Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fair races live up to their expectations

Fair races live up to their expectations

By Matthew J. Sullivan

The grandstands were packed this past Friday and Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway for the annual Redwood Acres Fair Classic. As has been the case in previous years, the Fair Classic brought out a number of drivers who have not raced at the Acres full-time or in some cases at all this season. This made for some electrifying racing and unluckily several incidents.

The limited street stock division had its highest car count in several years thanks in part to several Oregon drivers who made the trek to race at the Acres; Bob Barnes, Bob Brumbrack, Dan Fouts, Gary Perry, Doug Risely and Bobby Wright. Their attendance for this weekend’s racing was very much appreciated by everyone at Redwood Acres Raceway. Wright won the Friday night trophy dash over Risely, Kenny Demello and Bob Barnes. The heat race victory went to Barnes ahead of Fergy Ferguson, Demello, Risely and Perry.

Stan Young held the lead early on in the main event but by lap five he faced the challenge of both Fouts and Demello. On lap seven, Fouts went to the high side on Young. Demello found a groove inside of Young and the trio went three-wide into turn three. Demello came out with the lead with Fouts second and Young third. The rest of the main event was nip and tuck between Demello and Fouts. It appeared as though Fouts had the faster machine, but he was unable to find the speed necessary to get by Demello and at the checkered flag it was Demello the victor over Fouts, Wright, Perry and Ferguson.

The starting lineup for all of the divisions on Saturday night were determined by the results of the races on the previous night, only inverted. Risely won the Saturday night dash followed by Barnes, Wright and Demello. Risely followed the dash win with a victory in the heat race beating out Fouts, Wright, Young and Ferguson. Brumbrack took the lead early on in the feature event before the caution fell on lap two when Risely nailed the turn four wall severely damaging his right front and putting an end to his evening.

After the restart, on lap eight Brumbrack’s car lost power going down the back stretch giving the lead to Young with Barnes following into second. Two laps later, Barnes touched Young between turns three and four sending Young spinning into the infield. Barnes was sent to the rear of the field allowing Wright to take the helm. From that point on it was all Wright as he was able to cruise away to victory over Demello, Fouts, Ferguson and Barnes.

Craig Baker won the Friday night mini stock trophy dash over Brian McIntosh, Brian Murrell, Jr. and Scott Baker. The Baker brothers dueled in the heat race with Scott beating Craig while Murrell, Jr., McIntosh and Norm Carmichael. In the main event, it was Craig beating out Scott this time. Murrell, Jr. took third, Steve Smith fourth and McIntosh fifth. Scott Baker started off Saturday night with the dash win over McIntosh, Craig Baker and Murrell, Jr. McIntosh held off Craig Baker to win the heat race while Scott Baker, Murrell, Jr. and Mike Weekley. The Bakers dueled once again in the future and this time it was Scott beating Craig for the win. McIntosh, Len Bowman took third and fourth while Smith and Murrell, Jr. crossed the line in a virtual dead heat for fifth.

Real stock trophy dash honors on Friday evening went to Ryan Walters over Casey Mitchell, Bill Middleton who was driving Jim Redd’s car for the weekend and Dustin Walters. Nick Green held off Roger Linn, Pat Conway, Middleton and Mitchell for the heat race victory. One of the more scary incidents occurred early on in the main event when Ryan Robinson lost his right front wheel in turn four. The wheel rolled off the track then back on in front of Dustin Walters and Conway who both made contact with the wheel sending it bouncing approximately 20 feet in the air. Thankfully the wheel rolled safely and harmlessly into the infield and neither Walters or Conway suffered extensive damage to their cars. Middleton held off Ryan Walters for the win in the feature while Green, Linn and Conway rounded out the top five.

Dustin Walters started off Saturday night with a trophy dash victory over Middleton, Mitchell and Ryan Walters. The win in the heat race was taken by Ryan Walters followed by Robinson, Middlton, Mitchell and Dustin Walters. Ryan Walters chalked up another main event victory in 2009 beating Mitchell, Linn, Green and Middleton.

