Redwood Acres Raceway
Henderson Lights Up The Night With Firecracker 100 Victory
The 2019 season for racing at Redwood Acres Raceway hit its halfway point Saturday night for race number five of the schedule. The big Independence Day weekend event was presented by Harper Motors and featured the annual 100-lap Firecracker 100 for the late models as well as a dazzling post-race fireworks display.
Maleesa Miles paced qualifying for the Anderson Logging Bandoleros with a 21.386. Aiden Kimberling was the winner of the four-lap trophy dash with Miles claiming the heat race victory. The 10-lap main event started off with a massive crash in turn one for Kimberling but fortunately he was unharmed. Miles jumped to the lead on the restart and was able to lead the rest of the way to take the victory. Kadence Mace took second with Brad Henderson third and Kimberling being credited with fourth position.
Tim Ratzlaff’s qualifying time of 20.484 set the pace for the Compass Community Credit Union roadrunners. Ratzlaff was the winner of the dash but faced issues in the heat race when he hit the wall in turn four while trying to avoid a multi-car accident in front of him. The wreck ended Ratzlaff’s night while Nick Ford was the race winner. The 20-lap feature had issues getting going. Things settled down and Bryan Brandt led the first two circuits before giving way to Ford and Daniel Buell. The front duo separated themselves from the pack and the race for the win was decided between the two for the rest of the event.
Ford and Buell were so evenly matched that the only way Buell was going to be able to get by for the lead would be a mistake by Ford. Buell pressured Ford the entire way and even applied the bumper on a few occasions. Ford’s bumper was as close as Buell was able to get though as Ford was able to take the win. JR Brandt continued his impressive rookie season with a third-place finish. Steve Paiment placed fourth with Jordan Paiment fifth.
Qualifying for the Four Star Realty bombers was Ryan Walters with a 18.408. Raquel Krupa took her first-ever win in the trophy dash with Walters winning the heat. Walters moved right to the lead at the start of the 15-lap main event and dominated the entire way to take the victory. Sam Brown took second followed by Krupa and Doug Way.
Fast time for the Compass Community Credit Union mini stock division was Gary Klinetobe with a time of 18.990. Jarrett Mayo won the trophy dash then followed up with another win in the heat race. The main event featured an usually high attrition rate with several cars falling off the pace. Mayo dominated the race and looked prime to take the feature win in dominant fashion but a late race caution bunched the field. Klinetobe was able to jump to the lead on a late race restart which proved to be the pass for the victory. At the finish it was Klinetobe winning over Mayo. Brian Murrell, Sr. placed third followed by Nick Ford and Brett Murrell.
Leonard Ward’s 18.188 set the standard for the North Coast Lighting And Electric Legends. Ward took the trophy dash with Tyler Peach winning the heat race. The 30-lap main event was a rough-and-tumble affair with several incidents between Ward and Peach slowing the event. One incident collected Brent Mack which ended his race prematurely. In spite of the incidents and several pit stops, the battle for who would win was still decided between Peach and Ward. A caution with five laps remaining came out when MKinzy Uselton’s car lost power. The subsequent restart fell into Ward’s hands as he was able to retake the lead from James Nichols. At the finish it was Ward winning while Nichols held off Peach for the second position. Scott Taylor recovered after several solo 360 spins for fourth while Brad Henderson stayed out of trouble all night to place fifth.
The field for the Mid-City Motor World was cut short one with Chris Sarvinski having issues before qualifying that prevented him from racing on the night. Luke Hall’s 16.052 beat Marty Walsh’s qualifying time by 0.019 to set fast time for the night. Kenny Demello had an impressive win in the 10-lap heat race which saw an incident knock Scott Baker out of action. Demello’s win gave him pole position for the Firecracker 100.
Demello and Brandon Ash took the field to the green with Ash gaining the lead at the end of the first circuit. The race was clean for the majority with the caution only flying for solo spins by rookie Brian Crawford. Redwood Acres Raceway’s new cone rule has seemed to play a big factor in the late model races this year and it was no different in this race as drivers tried to best figure whether it was best to stay on the low line or move to the high line on the restart. Ash looked almost untouchable as the race neared the halfway point but things began to change as David Henderson started to make his presence known. Henderson outdueled Keith Nelson for second on lap 56 and swiftly closed the gap on Ash.
After several laps of trying to find a way by Ash, Henderson took the lead on lap 65 and began to pull away. Even though Henderson’s lead was growing, eight cars still remained on the lead lap with Crawford was the only driver out of the event. The handling on Ash’s car appeared to severely falter as the race continued. Nelson moved to second just past the 70-lap mark with Marty Walsh following in his tracks. For several laps, it appeared as though Nelson was gaining on Henderson slightly but things evened out. As the finish drew near, it was clear that Henderson was the class of the field. At the finish it was Henderson taking the win over Nelson by almost five seconds. Walsh placed third while Ash took fourth after Dennis DelBiaggio appeared to cut a tire on the last circuit. DelBiaggio was credited with fifth.
Racing takes a week off at Redwood Acres Raceway but returns Saturday July 20. The North State Modified Series will be making the series’ second visit to the Acres in 2019. Joining the modifieds will be the Upstate Bomber Series which will be holding the second and final visit for their inaugural season. Bandoleros, roadrunners, mini stocks and Legends will also be in action while the late models will have the race off.
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Submitted By: Matthew Sullivan