Thursday, July 29, 2010

Season winding down as the AABLM series returns to the Acres

Season winding down as the AABLM series returns to the Acres

By Matthew J. Sullivan

Only five races remain in the 2010 season at Eureka, California’s Redwood Acres Raceway. After seven events the true contenders for the track championships in the five divisions have become clear. Besides the points races drawing to a close, the final five events are all special events with the AABLM touring series making its second of two schedule points visits this weekend followed by Back-To-School Night on August 7th, Fan Appreciation Night on August 28th, the September 11th Memorial Race and the September 25th Fall Spectacular which the AABLM will be returning for a non-points, all-money event.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Scott Baker appears to have the mini stock points title well in hand as he holds a 57 point cushion over second place, Ken Barrett. Brian Murrell, Jr. sits third 97 markers behind Baker while Brian Murrell, Sr. and Brian McIntosh rest in fourth and fifth positions in the standings.

As usual, the real stock division has been ultra-competitive as six different drivers have taken home main event victories. Through it all, Casey Mitchell has been the most consistent as he has accumulated 525 points. Nick Green has been strong all season and is second with 502 points, 23 behind Mitchell. Ryan Robinson was the points leader earlier in the season, but issues during the June 26th Fair Night main event cost him dearly and he now is third with 486 points. The duo of Shawn Craig and Ryan Walters hold fourth with 463 points while Bill Middleton is fifth with 348.

The roadrunner division holds the distinction of having the most cars that have raced at the Acres this season, 20 in total. Raleigh Willoughby dominated the early portion of the season and though he’s had bad luck of late, he still holds a commanding lead over second place Dax Kinsey, 542 points to 471 points. Nick Hansen has been a strong competitor as the season has progress. He is third with 442 points. Jimmy Murray is fourth with 431 points and Dustin DelBiaggio is fifth with 369 points.

Although Paul Peeples, Jr. has been the commanding force in the thunder roadster division this season, he did not race on July 10. His absence allowed Tommy Payne to take the lead in the standings with 509 to Peeples 504. Brandon Barnwell in third and Mike Ward in fourth are still within striking distance with 488 and 482 points apiece while Chris Sarvinski is sixth with 414 points.

Ironically, the top two positions in the sportsman division are the same as in the thunder roadster division. Like Payne, Angelo Marcelli has 509 points and is the leader while Mic Moulton is second with 504. However, the gap to third is much closer with Dennis DelBiaggio at 501 points. Larry Pries still has an outside chance of taking the division title with 481 points while Jerry Peterson is out of it with 453 points.

As previously noted, the AABLM series joins the five local divisions at Redwood Acres Raceway this weekend, July 31st. In their last visit on May 22nd, David Miller was the dominant force taking the lead in the early stages of the race and running away by the end. With the series having been on break for more than a month, it’s likely that there will be a full field of cars and drivers who are excited to get back to racing.

Redwood Acres Raceway Points Standings (After 8 races)
Mini Stocks
Track Record: Craig Baker 18.597
Scott Baker 352, Barrett/Walford 295, Brian Murrell, Jr. 255, Brian Murrell, Sr. 210, Brian McIntosh 191, Ryan Ahrens 182, Craig Baker 79, Robbie Robinson 57, Ricky Davis 51

Real Stocks
Track Record: Shawn Craig 18.763
Casey Mitchell 525, Nick Green 502, Ryan Robinson 486, Craig/Walters 463, Bill Middleton 348, Ronnie O'Neill 333, Ray Middleton 269, Jim Redd 246, Doug Way 225, Dustin Walters 179, Wyatt Roach 125, Aaron Sandifer 97, Bob Lima 64, Landon Newell 50

Track Record: Raleigh Willoughby 21.307
Raleigh Willoughby 542, Dax Kinsey 471, Nick Hansen 442, Jimmy Murray 431, Dustin DelBiaggio 369, Michael Lawrence 345, Charlie Anderson 321, Kolby Jackson 281, Robbie Nelson 279, Ken Barrett 264, Bill Snow 253, Kent Campbell 249, Tim Abeyta 233, Dylan Cook 221, Brett Murrell 208, Eric Rice 117, Pete Smith 64, Jake Moxon 63, Mark Benzinger 58, Kaveeta Chand 44

Thunder Roadsters
Track Record: Paul Peeples, Jr. 16.839
Thomas Payne 509, Paul Peeples, Jr. 504, Brandon Barnwell 488, Mike Ward 482, Chris Sarvinski 414, Belinda Ward 412, Bruce Ziemer 410, Rob Nelson 363, Fergy Ferguson 298, Dave Henderson 290, Randy Olson 286, Jay Bahner 197, Jim Rich 157, Dan Maxwell 79, Robert Miller 62, Allen Olson 53, Dave McMurray 11

