Monday, August 22, 2016
Leazer, Mayo big winners on Fan Appreciation Night
By Matthew J. Sullivan
The grandstands at Redwood Acres Raceway were filled to capacity once again this past weekend. In addition to it being Fastenal Night at the Races Presented by Lenox and Irwin Tools, it was also Driver Appreciation Night. Fans were treated to another spectacular night of racing on the 3/8-mile paved oval.
During the event, raceway officials set up a donation box for the victims of the Clayton Fire which recently devastated Lake County. RAR fans donated $1,642.74 which was matched by the track for a grand total of $3,285.48. Fans were also able to meet all the drivers in all of the divisions in the intermission between the heat races and the main events.
Brian Kamisky paced the field in qualifying for the Legends division with a 18.136. Kamisky followed up with trophy dash honors while Brad Curtice claimed the heat race victory. The story of the 25-lap main event was how Robert Miller managed to hold off Curtice and Kamisky. Curtice was Miller’s main challenger and looked to have the speed advantage. However, Miller was able to use slower traffic to his advantage. Several times it appeared as though Curtice was about to take the lead from Miller but each time, traffic prevented Curtice from pulling off the pass. At the finish it was Miller taking the win followed by Brad Curtice, Kamisky, Jason Fisher and Anissa Curtice.
Visiting driver, Dave Rogers led qualifying for the California State and Federal Employees Credit Union roadrunners with a time of 20.281. Rogers went on to win the dash while the heat races were won by Dominic Vogelsang and Rogers. Vogelsang led the majority of the first half of the 20 lap race. Once the field was turned around at halfway to run the track backward, Dylan Ford showed his strength by taking the lead. Ford had his hands full with the faster car of Rogers filling his mirror. On the final lap in the final turn, Rogers was able to get by Ford to take the lead and the victory. Ford placed second followed by Dominic Vogelsang, Tyler Peach and Gage Ethridge who did a great job in his first ever night of racing.
Fast time for the Fortuna Wheel and Brake bombers was Ukiah’s R.J. Randall with a 18.003. Randall was the trophy dash winner while James Moore and Randall won the heat races. Lally Motorsports and Four Star Realty once again upped the purse for the 25-lap bomber feature giving added incentive for the top three finishers. The biggest incident in the main event occurred on lap eight when Randall spun and was collected by Jim Redd. Up at the front, Moore was dominant while John Lally had his hands full trying to hold off Brian King and Erick Ray. At the finish it was Moore taking the win over Lally, King, Ray and Matt Simon.
The Humboldt Hydroponics mini stock class had an added feature attraction for the night as the Second Annual Murrell 500 trophy was on the line for the winner of the main event. Rick Estes set fast time with an 18.955. Jarrett Mayo won the trophy dash while the heat races were won by Brian Murrell, Jr. and Estes. Murrell, Jr. led the opening two circuits of the feature before Eugene Palmer took the lead. On lap 10, Mayo snatched the lead away from Palmer while Estes followed into the second spot. The top two looked to be even as Mayo was not able to pull away from Estes more than a car-length. At the finish it was Mayo winning by only three-tenths of a second over Estes. Palmer held off Gary Klinetobe for third while Daniel Buell rounded out the top five.
Thunder Roadster qualifying was led by Ronnie O’Neil with a 17.361. Tommy Payne won the trophy dash while O’Neil took the heat race. As expected, the 20-lap main event featured a battle for the win between Payne and O’Neil. Unlike recent races where both drivers seemed to be equal, Payne appeared to have a bit of a handling advantage for the night. After getting by Aaron Byers for the lead on lap 12, Payne was able to maintain a comfortable lead over O’Neil to take the win. Byers placed third followed by Donnie Brown and LeRoy Marsh, Jr.
20-cars showed up for the Mid City Motor World late model division. Unfortunately two were unable to make it to the actual races as Al Acuna and Scott Baker both had issues. Mic Moulton was fast time for the late models with a 16.106. Oregon veteran, Mike Sackett won the trophy dash. Due to the packed schedule for the night, track officials nixed heat races in favor of a Happy Ten practice session. The 50-lap feature got off to a scary start. Just after the completion of the first lap, chaos ensued going into the first turn with several cars getting together including Todd Lands, Jedd Ambrosini, Mic Moulton and Richard Knight. Moulton was banged up in the incident and went to the local hospital but was released without any serious injuries.
Tim Crenshaw led the opening four laps until Ryun Leazer took the lead. The fastest car on the track appeared to be that of Redding’s Derek Copeland who was making his first late model start at the Acres. Leazer pulled out to a huge lead while Copeland was able to make his way past Crenshaw into second on lap 23. A caution with 18 to go erased Leazer’s advantage and put Copeland right on his bumper. Leazer showed the poise and resolve which won him the 2015 late model track championship at the Acres and was able to withstand Copeland’s challenge. At the finish it was Leazer getting a much needed victory over Copeland. Sackett placed third followed by Rob Vining and Crenshaw.
Racing on the pavement takes a break before returning Saturday September 10th with racing presented by Mid City Motor World. It will be the final point-paying event for the late model division. The final point race for the rest of the five local divisions will take place Saturday September 24th with the special Big T Jackpot race for the roadrunners and the second boat race of the 2016 season. That race is sponsored by Maxwell’s Custom Automobiles. Also, the final outlaw kart race of 2016 will take place this Saturday August 27th and is presented by Williamson Financial. RAR officials have also added to the schedule the return of the Fall Spectacular on October 8th and 9th featuring all six local divisions. More details will be provided on the season-ending event soon.
For more information on everything going on at Redwood Acres Raceway including video of all the main events from this past Saturday night, please visit the track’s official website www.racingtheacres.com