Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Moulton, Payne early season point leaders

By Matthew J. Sullivan

Two races have been completed in Redwood Acres Raceway’s 2016 season and already fans have seen some memorable moments in all six of the raceway’s local divisions. The excitement promises to ramp up this Sunday May 29th for O’Reilly Auto Parts Night at the Races. While the late model division will have the night off, the rest of the five local divisions will play host to the exciting North State Modified Series.

The points in Redwood Acres Raceway’s newest division, the Legends is currently being led by Brent Mack. He currently holds a substantial 37 point lead over the two drivers tied for second place, Brad Curtice and Anissa Curtice who also happen to be father and daughter. Mack’s large lead is due to avoiding catastrophe in the season opening race on April 30th. Keith Van Dyne is fourth and Robert Miller rounds out the top five. The class is expected to grow as 2016 progresses.

Steve Paiment has a three point advantage over Tyler Peach in the California State & Federal Employee Credit Union roadrunner division. Two female drivers sit third in fourth in the standings with Jennifer Murrell 14 points in arrears to Paiment and Bethany Rapp 17 points behind the leader. Rookie driver, Patrick Sproul is fifth in points and 20 behind Paiment.

The battle for the track championship in the Fortuna Wheel & Brake bomber division is very tight as a single point separates James Moore in first and Tyler Avelar in second. Ryan Ahrens holds on to third in the standings and is eight points behind Moore. Rookie driver, Kim Sorrels is fourth and 17 points behind Moore while another rookie, John Lally holds down the fifth position.

The Humboldt Hydroponics mini stock division has arguably produced some of the best racing at the Acres thus far in 2016. Only eight points separate first through third in the standings. Jarrett Mayo currently leads Gary Klinetobe by three markers while Eugene Palmer is right on both of their heels in third. Daniel Buell is a rookie in the mini stock class and has used smart driving and consistent finishes to get to fourth in the standings, 19 points behind Mayo. Fifth place is a tie between mini stock veteran, Brian Murrell, Sr. and mini stock rookie, Michael Lawrence. Both drivers are 28 points behind Mayo.

The Thunder Roadster division has put on some exciting races as well in 2016. Tommy Payne is a former champion in the division and is the owner of an eight point lead over Thunder Roadster rookie, Aaron Byers. Donnie Brown is third and only four points behind Byers. Four points behind Brown is another rookie, Ronnie O’Neil. Fifth in the standings is a tie between LeRoy Marsh, Jr. who’s returned to the Acres after several seasons away and rookie, Jett Taylor.

The Mid City Motor World late models will not be partaking in the upcoming Memorial Day weekend events which likely is a blessing for several drivers in the division. Mic Moulton leads the standings in spite of suffering issues in the previous race on May 14th. Second place, Marty Walsh has been able to avoid any severe incidents and is only two points behind Moulton for the lead. Jim Walker is third in the standings, only four points behind Moulton. The West Coast racing legend’s car suffered heavy damage in the most recent race and it will be interesting to see how soon Walker will return to action. Jedd Ambrosini holds down fourth in the standings, only eight points behind Moulton while Kenny Demello is fifth, 15 points behind the leader.

The North State Modified Series visits Redwood Acres Raceway this weekend for their second race of the 2016 season, the Swartz Diesel Nor-Cal 60. Sacramento’s Jason Philpot won the season opening Gene Welch Classic at All American Speedway on April 23rd. The scheduled May 7th race at Shasta Speedway was rained out. Last season’s two NSMS races at the Acres were won by Rich Lindgren and Darren Knight.

Redwood Acres Raceway will hold an open practice Saturday May 28th from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM followed by a barbecue. Sunday grandstands open at 5:00 PM, while racing will begin at 6:00 PM. General admission is $15, seniors $13 and children 12 & under are $2.00. Kids under five years old are free while military members who present their military IDs will also enter free. For more information on this weekend’s upcoming races, please visit Redwood Acres Raceway’s official website,

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Outlaw karts debut at the Acres

By Matthew J. Sullivan

The highly anticipated debut of the outlaw karts at Redwood Acres Raceway took place this past Saturday night. A great crowd was on hand to watch the group of young drivers, most between the ages of five and nine years old. The event was staged on a 1/10-mile dirt oval in the infield of the 3/8th-mile paved oval which fans normally see racing action.

