Eureka, CA - Kulwicki Driver Development Program participant Jeremy Doss took the lead on a daring three-wide pass, after a lap 27 restart, and never looked back to record his seventh Super Late Model victory of the season in the Fall Spectacular 100 at Redwood Acres Raceway (CA). The start to Jeremy’s weekend was anything but encouraging, but when the final checkered fell, Jeremy was once again in victory lane as the track held their 24th annual event to close out its season. It was Jeremy’s second win in the special event as he also came home with the honor in 2012. Coincidently, the top three in that event, were the same as this year’s edition.
The weekend started off with qualifying on Saturday. Brandon White set fast time over the 23 car field, with a 15.900. David Miller, Eric Gannon, Derek Copeland and Junior Roddy rounded out the top five qualifiers. Two heat races where used to set the field with Jeremy Doss tagging the tail end of the slow heat, after arriving post qualifying. Brandon Ash would lead the fast heat, to put him on the pole for Sunday’s main event. Cory James followed him across the line second with local legend Jimmy Walker third, Derek Copeland fourth, David Miller fifth and Brandon White sixth to round out the top three rows for the feature. Doss would finish fourth out of 13 to start in the number 14 slot.
When the field took the green, Brandon Ash jumped out to a quick lead over Cory James, only to see the caution fly on lap 3, for an incident involving Doug Atkins. Another yellow, on lap 4, saw Jimmy Walker check-up for a Marty Walsh crash. Brandon White and Junior Roddy then got into the back of Walker, in the accordion style accident. Roddy and Walker continued on with some damage, while White needed to tag the rear of the field for the restart.
When the green reappeared, David Miller jumped to the lead from his outside starting position. He would lead until a lap 27 debris caution appeared, with Junior Roddy up to second. The remainder of the top five consisted of Jeremy Doss, Eric Gannon and Brandon White, who advanced from the rear of the field.
The lap 27 restart would turn out to be the turning point in the race. David Miller and Junior Roddy entered turn one on the restart side by side, with Miller washing slightly up the track. The ensuing contact between Miller and Roddy allowed Doss to jump inside the battling duo, and emerge at the exit of turn two with the lead. Doss would never relinquish the lead, despite being challenged by Roddy on numerous restarts throughout the event. The same pattern would develop over the course of the race, with Roddy challenging hard over several laps, with Doss being able to secure his lead of a few car lengths after that. White challenged Roddy over a few restarts but was never able to gain a foothold on the runner-up position.
After 100 laps, Doss was able to outlast Roddy for the $2,000 win, with White holding off a hard charging David Miller for third. David Henderson made a lap 97 pass of Derek Copeland to wrestle the final top 5 finishing position away. The second five was led by Copeland followed by Rocky Nash, Eric Gannon, Luke Hall and Shayne Demello.
For Doss, it was a long weekend, which began on Friday at Madera Speedway (CA). During early tech on Saturday, it was discovered that the motor setback didn’t meet the rules for the event. The team loaded up, and made the four and a half hour drive to their shop, to pick up their other car. They then preceded the three hour journey north, to Redwood Acres Raceway, to arrive in time for the slow heat race.
“This win really means a lot. We spent the whole day in the truck yesterday and barely made it to the track for the heat race, Jeremy told Speed 51.com presented by JEGS. We put on some old tires, and were able to make it up to fourth place, to get a better starting spot for today. I really have to thank my dad (Mike Doss) for setting this thing up, as we really didn’t have to do too much to it.
To take the lead, Jeremy had to make a bold three-wide move to secure the top spot in the Fall Spectacular event.
“We were just biding our time and being patient”, Doss commented. On that restart, the two leaders kind of got into it and went up the racetrack, so we were able to take advantage of it. I just have to thank the J.D. Motorsports team for all their hard work. I had a really good car and I was just saving our tires in case we had a late caution. I just have to hand it to I-5 Tire Factory, Earnest Performance, the Kulwicki Driver Development Program, S & S Sports Enterprise, Speedy Signs and all the fans for coming out”, Doss concluded.
Junior Roddy may have finished second, but it was almost like a win for the Gualala, CA driver who was making his first start in nearly two years.
“Look at my car, that thing is a mess”, Roddy commented. “No downforce, no nothing. I’m amazed that it did as good as good as it did. I’m sure if I had a fender and the radiator wasn’t all jammed into the motor it would have been great. If I would have seen what I see now, I probably wouldn’t have raced it as hard as I did. But that is cool, I was happy that the car worked really really well.
When asked about the winning pass by Doss, Roddy wasn’t upset at all with the circumstances.
I was on the outside, and I felt David Miller pushed up a little, because my car went sideways”, Roddy related. We were both sideways, and Jeremy just took advantage of that as I saw him go to the inside, and I was like whoa. It ripped my glove off and I tried to counter steer. I was one hand driving there for a minute. I was able to get by David a couple of circuits later and tried to run down Jeremy, but just couldn’t get by.”
Third place finisher, Brandon White, was also happy to finish where he did, after the early race incident that put him to the rear. From Brandon’s perspective it all happened very quickly.
Brandon related,” On lap eight, something happened, and we don’t know what happened. But first thing I know is that Jimmy Walker is stopping right in front of me, and the next thing I know is that I’m looking in my mirror, and there is Junior up into my rear. Now that I know what we were working with, with an inch toe-out, the control arm being bent and everything……. hanging with Jeremy and them means that our car was fast. We really salvaged this race. Coming from last all, the way up to third…..I just really don’t know what to say. I tried to get to the front as quick as I could, but you can only do what the car allows you to. “
Other winners on the weekend included Erick Ray and Terry Pitman in the Bombers, Brian Kominski in the Legends, Jarrett Mayo in the Mini Stocks, Dave Rogers in the Road Runners and Chris Sarvinski in the Thunder Roadsters.
Finishing Order, Super Late Models: 1.) Jeremy Doss, 2.) Junior Roddy, 3.) Brandon White, 4.) David Miller, 5.) David Henderson, 6.) Derek Copeland, 7.) Rocky Nash, 8.) Eric Gannon, 9.) Luke Hall, 10.) Sheyne Demello, 11.) James John, 12.) Richard Knight, 13.) Douglas Atkins, 14.) Robbie Nelson, 15.) Brandon Ash, 16.) Kenny Demello, 17.) Ryan Walters, 18.) Tim Crenshaw, 19.) Jimmy Walker, 20.) Corey James, 21.) Marty Walsh, 22.) Mike Sackett.
-By Kevin Peters, Speed51.com Contributor. Photo Credit: Kevin Peters photo