Monday, May 25, 2015

Lindgren, Moulton Memorial race winners

Rich Lindgren took home the win in the North State Modified Series

By Matthew J. Sullivan

The 2015 season at Redwood Acres Raceway resumed for a special Sunday night affair. Though the weather was rather dreary for Del Reka Distributing Night at the Races, a great crowd showed up for the first race of the Tri-Holday series for the late model division. Along with the other local divisions of roadrunners, bombers and mini stocks, the quickly growing North State Modified Series made their first stop of the season at the 3/8-mile paved oval. In addition to all of that, it was also Salute to the Troops night at the Acres and all members of the military were able to get into the races for free with a military ID.

The Humboldt Hydroponics roadrunner trophy dash win was taken by Dylan Ford. Steve Paiment narrowly took the victory in the heat race. Nick Vellis was making his first start of the year and was quick to take the lead at the start of the 20-lap feature. Unfortunately his time up front was short as contact from Andrew Pimentel resulted in a flat tire, taking him out of action. Rookie driver, Shawn Malloy showed surprising strength leading numerous laps until the 15th circuit when he was put in a three-wide situation between R.C. Brown and Ford. Malloy spun and the caution flag was displayed.

The last six laps featured a duel for the win between rookie Brown and Ford. Ford was able to get the benefit of the inside line under Brown on the last lap and it proved to be the advantage he needed as he was able to beat Brown to the line to take the victory. Daniel Buell placed third.

Dustin Walters was the winner of the trophy dash for the bomber division. Walters has been the dominant factor in the bombers this year and things were no different on this night as he also took the heat race win. James Moore moved to the lead in the first handful of laps in the 20-lap feature but it didn’t take Walters long to get to the front. Walters moved under and past Moore on lap seven and never looked back. At the finish it was Walters winning handily over Moore, Ryan Walters, Lance Martins and Michael Knight.

The mini stock division continues to grow as the season progresses. Brian Murrell, Sr. was the victor in the trophy dash while the heat race wins were claimed by Cole Peterson and Murrell, Sr. The 25-lap feature got off to a slow start due to fuel leaking from Rick Estes truck. When the green flag came back out, the racing at the front was thrilling as the faster cars tried their best to get to the front while the slower cars did all they could to maintain their track position.

The father/son duo of Brian Murrell Sr. and Jr. were the two drivers who were able to break from the pack and set sail while the rest of the field duked it out from third on back. After a spin by Cole Peterson, the green dropped again and again the Murrells fought hard for the race lead. The caution allowed two other drivers to get into the action, Estes and Chris Champagne. Sadly, things would sour for three of those drivers. Champagne suffered engine woes which put him in the pits and Murrell, Jr. and Estes got tangled off turn four taking their chances of victory away. Mini stock rookie, Eugene Palmer was in Murrell, Sr.’s hip pocket in the closing stages but did not have the horsepower to take the lead away. At the checkered flag it was Murrell, Sr. winning over Palmer, Estes, Dylan Ford and Gary Klinetobe.

The first of the three Tri-Holiday races for the Mid City Motor World late model division took place on the night. In addition to earning points to the season long track championship, the Tri-Holiday races for Memorial Day weekend, Independence Day weekend and Labor Day weekend all count to a separate points title. Mic Moulton took the trophy dash win which saw Marty Walsh and Jim Walker get together. Fortunately both drivers were able to continue for the rest of the night. Richard Knight won the first heat race while Ryun Leazer held on to win the second heat race.

The 35-lap feature saw a field of 10 starters reduced to only four cars being able to get to the finish. The first incident of the race occurred due to apparent contact between Walker and George Young which collected Leazer. The race was slowed again after a few laps due to Tyler Avelar spinning off turn two. The yellow dropped again when Avelar spun in turn one, collecting Mark Williams. By this point, only one lap had been completed.

Things settled down long enough for Mic Moulton to take the lead away from Jedd Ambrosini while Marty Walsh followed him into second. Trouble occurred once again on lap eight when Ambrosini spun off turn four. In the smoke, Kenny Demello and Williams got together ending the race for both of their cars. The race was slowed only once from then on out. Walsh briefly challenged Moulton but didn’t have the strength to stay with him to the end. At the line it was Moulton winning over Walsh. Ambrosini placed third, Richard Knight fourth and Walker was credited with a fifth place result.

16 cars timed in for the North State Modified Series for the evening. Lucas Oil Modified Series regular, Tripp Gaylord made the 1,373-mile trip from his home in Golden, Colorado to Redwood Acres Raceway count as he set quick time with a 16.191. Charlie Collins took the trophy and the $100 cash prize in the Lucas Oil Dash for Cash. The 60-lap feature presented by Protect The Harvest got off to a quick start as Darrin Knight took the lead from pole thanks in part to Gaylord drawing a four-car invert. Knight’s experience at the Acres came to fruition in the early laps and he looked to be the class of the field on the night.

