leading Nick Karanopoulos, McIntosh and the Baker brothers, Scott and Craig. On lap five, Steve Smith spun in the fourth corner. While coming back to the flag, McIntosh and Scott Baker spun. Barrett had nowhere to go and slammed head on into Baker’s car. McIntosh was able to continue while Baker, Barrett and Smith were forced out for the rest of the event. After the restart, McIntosh broke and brought out another yellow. The race was shortened to 10 laps and Murrell was able to hold off Craig Baker and Karanopoulos for the victory. Afterwards, Murrell was disqualified for not going through post-race teardown so the win was awarded to Baker.

Defending sportsman division champion, Brandon Barnwell returned to the Acres for the first time this season winning the trophy dash followed by Larry Pries, Dennis Delbiaggio and Angelo Marcelli. The heat race featured an unfortunate incident in turn one. Pries spun and collected Frank Billy ending Billy’s evening. Barnwell took the dash win ahead of Jerry Peterson, Marcelli and Delbiaggio. The first few laps of the main were led by Delbiaggio. Coming off of turn four on the fifth lap, Delbiaggio got severely loose, nearly wrecking. This allowed Barnwell to take the lead away. Delbiaggio got loose and spun on lap 10 bringing out the caution flag. Barnwell was able to race comfortably after the restart and took the victory over Pries, Delbiaggio, Marcelli and Peterson.

David Henderson won the thunder roadster heat race over Paul Peeples, Jr., Mike Ward and Tommy Payne. Mark Arroyo won the first heat ahead of Bruce Ziemar, Rob Nelson, Jay Bahner and Belinda Ward. Peeples held off Henderson for the victory in the second heat race while Robert Miller, Payne and Mike Ward rounded out the top five. Chris Sarvinski took the lead early on in the main event and it looked as though it might be his night. However as both Henderson and Peeples knifed their way through traffic, it was obvious that once again the battle for the race win would be between them. After holding both Henderson and Peeples off for the first 15 laps, Sarvinski had to make way for the two, falling back to the third position. Henderson was clearly the fastest car on the track on the night as he was able to pull out and maintain a comfortable lead over Peeples. At the checkered flag it was Henderson over Peeples, Sarvinski, Arroyo and Payne.

Racing resumes this coming Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway. Along with the six local classes will be the Pro-4 Modifieds making a visit on what will be Pepsi Night at The Acres.