Sunday, July 30, 2006

Walsh, Bradbury, Baker victorious

Walsh, Bradbury, Baker victorious

By Matthew J. Sullivan

It was another full night of racing at Redwood Acres Raceway and by the night’s end, several familiar faces returned to victory lane once more. Marty Walsh ran away in the sportsman division, while Bill Bradbury held off Dan Browne to win the real stock main event. Scott Baker also did his share of domination as he handily won the mini stock main. Andrien Betournay won the closest main of the night as he held off Trevor Miller to claim the real stock main event literally by inches.

Six limited street stocks showed up for the evening with the addition of George Young’s new car. Orion Mosher set fast time with a 17.328 lap. Andrien Betournay took home the dash win with Kenny Demello, Trevor Miller and Mosher following behind. Miller won the exciting heat race beating Demello, Mosher, Betournay and Young. Five cars started the 10 lap main event with Young not being able to make the start. Off the start, Duane Mayo and Demello raced side by side for the first lap and a half until Demello got loose on the high side giving Mayo the lead. On lap three, Demello moved back to Mayo’s outside. Coming off turn two, Betournay found room on the low side of the front two to make a daring three-wide pass going into the third turn. Miller was able to follow Betournay into the second position. For several laps, Miller looked for a way by Betournay. With one lap to go, Miller drove his car hard into the outside line going into turn one. His car stuck and the two drag raced doorhandle to doorhandle going into the third turn. Coming off four, the two were still side by side and as the two cars hit the start/finish line it was Betournay beating Miller by inches. Mosher finished third, Mayo fourth and Demello fifth.

Eleven mini stocks showed up to take time, unfortunately Justina Shaha had to wait to make her debut in the class as she hit the wall during her qualifying run. Two other drivers made their debut in the class; Max Cap and Robbie Robinson. Scott Baker set the fastest lap of 19.203. Bryan McIntosh won the heat race over Stacy Minnick, Chad Grammer and Baker. A multi-car incident in the heat race knocked out McIntosh as well as Denzel Barrett. Brian Murrell was able to win the heat followed by Baker, Glen Bernald, Grammer and Minnick. Eight cars made the start of the 20 lap main event with the front row comprised of Murrell and Bernald. The initial start saw contact between Murrell and Bernald in the first and second turns and Grammer spin out. The second start was much cleaner as Murrell took the lead while Bernald slotted into second and Minnick third. On lap two, Minnick made her way by Bernald and set her sights on Murrell’s lead. Grammer made his way to fifth by Byron McIntosh on lap three. On the fifth lap, Baker got by Bernald for third and tried to close on the front duo of Murrell and Minnick who had a six car length gap over him.

Grammer spun in turn two on lap nine but was able to get his car going not resulting in a caution flag. Baker moved past Minnick on lap 10 for second. A lap later, Baker moved by Murrell to take the lead. On lap 12, Minnick moved to Murrell’s outside to challenge him for the second position, but Murrell was able to hold her off. With two laps to go, Minnick tried the same maneuver again but got too high allowing Bernald to move to third. Meanwhile, Baker was able to cruise to victory followed by Murrell, Bernald, Minnick and Grammer.

Ryan Walters was fastest of the 13 real stock cars setting a mark of 19.380. Dan Browne won the dash followed by Bill Bradbury, Walters and Doug Way. Walters was able to win the first heat race over Barry Barnwell, Ray DeMello, Way and Ray Robinson. Browne won the second heat with Lima, Bradbury, Jim Redd and Steve Kimberling in his wake. Lima and Robinson lead the field to the green in the 25 lap main event. Lima took the initial lead but a restart had to come after Walters spun in the first and second turn. Walters was unable to take the green when it came out again as he was in the pits. Lima grabbed the lead again while Barnwell moved inside Robinson for second. On the second lap, Barnwell powered his way by Lima on the high side to take the lead. Coming off the second turn, Lima lost power and pulled his car into the infield.

Bradbury made his way by Way for second on lap three and began to close on the leader Barnwell. Redd was black flagged for leaking fluid, but before he could pit, he made contact with Way spinning Way out and bringing out the yellow. Coming to take the caution flag, Bradbury was able to beat Barnwell to the line to take the lead. The green came back out with Browne moving into the inside of Robinson for third. On lap 12, Way got by Kimberling for fifth. Browne began to challenge Barnwell for second on lap 17 before the caution came out on lap 19. When the green flew again, Browne moved quickly by Barnwell for second. Robinson and Barnwell made contact fighting for third sending Barnwell into the infield, however no caution came. For the last few laps, Browne and Bradbury battled for the lead, but Browne couldn’t gather enough steam to get by as Bradbury held him off for the win. Robinson took third, Way fourth and Kimberling fifth.

Marty Walsh set quick time for the sportsman division with a 16.791 lap. Rick Fox won the dash over Donnie Brown, Walsh and Brandon Barnwell. Larry Pries nabbed the win in the first heat over Walsh, Fox, Al Acuna and Lissa Uselton. Brown won the second followed by Jerry Peterson, Angelo Marcelli, Frank Billy and Barnwell. 12 cars started the 25 lap main event. Brown planned to merely take the start and earn points as he graciously donated his car for the use of North State Challenge Series driver Andrew Snider who suffered problems with his car. Joe Bonomini and Pries lead the field to the green flag. Pries took the early lead before Bonomini spun off turn four. Officials deemed Pries at fault and sent him to the rear.

Fox inherited the lead over Walsh, Barnwell, Marcelli and Peterson and the green came back out. The field strung out as Fox and Walsh battled for the top spot. After several nose to tail laps, Walsh managed to get by Fox to take the lead on lap seven. Uselton spun off the second turn on lap 12 but got her car going again. On lap 15, Peterson pulled into the pits from the fifth position. Meanwhile, Walsh had a sizeable gap over Fox and the rest of the field. Pries provided the excitement on the track as he moved by Acuna for fifth on lap 21. Barnwell closed on Fox’s bumper on lap 23 and tried to find a way by but by the end wasn’t able to. Walsh won handily over Fox, Barnwell, Marcelli and Pries.

The next race at the Acres is August 5, Fan Appreciation Night. Free tickets can be found at various locations. Sportsman, real stock, mini stock, limited streets will be racing along with the return of the thunder roadsters after a month hiatus from the 3/8 track.

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