Bridget Steeves
Bridget Steeves

Bridget Steeves
, CA

Winters Overcomes Friday Engine Issues To Win Saturday Night


Redwood Acres Raceway

Winters Overcomes Friday Engine Issues To Win Saturday Night

Chilly June weather greeted a packed house Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway for the track’s third race of the season. The two-week layoff had both fans and drivers primed and ready for some on-track action and there was plenty of it. Late models returned for the first time since the season opener on May 1 along with Legends, bombers, mini stocks and roadrunners. In addition, the North State Modified Series visited the Acres for the first of two races in 2021. The evening’s races were presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts and SuperCuts.

Jeremiah Martin was fast time for the roadrunner division with a 19.967. Bob Ratzlaff took the heat race victory. The main event began with a thrilling four-wide pass for the lead between Ratzlaff, Michael Lawrence, Steve Kimberling and Jeremiah Martin with Ratzlaff gaining the advantage. Ratzlaff and Martin pulled away from the pack and had a two-way duel for the lead. On lap eight, the two came together down the front straight with Martin spinning. Ratzlaff was sent to the rear allowing Lawrence to take the lead.

Lawrence had his hands full holding off Kimberling. On lap 10, Kimberling took the race lead just as the caution came out for Ratzlaff spinning off the second turn. With scoring reverting to the previous lap, Lawrence inherited the lead. Lawrence led the field to the green and now had more competition as Tanisha Ratzlaff began to show some strength. Off the fourth turn, Ratzlaff got into the back of Lawrence causing him to briefly lose control and allowing Kimberling to take the lead. The remainder of the race was a cat-and-mouse duel between Kimberling and Tanisha Ratzlaff. Ratzlaff gave it her all on the final lap, getting side-by-side with Kimberling down the back stretch. The two were door-to-door coming off the fourth turn but Kimberling was able to win the drag race to the line to take the victory. Dylan Ford placed third followed by Martin in fourth and Lawrence in fifth.

Brian Murrell, Jr. was fastest in mini stock qualifying with an 18.992 lap time. Sam Brown won the heat race. The first several laps of the 20-lap feature saw spectacular side-by-side racing between C.J. Dalton and Brown while Colton Kinsey was a close third. On lap five, Brown was able to complete the pass for the lead. Brown pulled away from Dalton who fought hard to hold off Brian Murrell, Jr. and Kinsey. On lap seven, Murrell and Kinsey were able to take second and third.

As the laps clicked off, Murrell closed the gap on Brown and got to his bumper by lap 14. Murrell rode in Brown’s mirror and tried to find a way by the leader. With two laps remaining, Murrell made contact with Brown in between turns three and four sending Brown into the infield. Murrell was forced to relinquish the lead allowing Kinsey to lead the field in the final two-lap charge. Kinsey got a fantastic start on the restart that allowed him to pull away from the pack. In only his third start, the youngster Kinsey was able to win his first-ever main event. Dalton placed second while Brown recovered to finish third. Murrell placed fourth while Eric O’Ferrall was able to overcome engine woes to finish fifth.

Loren Powers, Jr. made his first visit to Redwood Acres Raceway Saturday night in the bomber division and paced qualifying with an 18.051. Donnie Brown won the heat. Ed Rasmussen led the opening laps of the 30-lap feature and showed great pace. By lap four, Powers had moved to second and two laps later, he was able to get by Rasmussen for the lead. Tyler Krupa moved to second driving the car normally raced by his sister Raquel. The race was slowed only one time on lap 22 when Brown’s car slowed and he stopped on the track. Nobody had anything for Powers on the night as he was able to take the win, Tyler Krupa finished second followed by Jordan Krupa, Rasmussen and Bridget Steeves.

Fast time for the Legends division was Brandon White with a quick 17.766 lap time. Scott Taylor prevailed to win the first heat race while Chris Lawrence was victorious in the second. Taylor led the first two laps until Brett Murrell moved under and by for the lead. The faster qualifiers of Lawrence and White quickly diced their way through the field. On lap five, Lawrence moved to second. Two laps later, White was in third place.

