Varnadore, Bernhardt Make Return Visits to East Bay Victory Lane

East Bay Raceway Park honored military veterans for a special Saturday night racing program, but it was veterans of track competition who moved to the top of the class in many of the features. Eight divisions were highlighted on the final Full House night of 2018.

Travis Varnadore dominated the Pro Late Model 30-lap feature, winning by nearly ¾ of the race track when the checkered flag flew. Varnadore sliced by on lap 2 after early race leader Phillip Cobb exited with a mechanical issue. Once in the lead, Varnadore faced no challenges, even when the field was bunched for a restart. For Varnadore, it marked his third appearance as a Pro Late Model winner. The best racing on the track was clearly the battle for second with Jeff Mathews and Steve Mathis Jr. trying to settle it. At the end, Wallace Peacock crept up to the two, but could not make a serious attempt at a pass. Mathews ended up taking the second spot.

Gagel’s Open Wheel Modified point leader Bryan Bernhardt congratulated apparent race winner Phillip Cobb in Victory Lane, only to find out later that Bernhardt was the real winner after the tech man had his say.  Cobb and second place Travis Varnadore were dinged for muffler violations, handing Bernhardt his sixth feature win in 11 starts.

Point leader Brandon Yates kept his stranglehold on Victory Lane for the Outlaw 4 class, notching his seventh feature win in the 15-lap main event. Yates started the race on the pole and made it very difficult for anyone to hunt him down. Many of the top five drivers experienced brushes with the frontstretch wall, but Yates was able to his car from scraping concrete to score the win.

Defending class champion Jimmy Baker took the lead on lap 5 of the 15-lap Street Stock main to claim his fifth feature win of the year.

Gary Lucas found the right combination to score his first official V8 Warrior win of 2018, outdueling point leader George Handy through the late stages. Lucas, whose steady performances had kept him in the top five in the point standings, took a big leap in the program as the division will have three more nights of racing before a champion is crowned.

Lapped traffic played an unwelcome role in the outcome of the Late Model Sportsman main. Forrest Gough was the early leader, but a strong drive by Bruce Harvey shot him ahead of Gough in the early stages. Harvey could not get much more than a couple of car lengths ahead of Gough. As the race was winding down, the lead dup hit lapped traffic, which caused some anxious moments that ultimately resulted in Harvey falling from the lead. Gough had his own encounter, but was able to stay out front to a win he said he didn’t really want to claim.

Dusty Cates made a return visit to Victory Lane in Mini Sprint action, topping the 15-lap main. It was his second feature win of the year in limited starts.

The night concluded with a first-time winner in Gladiator competition. Brittany Hart, who had finished second in each of the last two Gladiator clashes, would not be denied. Starting on the inside of the third row in the 15-car feature, Hart was able to work steadily through the field and slipped past race leader Ricky Rutledge Jr for her first feature win in her first season on dirt. She told the crowd she was not racing asphalt any more.

Action resumes Saturday, Nov. 17 with Top Gun Sprints, Pro Late Models, Street Stocks, V8 Warriors and Micro Sprints.


Feature: Travis Varnadore (95V), Jeff Mathews (33), Steve Mathis Jr. (95), Wallace Peacock (21W), Roger Crouse (15), Adam Boyd (6), John Norris (87), Dustin Perez (8), Phillip Cobb (03), TJ LaFlamboy (44). DNS – Thomas Burnside (13)


Feature: Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Austin Sanders (64), Dale Kelley (22), Sean Monaghan (21), Drew Jackson (08), Josh Peacock (15), Roger Crouse (12), Rick Hall (53), Bill Howard Jr. (47), Jeff Mathews (33), Don Crandall (9c). DQ – Phillip Cobb (03), Travis Varnadore (205)


Feature: Brandon Yates (53), Nick Hebrank (7), Cecil Martin (15), Billy Dukes (15), Mark Moniz (41E), Eric Knight (7V), Vernon Hart (48), Bryan Sykes (23s), Trey Ford (40F)


Feature: Jimmy Baker (69x), John Bradley (57), Dennis Williams (24), Josh Jones (B75), Allen Bailey (51), Henry Burnside (31), Robert Tyler (99)


Feature: Gary Lucas (23), George Handy (105), Jason Burnside (12J), Michael Hart (99), Scott Bane (23B), Jessica Robbins (09X), Kalen Maynard (2), Bill Whitley (9), David Parr (36), Bo Anderson (95), Wayne Kissam (07)


Feature: Forrest Gough (21), Bruce Harvey (27), Daniel Woody (29), Keven Devrieze (99), Buck Woodhouse (55), Wesley Livernois (44)


Feature: Dustin Cates (6), Steve Diamond (77), Brad Sutton (9), Ronnie Whitley (84), Don Walker (0), Scott Barberis (14)


Feature: Brittany Hart (81H), Daniel Bowman (46), Bailey Purcell (14B), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Johnathan Wood (56B), Kipp Cooper (2), Robert Kissam (911), Kayla Handy (8), Mark Roadarmel Jr. (81), Jeff Smith (15), Thomas Adams (T2), Logan Casteel (7), Andy Batchelor (99B), Kever Raulerson (99r), Cade Cannon (500)

Tim Gay Scores Street Stock Victory in Honor of His Father

Street Stock racers had been circling the date on the calendar when word started spreading about the first Gary Gay Memorial event for Street Stocks. Through the support of nearly two dozen businesses and supporters, racers were contesting one of the highest purses available for the class. The race was worthy of the payout.

