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Green Rebounds from Late Race Flat Tire to Win Top Gun Main at East Bay

After the planned July hiatus, regular season action returned to East Bay Raceway Park with a six-division program that included the third appearance of the Top Gun Sprints.

The August 1 program marked the sixth appearance of the season schedule for the Top Gun Sprints, who have had to endure everything from pandemic to weather issues in putting the 2020 schedule to work. The series had its last appearance on June 13, so racers were anxious to get back on track. A field of 19 cars past through the pit gate, including 14 of the 15 cars in the point standings.

Heat races were won by Steve Diamond (with an exciting last lap pass), Brandon Grubaugh and Andrew Griffin. This trio of drivers put themselves in position to claim the Lee and Jeff Barfield Memorial award, which paid an additional $300 if a heat winner could repeat in the feature.

Luke Hill would start the 25-lap main on the pole with the three heat winners filling up the next spots. Diamond would take the early lead, but Hill bounced right back to take the top spot on lap two. Griffin moved to second on the next lap as mechanical issues ended Diamond’s challenge. When the caution came out, two-time East Bay Top Gun winner Garrett Green had moved to fourth and started picking off spots when the race returned the faster paced action. Green would secure the lead, bypassing Hill on lap 9 just before a caution was displayed. Grubaugh charged into third near the halfway mark and Shane Butler advanced into the top five by lap 14.

Disaster struck for the race leader on lap 17 as Green suffered a flat tire and the same situation also send Justin Webster to the pits. The crews were able to get the changes made and get the cars back onto the track without losing a lap, but they tagged the end of the field. Hill regained the lead with Grubaugh in second, ahead of 2018 series champion Hayden Campbell. Hill would suffer a flat right rear on the next lap, yielding the top spot to Grubaugh. Campbell grabbed the lead on lap 21 after Grubaugh’s tire issue and a Shane Butler spin tightened the field with Green now in the top three. On the restart, Green moved to second to hunt down Campbell’s whose race ended on lap 24. From the final restart, no one could catch the series point leader, who added his third feature win of the year.

It was another driver named Garret who would stop in Victory Lane when the Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds closed off their 15-lap main. Garret Stewart took the lead at the start of the feature, never to succumb despite the challenges of many different drivers who had their own battles to deal with. Devin Dixon and Tyler Clem locked in a late race battle for second, but Clem’s efforts were nullified by a flat right rear tire. For Stewart, it marks an infrequent appearance at East Bay despite the driver’s positive feeling about racing at the Clay by the Bay. “This one has been a long time coming,” he said in Victory Lane. “This is my third feature win this year at three different tracks.” Stewart prefers a dry slick surface, but knew the track would not favor that and chose his set-up accordingly. Bryan Bernhardt and Shane Burrows won heat races.

Billy Barstow recorded his first win in an East Bay Street Stock main by making an inside pass on 2019 track champion Matt Bozeman on lap 9, powering on to the win. Barstow purchased the car in July, only to have it severely damaged on July 17 in a heat race accident. It was the work of fellow competitors Bozeman, Mike Wilson and Derek Gray that put Barstow’s ride on the road to recovery that ended in Victory Lane. Bozeman and Buck Woodhouse won heat events.

Raymond Vann was on a mission in the 15-lap V-8 Warrior main. Vann wasted no time in getting the lead and becoming one of the few to hold off track champion George Handy for a win. Handy and Jason Burnside had captured heat races earlier in the program.

In Mod Lites, 2019 track champion Austin Martin made it clear that he was here to start his 2020 winning ways but convincingly winning the 15-lap feature. Martin had been denied in two previous attempts, but this one would change all of that. He started the night with his third heat win of the year and then made his winning move between Bo Bass and Darren Bass to assert himself at the front. Darren Bass had also been a heat winner.

The Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Mini Sprints brought 19 cars to the race action as Kenny Brewer carried a lead in the 15-lap feature from start to finish. Brewer, who last appeared in Victory Lane in 2018, had challenges from heat winners Joe Askew and Jamie Tinkham throughout the event. Brad Sutton also scored a heat win.

East Bay Raceway Park will be in action on August 15 with the Florida Late Models contesting a 25-lap main. They will joined by the Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Sprints, Outlaw 4s, Street Stocks and Gladiators.