Due to this being the inaugural season of karting action at the Acres and since all races this year are non-point events, concessions were made in the rules to allow for better competition on the track. The 250 and 500/open karts were combined for the night which featured racing between the father/daughter pairing of Brad Curtice and Anissa Curtice. Brad set fast time with a 9.247 lap time while Anissa qualified at 9.623. When it came to race time, Anissa dominated winning the trophy dash, heat race and feature over her father.

T.J. Sorrels of Ukiah set quick time for the beginner box stocks with a 10.583 lap in qualifying. Taylor Fuller of Medford was the heat race winner over Jacob Boldway of Eureka, Sorrels, Adrian Richard of Myrtle Creek and Kai Hirsch of Garberville. Fuller quickly maneuvered his way to the lead of the 20-lap feature while Hirsch had issues on lap two which forced him out of the race. Fuller was absolutely dominant, leading every single lap of the race en route to winning by a full lap over second place Sorrels. Boldway placed third over Richard and Hirsch.

Brionna Fuller was the fastest qualifier for the box stocks setting a time of 10.312 seconds. Natalie Richard took the victory in the trophy dash. Maleesa Miles won heat race one followed by Quentin Ikeya Bailey Jackson, Timmy Walters and Derek Kessler, Jr. Richard won heat two over Fuller, Jeremiah Boldway and Jackson O’Ferrell. The 25-lap main featured a scary accident on lap six when, Timmy Walters got out of control and hit the front straightaway wall. Thankfully Walters was unharmed.

O’Ferrell got to the lead on lap one and ran away from the field. He looked to have the race well in hand until two laps remaining when he lost control in turn four. Fuller moved to the lead and was able to withstand a late charge from Richard to take the win. O’Ferrell finished third while Boldway and Jackson rounded out the top five.

Redwood Acres Raceway would like to thank Scott Hammond State Farm for sponsoring the evening’s races. Also, a special thank you to Kenny Demello Racing, Wendt Construction and Michael Buell for their help in getting the races going. The outlaw karts return to the Acres on June 18th. Grandstands open at 5:00 PM while racing begins at 6:30 PM. For more information on everything going on at Redwood Acres Raceway, please visit the track’s official website,

Monday, May 16, 2016

Walsh wins first feature of 2016

By Matthew J. Sullivan

For a while, it did not look as though Mother Nature was going to cooperate with the proceedings this past Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway. Following the roadrunner trophy dash, a heavy mist dropped over the 3/8-mile paved oval which delayed the racing action for nearly an hour. Thankfully the weather cleared up and fans were able to see a full slate of racing in all six local divisions on Pepsi Night at the Acres.

The California State & Federal Employee Credit Union roadrunner trophy dash was won by Richard Stancliff. The two heat races were taken by Jennifer Murrell and Stancliff. Rookie driver, Bob Ratzlaff showed surprising strength in the first portion of the 20-lap roadrunner feature as he led six of the first ten laps. However, Ratzlaff broke the 21-second break-out rule and because he did not adhere to it, he was scored off the lead lap.

The second half of the feature was dominated by Shawn Molloy who was driving Daniel Buell’s car for the night. Molloy and Stancliff staged a great duel in the final handful of laps. Molloy got the advantage in the end and claimed his first ever main event victory. Tyler Peach ended up second followed by Steve Paiment, Stancliff and Patrick Sproul.

Rookie, John Lally won the Fortuna Wheel & Break bomber trophy dash in his first race at the Acres. James Moore took the heat race victory. Lally led lap one of the 25-lap main event but by lap two Avelar was in the lead. Avelar blitzed the field, dominating the rest of the event and taking his second straight bomber feature win. Moore took second over Lally, Ryan Ahrens and Jimmy Sorrels.