Track Record: Shawn Andrews 15.794
Angelo Marcelli 509, Mic Moulton 504, Dennis DelBiaggio 501, Larry Pries 481, Jerry Peterson 453, Kenny Demello 379, Joe McDonald 344, Al Acuna 221, Donnie Brown 212, Aaron Byers 181, Jim Walker 62, Scott Baker 51, Ken Hallis 48.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Crashes highlight racing at the Acres

Crashes highlight racing at the Acres

By Matthew J. Sullivan

It was a surprisingly cool summer evening this past Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway. The five local division returned to the 3/8-mile paved oval after a two-week layoff. Unfortunately, numerous accidents highlighted the events throughout the evening and by the end of the night, several drivers were hot under the collar.

Nick Green held off Casey Mitchell, Ronnie O’Neill and Bill Middleton to win the real stock trophy dash. Mitchell went on to win the heat race over Green, Ryan Robinson, Doug Way and O’Neill. The real stock main event proved to be the highlight of the evening and likely the best race thus far at Redwood Acres in the 2010 season. Mitchell and O’Neill raced a clean, nose-to-tail race for most all of the 20-lap feature. O’Neill was unable to use the high line to his liking as he tried it several times on Mitchell. At the checkered flag it was Mitchell beating O’Neill, Way, Middleton and Robinson. Surprisingly, the main event win marked Mitchell’s first of this season.

In mini stock action, Scott Baker won the trophy dash over Brian Murrell, Ricky Davis who was making his first-ever start and Brian McIntosh. Baker followed up with the heat race victory over Brian Murrell, Jr., Murrell, Ryan Ahrens and McIntosh. Baker was able to make it a clean sweep on the night as he ran away with the main event beating Murrell, McIntosh, Murrell, Jr. and Ken Barrett.

Nick Hansen took the roadrunner trophy dash victory ahead of Raleigh Willoughby, Dylan Cook and Michael Lawrence. Kolby Jackson held off Hansen to take the heat race victory followed by Lawrence, Cook and Willoughby. The feature was a rough and tumble affair. In the initial start, Brett Murrell and Cook made contact going into the third turn bringing out a restart. On the next start, Willoughby and Jackson came together as they were completing the first lap with Jackson getting into the wall. The next restart saw contact between Ken Barrett and Dax Kinsey going into the first turn. As both cars headed for the wall, Cook was caught up and he spun and hit the wall with his rear-end. Barrett and Kinsey were finished for the evening while Cook was able to continue. The race was cut to 10 laps with Hansen taking the win over Jackson, Willoughby, Cook and Murrell.

The thunder roadster trophy dash went to Randy Olson over Tommy Payne, Brandon Barnwell and Chris Sarvinski. The heat race for the roadsters looked more like a demolition derby than a race. When trying to pass Rob Nelson on the outside of turn four, Sarvinski got too high, got loose and hit the wall coming off the corner finishing his evening prematurely. After a restart, Nelson and Fergy Ferguson got hung together in turns one and two sending both drivers into the water barrels entering pit road. Both drivers were okay but were also finished for the evening. After all the chaos, Olson took the heat race win ahead of Mike Ward, Barnwell, Payne and Ziemer. Barnwell took the lead from the start of the feature event but by the end of the first lap, Olson was on his bumper in second. Going into the third turn on lap five, Olson took the lead and never looked back. Olson took the win handily over Barnwell, Payne, Ward and Ziemer.

Jerry Peterson took the sportsman trophy dash honors ahead of Angelo Marcelli, Larry Pries and Mic Moulton. Aaron Byers was able to beat Peterson by inches in the heat race followed by Moulton, Dennis DelBiaggio and Pries. Byers was able to take the lead early in the main event over Marcelli until lap two when DelBiaggio got loose going into turn three, spun and hit the wall ending his race. After the restart, Marcelli began to work hard on Byers for the lead. On lap 9, Marcelli found the line under Byers for the top spot. On lap 16, Peterson moved by Byers for second with Moulton following the next lap. On lap 20, Pries tried to make a move under Byers for fourth going into turn three. The two touched and went into the wall. Both drivers were fine but out of action. After the restart, Marcelli showed surprising strength holding off Peterson and Moulton. Neither was able to put a serious challenge to Marcelli’s lead and at the checkered flag it was Marcelli winning over Peterson, Moulton and Kenny Demello.

The racing action at Redwood Acres Raceway goes on a three-week hiatus before returning on Saturday July 31st. Joining the five local divisions will be the return of the Airport Auto Brokers Late Model series. It will be the second of the two scheduled points paying events for the series.