Carrie Cook beat Oscar Koskinen to the line in the roadrunner dash on Friday with Jimmy Murray and Bill Snow rounded out the finish. Nick Bundy claimed the heat race win over Cook, Koskinen, Charlie Anderson and Murray. Koskinen took the main event victory over Bundy, Anderson, Murray and Cook. On Saturday night, Bundy found himself the trophy dash winner over Murray, Cook and Koskinen. Anderson proved victorious in the heat race over Murray, Bundy, Koskinen and Erik Mendes. Bundy was able to withstand and fend off a furious charge my Mendes to win the main event. Murray took third while Anderson was able to beat Koskinen back to the finish line for fourth.

The familiar battle in the thunder roadster division between Paul Peeples, Jr. and David Henderson resumed in the Friday night dash as Peeples beat Henderson, Robert Miller and Tommy Payne to win. Bill Bradbury won the first heat race Chris Sarvinski, Dave McMurray, Jim Rich and Dan Browne. Peeples took the second heat over Henderson, Brandon Barnwell driving Donn Cole’s car, Mike Ward and Payne. Peeples grabbed the lead early on in the main event and held off a late race charge by Henderson to take the narrow victory while Miller finished third, Payne fourth and Mark Arroyo fifth. Saturday night’s dash win was claimed by Henderson over Payne, Peeples and Miller. Arroyo won heat one over Rob Nelson, Browne, McMurray and Belinda Ward while heat two was taken by Chris Sarvinski ahead of Henderson, Peeples, Mike Ward and Barnwell. Peeples was able to take the main event on the night over Miller, Arroyo, Barnwell and Payne.

The sportsman division saw the surprise return of a West Coast stock car racing legend. Two time super stock track champion, Jim Walker made his first start in a local division at the Acres since 1990. Unfortunately prior to the events on Friday night, one of Walker’s long-time on-track rivals, Larry Pries severely injured his thumb after getting involved in a wreck in practice that was started by a flat left-rear tire on Brandon Barnwell’s machine. Pries was unable to race both Friday and Saturday night.

In the Friday trophy dash, Jerry Peterson narrowly beat Dennis DelBiaggio to the line for the victory while Brandon Barnwell and Joe McDonald followed behind. The first heat race went to Lissa Uselton over Al Acuna, Preston O’Dell, Ken Hallis and Ryan Peeples. Walker won the second heat to the delight of the crowed over Aaron Byers, McDonald, Peterson and Barnwell. The main event saw several incidents in the early stages. In fact, it wasn’t until a third restart on that the cars were able to accrue more than a single lap. McDonald was able to stave off a last corner charge by Walker to take his first main event of the season, making him the seventh different main event winner in as many races. Delbiaggio placed third, Marcelli fourth and Peterson fifth.

McDonald returned on Saturday to take the trophy dash victory over Delbiaggio, Peterson and Marcelli. Peeples took the win in heat one over Shawn Craig, Acuna, Uselton and Kavin Conn. The second heat race went to McDonald ahead of DelBiaggio, Marcelli, Peterson and Walker. McDonald and DelBiaggio carried on their fight in the main event with DelBiaggio able to withstand several late race restarts and beat McDonald for his second main event of the season, breaking the string of different winners. Byers narrowly edged out Walker for third while Marcelli took fifth.

Racing at Redwood Acres Raceway goes on hiatus for two weeks before returning Saturday July 11th.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Championships favorites becoming clearer at Redwood Acres Raceway

Championships favorites becoming clearer at Redwood Acres Raceway

By Matthew J. Sullivan

The 2009 racing season at Redwood Acres Raceway is more than 1/3rd of the way through the year’s schedule. The points standings in the six local classes after six of the scheduled 15 events are tight in some of the divisions while in others, the margin is much larger and the points standings are more spread out.

The limited street stock division points are led by Fergy Ferguson with 215. He holds a two point lead over Kenny Demello in second and a 14 point lead over Stan Young in third. The closeness of the standings are unfortunately a reflection of the lack of cars in the division. Bill Middleton stands fourth with 66 points garnered.

It’s a battle of brothers in the mini stock class. Scott Baker leads brother Craig 393-382. Brian McIntosh is third with 372 points while rookie Steve Smith isn’t too far behind in fourth with 342. Brian Murrell, Jr. is fifth with 176. Nick Bundy has been the dominant force in the roadrunner divisions first season at Redwood Acres Raceway, winning five of the six main events on the year. Bundy has 390 points, 127 more than second place Oscar Koskinen at 263. Jimmy Murray is third with 261 followed by Carrie Cook with 241 and the Redwood Acres track car with 238.

