RECORD CROWD AT REDWOOD ACRESadmin
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2012
RECORD CROWD AT REDWOOD ACRES
Bakersfield, CA – The largest crowd in over two decades at Redwood Acres Raceway in Eureka, CA, watched two-time SPEARS Southwest Tour Series champion Jim Pettit II hold off Ross Strmiska to win the “Flowmaster 125”.
After a day and half of practice under the sunny but cool conditions at the 3/8-mile oval, Jacob Gomes of Manteca, CA set the fastest qualifying lap of the day on Saturday afternoon with a time of 15.478 seconds, with an average speed of 87.221 mph. Pettit was a close second just .057 seconds off of Gomes’ mark. Rookie, Jeremy Doss was third fastest in qualifying, followed by teammate Brandon White of Eureka, with Strmiska rounding out the top five in qualifying.
After opening ceremonies, all the team members of the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series lined the front straight away as the field of 20 cars made two parade laps behind the Motor City Pace Car to honor long time SRL Official, Pete Holko, who the series lost to cancer early last week.
At the start of the 125-lap race, pole setter Donny St. Ours, driving the Bob Strandwold Racing-Eibach Springs #1, jumped into the lead ahead of Strmiska. Pettit struck early to move past both Doss and White to get to third. On lap seven, Pettit moved under Strmiska’s Mainline Equipment/Jack Tone Vineyards Chevrolet for second.
Pettit then set his sights on the rookie, St. Ours, and finally made an inside move on lap 17 to wrestle the lead away.
The race went green until a lap 87 caution fell, when Mike Mendenhall brushed the wall coming off turn 2. As the field finally had a chance to take a breath, the top ten were; Pettit, Strmiska, Gomes, White, Doss, Bobby Hodges, local favorite Jimmy Walker, Ken Benhamou, Jason Gilbert up from his 19th starting position, and St. Ours rounding out the top ten.
The caution fell again as the field went back to green as Andy Allen spun when the field stacked up in turn one. A half-dozen cars had to take evasive action to miss Allen, but everyone was able to continue.
The final caution of the night fell on lap 97, which gave Strmiska and Gomes one more shot at Pettit. Pettit chose the inside on the restart, with Strmiska on his outside and Gomes on the bumper of Pettit’s Moeller Bros./Golden Gate Petroleum Chevrolet. Strmiska got the better restart and led Pettit into turn 1, but before the cars got to turn 3, Pettit was back to the lead, where he would stay for his record 14th career SPEARS Southwest Tour Series win. Strmiska second, followed by Gomes, Hodges, White, Gilbert, Doss, Benhamou, Cody Hodgson, and Brandon Loverock in tenth.
“Man, what an awesome number of fans here tonight,” said Pettit in the winner’s circle. “It’s great to race in front of so many fans who were so into the race tonight, everyone was so hospitable, the Olson’s (track promoters), the staff, the local racers and the fans. We’ve had a great time here this weekend and hope to be back.”
Pettit now moves into the point lead, followed by Strmiska, Gilbert, Gomes and Doss.
“We’ve finished fourth, third and now second the last three races, so if we stay on course we should win Madera,” said runner-up Strmiska with a smile from the winner’s circle. “We’ve had good cars all year, and each race we’ve been able to get a little better. Tonight was fun, this place is a great place to race and I hope we come back next year.”
The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series will have four weeks off before it rolls into Madera Speedway on June 29th for the annual Fireworks Spectacular and “The Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Central California 125 presented by AmeriPride”.
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About the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series: Celebrating its thirteenth season in 2013, the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series is a regional stock car series competing on paved ovals in the southwestern portion of the U.S. http://www.srlsouthwesttour.com. “The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series…Where the Champions Race”
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