Series point leader Hayden Campbell was troubled by his car’s performance in hot laps and the preliminary heat race during the racing program at East Bay Raceway. When the checkered fell on the preliminary, Campbell brought the car to the pits and relayed his concerns to his crew. While other divisions were finishing their heat races, Campbell’s crew went to their notes to find answers to improve performance. When the 25-lap feature took the green flag, it was obvious that the work was not in vain. Campbell dominated the entire event, slicing through lapped cars and stretching out a decisive win for the feature event.
Heat race winners Justin Webster and AJ Maddox lined up in the second row at the start with designs on winning the Jeff Barfield Clean Sweep Award, which would have brought $200 to the driver who wins a heat and backs it up with the feature. An additional $500 could have been on the line for the Top Gun Sprints BG Oil Challenge, which requires heat race winners to scratch their starting spot in the feature and go to the tail. Neither driver chose that option.
At the start, Campbell jumped to the lead, chased by Webster. Maddox slipped past Mark Ruel Jr. for third on lap three with Billy Bridges gaining a spot on the next lap. Campbell entered lapped traffic with only six laps completed, working through the field. Maddox took second from Webster on lap eight, then trouble struck for Webster. The car spun in turn two to bring out a caution and send the 2017 East Bay Sprint champion to the rear. On the restart, trouble found Webster again as the car scraped the wall in turn one and slid to a stop in turn two.
On the previous restart, Campbell had the benefit of a lapped car between himself and Maddox, but that would be wiped out with the next restart. Undaunted, Campbell shot out front and was never seriously challenged, winning by about 1/3 of the track distance.
The evening opened with the Outlaw 4s which saw Brandon Yates capture his sixth feature in eight starts this season. Yates took the lead from Eric Knight on the seventh lap before cruising to the win. The feature victory backed up an earlier heat win.
Jerod Meyers made a second stop in Victory Lane with his 15-lap triumph in the Micro Sprints. Meyers had to fend off the charge of Chris Livernois and his path to the win was not without incident. Meyers and a lapped car made contact in turn two, allowing Livernois to close, but no pass could be made. The feature win completed a sweep for Meyers in the division after a heat race win.
V8 Warrior point leader George Handy hunted down early race leader Raymond Vann to claim his third feature win of the season. Handy, who had won his heat earlier, was able to put his car in good position consistently through the laps. Jason Burnside won the opening heat.
Scotty Williams doubled up in the Late Model Sportsman class with convincing victories in the heat and feature. The breakthrough win has boosted the confidence of a team that has experienced plenty of bad luck throughout the season.
Danny Bowman claimed a win in the Florida Old Time Modified main after Jayme Frankland had won the preliminary.
Next week, East Bay Raceway Park will feature the Gene Slaughter Memorial Races, honoring the long time Hoosier Tire rep who provided service to so many racers. The Pro Late Models will race for 50 laps, Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds have a 20-lap main with higher purses also offered for Gladiators, Street Stocks and Wingless Mini Sprints. The night will also feature Halloween candy for kids at intermission as drivers provide on track candy stops for the youngsters.
TOP GUN SPRINTS
Feature: Hayden Campbell (5), AJ Maddox (3A), Billy Bridges (11B), Frank Beck (89), Mark Ruel Jr. (83), Frank Carlsson (20), Harley Zimmerman (00), Guy Bos (3K), Garrett Green (82), Aileen Collins-Love (17c), Nikki Voisey (96), Justin Webster (21), Brandon Grubaugh (6G). DNS – Kurt Taylor (55)
Feature: Brandon Yates (53), Eric Knight (7v), Cecil Martin (15), Nick Hebrank (7), Vernon Hart (48), Mark Moniz (41e), Trey Ford (40F), Billy Dukes (15)
Feature: Jerod Meyers (0), Chris Livernois Jr. (71), Wade Evans (27), Willliam Burnside (13), Joseph Taylor (29), Matt Wedgewood (4), William Brannan Jr. (17), Mike Meyers (7), Joe Bartow (3)
Feature: George Handy (105), Jason Burnside (12j), Raymond Vann (32), Gary Lucas (23), Justin Meeks (10), Wayne Kissam (07), Charles Roach (14), David Parr (36), Bill Whitney (15), Jessica Robbins (09x)
LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN
Feature: Scotty Williams (27w), Wesley Livernois (44), Buck Woodhouse (55), Keven Devrieze (99)
FLORIDA OLD TIME MODIFIEDS
Feature: Danny Bowman (00), Dan Darnell (111), Jamey Frankland (1), Gonzo Godwin (22G)