Thursday, July 23, 2015

SRL stars return to the Acres

NTS Motorsports teammates, Parker Stephens (28) and Blaine Rocha (21)
test at Redwood Acres Raceway for the Spears SRL Southwest Tour event

By Matthew J. Sullivan

One of the most anticipated events of the 2015 season at Redwood Acres Raceway is on the horizon as the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series will race this Saturday August 1st. The top super late model drivers on the west coast will go head-to-head on the 3/8-mile paved oval for the second time in series history, the first since 2013. The SRL series will be joining the Acres’ local divisions of roadrunners, bombers, mini stocks and Thunder Roadsters while the local late models will have the evening off.

Dylan Ford is coming off his sixth main event win in a row in the Humboldt Hydroponics roadrunner division and will look to take his seventh feature this weekend. Ford has a stranglehold on the championship standings as he leads Daniel Buell by 78 points. R.C. Brown has been impressive in his rookie season in the division and sits third, only four points behind Buell. Steve Paiment is fourth, a point behind Brown. Paiment was the winner of the main event on April 25th. Another rookie, Shawn Malloy holds down fifth in the standings.

Dustin Walters has been the favorite throughout the season in the bomber division and the point standings reflect it. Walters has four main event wins, two of them in a row and leads James Moore by 14 points. Moore has won two main events this season. The rest of the top five consists of Michael Knight, the team of Lance Martins and Joseph Phares and Ryan Walters however those drivers are more than 80 points in arrears to the point leader.

The Maxwell’s Custom Automobiles mini stocks have put on some of the best racing at the Acres this year. Chris Champagne leads the standings with three main event wins, one of those coming in the first race when his car was driven by Leonard Ward. Second in points is division rookie, Eugene Palmer who won the June 20th race. Palmer is only 12 points behind Champagne. Rick Estes has a main event win and is third, 24 points behind Champagne. Defending mini stock track champion, Brian Murrell, Jr. has had rough luck in 2015 but still sits fourth, 38 behind the leader. Another division rookie, Tim Abeyta is fifth, 68 in arrears to Champagne.

It has been another season of dominance for Paul Peeples, Jr. in the Bear River Casino Hotel Thunder Roadster division. Peeples has won the past four main events in a row and five in total in 2015 and leads Robbie Nelson by 31 points. Nelson is the only other driver to win a main event in the division this year which came in the May 9th race. Thomas Payne is third, 50 points behind Peeples. Chris Lawrence sits fourth and is 61 markers behind Peeples while Belinda Ward is fifth and nine points behind Lawrence.

The fight for the Mid City Motor World late model track championship could very well come down to the last lap of the season. Ryun Leazer and Jedd Ambrosini sit atop the standings tied with 205 points apiece. Marty Walsh missed the first two races of the season but has won two features including the most recent race on July 18th. Walsh is only 29 points behind Leazer and Ambrosini, well within striking distance. Richard Knight is fourth, 32 behind the leaders and David Henderson is fifth, four points behind Knight. Henderson won the May 9th main event. Other main event winners in the division this season are David Miller who won on opening night, April 25th, Mic Moulton who won on May 24th and June 6th and Brandon White who won the Firecracker 100 race on July 4th.

As mentioned earlier, the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series will be returning to Redwood Acres Raceway this weekend for the first time since 2013. Jacob Gomes holds the SRL track record at the Acres with a 15.478. Veteran super late model racer, Jim Pettit, II won the inaugural SRL event which was held on June 1st of 2013. In the 2015 point standings, Greg Voig
t leads Ryan Cansdale by 30 points. Eureka native, Brandon White is third, 49 points behind Voight. Tracy Bolin is fourth, only three points behind White while Jeff Bishofberger is fifth a single point behind Bolin. White will certainly be one of the favorites for local fans. Another fan favorite, Jim Walker will also be in action.

The Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series will have a practice date on Friday July 30th from 4:30PM to 7:30PM. On Saturday, gates open at 4:30PM while racing will begin at 6:00PM. More information on this weekend’s big event can be found on Redwood Acres Raceway’s official website, www.racingtheacres.com .

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