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.

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