Thursday, June 1, 2017

Darrin Sullivan Survives To Win NSMS Feature

Eureka, CA (May 29, 2017) – For the first time in the 2017 season, the North State Modified Series visited Redwood Acres Raceway. It was O’Reilly Auto Parts Night at the Races as the popular touring series joined the Acres’ local divisions of roadrunners, Legends, bombers, mini stocks and Thunder Roadsters.

Track officials decided to make an adjustment to the California State and Federal Employees Credit Union roadrunner division. The class ran two 20-lap feature events, one clockwise and the other counter-clockwise. Nick Ford set fast time for the class with a 20.442. Natya Dawn dominated the first half of the first feature as she led the opening 12 laps. On lap 13, Tim Ratzlaff entered the lead but not for long. Two laps later, Daniel Buell took the lead. Buell held on the rest of the way to take the victory over Ratzlaff, Dawn, Ford and Jake Keeling.

Ford quickly raced to the lead of the second feature event. Buell showed strength and looked like a contender for another win but fell out on lap 15. Ford was able to lead flag-to-flag to take the victory. Keeling placed second over Ratzlaff, Jordon Paiment and Jennifer Murrell.

Cody Winchel set fast time for the Nor-Cal Automotive Legends division with a 17.801. Brian Kamisky was the winner of the first heat race while Derek Copeland won the second. MKinzy Uselton led lap one in the 25-lap main but Brent Mack was able to take over on lap two. Rookie driver, Daniel Whitley showed strength and passed Mack for the race lead on lap six. Copeland moved to the lead on lap 15 and had a fantastic duel for the lead with Winchel. On lap 17, Winchel gained the advantage and the race lead. Things remained tight between the top two until the last lap. In turns three and four, Copeland bumped Winchel. The two raced back to the finish line side-by-side with Copeland taking first by 0.031 over Winchel. Whitley placed third followed by Brad Curtice and Robert Miller.

Fast time for the Fortuna Wheel & Brake bomber division was set by R.J. Randall with an 18.190. Randall took the trophy dash victory while Mike Sullivan was the heat race winner. Kolby Jackson used his pole position to his advantage as he shot out to the lead in the 25-lap main event. Jackson led the first 11 laps until Sullivan briefly took the lead. Jackson regained the lead on lap 16 but spun in turns one and two. Sullivan regained the lead and withstood Randall’s late charge. At the finish it was Sullivan taking the victory over Randall, Dave Jones, John Lally and Jim Redd.

In the Humboldt Hydroponics mini stock division, Brian Murrell was the fastest in qualifying with a 18.963. Brett Murrell took the victory in the trophy dash while the heat race was won by Troy Lee. Rick Estes briefly held the lead at the start of the 30-lap main event but gave way to Eugene Palmer. Back in his familiar ride, Palmer was dominant as he pulled away from the field and prevailed unchallenged. At the finish it was Palmer winning by two seconds over Brett Murrell. Gary Klinetobe placed third followed by Trevor Eacret and Troy Lee.

Qualifying for the Lone Star Junction Thunder Roadsters was paced by Paul Peeples, Jr. with a 17.290. Tommy Payne took the trophy dash win while the heat race went to Peeples. Chris Lawrence grabbed the race lead at the start of the 30-lap main event. Payne got to the lead on lap 10 but on lap 11, Peeples maneuvered by to take the race lead. Peeples pulled out to a lead as Payne had his hands full racing with Ronnie O’Neil. At the finish it was Peeples taking his first main event win in 2017. Payne held off O’Neil for second while Chris Sarvinski and Lawrence rounded out the top five finishers.

Darrin Knight set fast time in the North State Modified Series with a 16.130. Dustin DeRosier was the winner of the six-lap Lucas Oil Dash for Cash. Bryan Denton took the lead from pole position in the 60-lap feature event. On lap 10, Herman Pulyear got high in turns one and two and hit the water barrels at the pit road entrance. Pulyear was alright but the race was halted due to the water on the track. Denton led another four laps before Charlie Collins took over followed by Knight. The top two raced nose-to-tail. On lap 29, the leaders entered slower traffic. A lap later, Knight moved to the inside to try to take the lead. Things got tight in turn three as the two tried to pass Simi Tour. Contact was made between Collins and Knight with Knight's right-rear spring being knocked out of his car. Collins regained the lead but had to pit under caution because Knight’s spring had lodged itself in Collins’ chassis.

Denton regained the lead and had his hands full as Cody Braund challenged for the lead. On lap 46, Braund suffered damage to his right front suspension knocking him out of the race. Sullivan used the restart to his advantage as he moved to the lead. Denton ended up falling back to fifth as Richie Potts, Sierra Furia and Collins moved past. Furia briefly got to second in the final 10 laps but Collins powered by to take the second spot. Sullivan was able to hold off a furious late charge by Collins to take the victory. Furia took third while Potts and Denton rounded out the top five.

Racing at the Acres takes a break for a week before returning Saturday June 10th for Harper Motors Night at the Races. Late models will join the other local divisions for the third race of the Super 6 Late Model Challenge series. On Friday June 9th, the outlaw karts will be in action. For more information on everything going on at Redwood Acres Raceway, visit the track’s official website