Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Pettit dominates SRL debut at the Acres

By Matthew J. Sullivan

The grandstands were packed this past Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway as the 3/8-mile paved oval welcomed the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series for their first ever visit to the Eureka, California track. The fans did not go home disappointed as the SRL drivers joined the local classes of real stocks, Thunder Roadsters and sportsman cars in providing a superb night of racing.

Matt Simon took the trophy dash victory for the real stocks ahead of Nick Green while the heat race victory was taken by Nick Green over Ryan Walters. The real stock feature was dominated by Walters who ended up taking home the win followed by Green, Harvey Holm, Doug Way and Michael Lawrence.

The trophy dash in the Thunder Roadster division was won by David Henderson.  Paul Peeples, Jr. won the heat race and was dominant in the feature event. Unfortunately his chief rival, Henderson suffered a cut tire in the main and fell out of action.  Peeples cruised to the feature win beating Thomas Payne, Mike Ward, Chris Sarvinski and Robbie Nelson.
Brandon Barnwell was victorious in the trophy dash while the heat race trophy went to Dennis DelBiaggio. Driving the car formerly owned by local racing icon, Larry Pries, Marty Walsh made his return to the Acres after several years away from the track.  Walsh moved to the front quickly and looked as though he was going to win without worry.

The biggest incident of the night occurred in the latter stages of the sportsman main when Barnwell appeared to cut a tire and hit the wall at the pit entrance.  Barnwell was okay but his car was heavily damaged.  The caution allowed DelBiaggio to get on Walsh’s bumper and the two waged a serious duel for the lead in the final handful of laps.  DelBiaggio appeared to have the better car but Walsh held him off for the win. Angelo Marcelli, Kenny Demello and Al Acuna completed the top five finishers.

20 cars qualified and started the 125-lap SRL feature.  Unfortunately, Zane Lovelace was a scratch after he suffered issues in practice.  Jacob Gomes set the fast time mark with a 15.478 lap. With the field invert at six, Donny St. Ours started on the pole while Ross Strmiska started to his outside.  St. Ours took the lead off the start but it was apparent early that Jim Pettit II was the man to beat.  It only took 17 laps for Pettit to work his way from sixth to the lead, a position he would never relinquish.

The star of the night was hometown favorite, Jim Walker. The west coast racing legend started from the 10th position fell back a few spots early in the going but began to maneuver his way through the field passing one car after another.  By the time the first caution flag flew on lap 87 Walker had maneuvered himself into the sixth spot.  Walker briefly moved into the top five and go to fourth until a cut tire forced him to the pits and ruined his chance at a good finish.

Strmiska did all he could on the restarts to get by Pettit but just didn’t have enough.  Pettit took the victory followed by Strmiska, Gomes and series rookie, Bobby Hodges.  Another Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series rookie, Brandon White delighted the hometown crowd with a solid top five run all night and a fifth place effort.

Racing returns to Redwood Acres Raceway this Saturday night with the roadrunners back on the track.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

SRL stars coming to the Acres

By Matthew J. Sullivan

The west coast’s premiere late model touring series will be making its first ever appearance at Redwood Acres Raceway this Saturday night when the SRL comes to town for the Redwood Acres 125 Presented by Renner Petroleum and Leon’s Car Care Center.  The SRL series will be joined by local classes of real stocks, Thunder Roadsters and sportsman cars. The roadrunner division has the weekend off but will return at the next race.

23 drivers and teams have tentatively entered for this weekend’s race.   The top two in SRL points, Derek Thorn and Jim Pettit II will resume their rivalry while Jason Gilbert, Ross Strmiska and Zane Lovelace will be hoping to win the series’ inaugural event at the Acres. Two locals are scheduled to race, youngster, Brandon White and west coast racing legend, Jim Walker.

White and Walker will also be joined by Jeremy Doss and Forrest Kuecker of Lakeport.  Both Doss and Kuecker were winners at Redwood Acres in 2012 and all four drivers could have an advantage over the rest of the field as they have more laps at the 3/8-mile oval than the majority of the SRL field combined. Of the other SRL regulars, Thorn is the only one who has competed at Redwood Acres in the past.