TOP GUN SPRINTS

Feature: Garrett Green (82), Justin Webster (21), Frank Carlsson (20), Luke Hill (41), Stan Butler (81), Scott Baldwin (4), Jimmy Miltner (4×4), Cole Nichols (N20), Hayden Campbell (5), Shane Butler (18), Robbie Smith (6S), Brandon Grubaugh (G6), Billy Bridges (11B), Bryan Eckley (12B), Andrew Griffin (27), A.J. Maddox (3A), Steve Diamond (9D). DNS – Tim George (1*), James Alexander (113)

GAGEL’S OPEN WHEEL MODIFIEDS

Feature: Garret Stewart (67), Devin Dixon (69), Dale Kelley (22), Bryan Bernhardt (B69), David Pollen (88), Austin Sanders (64), Shane Burrows (70B), Rick Fenical (74), Pat Passanise (19), Billy Howard Jr. (47 JR), Jerry Bourland (777), Jimmy Baker (69x), Rick Hall (53), Tyler Clem (14), Bill Howard Sr. (47), Don Crandall (9c), Scott Bane (23B), Drew Jackson (08)

STREET STOCKS

Feature: Billy Barstow (756), Paul Davis (10D), Matt Bozeman (58), Buck Woodhouse (55), Doug Johnson (09), Tyler Douglas (29), Thomas Burnside (31), Jerry Bruce (35), Mike Wilson (68), Chris Livernois Jr. (71), Ken Lawrence (38)

V-8 WARRIORS

Feature: Raymond Vann (1), Jason Burnside (12J), George Handy (105), Randy Shields (49), Alan Smith (31), Wayne Kissam (107), Mark Roadarmel Jr. (81), Kayla Handy (104), Derek Gray (189), Gary Lucas (106), Cody Mezyk (40), Kalen Maynard (2), Macy Bozeman (58), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124). DNS – Mark Schiedler (29S). DQ – Juston Meeks (10)

MOD LITES

Feature: Austin Martin (97), Bo Bass (41B), Darren Bass (14B), Fred Wilson (12), Dylan Dunn (22), Jeff Bonnema (5B), Jeff Wolfe (83), Alex Cline (07c), Mitch Gilbert (7), Terry Joiner (6), Andrew Smith (71), Thomas Walsh (1), Brian Teeters (44T), Ronald Boyette (42), Kyle Nornberg (26)

Q AUTO & INJURY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEYS MINI SPRINTS

Feature: Kenny Brewer (45), Joe Askew (78J), Jamie Tinkham (51), Don R Quinn (33), Bruce Comer (21), Brad Sutton (9), Chris Silva (26), Michael Luckert (93), Adam Barnes (64), Brian Baxter (98), Jo Jo Davis (7j), Ron Leonardini (4), Marvin Almand (1), Mike Meyers (6), Randy Thomas (4T), Ryan Meeks (12), Dennis Sanchez (11). DNS – Joe Bartow (3), Bill Gise (21X)

Mathews, Morgan Capture Rock’n July Throwdown

 

Results of Friday, July 17 Rock’N July Throwdown

Late Models: Jeff Mathews (33), Travis Varnadore (41), Raymond Rogers (48), Kenny Monahan (311), Tanner Cobb (c03), Cameron Saunders (29s), Joshua Kunstbeck (11K), Shawn Taylor (83), Thomas Burnside (13), Shan Smith (32), Blake Spencer (6), John Norris (87), Dennis Williams (24), Brenden Smith (17ssjr), Megan Rae Meyer (11M). DNS – Phillip Cobb (03). DQ – Jimmy Waldrop (9)

Dirt’s 4 Racing Street Stocks: Brian Morgan (26), Thomas Pratt (22P), Paul Davis (10D), Tommy Hill (1H), Jerry Bruce (35), James McPeak (7M), Jimmy Wagner (17w), Josh Sanford (31), Buck Woodhouse (55w), Jacob Bell (77), Danny Esposito Jr. (40), Nick Hebrank (7), Tim Gay (29), Matt Bozeman (58). DNS – Chris Livernois (71), Robert Allen (98), Mike Wilson (68), Doug Johnson (09), Billy Barstow (756). DQ – Just McGauley (15)