Rick Estes took the trophy dash win for the Humboldt Hydroponics mini stock division. Heat one featured a photo finish with Jordon Paiment narrowly defeating Brian Murrell, Jr. Jarrett Mayo was the winner of the second mini stock heat. Michael Lawrence led lap one of the 25-lap main event but on lap two, Paiment maneuvered his way to the lead. On lap six, Estes found the line past Paiment to take over the top position.

The race featured a fantastic four-way battle between Estes, Eugene Palmer, Gary Klinetobe and Mayo with all four running nose-to-tail. Palmer was all over Estes and tried to use the high line to get to the lead. Palmer edged Estes to the line on the white flag lap and the two raced side-by-side in a thrilling battle for the win. Estes got the grip coming off turn four and was able to hold off Palmer to take the win. Klinetobe placed third while Mayo and Daniel Buell rounded out the top five finishers.

Tommy Payne won the four-lap Thunder Roadster trophy dash which featured an incident by Chris Sarvinski on the final lap while coming to the flag. Unfortunately, Sarvinski was finished for the evening. Payne also took the win in the heat race. Craig Baker led the opening four laps of the 30 lap affair before yielding to Donnie Brown. It wasn’t long before Brown’s brother, Aaron Byers began to challenge for the top position. On lap nine, Byers took the lead.

Brown had his hands full all race long for second position as Payne applied pressure. In the closing stages, Robbie Nelson made his presence known as well. With three laps remaining, Nelson used a three-wide pass to take the second position. Nelson did not have enough time to catch the leader though. At the checkered flag it was Byers winning his first ever Thunder Roadster main event. Nelson took second while Payne, Brown and Ronnie O’Neil placed second through fifth.

After several seasons away from racing, Robert Miller returned to take the trophy dash win in the Legends division. Miller had a scary wreck at the start of the heat race but fortunately he was okay and was able to return to the main event. Brad Curtice was the winner of the 10-lap heat. Curtice was absolutely dominant in the 25-lap main event as he was able to lead flag-to-flag to post his first feature win at the Acres. Miller placed second ahead of Brent Mack. Keith Van Dyne made the long tow from Washington to place fourth while Anissa Curtice finished fifth.

The Mid City Motor World late model division trophy dash was won by Marty Walsh who also took the win in the heat race. The 50-lap feature ended up being cut down to 30 laps due to several incidents and curfew. The first incident occurred on lap one when Kenny Demello got loose off turn two collecting Dustin Walters. Both drivers were out for the rest of the race. The second incident occurred in turns three and four when Jedd Ambrosini and Jim Walker tangled collecting Mic Moulton. Amborsini and Walker were able to continue while Moulton’s car suffered severe right front damage.

Walker suffered damage on his left front fender which caused his tire to smoke and led to what was the most frightening incident of the night. Going into turn three, sparks flew from Walker’s chassis hitting the pavement. Walker hit the third turn wall hard. Thankfully though his car was severely damaged, Walker was able to exit the car under his own power and was unharmed. At the front it was Walsh who was able to avoid the various disasters. At the finish it was Walsh sweeping the night and winning his first main of 2016. Richard Knight placed second over Tim Crenshaw who was making his first-ever start at Redwood Acres Raceway. Ambrosini placed fourth over Eddie Klein.

Racing returns to the Acres pavement for a special Sunday race on May 29th. While the late model division will be off for the night, the other five local divisions will be accompanied by the popular North State Challenge Series modifieds. Grandstands open at 5:00PM while racing begins at 6:00PM. General admission tickets for the event are $15, senior and military are $12, children 12 and under are $2 while children under five are free. Members of the military who have their military ID are also free. For more information of everything going on at Redwood Acres Raceway, please visit the track’s official website

Monday, May 9, 2016

Point races muddled after season opening event

By Matthew J. Sullivan

Opening night at Redwood Acres Raceway on April 30th proved to be a very interesting evening of racing on the 3/8-mile paved oval. The battle for the track championship in all six divisions still has a long way to go. Those at the top are looking to add to their early advantage while others hope to recover from woes suffered in the first race of 2016.

