Wednesday, July 17, 2002

A ‘hooked up’ Potts takes the IMCA victory

A ‘hooked up’ Potts takes the IMCA victory

By Matthew J. Sullivan

Making one of two appearances at Redwood Acres Raceway this season, the IMCA Modifieds visited the 3/8 of a mile-paved oval for some hard-charging racing action. Setting a new track record at a 16.465, Petaluma’s Richie Potts started from the back to work his way to the front and to take the victory in the main event. Capitalizing on real stock points leader, Shawn Craig’s misfortunes, Rick Fox took the victory and closed in on the championship leader. After making a bold pass on the outside with a few laps to go, veteran Al Acuna took the sportsman main event victory. In the mini stock class, Jason Chand resolved the motor problems he had been having the past few races and took victory honors in that class.

The limited street stock class made their second appearance at the Acres this season. In the trophy dash, Craig Johnson took the victory over Orion Moshier. The two repeated the process in the main event as Johnson again took the win over Moshier. Due to the low car count, however, the class didn’t run a main event.

Defending mini stock track champion, Phil Wood won the trophy dash over Dan Brown. The heat race action was intense as Chad Grammer, Jaison Rhodes, Wood and Brown battled for the victory. Coming off of turn four on the last lap, Rhodes made an attempt to pass Grammer on the inside. The two touched sending Grammer into the infield and Rhodes to the checkered flag first. Officials ruled that since Rhodes caused the incident he would be placed at the tail end of the finishing order. This gave Wood the victory over Brown, Glenn Bernald and Brian Murrell.

Leading the field to the green in the main event were Murrell and Matt Wolfe. Going into turn one on the start of the race, the two made contact and spun. Both had to start at the rear of the field for initiating the incident. On the restart, Brown took the lead over Rhodes. On lap 7, Wood, who had car problems and was using Grammer’s car, got loose and lost a lot of track position to the leaders. Meanwhile, Brown, Rhodes and Jason Chand were tightly contesting for the lead position.

Wood got loose again in turn 3 and this time lost a few positions. With five laps to go, Rhodes got loose and lost second position to Chand. Chand made a bold attempt to pass Brown on the high side with two laps to go and made it stick as he took the lead and the victory. Second was Brown, third was Rhodes while fourth went to Glen Bernald.

In sportsman competition, long time Acres racer, Angelo took the trophy dash victory over another veteran Al Acuna. In the heat race, Acuna gave the crowd a hint of things to come in the main event as he made a strong pass on the outside of rookie Jim Norris on the last lap of the race to take the victory. Norris and another rookie, Joe McDonald, brought the main event to green. Going into turn 3 on the first lap, David Henderson made contact with Norris. Henderson spun and caused a chain reaction that collected Pat Walsh, Scotty Turner and Acuna. Walsh and Turner weren’t able to return to the race while Acuna suffered only minor damage.

On the restart, McDonald lead over Redding visitor, Kyle Cattanach. The battle for the lead was intense as Cattanach put the pressure on McDonald. Going into turn one halfway through the race, Cattanach made a mistake and got loose. This allowed Acuna, Henderson, and Marcelli to get by. With just a handful of laps to go, Acuna moved to the top groove and made his car stick as he drove past McDonald and began to pull away. Henderson passed McDonald as well did Marcelli but it was too late in the race as Acuna won over Henderson, McDonald and Marcelli. It was determined after the racing action that a few of the sportsman competitors were illegal. Acuna’s victory withheld with second really belonging Marcelli, third Cattanach and fourth Ed Peters.

The real stock division had another great car count. Rick Fox broke the track record setting a new time of 19.566. In the trophy dash, Travis Maytanes took the victory over Shawn Craig by just a bumper. Gary Adams won the first of the three heat races over Ryan Walters and Dana Porter. The second heat was won by Chad Gurney with second going to Hymie Yellon and third place being Steve Kimberling. In the fast heat, Marty Walsh won over Donnie Hyman and Doug Way.

Because of the high car count the division ran a B main event with the top two finishers transferring to the main. Filling those two spots were James Henry and Porter. The real stocks put on yet another awesome main event race. Craig Huffman and Kimberling brought the field to the green flag. On lap 2, Hyman made contact with the turn two wall forcing his night to a close. On the restart, Aaron Byers began to apply pressure on Huffman. Returning driver, Dan Maxwell made a daring attempt going into turn one making it three wide on lap 8. Everybody came out okay with Maxwell leading. On lap 9, Huffman spun coming off of turn two. At the same time, Lissa Uselton spun coming off of the corner. Both lost a lot of track position but didn’t lose a lap.

Fox, who had started at the back of the pack, began to make his presence known. On lap 10 he passed Byers for second. On lap 12, Fox took the lead away from Maxwell. Fox caught a break in the points on lap 13 when his title rival, Craig had an axle brake on the right rear of his car ending his night. On the restart, Maxwell and Walsh spun. Coming to the caution, Maxwell made contact with Kimberling spinning him out. All of the drivers continued on without any major damage. On the restart, Fox led Byers and Way. Fox stretched out his lead and ended up taking the winner’s trophy over Byers, Mike Peters, Way and Walsh.

Long time IMCA veteran Richie Potts showed off his fast car as he set a new track record at Redwood Acres Raceway. In the trophy dash, David Sullivan took the victory over Bill Vance. The first of the two heat races led to misfortune for one driver, Lester Agee who made severe contact with the wall ending all of his racing action for the night. Gary Crawford took the win over Lakeport racer, Bob Strauss and Charlie Krown. In the second heat, Kelly Peacock won over Sullivan, Potts and Vance.

The main event was clean and green from start to finish. Crawford and Lance Walker brought the field to the green flag. Peacock took the lead early. By lap 8 it was Peacock, Krown, Sullivan and Potts who had all ready passed six cars from his last starting position. Potts passed Sullivan and on lap 15 he passed Krown on the inside for second position. On lap 19, Potts took the high line and passed Peacock and stretched out to an insurmountable lead over the rest of the competition. The rest of the race was for second as Peacock tried to hold off Vance and Sullivan. Vance eventually got by Peacock but it was too late in the race as Potts took the victory over Vance, Peacock and Crawford.

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