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Beck, Bernhardt, Cobb Among East Bay Winners

With just one week remaining on the 2018 schedule, East Bay Raceway Park provided competitors in five divisions with a final chance to visit Victory Lane since these divisions would be wrapping up their year.

Frank Beck bookended his season in the Q Auto & Injury Attorneys Sprints, winning the season opener almost nine months ago and making a triumphant return to the winner’s circle on this night. Beck put on a dominant performance, weaving masterfully through lapped traffic in a race that went caution-free. Beck took the lead from the start and passed up to fifth place before the checkered flag fell. Bryan Eckley, who finished second in the feature, captured his heat race earlier in the night.

Bryan Bernhardt brought his Gagel’s Open Wheel Modified home in front of the field for the eighth win of his racing season. Bernhardt, who clinched the season championship previously, stated he can’t wait for the return of competition in the 43rd annual Winternationals, where the local Modified racers provide stiff competition to UMP travelers. The Modifieds open the Winternationals with four nights of racing, starting January 23. Heat wins earlier in the night went to Eric Moon and Travis Varnadore.

Phillip Cobb offered his congratulations to unofficial point champion Forrest Gough during Cobb’s visit to Victory Lane in the Late Model Sportsman division. Cobb was able to secure the early and hold through several restarts to record his second feature in the division. Cobb was doing double duty, competing in Late Model Sportsman as well as Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds.  His heat win earlier gave him the outside pole with opening heat winner Megan Meyer joining Cobb to lead the field to the green.

Scott Bane made his third visit to the winner’s circle in the V8 Warriors main, holding off the late race challenge of 2018 point champion George Handy. Bane took the lead from Jessica Robbins on lap 2 to claim the 15-lap main. Bane and Gary Lucas shared honors as heat race winners.

Robby Hoffman held off teammate Dirk Miller through the 15-lap Mini-Sprint main. Hoffman recorded his fifth win of the year in the competitive division. Ronnie Whitley opened the night with a heat race win while Hoffmann added his name to the winner’s list with the second heat win.

East Bay Raceway Park will close the 2018 with the final event on Saturday, Dec. 15. Pro Late Models will compete in the annual Dalton Myers 54, a 54-lap challenge that brings $5,400 to the winner. The final appearance of the season for the Street Stocks, Gladiators, Micro Sprints and Florida Old Time Modifieds is also slated.

The 43rd annual Winternationals will open on January 23 with UMP/East Bay Raceway Park Modifieds headlining four nights of action that will also include Street Stock racing.

Q AUTO & INJURY ATTORNEYS SPRINTS

Feature: Frank Beck (89), Bryan Eckley (12B), Dylan Colding (23D), Justin Webster (21), Tim George (1*), Billy Bridges (21A), Kurt Taylor (55), Guy Bos (3K), Johnnie Alexander (1L), Andrew Griffin (32), Bruce Durden (17), Mike Steinruck (44A), Aileen Collins-Love (17c), Luke Hill (41)

GAGEL’S OPEN WHEEL MODIFIEDS

Feature: Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Travis Varnadore (205), Austin Sanders (64), Roger Crouse (15), Phillip Cobb (03), Eric Moon (18), Mavrick Varnadore (4), Drew Jackson (08), Dale Kelley (22), Shane Burrows (70B), Pat Passanise (24), Billy Howard Jr. (47). DNS – Brandon Wells (39), Keven DeVrieze (99)

LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN

Feature: Phillip Cobb (03), Steve Mathis Jr. (29), Forrest Gough (21), Bruce Harvey (27), Waylon Haynes (11), Jonathon Thomas (823), Megan Rae Meyer (11M), Wesley Livernois (44), Buck Woodhouse (55), John Mang (X). DNS – Scotty Williams (27W)

V8 WARRIORS

Feature: Scott Bane (23B), George Handy (105), Jessica Robbins (09X), Gary Lucas (23), Jason Burnside (12J), Raymond Vann (99V), Jeff Weaver (26), Justin Meeks (10), Waylon Haynes (52), Mike Pesola (15), Mark Roadarmel Jr. (66). DNS – Michael Hart (99), Wayne Kissam (07)

MINI SPRINTS

Feature: Robby Hoffman (66), Dirk Miller (68), Steve Diamond (9D), Brad Sutton (9), Austin Craddock (17), David Hall (67), Ronnie Whitley (84), Don Quinn (33), Joe Bartow (3), Donnie Quinn (33D)

Maddox Conquers East Bay for Top Gun Non-Wing Race

A field of 22 cars gathered for the final race of the 2018 season for the Top Gun Sprints, known as the Don Rehm Classic presented by Boomtrux.com. The 25-lap main event for non-wing Sprints set the stage for some exciting racing in honor of the late founder of the Top Gun series.

