Monday, October 10, 2016
By Matthew J. Sullivan
For the first time since 2013, Redwood Acres Raceway played host to the Fall Spectacular this past weekend. It was the 24th annual running of the event which first started in 1990. Seven divisions partook in the two-day event which was capped off with a 100-lap late model race.
The California State and Federal Employees Credit Union roadrunners were one of the two divisions that raced a full schedule on both Saturday and Sunday. Dave Rogers from Ukiah, California paced qualifying on Saturday with a 20.385 lap. Rogers took the trophy dash win as well as a win in the fast heat while Bob Ratzlaff won the slower heat. Dominic Vogelsang led the opening five laps of the 20-lap main but Rogers had the better car as he took the lead on lap six. Rogers would go on to cruise to the win over James Nichols, Vogelsang, Jordon Paiment and Nick Ford.
Sunday’s roadrunner qualifying was again paced by Rogers with a 20.246. The trophy dash win went to Nichols while the heats were taken by Vogelsang and Rogers. The 20-lap main was similar to the previous night as led the opening portion of the event, this time for eight circuits. As with the night before, it was Rogers who had the stronger car as he maneuvered to the lead on lap nine and held on from there. At the finish it was Rogers sweeping both feature events. Vogelsang placed second while Nichols, Ford and Paiment rounded out the top five.
The Thunder Roadsters were the other division that raced both days. Ronnie O’Neil set fast time on day one with a 17.333 qualifying lap. Aaron Byers claimed the trophy dash win while O’Neil took the heat race. Byers led the opening 1/3 of the 30 lap main before giving way to O’Neil who was able to lead the rest of the way to take the feature win. Byers held off Tommy Payne for second followed by Chris Lawrence and Dax Kinsey.
O’Neil was again fast time on Sunday with a bit of a faster time, a 17.317. Chris Sarvinski took the trophy dash win while O’Neil won the heat. Sarvinski dominated the 30-lap main as he was able to get past Donnie Brown on lap three. Sarvinski pulled out to a substantial margin as Brown tried to fight off the faster competitors for second. At the finish it was Sarvinski taking the win followed by O’Neil, Byers, Lawrence and Payne.
2015 and 2016 North State Modified Series champion, Darrin Knight paced the modifieds with a 16.422. Veteran Willie Thompson won the trophy dash and heat races. Thompson led the opening nine of the 30 lap main but it was Knight who proved to be superior as he took the lead. Knight went on to win over Thompson, Sierra Furia and Orion Mosher.
Derek Copeland substituted for Brian Kamisky on Saturday and he set quick time for the Legends cars with a 17.975. Copeland went on to win the trophy dash and heat races. Kamisky hopped into his car on Sunday for the 50-lap main event. The feature was slowed at the halfway point when Tyler Peach and Anissa Curtice had a meeting in turn two with Curtice hitting the tire barrier. Fortunately she was okay. Nobody could keep pace with Kamisky who started from the back and took the lead on lap seven. At the finish it was Kamisky getting the $500 victory. Brad Curtice placed second followed by Buddy Cox, Brent Mack and Daniel Whitley.
Qualifying for the Humboldt Hydroponics mini stocks was paced by Rick Estes with an 18.956. Jarrett Mayo won the trophy dash as well as the heat which awarded him the pole for Sunday’s 40-lap main. The two strongest drivers in the feature were Mayo and Estes. The two traded the lead on lap 15 but contact on lap 16 sent both to the rear giving Brian Murrell, Sr. the lead. Mayo regained the lead from Murrell on lap 31 and was able to take the win over Murrell, Sam Brown, Estes and Nick Ford.
The Fortuna Wheel and Brake bomber division had a stellar field for the weekend with 20 cars showing up to race. Terry Pittman set the pace in qualifying with a 18.229. Kolby Jackson took the trophy dash win. Richard Knight won the first heat which awarded him the 11th starting position for Sunday’s first main event. Sacramento racer, Erick Ray took the second heat win which gave him the pole position.
The first main event was dominated by Ray. The best fight was for second place as Brian King, Ryan Walters and Pittman battled for the second position. Ray led all 50 laps taking the $1,000 win in what proved to be a rough first main event. Walters beat King for second while Pittman and Corey James rounded out the top five. Ray drew the six pill for the invert which gave Wyatt Roach the pole for the second feature.
Due to his win in the first main, Ray had the opportunity to take $4,000 home. Besides earning $1,000 for winning the first main, he could earn $1,000 for winning the second main, $1,000 for sweeping both mains and an additional $1,000 for having the highest finish between the two main events.
Roach led the opening lap of the second feature before Pittman was able to take the lead. Pittman held on until lap 14 when Ray was able to get to the lead. The first half of the main was much cleaner than the first race was until a rather scary incident involving Kimberly Sorrels, Matt Simon and David Jones in turn four brought out the red flag. Thankfully all three drivers were okay. Ray looked to have the race in hand until a broken axle on lap 24 dashed his hopes. Pittman took the lead back and never lost it again. At the finish it was Pittman taking the $1,000 win over Walters, Brian King, Kolby Jackson and Wyatt Roach. Walters was awarded $1,000 for having the best overall finish in the two races.
Qualifying for the Fall Spectacular 100 late model race was paced by hometown favorite, Brandon White with a 15.900 with 21 drivers in all timing in. Three drivers who did not qualify were Jeremy Doss, Randy Houston and Scott Baker. Doss missed qualifying but was able to race in the slower heat while Houston and Baker had issues in practice which knocked them out of the weekend’s action. Marty Walsh took the win in the first heat which awarded him the 11th starting spot for Sunday’s 100-lap affair while Brandon Ash took the second heat win and pole position for Sunday.