On lap nine, the front trio were bumper-to-bumper. Going into the first turn, Lawrence tried to pass Murrell on the outside. Coming off turn two, White got inside both drivers and took the lead. Unfortunately for White, a Tyler Krupa spin off turn four reverted the field to the previous lap moving Murrell back to the lead.

The restart did little to deter White from taking the lead as he was able to move under and by Murrell going into turn three. Lawrence moved to second a lap later. White looked to have the best car in the field but two cautions allowed the pack to close the gap on him. One involved a turn four spin by Murrell. Another involved another turn four spin by Austin Cook. Lawrence did all he could to challenge White but just did not have the strength. At the finish it was White winning over Lawrence. Murrell recovered to finish third while Krupa placed fourth and Carlee Austin was fifth.

Late model qualifying was led by Luke Hall with a 16.534. David Miller took the heat race win allowing him to take pole position for the 50-lap main. Miller took the lead on the start while Dustin Walters slotted into second. The racing was clean and green with the top five drivers running closely together. On lap 10, Ryan Walters was able to move by David Henderson for third. Hall moved by Henderson for fourth two laps later. On lap 14, Hall’s engine blew going into the first turn. Henderson hit the oil and spun but was able to avoid contact with the Wall.

The restart saw the top three of Miller, Dustin Walters and Ryan Walters pull away from the rest of the field. The laps clicked away and handling began to play more of a factor as the front two slowly began to gap third place. With six laps left, Dustin Walters lost power down the front stretch and pulled into the pits. Miller held on in the final laps to take the win. Ryan Walters was second with Henderson, Eugene Palmer and Scott Baker rounding out the top five.

The North State Modified Series had a great 16-car turnout. Kyle Tellstrom’s 16.276 in qualifying was just a shade off of the track record he set at the Acres during the 2020 Fall Spectacular. Dustin DeRosier took the $100 Lucas Oil Dash For Cash win with Randy Houston earning $50 for finishing second. The invert for the O’Reilly Auto Parts/SuperCuts 60 was 10 which placed Rich Cobb and Keith Bloom on the front row. The feature was quickly halted on lap one when Foryst Souza hit the turn three wall.

The race restarted and featured thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing for the lead between Cobb and Bloom. Cobb was able to finally take the lead on lap five. On lap six, Houston moved under Bloom and the two had a several lap duel. Houston finally completed the pass on lap eight. Tellstrom began to make his presence field on lap 10 as he utilized the high line to get by several cars. On lap 12, coming off turn four, Bloom suddenly slowed causing a major stack up behind him. Darrin Sullivan tried to move to the high line to avoid running into the back of Bloom. This caused Tellstrom’s left front tire to hit and jump Sullivan’s left rear. Tellstrom slammed into the wall nose-first sustaining heavy front-end damage. Thankfully Tellstrom was unharmed.

Houston was able to use the restart to take the lead briefly but a spin by Kylie Keown allowed Cobb to restart in the lead. Cobb and Houston raced hard for the lead on the next restart but racing was slowed once again when DeRosier made contact with Darrin Knight in turn four. Houston was able to use the next restart to his advantage as he took the lead.

Houston slowly began to add to his lead as the race went into a long green flag run. Scott Winters began to turn the wick up as the halfway mark closed in. Took third from Bloom at the halfway mark. On lap 33, Winters passed Cobb for second and slowly closed in on Houston’s half-straightaway lead. Winters had just moved within half a car length on Houston on lap 46 when the caution dropped due to Knight slowing.

The caution flag looked to be what Houston needed as he was able to cool his tires and held a two car-length gap when racing resumed. With seven laps left, Houston suddenly lost power down the back stretch and came to a stop on the front stretch. Winters inherited the lead and was able to pull away in the final laps to take the win. Winter’s victory was especially sweet after having engine issues during practice the day before. Ian Elliott finished second while Cobb took third. Bloom and Sullivan were fourth and fifth.

Redwood Acres Raceway’s next race is Saturday June 19. Bear River Casino Resort will present the evening’s event with Legends, bombers, mini stocks and roadrunners in action. For more information, visit You can also find RAR on Facebook or Twitter @RacinTheAcres.

Submitted By: Matthew Sullivan

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