Monday, June 21, 2010

McDonald edges Peterson for sportsman victory

McDonald edges Peterson for sportsman victory

By Matthew J. Sullivan

Finally after almost a full month, racing returned to the pavement of the 3/8-mile Redwood Acres Raceway this past Saturday night. The long break was made longer by the fact that heavy mist had cancelled the scheduled race earlier in the month on June 5th. This race marked the return of the mini stock division as the class went on a brief hiatus the past several events.

Prior to the night’s events going into action, several drivers pulled their cars out onto the track to run memorial laps in honor of two folks who had sadly recently passed away. Diana Robertson was a long-time race fan at the Acres and was the daughter of former track flagman, Larry Robertson who passed away several years ago. The other loss suffered was that of former driver, Duane Mayo. Mayo began racing at Redwood Acres in the 80s when the track was still dirt. Mayo moved to the sportsman division in the early 90s then returned to racing the limited street stock division in recent years. Both will be greatly missed by the Redwood Acres Raceway community.

Scott Baker took the trophy dash win in the mini stock division ahead of Brian Murrell, Brian McIntosh and Brian Murrell, Jr. Baker then won the heat race over Murrell, Ken Barrett, Ryan Ahrens and Murrell, Jr. Murrell took the lead early in the mini stock main event but was unable to hold back Baker on this night as Baker went three-for-three sweeping the trophy dash, heat race and main event for the night. Murrell beat his son for second while Barrett and Ahrens finished the top five.

The real stock trophy dash was won by Casey Mitchell over Ryan Robinson, Ryan Walters and Nick Green. The heat race victory was taken by Green ahead of Dustin Walters, Mitchell, Ryan Walters and Robinson. Doug Way took the lead at the start of the feature event for the real stocks but couldn’t hold off Dustin Walters by the third turn of the first lap as Walters moved under to take the lead. Walters’ ability to take the lead so early in the event proved to be invaluable as he was able to pull out a good lead while the rest of the field battled amongst themselves. Way did a fantastic job of holding off the field cleanly for second but Robinson eventually got by to take the spot. Robinson wasn’t able to close in on Walters until the final lap. Going into the third turn, Robinson made a last-ditch effort but didn’t have enough to muscle by. At the checkered flag it was Dustin Walters winning in his first start of the season over Robinson, Mitchell, Ryan Walters and Green.

Raleigh Willoughby returned to form, winning the roadrunner trophy dash after an incident in the May 22nd main event took him to the hospital. Dax Kinsey, Jimmy Murray and Robbie Nelson rounded out the finishers. Dustin DelBiaggio took heat race honors ahead of Charlie Anderson, Nelson, Kinsey and Willoughby. The main event got off to a bad start for Nelson as contact sent him into the wall off the second turn and out of action. Tim Apeyta took the lead on the restart but after the first lap Anderson held the lead. Things got close on the second lap when DelBiaggio got loose in turn four while racing Apeyta for second and spun. Fortunately everyone was able to get by without contact. Willoughby moved by Abeyta into second just moments after DelBiaggio’s spin.

On lap eight, Willoughby moved to the outside of Anderson for the lead. Willoughby took the lead coming to the caution flag as Kinsey’s car lost power and stopped in turn one. After the restart, Willoughby and Anderson walked away from the pack while several drivers including Ken Barrett, Murray, DelBiaggio and Nick Hansen fought hard for position. At the checkered flag it was Willoughby winning his fourth main event of five this season ahead of Anderson. Meanwhile on the backstretch, DelBiaggio spun forcing Murray to slow to avoid hitting him. Behind them, Hansen spun to avoid getting involved. All the action gave Barrett third place and Abeyta fourth. Murray was able to get back to the line ahead of DelBiaggio for the fifth spot.

In the thunder roadster division, Paul Peeples, Jr. took the trophy dash win over Randy Olson, Brandon Barnwell and Tommy Payne. Rob Nelson won the heat race ahead of Fergy Ferguson, Olson, Peeples and Barnwell. Nelson took the lead from the start and held it early on over Mike Ward. It didn’t take long for Peeples to make his presence known as he was in third position passing Payne on lap four. A lap later, Nelson spun out of the lead off turn two handing it over to Ward. Olson moved his way into third on lap six bringing Barnwell with him past Payne. The next lap, Peeples moved under Ward to take the lead. On lap 10, Barnwell passed Olson for third. On lap 16, Payne got by Olson for fourth. The next lap, Barnwell moved by Ward for second. Nobody had anything for Peeples though as he was able to handily take the victory over Barnwell, Ward, Payne and Olson.

Mic Moulton took the trophy dash win in the sportsman division ahead of Joe McDonald, Jerry Peterson and Dennis DelBiaggio. McDonald won the head over Peterson, Angelo Marcelli, DelBiaggio and Moulton. Larry Pries utilized his outside front row starting position well by taking the lead at the start of the main event over Peterson and Moulton. Moulton looked to have the car to beat on the night. On lap five he passed Peterson for second. On lap 10, Moulton moved under Pries to take the lead bringing Peterson and McDonald with him into second and third. However, it appeared as though Moulton’s car wasn’t running right. Where before he was running away from Peterson, now Peterson was right on his tail. On lap 14 going into turn three, Moulton’s engine hand-grenaded. The drivers behind him did a masterful job of avoiding further catastrophe but it was another unfortunate night for Moulton in what has been a season of misfortune for him at the Acres.

Peterson inherited the lead after the restart and had his hands full with second place McDonald. McDonald stayed right in Peterson’s mirror waiting for a chance to pass. Peterson’s car began developing a push off the corners. Coming off turn four on lap 23, Peterson’s car nearly pushed into the wall. The moment Peterson took to back off the gas was all McDonald needed to get under and by for the lead. Peterson fought valiantly to get back on McDonald’s bumper but he didn’t have the horsepower or handling he needed to make a serious charge at the lead. At the checkered flag it was McDonald winning over Peterson, Pries, DelBiaggio and Marcelli.

The drivers and teams have a quick turnaround to do as racing returns to the Acres for fair night action this weekend on Friday and Saturday nights June 25th and 26th. Several more cars are expected to join in all the classes making these events must-see for race fans.

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