Redwood Acres Raceway
Miller Recovers From Early Race Incident For Two In A Row
To say that it was a spectacular night of racing at Redwood Acres Raceway this past Saturday night would be an understatement. A fantastic crowd of Northern California race fans packed the stands for Pepsi Night and everyone at the 3/8-mile paved oval was graced by awesome racing on the track and remarkable late-spring weather.
The Anderson Logging Bandoleros were in action for the first time in 2019. Maleesa Miles was the star of the class for the night with wins in both the heat race and main event. Her closest competition in all the events including the feature was Kadence Mace. Miles and Mace ran some exciting laps side-by-side in every event but Miles was able to come through each time. At the checkered flag of the main it was Miles winning followed by Mace, Aiden Kimberling, T.J. Sorrells and Charles French.
Tim Ratzlaff set fast time for the Compass Community Credit Union roadrunner division. Daniel Buell won the trophy dash while Ratzlaff won the heat which featured a two-car incident that knocked out Steve Paiment and Ronny Crump. Buell was able to fend off Ratzlaff in the early stages of the 20-lap main but Ratzlaff was able to get by for the lead. Ratzlaff was able to pull away enough for Buell not to catch up. Ratzlaff would go on to win over Buell while Nick Ford and JR Brandt were third and fourth.
The Four Star Realty bomber trophy dash featured a thrilling incident on the final lap when Raquel Krupa and Ryan Walters locked together in between turns one and two and drove through the pit entrance at high speed. Thankfully nobody was harmed and neither driver suffered severe damage. Sam Brown won the dash while the heat race saw Walters recover from the dash wreck for the win. Brown held the lead at the beginning of the main event but it was clear that Walters had the best car on the track. Walters took the lead from Brown within the first five laps and never looked back. At the finish it was Walters prevailing over Brown, Krupa and Doug Way.
Brian Murrell, Jr. took the trophy dash for the Compass Community Credit Union mini stocks. Rick Estes won the first heat race while Jarrett Mayo won the second. Trevor Eacret led the opening handful of circuits for the 25-lap main before giving way to Brian Murrell, Sr. On lap seven, Brett Murrell took over with Mayo hot on his heels. This set the stage to what is becoming one of the most exciting on-track rivalries as Murrell and Mayo once again staged an epic and clean duel for the lead.
Mayo rode in Murrell’s mirror until lap 18 when he was able to get past for the top position. Murrell was able to retain second while third-place Gary Klinetobe was able to take advantage of the two leaders battling each other as he got within striking distance. The final laps were reverse of what the majority of the race had been with Mayo doing everything he could to fight off Murrell’s challenges. Mayo was able to succeed and at the finish it was Mayo beating out Murrell and Klinetobe. Brian Murrell, Sr. finished fourth while Brian Murrell, Jr. came home fifth.
Katina Baker’s 18.268 time in qualifying gave her fast time for the North Coast Lighting And Electric Legends division. Brent Mack was the trophy dash winner. The heat race saw a rather dramatic incident when James Nichols seemed to suddenly slow off turn four. Brandon White, who was battling Nichols for position tried to avoid him but ran over left side of Nichols’ car. Nichols was able to keep racing but White suffered enough damage that he was unable to continue for the rest of the night. Leonard Ward went on to win the heat.
Ward got the jump at the start of the 25-lap main event while MKinzy Uselton fought off the competition. With Uselton having her hands full, Ward was able to pull out to a substantial lead. Contact between Tyler Peach and Uselton on lap seven brought out the yellow costing Ward the enormous lead he had. The restart allowed Katina Baker to fall into second, right on Ward’s bumper for the majority of the rest of the race. The handling on Ward’s car didn’t appear to be to its best coming off the corners which allowed Baker to maintain close contact as the race wore on. Baker tried to make a move with three laps remaining but got loose which allowed Paul Baker to move to second. Ward was able to withstand all challenges in the final few laps to take a hard-fought win. Paul Baker held on to second followed by Katina Baker, Brent Mack and James Nichols.
The Mid-City Motor World late models were back in action for the first time in over a month. Fast time was set by David Miller at a 15.980. Luke Hall won the first heat race while Randy Houston won the second which gave him pole position for the 75-lap feature race. 14 cars lined up for the starting grid but Shawn Andrews was forced off the track before the green flag dropped. Houston jumped to the lead off the green while the field sorted out. The first serious incident of the race came on lap seven when Dennis DelBiaggio and Miller came together between turns three and four while racing for fifth. Both drivers continued in the race while Miller was sent to the back for his involvement. The subsequent restart didn’t last long as DelBiaggio hit the wall off turn two which ended his night.
Houston held the lead until contact between him and Keith Nelson brought the caution with Houston having to relinquish his spot. Brandon Ash inherited the lead while David Miller used the raceway’s new cone rule to restart on the outside of the front row. After a false-restart by Ash, racing resumed and Miller used the outside to his advantage to take the lead. The race went on a long green flag run that spread the field out. Miller pulled away while the only driver who seemed to have enough strength to challenge him was Marty Walsh. On lap 45, Walsh was in the third position past Luke Hall. A few laps later, Walsh moved to second past Ash who dropped to fourth with Hall taking third.
With the finish in sight it appeared the deficit for Walsh would be too much to overcome. With four laps remaining, the caution flew appearing to be to Walsh’s benefit. Unfortunately, Walsh was given the fix-it flag as his exhaust was dangerously hanging on the outside of his car’s body. The cone rule once again came into play as David Henderson was able to overtake four cars to jump from sixth to second. The race resumed and was quickly halted once again. The final restart saw Miller pull back to the lead while Henderson had his hands full with Hall. At the checkered it was Miller winning two in a row with Hall taking second. Henderson’s late race restart choice gave him third and gained precious points he otherwise would not have earned. Nelson finished fourth with Houston finishing fifth.
Racing returns to Redwood Acres Raceway in two weeks with all six divisions in action for the annual Redwood Acres Fair races. You can find RAR on Facebook www.facebook.com/RedwoodAcresRaceway2019/ or on Twitter @RacingTheAcres.
Submitted By: Matthew Sullivan