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Dixon Powers to Donnie Tanner Memorial Win

Former Donnie Tanner Memorial champion Devin Dixon found some racing room at the top early and used the knowledge to gain the win in the 2019 edition of the 50-lap event for Pro Late Models, presented by Stingray Performance Parts.

Dixon started the contest from the fourth spot after gaining a win in the first heat. At the start, defending champion Ashton Winger took the early lead with heat winner Travis Varnadore in tow. Tyler Clem had slipped ahead of Dixon with third heat winner Jeff Mathews rounding out the top five. This order would hold through several lap four restarts, most for single car spins. A red flag condition developed when Wallace Peacock struck an inner barrier tire on a restart jamming up eight cars in the first and second turns.

The spate of cautions finally subsided and the racing action began to intensify with the lead changing hands three times before the next caution. Mathews went to the front on lap six, only to lose the top spot three laps later to Dixon. He would keep it until lap 12 when 2011 champ Travis Varnadore owned up to it. Varnadore wouldn’t keep it for long as he drifted up the track on a restart, allowing Dixon to get back in front, a position he would never relinquish.

Dixon celebrated with his three-month-old daughter, who was on hand for her first race, providing a special moment for the family and supporters on hand to witness his first East Bay victory of the year. There were 26 Pro Late Models on hand for the special event.

The Florida Mod-Lites made their first appearance of 2019 and brought an impressive car count of 18 cars. Sarasota’s Austin Martin backed up an earlier heat race win by claiming the 15-lap main. Martin was forced to do the chasing early on early race leader Tim McLeod appeared to be in control. McLeod’s lead would vanish when he spun in turn two as Martin inherited the top spot and never saw a serious challenge en route to the victory. Darren Bass, who had won his heat race was running a strong second until a late race spin removed him from contention.

Tim Gay showed the way in Street Stock action, which saw one of the closest finishes of the night. As the laps ticked off, Billy Barstow kept closing ground on the race leader, but was unable to sneak by for the win. Matt Bozeman opened the night with a heat win.

Defending division champion George Handy was finally able to shed the monkey from his back, capturing his first feature of the year in V-8 Warriors. Gary Lucas came from the back of the field to record a runnerup effort. Wayne Haynes, in his first 2019 start, recorded the heat win.

Robby Hoffmann put on another dominant run to capture hi third Mini-Sprint main of the season. Hoffmann used the outside line to gain ground on early leader Jamie Tinkham and was able to pick any line throughout the race. Hoffmann was best in the earlier heat.

The Studio Red Salon Gladiators brought 20 cars for their fifth night of action in the season. Defending champion Daniel Bowman was able to break free and score the win a week after watching his brother Kyle in Victory Lane. Thomas Adams had the early lead with Bowman in hot pursuit. Positions were swapped inside the top five with regularity but Bowman was finally able to assert himself by Adams for a lead that he would not give up. Logan Casteel and Kyle Bowman were best in the heats.

The next racing action for East Bay Raceway Park is Saturday, April 20 with Gagel’s Modifieds, Late Model Sportsman, Outlaw 4s, Micro Sprints and Florida OldTtime Modifieds. Young fans will receive Easter candy treats at intermission.

PRO LATE MODELS

DONNIE TANNER MEMORIAL: Devin Dixon (313), Ashton Winger (9w), Travis Varnadore (95V), Jeff Mathews (33), Keith Nosbisch (02), Adam Boyd (6B), Megan Meyer (11M), Kenny Monahan (311), Waylon Haynes (11), Dustin Perez (8), Jason Russell (75R), John Norris (87), Daniel Woody (29), Phillip Cobb (03), Tyler Clem (58), Doug Horton (46), Dusty Sparkman (007), Jesse Brown (7jr), Wallace Peacock (21W), Clay Harris (6), Josh Peacock (9p), Roger Crouse (15), Thomas Burnside (13B), TJ LaFlamboy (8x), Justin Merry (1a). DQ – Steve Mathis Jr. (95)

MOD-LITES

Feature: Austin Martin (97), Larry Hubbard Jr. (56), Brian Teeters (44T), Larry Hubbard III (77), James McGroarty (07), Andrew Smith (71), Dalton Ellis (11), Dylan Dunn (22), John Kokutich (7), Freddie Wilson (12), Aaron Stalling (31A), John Bailey (92), Eric Serabian (49), Russell Campbell (44), Bo Bass (41B), Darren Bass (14B), Tim McLeod (28M), Christopher Dockins (87D)

STREET STOCKS

Feature: Tim Gay (90), Billy Barstow (56), Matt Bozeman (58), Mike Wilson (68), Mark Roadarmel Jr. (75B), Allen Bailey (51), Doug Johnson (09). DNS – Nick Hebrank (24)

V-8 WARRIORS

Feature: George Handy (105), Gary Lucas (23), Scott Bane (23B), Jason Burnside (12J), Wayne Haynes (52), Wayne Kissam (07), Kalen Maynard (2), Justin Meeks (10), Derek Gray (66)

MINI SPRINTS

Feature: Robby Hoffmann (66), Jamie Tinkham (51), Zach Amundsen (12), Dirk Miller (68), David Hall (67), Brad Sutton (9), Joe Bartow (3). DNS – Chris Diamond (9D)

STUDIO RED SALON GLADIATORS

Feature: Daniel Bowman (46), Robert Kissam (911), Kyle Bowman (46K), Logan Casteel (7), Thomas Adams (T2), Rodney Martin (21), Kever Raulerson (99R), Rick Rutledge Sr. (4), Alyssa Grant (8), Fred Wilson (18), Bob Zutz (47), Davey Martin (55), Trevor Johnson (05), Trevor Appling (37), Patrick Fiore Sr. (88), Johnathan Wood (99W), Jeff Smith (15). DNS – Tim Maiden (91), DQ – Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Bailey Purcell (14)

John Howlett

The staff and management of East Bay Raceway Park would like to send our condolences to track photographer Mike Horne and his family on the passing of his Father In Law, John Howlett. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

Hill Captures Win in Jody Robbins Memorial

The fifth night of racing action in the 2019 regular season at East Bay Raceway saw some different faces gather in Victory Lane, including two first time winners.

