|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 www.northstatemodifieds.com . For more information on any and all of the goings on at Redwood Acres Raceway, please visit the track’s official website www.racingtheacres.com .Tri