Ash led the first four circuits which were slowed twice by caution flags. On the lap five restart, David Miller took the lead. Junior Roddy got past Ash for second on lap 18 and began a serious bid for the top position. By lap 24, Doss had maneuvered to third after starting 14th. On lap 26, fan favorite Jim Walker fell out. Another caution bunched the field and on the restart Miller and Roddy fought hard for the lead. The two got together and slowed off turn two on lap 29 which allowed Doss to make a thrilling three-wide pass for the lead.
Doss appeared to have the race well in hand by the halfway point while second place Miller appeared to have his hands full with his car. Roddy was able to take second on lap 52 and Miller began to fall out of the top five as White, Eric Gannon, Derek Copeland, Ash and David Henderson were all able to get past. Ash fell out of the race on lap 65.
The race was slowed several times in the final 30 laps which allowed Roddy and the rest of the field to close on Doss. Each restart however, Doss was able to retain his lead. The yellow flags helped Miller regain the handling in his car as he was able to get back to fourth on lap 76. At one point in the final stages, Roddy was able to get right to Doss’ rear bumper but Doss was able to withstand Roddy’s challenge. At the finish it was Doss taking the $2,000 victory, his second Fall Spectacular win. Roddy took second followed by White, Miller and Henderson. Doss’ margin of victory over Roddy was 0.771 seconds.
For full race results and main event videos from the Fall Spectacular weekend at Redwood Acres Raceway, please visit the track’s official website www.RacingTheAcres.com
Monday, October 3, 2016
By Matthew J. Sullivan
After a two year hiatus, the Fall Spectacular is set to return this weekend October 7th, 8th, and 9th at Redwood Acres Raceway. It is sure to be a fun-filled weekend as seven divisions will partake in the racing action on the 3/8-mile paved oval. It will be the 24th running of the event which originated in 1990.
Two of the divisions will be racing full programs on both nights, the California State and Federal Employees Credit Union roadrunners and the Thunder Roadsters. Of the 11 roadrunner point races in 2016, there were nine different winners. The feature events for both Saturday and Sunday should be wide-open. The Thunder Roadster division featured some of the tightest racing at the Acres in 2016 and it should be no different as 2016 track champion, Tommy Payne will be among the favorites to win on both nights.
The Legends cars will also be in action after what’s been a successful first season of action for the division at RAR. The winner’s share for the Sunday race is $500 with a minimum of $100 just to start the feature. 2016 champ, Robert Miller and championship runner-up, Brad Curtice will be the local favorites for the event.
The Humboldt Hydroponics mini stocks will have a 40-lap feature on Sunday. $500 dollars is on the line for the race winner and it is anyone guess as to who will be the winner when the checkered flag falls. With 2016 mini stock champ, Gary Klinetobe announcing his retirement at the end of the final point race on September 24th, the door opens for his closest challengers in Eugene Palmer and Jarrett Mayo being the favorites for Sunday. Another driver who will be a contender is Rick Estes who won four main events during the season.
The Fortuna Wheel and Brake bombers will have two main 50-lap events on Sunday. $1,000 will be awarded to the winner of each race. In addition, another $1,000 will be awarded to the driver who has the best average finish between the two races and an additional $1,000 will be awarded if a driver sweeps both feature events. The top bomber drivers in the region are expected to show for the event while local drivers like Ryan Walters and John Lally among the locals hoping to defend their home turf.
Modifieds will take to the Acres for the third time in 2016. The prior two races were North State Challenge Series events which were swept by Darrin Knight. The 60-lap feature pays $1,500 to win with a minimum of $200 being paid for starting the feature. Fast time for the division will earn a driver $100 while winning in one of the qualifying heats will fetch a driver $75.
Over 20 drivers have pre-entered for the 100-lap feature event for the late model cars. Several past winners of the race are expected to show including 4-time winner, Mike Sackett, 2-time winner, David Miller and 2012 champion, Jeremy Doss. Others who have entered include Randy Houston, Eric Gannon, Allen Cress and racing legend, Jim Walker. One driver who will not be racing is 2016 Mid City Motor World late model champ, Mic Moulton who is still recovering from injuries. Driving his car will be Acres veteran, David Henderson. The feature pays $2,000 to win with a $500 minimum payout for starting. Like the modifieds, fast time will be awarded $100 while the qualifying heat winners will earn $100.
Redwood Acres Raceway will be hosting an open practice on Friday October 7th starting at 2:00 PM. Saturday, grandstands open at 4:00 PM with racing starting at 6:00 PM. Sunday grandstands open at 11:00 AM with racing beginning at noon. For more information on this weekend’s Fall Spectacular please visit Redwood Acres Raceway’s official website, www.racingtheacres.com
Late Model Pre-Entry List
3 – Allen Cress
8 – Kenny Demello
9 – Randy Houston
10 – David Henderson
12 – Marty Walsh
15 – Richard Knight
19 – Brandon White
22 – David Miller
24 – Derek Copeland
24 – Ryun Leazer
26 – Robbie Nelson
27 – Sheyne Demello
28 – Tim Crenshaw
28 – Wade Kohns
34 – Corey James
36 – Luke Hall
41 – Junior Roddy
44 – James Jones
48 – Jim Walker
57 – Ryan Walters
75 – Jeremy Doss
75E – Eric Gannon
83 – Douglas Atkins
91 – Brandon Williams
99 – Mike Sackett