Steve Paiment currently leads the California State & Federal Employee Credit Union roadrunner standings. The division veteran holds a five point advantage over second place, Tyler Peach. Bethany Rapp and Jennifer Murrell are tied for third while Richard Standcliff is fifth. Standcliff is division rookie and won opening night’s main event in the roadrunners.

The Fortuna Wheel & Brake bomber division standings are currently being led by Tyler Avelar. His advantage is four points over James Moore thanks to his main event victory. Ryan Ahrens is seven points behind Avelar in third while Matt Simon and Kim Sorrels round out the top five, ten and twelve points in arrears to Avelar.

Jarrett Mayo was dominant in the Humboldt Hydroponics mini stock division on April 30th. His advantage over Gary Klinetobe is four points. Eugene Palmer sits third in the standings and is only eight points behind Mayo. Division rookie, Daniel Buell is fourth 11 points behind Mayo while Brett Murrell is fifth and 12 points off Mayo’s lead.

After winning the first Thunder Roadster feature, division point leader, Tommy Payne will look to add another victory while padding his lead for the track championship. Payne has a six point lead over Donnie Brown in the standings. Aaron Byers and Ronnie O’Neill are tied for third and are seven points behind Payne. Chris Sarvinski had a tough first night but is still in the fight as he is fifth in the standings and only 10 points behind Payne.

Due to the rest of the field having issues on opening night, Brent Mack has a substantial lead in the new Legend division standings. Mack leads Anissa Curtice by 33 markers. Brad Curtice is 41 points behind while M’Kinzy Uselton is 43 points off Mack’s lead.

The Mid City Motor World late model point standings are currently being led by veteran driver, Mic Moulton. Second place is locked between opening night feature winner, Jedd Ambrosini and west coast racing legend, Jim Walker both of whom are three points behind Moulton. Another tie rounds out the top five drivers in the division standings as Marty Walsh and Kenny Demello are eight points behind Moulton.

Racing returns to Redwood Acres Raceway in this Saturday May 14th for Pepsi Night at the Acres. All six local divisions will be in action for what should be another thrilling night of action on the pavement. Grandstands open at 5:00PM with racing beginning at 6:30PM. For more information, visit Redwood Acres Raceway’s official website,

Monday, May 2, 2016

Ambrosini survives, wins first feature event

By Matthew J. Sullivan

The 2016 season at Redwood Acres Raceway began with a bang this past Saturday night. A fantastic crowd graced the 3/8-mile paved oval for the first race of the year and the on-track action did not disappoint. It was a thrilling night of racing that ended with a first-time winner and some raw feelings.

Prior to the racing, the track hosted its annual Best Appearing Car contest. Fans cast their vote on a ballot for cars in all six divisions. Winners of the contest were Bethany Rapp in the roadrunners, Ryan Ahrens in the bombers, Brian Murrell, Jr. in the mini stocks, Ronnie O’Neill in the Thunder Roadsters, M’Kinzy Uselton in the Legends and Ryun Leazer in the late models.

The California State & Federal Employee Credit Union roadrunner trophy dash was won by Bethany Rapp. Steve Paiment took heat race honors. Jennifer Murrell jumped to the lead at the start of the 20-lap feature but was overtaken by rookie driver, Richard Standcliff. Murrell regained the lead a lap later until Paiment was able to maneuver to the front.

A caution briefly slowed the field and allowed Standcliff and Rapp to close in on Paiment. The three fought tooth-and-nail for the lead with Tyler Peach eventually joining in during the final handful of laps but brought out the caution flag for hitting the passing cone in turn three. Rapp got shook out of the race for the win and the battle was between Standcliff and Paiment. The two traded paint coming off turn four to the finish line with Standcliff holding off Paiment for his first win in his first night of racing. Rapp took third followed by Peach and Murrell.

