Bernhardt Holds Off Challengers to Win Larry Miller Memorial

Defending Gagel’s Open Wheel Modified track champion Bryan Bernhardt parked in Victory Lane at the conclusion of the Larry Miller Memorial 50-lap race, but it was not an easy win.

Bernhardt took control at the start of the race, but faced constant challenges from Phillip Cobb and Jeff Mathews through the early green flag laps. The caution first waved when Austin Sanders clipped a barrier and spun, relegating Sanders to the rear of the 15-car field. The yellow flag would appear three more times in the next four laps, giving the leaders a difficult stretch to maintain any advantage over competitors. Cobb and Mathews were both able to sneak past Bernhardt on a lap 13 restart, but the situation was wiped out by a Don Crandall spin, giving Bernhardt his spot back. When the race went green, it was Billy Howard who vaulted from fourth to second, a place he would hold when the caution appeared a lap later.

On the next restart, Mathews would again become the challenger and make a successful pass for the lead on lap 19. It would take Bernhardt just two laps to grab the top spot again, just before another caution showed. By this point, a new challenger emerged and it was Sanders who had to claw his way through the field from the lap 7 incident. Sanders would pull alongside Bernhardt as the pair ran clean throughout a long green flag period. The caution came out on lap 32 when Travis Varnadore had a tire issue. On the restart, Mavrick Varnadore briefly captured second, but the caution flags were not over. Dale Kelley spun with five laps to go and Billy Howard went around with only two laps remaining. The green-white-checker run was all Bernhardt, who fought for control of his car throughout the late stages, but his well-prepared machine was up to the task as he celebrated his sixth feature of 2019.

George Handy joined the “Six Feature Wins” club earlier in the night by capturing the V-8 Warrior main. Handy opened the race on the pole and was able to move away from challengers in short. Jason Burnside won the heat race for the division.

Forrest Gough added his fifth win in seven starts by topping the Late Model Sportsman 15-lap feature. Tanner Cobb added his first heat race win of the year to start the night in a positive direction.

Doug Dyal endured mechanical issues throughout the early part of the season, but he threw the proverbial monkey from his back last week with a win in the Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorney Micro Sprints. On this night, he backed up his effort with a wire-to-wire win in the class feature that saw no cautions. Chris Livernois Jr. and Bill Gise, making his first East Bay start in 2019, won the heat races.

Patrick Fiore captured his second feature win in the Studio Red Salon Gladiators action, keeping the car on the bottom of the race track throughout the event. He had his hands full throughout the race by the challenges of Tracy Maynard, but Fiore was not to be denied.

In the Florida Old Time Modified feature, Dan Darnell’s #111 came home victorious, but there was a new driver climbing from the car. Tim Gay, no stranger to Victory Lane in his Street Stock efforts, was able to drive the car on a special night. For this week’s race, the car was powered by an engine that had been built by Tim’s late father Gary. Jamie Frankland claimed the heat race.

Racing action resumes on Nov. 16 with the Bob and Marge Long Memorial for the Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Sprints. They will be joined by Pro Late Models, Street Stocks, V-8 Warriors, Outlaw 4s, Studio Red Salon Gladiators, Florida Old Time Modifieds and the Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Wingless Mini-Sprints. The event will also feature recognition for top competitors who took part in the Fall Mini Brawl earlier this year with trophies and awards.

GAGELS’ OPEN WHEEL MODIFIEDS

Feature: Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Austin Sanders (64), Mavrick Varnadore (4), Jeff Mathews (33), Drew Jackson (08), Shane Burrows (70B), Phillip Cobb (03), Michael Wesselman (418), Travis Varnadore (205), Billy Howard (47), Josh Sanford (3), Dale Kelley (22), Randy Shields (69XL), Don Crandall (9c), Scott Bane (23B)

V-8 WARRIORS

Feature: George Handy (105), Wayne Kissam (07), Juston Meeks (10), Jason Burnside (12j), Kalen Maynard (2), Gary Lucas (23), Jessica Robbins (09), Macy Bozeman (58). DNS – Nick Brown (12)

LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN

Feature: Forrest Gough (21), Todd Alexander (0), Waylon Haynes (11), Tanner Cobb (03T), Scotty Williams (7), Keven Devrieze (99), TJ LaFlamboy (44). DNS – Jim Rowley (25). DQ – Cole Crawford (4)

Q AUTO & INJURY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEY MICRO SPRINTS

Feature: Doug Dyal (97D), Bill Gise (111), Chris Livernois Jr. (71), Larry Rarer (97Z), William Burnside (13), Paul Seburn (23), Joseph Davis (27), Jerod Meyers (7), Corey Dyal (00D). DNS – Joseph Taylor (29)

STUDIO RED SALON GLADIATORS

Feature: Patrick Fiore (88), Kyle Bowman (46K), Alyssa Grant (36G), Tracy Maynard (62), Logan Casteel (7), Nick McAllister (97M), Thomas Adams (T2), Robert Kissam (911), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Davey Martin (55), Bob Zutz (47), Danny Bowman (46), Jeff Smith (15), Terry Burke (16), Derrick Edwards (17), Hunter Lovelady (68), Rodney Martin (21), Tyler Davis (1), Chase Seward (20), Trevor Johnson (05)

Full House Night Brings New Faces to Victory Lane

With 10 divisions on the schedule for the second Full House Night of 2019, anything can happen. The night also features Veterans Appreciation and an intermission that invited kids to go trick or treating on the frontstretch. Many of the 100 competitors brought their cars and candy to the delight of the young fans.

The racing action opened with the final 2019 appearance of East Bay’s newest class, Mod Lites. By virtue of his appearance, Austin Martin secured the track championship, but he crowned his achievement by scoring his fifth feature win of the season. Martin started fourth and grabbed the lead on the first lap to go wire to wire. Runnerup Alex Cline started from the last row and gave a great effort for his best finish of the year.

The Outlaw 4s hit the track for their 15-lap main and it was all Brandon Yates. The 2018 division champion pulled off the flag-to-flag finish en route to his fifth main event.

The V-8 Warriors race offered up plenty of excitement. Early race leader Juston Meeks had to fight off the challenges of several top runners. With a handful of laps remaining, Wayne Kissam kept trying to squeeze past the leader on the backstretch, but could never seal the deal until lap 12. Once Kissam got by, he motored away to record his first checkered of the season.

The Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Micro Sprints also saw a first time winner. Doug Dyal slipped past Larry Rarer on the first lap and was never challenged for the 15-lap feature. Corey Dyal rallied back to claim second, providing vindication for the D & D Motorsports team that had experienced more than its share of hard luck until tonight.

The first Late Model Sportsman feature race since May proved to be another race that resulted in a first time win in 2019. Waylon Haynes, who had gone above and beyond in assisting track efforts to prepare the surface through a long period of running in the track, was strong in his feature and prevailed. Roger Crouse had the early lead until the halfway mark when he was sidelined by mechanical issues. Haynes inherited the lead and made the point count as he powered his way to the finish.

Dylan Colding added his first win of the year in the Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Sprints. The former track champion expressed that he had been discouraged and contemplating giving up, but his fiancée wouldn’t hear it. Turns out she was right as the 23D looks to be back on track.

The Studio Red Salon Gladiators offered the largest field of the night with 19 cars scheduled to take the green flag. In a wild slam bang affair, it was somewhat fitting that the car parked in Victory Lane on Veterans Appreciation Night would be driven by a current member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve. Kyle Bowman scored his third feature win of the season, tightening the points race in the process. New Point leader Logan Casteel backed up his two victories with a second place run tonight.

The Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds were using tonight’s 15-lap feature as a tune-up for next week’s Larry Miller Memorial (postponed from Oct. 19). Point leader Bryan Bernhardt took the lead, but there was plenty of position changing going on behind him. In the late stages, it would be Austin Sanders to take up the charge. While Sanders closed the gap, he ran out of time and Bernhardt was parked in Victory Lane for the fifth time in 2019.

