Monday, August 27, 2012

Henderson honors friend, sweeps Back-To-School races

Henderson honors friend, sweeps Back-To-School races

By Matthew J. Sullivan

It was Back-To-School Night at Redwood Acres Raceway this past Saturday night. To celebrate the occasion, track promoters, Rich and Linda Olson along with several raceway fans and sponsors donated backpacks and school supplies to children who signed up at the souvenir booth. Several drivers went into this past Saturday evening’s event with heavy hearts with the passing of former thunder roadster competitor, Chris Banfill. Banfill had been reported missing in late July and was found dead near the town of Rio Dell last week. His death was ruled a suicide due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Before the racing took place, drivers took to the track in their cars with a memorial lap and ceremony where a Corvette with Banfill’s number 25 passed through the middle of the field to take the checkered flag at the start/finish line.

The real stock trophy dash was won by rookie driver, Harvey Holm while Dax Kinsey took the trophy in the heat race. The feature proved to be a tough night for several drivers thanks to a handful of wrecks. Contact between Donnie Hyman and Holm entering the third turn on lap two collected Tyler Avelar and William Sand with Sand being the victim of a busted radiator. Kinsey looked to have the strongest car but had a battle on his hands trying to get by leader, Dustin Walters. While trying to make a run on the outside, Kinsey got loose and hit the turn two wall hard forcing him out of the race. Walters was able to hold on to win over Holm, Jim Redd and Hyman.

In roadrunner action, Brett Murrell took the trophy dash victory. The heat races were won by Michael Lawrence and Ken Barrett. The feature was slowed only once when Kayla Foster was turned by Barrett entering the first turn on the first lap. Thomas Halvorsen was the main victim as he received unrepairable damage that knocked him out of the race. Murrell tore through the field on the restart and absolutely dominated the race, winning handily over Lawrence, Jarrett Mayo and Tim Abeyta.

The Northern California Pro-4 Modified cars returned to the Acres for the second time in 2012. Kevin Barba won the trophy dash with the heat race victories going to Marty Lewis and Greg Van Cleave. The 25-lap feature was cut to 20 laps due to several wrecks and lengthy cleanup time. The scariest incident of the race came in the final handful of laps when Chris Straka made an error going into the third turn racing with Van Cleave for the lead, taking both cars out. Straka’s car hit the wall head on but was able to walk away from the incident unharmed. The incident handed the lead to Curt Lewis and he held off Van Cleave to take the victory while Neo Nuno and Fredy Champagne finishing third and fourth.

David Henderson was the man to beat in the thunder roadster division as he took the wins in the trophy dash and the heat race. Fergy Ferguson led the early few laps in the feature before getting passed by Alan Olson. Olson did all he could to hold off Henderson but was only able to do it for so long before Henderson found the inside line to take the lead. Olson fell back to third when Paul Peeples, Jr. took second from him. Henderson took the flag first in what had to be an emotional night for him as he and Banfill had been good friends. Peeples finished second over Olson and Bruce Ziemer.

Brandon Barnwell was victorious in the sportsman trophy dash while Dennis DelBiaggio took the checkers first in the heat race. Al Acuna led early in the main event before Barnwell was able to take the lead. DelBiaggio looked to have the best car in the field but saw misfortune when he and Acuna made contact sending Acuna spinning and DelBiaggio to the rear of the field. Kenny Demello did all he could to pressure Barnwell but the former track champion never faltered as he took the victory with Demello, DelBiaggio and Angelo Marcelli finishing in his wake.

Racing returns to Redwood Acres Raceway Saturday September 8th for Five Dollar Fan Appreciation Night. Fans who have ticket stubs from five previous races this season get in free while those that don’t will be able to attend for only five dollars.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

2012 winding down at the Acres

2012 winding down at the Acres

By Matthew J. Sullivan

With summer at its midpoint and the month of August in its early days, the 2012 season at Redwood Acres Raceway is quickly drawing to a close. There are only five weekends of racing left on the 3/8-mile paved oval in Eureka, California, six including the season ending Fall Spectacular. The points races in two of the local divisions are close while in two others, it appears as though it will take a drastic issue to overthrow the current points leader.

