Tuesday, September 1, 2015

North State Modifieds return to the Acres

Tripp Gaylord leads the North State Challenge Series standings going into the next race at the Acres

By Matthew J. Sullivan

The 2015 racing season at Redwood Acres Raceway is quickly coming to a close. Only four dates remain on the schedule two of which are set for the upcoming Labor Day weekend Saturday September 5th and Sunday September 6th. The local divisions of roadrunners, bombers, mini stocks and Thunder Roadsters will race both nights. Saturday night’s feature attraction will be the late model division which will hold the final Tri-Holiday Classic race of 2015. Highlighting Sunday’s event will be the return of the popular North State Modified Series for the second and final time this season.

This weekend will likely see the crowning of the 2015 roadrunner track champion for Redwood Acres Raceway. Dylan Ford has a 68 point lead over Daniel Buell in the standings Ford will have to have monumental bad fortune for Buell to even have a chance coming out of the weekend. Roadrunner veteran, Steve Paiment is third in the standings, 95 markers behind Ford. Rookie drivers R.C. Brown and Shawn Molloy round out the top five in the standings, both 100+ points in arrears to Ford.

Things got much more interesting in the bomber division title fight as a result of a heat race incident for former point leader, Dustin Walters in the August 22nd event. Not only did that wreck prevent him from starting the feature race and earning points, it also cost him the championship lead he once had. As a result, James Moore moved to the lead but only holds a nine point advantage over Walters.

Chris Champagne expanded his point lead slightly in the mini stock class on August 22nd but not enough to be comfortable in his effort for the track championship. Champagne leads Eugene Palmer by 17 points. Rick Estes still has an outside chance as he’s 29 points behind Champagne but both drivers ahead of him will need major issues in the final three events. 2014 mini stock champ, Brian Murrell, Jr. is mathematically alive in fourth but the odds of him going back-to-back are next to zero. Mini stock rookie, Tim Abeyta holds down the fifth position.

Paul Peeples, Jr. holds a 43 point lead over Robbie Nelson in the Thunder Roadster class. Given Peeples’ speed all season long and his penchant for winning races, Nelson’s opportunity to win this year’s title is virtually nil. Thomas Payne holds down third in the standings, Chris Lawrence fourth and Belinda Ward fifth.

The late model class will hold their third and final Tri-Holiday Classic race this weekend and the outcome of Saturday’s 100-lap race will likely be the deciding factor as to who will be this year’s champion in the division. Veteran, Mic Mouton was the winner of the first event on Memorial Day weekend while Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series star, Brandon White dominated the Independence Day weekend event. Ryun Leazer leads the late model standings by a mere four points over Jedd Ambrosini. Leazer will have to avoid the bad luck he faced on the July 4th event which saw him finish 16th to Ambrosini’s 9th place effort. Marty Walsh, Richard Knight and Kenny Demello finish out the top five in standings and a bad race for both Leazer and Ambrosini could bring those three drivers right back into the title fight.

The North State Modified Series returns to Redwood Acres Raceway for the second time in 2015. The first event on Memorial Day weekend was won by Rich Lindgren. Tripp Gaylord finished second in that race and leads Cody Braund by four points with only two races remaining including this weekend’s. Darrin Knight is third in the standings, only 6 behind Gaylord and on a hot streak. Knight won the most recent North State race at Shasta Speedway on August 22nd and was the big winner of the West Coast Modified Shootout at Douglas County Speedway this past weekend. Michael Mitchell is fourth in the standings, 40 points behind Gaylord while Jason Philpot is 70 points behind.

The grandstands open at 4:30PM while races will begin at 6:00PM both nights for this weekend’s Labor Day races. Only two more races are on the schedule following this weekend’s events. Saturday September 19th’s race will be Fan Appreciation Night as well as championship night for all five local classes. The final event of the season is on October 3rd will be the First Annual Big T Jackpot race for the roadrunners and the Bomber Bash. For more information regarding the rest of the 2015 schedule, please visit Redwood Acres Raceway’s official website www.racingtheacres.com .

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