Jeff Mathews started deep in the field in the 30-lap Pro Late Model main and had his work cut out for him. Mathews, who was doing double duty having just competed in the Modified race, fell back early but picked up the charge to be in the mix by the halfway point. Jimmy Waldrop established a torrid pace, but several restarts caused the distance between the leader and the field to be diminished regularly. On one restart, Waldrop and Keith Nosbisch made contact, ending Waldrop’s night. Mathews had been second on the restart, so he inherited the lead and that was the end of the story. It was Mathews first Pro Late Model win of 2019.

The final feature saw Street Stocks cap the night and a new name added to the list of main event champions. Mike Wilson moved from the outside pole to snag the lead. Working the bottom of the track, Wilson held off persistent challenges from Paul Davis and then point leader Matt Bozeman to come away with the feature win.

There are still six more nights of racing in 2019 at East Bay Raceway Park. The next event is Saturday, Nov. 9, featuring the Larry Miller Memorial for the Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds. Joining the Modifieds will be the V-8 Warriors, Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Micro Sprints, Late Model Sportsman and Florida Old Time Modifieds.

MOD LITES

Feature: Austin Martin (97), Alex Cline (07c), Darren Bass (14B), Bo Bass (25), Brian Teeters (44), Andrew Smith (71), Jeff Bannema (5B), Dylan Dunn (22), Steve Olone (20), Tim McLeod (28M), Brodrick Kennedy (06)

OUTLAW 4S

Feature: Brandon Yates (53), Cecil Martin (15), Stephen Hohlbaugh (23S), Mark Moniz (41E), Candice Kealy (D4R), Alan Weeks (5), Bob Fleming (88), Eric Knight (7), Vernon Hart (48)

V-8 WARRIORS

Feature: Wayne Kissam (07), Jason Burnside (12J), Kalen Maynard (2), Bo Anderson (95), George Handy (105), Gary Lucas (23), Mark Pickelsimer (6). DQ – Juston Meeks (10)

Q AUTO & INJURY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEY MICRO SPRINTS

Feature: Doug Dyal (97D), Corey Dyal (00D), William Burnside (13), Chris Livernois Jr. (71), Paul Seburn (23), Jerod Meyers (7), Joe Bartow (3), Larry Rarer (97Z)

LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN

Feature: Waylon Haynes (11), Tim Dowling (12D), Forrest Gough (21), Buck Woodhouse (55), Roger Crouse (15)

Q AUTO & INJURY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEYS SPRINTS

Feature: Dylan Colding (23D), Andrew Griffin (32), Bryan Eckley (12B), Tim George (B2), Billy Bridges (11B), Nathan Barouch (13), Joe Zuczek (50)

STUDIO RED SALON GLADIATORS

Feature: Kyle Bowman (46K), Logan Casteel (7), Robert Kissam (911), Davey Martin (55), Robert Zutz (47), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Bailey Purcell (14B), Rodney Martin (21), Trevor Johnson (05), Derrick Edwards (17), Terry Burke (16), Alyssa Grant (36G), Tracy Maynard (62), Patrick Tabb (03), Nick McAllister (97M), David Zemar (13), Rick Rutledge Sr. (4). DNS – Chase Seward (20). DQ – Daniel Bowman (46)

GAGEL’S OPEN WHEEL MODIFIEDS

Feature: Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Austin Sanders (64), Billy Howard Jr. (47), Phillip Cobb (03), Drew Jackson (08), Keven Devrieze (99), Jeff Mathews (33), Dale Kelley (22), Frank Lewis (72L), Scott Bane (23B)

PRO LATE MODELS

Feature: Jeff Mathews (33), Keith Nosbisch (02), Doug Horton (28), Tanner Cobb (03T), Bill Howard (45), Jason Russell (75R), Dustin Perez (8), Thomas Burnside (13B), Steven Brendle (141), TJ LaFlamboy (44), Jimmy Waldrop (9), Bruce Harvey (27), Jesse Brown (7), Phillip Cobb (03). DNS – Wallace Peacock (21)

STREET STOCKS

Feature: Mike Wilson (89), Matt Bozeman (58), Billy Barstow (56), Doug Johnson (09), Jim Baker (30), Robert Tyler (99), Mark Roadarmel Jr. (B75), Cody Gibson (189), Henry Burnside (31), Paul Davis (10), Raymond Folwell (22)

Halloween Candy This Week

There is a slight change in the schedule for Saturday, Nov. 2. It’s still Full House and Veterans Appreciation Night, but we have moved the Halloween candy giveaway from Nov. 9 to this week.