With this weekend’s visit by the SRL series, it will be the first time in almost 20 years that Redwood Acres Raceway will be hosting the west coast’s top late model teams.  The last time an event of this magnitude was held was in 1995 when NASCAR’s Southwest Tour series visited the Acres for the seventh and final time.  That race was won by M.K. Kanke who has 10 career SRL victories but is not scheduled to race this weekend.

In local action, the point leaders in each division are Michael Lawrence in the real stocks, Jarrett Mayo in the roadrunners, David Henderson in the Thunder Roadsters and Angelo Marcelli in the sportsman division.

The weekend gets off to an early start with practice for the SRL cars on Friday between 3-6PM. Saturday the grandstands open at 4:00 while racing begins 7:00. Questions regarding this weekend’s action can be directed to track promoters, Rich and Linda Olson by calling 707-442-3232.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Henderson, Mayo back in victory lane

By Matthew J. Sullivan

After a week off, racing returned to Redwood Acres Raceway Saturday night for the annual Mother’s Day races. As always, the four local classes of real stocks, roadrunners, Thunder Roadsters and sportsman cars put on a great show for the fans in attendance.

Division rookie, Michael Lawrence took the trophy dash victory in the real stock division while the victor in the heat race was Nick Green. The feature event for the division was dominated by Matt Simon who led from the drop of the green flag. On the final lap, Simon got loose in turn two which allowed Green to take the lead and the victory. Lawrence took third followed by Harvey Holm and Leonard Ward.

Thanks in part to being the only driver who has started all three events in the real stock division, Lawrence holds a sizeable gap in the battle for the track championship. Lawrence’s margin over Green and Tyler Avelar who are tied for second is 44 points. The brother duo of Dustin and Ryan Walters is fourth in points with Simon fifth.

The roadrunner trophy dash winner was Jordon Paiment while the heat race winners were Gary Klinetobe and Paiment again. The main event featured a great battle between Jarrett Mayo and Paiment.  Unfortunately, Paiment was collected in an incident with Ken Lawrence with both drivers unable to continue.  Jarrett Mayo took his second main event win of the year ahead of Klinetobe, Kolby Jackson, Ken Barrett and Ryun Leazer.

Mayo’s victory allowed him to pull slightly farther ahead of Jackson in points with an 18 point gap. Tim Abeyta, Barrett and Klinetobe round out the top five with Paiment, Leazer, Gray Ethridge, Brett Murrell and Eugene Palmer sixth through tenth.

The Thunder Roadster trophy dash went to Thomas Payne while Lonnie Tamboury took the heat race win. David Henderson made his way through the field quickly in the main event and was absolutely dominant, creating a sizeable gap over the rest of the pack. Henderson easily took the main event victory over Payne, Mike Ward, Chris Sarvinski and Tamboury.

Saturday night’s victory helped boost Henderson in points after engine problems in the previous race.  Henderson holds a slim six point lead over Sarvinski while Payne, Belinda Ward and Robbie Nelson complete the top five in Thunder Roadster points.

Brandon Barnwell looked to be the man to beat on the night in the sportsman division taking wins in the dash and the heat race.  Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse at the start of the main event. Going down the backstretch on the first lap, Barnwell and Kevin Estep got together forcing both cars hard into the wall and ending the race for both drivers. Dennis DelBiaggio made his first start of 2013 and was the class of the field winning handily over Angelo Marcelli, Kenny Demello and Ken Hallis.

Thanks to Barnwell’s misfortune, Marcelli took over the division point lead. Marcelli leads Barnwell by eight points.  Demello lies third ahead of Jerry Peterson and Al Acuna.

