Bridget Steeves
Bridget Steeves

Bridget Steeves
, CA

#36 Luke Hall and #10 Dustin Walters
440
5/2/2021

5/2/2021

Redwood Acres Raceway


Hall, White Among Opening Night Winners

The 2021 season at Redwood Acres Raceway got off to a thrilling start this past Saturday night as racing resumed at the 3/8-mile paved oval. A boisterous crowd was in attendance to witness the first race of the season with drivers in the roadrunners, mini stocks, bombers, Legends and late models all taking to the track. Fans were not only excited to watch the first race of 2021 but they were excited to just be at the track as it was the first time since 2019 they could watch races first-hand. Their presence made for an electric atmosphere.

Jeremiah Martin’s quick time of 19.801 set the standard for the evening in roadrunner qualifying. Joe Natale won the first heat race while Bryan Brandt took the second heat win. The 20-lap main event saw a huge shuffle in the field in the first lap. Tim Ratzlaff led the first circuit but Martin was able to power his way to the lead on lap two. Brandt moved to second on lap three with Natale following him into third. Lap five saw a caution for Bob Ratzlaff’s car.

The restart was brief as another caution flew due to dual spins by Brian Hopkins and Wayne Marsh off turn two. Martin pulled away from the pack when the green dropped again while Brandt and Natale waged a battle for the second position. Contact between JR Brandt and Dylan Ford resulted in another caution. Martin jumped to the lead on the lap eight restart while Natale was able to get by Bryan Brandt for second. Brandt regained the spot a few laps later while Martin was in a league of his own out front. At the finish it was Martin winning over Brandt and Natale. Tim Ratzlaff placed fourth while JR Brandt recovered to finish fifth.

Jarrett Mayo was fast time in the mini stock division with a 19.041. Eric O’Ferrall won the heat race which saw two drivers have issues that prevented them from starting the main event. Jarrett Mayo appeared to have engine problems just after the finish while Lexi Coleman also had problems that ended her night prematurely.

Young Colton Kinsey graduated from racing on the dirt with the Humboldt Outlaw Karts to racing on the pavement in the mini stocks as he led the first lap of the 20-lap main. His time in the lead was short as Sam Brown sliced to the front on lap two. O’Ferrall moved to second and tried to find a way by Brown for the lead. The race stayed clean and green and as the race neared its conclusion, it appeared as through Brown had the win in hand. With four laps remaining, Brown got loose and went through the backstretch infield allowing O’Ferrall to take the lead. O’Ferrall led the rest of the way to pick up the win. Brown finished second while C.J. Dalton, Kinsey and Shannon Palmer rounded out the top five finishers.

Bomber qualifying was led by Raquel Krupa with a 19.137. She followed up her fast time with a victory in the heat race. Ed Rasmussen paced the field to the green flag of the 25-lap feature but Krupa moved to the lead off the second turn on the first lap. The caution flag flew early due to fluid coming from Raymond Taylor’s car. Krupa regained the lead on the restart while brother Tyler moved to second. Taylor moved to third but on lap four, he and Tyler Krupa got together off the second turn necessitating a caution.

The restart allowed Raquel Krupa to move to the lead once more while Tyler Krupa took second and Jordan Krupa moved to third. Taylor’s car fell off the pace and he stopped on the track bringing out the yellow flag. The subsequent restart proved to be the last as Raquel and Tyler pulled away from Jordan Krupa and the race became a two-car race. Tyler rode in Raquel’s mirror the remainder of the race but Raquel never faltered. At the checkered it was Raquel Krupa winning over Tyler Krupa. Jordan Krupa placed third with Rasmussen fourth and Bridget Steeves fifth.

Brandon White set a new qualifying record for the Legends division with a 17.720 time. The heat race saw two drivers have their nights ended prematurely due to separate incidents. A wreck in turn one ended Gannon Cyphers’ evening while Emily Vest hit the wall off turn four and was out for the night. White ended up with the heat race win.

Tyler Krupa led the first circuit of the 30-lap main but the race was quickly halted when Andrew Thornton spun between turns three and four collecting White and Chris Lawrence. Fortunately, all involved had minimal damage and were able to continue. Veteran driver but Legends division rookie Brett Murrell jumped to the lead on the restart and pulled out to a 10-car length lead over Krupa. Meanwhile, White was quickly slicing and dicing his way through the field, seemingly taking positions at will. By lap five, White moved to fourth and the top four positions had closed together.

On lap six, Murrell moved under and by Krupa for the lead. Two laps later the caution flew due to debris coming from Krupa’s car. Krupa was forced to drop to the rear allowing Lawrence to take the lead on the restart. His time up front was brief as White quickly moved by on the backstretch. Things settled down and the field spread out until a lap 25 caution when Brent Mack looped his car in the fourth turn. Lawrence briefly challenged White on the last restart but didn’t have enough to take the lead away. At the finish it was White winning over Lawrence. Murrell took third with Mack fourth and Krupa fifth.

Luke Hall set the fastest time in late model qualifying at a 16.320. Hall made a daring last lap pass off the fourth turn in the heat race to take the victory. Hall used pole position to his advantage to take the lead at the start of the 50-lap main event. Dustin Walters moved to second and began to apply pressure on Hall for the lead. On lap 10, Walters found the inside line under Hall and moved to the lead. Hall didn’t give up so easily and stayed on Walters’ bumper all race long.

As the laps clicked off, Walters was slowly able to gap Hall. Lap 49 proved to be the turning point of the race. After being lapped by Walters the previous lap, Hall tried to put a lap on Eugene Palmer going into turn one. Palmer came across Hall’s nose causing him and third place David Miller to spin and bring out the only yellow flag of the race. Officials deemed that Hall was not at fault for the wreck and allowed him to keep second while Miller returned to third because he wasn’t involved in creating the caution.

The race win was decided on the restart. Walter and Hall head a get-together going into the third turn. Walters lost control, regained control, lost control and regained control again to save his car. Meanwhile, Hall took the lead while Ryan Walters moved to second and David Henderson took third. With Ryan Walters having his hands full with Henderson, Hall was able to pull out to a large lead as the laps quickly ticked away. The checkered flag flew with Hall crossing the line first. Ryan Walters placed second while Miller was able to get by Henderson for fourth. Dustin Walters finished fifth.

Racing returns to Redwood Acres Raceway Saturday May 15 with Mid-City Motor World presenting the evening’s events. Roadrunners, mini stocks, bombers and Legends will be in action while late models will have the event off. For more information, visit www.RacinTheAcres.com, visit RAR on Facebook or follow on Twitter @RacinTheAcres.


Submitted By: Matthew Sullivan

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