Fan Appreciation Night at the races

At the Races

By Penny Elsebusch

Race fans at Redwood Acres Raceway got to get up close to drivers when their cars came out on the front straight on Sept. 8, as this was Fan Appreciation Night where drivers give out candy, prizes, sign autographs and also handed out signed photos of their cars. Two Thunder Roadster drivers were very creative in their handouts. Lonnie Tamboury gave out orange M&Ms with the number 9 on them -- the same car number displayed on his orange racer. Belinda Ward, meanwhile, treated fans to small rubber ducks that were pink and white that also benefited the Susan G. Komen For the Cure of breast cancer. Ward also supports Komen on her race car in honor of her mother, who passed away early this year.

Dax Kinsey won the Real Stock Trophy Dash. The Heat race started with a yellow which then came out each lap up to Lap 3 for cars spinning, hitting the wall or cars having contact. William Sand jumped into the lead and held it through each restart to take his first Heat race win. Matt Simon, driving Jim Redd's car for the night, was second and Harvey Holm was third. Sand took the lead in the Main Event. Kinsey got loose and Tyler Avelar hit him. Avelar went to the pits as a fender was rubbing a tire. Sand held the lead at the restart with Dustin Walters getting past Donnie Hyman and they finished in that order. It was Sand's first Heat race and Main Event win.

Leonard Ward driving Tim Abeyta's Roadrunner won the Trophy Dash. In the first of two Heat races, Ryan Leazer took the lead but contact with Gray Ethridge put him into the wall. At the checker it was Brian Murrell Sr. taking the win with Kayla Foster in second and Ethridge in third. At the start of the second Heat, Ken Barrett's hood flew up in front of his windshield sending him to the pits for the missing hood pins. Jarrett Mayo took the lead but Brett Murrell soon took it away with Ray Rapp getting past Mayo to run in second. At the checker it was Brett, Rapp, Michael Lawrence and Mayo. There was a 15 lap B Main for the top two cars to transfer to the A Main. Nathan Sain took the lead and never looked back for the win with Murrell Sr. taking second spot. Mayo took the early lead in the Main but Rapp was on the move and got into second and then took the lead with Brett Murrell also getting past Mayo. Murrell Sr. spun in Turn 4 and the caution was out. After the restart, Mayo faded and the running order was Rapp, Brett, Ward, Barrett, but at the checker it was Rapp, Ward, Brett and Barrett.

Tommy Payne won the Thunder Roadster Trophy Dash. In the first Heat race, Belinda Ward took the lead with Chris Lawrence in hot pursuit and Fergy Ferguson in tow. Ward held on for the win with Lawrence finishing second and Ferguson third with Mike Ward taking fourth spot. In the second Heat Lonnie Tamboury took the lead but his car went up in smoke ending his night. Payne held the lead at the restart but Paul Peeples Jr. was on the move from the back of the pack and took the win followed by Payne and Allen Olson. Belinda Ward took the lead in the Main but Mike Ward got past her and Bruce Ziemer followed him past her too. Mike got loose and Ziemer took the lead. Bernard Burns was in third but Peeples Jr. got past him and Olson tagged along. Peeples got under Ziemer for the lead. A spin in turn 2 brought out the yellow. Payne and Ziemer had contact and the cars in back of them dodged them to avoid a crash for another yellow flag. At the restart it was Peeples, Belinda, and Burns. Burns got past Belinda. Peeples Jr. took the win with Burns in second and Belinda Ward in third. Payne tagged the wall after the checkered flag, while running back in the pack.

Kenny Demello won the Sportsman Trophy Dash. Demello took the lead at the start of the Heat followed by Angelo Marcelli and Brandon Barnwell. Dennis DelBiaggio got past Marcelli and Barnwell got under Marcelli too. Demello and DelBiaggio spun coming out of Turn 3 with Demello spinning towards the wall and DelBiaggio spinning towards the infield and Barnwell successfully drove through the middle of the spinning cars to take the lead. DelBiaggio went to the pits. Jeremy Yarberry and Craig Baker had contact with Baker hitting the Turn 3 wall requiring two tow trucks to lift his car and take it to the pits. Yarberry went to the pits as the front end of his car was damaged and dragging on the pavement. At the checker it was Barnwell, Marcelli and Demello. Demello took the early lead in the Main but DelBiaggio had mechanical problems on the first lap and retired for the night. This put Marcelli in second spot and he got past Demello and then Barnwell got past Demello. Marcelli had stretched his lead but Barnwell was closing and coming to the checker could not get around Marcelli who took the win with Barnwell in second. Demello and Roger Sanderson had contact coming to Turn 4 and spun with Sanderson getting restarted after the contact crossing the finish line in third. Fans of Jerry Peterson missed him at the race. He had a lot of front end damage when he hit a wall at the last race weekend during practice and was preparing to repair his car, but the necessary front clip that arrived was the wrong clip and would not fit so he was not able to race this night.

The next race is Saturday, which is the Larry Pries Memorial Race. The Sportsman championship for the year will be decided as their championship points season will end with this race. Cheryl Pries, widow of Larry Pries, is donating $1,000 to the Sportsman class for this race. The Open Show on Sept. 29 and 30 will finish the racing season for the other classes. Points are very close in several classes which will make for very exciting races for the fans.

photo caption:

photo by Penny Elsebusch

William Sand won the Real Stock Heat race and Main Event