Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Young Cristiani wins big on Fair Nights

Young Cristiani wins big on Fair Nights

By Matthew J. Sullivan

Making his first ever start at Redwood Acres Raceway, 17 year old Trevor Cristiani took the victory in the AABLM 75-lap feature event during the Redwood Acres Fair. Not only was it Cristiani’s first visit and win at the 3/8-mile paved oval, in addition it was his first career win in the AABLM touring series of which he is competing in full-time for the first time. Cristiani’s win solidified his top position in points making it an extraordinary task to catch the Ukiah, California driver. In local action, Dennis DelBiaggio took the win in the sportsman division while other main event winners were Paul Peeples, Jr. in the Thunder Roadster class, visiting driver Caity Miller in the roadrunners and Nick Green in the real stock division.

Ryan Robinson took the victory in the real stock trophy dash while Jim Redd won the heat race. The first lap of the main event saw trouble for 2010 real stock track champion, Casey Mitchell as his string of bad luck in 2011 continued with a flat left rear tire. Redd looked to be a serious contender for the victory but was sidelined by an overheating problem. The closing laps proved to be a race for the win between three yellow cars, Nick Green, Robinson and Donnie Hyman. Hyman looked to have second place from Robinson with only a handful of laps left but got loose off turn four, breaking his momentum. At the checkered flag, it was Green holding off Robinson and Hyman to win. Wyatt Roach placed fourth while Mark Williams was fifth.

Dylan Cook looked to be very strong in the roadrunner division on the night as he took home the win in the trophy dash and in the heat race. In the main event, it was an early battle of the brothers between Brett and Brian Murrell, Jr. until Brian took the lead. The race was marred by several incidents and by a lap 8 restart, Cook held the lead over visiting driver, Caity Miller from Santa Rosa. However, going into the first turn, Cook got loose and spun handing the lead to Miller. After a brief battle Brian Murrell, Jr., Miller ran away from the field and went to the checkered flag unchallenged. Cook was able to get back to second ahead of Murrell, Jr., Ken Barrett and Michael Lawrence.

The Thunder Roadster trophy dash went to Randy Olson while the heat win went to Paul Peeples, Jr. As expected, when Olson and Peeples are on the same track, they’re usually the two that have to be beat to win and it was no different on this night. Peeples and Olson ran nose to tail in first and second for the majority of the feature race. Peeples wasn’t seriously challenged until late in the going when traffic broke his momentum allowing Olson to move to his bumper. Olson was unable to mount a serious attack on Peeples for the lead and at the checkered flag it was Peeples winning over Olson, Lonnie Tamboury, Bruce Ziemer and Thomas Payne.

Larry Pries won the trophy dash but in the heat race he got loose and spun in turn four damaging his rear end. Brandon Barnwell won the heat. Kenny led the early stages of the main event from his pole starting position but he did not have enough strength to hold off Dennis DelBiaggio. For perhaps the first time all season, it was an uneventful race for DelBiaggio as he more or less cruised to the victory. Angelo Marcelli placed second, Larry Pries third, Brandon Barnwell fourth and Demello fifth.

The Airport Auto Brokers Late Model touring series made their first of two scheduled visits to the Acres this season. Crescent City driver, Howard Ford held off Roseville’s Eric Schmidt to win the trophy dash. The invert for the 75-lap feature was eight giving the front row to Jim Stillman and Jeremy Hopkins while fast qualifier, Randy Houston had to start eighth. There was trouble on the first lap as Jeremy Donahoo broke loose and spun between turns three and four. Ford had nowhere to go and nailed Donahoo’s spinning car forcing both drivers out of action. It was determined that the track had been severely oiled down. Officials brought the remainder of the field in the pits to allow the track crew, including promoter Rich Olson to clean the race track.

After a delay of over 30 minutes, the race resumed but not for long. Going into turn one, David Miller made contact with Corey James’ bumper sending James spinning into the wall. Behind him, several drivers including Miller, Schmidt and Houston spun to avoid him. Thankfully everyone was able to continue racing. The race was caution free from that point on with Junior Roddy the leader on the restart. Allen Gibney was going everything he could to hold off the faster cars but by lap eight Trevor Cristiani was able to maneuver to second. Fast time qualifier, Randy Houston lost power and drove to the pits. Cristiani wasted no time taking the lead from Roddy as he passed him as soon as he caught him. Not long later, James pulled his car into the infield. Schmidt and Miller both got by Roddy for second and third.

Miller looked to be the strongest car in the field and after finally getting by Schmidt, he closed quickly on Cristiani. Everything looked to be playing right in the hands of the more experienced Miller, but coming off turn four he spun. AABLM flagman, Johnny Miskill held off on the yellow as Miller got going again Cristiani now held a comfortable margin while Schmidt and Doss battled for second place. The handling on Schmidt’s car looked to get worse as the race went on and Doss was able to take second in the closing stages of the race. When the double checkered flags dropped, it was Cristiani winning handily over Doss, Schmidt and Miller, the only four cars on the lead lap.

