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.
PRO LATE MODELS
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)
GAGEL’S OPEN WHEEL MODIFIEDS
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)
LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN
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)