The most serious incident of the race took place on lap 20 when contact from another car sent Sal Lopez spinning right in front of the leaders. Knight was able to get by while second place, Michael Mitchell could not avoid Lopez’s stopped car and made contact with his left front suspension. It was a serious blow for the NSMS point leader as he was forced into the pits and though he returned to the track, he finished the event many laps down. Under the caution, Knight’s car came to a stop on the back stretch with apparent ignition trouble, ending his race.

With the two leaders falling out, Rich Lindgren inherited the race lead and after the restart he and Gaylord pulled away from the rest of the field. The driver who was doing the most passing was Bryan Denton. Meanwhile up front, Lindgren was able to maintain a somewhat comfortable gap over second place, Gaylord. The field was tightened up with five laps remaining when Mike Gorham spun in turns three and four. Lindgren was able to withstand Gaylord challenge for the lead after the restart and he was the first to the checkered flag for his second win of the season in the NSMS. Gaylord placed second followed by Collins, Denton and Jason Philpot.

Racing returns to Redwood Acres Raceway June 6th with all five local classes back in action, including the Thunder Roadsters who had this weekend off. The North State Modified Series returns to the Acres later in the year on September 6th. For more information on the North State Modified Series, visit their official website . For more information on any and all of the goings on at Redwood Acres Raceway, please visit the track’s official website .Tri

Monday, May 18, 2015

Big weekend of racing set for the Acres

David Henderson leads the late model point standings at Redwood Acres Raceway

By Matthew J. Sullivan

Race three of the 2015 season at Redwood Acres Raceway is set for a special Memorial Day Salute to the Troops weekend event. Besides the local divisions racing on May 24th, a Sunday afternoon, the Acres will play host to the popular North State Modified Series. In addition, Sunday’s races will feature race number one of the Tri-Holiday series of races for the late models.

With only two races completed, the point races are still tight in all five local divisions. In the Humboldt Hydroponics roadrunners, Dylan Ford holds the championship lead thanks to his main event win in the most recent race on May 9th. Jett Taylor and Daniel Buell are tied for second, 16 points in arrears to Ford. Andrew Pimentel is fourth while rookie driver Shawn Malloy is fifth. Dustin Walters was also a main event winner on May 9th and he is the current leader in the bomber division. James Moore is seven points behind in second while Lance Martins, Michael Knight and Tyler Avelar round out the top five in standings.

The mini stock class has had an influx of cars the first two races of the season. Only six points separate the top three in standings. The duo of Leonard Ward and Chris Champagne lead by three points over Rick Estes while Eugene Palmer is third. Former roadrunner champion, Jarrett Mayo is fourth in points while Dylan Ford is fifth. The Bear River Hotel and Casino Thunder Roadsters will have a week off this Sunday which allows Robbie Nelson the opportunity to enjoy his lead in the division a while longer. Nelson leads Paul Peeples, Jr. by only one point while Mike Ward, Chris Lawrence and Thomas Payne are third through fifth.

David Henderson has appeared to be the class of the field thus far in the Mid City Motor World late model division and sits in the lead by eight markers over Jedd Ambrosini. Ryun Leazer is third in the standings followed by Richard Knight and Tyler Avelar. The standings could shake up after Sunday night’s race with the addition of cars and drivers for the first Tri-Holday race.

The North State Modified Series is two races into their 2015 campaign. This weekend’s race will be the first of two scheduled for the series at the Acres. Michael Mitchell leads Cody Braund by four points in the year-long battle for the championship. Darrin Knight is third followed by Tripp Gaylord and veteran racer Guy Young. The NSMS has yielded strong car counts so far with 23 cars racing at All-American Speedway and 21 showing up at the intimidating bullring that is Lakeport Speedway. There should be another strong field on Sunday with Oregon drivers joining the California modified racers.

The weekend kicks off on Saturday the 23rd with a test and tune for all cars. On Sunday the 24th grandstands open at 4:30PM and racing begins at 6:00PM. As a special thank you to those who have served in the military, admission into this Sunday’s races is free with a military ID. More information regarding this weekend’s big event can be found at Redwood Acres Raceway’s official website, .

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Henderson, Nelson big winners on Pepsi night

David Henderson claimed his first late model main event win of 2015

By Matthew J. Sullivan

Race two of the 2015 season at Redwood Acres Raceway took place this past Saturday night. It was Pepsi Night at the 3/8-mile paved facility and as usual the local classes of roadrunners, bombers, mini stocks, Thunder Roadsters and late models thrilled a great crowd.

Dylan Ford set fast time for the Humboldt Hydroponics roadrunners with a 20.424 lap. The trophy dash was won by Daniel Buell while Ford took heat race honors. The 20-lap feature got off to a rough start when the cars of Buell, Shawn Malloy and Jett Taylor got together off of turn two. In the chaos, Malloy and Taylor got together sending Malloy’s car in the back stretch wall and out of action.

The racing after the restart was fantastic. On lap five, Andrew Pimentel spun in turn one but was able to keep going. The first half of the race saw the lead be traded back and forth between Chad Grammer and Ford. The field tightened up in the second half and it became a six car race for the win between Ford, Grammer, Buell, Taylor, R.C. Brown and Pimentel. Ford was able to take full control of the lead after taking the white flag while contact with another car cut the left front tire of Taylor’s car, taking him out of contention. At the finish it was Ford winning over Grammer, Brown, Buell and Pimentel.