Racing takes a one week break at the Acres before returning July 9th when the Tri-Track Modified series will make their first and only stop of the season. Following that, the AABLM series returns to the raceway for the second time the next race on July 30th.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Airport Auto Brokers Late Models set to visit the Acres

Airport Auto Brokers Late Models set to visit the Acres

By Matthew J. Sullivan

It should be an exciting night of racing this Saturday, June 25th at Redwood Acres Raceway. The Airport Auto Brokers Late Model tour cars make their first of two scheduled appearances at the 3/8-mile paved oval. The AABLM cars will be joining the Acres four weekly racing divisions of real stocks, roadrunners, thunder roadsters and sportsman cars. Adding to the excitement and thrill of this weekend’s races will be the 2011 Redwood Acres Fair.

Ryan Robinson currently leads the points standings in the Real Stock division. Robinson’s margin over second place Donnie Hyman is only ten points. Robinson has used consistency to gain the points lead as he has yet to win a main event this season. Casey Mitchell notched the first two main event victories this season while Jim Redd and Bob Lima are the other two winners in the division this season.

The points margin in the roadrunner division is even closer. Robbie Nelson leads surprising rookie driver, Josh Hansen by only seven points. Nelson has a main event victory this season while Hansen has come close but has yet to pull through. Nick Hansen, Ken Barrett and Dylan Cook are the other drivers who’ve scored main event victories in the division.

Defending thunder roadster track champion, Thomas Payne looks to be the main to beat again this season. Payne leads second place Chris Sarvinski by 22 points in the race for the championship. Payne scored a main event victory in the last race on June 11th. Paul Peeples, Jr. has two main event victories on the year while Randy Olson has one.

It’s a battle between two of Redwood Acres Raceway’s most popular and most experienced drivers in the sportsman division. Larry Pries has won the previous two main events and holds the points lead in the class. Pries leads Angelo Marcelli by 11 points. Marcelli has one main event victory while Brandon Barnwell won the first main event of the season.

Trevor Cristiani leads the points standings for the visiting AABLM tour cars. Though Cristiani hasn’t notched a victory yet in the series, he has a firm grip on the points championship as he leads second place Corey James by 127 markers. Cristiani will be making his first appearance ever at the Acres this weekend which could open the door for James and third place, Jim Stillman, Jr. to gain ground in the standings. Last season when the AABLM visited, David Miller won the first race while Kevin Ostern dominated the second. Based on Miller’s dominance in the season ending Fall Spectacular last season, he is definitely the favorite going into this weekend.

All of the racing action gets going at 6:30 this Saturday evening. Don’t miss out!

Redwood Acres Raceway Points Standings (After Four Races)

Real Stocks
1. 47 Ryan Robinson 247
2. 58 Donnie Hyman 237
3. 48 Steve Kimberling 228
4. 69 Casey Mitchell 213
5. 57 Wyatt Roach 209
6. 44 Matt Simon/Jim Redd 195
7. 1 Nick Green 176
8. 55 Bob Lima/Dan Browne 173
9. 12 Ryan Walters 123
10. 74 Doug Way 120
11. 99 Chris Naughton 99
12. 33 Dax Kinsey 98
13. 3 Mark Williams 10

1. 24 Robbie Nelson 268
2. 48 Josh Hanson 261
3. 33 Nick Hansen/Brian Murrell, Jr./Sabrina Kinsey 259
4. 47 Michael Lawrence 236
5. 10 Kolby Jackson 229
6. 7 Ken Barrett 226
7. 11 Brett Murrell 193
8. 6 Jennifer Barrett 188
9. 13 Heath Roach 178
10. 43 Greg Mattox 166
11. 69 Tim Abeyta 119
12. 39 Gary Kilnetob 114
13. 77 Aaron Lair 106
14. 01 Dylan Cook 99
15. 14 Jarrett Mayo 82
16. 00 Ryan Leazer 43

Thunder Roadsters
1. 66 Thomas Payne 266
2. 23 Chris Sarvinski 248
3. 5 Bruce Ziemer 237
4. 21 Fergy Ferguson 222
5. 95 Belinda Ward 208
6. 82 Robert Miller 168
7. 16 Allen Olson 154
8. 15 Paul Peeples, Jr. 142
9. 11 Randy Olson 140
10. 50 Dan Browne 102
11. 18 Rob Nelson 101
12. 99 Mike Ward 66
13. 9 Lonnie Tamboury 60
14. 31 Ray Elliott 50
15. 73 Bernard Burns 46
16. 99 Jim Rich 45

1. 01 Larry Pries 266
2. 25 Angelo Marcelli 255
3. 56 Brandon Barnwell 241
4. 8 Kenny Demello 222
5. 19 Dennis DelBiaggio 195
6. 84 Ken Hallis 177
7. 40 Al Acuna 168
8. 21 Joe Bonomini 117
9. 81 Jeremy Yarberry 105