Tuesday, July 7, 2015

White survives to win Firecracker 100

Brandon White avoided the carnage to win the Firecracker 100

By Matthew J. Sullivan

It was a wild and exciting night at Redwood Acres Raceway for Patriotic Night at the Races this past Saturday evening. There were numerous incidents in all five of the Acres’ divisions including the late models which were holding the second Tri-Holiday Classic race on the night, the Firecracker 100 sponsored by Danielson Construction and North Coast Lighting And Electric. At the end of the night, the fireworks on track gave way to fireworks in the night sky as fans were treated to a spectacular display.

The Humboldt Hydroponics roadrunner trophy dash was won by Jordan Paiment. The first heat race was won by Chris Appleton while Dylan Ford took the second heat win. The feature which was scheduled for 20 laps got off to a slow start. Several drivers swapped the lead including Shawn Malloy, Ford, Jett Taylor and Daniel Buell. Ford entered the lead just past the halfway mark before the race was marred by cautions. Due to the race going over the 20-minute time limit, Ford was awarded the win, his fifth in a row.

Former Acres racer, Dan Maxwell was kind enough to put $500 on the line for the winner of the Maxwell’s Custom Automobiles bomber division main event and as a result, several out-of-town drivers were in attendance on the evening. Brian King was the winner of the four lap trophy dash while Dustin Walters took the heat race win. The bomber feature got off to a slow start due to a couple incidents, one of which included Lance Martins and Ryan Walters that resulted in Martins getting the black flag. When racing got going, it was clear Dustin Walters had the superior car. Walters was able to muscle by David Dillinger for the lead and he was able to cruise to the checkered flag and the $500 victory. Dillinger took second followed by Erick Ray, King and Rick Jelton.

Chris Champagne was victorious in the Danielson Construction mini stock division trophy dash. The first heat race was won by Paul Baker while the Champagne claimed the second heat. Brett Murrell took the lead at the start of the 25-lap main but got loose in turn four on lap two collecting his older brother Brian. Eugene Palmer took the lead after the restart but it was Billy Shaul who looked to have the superior handling vehicle. With only a few laps remaining, Shaul took the lead from Palmer and was able to hold on the rest of the way for the win followed by Palmer, Champagne, Rick Estes and Cole Peterson.

Mike Ward’s night in the Bear River Hotel and Casino Thunder Roadster division was cut short in the trophy dash when he got loose and hit the turn two wall nose first. Fortunately Ward was okay. Paul Peeples took the dash win then went on to claim the heat race victory. The main event proved to be no different. Although Chris Sarvinski took the lead early on, he was forced to give way to Peeples. It was another dominant performance as Peeples was able to take his fourth straight win over Sarvinski, Thomas Payne, Robbie Nelson and Belinda Ward.

Brandon White set fast time for the field of 16 Mid City Motor World Firecracker 100 late models with a 15.924. The winner of the trophy dash was veteran driver, Mike Sackett which awarded him pole position in the 100-lap feature. White used his outside front row starting position to his advantage as he took the lead at the drop of the green. Jim Walker looked to have the only car capable of contending with White as he moved into second on lap 12. The race was slowed twice early due to spins by George Young, Ryun Leazer and Kenny Demello. On lap 28, Leazer appeared to cut a right front tire going into the third turn. Leazer collected Mic Moulton and the two drivers slammed into the turn three wall. The race went green for a long 30-lap stretch with White pulling out to a large lead that Walker was able to chip away at thanks to slower traffic. On lap 56, the caution dropped for oil on the track from Alan Cress’ car. After a long cleanup, racing resumed and White went back to dominating over Walker and Sackett.

The race resumed green for another semi-long run before a caution from an incident between David Henderson and Tyler Avelar. Under the caution, Henderson stopped to speak to officials on the backstretch. Behind him, Richard Knight and Avelar ran into Henderson’s stopped car. Knight’s car climbed over the side of Henderson’s and flipped onto its top. Nobody was injured but the incident was enough for officials to call the race official before its scheduled end. This gave White the win over Walker, Sackett, Marty Walsh and Leonard Ward.

The next race on the docket will feature the return of the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series to the Acres. The SRL Series is the top late model touring series in the west and features the top talent in the region. Firecracker 100 winner, Brandon White will certainly be one of the favorites to take the win. In addition, the roadrunners, bombers, mini stocks and Thunder Roadsters will be in action. For more on the upcoming SRL event, please visit the Acres’ official website www.racingtheacres.com .

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