There are certain tracks on the worldwide racing circuits that offer last lap drama, such as Talladega where NASCAR is visiting this weekend. You can add East Bay Raceway Park to the list as two features were decided in the last turn during a five-division program.
One of those nailbiters was the Florida Pro Late Model main event, a 25-lap contest that endured a rocky start. Several complete restarts were required until the 22-car field was able to complete a lap. Another spate of cautions returned on lap 2, During one of the yellows, early race leader and current point leader Shan Smith retired to the pits, handing the lead to Phillip Cobb. Smith was able to get back in the race without losing a lap, only to be collected in a five-car pileup in turn four on the next restart, ending his night for good. When the green flag returned, Cobb lost the lead to Nevin Gainey, but the two made hard contact when Cobb attempted to regain the spot. Gainey was awarded the lead and Cobb was sent to the tail, moving Andrew Hopkins into second. That lasted one lap as Trever Taylor scooted by for the position with all of this happening with only three laps completed. After several more restarts, drivers settled in for periods of green flag racing that saw Clay Harris and David Whitener bring their cars to the top of the track. Harris got the best situation, moving to second on lap 10 and taking the lead two laps later. While Harris motored away, Taylor and Whitener were locked in a side by side battle for third. The front runners negotiated lapped traffic into the final stages. Harris took the white flag with a substantial lead and appeared heading to victory until he spun in turn four with the checkered in sight. Gainey seized the opportunity and powered home to victory with the crowd cheering. Megan Meyer, Jimmy Waldrop and Cobb had earned heat wins earlier in the night.
Another exciting finish occurred with the opening feature as Street Stock racers charged to the end. Dennis Williams jumped to the lead from the second row at the start of the main. Point leader John Bradley moved to the top of the track, challenging defending track champion Jim Baker for position. Tanner Cobb asserted himself into the mix moving to third, then taking second on lap 6 of the 15-lapper. Cobb swooped to the high side of Williams to gain the lead at the halfway mark. This race proved to have plenty of drama left as a late race restart set up challengers to Cobb’s effort to gain his first feature win. Williams, who had raced on the bottom throughout the event, saw an opportunity off turn three and moved to the top of the rack. Baker went to the low side and a three-car drag race to the finish saw Williams score a narrow win. Bradley had opened the night with a heat victory.
The Florida Mini Sprint Association brought a field of 11 to the green. Heat race winners David Hall and Robby Hoffman were seeking the double for the night, but they were denied by a determined Austin Craddock. The youngster put his car on the bottom of the race track and was never headed in a wire-to-wire run.
Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds point leader Bryan Bernhardt logged his fourth feature victory of a year in a race that required an exhausting physical effort. Bernhardt saw his early race lead vanish, only to regain it for good a lap later. A good challenge for second was witnessed between Mavrick Varnadore and Dale Kelley with Varnadore prevailing. Kelley and Kenny Monahan topped the field in the heats.
The final feature of the night brought a new winner to the East Bay Raceway Park record books. In his first-ever appearance at the track, Dewayne Yeomans added the Clay by the Bay to his extensive record of Florida tracks where he has claimed main events. Yeomans joined fellow heat winner Daniel Casey in the third row at the start of the main and methodically moved through the field. The feature winner said he had visited East Bay as a spectator when his home track was not racing the class and decided to make the nearly two-hour tow on this Saturday. There is a good chance that East Bay has not seen the last of the Yeomans Racing team.
Saturday, October 20 will be Law Enforcement Night at East Bay Raceway Park. Law Enforcement personnel will be admitted free to the grandstand with ID. The racing action includes Top Gun Sprints, Late Model Sportsman, Micro Sprints, V8 Warriors, Outlaw 4s and Florida Old Time Modifieds.
