Redwood Acres Raceway

2021 Redwood Acres Raceway Hall Of Fame Inductee:...
2021 Redwood Acres Raceway Hall Of Fame Inductee:...
2021 Redwood Acres Raceway Hall Of Fame Inductees:...
2021 Redwood Acres Raceway Hall Of Fame Inductee:...

2021 Redwood Acres Raceway Hall Of Fame Inductee:...

11/13/2021 -
The name Jim Walker is highly regarded and respected amongst race fans all over the west coast. For over 50 years the Ferndale, California dairy man h
2021 Redwood Acres Raceway Hall Of Fame Inductee:...

2021 Redwood Acres Raceway Hall Of Fame Inductee:...

11/11/2021 -
One of the most popular and beloved drivers in the history of racing at Redwood Acres Raceway undoubtedly is Larry Pries. Besides being a fan-favorite
2021 Redwood Acres Raceway Hall Of Fame Inductees:...

2021 Redwood Acres Raceway Hall Of Fame Inductees:...

11/10/2021 -
Rich and Linda Olson began promoting Redwood Acres Raceway in 1988 when the track became a paved circuit but their time in racing began several years

Latest News

2021 Roadrunner Season In Review

2021 Roadrunner Season In Review

11/22/2021
In spite of winning only a single main event in 2021, Bob Ratzlaff was able to take home the 2021 track championship in Redwood Acres Raceway’s roadrunner division. Ratzlaff’s advantage over second place Jeremiah Martin was only three points which is a testament as to how...more
2021 Races To Be Broadcast On Access Humboldt Channel 12

2021 Races To Be Broadcast On Access Humboldt Channel 12

11/17/2021
Access Humboldt channel 12 will be airing a collection of some of the best races from this past season at Redwood Acres Raceway. A "three volume" best of will air in the coming weeks and will also be aired on later dates yet to be determined. Here is a list of the current...more
2021 Redwood Acres Raceway Hall Of Fame Inductee: Jim Walker

2021 Redwood Acres Raceway Hall Of Fame Inductee: Jim Walker

11/13/2021
The name Jim Walker is highly regarded and respected amongst race fans all over the west coast. For over 50 years the Ferndale, California dairy man has raced a baby blue and silver numerated 48 car first on dirt at Redwood Acres Raceway in the late 60s. In the 1970s,...more
2021 Redwood Acres Raceway Hall Of Fame Inductee: Larry Pries

2021 Redwood Acres Raceway Hall Of Fame Inductee: Larry Pries

11/11/2021
One of the most popular and beloved drivers in the history of racing at Redwood Acres Raceway undoubtedly is Larry Pries. Besides being a fan-favorite, Larry was a great racer who achieved success at RAR through multiple decades. Pries was one half of a friendly on-track...more
Rich Olson
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10/9/2021

10/9/2021

Redwood Acres Raceway


Rich Olson 1939-2021

Former Redwood Acres Raceway promoter Rich Olson passed away Friday October 1 at age 81. Rich was the owner of the local company RAO Construction.

Olson facilitated the paving of Redwood Acres Raceway through the winter of 1987-1988 and began his long tenure of promoting the 3/8-mile track with his wife, Linda. The Olsons promoted RAR for an astounding 26 seasons with their final season coming in 2014. Through their hard work and dedication, RAR was able to continue hosting races uninterrupted while many race tracks along the west coast and throughout the United States closed or failed due to mismanagement or other business reasons.

Prior to promoting RAR, Olson’s connection to racing started as a car owner in the early 80s when his son Randy began racing at age 17. For most of the decade, Randy raced his blue number 17 RAO Construction sponsored car at various tracks up and down the west coast. Rich also owned a car that Randy raced in the then NASCAR Winston West Series for several years. When Rich took over promoting duties at RAR in 1988, his youngest son Rusty also began racing in the track’s street stock division.

Redwood Acres Raceway hosted numerous big races through Olson’s time promoting the track. Two NASCAR Winston West Series events were held in 1988 and 1989 while eight NASCAR Southwest Tour Series races took place from 1988-1993 and 1995. From the early through mid-90s, Olson co-promoted the hugely successful Tri-Western 300 series, a three-track late September/early October championship that featured the very best west coast open competition late model competitors.

The rise of the Tri-Western series coincided with the beginning of Redwood Acres Raceway’s Fall Spectacular which has continued to be the annual closing event for the track. As the 90s moved into the 00s, the Fall Spectacular became a huge attraction for IMCA and Grand American modified drivers as the annual race also became a hugely popular end of the season stop. The speed of the track as well as RAR being neutral ground for modified drivers made for some thrilling and memorable races during the period.

When the Nor-Cal Best In The West Late Model Tour closed at the end of 1998, Rich and Linda took over promoting duties for the series and created the Tri-State Late Model Series. The series was hugely important at the time as it was the only late model touring series that raced throughout the region. The Olsons promoted the series in 1999 and 2000.

One of the highlights for Rich as his time promoting reached its end was watching his grandson Al race in RAR’s Thunder Roadster division. When Rich and Linda decided to step away from promoting at the end of 2014, racing at Redwood Acres Raceway was able to continue with almost no interruption thanks in part to their care in maintaining and preserving the track throughout the years.

Rich Olson was a kind, dedicated and hard-working man who contributed so much not only to racers at Redwood Acres Raceway but throughout the local community. Rich preferred to stay out of the limelight and often preferred to not be publicly thanked or recognized for his contributions. Though he is now gone, his legacy will always remain.


Submitted By: Matthew Sullivan

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