Racing returns to the Acres this Saturday night with all four division returning to the track for what should be another exciting night of action.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Acres season just getting started

By Matthew J. Sullivan

After a week off, racing returns this Saturday evening for the annual Mother’s Day weekend races at Redwood Acres Raceway.  Two races have already been put in the books, the most recent occurring on April 27th.

Ryan Walters won the most recent feature event for the real stock division over Nick Green, Michael Lawrence, Matt Simon and Harvey Holm.  Ryan and his brother Dustin hold the points lead for the class over Lawrence and William Sand.  They are the only three drivers who started both main events thus far this season.

Young Jordon Paiment held off Ken Barrett in the roadrunner main event on the 27th, his first ever main event victory.  Things are tight in the battle for the track title in the division as Jarrett Mayo holds a slim three point advantage over Tim Abeyta while Kolby Jackson, Barrett and Paiment aren’t too far behind.
Chris Sarvinski was another first-time main event winner in the most previous race, taking home the checkered flag in the Thunder Roadster division.  The win gave Sarvinski the early season point edge by six markers over David Henderson.  Thomas Payne, Belinda Ward and Jim Rich round out the top five drivers in the roadsters.

Brandon Barnwell’s main event victory on the 27th closed the points gap between he and Angelo Marcelli.  Marcelli leads Barnwell by only three markers followed by Kenny Demello, Jerry Peterson and Al Acuna.
As previously noted, racing returns to Redwood Acres Raceway this Saturday May 11th.

Redwood Acres Raceway Points Standings (As of 5/9/13)

Real Stocks
Dustin/Ryan Walters 130, Michael Lawrence 116, William Sand 112, Tyler Avelar 79, Leonard Ward 66, Nick Green 65, Matt Simon 60, Harvey Holm 54, Chris Naughton 54

Jarrett Mayo 134, Tim Abeyta 131, Kolby Jackson 123, Ken Barrett 122, Jordon Paiment 120, Gary Klinetobe 114, Gray Etheridge 110, Ryun Leazer 104, Brett Murrell 101, Kayla Foster 74, Paul Leazer 59, Eugene Palmer 53, Tony Miles 46, Steve Paiment 44, Brian Murrell, Jr. 42, Barbara Paiment 38

Thunder Roadsters
Chris Sarvinski 139 David Henderson 133, Thomas Payne 129, Belinda Ward 117, Jim Rich 110, Les Barnwell 102, Robbie Nelson 101, Paul Peeples, Jr. 77, Allen Olson 73, Lonnie Tamboury 68

Angelo Marcelli 132, Brandon Barnwell 129, Kenny Demello 119, Jerry Peterson 118, Al Acuna 114.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Marcelli, Peeples, Mayo and Avelar win on opening night

The 2013 season kicked off this past Saturday evening at Redwood Acres Raceway with all four local classes in action. A great crowd was on hand to see real stocks, roadrunners, Thunder Roadsters and sportsman cars put on a fantastic show.

The real stock trophy dash was won by Tyler Avelar while Leonard Ward took the heat race victory. The feature event saw a three car incident in the early going between Ryan Walters, Chris Naughton and division rookie and 2012 Redwood Acres Raceway roadrunner champ, Michael Lawrence.  Unfortunately, Lawrence was the only car that was unable to continue.

William Sand held the lead briefly before smacking the wall allowing Avelar and Ward to get by.  Ward made his way to the lead for several laps but could not hold off the faster Avelar who took the lead late in the going and held on to win over Ward, Sand, Naughton and Walters.

Jarrett Mayo took the victory in the roadrunner trophy dash while the heat races were won by Ryun Leazer and Ken Barrett.  The roadrunner main event featured a scary incident involving Barb Paiment.  Paiment was starting her first ever race and moved high in turn one to allow the leaders to pass her safely.  Unfortunately, Paiment got too high off the second turn and hit the wall at the pit road entrance head-on. The race was halted and delayed while rescue crews extracted Paiment from her car. Paiment broke her left arm, her left ankle and her right foot in the incident.

