Monday, September 26, 2016

Track champions crowned at Redwood Acres Raceway

By Matthew J. Sullivan

The final points race of the 2016 season at Redwood Acres Raceway took place this past Saturday night. In addition to champions being decided, the Acres played host to the second boat race of 2016. All in all, it was another exciting and fantastic night at the Acres thanks in part to Maxwell’s Custom Automobiles who sponsored this weekend’s action.

Bethany Rapp paced the California State and Federal Employees Credit Union roadrunner qualifying field with a 20.590 lap. Dominic Vogelsang continued his late season surge in the trophy dash by taking the win. Jennifer Murrell won the first heat race while Vogelsang took the second. The 20-lap feature saw the lead change hands in each of the first three laps as Bob Ratzloff, Patrick Sproul and James Nichols traded the top position.

Nichols dominated the event, even when the field was turned around at halfway to go around the track in the opposite direction. With just five laps remaining, Vogelsang began his assault on the lead. On lap 16, Vogelsang maneuvered past Nichols to take the lead. Vogelsang would go on to lead the rest of the way, taking the victory. Nichols held on to second over Rapp, Troy Taylor and Sproul.

The 2016 roadrunner champion was Tyler Peach. Peach spent much of the night staying out of traffic in hopes of avoiding major catastrophe in order to claim the title. In the end he was able to do it driving Daniel Buell’s car.

The track championship in the Fortuna Wheel and Brake bomber division was already decided before the night started. James Moore had enough of a cushion over second place that he didn’t need to start the season finale. In fact, Moore was unable to compete on the night due to a back injury. Driving his car in his stead was Acres veteran, Ryan Walters.

Walters was fastest in qualifying with a 18.139. Kolby Jackson took the trophy dash win as well as the victory in the heat race. Shane Toole led the opening lap of the 25-lap main event. Jimmy Sorrels led the next three laps before Toole regained the lead. On lap six, Walters moved his way into the lead and never looked back. At the finish it was Walters taking the victory by nearly four seconds over second place, Corey James. Sorrels placed third while Toole and Ryan Ahrens rounded out the top five finishers.

The Humboldt Hydroponics mini stock division title was up in the air with Gary Klinetobe, Jarrett Mayo and Eugene Palmer vying for their first championship in the division. In qualifying, Brett Murrell was fastest with an 18.700 driving his father, Brian Murrell, Sr’s car. Murrell was the trophy dash winner while heat race victors were Nick Ford and Palmer.

The opening two laps of the 25-lap main were led by Palmer. On lap three, Mayo took the lead. Murrell was clearly the fastest car on the track and on lap six, he moved by Mayo for the top spot. Murrell ran away from the pack as the three title contenders of Mayo, Klinetobe and Palmer fought it out for second. At the finish it was Murrell taking the win over Mayo, Klinetobe, Palmer and Sam Brown. Klinetobe was declared the champion, having beat Palmer by only seven points. After the event, Klinetobe announced his retirement from racing at the Acres.

In the Thunder Roadster division, two men were fighting for the track championship in Tommy Payne and Ronnie O’Neil. In qualifying O’Neil set fast time with a 17.142. Aaron Byers took the wins in both the trophy dash and the heat races but had an unfortunate accident at the start of the 30-lap main which also collected Dax Kinsey. O’Neil moved to the race lead on lap six and dominated the feature event while Payne had his hands full racing Donnie Brown. At the finish it was O’Neil taking the win over Payne, Brown, Jett Taylor and Byers. Payne was crowned track champion in the division by only four points over O’Neil. Following the race, both drivers shook hands and congratulated each other on what was a thrilling season of racing in the Thunder Roadster division.

Brad Curtice set fast time in the Legends division with a 18.083. Robert Miller went into the night with a comfortable lead and only needed to start the feature to complete his championship run. He helped his effort with a win in the trophy dash while Curtice took the heat win. Curtice dominated the 25-lap main event as he led from the drop of the green flag to the drop of the checkered. Miller secured his title with a second place effort. M’Kinzy Uselton finished third while Anissa Curtice was fourth.

The night finished off with another captivating boat race with Maxwell’s Custom Automobiles putting up the purse for the event. For the second time in 2016, fans were thrilled as over ten boat racers took to the track in a night of nautical destruction. In the end, the winner was determined by the loudness of the crowd. Acres fans declared Chris Garth the winner with second place being awarded to Tim Roscoe.

2016 at the Acres concludes October 7th, 8th, and 9th with the return of the Fall Spectacular. Late models and modifieds highlight the event while roadrunners, bombers, mini stocks, Legends and Thunder Roadsters will also be in action. Saturday gates open at 4:00 PM while racing begins at 6:00 PM. On Sunday, gates open at 11:00 AM and racing begins at noon. For more information about the Fall Spectacular including entry forms and purse payout please visit Redwood Acres Raceway’s official website,