Sunday, July 12, 2009

Water barrels, loose wheels and a wedding mark an interesting night at the Acres

Water barrels, loose wheels and a wedding mark an interesting night at the Acres

By Matthew J. Sullivan

It was a crazy night of racing this past Saturday evening at Redwood Acres Raceway. An unusually high number of incidents stalled the racing on several occasions throughout the evening. One of the highlights of the night though was the marriage of real stock driver, Roger Linn. Linn and his now wife Stephanie were married at the start/finish line in front of friends, family and race fans.

The limited street stock division only ran a trophy dash on the night. Fergy Ferguson won over Kenny Demello, Stan Young and Bill Middleton. The mini stock class also had a low car count on the evening and only ran a dash and a main event. Scott Baker won the dash over Brian Murrell, Jr., Steve Smith and Craig Baker. In the main event, Craig was able to hold off Scott to win while Brian McIntosh, Murrell, Jr. and Smith rounded out the finishers.

Ryan Walters held off Jim Redd, Nick Green and Casey Mitchell for the trophy dash win for the real stock division. Dustin Walters was sporting a new right on the night, but unfortunately hit the wall between turns one and two in the heat race and was finished for the rest of the evening. Pat Conway was able to take the heat race victory ahead of Ryan Walters, Roger Linn, Ryan Robinson and Green. The real stock main event was eventful to say the least. Conway held the lead early over the field, but on lap three in between turns three and four, Conway’s left rear wheel came off his car. The rest of the pack bunched up and was able to avoid further trouble, but this allowed Mitchell to take the race lead.

After the restart, Green was able to stretch his lead ahead of second place Robinson and the remainder of the field. The best battle on the track at this point was for third between Redd and Walters. The caution flew once more when one of Doug Way’s rear wheels came loose coming off turn two, sending him spinning into the infield. Mitchell brought the field to the restart once again, and spent the rest of the race mostly unchallenged as he brought home his first ever main event victory. Robinson took second, Redd third, Walters fourth and Linn fifth.

The roadrunner division saw another influx of new cars and drivers turnout for the night. Several notable drivers were missing on the evening including division points leader, Nick Bundy who has been the dominant driver in the division in its inaugural season, Oscar Koskinen who has been Bundy‘s toughest competition and Raleigh Willoughby. Wyatt Roach took the dash victory over Carrie Cook, Joe Mitchell and Dustin DelBiaggio. The heat race had a scary accident on the start as Robby Nelson got too high in turns one and two and hit the water barrels protecting the turn two pit wall. Thankfully Nelson was unhurt and was in fact able to return to the race. Dylan Cook took the win in the car normally driving by Bill Snow. Carrie Cook took second, Charlie Anderson third, Dustin DelBiaggio fourth and Jimmy Murray fifth.

Dylan Cook held the lead from the pole position in the main event but on lap three Anderson was able to take the lead coming out of turn two. Roach had the car to beat on this night. He was able to quickly dice his way through the field and by lap seven he passed Cook for the second position. Caution flew on lap 12 for debris on the track. After the restart, Roach pulled out a sizeable lead while Anderson and DelBiaggio battled for the second spot. On lap 15, DelBiaggio drove his car a bit too hard going into the third turn, slamming into the wall, severely damaging his car and ending his night. The restart bunched up the field, but nobody had anything to challenge Roach for the lead and he was able to take his first main event victory over Anderson, Erik Mendes, Jimmy Murray and Dylan Cook.

The thunder roadster division had one of its strongest competitors missing the evening as Paul Peeples, Jr. was not in attendance. David Henderson won the trophy dash over Mark Arroyo, Tommy Payne and Robert Miller. Belinda Ward won the first head ahead of Shane Toole, Mark Baldwin, Bruce Ziemer and Dan Browne while Payne narrowly edged Miller to the line in the second heat over Arroyo, Mike Ward and Henderson.

The thunder roadster main event was a quick and clean caution-free race. Pole-sitter, Rob Nelson used the position to his advantage as he took the lead on the first lap and maintained it over the field. Chris Sarvinski was the first of the faster cars to maneuver his way to the front, getting to third position by lap seven, but it wasn’t long before Henderson made his presence known. A lap later, second place Toole got loose allowing Sarvinski to pull into the position and Henderson to take third.

Nelson did all he could to hold off the faster cars of Sarvinski and Henderson, but on lap 12 it wasn’t enough. Henderson was able to move under Sarvinski for second coming off turn two, then going into turns three and four he was able to get by Nelson for the lead. While Henderson ran away, Miller began to make his charge. On lap 19, Miller took second away from Sarvinski. There was no beating Henderson on this night though has he built and maintained an insurmountable lead and handily took the race win over Miller, Sarvinski, Arroyo and Payne.

Dennis DelBiaggio took the trophy dash accolades in the sportsman division ahead of Angelo Marcelli, Larry Pries and Jerry Peterson. In the heat race, Marcelli was able to beat Aaron Byers, Lissa Uselton, DelBiaggio and Peterson for the victory. Byers took the lead early and held it until DelBiaggio took it on lap eight. However on that same lap, Frank Billy spun in turns three and four bringing out the yellow. Since the division no longer races to the flag and reverts to scoring on the previous lap, Byers was able to regain the lead while DelBiaggio slotted into second.

Byers had his hands full with DelBiaggio after the restart and unfortunately he lost the lead to DelBiaggio on lap eight. DelBiaggio’s move opened the door for Peterson and Marcelli to take second and third away from Byers. On lap 14 while trying to pass Byers for fourth, Uselton’s right front tire and Byers’ left rear tire touched in turns three and four. Uselton’s car drove over the side of Byers’ car, tearing off his left side sheet metal and nearly sending Uselton onto her side. Amazingly both drivers were able to continue on in the race. DelBiaggio ran away from the field after the restart and was able to cruse to victory over Peterson, Marcelli, Pries and Billy.

There are only six events left at Redwood Acres Raceway in 2009. Racing takes a two week break before returning Saturday July 25th. There are three events in the month of August; August 8th, August 22nd (Back-To-School Night) and August 29th (Fan Appreciation Night). The regular season rounds out for a few of the divisions on September 12th for the Judy Fox Memorial Race and the season finale is September 26th for the annual Fall Spectacular.

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