It was a tremendous afternoon for racing this past Saturday at Redwood Acres Raceway. O’Reilly Auto Parts presented all of the action which included local roadrunners, mini stocks and Legends. The late models had the week off while local bomber racers joined the brand-new Upstate Bomber Series which held its debut race on the night. In addition, the North State Modified Series visited the Acres for the first of three scheduled times this year.
The evening for the Compass Community Credit Union roadrunners belonged to Tim Ratzlaff. He was victorious in the heat race and dominated the feature. Ratzlaff’s closest competition came from Troy Lee and Dustin Peterson but neither driver was able to do anything to take away the lead. At the checkered flag it was Ratzlaff over Lee and Peterson.
There was a similar tone for Compass Community Credit Union mini stocks. Rick Estes took wins in both the trophy dash and heat races. Jarrett Mayo was able to knife his way to the race lead quickly followed by Brett Murrell who was driving his father Brian Murrell, Sr.’s car on the night. Murrell’s regular ride was severely damaged in the April 29 race thanks to a stuck throttle.
As in the previous main event in April, Mayo and Murrell waged a hard but clean duel for the lead. Estes took a bit longer to get to the front but once he entered third position, the two leaders knew they were going to have to work even harder for the win. With only a handful of laps remaining, Estes was able to get around Murrell for second. With three laps left, Estes got on the outside of Mayo and the two raced hard for the lead. Mayo did everything he could to hold off Estes but he didn’t have enough. Estes was able to secure the lead with two laps remaining. From there, Estes was able to pull away to take a long-awaited main event win, his first in quite a while. Mayo held off Brett Murrell for second while Brian Murrell, Jr. placed fourth and Gary Klinetobe finished fifth.
Chris Lawrence was the winner of the North Coast Lighting And Electric Legends trophy dash. Heat race one was won by Carlee Austin while Leonard Ward took the second. It didn’t take Lawrence long to get to the front and once he got there, he stayed there. A few minor incidents slowed the race and allowed the field to reform but Lawrence was able to pull away each time. Lawrence was able to reach the finish first. Katina Baker placed second followed by Tyler Peach, Brent Mack and Austin.
As noted, RAR’s Four-Star Realty bombers joined the Upstate Bomber Series for their first race ever. Many time late model touring series winner and champion Mike Doss was the trophy dash winner. The heat race results determined the starting positions for the 60-lap feature event. Mikey Lovell won the first heat with Brian King winning the second. A stellar field of 17 cars were led to the green flag by pole-sitter Wade Coleman and David Dillinger. Dillinger was able to take the lead on the first lap as the field spread out. Lovell looked as though he was going to be the driver to beat as he sliced through the field and was able to pass Dillinger for the lead on lap 14.
As Lovell pulled away from the pack, the action focused on the father/son duo of Mike Doss and Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series star Jeremy Doss. Jeremy made it to second on lap 18 while Mike got to third on the same lap. By that time though, Lovell looked to have a substantial and insurmountable lead. Things didn’t seem to change either when Lovell started to move through slower traffic. While second and third were able to gain some ground, neither was able to make enough up to mount a serious challenge on Lovell.
Everything changed on lap 40 when officials threw a caution flag due to fear of fluid being on the racing service after several laps of the air of rear end gear fluid filling the air. Originally officials believed that Jeremy Doss was the cause and he was sent to the pits. His car was found not to be the culprit so he was allowed to reposition in second.
The double-file restart was to the benefit of Mike Doss and the detriment of Lovell as Doss was able to take the lead. Jeremy Doss filed into second while Lovell fell to third. Jeremy Doss looked to have a car capable of competing with his father’s but as the laps ticked off, Mike Doss was able to pull away. On lap 50, Lovell moved to second but he just did not have enough to catch the leader. At the finish it was Mike Doss winning over Lovell and Jeremy Doss. King ran solidly in the top five all race and placed fourth while Donnie Hyman’s fifth place effort was the highest finish of all Redwood Acres Raceway bomber regulars.
North State Modified Series points leader Cameron Austin’s time of 16.408 broke Darrin Knight’s track record 16.482 which was set in the series’ previous visit to the Acres on September 8. Ian Elliott was the winner in the Lucas Oil Dash For Cash. The invert for the 60-lap feature was six which put Dustin DeRosier and Randy Houston on the front row of the 20 car starting field. Houston got the jump at the start but the race was slowed on lap four when veteran racer Richie Potts spun in the fourth turn. Houston returned to the lead on the restart and it looked as though his car was dialed in.
A caution resulted due to a spin by Larry Knight off turn two and it ended up playing right into Kyle Tellstrom’s favor. Knight was driving for his son Darrin for championship points. Houston retained the lead once again when the green flew while Tellstrom was able to take second from Sullivan. The front two of Houston and Tellstrom raced nose-to-tail for several laps until Houston’s car moved up slightly off the bottom groove allowing Tellstrom to take the lead.
Two more cautions flew due to Knight spins which resulted in him having to pull into the pits for the night. On lap 38, Donovon Cox spun and Austin was able to break into second. A yellow flag with three laps remaining brought a single file restart and gave Austin his best and only chance to pressure Tellstrom. Unfortunately for Austin, Tellstrom did exactly what he needed to do to maintain the lead all the way to the finish. Robbie Knittel had a great run in third with Houston placing fourth and Elliott finishing fifth.
Racing at Redwood Acres Raceway will go on a bit of a spring break. Action at the track returns Saturday June 8. All local divisions will be in action including the Mid-City Motor World late models. For more information on the upcoming races at RAR and other information, visit www.RacinTheAcres.com or on Facebook www.facebook.com/RedwoodAcresRaceway2019/. You can also follow Redwood Acres Raceway on Twitter @RacingTheAcres.