Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Redwood Acres Raceway track champions officially crowned

Redwood Acres Raceway track champions officially crowned

By Matthew J. Sullivan

Redwood Acres Raceway held its 2009 banquet this past Saturday evening. The track champions in the six local divisions were crowned while various other awards were presented throughout the duration of the evening. A great time was had by all and it was a nice way to finish out an excellent year of racing on the north coast.

Kenny Demello took the championship trophy over Acres veteran, Fergy Ferguson in the limited street stock division. Stan Young and Bill Middleton were the only two other drivers who had scored points in the division during the season. Craig Baker notched another mini stock track championship on the year, however it was by a scant two points ahead of his brother Scott. The Baker brothers were the dominant forces in the division throughout the entire season. Brian McIntosh took third, while Steve Smith placed fourth. Both drivers were able to sneak main event victories away from the Bakers during the year. Brian Murrell, Jr. maintained a solid and steady pace all season and placed fifth in the standings. Smith took rookie of the year honors in the class while Scott Baker won the fast time award.

After a brief hiatus away from racing at the Acres, Ryan Walters returned to the real stock division in fine fashion as he took home the championship. Casey Mitchell placed a solid second in points with a main event win, his first ever and rookie of the year honors in the division. Pat Conway was a regular front runner, taking home a main event win early in the season and finishing third in the standings. Defending division champion, Jim Redd had somewhat of a tough season with several misfortunes. Redd did win a couple main events and placed fourth in points. The duo of Ryan and Russell Robinson finished fifth in points and were also victorious during the year.

It was most definitely a successful maiden voyage for the roadrunner division in 2009. Charlie Anderson won the first-ever championship by pacing himself and driving smart. Late in the season, Anderson and his team were forced to use a completely new car after he was involved in a wreck that wrote off the car he had been in for most of the year. The efforts of both driver and crew definitely paid off. Kent Campbell and Carrie Cook finished second in the points, only seven behind Anderson. Cook drove most of the first half of the season while Campbell took over for the second half. Dustin DelBiaggio was third in points, five behind second place and 12 behind first. DelBiaggio looked to be one of the stronger cars at the end of the year. Jimmy Murray ran a consistent and smooth pace throughout the year placing fourth in the points, while the Redwood Acres Raceway track car was good enough to place fifth thanks to numerous drivers who were behind the wheel during the season. Several drivers won main events but didn’t place high in points. Nick Bundy was the man to beat for the better part of the first half of the year, but did not race the second half of the season. Wyatt Roach got a late start to the year but looks to be the favorite in the division going into the 2010 season. Roach won the fast time award for the roadrunners. The team of Bill Snow and Dylan Cook were also winners along with Oscar Koskinen, III and Dax Kinsey.

David Henderson won his third track championship out of four seasons in the thunder roadster division. Henderson was dominant all year winning the most main events in the division for the year. Robert Miller placed second in the standings and was a regular top 5 contender. The same could be said for Tommy Payne who took third in points. Both Miller and Payne appear to be the two drivers on the cusp of being able to upset Henderson going into 2010. Mike Ward was fourth in the standings, while Bruce Ziemer took fifth. Henderson’s dominance in the class was felt through the number of main event victors. Other than Henderson, only Paul Peeples, Jr. and Randy Olson took home main event trophies. Peeples proved to be Henderson’s equal in the first part of the year, but unfortunately Peeples missed several races in the mid-point which knocked him out of contention. Olson had a late start in 2009, but still took three main event wins in a row. Still though, it was Henderson’s year as he also took fast time honors. Dan Browne earned rookie of the year for the division.

