Cobb Captures Florida Late Model Main

A five-division program ushered in Mother’s Day weekend at East Bay Raceway Park with a visit by the Florida Late Model Series providing some exciting action.

The 25-lap Late Model feature brought a field of 19 cars to the green flag. Forrest Gough paced the field from the start before Nevin Gainey made a strong move to grab the early lead. Gainey’s time at the front was temporary as Steve Mathis Jr., winner of last week’s East Bay Late Model main event, swept through to gain the top spot. Gainey would continue his assault on the top spot while Phillip Cobb kept pace on the outside of the tracks. A series of lap 10 cautions forced several restarts with Cobb grabbing the lead on more than one occasion, only to lose it when the field was called back for another restart. When the action resumed, Cobb was able to make the pass count. As he attempted to distance himself from the field, Cobb found a new contender lurking in second. David Whitener had charged into the runner-up spot and was gaining ground with only five laps remaining. The lead duo carefully selected an appropriate racing lane with the laps winding down. Whitener would make a last ditch effort, but Cobb’s smooth outside line would send him to Victory Lane. Cobb, Mathis and Gainey claimed heat wins.

Nick Brown muscled his way past Jeremy Simpson to claim his second feature in the V8 Warrior class. Simpson had led the race from the start while Brown was second for most of the contest. Gary Lucas was able to slip past Brown to briefly challenge Simpson, but Brown was able to regain the spot in short order. Lucas and George Handy were winners of the heat races.

The Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds saw current point leader Bryan Bernhardt back in Victory Lane at the end of the 15-lap main. Bernhardt had to overcome an early race spin to take charge from 2017 division point champion Austin Sanders, who ran a strong race from start to finish. Phillip Cobb, doing double duty, won the Modified heat.

Robby Hoffman shot to the race lead and ran wire-to-wire to claim the Mini Sprint feature. Dusty Cates steadily worked his way into second, but could not catch Hoffman by the race end. Hoffman also scored the win in the heat race.

Billy Dukes repeated for a third win in the Outlaw 4 class.

East Bay Raceway Park returns to action on May 19 with Top Gun Sprints headlining the racing action. They will be joined by the Late Model Sportsman, Florida Old Time Modifieds, Street Stocks, Gladiators and Micro Sprints.

Features

Outlaw 4s

Billy Dukes (15), Cecil Martin (15)

Mini Sprints

Robby Hoffman (66), Dusty Cates (12), Dirk Miller (68), David Hall (67), Brad Sutton (13), Jamie Jewell (6), Joe Bartow (3), Dallas Casey (87). DNS – Joe Askew

Open Wheel Modifieds

Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Austin Sanders (64), Phillip Cobb (03), Bobby Dixon (205), Roger Crouse (15), Keven Devrieze (99), Dale Kelley (22)

V8 Warriors

Nick Brown (12), Gary Lucas (23), Jason Burnside (12J), George Handy (105), Raymond Vann (32), Jessica Robbins (09x), DJ Taylor (0), Michael Hart (99), Bill Whitney (9), Jeff Weaver (26), Bo Anderson (95), Robert Grant (36). DQ – Jeremy Simpson (7x)

Florida Late Models

Phillip Cobb (03), David Whitener (5), Steve Mathis Jr. (95), Nevin Gainey (17G), Shan Smith (17SS), Trevor Taylor (7T), Andrew Hopkins (13H), Scotty Williams (27W), Brian Smith (B54), Forrest Gough (21), Adam Bennett (40), Buck Woodhouse (55), TJ LaFlamboy (44), Don Sniff (10), Chuck Jackson (45), Arthur Conquest (78), Donnie Padgett (21P), Roger Thomas (23), Daniel Woody (29)

 

Boyd, Mathis Jr. Top East Bay Winners

 

An afternoon rain shower and cloudy skies proved to be no match for the excitement of racing at the Clay by the Bay to kick off the month of May. In two of the main events, the leader at the white flag ended up losing the lead, proving it’s not over ‘til it’s over and the checkered flag is waving.

