Monday, September 15, 2014

Moulton, Peeples Acres track champions

Moulton, Peeples Acres track champions

By Matthew J. Sullivan

The final points paying event for the 2014 season occurred this past Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway. Track championships in all five local divisions of roadrunners, bombers, mini stocks, Thunder Roadsters and late models were decided on the night which was sponsored by Mid City Motor World. Although a heavy fog set in and hindered the view of fans and drivers, the racing on the track was as exciting as it has been all year long.

Gary Klinetobe would have had to suffer catastrophic failure going into the night to prevent him from winning the championship in the Humboldt Hydroponic roadrunner division. Thankfully, that did not happen. Nick Vellis took trophy dash honors for his first victory of the season. The first heat race featured an incident on the last lap that saw Andrew McKaughan go head-on into the water barrels at the pit entrance. Thankfully McKaughan was okay. Dylan Ford took the victory in the first heat while Chad Grammer won the second heat.

The racing at the front was intense in the 20-lap main event. It was nose-to-tail, door handle-to-door handle action between Dylan Ford, Eugene Palmer, Steve Kimberling, Jett Taylor and Daniel Buell. The race was slowed on a few occasions, most notably on lap nine when Klinetobe and Andrew Pementel got together and spun between turns one and two.

Klinetobe made a mad dash to the front in the final few laps and was able to overtake Ford for the lead on the final lap. At the checkered flag it was Klinetobe capping off his championship win with a main event victory, his sixth of the season. Klinetobe’s championship rival, Palmer took second while the top five was rounded out by Ford, Buell and Taylor. The final top five in the standings were Klinetobe, Palmer, Tim Abeyta, Robbie Robinson and Ford.

Like Klinetobe, Leonard Ward more or less had the track championship locked down for the John’s Used Cars and Wreckers bomber division. It was a good thing the margin was so large for Ward because the night belonged to his closest competitor in the standings, Tyler Avelar. Avelar went three-for-three on the night taking wins in the trophy dash, heat race and the main event. Ward finished second followed by James Moore, Chris Naughton and Matt Simon. The top five in points were Ward, Avelar, Moore, Simon and Donnie Hyman.

Brian Murrell, Jr. wanted to do all he could to ensure his chance at winning the track championship in the mini stock division. His efforts paid off in the trophy dash and the heat race as he was able to win both events. It looked as though Murrell was going to cap off his season in a big way in the main event as he led the majority of the race. Unfortunately, engine issues popped up and forced him out of action. Thankfully the track championship was still his.

Rick Estes took the lead and was able to go on and win over Ryan Walters who was driving Ryan Ahrens’ Karmann Ghia. Eugene Palmer took third in Gary Klinetobe’s car while Cole Peterson took fourth and Brian Murrell, Sr. placed fifth. The top five in the point standings in the division were Murrell, Jr., Estes, Chelsea Champagne, Brett Murrell and Peterson.

Paul Peeples, Jr. entered the night more than 30 points ahead of David Henderson and Chris Sarvinski in the Bear River Hotel and Casino Thunder Roadster standings. Shockingly, Peeples suffered engine issues in qualifying which prevented him from racing and opened the championship door for Henderson and Sarvinski. The trophy dash was won by Sarvinski. The first heat race featured an incident that took out Roger Kirkpatrick who was making his first ever start in the division. Mike Ward won the first heat while Henderson took the second heat.

Peeples was able to secure the championship in the main by running the first lap of the 30-lap main. In spite of the door closing on his chances of winning the track title, Henderson was still in win-mode and dominated the feature while Robbie Nelson rode in his mirror doggedly all race long. Things went south for Henderson with seven laps to go when his engine came apart coming off the fourth turn. Nelson was able to withstand Sarvinski’s challenge on the restart to take his first ever main event victory. Belinda Ward took third followed by Chris Lawrence and Mike Ward. The final points standings results were Peeples with the title over Sarvinski, Henderson, Nelson and Belinda Ward.

The closest championship battle at the Acres was in the Mid City Motor World late model division between Mic Moulton and Luke Hall. It appeared as though Hall’s chance at the title went up in smoke when he suffered engine issues prior to the races. Fortunately, Jerry Peterson graciously allowed Hall to race his car which kept Hall in the points fight.

West coast short track legend, Jim Walker made his first start of the season and took the trophy dash win while Moulton took the win in the heat race. The 35-lap feature was highlighted by a thrilling three-car fight for the lead between Moulton, Walker and Hall. Moulton and Walker race side-by-side for the lead lap after lap while Hall did all he could in an unfamiliar car. On lap 15, Walker took the lead from Moulton.

The famous blue 48 pulled out to a 10 to 15 car length gap which Moulton was able to close in on in the final stages. By the time the white flag flew, Moulton was within three car lengths of Walker but that was as close as he would get. At the finish it was Walker taking the popular victory over Moulton, Hall, Kenny Demello and Ken Hallis. In the points standings Moulton took the championship over Hall, Demello, Ryun Leazer and Al Acuna.