Tim Gay, who scored two previous feature wins at East Bay Raceway Park in 2018, grabbed the lead from Tim Powers on lap five of the 25-lap main and waltzed away from the field. Gay lapped all but 4 other cars in his quest for the victory in the race named in honor of his father. Closest competitor Rich Livernois Jr. had his best run of 2018 with a second place finish. Livernois and fourth-place finishing Dennis Williams started the night with heat wins.

Point leader Joe Zuczek appeared on his way to his second Q Auto & Injury Attorney Sprint main, but 2017 track champion Justin Webster had something to say about that. Webster suffered through a broken suspension part in the heat, forcing him near the back of the field for the 15-lap main.  While Zuczek was trying to hold off Keith Butler on a restart, Webster moved from fifth to third and set his sights on the lead duo. Webster moved to the top of the track and started closing the gap. He was able to hunt down Zuczek and pull to the front as the field rumbled off turn four. It was a veteran move from a second-year driver who made a triumphant return to Victory Lane.

Kevin Strife solidified his points lead in Micro Sprints by taking his sixth feature of the season. The lead pass on William Burnside came early and Strife, who won the heat race, could not be caught.

An exciting finish to the Gladiator main carried through the checkered flag. Hard driving to the end, Daniel Casey led the field to the finish line with Daniel Bowman and Brittany Hart charging behind. Bowman was not able to slow in the turns and rolled his car. The point leader was not injured and later got some good news in the pit area. Race winner Casey was disqualified when his muffler was dislodged during the race, handing the victory to Bowman. It was Bowman’s seventh win of the season and solidified his point lead. Gladiators still have three more events on the calendar.

The Daytona Antique Auto Racing Association featured three divisions of action with Midgets, Sprints and a combined V-8/6-cyk class. Heat winners doubled up by taking victory in their respective 10-lap main. Wes Hill (Midget), Cush Revette (V-8/6 cyl) and Stan Butler (Sprints) took top honords.

East Bay Raceway Park will honor Veterans of military service next Saturday (Nov. 10) with free grandstand admission with ID. It’s Full House Night with Pro Late Models, Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds, Late Model Sportsman, Street Stocks, V8 Warriors, Gladiators, Outlaw Fours and Mini Sprints in action.


Gary Gay Memorial – Tim Gay (90), Rich Livernois Jr. (71), Tim Powers (44), Dennis Williams (24), Jim Baker (69x), John Bradley (57), Thomas Pratt (22), Charles Christian (36), Craig Montesi (39), Henry Burnside (31), Justin Rodgers (95), David McCormick (26), Robert Tyler (99), Marco Reyes (93), Trent Wilson (3H), Allen Bailey (51)


Feature: Justin Webster (21), Joe Zuczek (50), Keith Butler (19), Tim George (1*), Kurt Taylor (55), Billy Bridges (11B), Guy Bos (3K), Mike Steinruck (44a), Travis Bliemeister (3), Brian Eckley (12B), Johnnie Alexander (1L)


Feature: Kevin Strife (46), William Burnside (13), William Brannan Jr. (17), Mike Meyers (7), Bruce Comer (8), Wade Evans (27), Jerod Meyers (0), Joe Bartow (3). DNS – Chris Livernois Jr. (71)


Feature: Daniel Bowman (46), Brittany Hart (81H), Kever Raulerson (99r), Wayne Kissam (07), Johnathan Wood (56B), Thomas Adams (T2), Jeff Smith (15), Patrick Tabb (03), Rick Rutledge Sr. (4), Davey Martin (55), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Bailey Purcell (14), Kipp Cooper (2), Robert Kissam (911), Rodney Martin (21), Kayla Handy (8). DQ – Daniel Casey (3D). DNS – Kelton Watson (124w)

Bronson Triumphant in Late Models in Gene Slaughter Memorial Races

Kyle Bronson swept to the lead on lap 21 of the 50-lap Pro Late Model main event in a triumphant return to East Bay Raceway Park. Bronson, who focuses on traveling Late Model events, made a special stop at East Bay to honor the late Gene Slaughter, East Bay’s long time tire man.

Keith Nosbisch took the early race lead in the 19-car field. Steve Mathis moved to challenge Nosbisch on lap 6 and held the spot for five laps before Doug Horton swept past. On lap 18, Bronson moved to the top three and asserted himself at the front three laps later.

