Henderson, Moulton return to victory lane
By Matthew J. Sullivan
Racing returned to Redwood Acres Raceway Saturday night and it proved to be another action packed affair. The five classes of roadrunners, bombers, mini stocks, Thunder Roadsters and late models delighted a great crowd on what proved to be a cool night at Eureka, California’s 3/8-mile paved oval.
The Humboldt Hydroponics roadrunner trophy dash was won by Dylan Ford. Tim Abeyta took the win in the first heat while Ford followed his dash victory with a win in the second heat. The 20-lap feature was slowed several times in the early laps due to caution flags. Once things got settled, the two dominators in the division, Gary Klinetobe and Eugene Palmer battled for the race lead. Palmer had to give up two positions at the mid-way point due to breaking the 21-second barrier which allowed Klinetobe to put a gap over himself and the rest of the field.
On lap 17, Ford made contact with the back of Chad Grammer’s car in turn three bringing out the caution flag and bunching up the field for what would prove to be the race’s final restart. Young Jett Taylor showed surprising strength taking the lead away from Klinetobe. The final lap of the race featured a thrilling duel for the race win between Taylor, Klinetobe and Palmer. Coming off turn two, Palmer got to the inside of Klinetobe. Going into turn three, the front three cars were three wide for a brief moment. Taylor was able to win the drag race to the checkered flag to win his first main event win in only his fourth race. Klinetobe narrowly beat Palmer for second while Nick Vellis placed fourth and Abeyta took fifth.
James Moore took the trophy for the John’s Used Cars and Wreckers bomber division. The heat race was taken by Matt Simon. The main event was halted mid-way due to a serious accident involving Leonard Ward and Donnie Hyman. Coming off turn two, Ward’s right rear wheel left his car. With no time to react, Hyman hit the tire and flew into the air before coming back down on the track and sliding into the infield.
On site EMT and fire crew were on the scene immediately to tend to Hyman and the race was halted. Hyman was transported by ambulance to the local hospital and was later flown out of the area for further evaluation. At the time of this writing, Hyman was diagnosed with a lower vertebra injury but is awake and alert.
When the racing resumed, Simon and Eddie Klein battled for the race lead. With two laps remaining, Klein and Simon made contact off turn two resulting in a caution. Tyler Avelar took the race lead and held off Simon and Klein to win his first race of the season.
The trophy dash victory in the Suddenlink Communications mini stock division went to Rick Estes while the heat race was won by Nick Green. Sam Brown led the early stages of the 25-lap feature but soon faced the pressure from the faster cars of Green and Brian Murrell, Jr. On lap eight, Murrell used the inside line to get by Brown for the lead while Green followed into second. Murrell held the top position for two laps before Green powered by on the outside line. Green was able to cruise to the win, his second of the season. Murrell placed second followed by Chelsea Champagne, Brown and Cole Peterson.
The Bear River Hotel and Casino Thunder Roadster trophy dash victory went to Paul Peeples, Jr. who was also able to take the victory in the heat race. Robbie Nelson led the field to the green in the main event but by the end of lap one it was David Henderson who took the lead. The story of the season in the Thunder Roadster class has been the battle for wins between Peeples and Henderson with Peeples being on the winning end more often. The tables were turned on this night as Henderson was able to withstand all of Peeples’ challenges for the lead.
A brief caution from contact between Chris Sarvinski and Tommy Payne bunched the field but did not give Peeples the advantage that he was hoping for. At the checkered flag it was Henderson winning his second feature of 2014. Peeples took second, Nelson third, Sarvinski fourth and Payne fifth.
Luke Hall took trophy dash honors in the Mid City Motor World late model division. Mic Moulton ran away in the heat race and was victorious in that event. Al Acuna took the lead of the 35-lap feature from pole sitter, Ken Hallis at the start of the event and was able to pull away as the rest of the field sorted itself out. On lap two, Kenny Demello got sideways off turn two and slapped the back stretch wall bringing out a caution. Demello was able to drive his car to the pits but was not able to return to the race.
On the restart, Ryun Leazer was able to get under Hallis for second and was followed by Hall in third. The next lap, Hall and Leazer made contact going into turn one which sent both cars into the wall. Both cars were finished for the night. Oregon visitor, Dana Bowers also suffered cosmetic damage in the incident but was able to continue. Moulton took advantage of the side-by-side restart and was able to wrestle the lead away from Acuna. Moulton was dominant on the night and went the majority of the race unchallenged for the lead.
Jerry Peterson spun out of second for a caution but the closing of the field did nothing to hinder Moulton’s quest for the victory. At the checkered flag it was Moulton winning over Acuna. Bowers took third while Peterson was fourth and Hallis finished fifth.
Racing takes a week off at the Acres before resuming Saturday August 2nd. As always, the five local classes will be in action along with a special feature attraction that has not been seen at Redwood Acres Raceway, boat racing. Grandstands open at 5:00 PM while racing begins at 6:30 PM.
If you are interested in participating in the upcoming boat races or have any further questions regarding other divisions, please visit the official site of Redwood Acres Raceway, www.racingtheacres.com. Further information regarding Donnie Hyman’s injuries will also be posted on the website as they become available in the coming days.