The evening features started with Micro Sprints as the main event field included the top three drivers from 2017 who were honored during intermission. Heat race winner Kevin Strife backed up the preliminary victory by going wire-to-wire in the 15-lap main. The win was not a walk in the park as 2017 track champion Cliff Evans was closing from second place. Strife was driving with a purpose and would not allow the pass for the win to earn his visit to Victory Lane.

Street Stock action saw John Bradley jump out to a convincing lead. Bradley would face a challenge from last week’s feature winner David Barwick II throughout the late stages of the contest. Bradley had a manageable margin until the car started slowing on the white flag lap. Barwick seized the opportunity squeeze to the inside in the final turn to outrun Bradley to the line. Rich Livernois Sr. had won the earlier heat race.

The Pro Late Models were facing a 30-lap challenge, but Steve Mathis Jr. proved to be up to the challenge and then some. Mathis took the lead early and stretched his margin in convincing fashion. By the time the checkered arrived, only four cars were on the lead lap as Mathis was never headed. The best battle proved to be for second between Phillip Cobb and Doug Horton, who fought pesky lapped traffic in the midst of their efforts to close on Mathis. Heats were won by Horton and Jack Nosbisch Jr.

An emotional win materialized in the Q Auto & Injury Sprints as Billy Boyd Jr. led from start to finish to park in Victory Lane. Boyd, who had been diagnosed with life-threatening leukemia a few years back, has battled the affliction to put himself back behind the wheel, where he has again established his winning ways. Boyd was surrounded by family and friends to celebrate the special triumph that symbolizes more than winning a race, but winning the battles that life can deliver. Justin Webster, who was running second in the feature until a mechanical issue ended his night three laps from the end, won his heat race as did Keith Butler.

The final feature of the night saw Kever Raulerson squeeze to the front with a last lap pass on Robert Kissam to top the 15-lap main. Daniel Bowman and Bailey Purcell had also spent time at the front of the field, giving the race four different leaders. Purcell and Bowman had won the heat races for the division.

East Bay Raceway Park will return to action on May 12 with Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds, Florida Late Models, V8 Warriors, Outlaw 4s and Mini Sprints.

MICRO SPRINTS

Feature: Kevin Strife (46), Cliff Evans (17), Mike Meyers (7), Wade Evans (27), Paul Seburn (23), William Burnside (13), Don T. Quinn (3D), Matt Wedgewood (4)

STREET STOCKS

Feature: David Barwick II (89), John Bradley (57), Rich Livernois Sr. (71), Kenny Lawrence (38), Randy Shields (49), James McPeak (7), Thomas Braswell (67), Robert Tyler (9), Henry Burnside (31B). DNS – Jay Steal (89X)

PRO LATE MODELS

Feature: Steve Mathis Jr. (95), Phillip Cobb (03), Doug Horton (11), Jack Nosbisch Jr. (12), Andrew Hopkins (13H), Megan Meyer (11M), Thomas Burnside (13), Keven Devrieze (99), Jason Pope (102), TJ LaFlamboy (44), John Norris (87), Adam Boyd (6B), Noah Cornman (30), Wallace Peacock (28). DNS – Josh Peacock (21)

Q AUTO & INJURY SPRINTS

Feature: Billy Boyd Jr. (4), Joe Zuczek (50), Anthony D’Alessio (01), Keith Butler (19), Billy Bridges (11B), Guy Bos (3K), Frank Beck (71), Justin Webster (21), Dylan Colding (23d), Kurt Taylor (55)

GLADIATORS

Feature: Kever Raulerson (99R), Robert Kissam (911), Bailey Purcell (14), Wayne Kissam (07), Dustin Wilson (42), Daniel Bowman (46), Jeff Smith (15), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Mark Roadarmel Jr. (81), Ethan Dansby (26), Rick Rutledge Sr. (4), Johnathan Wood (56B), Daniel Casey (3d), Cade Cannon (500)

 

Devin Dixon Drives to East Bay Win

 

Calling it the biggest win in his career, an emotional Devin Dixon climbed from his Open Wheel Modified in East Bay Raceway Park’s Victory Lane at the conclusion of the second annual Rusty Dixon Memorial. The 50-lap main was named in honor of his cousin, who was killed in 2007 motorcycle accident.