Drivers, we’re counting on you to bring lots of candy for our young fans, Don’t give it all away on Halloween night.

Note to those who run out of candy – the stores usually put it on sale the day after Halloween, so you can get it for less. That’s no trick!

 

AJ Maddox takes victory in the Top Gun Sprints

By Jason Loughren

October 12, 2019

After a wet week for some in the Tampa Bay area, the weather was perfect for an awesome night of racing at East Bay Raceway Park.  With six classes in action, it meant there was something for everyone, from Mini-Sprints to the old time modifieds, the Saturday night show was on.

The night started with the V-8 Warriors, 10 cars took the green flag.  George Handy and Gary Lucas battled most of the race with Handy coming out on top at the end.  Handy’s feature win was his 5th of the season.  Lucas finished 2nd.  Jason Burnside, Kalen Maynard and Wayne Kissam rounded out the top 5. Handy and Kevin Cassaday won the heat races.

Next up was the Q Auto and Injury Mini Sprints, Robby Hoffmann had the car to beat going into the feature event.  Steve Diamond and Jamie Tinkham gave Hoffmann all he could take but, in the end, it was Hoffman taking with victory.  The feature win made it 9 appearances and 9 feature wins for Hoffmann.  Tinkham finished 2nd, Diamond ran strong all night and came home 3rd.  Dirk Miller and Zach Amundsen rounded out the top 5.  Hoffman and Kenny Brewer won the heats.

In the Street Stock division, Justin Rodgers took home his first feature win of the season as he battled with several drivers for the victory.  Jerry Bruce was one of those drivers but his car was found to be “too light” in postrace inspection.  Matthew Bozeman finished 2nd.  Mike Wilson finished 3rd.  Justin McGauly and Billy Barstow rounded out the top five.  Wilson and Bruce were victorious in the heat races.

The Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds saw a dominating performance turned in by Bryan Bernhardt as he picked up his 4th win of the year.  Early on, Travis Varnadore gave Bernhardt a strong challenge but he faded as Bernhardt’s car got stronger.  Varnadore finshed 2nd. Dale Kelley hung around in the top 5 all night long turning in a solid performance.  Drew Jackson and Frank Lewis rounded out the top 5.  David Pollen and Varnadore took the checkered flag in the heat races.

The main event of the night was the 25-lap feature event for the Top Gun Sprints.  20 cars started the feature, which was marred by caution flags.  Several cautions early did not stop AJ Maddox who seemingly had the strongest car on the track.  On every restart, Maddox would jump out in front of Bryan Eckley, who was strong as well, but could not find his way around Maddox in the end.  Eckley finished 2nd.  Matt Kurtz, Garrett Green, and hard charging Sheldon Kinser, Jr. rounded out the top 5.  Kyle Connery, Maddox and Eckley won the heat races.

The 20 Gladiators that started the feature put on a good show for the fans with two and three car battles throughout the field.  Kever Raulerson , Robert Kissam and Daniel Bowman fought for the lead early. Raulerson’s car had mechanical issues and Bowman’s car fell back.  Logan Casteel hung around near the front battle for the entire race and, in the end, he was victorious.  It was his 2nd feature win of the season.  Tracey Maynard finished 2nd, Rodney Martin, Hunter Lovelady and Patrick Tabb rounded out the top 5.  Bowman, Kissam, and Raulerson won the heat races.

The Florida Old Time Modifieds saw Danny Bowman take the checkered flag after a great two car battle with Jamie Frankland.