Donnie Hyman has a substantial 78 point lead in the real stock points race over rookie driver, William Sand. Unfortunately for Hyman, he suffered engine woes in the most recent race on July 21st. Nick Green sits in third only three points behind sand while Casey Mitchell is fourth two behind Green despite not attending all the events this season. The team of Jim Redd and Matt Simon are in fifth, 13 points behind Mitchell.

The points race in the roadrunner division will likely come down to the final lap of the final main event. Without question the roadrunners are Redwood Acres Raceway’s most competitive division. Michael Lawrence is the current points leader but by only a single point. Second place is a tie between two cars that have a team of drivers. The #98 team of Ray Rapp, Jerry Toledo and Ron Macklin are locked in battle with the #52 team of Ryan Ahrens and Thomas Halvorsen. Brett Murrell is fourth in the points, seven behind points leader Lawrence while Tim Abeyta is in fifth but out of the running for the division crown.

Paul Peeples, Jr. has been a dominant force in the thunder roadster class and the points in the division reflect that. Peeples leads two-time defending division champion, Thomas Payne by 51 markers. Bruce Ziemer is third but only by eight points over fourth place, Lonnie Tamboury. David Henderson is fifth in points despite missing an event this season.
The title race in the sportsman division is a two-man race between Brandon Barnwell and Dennis DelBiaggio. Barnwell holds a six-point advantage over DelBiaggio in the standings. Veteran driver, Angelo Marcelli is firmly in third position while Kenny Demello is fourth and Jeremy Yarberry is in fifth.

Racing resumes this Saturday evening, August 4th. In addition to the racing, Redwood Acres Raceway will be celebrating California Truckers Association Appreciation Night.

Redwood Acres Raceway Points Standings (Total Points In Parenthesis)
Real Stocks: Donnie Hyman (495), William Sand (417), Nick Green (414), Casey Mitchell (412), Jim Redd/Matt Simon (399), Dax Kinsey (385), Tyler Avelar (379), Harvey Holms 218), Chris Naughton (213), Steve Kimberling/Brian Murrell, Jr. (180), Ryan Walters (142), Dustin Walters (88), Lynard Ward (62), Wyatt Roach (58), Bob Lima (56), Ronnie O'Neil (55), Doug Way (53)

Roadrunners: Michael Lawrence (476), Jerry Toledo/Ron Macklin/Ray Rapp (475), Ryan Ahrens/Thomas Halvorsen (475), Brett Murrell (469), Tim Abeyta (433), Ken Barrett (405), Jordan Paiment (398), Steve Paiment/Erik Hoffmeister (334), Johnnie Daniels (313), Brian Murrell, Sr./Brian Murrell, Jr. (310), Kayla Foster (236), Gray Etheridge (230), Josh Hanson (219), Jarrett Mayo (214), Kolby Jackson/Wyatt Roach (206), Greg Mattox (194), Ken Lawrence (130), Gary Klinetob (121), Lynard Ward (90), Erik Hoffmeister (83), Jennifer Barrett (76), Timmy Tanno (60), Tony Miles (51), Ronnie O'Neil (46), Chris Ghidinelli (44), Ryun Leazer (38), Andrew McKaughan (10)

Thunder Roadsters: Paul Peeples, Jr. (571), Thomas Payne (520), Bruce Ziemer (459), Lonnie Tamboury (451), Dave Henderson (433), Chris Sarvinski (402), Fergy Ferguson (385), Belinda Ward (376), Mike Ward (374), Jim Rich (353), Allen Olson (319), Lance Martin (211), Rob Nelson (160), Robbie Nelson (105), Bernard Burns (99), Leroy Marsh, Jr. (45), Chris Lawrence (43), Willy Timbrook (42)

Sportsman: Brandon Barnwell (524), Dennis DelBiaggio (518), Angelo Marcelli (487), Kenny Demello (452), Jeremy Yarberry (273), Kevin Estep (220), Jerry Peterson (187), Roger Sanderson (176), Ken Hallis (167), Al Acuna (128), Craig Baker (102)

Remaining 2012 Schedule For Redwood Acres Raceway:
August 4th - California Truckers' Association Appreciation Night
August 25th – Back-To-School Night Featuring The Northern California Pro-4 Modifieds
September 8th - $5 Fan Appreciation Night
September 15th - Larry Pries Memorial Night
September 29th & 30th – Fall Spectacular Featuring The AABLM Tour Cars And The Northern California Pro-4 Modifieds.