Fast time for the Pacific Towing bomber division was set by Dustin Walters at 18.115. Jim Redd was behind the wheel of Tyler Avelar’s car for the night and was able to win the trophy dash. Dustin Walters took the heat race victory. Redd took the lead from the drop of the green of the 25-lap bomber main event. The field got spread out on lap two when James Moore got sideways in turns three and four, collecting Michael Knight. The race stayed green with Moore continuing in the race while Knight had to pit due to a cut right front tire.

By halfway, Redd pulled out to a full straightaway lead over second place Lance Martins. Moore was able to take second from Martins on lap 15 but the fastest car on the track was Walters. Walters moved to second on lap 19 and closed quickly on Redd. The two got side by side and stayed that way until the final lap. Going down the back stretch, Redd and Walters split the lapped car of Knight but stayed door handle-to-door handle. Both drivers got sideways coming off turn four and in the drag race to the line it was Walters narrowly beating Redd for the win. Moore, Martins and Knight rounded out the finishers.

Chris Champagne made his first ever start at Redwood Acres Raceway in the Pepsi mini stock division, setting the fastest lap in qualifying with a 19.913 The trophy dash win went to division rookie, Eugene Palmer. Brian Murrell, Sr. was the winner of the first heat race while Champagne took the second heat race victory. Though his qualifying effort was not quick, Murrell, Sr. showed surprising speed as he took the lead off the start of the 25-lap feature and was the dominant car of the race. Brian Murrell, Jr. briefly took the lead from Murrell, Sr. on lap 10 but Murrell, Sr. regained the lead on the next lap.

By halfway the faster qualifiers of Rick Estes and Palmer and moved to third and fourth positions and were closing on the father/son Murrell duo. On lap 13, Estes moved to second as Champagne closed in on the front four. Palmer moved to third on lap 14 bringing Champagne with him while dropping Murrell,
Jr. to fifth. The caution flew on lap 15 when Champagne and Murrell, Jr. spun off turn four.

After the restart, Estes and Palmer put heavy pressure on Murrell, Sr. for the lead but neither driver could find a way by him. The yellow flew again when Champagne’s engine failed and he stopped in turn two. The race restarted with four laps left and again Estes tried to find his way by Murrell, Sr.
Coming to three to go, Murrell, Sr. got loose and spun out of the lead off the fourth turn. Estes was able to withstand Palmer’s challenge for the lead and at the line it was Estes winning followed by Palmer, Cole Peterson, Jarrett Mayo and Murrell, Sr.

Paul Peeples, Jr. set fast time at a 17.113 and took home another trophy in the dash for the Bear River Hotel and Casino Thunder Roadsters. Robbie Nelson held off Peeples to win the heat race. Chris Lawrence took the lead from the drop of the green flag in the 30-lap feature which was slowed only once when Peeples got loose and spun between turns one and two while racing Nelson for second.

The lap seven restart proved to be what Nelson needed as he wrestled the lead from Lawrence while Peeples had to fight his way back through the field. It didn’t take Peeples long to get back to second as he got by Lawrence for the spot on lap nine. The front two of Nelson and Peeples set sail from the rest of the field and it became a two car race for the win. Peeples pressured Nelson all race long but didn’t appear to have the handling necessary to find a way inside or outside of Nelson. On the last lap, Peeples bumped Nelson going into the third turn, got loose and spun. Nelson went on to take the win followed by Chris Sarvinski, Mike Ward and Belinda Ward.

The fastest qualifier for the Mid City Motor World late model division was David Henderson at 16.100. The trophy dash was won by Ryun Leazer. The heat race saw an unfortunate incident for George Young as he hit the water barrels at the entrance of pit road off turn two. While Young’s car was finished for the night, the driver himself was unharmed from the incident. Due to the cleanup time and track conditions, the heat race was shortened giving Leazer the win.

Kenny Demello got the jump at the start of the 35-lap feature but the green flag racing didn’t last long as Richard Knight and Ken Hallis got together and spun in turn one on lap two. Demello got the lead again after the restart but the race was slowed again on lap five due to Hallis’ car in the turn four grass after a spin. Another caution flew when Demello spun off turn four collecting Leazer.

After suffering issues in the first race of the season on April 26th, David Henderson was able to move to the lead and showed that he might be the favorite for the 2015 track championship for the late models. Henderson dominated the final portion of the race and took the victory, his first in a late model. Demello placed second followed by Ambrosini, Hallis and Knight.

Racing returns Sunday May 24th for a special Memorial Day weekend event. Joining the roadrunners, bombers and mini stocks will be the Northern California Pro-4 modifieds and the North State Challenge Modified Series. In addition, there will be the first of three Tri-Holiday races for the late model cars. Grandstands open at 4:30 PM and racing begins at 6:00 PM. There is also an open practice on Saturday May 23rd. For more information regarding Redwood Acres Raceway make sure to visit the track’s official website, .