Bronson’s earlier visit to Victory Lane came during Winternationals earlier this year. He told the crowd he would be back for the season finale on Dec. 15.

Doug Watson, Mathis and Nosbisch were heat winners.

The Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds held a 20-lap feature that saw point leader Bryan Bernhardt run a masterful race to victory. Heat races were won by Buzzie Reutimann and Mavrick Varnadore.

In preparation for next week’s Gary Gay Memorial paying a hefty purse, Street Stocks opened the night’s features will an exciting battle between Jimmy Baker and Dennis Williams. In the end, it would be Baker coming out on top as the defending divisions champion continues to showcase the abilities of his new racecar at his command. Baker and Williams had started the night with preliminary wins.

Non-winged Mini Sprints brought Robby Hoffmann back to the winner’s circle in a race that saw multiple leaders. Dusty Cates and Jamie Tinkham each took a turn at the front, but those two collided after Hoffmann moved out front. Cates and Hoffmann claimed heat wins.

The Gladiator class was strong with 20 cars in attendance. Brittany Hart picked up her first career heat race win and recorded her best feature finish, chasing eventual winner Daniel Bowman to he checkered flag for second place. Bowman solidified his point lead in a quest to repeat as division champion. Bowman and Daniel Casey joined Hart as preliminary winners.

The next action for East Bay Raceway Park is Saturday, November 3. The Gary Gay Memorial for Street Stocks, Q Auto & Injury Attorneys Sprints, Gladiators and  Micro Sprints provide the excitement.


Feature: Kyle Bronson (40B), Doug Horton (11), Keith Nosbisch (02), Travis Varnadore (95V), Josh Peacock (21P), Doug Watson (07), Steve Mathis Jr. (95), Steven Brendle (141), Eric Moon (00), John Norris (87), Adam Boyd (6), Megan Meyer (11M), Roger Crouse (15), Dustin Perez (8), Phillip Cobb (03), TJ LaFlamboy (44), Thomas Burnside (13), Billy Boyd Sr (3), Jack Nosbisch Jr. (14).


Feature: Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Phillip Cobb (03), Dale Kelley (22), Roger Crouse (15), Buzzie Reutimann (00), Michael Cherry (17c), Billy Howard Jr. (47), Eric Moon (18), Seth Geary (7G), Rick Hall (53), Sean Monaghan (21), Ray Durrance Jr. (2), Rich Pratt (78), Don Crandall (9c), Pat Passanise (24), Jerol Stepp (23), Mavrick Varnadore (4)


Feature: Jimmy Baker (69x), Dennis Williams (24), Timmy Gay (90), David Barwick II (89), John Bradley (57), Henry Burnside (31), Tim Dowling (55), Allen Bailey (51), Robert Tyler (99), Ken Lawrence (38), Thomas Pratt (22)


Feature: Robby Hoffmann (66), Jamie Tinkham (51), Dusty Cates (6), Austin Craddock (17), David Hall (67), Brad Sutton (9), AJ Parrish (17A), Michael Luckert (93), Dallas Casey (87). DNS – Ronnie Whitley


Feature: Daniel Bowman (46), Brittany Hart (81H), Jeremy Lanier (22), Bailey Purcell (14), Kever Raulerson (99R), Robert Kissam (911), Logan Casteel (7), Jeff Smith (15), Kayla Handy (8), Daniel Casey (3D), Rick Rutledge Sr. (4), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Kip Cooper (2), Davey Martin (55), Johnathan Wood (56B), Mark Roadarmel Jr. (81), Rodney Martin (21), Ethan Dansby (26), Patrick Tabb (03). DQ – Andrew Hall (99H)

Robert “Lee” Barfield

Again, our hearts are heavy as our racing family lost another member, Robert “Lee” Barfield on Saturday, October 20.  Mr. Barfield and his wife were a huge part of the sprint car racing family.  They were big supporters and sponsors of the Top Gun Series here at East Bay and other local tracks.  He sponsored the “Clean Sweep” award at the sprint car races.  Mr. Barfield and his wife were always here for our Winternationals Sprint Car Races.  He will be missed greatly.  Mr. Barfield was laid to rest on Friday, October 26 in Lakeland. We would like to send our thoughts and prayers to his family during this time.

Reminder – Drivers Bring Your Candy!

Children under the age of 12 can get a head start on Halloween at East Bay Saturday October 27. Youngsters will get the chance to meet the drivers on the track, who will be handing out goodies from their race cars. Drivers, here’s your opportunity to bring some extra joy to young race fans, so we encourage you to get some candy and join the fun.

The racing will be top notch as a treat for fans of all ages. The Gene Slaughter Memorial Races will bring extra payouts, which is sure to attract top competitors. Take a look at the trophies!

Racing starts at 6:30 p.m. Come have a ghouly good time at East Bay Raceway Park,