The 2014 season at Redwood Acres Raceway concludes with the Fall Spectacular September 27th and 28th. Along with roadrunners, mini stocks, bombers and Thunder Roadsters will be the addition of modifieds and the 100-lap super late model race as well as the boat race on Sunday. Grandstands open at 4PM on Saturday with racing at 6PM and 11AM on Sunday with opening ceremonies at Noon. Ticket prices each day: $15 General Admission, $12 Children 12 and under/Seniors/Military, and ages 5 and under free. Full and final points standings and more information for the Fall Spectacular weekend can be found at Redwood Acres Raceway’s official website, .

Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014 titles on the line this weekend at the Acres

2014 titles on the line this weekend at the Acres

By Matthew J. Sullivan

The 10th race of the 2014 season at Redwood Acres Raceway is only a few days away as the points season will conclude this Saturday night for Mid City Motor World Championship Night. Track championships will be decided in all five local classes and it should be a thrilling night of racing as drivers will be doing all they can to earn the best position they can in the final standings.

Gary Klinetobe has been the man to beat in the Humboldt Hydroponics roadrunner division in 2014. Klinetobe has earned five main event victories on the season and leads the standings by 29 markers over second place, Eugene Palmer who has won two main events this year. Palmer is the only driver who has a chance to overtake Palmer for the track championship but his odds are long given that Klinetobe will have to have incredibly bad luck to lose the title.

Tim Abeyta is third in points for the roadrunners while Robbie Robinson is fourth and Kayla Foster is fifth. None of those drivers has been able to find victory lane in a main event this season. Two drivers not high in the points standings have been the only other main event victors in the division in 2014. Jett Taylor pulled off a shocking win on July 19th while Dylan Ford won the most recent race on August 16th.

The track championship looks to be locked up for Leonard Ward in the John’s Used Cars and Wreckers bomber class. Ward holds a virtually insurmountable 61 point margin over Tyler Avelar. Rookie driver, James Moore is third in the standings only six points behind Avelar. The top three drivers have won all but one race this season with Ward taking five wins, Avelar two wins and Moore a win on May 25th.

Matt Simon is fourth in points while Donnie Hyman still holds on to fifth in spite of suffering a season ending injury in the July 19th feature event. Out of town visitor, David Dillinger is the only other driver who has won a main in the bomber class, coming home victorious on July 5th.

The point margin between first and second in the mini stock class is 38 points with Brian Murrell, Jr. holding the advantage over Rick Estes. Even though Murrell’s lead looks to be secure enough for him to take the track championship, Estes cannot be counted out. Both Murrell and Estes have won twice this season but Estes’ wins have occurred the past two races on August 2nd and August 16th.

Brett Murrell holds down third in points and is seven points in arrears to Estes in spite of having bad luck all year long. Chelsea Champagne is fourth in points, 15 behind Murrell while Jordon Paiment is fifth in the standings. Other main event winners in the mini stock class have been Nick Green who won on June 21st and July 19th and visiting driver, David Felch who won the July 5th event.

Unless Paul Peeples, Jr. happens upon some bad luck this Saturday night, it looks as though he will take the track championship in the Bear River Hotel and Casino Thunder Roadster division. Peeples has won five times this year and has a 34 point lead over David Henderson and Chris Sarvinski who are tied for second position. Henderson has three main event wins in 2014 including the most recent race on August 16th while Sarvinski’s lone win came on July 5th. Robbie Nelson holds down fourth in points followed by Thomas Payne in fifth who was involved in a serious incident on August 16th which severely damaged his car.

The closest points race at the Acres in 2014 is in the Mid City Motor World late model division. The intense racing that has happened on the track is mirrored in the standings as Mic Moulton leads Luke Hall by only 12 points. Both drivers have won four times this year with Hall having won the August 16th race. These two drivers have finished first and second to each other seven times this season and it will not be surprising to see the championship literally decided on the final lap.

Kenny Demello has not won a main event but has been consistent and is third in points but well out of the championship fight. Division rookie, Ryun Leazer has been steady all year long and sits fourth in points while Acres veteran, Al Acuna holds down fifth. Jerry Peterson is the only other driver to win in the late model division this year having done so on opening night, May 17th. Peterson sits sixth in the standings with a chance of getting into fifth.

Do not miss out on what promises to be a memorable night of racing this Saturday night at the Acres. Grandstands open at 5:00PM while racing begins at 6:30PM. Don’t forget that even though the points races are ending this weekend, there is still the season ending Fall Spectacular event Friday through Sunday September 26th, 27th and 28th. The local divisions of roadrunners, bombers, mini stocks and Thunder Roadsters will be joined by the IMCA modifieds and the 100-lap super late model race.

More information on this weekend’s event as well as the Fall Spectacular race can be found on Redwood Acres Raceway’s official website, .