FLORIDA PRO LATE MODELS
Feature: Nevin Gainey (41), Trever Taylor (7T), David Whitener (5), Josh Peacock (21P), Dennis Williams (17jr), Scotty Williams (27w), Andrew Hopkins (13H), Phillip Cobb (11), Clay Harris (6), Wallace Peacock (21W), Chuck Jackson (45), Candice Kuhn (42k), Jason Russell (75R), Buck Woodhouse (55), Megan Rae Meyer (11M), Jimmy Waldrop (9), Jonathan Thomas (823), Taylor Gant (33), Louis Ledlow (00), Shan Smith (17ss), John Norris (87), John Mang (X)
Feature: Dennis Williams (24), Jim Baker (69X), Tanner Cobb (90), John Bradley (57), Matt Bozeman (58), Henry Burnside (31), Billy Barstow (56), James McPeak (7), Robert Tyler (99), Josh Jones (B75)
FLORIDA MINI SPRINT ASSOCIATION
Feature: Austin Craddock (17), Robby Hoffman (66), Dusty Cates (6), Russ Heider (86), David Hall (67), Dirk Miller (68), Brad Sutton (9), Ronnie Whitley (84), Zach Amundsen (12), Don Quinn (33), Dallas Casey (87)
GAGEL’S OPEN WHEEL MODIFIEDS
Feature: Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Mavrick Varnadore (4), Dale Kelley (22), Roger Crouse (15), Bill Howard Jr. (47), Rick Hall (53), Michael Cherry (17c), Jeff Mathews (33), Jerry Bruce (35), Phillip Cobb (03), Pat Passanise (24), Kenny Monahan (311)
Feature: Dewayne Yeomans (55), Daniel Bowman (46), Robert Kissam (911), Jeff Smith (15), Daniel Casey (3D), Bailey Purcell (14), Brittany Hart (81H), Kayla Handy (8), Logan Casteel (7), Rick Rutledge Sr. (4), Kever Raulerson (99r), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Jonathan Wood (56B), Mark Roadarmel Jr. (81)
PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS
MINI SPRINTS WILL RUN WITH WINGS
THIS IS A FMSA POINTS EVENT
Throughout the year, East Bay Raceway Park has offered “Full House Nights” where as many as nine classes will be in competition. These nights offer a wide variety of racing action, giving fans a sample of their favorite divisions. The features only event brought a good crowd as just two months remain in the season. The final Full House Night is scheduled for November 10.
The action opened with Outlaw 4s, who were running for the ninth time this year. This division features one of the closest point battles as leader Billy Dukes has a slight advantage over second place Nick Hebrank and leads by 7 over third place Cecil Martin. The story of the night came from outside the top three as Brandon Yates recorded his fifth feature win of the year, moving up in the point standings in the division. Yates is in a spot to move up with just three more appearances for the class in 2018.
The Micro Sprints hit the track for a 15-lap main and point leader Kevin Strife wasted little time in getting to the head of the pack. Strife was able to put together a strong consistent run to keep the lead. Jerod Meyers, seeking his second feature win of the year, tried to reel in the leader but ran out of laps. For Strife, it was his fifth feature win of the season.
Defending Street Stock champion Jimmy Baker made it back-to-back-to-back feature wins, dominating the class in the 15-lap feature. Baker has competed four times in 2018 with the new car, which has finished no worse than second. Some good battles were taking shape behind the leader, but no one could get within striking distance of the eventual winner.
The first three features of the night ran caution-free.
One of the most exciting races of the night came when the Pro Late Models hit the track for their 30-lap highlight. The first caution of the night caused a complete restart and polesitter Jeff Mathews charged forth to take the early lead. Immediately, Travis Varnadore began a challenge on Mathews, going to the bottom for two laps of wheel-to-wheel racing. Varnadore was finally able to break free. Mathews fell to the clutches of a hard charging Steve Mathis Jr., who collected second on lap seven. On subsequent restarts, Mathews was able to bolt ahead of Mathis, only to lose the spot on the backstretch. Last week’s feature winner Kenny Monahan worked his way to fourth, but fell back a few laps later. Mathews and Phillip Cobb were locked in a position battle until Mathews ended up turned around in turn two on lap 22. From there, Mathis renewed his restart charge, but the caution waved for a Monahan spin, setting up the run to the finish. Mathis was able to pull alongside with two laps to go, but a determined Varnadore stayed on purpose to prevail at the end.
