Monday, July 9, 2018

White Stops Moulton’s Streak, Wins Don Graham Memorial Firecracker 100

Brandon White added another win in the Don Graham Memorial Firecracker 100 (Photo Courtesy Sherie Bailous)

Via RAR Media

Eureka, CA (July 9, 2018) – Redwood Acres Raceway was fortunate to have beautiful weather this past Saturday night for one of the biggest races of the 2018 season. Bi-Coastal Media Night at the Races which featured the late models in a 100-lap main event and a spectacular firework display which concluded the evening’s festivities. While the Bandolero and Legends divisions had the night off, roadrunners, bombers and mini stocks were the other divisions in action for the evening.

Jennifer Murrell was fast time for the Compass Community Credit Union roadrunners with a time of 21.766. Nick Ford took the race lead at the start of the first feature event. His biggest rival in the 2018 season has been Tim Ratzlaff and the two engaged in a race-long dual for the lead. The lead changed four times between both drivers. With two laps remaining, Ratzlaff gained the upper-hand and was able to fend off Ford for the win. Murrell, Lindsey Zito and Amanda Lohr rounded out the top five.

Zito jumped into the lead on the second main event which was run backward. Zito led the first five laps until Ratzlaff took over. On lap nine, Zito’s left front tire began to spark as the cords in her tires started to fail. As she entered turn two, her tire went flat and she lost control. Zito ended up hitting the rear-end of Ford’s car and both drivers were out of the race. Ratzlaff went unopposed the rest of the race as he won by over eight seconds. Lohr placed second with Allison McCarty and Murrell third and fourth. Zito was credited with a fifth-place effort.

The Fortuna Wheel & Brake/Four Star Realty bomber division qualifications were paced by Wyatt Roach with an 18.117. Ryan Walters took the trophy dash victory. Sam Brown led the first five laps of the feature event but was overtaken by R.J. Randall on lap six. Randall began to pull away as the other drivers tried to sort things out. With 10-laps remaining there appeared to be contact between Brown and Walters with both drivers hitting the wall between turns one and two. Brown was unable to continue while Walters tried to continue the race but was unable to due to the severe damage he sustained. Randall continued to lead in the subsequent restart and was able to maintain a comfortable gap over the rest of the field. At the checkered flag it was Randall winning over Jim Redd, Bethany Rapp, Roach and Chris Naughton.

Qualifying for the Humboldt Hydroponics mini stock division was paced by Brian Murrell, Sr. with a 19.039. The mini stock trophy dash win was taken by Brett Murrell. Nick Ford let the opening lap of the main event but was passed by Brian Murrell, Jr. on lap two. Murrell, Jr. gapped the rest of the field with his lead being nearly a straight-away over second place. Eugene Palmer moved to second with Murrell, Sr. running third. On lap 15, Murrell, Sr. took second and tried to catch his son. Lap 20 proved to be the turning point for the race. Murrell, Jr. spun out of the lead off turn two moving Murrell, Sr. to the point. Just moments later, a major wreck took place in turns three and four with Brett Murrell, Rick Estes and Ken McCarty all sustaining major damage.

Murrell, Sr. led the Palmer and the rest of the field to the restart. Palmer’s vehicle began to have issues which moved him out of the second position and struggling to finish the race. The final few laps came down to the father/son duo of Murrell, Sr. and Murrell, Jr. With two laps to go, Murrell, Jr. was right on his father’s bumper. Murrell, Sr. was able to withstand his son’s late run and was first at the finish line. Scott Taylor was second followed by Nick Ford and Trevor Eacret.

Brandon White’s 15.802 time set the standard in the Mid-City Motor World Super Six Challenge Series late model division. The heat race finishes determined the starting positions in the main event. The first heat was won by Dane Nissen. The second heat got off to a bad start as an incident took place down the backstretch which damaged the cars of Luke Hall and Marty Walsh. The incident dealt Walsh another bad blow for 2018 as he was unable to fix his car for the feature. Hall was more fortunate as his damage was repairable. Alan Cress earned pole position in the 100-lap feature with the win in the second heat race.

Cress used his front row start to take the lead on the first lap of the Don Graham Memorial Firecracker 100 presented by NorthCoast Lighting and Electric. Cress held the lead until lap 10 when White was able to get under and by for the top position. The race was slowed as incidents involving Dustin Walters, David Miller, Scott Baker and Chris Sarvinski all ran into trouble. White was able to maintain his lead after every restart and looked to have the best handle all race long. The second position swapped hands on lap 50 as Dane Nissen took over the spot from Cress. White had a comfortable lead over the rest of the field in the final few laps. Mic Moulton moved by Cress into third and he and Nissen battled with three laps remaining. At the finish it was White taking his fourth-straight Firecracker 100 victory. Nissen held off Moulton for second. Cress placed fourth with David Henderson finishing fifth.

Racing at Redwood Acres Raceway returns Saturday July 21st with Harper Motors Night at the Race Featuring the 2nd Annual Mustang Show & Shine. It will be a special weekend as the late models and North State Modifieds will both be in action. For more information on the upcoming races and the rest of the season, visit the track’s website www.RedwoodAcresRacing.com or Facebook page www.facebook.com/RedwoodAcresRaceway