Wednesday, July 25, 2012

First time winner caps off fantastic night of racing

First time winner caps off fantastic night of racing

By Matthew J. Sullivan

It was hardly Summer time weather this past Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway but the cooler conditions did not prevent the drivers from providing great racing action at Eureka, California’s 3/8-mile paved oval. It is not an overstatement to say that the racing at Redwood Acres Raceway is truly some of the best racing in all of west coast racing with close and clean competition in all four local divisions. Joining the regular action was the Airport Auto Brokers Late Model tour division who were making their second visit to the Acres for their fifth race of the 2012 season.

The real stock car count has improved dramatically over the past two races as a total of 13 cars and drivers showed up to race. Nick Green won the trophy dash over Casey Mitchell, Ryan Walters and Harvey Holms. The first heat was won by Doug Way who was making his first start of the season ahead of Donnie Hyman and Jim Redd while the second heat went to Dustin Walters over his brother, Ryan and William Sand. The feature event was a thrilling race that was highlighted with a duel for the lead between Green and Casey Mitchell. Mitchell eventually prevailed at the top but unfortunately for Green, his night would end prematurely as he spun in fluid from Sand and hit the turn three wall. Mitchell held off Dustin Walters for the victory while Dax Kinsey, Tyler Avelar and Holms rounded out the top five.

The roadrunner division had another strong car count with 18 cars taking to the track. The trophy dash victory was taken by Tim Abeyta ahead of Jerry Toledo, Brett Murrell and Michael Lawrence. The first heat was slowed for a time when Jennifer Barrett hit the water barrels at the turn two pit entrance but fortunately she was okay. Jordan Paiment won the first heat race over Brian Murrell and Ronnie O’Neil who made the move from the real stock division to the roadrunner class. Johnnie Daniels brought out a new car and was the winner of the second heat race over Gary Klinetob and Jarrett Mayo.

With the high number of cars, a B feature was held with the top two drivers transferring to the A feature. Paiment and Erik Hoffmeister nearly saw their opportunity to advance when they collided in the closing stages of the event but they were able to take the top two spots. The A main featured a thrilling duel for the lead between Brett Murrell and Toledo. On the white flag lap, Toledo moved past Murrell for the lead and the eventual race victory. Murrell held on to second followed by Abeyta, Lawrence and Klinetob.

Thomas Payne took the thunder roadster trophy dash victory ahead of Bernard Burns, David Henderson and Paul Peeples, Jr. Chris Sarvinski won the first heat but later scratched from the feature before it started. Mike Ward and Lance Martin followed Sarvinski to the line. The second heat victory was taken by David Henderson over Bruce Ziemer and Peeples. Ward led the early stages of the feature but as has been the case all year long, the dominant trio of Peeples, Henderson and Payne. Henderson did all he could to challenge Peeples for the victory but had his hands full fighting off Payne for the second position. At the checkered flag it was Peeples winning over Henderson, Payne, Lonnie Tamboury and Ziemer.

The sportsman division only had six cars for the night down from 10 the previous race the week prior. Kenny Demello won the trophy dash over Dennis DelBiaggio, Brandon Barnwell and Angelo Marcelli. DelBiaggio won the heat over Barnwell and Marcelli. Marcelli held off the faster Barnwell to take the feature victory with DelBiaggio, Demello, Roger Sanderson and Jeremy Yarberry.

The AABLM trophy dash victory was taken by West Coast racing legend, Jim Walker over Junior Roddy, Keith Nelson, Brandon White, Randy Houston and David Miller. The front row starters, Jeremy Donahoo and Forrest Kuecker brought the field to the green in the 75-lap feature. Kuecker led the first lap, while Donahoo the second. Kuecker took the lead firmly on lap three and was never seriously challenged, even after two brief cautions. At the finish it was Kuecker taking his first AABLM victory handily over second place, Jeremy Doss. White placed third over Miller and Nelson.

Racing at Redwood Acres Raceway takes a break for a week before returning Saturday August 4th for California Truckers Association Appreciation Night.

