The Gagel’s Modifieds were back in action at East Bay Raceway Park with the “Brandon Ford 40” headlining the night’s five-division action.
The Modifieds had made an appearance the week before, giving drivers a chance to tune up for the big event that paid $1,500 to win. Defending track champion Bryan Bernhardt claimed last week’s win, then moved into the lead on lap 25 to back up the victory.
The 22-car field was led to the green by Drew Jackson with Bernhardt starting in the second row. Heat winner Mavrick Varnadore grabbed the early lead from the second row and paced the field with Shane Burrows in pursuit. While the lead dup was working the bottom, Austin Sanders chose to go to the top of the track and eventually worked his way to the front. Varnadore was able to come back to the front on lap 17. The field was shuffled on a restart, only to have that lap wiped out by another caution and resetting the field back to the way it had been. On the lap 21 restart, heat winner Bernhardt began to slice through using the middle of the race track and swooping into the lead just before a caution waved again. Burrows would be the main challenger and closed to the back of Bernhardt within five laps to go, but Bernhardt could pull away to the win, leaving others to fight for finishing positions. Phillip Cobb joined Varnadore and Bernhardt in claiming heat wins.
Tim Gay suffered a mechanical issue in his heat race on the white flag lap, sending his crew scurrying to diagnose and fix the problem. It was a job well done as Gay was able to parlay the front row starting spot into a wire to wire victory in the Street Stock main, his second visit to Victory Lane in the 2019 season. Matt Bozeman and Mark Roadarmel Jr. picked up preliminary wins.
The V-8 Warriors found their first two-time feature winner in the person of Gary Lucas. Running a consistent line from start to finish, Lucas was able to hold back challengers throughout the 15-lap main event. George Handy and Nick Brown were heat winners.
Robby Hoffmann kept his perfect streak alive by capturing the heat and feature in the Mini Sprints. Hoffmann took the lead on the third lap and cruised to a decisive win.
Jeff Smith showcased his new sponsor, Q Auto & Injury Attorneys, and parked his car in Victory Lane to record his first main in the Studio Red Salon Gladiators competition. Smith, who had been dealing with early season transmission issues, did not have an easy time as a constant late race threat developed from hard charging former feature winners Daniel Bowman and Kever Raulerson. Raulerson and Kyle Bowman topped the field in their heat race.
Next week, East Bay Raceway Park offers up Full House Night, which is a features-only presentation for 10 racing classes. Special event pricing is in effect. Racing starts at 6:30 p.m.
Brandon Ford 40: (Results unofficial pending tire samples) Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Shane Burrows (70B), Mavrick Varnadore (4), Garret Stewart (67), Seth Geary (7G), Eric Moon (18), Phillip Cobb (03), Don Crandall (9C), Drew Jackson (08), Buzzie Reutimann (00), Jim Baker (69X), Josh Sanford (3), Billy Howard (47), Rick Hall (53), Roger Crouse (15), Dale Kelley (22), Austin Sanders (64), Jamie Carter (15J), Keven Devrieze (99), Travis Varnadore (205), Pat Passanise (19), Randy Shields (69XL). DNS – David Pollen Jr. (88)
Feature: Tim Gay (90), Matt Bozeman (58), Billy Barstow (56), Henry Burnside (31), Mark Raodarmel Jr. (B75), Robert Allen (98), Allen Bailey (51), Kenny Lawrence (38), Doug Johnson (09). DNS – Mike Wilson (68), Thomas Braswell (67)
Feature: Gary Lucas (23), Jason Burnside (12J), John Bradley (X), George Handy (105), Nick Brown (12), Juston Meeks (10), Scott Bane (23B), Wayne Kissam (07), Jessica Robbins (09), Macy Bozeman (58), Nate Whitehurst (07W), Kalen Maynard (2)
Feature: Robby Hoffmann (66), Zach Amundsen (12), Jamie Tinkham (51), Trynt Lloyd (68B), Dirk Miller (68R), Steve Diamond (9), David Hall (67), Bruce Comer (21), Joe Bartow (3)
STUDIO RED SALON GLADIATORS
Feature: Jeff Smith (15), Logan Casteel (7), Kever Raulerson (99R), Kyle Bowman (46K), Robert Kissam (911), Daniel Bowman (46), Davey Martin (55), Rick Rutledge Jr. (124), Rick Rutledge Sr. (4), Robert Zutz (47), Thomas Adams (T2), Alyssa Grant (36G), Johnathan Wood (99W), Tracy Maynard (62), David Wood (21W). DNS – Rodney Martin