After a brief intermission, the Q Auto & Injury Attorneys Sprints gathered for their 15-lap feature. Poimnt leader Joe Zuczek ran wire to wire to gather his second career victory, but his first of 2018. The race was not without challengers as Bryan Eckley brought the first charge, but Frank Beck appeared to have Zuczek’s number. As Beck closed in, engine woes began to become obvious and Zuczek escaped to the checkered flag without a serious challenge in the last few laps.
Buck Woodhouse grabbed the early lead in the Late Model Sportsman main, yielding to Phillip Cobb, who moved on the high line to rim ride to the lead. Point leader Forrest Gough began to reel in the leader, capturing the top spot on lap 8. Meanwhile, Daniel Woody was climbing through the field, grabbing second on lap 9. Woody saw an opportunity open up on the low side and swept into the lead on lap 12, boosting him to his second feature win of the year.
The Gagel’s Open Wheel Modified main had a rough start as a turn two spin on the first lap collected half of the field. Most were able to continue on the complete restart, which saw Jeff Mathews slip by Billy Howard for the lead. Mathews would be challenged by point leader Bryan Bernhardt and Phillip Cobb, but the battle between the trailing duo was enough to provide Mathews some breathing room. The end result was Mathews gaining his first win of the year with a car he had used in competition in Batesville, Arkansas the week before.
The V8 Warriors earned the dubious distinction of providing the most drama. Early leader Gary Lucas had to bring the field to the green on a number of restarts, but managed to keep his position every time. Scott Bane, winner of the division’s last feature, endured a wild ride after contact on the front stretch, which sent him to the rear. Bane picked his way forward as attrition started to take its toll. Contact between Michael Hart and George Handy resulted in point leader Handy spinning in turn two. Retribution was saved for the final lap, which freed up Lucas to score what appeared to be his first feature win of the year. The tech man had other ideas as Lucas endured a DQ, handing the win to Bane.
Gladiators closed off the night’s action with Daniel Casey becoming the early leader. Despite breaking a strut early in the race, point leader Daniel Bowman was able to manhandle the car to the lead and record his fifth win of the season.
Action returns to East Bay Raceway Park on Saturday, October 13 with a five-division program.
Feature: Brandon Yates (53), Eric Knight (7V), Billy Dukes Jr. (15), Nick Hebrank (7), Cecil Martin (15), Mark Moniz (41e), Vernon Hart (48), William Hampton (19)
Feature; Kevin Strife (46), Jerod Meyers (0), Matt Wedgewood (4), William Burnside (13), Steve Diamond (9), Dustin Cates (8). DNS – Mike Meyers (7)
Feature: Jim Baker (69x), Tanner Cobb (90), John Bradley (57), Richard Livernois Jr. (71), Henry Burnside (31), Kenny Myers (55)
PRO LATE MODELS
Feature: Travis Varnadore (95V), Steve Mathis Jr. (95), Phillip Cobb (03), Jeff Mathews (33), Megan Meyer (11M), Kenny Monahan (311), John Norris (87), Josh Peacock (21P), Dustin Perez (8), TJ LaFlamboy (44), Keith Nosbisch (02)
Q AUTO & INJURY ATTORNEYS SPRINTS
Feature: Joe Zuczek (50), Frank Beck (89), Dylan Colding (23D), Billy Bridges (11B), Bryan Eckley (12), Guy Bos (3K), Mike Steinruck (44A), Kurt Taylor (55), Garrett Green (82)
LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN
Feature: Daniel Woody (29), Phillip Cobb (11), Forrest Gough (21), Wesley Livernois (44), Buck Woodhouse (55), Noah Cornman (30)
GAGEL’S OPEN WHEEL MODIFIEDS
Feature: Jeff Mathews (33), Phillip Cobb (03), Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Dale Kelley (22), Roger Crouse (15), Bill Howard Jr. (47), Rick Hall (53), Pat Passanise (24), Don Crandall (9), Keven Devrieze (99)
Feature: Scott Bane (23B), Jessica Robbins (09X), Michael Hart (99), Wayne Kissam (07), Kalen Maynard (2), Jeff Weaver (26), Bo Anderson (95), Bill Whitney (15), David Parr (36). DQ – Gary Lucas (23), George Handy (105)
Feature: Daniel Bowman (46), Daniel Casey (3D), Kever Raulerson (99R), Brittany Hart (81H), Andrew Hall (99), Robert Kissam (911), Bailey Purcell (14), Jeff Smith (15), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Johnathan Wood (56B), Rick Rutledge Sr. (4), Logan Casteel (7), Steve Ashmore (01)
The re-scheduled Jack Nosbisch Sr. Memorial was held a month later, but it was worth the wait. The Pro Late Model field was stellar and the action bordered on dramatic at the end.