Justin Webster, Brandon Grubaugh and AJ Maddox came home victorious in the eight-lap heat races, putting them in position to claim the Top Gun’s Barfield Clean Sweep Award. There would be $300 extra if one of the heat winners also won the feature. The chances got even better when the draw provided a straight up start for the main.

Maddox moved quickly out front, but could not escape the persistent effort of Grubaugh. Maddox went to the high line, but Grubaugh was going even higher in a rim-riding pursuit of the race leader. Grubaugh’s effort ended on lap 19 when the car slowed and ducked into the infield. On the next lap, the first red flag appeared when Bryan Eckley and Billy Bridges made contact in turn four, sending Bridges into a tumble. The driver walked away from the collision, but his night had ended. On the next lap, Eckley made contact with a spinning Keith Butler and this time, it was Eckley who went airborne. He too was able to walk away.

When racing resumed, Maddox had no lapped cars between himself and second place Billy Boyd, but Maddox was able to pull out for the final four laps. Boyd crossed in second, but was disqualified at the tech inspection, handing second to 2017 East Bay Sprint Champion Webster.

Top Gun point leader Hayden Campbell was never a factor in the race, but Campbell had secured enough points to claim the series crown. Campbell was a seven-time winner in the 13 Top Gun races.

First time winners graced Victory Lane in two divisions. Cecil Martin, who had been a steady competitor in Outlaw 4 racing, was able to power past early race leader Brandon Yates to record his only win of the season. In Gladiator action, Thomas Adams started 11th but made the pass on race leader Johnathan Wood on lap six to secure his first win of the year.

Racing action in V8 Warriors brought newly crowned division champion George Handy his fifth victory of 2018. Point leader John Bradley took a big step toward the Street Stock title with another win. Micro Sprint point leader Kevin Strife posted his eighth win of the season in the 15-lap main.

Racing continues Saturday December 8 with Q Auto & Injury Attorneys Sprints, joined by roof optional Gagel’s Modifieds and Late Model Sportsman. The V8 Warriors will return with non-wing Mini Sprints also in competition.

TOP GUN SPRINTS

DON REHM CLASSIC PRESENTED BY BOOMTRUX.COM

AJ Maddox (3A), Justin Webster (21), Keith Butler (19), Garrett Green (82), Johnnie Alexander (8), Kurt Taylor (55), Michael Steinruck (44A), Luke Hill (41), John Kahl (13), Guy Bos (3K), Nikki Voisey (96), Kerry Gilbert (2), Bryan Eckley (12B), Billy Bridges (11B), Sport Allen (88), Brandon Grubaugh (G6), Frank Beck (89), Andrew Griffin (32), Harley Zimmerman (00), Hayden Campbell (5), Dylan Colding (23D). DQ – Billy Boyd (4)

STREET STOCKS

Feature: John Bradley (57), Jim Baker (69X), William Pugh (15), Henry Burnside (31), David Barwick II (89), Robert Tyler (99), Allen Bailey (51), Doug Johnson (09)

OUTLAW 4S

Feature: Cecil Martin (15), Nick Hebrank (7), Brandon Yates (53), Eric Knight (7V), Mark Moniz (41e), Robert Schrunk (03), Stephen Hohlbaugh (23s), Alan Weeks (55), Bob Fleming (88), Candice Kealy (D4R), Vernon Hart (48)

MICRO SPRINTS

Feature: Kevin Strife (46), Jerod Meyers (0), William Brannon Jr. (17), Bruce Comer (8), Wade Evans (27), William Burnside (13), Mike Meyers (7), Chris Diamond (9), Don Quinn (3D)

V8 WARRIORS

Feature: George Handy (105), James Warden (5), Jason Burnside (12J), Scott Bane (23B), Gary Lucas (23), Michael Hart (99), Michael Valdes (15), Wayne Kissam (07), Kalen Maynard (2), Jessica Robbins (09x), Bill Whitney (9)

