Redwood Acres Raceway
Lawrence Has Grand Night, Krupa Makes It Two In A Row
The 2021 season at Redwood Acres Raceway continued Saturday night for the second race of the 11-race schedule. Bear River Casino Resort presented the evening’s event which featured two Legends main events, each paying $500 to the winner. Bombers, mini stocks and roadrunners also raced while the local late models had the event off.
Qualifying for the roadrunner division was paced by Bob Ratzlaff who timed in with a 19.967. JR Brandt won the first heat race while Bryan Brandt took the second. The 25-lap main event was slowed immediately when Joe Natale hit the wall in turns three and four. Bryan Brandt jumped out to a huge lead on the restart while faster qualifiers tried to maneuver their way through traffic. Jeremiah Martin was the first to break through to second on lap two and set his sights on the lead. The caution flew on lap five when JR Brandt did a loop into the infield off the fourth turn.
Bryan Brandt and Martin pulled away from the pack on the restart and the race for the lead was a one-on-one affair. While the leaders had their own battle, JR Brandt quickly moved his way back through the field taking third from Steve Kimberling on lap 13. After a clean race-long battle between Bryan Brandt and Martin, the two came together off turn four on lap 17 sending Brandt into the infield. JR Brandt inherited the lead and jumped to the lead on the next restart. Contact between Bryan Brandt and Brian Hopkins on lap 19 resulted Brandt falling out of the event. Another caution flew when Bob Ratzlaff got into the back of Shawn Wildman’s car off the fourth corner.
The lap 23 restart was the final one of the race and proved to be the determining factor as to who would come home with the win. Coming to take the green, the front row pair of JR Brandt and Martin appeared to come together resulting in wall contact for Martin. Brandt was able to clear the pack while Kimberling took second and Martin dropped to third. Brandt led the final two laps en route to the main event win. Kimberling placed second while Bob Ratzlaff took third from Martin on the final lap. LeRoy Marsh, Jr. was the final car on the lead lap in fifth.
Jordan Paiment was fast time for the mini stock class with a 19.043. Paiment was victorious in the heat race. Teenager Colton Kinsey continues to impress in the mini stock division and was able to snatch the lead away from C.J. Dalton on the first lap of the 20-lap main. Dalton fell to second but had his hands full with the faster cars of Paiment and Eric O’Ferrall in his mirror. O’Ferrall was able to get to third on lap seven and took the lead from Kinsey a lap later. Paiment moved to second on lap 9.
On lap 10, O’Ferrall’s car suddenly slowed and Paiment took over the lead while O’Ferrall pulled to the pits. Paiment was able to stretch his lead while Kinsey tried to fight off Sam Brown for second. Brown moved to second on lap 16 but Paiment’s advantage was too great to overcome. At the checkered flag it was Paiment winning over Brown and Kinsey. James Nichols placed fourth while Alison McCarty was fifth.
Bomber qualifying was led by Raymond Taylor with an 18.430. Tyler Krupa was the heat race winner. The green flag in the 30-lap feature lasted only seconds as Bowden Barnwell got sideways and hit the front stretch wall. Barnwell was unhurt but the damage to his car was enough to end his night. Raquel Krupa took the lead on the restart while Ed Rasmussen slotted in second. On lap three, Taylor moved under and by Jordan Krupa to third while Tyler Krupa moved into fourth. The pair did the same thing on lap five with Rasmussen falling back to fourth.
Raquel Krupa withstood constant pressure from Taylor lap after lap but on lap 11, Taylor made a slick move going into the first turn to move under and by for the lead while Tyler Krupa moved to second. Taylor and Tyler Krupa pulled away from the pack and the race for the win appeared to be a two man show. That changed on lap 17 when Krupa made contact with Taylor in turn one resulting in a caution.
Tyler Krupa was sent to the rear allowing Raquel Krupa to move back to the lead for the restart. It was a sister/brother battle for the lead with Raquel holding off Jordan Krupa. Another caution flew when Chris Naughton and Brandon Katri had a get-together in turn two. The two Krupas regained their previous positions on the final restart while Taylor began to move his way back to the front. With four laps remaining, Taylor took second. Taylor did all he could to pressure Raquel Krupa for the lead but Krupa never faltered. At the finish it was Raquel Krupa winning her second main event of 2021 and her third in a row. Taylor was second while Jordan Krupa, Ed Rasmussen and Tyler Krupa rounded out the top five finishers.
With the late models having the weekend off, the spotlight was on the Legends division this weekend. Not only were there two main events on the night but the winner of each feature earned $500 with the top five also getting a special payout. Division rookie Brett Murrell set quick time in qualifying with a 18.093 time. Chris Lawrence was the heat race winner.
Tyler Krupa moved to the lead at the start of the first 30-lap main while Murrell moved to second and Lawrence third. On lap three, Murrell was able to take the lead away from Krupa with Lawrence moving his way to second. Five laps later, Lawrence found the low line under Murrell and made the pass for the lead off the second turn. The caution flew on lap 13 when Scott Taylor spun off the fourth turn. The subsequent restart was called off as there was a lineup error in the field. In the confusion, Taylor made contact with Andrew Thornton with Taylor falling out for the night and Thornton sustaining noticeable body damage.
Murrell did all he could on the restart to retake the lead away from Lawrence but he just could not make the high line work. Steve Davis took advantage of the door being open and was able to move by Murrell for second on lap 15. Austin Cook spun in turn one resulting in a brief yellow before racing resumed once again. Lawrence retained the lead over Davis while Murrell fought off Gannon Cyphers for third. Lawrence was able to pull to comfortable lead and was unchallenged at the end to take the win. Davis was second while Murrell held on for third. Cyphers took fourth with Krupa fifth.
The second feature got off to a bad start for Cyphers. The initial start was called off as pole sitter Dylan Hagman jumped the start. As the field slowed down the back stretch, Cyphers’ throttle appeared to stick as he locked his brakes going into turn three and slammed into the wall. Thankfully Cyphers was okay but his car took a savage hit.
The green dropped for the second main and started off similar to the first with Krupa leading over Murrell and Lawrence. Krupa held the lead until lap five when Murrell and Lawrence moved under and past him for position. Murrell had his hands full with Lawrence filling his mirrors lap after lap. On lap 10, Lawrence used the high line to make the pass for the lead by Murrell. Lawrence pulled out to a large lead while things settled down. With five laps remaining, Krupa made a move on Murrell for second. Krupa took the spot but on lap 26, Murrell spun off turn four bringing out the yellow. Krupa briefly challenged Lawrence on the restart but he didn’t have the handling. At the finish it was Lawrence winning over Krupa, Davis, Murrell and Thornton.
Racing at Redwood Acres Raceway goes on a three-week break before returning Saturday June 5. All local divisions will be in action including the late models. In addition, the North State Modified Series will be making its first of two visits to the Acres. For more information, visit www.RacinTheAcres.com or follow Redwood Acres Raceway on Facebook or Twitter @RacinTheAcres.
Submitted By: Matthew Sullivan