Devin Dixon was expecting to start on the outside front row, but a frontstretch re-draw relegated him to sixth starting spot. By contrast, Mavrick Varnadore had drawn the number one, which moved him from his sixth starting spot. Varnadore took advantage of the good fortune, grabbing the lead on the second lap after some early race restarts. Varnadore kept his car pinned to the bottom of the track, forcing challengers to the middle of the racing surface. Phillip Cobb was an early challenger, but Cobb soon found himself with the attention of Shane Burrows, Jeff Mathews and Devin Dixon.  Dixon came charging from a restart to move to second on lap 19, taking the lead away from Varnadore four laps later. From there, Dixon moved out to a full straightaway lead just seven laps later. He stretched the advantage even more, working masterfully through lapped traffic until a caution was displayed for Roger Crouse’s flat tire. With a lap 39 restart, the field was bunched together, giving challengers new hope. Dixon was quick to extinguish that hope by again pulling away from the field for the victory.

Varnadore held onto second place, ahead of Burrows, Cobb and Bryan Bernhardt. Ivedent Lloyd started the race in 20th, but claimed seventh to earn the Hard Charger prize money.

Nick Hebrank opened the night’s feature action by topping the Outlaw 4 main, sneaking by race leader Brandon Yates with three laps remaining. Yates would finish second, ahead of Jake Hampton.

Nick Brown parked in Victory Lane in the V8 Warrior class, but Raymond Vann later claimed the win when the tech man had his say.  Brown had taken the lead from the rear of the field with just a few laps completed. Some good battles were happening mid-pack as Vann fought his way to second, eventually earning the win. Jason Burnside ran strong for the runner-up spot.

David Barwick II got the best of Henry Burnside on lap 11 to take the lead in Street Stocks that would become a victory. Burnside did everything possible to keep Barwick behind him, but there would be no denying Barwick on this day. Burnside claimed second with Justin Rodgers rebounding for third.

The final feature of the night saw the Studio Red Gladiators bring a large field to the green. Heat winner DJ Taylor doubled up by claiming the 15-lap main in a car that had suffered a previous rollover. That’s what you call a great comeback. Some great racing action throughout the field saw position battles up for grabs, but Daniel Bowman never gave up second.

East Bay Raceway Park will resume action on May 5 with Pro Late Models, Q Auto & Injury Sprints, Street Stocks, Gladiators and Micro Sprints. Top finishers from the 2017 Micro Sprint season will be honored at intermission.

FEATURES

Outlaw 4s
Nick Hebrank (7), Brandon Yates (53), Jake Hampton (19), Cecil Martin (15), Mark Moniz (41e), Vernon Hart Jr. (48)

V8 Warriors
Raymond Vann (32), Jason Burnside (12J), Jeff Weaver (26), Gary Lucas (23), Bill Whitney (9), Jessica Robbins (09), Nate Whitehurst (07), Scott Bane (23B), David Parr (36), Kalen Maynard (2). DQ – Nick Brown (12)

Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds
Second Annual Rusty Dixon Memorial
Devin Dixon (323), Mavrick Varnadore (4), Shane Burrows (70B), Phillip Cobb (03), Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Jeff Mathews (33), Ivedent Lloyd (311), Rich Pratt (78), Michael Stalnaker (78S), Buzzie Reutimann (00), David Pollen Jr. (88), Patrick Vareika (117), Jason Pope (99A), Keven Devrieze (99), Roger Crouse (15), Jamie Carter (15J), Dale Kelley (22), Jerry Bruce (35), Dylan Browning (6), Austin Sanders (64), John Zuidema (47Z), Bobby Dixon (205), Todd Neiheiser (72)

