Sunday, September 20, 2015

Champions crowned as point season concludes at the Acres

Richard Knight took his first win in the late model division

By Matthew J. Sullivan

It was the final point event for the 2015 season at Redwood Acres Raceway this past Saturday night. The 3/8-mile paved oval hosted Mid City Motor World Championship Night at the Acres. Track champions in all five divisions were crowned after what proved to be a rough and tumble night of racing.

Dylan Ford already had the Humboldt Hydroponics roadrunner track championship locked up for 2015 so he went into the night worry-free. Tyler Peach took the victory in the trophy dash while heat race wins went to Ken Barrett and Dylan Hagman. The 20-lap roadrunner feature proved to be a caution plagued event. Ford held the lead early and was behind the wheel of Andrew Pimentel’s car for the evening. The first incident of the race involved R.C. Brown who hit the turn four wall to bring the yellow flag out.

Another caution followed just after the restart when Shawn Molloy and J.D. Wiley wrecked in turn three. Racing resumed again as Ford battled Jett Taylor and Daniel Buell for the lead. Another incident involving Barrett and Bethany Rapp slowed the field once more for what proved to be the final restart of the race. While coming to take the white flag, Hagman and Buell got together off turn four. Buell’s car lazily rolled over on the front stretch but fortunately the driver was okay. The race was called with Ford taking the victory.

Dustin Walters led James Moore by only two points going into the night in the bomber division. As he has been throughout the entire 2015 season, Walters was dominant on the night. Walters took the trophy dash win, then went on to take the heat race victory, then capped the night with the main event victory and the bomber division track championship. James Moore finished second followed by Michael Knight.

The battle for the mini stock championship was separated by only nine points between Chris Champagne and Eugene Palmer. Brian Murrell, Jr. took the trophy dash victory while Palmer won the heat race. The championship was decided at the start of the 25-lap feature as Champagne had enough points to win. Unfortunately Champagne’s night was cut short early in the feature when he got loose in turn four, made contact with Palmer and hit the wall head one. Champagne was finished for the night but uninjured. The recent strength Palmer showed in the past several weeks was again on display as he was able to pass Murrell, Jr. for the lead and took home the win. Murrell, Jr. finished second followed by Gary Klinetobe and Cole Peterson while Champagne was credited with fifth.

Paul Peeples, Jr. had already officially claimed the Bear River Hotel and Casino Thunder Roadster track championship after the September 6th Labor Day weekend race. Robbie Nelson won the trophy dash race while Donnie Brown and Peeples won the two heat races. Craig Baker took the lead from his outside front row starting position in the 30-lap main event as the faster qualifiers tried to maneuver their way through the field. Nelson was the first to do so and on lap six he got past Baker for the lead with Peeples following into second.

Nelson held on to the lead until lap 11 when Peeples moved under and past for the race lead. Nelson rode in Peeples’ tracks for a while but eventually the superior handling of Peeples’ car prevailed. Peeples was able to pull out to a 10-car length lead by the end of the race. At the checkered flag it was Peeples winning over Nelson, Thomas Payne, Chris Sarvinski and Aaron Byers.

The Mid City Motor World late model track title was a battle between two sophomore drivers, Ryun Leazer and Jedd Ambrosini. Leazer held a narrow nine point advantage going into the night. Ambrosini made an early statement by winning the trophy dash. Richard Knight took the first heat race win while Kenny Demello took the second. The 35-lap late model main event featured two incidents that took out some of the top competition. Marty Walsh made contact with Ambrosini while racing for third on lap seven. Behind them several cars got together, most notably Mic Moulton who suffered severe damage which knocked him out of the race. Richard Knight led the restart but the green flag period would be brief when it appeared Al Acuna made contact with Mark Williams in turn two. In the melee, Walsh made contact with Williams which took both drivers out of the race. At the same time, Ambrosini pulled into the pits and didn’t return to the track.

Racing resumed and a thrilling battle for the lead ensued between Knight and Leazer. Meanwhile, Robbie Nelson was putting on an impressive display by driving his way to third in only his second start in a late model car. Several times Leazer looked to the inside of Knight coming off turn four but he could not get his nose far enough to Knight’s inside to challenge for the lead. Nelson snuck up on the leaders, got past Leazer for second and tried to challenge Knight but to no avail. At the finish it was Knight winning his first late model feature followed by Nelson and division champion, Leazer. George Young and Demello rounded out the top five.

For more information regarding the final points rundown in all five divisions please visit Redwood Acres Raceway’s official website, .

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