Monday, July 25, 2016

Knight rises, Walsh wins at the Acres

North State Modified Series Swartz Diesel Super 60 winner, Darrin Knight

By Matthew J. Sullivan

Both sides of Redwood Acres Raceway were filled this past Saturday for Lithia Dodge Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Eureka Night at the Races. In addition to the six local divisions of cars, the North State Modified Series returned to RAR for the second and final time in 2016.

Bethany Rapp was quick time in the California State & Federal Employee Credit Union roadrunner division with a 20.813. James Nickles won the four-lap trophy dash which saw an incident between Rapp and Jennifer Murrell that effectively ended Rapp’s night. Heat race on was taken by Bob Ratzloff while Dylan Ford won heat two. Ratzloff led the opening four of the scheduled 25 lap feature until Ford took the lead away.

On lap six, Nickles’ engine let go down the back stretch into turn three. Behind him, several drivers hit the oil and wrecked. Involved were Steve Paiment, Tyler Peach and Brandon Katri who were all knocked out of the event. The race was cut to 12 laps due to the lengthy cleanup. Ford led after the restart and was able to hold off Murrell to take the win. Dominic Vogelsang, Jake Keeling and Patrick Sproul rounded out the top five.

The Fortuna Wheel and Brake bomber class had an excellent turnout of 14 cars thanks to Lally Motorsports and Four Star Realty upping the purse for the evening. Erick Ray set fast time with a 18.166 and was the winner of the trophy dash. Ryan Ahrens was the winner of heat one while Brian King won heat race two.
The 25-lap main featured a spectacular duel for the lead between King and Ray. King was able to take the lead away from Lally on lap eight and did all he could to fend off Ray for the lead. After a neck and neck duel for the lead, Ray was able to finally secure the lead on lap 16. Ray led the rest of the way to take the main event win, the first at RAR for the Sacramento driver. King placed second followed by Matt Manlos, James Moore and Ahrens.

14 cars took time in qualifying in the Humboldt Hydroponics mini stock division but unfortunately Todd Simpson and Shawn Molloy both had issues which prevented them from racing. Dylan Hagmann was the fastest qualifier with a 18.910 time. Gary Klinetobe won the trophy dash while heat race winners were Cole Peterson and Hagmann.

Troy Lee led the opening lap of the 25-lap feature before giving way to Peterson. Gary Klinetobe took over on lap five and looked to be the guy to beat. However, as the race progressed, it was Rick Estes who had the strongest car and on lap 19 he wrestled the lead away from Klinetobe. Estes was able pull away and take the victory over Klinetobe. Daniel Buell placed third followed by Brett Murrell and Eugene Palmer.

Fast time for the Thunder Roadster division was Tommy Payne with a 17.214. Aaron Byers was the trophy dash victor while Donnie Brown claimed the heat race win. The focus of the 30-lap feature was on Payne and Ronnie O’Neil who seemed to have equal cars. O’Neil tried everything he could to find enough momentum to challenge Payne for the lead but never could. At the finish it was Payne winning followed by O’Neil, Byers, LeRoy Marsh, Jr. and Brown.

Qualifying for the Legends cars was paced by Brad Curtice’s 18.243. Denny Hadler, Jr. was the trophy dash winner while the heat race winner was Brian Kamisky. The 25-lap feature was dominated by Kamisky who was never seriously challenged for the lead. One incident slowed the race, a turn four accident involving Hadler, Jr. and Robert Miller. At the finish it was Brian Kamisky winning handily over Miller, Brad Curtice, Troy Kamisky and Anissa Curtice.

14 Mid City Motor World late models qualified for the night with Oregon veteran, Mike Sackett setting fast time 15.919. Sadly for Sackett, he suffered problems which prevented him from participating further on the night. Tim Crenshaw was the winner of the trophy dash. Due to the tight schedule for the night, heat races were abandoned. Al Acune led the opening seven laps of the 50-lap main but contact between he and Ryun Leazer sent both drivers to the rear of the field.

Eddie Klien was moved to the lead and had the best race of his rookie season as he led over half the race. A late race restart proved to be Klein’s downfall as Marty Walsh was able to get the jump and take over the lead. Klien’s good run went bad when he and Kenny Demello made contact on the front stretch sending both cars spinning. The final handful of laps featured a duel for the lead between Walsh and Moulton. Walsh prevailed to take the win followed by Moulton. Dustin Walters had his best run of the year in third followed by Jedd Ambrosini and Richard Knight.

17 North State Modifieds showed up for the Swartz Diesel Super 60 event for the evening. Unfortunately, one of the top contenders, Bryan Denton suffered issues before qualifying which forced him out of action for the night. Series point leader, Darrin Knight was quick time with a 16.192. Richie Potts was the winner of the Lucas Oil Dash for Cash earning $100 for his efforts.

The Swartz Diesel Super 60 was slowed only once due to a spin by Rick Anderson on lap one. Darin Snider led from the drop of the green but it wasn’t long before Knight moved to second and set his sights on the leader. It was the Darin and Darrin show as fans were thrilled by the fantastic nip and tuck duel for the lead between the two drivers. Knight was finally able to get under Snider on lap 33 to take the race lead.

Snider pulled his car into the pits after his strong run on lap 42. At the front it was Knight taking the win, sweeping both NSCS races at the Acres in 2016. Charlie Collins had a strong run in second over Mikey Collins. Darrin Sullivan was fourth, the final car on the lead lap while Eric Johnson placed fifth.

One of the most anticipated events of the year follows on August 6th when the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series returns to the 3/8-mile paved oval for the third time. The Bear River Casino & Hotel and Renner Petroleum 125 promises to be intense and action-packed with the top super late model racers on the west coast taking to the Acres pavement. Grandstands open at 5:00 PM while racing begins at 6:00 PM.

There are only two more chances to see the outlaw karts in action. This weekend, Saturday July 30th is the second to last event for the karts and is sponsored by Scott Hammond State Farm while Saturday August 27th is the final event of the year and is sponsored by Williamson Financial Group. For more information on everything going on at Redwood Acres Raceway, please visit the track’s official website