For Immediate Release – February 7th, 2018 – FYE Motorsports Promotions
For the first time since 2011, over 50 competitors entered the Wednesday night portion of the 42nd annual Wrisco Industries Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Winternationals presented by E3 Spark Plugs at East Bay Raceway Park just outside of Tampa, Florida.
Another beautiful weather day greeted fans and drivers alike as Salem, West Virginia veteran Mike Benedum topped the 51 car field in Miller Welders qualifying with a 14.524 second lap before Jimmy Owens, Josh Richards, Gregg Satterlee, Brandon Overton, Dennis Erb Jr. and Jonathan Davenport won the six qualifying heat races. Kyle Bronson and Mason Zeigler won the twin b-mains and Brandon Sheppard picked up the victory in the night’s Strawberry Dash to set the 26 car starting grid for the 40-lap, $7,000 to win main event.
Owens and Overton sat on the front row and lead the field to the green with Owens taking his #20 car to the lead on the opening lap after a false start kept the field bunched up for a restart. Owens would go on to lead the first three circuits before third starting Richards took command on lap four and lead until a lap 9 caution for a Boom Briggs/Mike Benedum crash on the front stretch slowed the action.
Once the field was realigned, Richards again took the lead and paced the field while Overton and Satterlee were in a tremendous battle for second just behind the leader. Davenport and Bobby Pierce were in their own scramble for fourth just behind the top four as well. Richards kept the field at bay until the second and final caution flag waved on lap 17 for a three car tangle on the backstretch between Scott Bloomquist, Mason Zeigler and Shane Tankersley.
On the restart, Richards again blasted back to the lead with Overton in tow. Josh lead the next 8 laps until Overton was able to make his move as the lead duo entered turn number three on lap 25. Overton swept by Richards into the lead and never looked back, racing the final 15 circuits out front en route to his first ever victory at the Clay by the Bay. Richards would come home in second with Satterlee third. Davenport and 10th starting Pierce would finish out the top five.
Feature finish: Brandon Overton, Josh Richards, Gregg Satterlee, Jonathan Davenport, Bobby Pierce, Dennis Erb Jr., Billy Moyer Jr., Tyler Erb, Kyle Bronson, Darrell Lanigan, Jesse Stoval, Brandon Sheppard, Austin Hubbard, Devin Moran, Brian Shirley, Scott Bloomquist, Earl Pearson Jr., Hudson O’Neal, Timothy Culp, Mike Benedum, Shane Tankersley, Jimmy Owens, Mason Zeigler, Tim McCreadie, Don O’Neal, Boom Briggs
Mike Horne Photo