GLADIATORS

Feature: Thomas Adams (T2), Daniel Bowman (46), Bailey Purcell (14B), Logan Casteel (7), Troy Dittebrand (222), Robert Kissam (911), Kever Raulerson (99R), Johnathan Wood (56B), Jeff Smith (15), Davey Martin (55), Rick Rutledge (4), Kayla Handy (8), Kipp Cooper (2), Rpodney Martin (21), Brittany Hart (81H)

Bernhardt, Cobb Tally Wins in East Bay Action

Bryan Bernhardt made a late race pass to secure the win in the Gagel’s Open Wheel Modified main event, which featured most of the vehicles racing without their tops. Bernhardt was able to sweep by early leader Phillip Cobb late in the race. A spate of late race cautions kept erasing Cobb’s advantage until Bernhardt was finally able to make the winning pass. Bernhardt and Cobb had scored heat race wins to start their nights.

Cobb was seeking his second feature win of the night after claiming the 15-lap Late Model Sportsman victory. The return to Victory Lane marked the culmination of a months-long battle with car related issues that led to recent DNFs. The night was all about securing the right outcome and Cobb thanked those involved for getting the car in a position top be a contender and winner. Cobb took the lead at the start and was never seriously challenged throughout the event. Cobb had narrowly lost his heat race earlier in the night with Shan Smith making a last lap pass for that win. Forrest Gough added a heat win to his point-leading 2018 effort.

Point leader John Bradley picked up his third main event win of the season, ending his own personal victory drought that had gone too long. Bradley was out front from the start and never seriously challenged. His big lead was wiped out by a lap six caution, but it took two turns to again stretch out what proved to be the winning margin.

Steve Diamond recorded his first east Bay Raceway Park feature win by topping the class in the Mini Sprint main. The recently relocated racer has now added the Clay by the Bay to the number of tracks in the Northeast where he secured main event wins. Diamond started on the pole after finishing third in a an exciting heat race for the division that was won by Ronnie Whitley on a late pass.

Jamie Frankland won the preliminary in Florida Old Time Modifieds, but it was a powerful drive by Danny Bowman in the Reutimann tribute 00 that decided the main event. Bowman was locked in behind Frankland and Charlie Sanders with no place to until an opening developed. Bowman took advantage of the opportunity to take the lead. It was far an easy victory as he spent that last part of the event carefully watching the temperature gauge. Bowman made it two in a row for the division.

East Bay Raceway Park has three more weeks of racing on the 2018 calendar. The next event (Dec. 1) will be headlined by the Don Rehm Classic presented by Boomtrux.com, featuring the 2018 season finale for Top Gun Sprints. Local divisions on the card include Street Stocks, Micro Sprints, V8 Warriors, Outlaw 4s (topless) and Gladiators. The Gladiators will take part in a special “bump and run” race, presented by N-E-Where Transport.

GAGEL’S OPEN WHEEL MODIFIEDS

Feature: Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Phillip Cobb (03), Dale Kelley (22), Austin Sanders (64), Eric Moon (18), Roger Crouse (15), Drew Jackson (08), Keven Devrieze (99), Don Crandall (9c), David Pollen Jr. (10), Billy Howard Jr. (47)

LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN

Feature: Phillip Cobb (03), Forrest Gough (21), Shan Smith (17ss), Wallace Peacock (21), Waylon Haynes (11), Jared Allison (18), Taylor Gant (33), Buck Woodhouse (55), Wesley Livernois (44), Roger Crouse (15), Dennis Williams (17JR). DNS – Daniel Woody (29)

STREET STOCKS

Feature: John Bradley (57), Dennis Williams (24), Henry Burnside (31), Robert Allen (98), Allen Bailey (51), Robert Tyler (99), Doug Johnson (09)

MINI SPRINTS

Feature: Steve Diamond (9), Brad Sutton (9), Ronnie Whitley (84), Joe Bartow (3)

FLORIDA OLD TIME MODIFIEDS

Feature: Danny Bowman (00), Jamie Frankland (1), Charlie Sanders (7A), Robert Campbell (11). DNS – Dan Darnell (111)

Maddox Scores Top Gun Win at East Bay

A.J. Maddox took the lead on the second lap of the 25-lap Top Gun Sprints main event on Saturday night and rolled to his fourth series victory of the season. It was the third time Maddox had claimed a Top Gun win at East Bay this season. In addition to the winner’s share of the purse, Maddox picked up an additional $900 in Victory Lane as winner of the Jeff Barfield Memorial Clean Sweep Award. It was the second time this season that Maddox claimed the Barfield prize, which is offered to any feature winner who also won a heat race.