After preliminary heat races for the four other classes on the schedule, a field of 23 Late Models set out to decide who would capture the first check and trophy. Kenny Monahan moved to the top spot from the outside pole to break a way from the pack. Phillip Cobb took second from Andrew Hopkins early on and became Monahan’s first challenger. A lap five spin by Jimmy Waldrop collected class point leader Doug Horton, eliminating both for the night. On the restart, Bryan Bernhardt slipped past Cobb for second and began to close on Monahan. A late race caution for a Roger Crouse spin bunched the field for a two-lap shootout, but Monahan stayed focused to grab his second career Pro Late Model win.
The exciting opener set the stage for a second 20-lap main event. Fresh off a disappointing second place finish in the first feature, Cobb was determined not to let the opportunity slip away. Fast from the start, Cobb rocketed to the lead while side-by-side racing within the top 10 resulted in position changes on nearly every lap. Travis Varnadore took advantage of an early restart to become the first challenger and Varnadore made the pass for the top spot on lap 8. As leaders were hitting lapped traffic, a Wallace Peacock spin provided breathing room. Two laps after the restart, a charging Keith Nosbisch gained second, only to see Cobb rally back for the runner-up position. A lap 15 caution bunched the field again with Cobb choosing an outside starting spot. As the field hit the second corner, leader Varnadore pulled to the top of the track and stopped in turn 2. This misfortune gave Cobb a lead that would never be headed, though he had to stave off a challenge from Steve Mathis Jr.
The night started with V8 Warriors as Jason Burnside and Michael Hart gained wins in the heat. When feature time rolled around, it was Raymond Vann who wanted to set the pace with Scott Bane in tow. Burnside moved to second with point leader George Handy soon working to third from a start at the back of the field. Entering turn two on lap 6 of the 15-lap main, Vann and Burnside collided, giving the lead to Handy. On the restart, Bane stayed glued to the leader, seeking an opportunity that came one lap later. Bane swooped by Handy and kept his focus on hitting the proper spots for the car to work as planned. The checkered flew and Bane had his first win of his career in the V8 Warrior class.
The field of Outlaw 4s featured two drivers with three main wins on the year. The tie would be broken when Brandon Yates pulled to the lead and ran strong to the finish. A challenge from point leader Nick Hebrank came up short due to a driveshaft issue. Yates and Hebrank had won their respective heat races.
In the Micro Sprints, a new name has been etched into the record books, thanks to an inspired and inspiring performance by young Chris Livernois Jr. Last time the class had raced, Livernois sat out his heat and returned with a strong run in the feature. This week, he was determined not to be the one chasing, but to become the one being chased. Livernois moved around Kevin Strife before lap two and it was never close from there. Joseph Taylor won his heat, but could not compete in the feature.
The Gladiators brought a field of 16 cars for the 15-lap main after heat wins by Bailey Purcell and Daniel Casey. Both heat winners would figure prominently in the early stages of the feature as Casey would slip past Purcell on the third lap to take the lead. Three-time feature winner Kever Raulerson moved to the putside of the track to sweep around the front runners on lap 9, going the rest of the way in front.
