Another thrilling finish came to life in the 35-lap DIRTcar UMP Modified main on night number four of the 45th annual Winternationals at East Bay Raceway Park. For the first time this week, there was a repeat winner and it happened in both divisions.
Throughout the week, drivers had been accumulating points based on their finishes. These points would be the determining factor for lineups in the final night with the top six drivers automatically qualified for the 75-lap finale.
Going into the final night, Tuesday night winner Drake Troutman parlayed a first, second and third into the top spot in the points. At the end of the fourth night, he would still be there, thanks to a thrilling win with a last lap pass from third to first.
Devin Dixon was first on the track to qualify and set fast time of 17.097, which stood through the attempts of the remaining 47 cars. Dixon, unfortunately, drew a “4”, which put each fast qualifier into the second row. Joining Dixon as fast qualifiers of their respective groups were Travis Varnadore, Jason Hughes, Brandon Kinzer, Tyler Nicely and Troutman.
In the heat races, five of the six fast qualifiers of the group were able to advance to the A main, the exception being Dixon, who ended up fourth and relegated to the B main. Heats were won by Kevin Adams, Seth Daniels, Lucas Lee, Jimmy Lennex Jr., Matt Altiers and Dale Kelley. Dixon, who was also fifth in points coming into the night, shared a B main with two other drivers in the top six, Jason Hughes and Spencer Hughes. All three managed to qualify through the B with Spencer Hughes taking the win. The second B main was won by LJ Grimm.
At the start of the 35-lap main, it was all Lucas Lee as the Thursday night winner shot off the front row to pull away to a slight advantage before the race was stopped for a six-car pileup. Once the green returned, Nick Allen slipped into second and began his pursuit of Lee. Dixon, who had started 19th, wasted little time in using his speed to escape the back of the pack. By lap eight, Dixon had improved 13 spots and was hunting the top five. Lee and the lead pack was approaching lapped traffic on lap 12, but a three-car tangle reset the field. On the restart, Troutman pulled past Allen, but Allen came right back to secure second. Good racing for position could be found in the top eight positions with the exception of the lead. As Lee came upon the car of Matt Altiers on lap 20, the two made contact and Lee ended up stopped on the track. The spin now gave the lead to Allen with Dixon now second. Dixon took the lead on lap 21, but it was far from over. On a lap 22 restart, Troutman jumped from fifth to third as Allen moved up beside Dixon. Allen and Dixon exchanged the lead five times between lap 24 and lap 30. With only a few laps to go, Allen renewed a challenge with Troutman closing. The field took the white flag with Dixon high and Allen low, but on the exit of turn two, it was Troutman who shot past Allen, then Dixon and powered on to his second victory of the week and secured himself at the top of the point standings.
In Street Stock racing, Tim Gay became a two-time winner by capturing the 20-lap A main. Gay was able to grab the lead, backing up his heat race win. New York racer Steven Deinhardt, who ended up second in the A main for his second time this week, also won his heat.
The final night of racing will see the 2021 Winternationals champion crowned for DIRTCar UMP Modifieds and Street Stocks. Modifieds will contest a 75-lap race with Street Stocks going 30 laps. Race time is 7 p.m.
DIRTcar UMP Modifieds
Feature: Drake Troutman (7T), Devin Dixon (313), Nick Allen (21A), Dave Hess Jr. (44), Kevin Adams (40), Jason Hughes (12H), Eric Moon (18M), Tyler Nicely (25), Jeff Mathews (33), Lucas Lee (12L), Brayden Berry (75B), Jimmy Lennex Jr. (8), Brandon Kinzer (18), David Pollen (88), Spencer Hughes (11), LJ Grimm (25G), Brad DeYoung (7), Tyler Clem (14C), Mavrick Varnadore (4), Seth Daniels (S21), Dale Kelley (22), Seth Geary (7G), Matt Altiers (2A), Travis Varnadore (205)
Feature: Tim Gay (90), Steven Deinhardt (73), Race McMahon (45), Thomas Pratt (22), Paul Davis (10D), Dustin Reeh (16), Tim Powers (26), Justin Rodgers (95), Jimmy Wagner (17W), Nick Hebrank (7), Jason Harrison (69), Jeff Drikes (06), David Hildebrant (3H), Matt Bozeman (58), Scotty Kay Jr. (21), Brian Barse (5), Jerry Bruce (35), Zack Amundsen (20), Richard Livernois (71), Tyler Davis (55T)