Ryan Walters has been the man to beat in the real stock division winning four of the six main events. Walters has scored 410 points thus far. Casey Mitchell has been a consistent top three runner and stands in second place with 368 points. Jim Redd is third with a main event win and 366 points, while Pat Conway also has a main event victory and is one point behind Redd in fourth place. Roger Linn, Jr. is in fifth with 342 points.

In the thunder roadster division, David Henderson was able to stretch his points lead over Paul Peeples, Jr. in the June 6th race at Redwood Acres. Henderson swept the night winning the trophy dash, the heat race and the main event while Peeples struggled with his car after having to change his engine earlier in the day. Henderson has 414 points while Peeples in second has 390. While those two have been the dominant drivers in the division, Robert Miller has been the “best of the rest” and is third in points with 362. Fourth place is only five behind miller with 357 while Mike Ward is fifth with 330.

Out of all the divisions, the sportsman class has been the most competitive without question. Through the six races this year, there have been six different winners. Dennis Delbiaggio has a 10 point lead over Larry Pries, 381-371, both drivers having scored a main event win this year. Angelo Marcelli is third, three points behind Pries with 368 and a main event victory. Jerry Peterson is another five points behind Marcelli with 363 and a main event victory in the last race at the Acres on June 6th. Brandon Barnwell sits fifth with a main event and 251 points. The top four drivers are the only ones who have been in all six races this season.

Racing at Redwood Acres Raceway returns on Friday June 26th and Saturday 27th for the Redwood Acres Fair Classic. This event is the second biggest race of the season at the speedway next to the Fall Classic season finale in September. A number of cars are expected to show up for both nights in several of the divisions and its expected to be a pair of thrilling nights at the Acres.

Limited Street Stocks
Track Record: Trevor Miller 17.143
Fergy Ferguson 215, Kenny Demello 213, George Young 201, Bill Middleton 66

Mini Stocks
Craig Baker 18.597
Scott Baker 393, Craig Baker 382, Brian McIntosh 372, Steve Smith 342, Brian Murrell, Jr. 176, Len Bowman 161, Brian Murrell, Sr. 130, Nick Karanopoulos 117, Norm Carmichael 88, Denzil Barrett 59

Nick Bundy 21.825
Nick Bundy 390, Oscar Koskinen III 263, Jimmy Murray 261, Carrie Cook 241, Track Car 238, Charlie Anderson 221, Dustin DelBiaggio 200, Bill Snow 120, Erik Mendes 111, Raleigh Willoughby 59

Real Stocks
Shawn Craig 18.763
Ryan Walters 410, Casey Mitchell 368, Jim Redd 366, Pat Conway 365, Roger Linn, Jr. 342, Dustin Walters 318, Ryan/Russ Robinson 227, Nick Green 210, Doug Way 101, Bob Lima 57, Jim Bailey 11

Thunder Roadsters
Paul Peeples, Jr. 16.839
Dave Henderson 414, Paul Peeples, Jr. 390, Robert Miller 362, Thomas Payne 357, Mike Ward 330, Chris Sarvinski 303, Rob Nelson 281, Mark Arroyo 281, Bruce Ziemer 257, Belinda Ward 245, Jim Rich 213, Dan Browne 187, Jay Bahner 148, Chris Banfill 141, Donn Cole 59, Dave McMurray 50, Doug Pulver 43

Shawn Andrews 15.794
Dennis DelBiaggio 387, Larry Pries 377, Angelo Marcelli 368, Jerry Peterson 363, Brandon Barnwell 251, Joe McDonald 197, Frank Billy, Jr. 126, Aaron Byers 124, Kavin Conn 116, Shawn Craig 107, Ken Hallis 56, Al Acuna 53, Lissa Uselton 11.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Henderson notches fourth win, Peterson sneaks his first

Henderson notches fourth win, Peterson sneaks his first

By Matthew J. Sullivan

It was an exceptionally quick night of racing this past Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway. The events started at 6:30 in the evening and it was just before 9:00 when fans were filing out of the grandstands following the final checkered flag. Unfortunately, part of that was due to a low car count in all of the divisions on the night, but also there were not any serious incidents that ended up causing any on-track cleanup.