East Bay Raceway Park will continue the 2018 racing season on Saturday October 6 with Full House Night. The racing card includes Pro Late Models, Q Auto & Injury Attorneys Sprints, Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds, Late Model Sportsman, Street Stocks, V8 Warriors, Gladiators, Outlaw 4s and Micro Sprints.
PRO LATE MODELS
FIRST FEATURE: Kenny Monahan (311), Phillip Cobb (03), Bryan Bernhardt (03X), Andrew Hopkins (13H), Travis Varnadore (95x), Doug Watson (07), Jack Nosbisch Jr. (12), Bruce Harvey (27), Keith Nosbisch (02), Megan Rae Meyer (11M), Wallace Peacock (21), Eric Moon (00), Roger Crouse (15), John Norris (87), TJ LaFlamboy (44), Dustin Perez (8), Adam Boyd (6), Steve Mathis Jr. (95), Steven Brendle (141), Keven DeVrieze (99), Jimmy Waldrop (9), Doug Horton (11), Thomas Burnside (13)
SECOND FEATURE: Phillip Cobb (03), Steve Mathis Jr. (95), Keith NOsbisch (02), Doug Watson (07), Bryan Bernhardt (03X), Jack Nosbisch Jr. (12), Kenny Monahan (311), Andrew Hopkins (13H), Eric Moon (00), Megan Rae Meyer (11M), Adam Boyd (6), John Norris (87), Dustin Perez (8), Keven DeVrieze (99), TJ LaFlamboy (44), Thomas Burnside (13), Steven Brendle (141), Travis Varnadore (95x), Roger Crouse (15), Bruce Harvey (27), Wallace Peacock (21). DNS – Jimmy Waldrop (9), Doug Horton (11)
Feature: Scott Bane (23B), George Handy (105), Jeremy Simpson (73), Gary Lucas (23), Wayne Kissam (07), Jessica Robbins (09), Bo Anderson (95), Bill Whitney (15), Michael Hart (99), Raymond Vann (32), Jason Burnside (12J), David Parr (36), Wayne Haynes (52), Juston Meeks (10). DNS – Kalen Maynard (2), Alan Smith (67)
Feature: Brandon Yates (53), Cecil Martin (15), Billy Dukes (15), Eric Knight (7v), Jake Hampton (19), Nick Hebrank (7), Candice Kealy (D4R), Vernon Hart (48), Bryan Sikes (23S)
Feature: Chris Livernois Jr. (71), Kevin Strife (46), William Brannan (17), Mike Meyers (7), Joe Bartow (3), William Burnside (13), Jerod Meyers (0). DNS – Matt Wedgewood (4), Joseph Taylor (29)
Feature: Kever Raulerson (99R), Bailey Purcell (14), Daniel Bowman (46), Daniel Casey (3D), Robert Kissam (911), Andrew Hall (99H), Brittany Hart (81H), Steve Ashmore (01), Patrick Tabb (37), Zavier Safie (40), Johnathan Wood (56B), Rick Rutledge Sr. (4), Rick Rutledge Jr. (124), Jeff Smith (15), Thomas Adams (T2), Kenneth Roe (33). DNS – Ricky Richards (33)
While repeat winners dominated the racing action at East Bay Raceway Park, it was the one who hadn’t been to Victory Lane who may have deserved it the most.
Late Model Sportsman point leader Forrest Gough had fought his way to the top of the standings with steady finishes, only finishing outside of the top five once in 2018. The only missing was a win…until now. Gough held off the late race challenge of Phillip Cobb, who dialed in the leader in the late stages of the race. Cobb’s last-ditch effort came up short as the drivers raced clean to the end with Gough claiming the win by a car length.
Gough and Cobb had started the event on the front row, thanks to heat race wins. Gough was able to sweep to the lead in the early stages while Cobb was left to fend off challengers. Gough becomes the sixth different winner in six appearances by the class with no driver having more than one.