June 21st Race Results
Real Stocks
Trophy Dash: Nick Green, Casey Mitchell, Ryan Walters, Harvey Holms
Heat Race 1: Doug Way, Donnie Hyman, Jim Redd, Tyler Avelar, Brian Murrell, Jr., Chris Naughton
Heat Race 2: Dustin Walters, R. Walters, William Sand, Green, Holms, Casey Mitchell, Dax Kinsey
Main Event: Mitchell, D. Walters, Kinsey, Avelar, Holms, Naughton, Redd, Way, Green, Murrell, Jr. , Sand, R. Walters, Hyman

Trophy Dash: Tim Abeyta, Jerry Toledo, Brett Murrell, Michael Lawrence
Heat Race 1: Jordan Paiment, Brian Murrell, Sr., Ronnie O'Neil, Ken Barrett, Kayla Foster, Erik Hoffmeister, Gray Etheridge, Ken Lawrence
Heat Race 2: Johnnie Daniels, Gary Klinetob, Jarrett Mayo, Toledo, Abeyta, Murrell, Ryan Ahrens, Lawrence
Main Event: Toledo, Murrell, Abeyta, Lawrence, Klinetob, Daniels, Ahrens, Barrett, Paiment, Hoffmeister, Jarrett Mayo, Ronnie O'Neil

Thunder Roadsters
Trophy Dash: Thomas Payne, Bernard Burns, David Henderson, Paul Peeples, Jr.
Heat Race 1: Chris Sarvinski, Mike Ward, Lance Martin, Chris Lawrence, Jim Rich, Robbie Nelson, Rob Nelson
Heat Race 2: Henderson, Ziemer, Peeples, Jr., Payne, Burns, Lonnie Tamboury, Belinda Ward, Fergy Ferguson
Main Event: Peeples, Jr., Henderson, Payne, Tamboury, Ziemer, M. Ward, Burns, Martin, Robbie Nelson, Fergy Ferguson, B. Ward, Lawrence, Rich, Rob Nelson

Trophy Dash: Kenny Demello, Dennis DelBiaggio, Brandon Barnwell, Angelo Marcelli
Heat Race: DelBiaggio, Barnwell, Marcelli, Demello, Roger Sanderson, Jeremy Yarberry
Main Event: Marcelli, Barnwell, DelBiaggio, Demello, Sanderson, Yarberry

Airport Auto Brokers Late Models
Qualifying: Junior Roddy 15.819, Randy Houston 15.833, Jeremy Doss 15.839, David Miller 15.861, Jim Walker 15.973, Brandon White 15.995, Keith Nelson 16.013, Trevor Cristiani 16.087, Forrest Kuecker 16.123, Jeremy Donahoo 16.174, Allen Gibney 16.733, Roger Sanderson 16.752
Trophy Dash: Walker, Roddy, Nelson, White, Houston, Miller
Main Event: Kuecker, Doss, White, Miller, Nelson, Roddy, Houston, Walker, Sanderson, Donahoo, Gibney, Cristiani.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Racing resumes at Redwood Acres Raceway

Racing resumes at Redwood Acres Raceway

By Matthew J. Sullivan

After nearly a month off, thanks in part to Mother Nature, racing returned to Redwood Acres Raceway Saturday night. The previous event at the 3/8-mile paved oval was June 16th while the race scheduled for June 30th was cancelled thanks to rain. The long break seemed to bring out more cars and drivers as there were strong car counts in all four local divisions. In all there were 10 sportsman, 14 thunder roadsters, 18 roadrunners and 10 real stock cars. Unfortunately the night was highlighted by several wrecked that decimated the car count in all four of the divisions.

Nick Green won the four-lap trophy dash in the real stock division over Jim Redd and Casey Mitchell. The first heat race was taken by Dax Kinsey while the second went to Ryan Walters. Tyler Avelar led the early going of the main event before losing the lead to Donnie Hyman. Hyman held the lead for several laps before being overtaken by Mitchell. There were to major incidents in the feature event. The first came when William Sand lost control going into turn three and hit the wall. The second was contact between Green and Bob Lima that caused Green’s bumper to come off and his left rear tire to fail. Mitchell proved to be the class of the field in the event but might have had a stronger challenge for the victory from Walters who had a lengthy but clean battle with Hyman for the second position. At the checkered flag, it was Mitchell first, half a straightaway ahead of Walters in second followed by Hyman in third.