The remainder of the race showcased a thrilling duel for the lead and the victory between Mayo and Tim Abeyta.  Abeyta did all he could to pressure Mayo into making a mistake and coming off turn four it looked as though he had a chance to steal the victory.  Unfortunately, he came up short in his effort as Mayo beat him to the checkered flag.  Kolby Jackson, Gary Kinetob and Barrett rounded out the top five.

David Henderson narrowly defeated Paul Peeples, Jr. in the Thunder Roadster trophy dash while Peeples held off Henderson for the win in the heat race. A rocky start that saw Jim Rich get loose in front of the field in turn three on the first lap gave Peeples the advantage he needed while Henderson lost precious track position to avoid wrecking.

Lonnie Tamboury held the lead in the early stages but could not hold off Peeples who took the lead.  Chris Sarvinski, who looked to be very strong on the night, followed Peeples into second and road right on his tail for the majority of the race.  Meanwhile, Henderson had to work hard to get by the likes of Thomas Payne, Allen Olson and Tamboury then had a tough battle for second with Sarvinski which he eventually won.  Henderson was in Peeples’ mirror the rest of the way but was unable to make the challenge necessary to take the lead.  At the line it was Peeples winning over Henderson, Sarvinski, Payne and Olson.

The sportsman dash was won by Brandon Barnwell while the heat race was taken by Angelo Marcelli.  Jerry Peterson took the lead from pole position in the main event and fought off Barnwell until Marcelli moved into second.  Marcelli took the lead from Peterson and looked to be home free the rest of the event.  Peterson was able to close in on the final laps and made a serious challenge on Marcelli coming off the fourth turn on the last lap.  Marcelli was able to withstand it and crossed the line first over Peterson, Kenny Demello, Barnwell and Al Acuna.

Racing resumes this Saturday night, April 27th for Pepsi Night at the Acres.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Acres season on the horizon

By Matthew J. Sullivan

The 2013 season at Redwood Acres Raceway is only five weeks.  With each passing day, the anticipation builds for what should be another exciting year of racing at Eureka, California’s 3/8-mile paved oval.

The four local divisions of real stocks, roadrunners, Thunder Roadsters and sportsman will take to the track throughout the forthcoming season.  The most anticipated event of the year is likely the debut of the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series at the Acres.  Other major events include the return of Fair Night racing on Friday June 21st as well as the Pacific Challenge Series Late Models (formerly the Airport Auto Brokers Late Models) a month later on July 27th.  As always, the year will be capped off on the final weekend in September with the Fall Spectacular which will see the return of the PCS late models.

Any questions regarding the 2013 season at Redwood Acres Raceway should be directed to the track promoters Rich and Linda Olson by calling 707-442-3232.

April 6 - Practice
April 20 – Best Appearing Car Contest Presented by KKHB Cool 105.5 Radio
April 27 – Pepsi Night at the Races Sponsored by Pepsi Bottling Group of Eureka
May 11 – Mother’s Day Race Sponsored by O’Reilly Auto Parts and presented by KINS Radio 106.3
May 18 – Weekly Show Presented by KFMI 96.3
June 1 – Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series 125 Sponsored by Renner Petroleum & Leon’s Car Care Center and presented by Flowmaster and KRED 92.3 Big Red Country
June 8 – Father’s Day Race Sponsored by Mercer Fraser Company
June 21 – Friday Night Fair Race Sponsored by Redwood Capital Bank and presented by Fox 28
June 29 – Fan Appreciation Night Sponsored by Mid-City Motor World (All Tickets $5.00)
July 13 – Weekly Show Presented by ABC 23 TV
July 27 – Pacific Challenge Series Late Models Sponsored by Mid-City Motor World and presented by ESPN 1340
August 3 – California Truckers’ Association Appreciation Night
August 24 – Back-To-School-Night Sponsored by Les Schwab Tire Center of Eureka
September 14 – Memorial Race Presented by KEKA 101 Country Radio
September 29 and 30 – Fall Spectacular Open Show Sponsored by Mid-City Motor World