James Moore was victorious in the Fortuna Wheel & Brake bomber division while Tyler Avelar took top honors in the heat race. The 25-lap feature was dominated by Moore. At one point, Moore had nearly a full straightaway lead over second place, Avelar. Like a light switch, Moore’s car suddenly seemed to fall off and Avelar quickly closed the gap and took the lead. Moore did all he could to get back into the fight but just did not have the strength to recover the lead. At the finish it was Avelar taking the win over Moore, Ryan Ahrens, Matt Simon and Kim Sorrels.

The Humboldt Hydroponics mini stock division trophy dash went to Gary Klinetobe. Brian Murrell, Sr. took the first heat race victory while Jarrett Mayo took the second heat. Murrell, Sr. led the early stages of the 25-lap main while the field behind him sorted things out. The man to beat on the night was Mayo and it didn’t take long for him to maneuver from the rear of the field to the race lead. Mayo would never relinquish the top spot.

The race was slowed several times including once when Jordon Paiment’s car leaked fluid on the track which resulted in a red flag. Each time Mayo was able to pull away from the field on the restart. The best action was for second place as Brett Murrell, Klinetobe and Eugene Palmer fought hard for the position. At the finish it was Mayo taking the win in dominant fashion. Klinetobe took second while Murrell edged Palmer for third in a dead heat. Division rookie, Daniel Buell rounded out the top five.

The Thunder Roadster trophy dash was won by Donnie Brown. Tommy Payne took the win in the heat race. The 30-lap feature was a caution-free affair that saw Aaron Byers utilize a three-wide pass for the lead on lap one. Payne moved into second and the front two staged a nip-and-tuck battle for the race lead throughout the event.

The front three of Byers, Payne and Chris Sarvinski separated themselves from the rest of the pack and it was clear one of the three would likely be victorious until Sarvinski spun out of turn four with two laps remaining. Just moments after, coming off the second turn, Payne found the run he needed to get inside and past Byers for the lead. Byers tried to fight back on the last lap but couldn’t muster the strength necessary. At the finish it was Payne winning over Byers, Brown Ronnie O’Neill and Sarvinski.

The Legends cars made their debut at the Acres on the night. While only four cars showed, the division promises to grow as the season progresses. Brent Mack took the win in both the trophy dash and the heat race.

The Mid City Motor World late models had an excellent turnout of 16 cars but unfortunately issues prevented Robbie Nelson and Ken Hallis from racing on the night. Mic Moulton won the trophy dash while the two heat races were claimed by Marty Walsh and Moulton. The 50-lap feature saw two additional cars have issues with Ron Duke, Jr. unable to make the start and rookie driver, Dustin Walters pulling his car into the pits before the green flag.

Richard Knight took the lead after a brief battle with Luke Hall. Knight’s car appeared to have issues and it allowed Hall to get back into the lead over Ryun Leazer, Walsh and Jimmy Walker. Two laps later, Leazer moved past Hall into the lead but lost it quickly to Walsh who found the low line under both drivers. Moments later, Hall and Leazer got together in turn one with Leazer spinning and collecting Knight. Hall was sent to the rear and the race resumed for a brief period until it was slowed again, this time due to a wreck in turn four between Hall and Leazer forcing both drivers out of the race.

The race resumed with Walsh and Walker battling for the lead. Two more cautions slowed the field including an incident between Jedd Ambrosini and Mic Moulton which both drivers were able to continue from. Walker was in Walsh’s hip pocket all race long and applied more and more pressure as the race came to a close. With a handful of laps left, Walker got into the rear of Walsh in turns three and four sending Walsh spinning.

Walker was forced to the rear for his involvement which gave Ambrosini the race lead. Moulton did all he could to force Ambrosini to make a mistake but it wasn’t to be as Ambrosini held on to take his first-ever late model feature win. Moulton held on for second over Walsh, Walker and Al Acuna.

Racing returns to Redwood Acres Raceway in two weeks for Pepsi Night on Saturday May 14th. All six local divisions will be in action once again and it promises to be another exciting night of action that fans won’t want to miss out on. Grandstands open at 5:00PM with racing beginning at 6:30PM. For more information, visit Redwood Acres Raceway’s official website,