The crown jewel of the night was the running of the Jody Robbins Memorial for V-8 Warriors. The 25-lap main was advertised as a race that offered $400 for the winner, but local businesses and sponsors stepped up to double the top prize. Additional monies were offered for special awards.

Tommy Hill of Clewiston grabbed the lead on lap 3 from early leader Jason Burnside. Hill took advantage to move out to a steady four car length lead throughout the early stages of the main. Meanwhile, action behind the leader was intense. On lap 10, two top five cars collided, resulting in Burnside and Nick Brown headed to the rear. Gary Lucas had made his move to get to second at that point and Lucas would hold off Scott Bane for the right to chase Hill. A hard collision into the frontstretch wall by Derek Gray brought the caution back out. A few laps later, Bane was able to move to second, but hard luck hit when he spun while negotiating turn two. That mishap moved Raymond Vann into the runnerup spot from his 14th starting position. Lucas slowed on a subsequent restart, ending his challenge and putting Burnside back into the top three. A frantic battle on the next restart shuffled the field behind Vann, who became the lone challenger for Hill. Vann could not close the gap and Hill sauntered home with the victory, his first of the season.

Vann received the prize as Hard Charger while Gray was selected for the Hard Luck Award. Hill picked up an additional $100 for leading lap 6. Hill, Kalen Maynard and Jeremy Simpson were heat winners.

Young racer Megan Rae Meyer claimed her first feature win in taking the top spot in the Late Model Sportsman 15-lapper. Meyer took the lead from early leader Tanner Cobb on the tenth lap and held off the charges of Jason Pope and Forrest Gough for her victory. Gough won the preliminary event.

Tim George ran a consistent line from start to finish in the Q Auto & Injury Attorneys Sprint main for the first feature in the class for 2019. The 2010-2011 track champion, who makes only occasional starts, claimed his first victory since September 17, 2016. Robbie Smith and 2018 track champion Joe Zuczek, who was honored at intermission, started their night with heat wins.

Kyle Bowman recorded his first career feature in the Studio Red Salon Gladiators, holding off older brother Daniel to claim the night’s finale. Kyle took the lead from a determined Logan Casteel and then managed to keep his brother, the two-time defending champion of the class, in a position behind him. The feature win backs up a heat race win earlier this year for Kyle. Ricky Rutledge Jr. and Daniel Bowman won heats.

It was a bit of a wild night for the Micro Sprints, who opened the program. Before a lap could be completed, two cars made contact with Jerod Meyers flipping. The driver was not injured, but the car was done for the night. In the main event, contact between Brian Baxter and Corey Dyal saw Dyal’s car do a complete flip in the air and land back on all fours. With a push from behind the car was able to continue in the feature, but dropped out a few laps later.

Larry Rarer recorded his third feature in as many tries, bringing home the 15-lap main. Rarer and William Brannan posted heat wins.

The East Bay action heads into the month of April with the headline attraction of the Donnie Tanner Memorial 50 for Pro Late Models presented by Stingray Performance. Joining the Pro Late Models will be Street Stocks, Wingless Mini-Sprints, V-8 Warriors, Studio Red Gladiators and, for the first time in 2019, Mod Lites.

V-8 WARRIORS

Jody Robbins Memorial: Tommy Hill (5H), Raymond Vann (1), Jason Burnside (12J), Jessica Robbins (09), Scott Bane (23B), George Handy (105), Jon Basquin (6B), Justin Meeks (10), Kevin Cassaday (7), Kalen Maynard (2), Nate Whitehurst (07W), Gary Lucas (23), Nick Brown (12), Keith Butler (18), Wayne Kissam (07), Jeff Edgar (98x), Jeremy Simpson (73), Derek Gray (66), Brian Danforth (55)

LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN

Feature: Megan Rae Meyer (11M), Forrest Gough (21), Jason Pope (102), Scotty Williams (7JR), Buck Woodhouse (55), Wesley Livernois (44), Tanner Cobb (03)

Q AUTO & INJURY ATTORNEYS SPRINTS

Feature: Tim George (1*), Joe Zuczek (50), Robbie Smith (6S), Billy Bridges (11B), Andrew Griffin (32), Luke Hill (41), Brandon Grubaugh (2), Guy Bos (3K), Ed Hill (117H), Mike Steinruck (44A)

STUDIO RED GLADIATORS

Feature: Kyle Bowman (46K), Daniel Bowman (46), Logan Casteel (7), Bailey Purcell (911), Thomas Adams (T2), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Alyssa Grant (8), Robert Zutz (47), Davey Martin (55), Trevor Johnson (05), Ricky Rutledge Sr. (4), Rodney Martin (21), Fred Wilson (18), Kever Raulerson (99R). DNS – Johnathan Wood (99W), Chrissy Rutledge (36R). Tabitha Rutledge gave car #4 to Ricky Rutledge Sr.; Robert Kissam gave car #911 to Bailey Purcell

MICRO SPRINTS

Feature: Larry Rarer (97Z), William Brannan (60), Chris Livernois Jr. (17), Mike Meyers (7), Doug Dyal (97D), Paul Seburn (23), Brian Baxter (98), Wade Evans (27), Joe Bartow (3), William Burnside (13), Corey Dyal (00D). DNS – Jerod Meyers (0)