Street Stocks
David Barwick II (89), Henry Burnside (31B), Justin Rodgers (95), Matt Bozeman (58), John Bradley (57), Randy Shields (49), Rich Livernois Jr. (71), Robert Tyler (9), David Riner (31), David Simpson (89X), Billy Barstow (B75), Jason Russell (75R), James McPeak (7). DNS – Zach Amundsen (20)

Studio Red Gladiators
DJ Taylor (00), Daniel Bowman (46), Robert Kissam (911), Dustin Wilson (42), Daniel Casey (3D), Jeff Smith (15), Michael Meeks (41), Wayne Kissam (07), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Ricky Rutledge Sr. (4), Cade Cannon (500), Mark Roadarmel Jr. (81), Kever Raulerson (99R), Thomas Adam (T2), Rodney Martin (21), Jeff Lacey (14), Logan Casteel (7), Johnathan Wood (56B)

Rusty Dixon Memorial Tonight

This weekend, we will be honoring not only a great driver but a great man. Rusty Dixon was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident on April 29, 2007.

Rusty spent most of his childhood Saturday nights at a dirt track, many of them right here at East Bay Raceway Park. From chasing girls to sneaking into the pits, Rusty grew up with racing in his veins.

He developed his love of racing by watching his dad, Bobby Dixon, driving the #205 car. Bobby started racing in 1978 and retired in 2011. Rusty started his own racing career at the age of 13, running Go-Karts on dirt. In 1994, he stepped up to a full-size race car with a Limited Late Model that he raced on asphalt at DeSoto Speedway.

Over the next 10 years, he drove in six different classes, dirt and asphalt, ranging from Mini Stocks to Sprint Cars. Rusty was a talented driver who always managed to find a way to Victory Lane.

Rusty’s winning personality extended beyond the race track. He had a charming way about him that always made YOU feel special. Although he truly loved being behind the wheel, that love was surpassed by the love he held for his children, sons Ryan and Alex and daughter Mackenzie. He adored his kids more than anything in this world. His love for all family is immeasurable.

After all these years, we find comfort in knowing that Rusty is still with us, in our thoughts and forever in our hearts.

Tonight’s racing program will feature the second annual Rusty Dixon Memorial, a 50-lap main event for the Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds. The #97 parade car to lead the field at the start of the race will be driven by Tanner Cobb. (Special thanks to Stevie Mathis for donating his car for this). Rusty’s 10-year-old niece Taylor will throw the green flag to get the action underway.  A special tribute race will also take place as part of the Saturday night program,

We would like to thank those who have helped present tonight’s activity in memory of Rusty. Brandon Ford Collision Center and Transportation Specialists are Top Sponsors for the evening presentation. Additional sponsors include Crawford Signs, Dean’s Custom Sheet Metal, Family Jewelry & Pawn, MAVERICK’s Portable Restrooms, ADAM’s Used Auto Parts, Earthscapes, T. Carreno Fill Haulers, Choo Choo Lawn Equipment, All Steel Buildings & Components, TNT Donnie & Devin Dixon, Mathis Farms, Silver Ring, Brandon Rental, Evergreen Development, DC&N, Payne’s Environmental, KD Auto Sales, Emergency Property Preservation, Buddy’s Roofing, Brandon Auto Salvage, RCP America, Love’s Tire & Service Center, Boyd’s Fabrications, Fatback Racing Engines, Tommy’s Towing, Loetscher Auto Parts, EL’LAY Boutique, Reutimann Collision, No Limits Tree Service, Ken’s Lawn Maintenance, Pro Systems Racing Carburetors, Sanders Family, Tosca Roofing, Next Level Signs Printing & Apparel, Double D Productions, Busybdesigns, SD Designs, Riverview AutoZone, Snap On – David Mortensen, DirtDobber Video, Precision Wallboard.

TIRES

Attention Racers! If you need tires, please come during the week between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Thank you!