Point leader Hayden Campbell was able to pester Maddox on restarts, but Maddox was able to scout away each time. Campbell had followed Maddox through on lap two, slipping past early race leader Bruce Durden. Billy Bridges and Robbie Smith, heat race winners who also stood to claim the Clean Sweep award, kept pace in the top five early on, but Brandon Grubaugh swept by both for third by the halfway mark. A lap 19 restart put three lapped cars between Maddox and Campbell and the leader took advantage of the free space to move out to a dominant win.

The Top Gun Sprint Series will conclude their 2018 season on Dec. 1 with the Don Rehm Classic presented by Boomtrux.com, which will be contested at East Bay. The finale will be the eighth visit to East Bay by the series, who will open their 2019 campaign as part of the 43rd annual Winternationals.

Steve Mathis Jr. catapaulted into the early race lead that set the stage for a dominant run that resulted in his second feature victory of the 2018 season. Mathis passed up to the fourth-place car in the 30-lap main. The feature victory backed up the heat race from earlier tonight as Mathis tightened the points race in the division with one event remaining.

Jimmy Baker was a double winner in Street Stock action, but not without staving off the challenges of Rich Livernois Jr. Baker made a last lap pass in the heat to score the win there. He then moved out to the lead in the early stages of the 15-lap feature, only to have Livernois reel him in at the end. Livernois briefly held the top spot on the white flag lap, but Baker came back to gain the advantage and the win.

Point leader George Handy returned to Victory Lane in V8 Warrior action. Handy was at the front from the start while second place was the hotly contested spot. Scott Bane and Gary Lucas exchanged the spot in the late stages with Bane prevailing in second place. Handy and Nick Brown had started their respective evenings with heat wins.

Point leader Kevin Strife recorded his seventh feature win, outdistancing the field in the 15-lap main. Strife had earned the pole start thanks to a last lap pass in the heat race for the win.

Action returns to East Bay Raceway Park on Nov. 24 as the Turkey Left Over Racing feature Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds (topless), Late Model Sportsman, Street Stocks, Mini Sprints and Florida Old Time Modifieds.

TOP GUN SPRINTS

Feature: A.J. Maddox (3A), Hayden Campbell (5), Brandon Grubaugh (G6), Robbie Smith (6s), Billy Bridges (11B), Harley Zimmerman (00), Justin Webster (21), Mike Steinruck (44a), Guy Bos (3k), Bryan Eckley (12B), Mark Cole (6x), Kurt Taylor (55), Bruce Durden (17), Anthony D’Alessio (17c), Nikki Voisey (96), Johnny Alexander (1L), Garrett Green (82). DQ – Matt Kurtz (92)

PRO LATE MODELS

Feature: Steve Mathis Jr. (95), Wallace Peacock (21w), Andrew Hopkins (13H), Phillip Cobb (03), Dustin Perez (8), TJ LaFlamboy (44), John Norris (87), Keven Devrieze (99), Thomas Burnside (13)

STREET STOCKS

Feature: Jim Baker (69x), Henry Burnside (31), Rich Livernois Jr. (71), John Bradley (57), Allen Bailey (51), Robert Tyler (99). DNS – James McPeak (7)

V8 WARRIORS

Feature: George Handy (105), Scott Bane (23B), Gary Lucas (23), Jessica Robbins (09x), Bill Whitney (9), Nick Brown (92), Justin Meeks (10), Michael Hart (99). DQ – Wayne Kissam (07), Kalen Maynard (2)

MICRO SPRINTS

Feature: Kevin Strife (46), William Burnside (13), William Brannan Jr. (17), Mike Meyers (7), Jerod Myers (0). DNS – Joe Bartow (3)

 

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.

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)

OUTLAW 4S

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)

STREET STOCKS

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

V8 WARRIORS

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)

MINI SPRINTS

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

GLADIATORS

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)