Kenny Demello and Stan Young were the only two drivers in the limited street stocks to make a qualifying attempt and unfortunately there were no races for the division. The mini stocks had only five cars show up. Craig Baker won the trophy dash and narrowly beat Brian McIntosh to the line in the heat race. McIntosh and Baker dueled again in the 10-lap main event. Baker looked to have the better car, but got loose in the second turn with a few laps left and spun. McIntosh was able to cruise to his first main event victory of the season ahead of Scott Baker, Steve Smith and Norm Carmichael, while Craig Baker finished fifth.

Jim Redd held off Casey Mitchell, Ryan Walters and Pat Conway to win the real stock trophy dash. Ryan Robinson took the heat race victory ahead of Mitchell, Dustin Walters, Ryan Walters and Roger Linn. The action kicked off right at the get-go of the 15 lap main event. A huge jam-up between several cars ended up giving Mitchell the lead and a huge margin over the rest of the pack. As he has done several times this year, Ryan Walters maneuvered his way through the field and to second position in only a few laps. With two laps to go, Walters used the low line to get past Mitchell for the lead. Walters crossed the finish line first with Mitchell second, Dustin Walters third, Robinson fourth and Redd fifth.

Carrie Cook won the roadrunner dash ahead of Oscar Koskinen, Charlie Anderson and Jimmy Murray. A last lap incident involving Murray and Anderson ended up damaging Murray’s car enough to where he was unable to race in the main event. Bill Snow was able to take the win over Cook, Koskinen, Nick Bundy and Murray. Bundy returned to the form he had shown in the first four events of the season as he took the lead early on in the main event and then held off Koskinen to take the victory. Eric Mendes ended up third ahead of Cook and Snow.

The sportsman trophy dash was won by Dennis Delbiaggio over Angelo Marcelli, Joe McDonald and Larry Pries. Jerry Peterson took the dash win over McDonald, Ken Hallis, Delbiaggio and Brandon Barnwell. Peterson and Hallis comprised the front row of the 25-lap main event and the two fought door-handle-to-door-handle the first several laps before Hallis was able to firmly take control of the top spot. Delbiaggio looked to be the best car on the track as he was able to dice through the field, moving by Peterson for the second position on lap 13. The field bunched up after a lap 18 spin by Marcelli. The restart allowed Delbiaggio to put some real pressure on Hallis. With two laps to go, Hallis and Delbiaggio got together coming off of turn two sending both sliding through the infield grass. This allowed Peterson to inherit the lead. On the last lap, Pries and Barnwell touched while racing for second going into the third turn. McDonald was able to get by both drivers to take second. Peterson was safely in front through and took the checkered flag over McDonald and Barnwell. Former real stock driver, Shawn Craig brought his car home in fourth in only his second sportsman main event while Pries was able to get going again to finish fifth.

David Henderson has made victory lane his personal home this season in the thunder roadster division and he was there once again after the trophy dash. Robert Miller, Mike Ward and Chris Sarvinski were the other drivers in the dash. Gary Payne won the first dash over Rob Nelson, Dan Browne, Belinda Ward and Jim Rich. The second dash saw the loss of two cars. Bruce Ziemer appeared to get loose going into turn one. As Ziemer slid down the track, he collected Sarvinski and Mike Ward. Both Ziemer and Sarvinski were finished for the night. In the end, Henderson won the heat over Miller.

Racing for the top spot in the 25-lap thunder roadster main event was fast and furious in the early going. Nelson and Browne fought tooth and nail for the top position. Nelson briefly took the lead before Payne was able to get by on the third lap. Mike Ward, Henderson and Miller fought hard amongst themselves for the second position before Henderson was able to take the position away on lap five. Miller was able to get by Ward on lap seven just as Henderson moved under Payne to take the lead. On lap 12, Miller moved under Payne for second in turn three but got tight in turn four, got into Payne and spun into the infield resulting in a caution flag. After the restart, the best racing proved to come from Miller who was moving his way through the field back to the front as quick as he could. On lap 23, Miller took third away from Mike Ward, but unfortunately for him that was as high as he would get. Henderson was able to more or less cruise to the win ahead of Payne, Miller, Ward and Nelson.

A reminder to fans, the scheduled June 13th event at Redwood Acres Raceway has been cancelled. Racing returns to the Acres on Friday June 26th and Saturday June 27th during the Redwood Acres Fair.