Defending Street Stock champion Jimmy Baker made it back-to-back mains by dominating the 15-lap feature. Baker’s second place run in the heat race put him on the outside of the front with point leader and heat race winner John Bradley on the inside. Baker went to work immediately and never dealt with a serious challenge, winning by half of the track at the checkered flag. Rich Livernois Jr. came from the back of the field to claim third, his best finish of the season.
After two exciting heat races that came down to the very end, a field of 16 V8 Warriors provided an action packed main. Heat winners Gary Lucas and Michael Hart would share the front row, but it would be Jon Basquin knifing through from the second row to take the lead after lap 1. After a debris caution, the field set sail again, but misfortune struck as Basquin spun coming off turn four. Miraculously, no one made contact and the race stayed green. George Handy gained the advantage and held it until driveline damage sidelined Robert Grant on lap 5, bringing out a caution. On the restart, Jessica Robbins advanced to third behind Handy and Hart, but Scott Bane soon took that third position away. Bane was able to bypass Hart, who began to slip back through the field. Collin Kruse was going the other direction, but he could not catch Handy and Bane. Handy’s second feature win would help his quest to defend his 2017 division championship.
The Todd’s Motorsports Mini Sprint team finished in three of the top four spots at the conclusion of the Mini Sprint main. Race winner Robby Hoffman celebrated his third feature with a victory donut to the delight of the fans. Early challenger Jamie Tinkham dropped from the competition on a restart, moving Dirk Miller in a second-place position he would never relinquish. Paige Moss ran a strong third, ahead of point leader David Hall, who charged through the pack after a mid-race spin. Russ Heider rounded out the top five.
The night concluded with 15 Gladiators set for the 15-lap shootout. Daniel Casey ran a steady race throughout the night, ahead of the battle between Robert Kissam and Kever Raulerson who swapped second. Point leader Daniel Bowman had started last on the field and found himself in the top five with a handful of laps remaining. Bowman picked his way through to slip by Casey, who hung tough until Kissam gunned him down the last lap. For Bowman, it was his fourth win of the season.
East Bay Raceway Park will return to action Sept. 29 with the Jack Nosbisch Sr. Memorial, highlighting twin 20-lap mains for Pro Late Models, V8 Warriors, Outlaw 4s, Micro Sprints and Gladiators. Race time is 6:30 p.m.
Feature: Jim Baker (69x), Henry Burnside (31), Rich Livernois Jr. (71), John Bradley (57), Josh Jones (B75), Allen Bailey (51), Jeff Rodgers (95). DNS – Zach Amundsen
Feature: George Handy (105), Scott Bane (23B), Collin Kruse (92), Jason Burnside (12J), Michael Hart (99), Raymond Vann (32), Jessica Robbins (09), Wayne Kissam (07K), Gary Lucas (23), Wayne Haynes (52), Jon Basquin (6B), Charles Roach (14), Alan Smith (67), Justin Meeks (10), Jeff Weaver (26), Robert Grant (36). DNS – Nate Whitehurst (07), Kalen Maynard (2)
Feature: Robby Hoffman (66), Dirk Miller (68), Paige Moss (95), David Hall (67), Russ Heider (86), Eddie Moss (33X), Don R Quinn (33), Brad Sutton (9), Carl Parker (16), Michael Luckert (93), Donnie Quinn (33D), Jamie Tinkham (51), John Crowder (30)
LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN
Feature: Forrest Gough (21), Phillip Cobb (03), Bruce Harvey (27), Noah Cornman (30), Trent Wilson (64), John Norris (110), Buck Woodhouse (55), Thomas Burnside (13). DQ – Megan Meyers (11M), Wallace Peacock (21P)
Feature: Daniel Bowman (46), Robert Kissam (911), Daniel Casey (3D), Kever Raulerson (99R), Brittany Hart (81H), Jeff Smith (15), Kayla Handy (07), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Dustin Wilson (42), Johnathan Wood (56B), Logan Casteel (7), Thomas Adams (T2), Rick Rutledge (4), Davey Martin (55), Rodney Martin (21)
Make your plans to catch these exciting September events.