Tim Abeyta took the roadrunner trophy dash over Thomas Halvorsen. The first heat race was won by Jerry Toledo while the second heat was won by Halvorsen. Due to the number of cars, a rare B-main event was held for the division. The normally quick Toledo had issues in qualifying which forced him to start the B-main but he was able to take the first transfer position. The second spot was held down by Johnny Daniels before he was forced to the pits. With Daniels out, a tight race between Jennifer Barrett, Kayla Foster and Ryun Leazer ensued. Barrett was able to hold off the two challengers to take the second transfer position.

One of the drivers who was not able to start the feature was points leader, Brett Murrell. Murrell qualified his regular car but it suffered problems in the pit afterward. Murrell was forced to use a backup car which knocked him out of the trophy dash and forced him to have to run the B-main event. Murrell’s closest competitor in the points, Michael Lawrence benefitted from Murrell’s woes. Lawrence qualified the car normally driven by his father and when Murrell’s car had problems after qualified, it opened up a spot for Lawrence to fill in the feature.

Lawrence started the feature on the pole but was quickly overtaken by Ken Barrett and Steve Paiment. The lone caution of the event came early when Jordan Paiment spun Jarrett Mayo. On the restart, the two fast cars of Abeyta and Halvorsen quickly maneuvered their way through traffic. Halvorsen was the first to get to and by Barrett while Abeyta had to work a little harder and longer to take second. The best racing proved to be at the very front between Halvorsen and Abeyta as the two ran nose-to-tail for the lead. With two laps remaining, Abeyta found the low line under Halvorsen to take the lead. On the white flag, Halvorsen drove his car deep into the first turn, putting Abeyta behind the slower car of Jennifer Barrett for the lead and the eventual race win. Abeyta held on for second while Toledo placed third.

Tommy Payne held off Paul Peeples, Jr. to take the thunder roadster trophy dash. Belinda Ward won the slower heat race while the faster heat race was won by Peeples. Chris Sarvinski briefly held the lead in the feature but was overhauled by the fast trio of Peeples, David Henderson and Payne. It was tight racing amongst the three with Henderson all over Peeples bumper. Henderson dogged Peeples until he was finally able to get under for the lead. It was brief though as Peeples was able to get back under Henderson to regain the spot. Peeples stretched his lead while Henderson and Payne fought for second for a few laps. Henderson regained the position firmly and looked to be closing back in on Peeples until he got loose of turn two and hit the wall, ending his night. Peeples was able to withstand a brief challenge by Payne to take the feature win with Bruce Ziemer coming in a strong third place.

Out of town racer, Kevin Estep returned to Redwood Acres to take the sportsman trophy dash victory. Unfortunately for Estep, his night would be a short one. In the heat race, Jerry Peterson and Estep got together in the third turn with both drivers hitting the wall. Peterson was able to continue racing while Estep was finished for the evening. Roger Sanderson made his second start of the year after a long hiatus away from racing and took the heat race win over Brandon Barnwell. The duo of Sanderson and Barnwell would be the stars of the feature event that was slowed first from a spin by Craig Baker, then by contact and a spin by Dennis DelBiaggio and Kenny Demello and finally another spin by Baker that caught Ken Hallis in the right rear and send him head on into the back stretch wall. Barnwell was on Sanderson’s bumper all night and did everything he could to force Sanderson into making a mistake but it never happened. Sanderson took the feature win over Barnwell with DelBiaggio placing third.

Racing returns to Redwood Acres Raceway this Saturday June 21st. Joining the four local divisions will be the Airport Auto Brokers Late Model touring series which will be making its second visit to the track. Drivers expected to race include series points leader, Jeremy Doss, West Coast racing legend, Jim Walker, Randy Houston who won the season opening event at the Acres earlier this year and other top west coast competition.