Dennis DelBiaggio was smooth and strong all season long in the sportsman division. DelBiaggio was able to win several main events and was fortunate enough to avoid major incident until the final race of the season, taking the 2009 track title. Angelo Marcelli was able to use the same tactics, but did not have the pace that DelBiaggio had for most of the year. Marcelli did notch a main event win early in the year. Jerry Peterson placed third in points and looked to be DelBiaggio’s toughest competition. Unfortunately, Peterson lost his primary car late in the season and though he was strong in a backup car, he was not able to close the gap to the leader. Larry Pries placed fourth on the year and might have been higher had he not missed the Fair Night races due to a qualifying crash on the first night. Brandon Barnwell was fifth on the year. Barnwell won several main events, but did most of his racing in the last part of the season in Donn Cole’s thunder roadster. Joe McDonald and Aaron Byers were the only other drivers who scored main event victories in the division. DelBiaggio won the fast time award for the class.

There were several highlights throughout the 2009 season. Two of the most memorable involved unfortunate incidents for two roadrunner drivers. Robbie Nelson had an unfortunate meeting with the turn two water barrels during the year, while Raleigh Willoughby flipped while trying to correct his car in the next to last race of the season. Several drivers made the trek from Oregon to race at the Acres in the limited street stock class during the Fair races. The Northern California Pro-4 cars made three visits to the Acres with Codi Barba winning the third event. The season finished out with a 100-lap late model event that was won by Noel McCormack, Jr.

2010 is just around the corner and it won’t be long until racing at the Acres returns for yet another season.

2009 Final Points Standings

Limited Street Stocks
Track Record: Trevor Miller 17.143
Kenny Demello 398, Fergy Ferguson 390, Stan Young 331, Bill Middleton 109

Mini Stocks
Track Record: Craig Baker 18.597
Craig Baker 973, Scott Baker 971, Brian McIntosh 919, Steve Smith 778, Brian Murrell, Jr. 687, Len Bowman/Jesse Chown 565, Brian Murrell, Sr. 272, Norm Carmichael 143, Nick Karanopoulos 117, Mike Weekly 111, Denzil Barrett 59

Real Stocks
Track Record: Shawn Craig 18.763
Ryan Walters 1009, Casey Mitchell 937, Pat Conway 896, Jim Redd 856, Ryan/Russell Robinson 752, Nick Green 624, Dustin Walters 596, Roger Linn, Jr. 526, Doug Way 301, Don Hyman 217, Ray Middleton 123, Bob Lima 111, Jim Bailey 11

Track Record: Wyatt Roach 21.634
Charlie Anderson 825, Kent Campbell/Carrie Cook 818, Dustin DelBiaggio 813, Jimmy Murray 796, Track Car 725, Nick Bundy 579, Wyatt Roach 571, Bill Snow/Dylan Cook 454, Raleigh Willoughby 432, Oscar Koskinen III 391, Eric Rice/Rick Crawley 374, Aaron Sandifer 341, Eric Mendes 236, Robbie Nelson 175, Nick Hansen 129, Dax Kinsey 119, Landon Newell 49

Thunder Roadsters
Track Record: Paul Peeples, Jr. 16.839
David Henderson 938, Robert Miller 836, Thomas Payne 825, Mike Ward 742, Bruce Ziemer 675, Paul Peeples, Jr. 644, Rob Nelson 599, Chris Sarvinski 590, Belinda Ward 572, Jay Bahner 551, Dan Browne 522, Mark Arroyo 500, Jim Rich 474, Brandon Barnwell 333, Dave McMurray 312, Randy Olson 250, Shane Toole 203, Mic Moulton 191, Chris Banfill 141, Ray Elliott 98, Donn Cole 59, Gerhy Foster 54, Mark Baldwin 48, Doug Pulver 43, Al Olson 38, Bill Bradbury 19, Rick Crawley, Jr. 12

Track Record: Shawn Andrews 15.794
Dennis DelBiaggio 927, Angelo Marcelli 852, Jerry Peterson 815, Larry Pries 780, Brandon Barnwell 444, Joe McDonald 392, Frank Billy, Jr. 328, Lissa Uselton 311, Aaron Byers 297, Shawn Craig 271, Kenny Demello 263, Kavin Conn 230, Ken Hallis 158, Al Acuna 149, Jim Walker 134, Rick Fox 14.