Thunder Stocks/V-8 Warriors: Scotty Kay Jr. (34), James Warden (5), Trent Wilson (17), Joe Belkey (12), George Handy (105), Greg Crowe (89), Gary Lucas (106), Raymond Rogers Jr. (48), Wayne Kissam (107), Johnny Allen (68), Juston Meeks (10), Jason Burnside (12j), Kalen Maynard (2), Randy Shields (49), Mark Roadarmel Jr. (81), Ravin Lee (3L), Mike Valdes (15), Michael Hart (99), Henry Lanier (X), Patrick Thomas (25). DNS – Cody Mezyk (40)

Gladiators: Daniel Bowman (46), Bailey Purcell (07), Kyle Bowman (46k), Zachary Thomas (X), Patrick Tabb (03), Rodney Martin (21), Tyler Davis (1), Chuck Frater (6F), Ricky Rutledge (4), Davey Martin (55), Alyssa Grant (46A), Robert Kissam (911), Tarcy Maynard (62), Robert Gullett Sr. (2), Ethan Dansby (6), Hunter Lovelady (68), Derrick Edwards (17). DQ – Logan Casteel (24)

Come and Get ‘Em

Points money and trophies are now available for pick up at the Track Office during regular office hours, Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

If you cannot make it to the office during July, we will hold the money and trophies until we race again.

We need the space to work in the office, so come and get ’em!

Statement about Canceled Champion’s Banquet

“Many of you have been asking about the Champion’s banquet that we had to postpone in March. We have made the decision to not reschedule it as the COVID virus seems to be going back up in numbers so we do not see the potential at this point of being able to have the banquet and honor our Champions from 2019.  We will be refunding all money that was paid toward the banquet tickets. We will also have the Points money and trophies available for pick up at the Track Office during regular office hours  starting July 7th. The office is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. If you cannot make it to the office during July, we will hold the money and trophies until we race again in August.

If you have any questions, please contact the office at (813) 677-7223.  We regret not being able to have the banquet as we were looking forward to it as we have not had one in the past several years.  Hopefully we will be able to have one next year.  We hope you and your family remain safe and we will see you in August.  “

Pratt Prevails in Modified Shootout at East Bay

Despite near record heat, a good crowd was on hand for the five-division racing card at East Bay Raceway Park. The June 27 event marked the third consecutive week of racing and served as the last before the mid-summer break with the next event on August 1.

Fresh from a Friday night win at Bubba Raceway Park the night before, Rich Pratt held off the charge of Jeff Mathews to capture the Gagel’s Open Wheel Modified main. In Victory Lane, Pratt praised the level of competition seen by Modified racers at East Bay, realizing his win was no easy chore.

Drew Jackson held the early lead with Pratt tucked behind. It was a matter of only a few laps before Mathews asserted himself in a charge to the front. He pulled up beside Pratt, but a caution moved Mathews back to third. In less than a half lap, Mathews was by Pratt and in pursuit of Jackson. Mathews caught the leader as the field was coming down to complete lap 10, but the two made contact in the first and second turns, sending both to the rear with nine laps complete.

Pratt gained the lead at this point, but a spate of cautions began to show with top five cars getting caught up in the mishaps. Pratt held the lead, but would have different challengers until defending track champion Bryan Bernhardt gained the spot with five laps to go. Mathews slipped into second a lap later and began the charge to the front, actually nosing ahead at the white flag. Mathews and Pratt raced wheel-to-wheel into turn three, but Pratt was steady enough on the bottom to bring home the victory. Mathews and Jackson were heat race winners.

The night was not completely lost for Jeff Mathews as he opened the program with a dominant win in the Late Model Sportsman main. The race saw just one caution early, allowing Mathews to score a convincing win. Forrest Gough closed at the mid-race point, but slipped back as Tanner Cobb claimed second late in the race. Cobb and Mathews were heat winners.

The tech man had a say in the outcome of the V-8 Warrior feature event. Juston Meeks dominated the race and went to Victory Lane, but the next stop was the tech shed and Meeks saw his feature taken for incorrect tires. The outcome gave the win to Gary Lucas who had fought hard to hold onto second throughout the race and put himself in position for his first win of the year. Lucas and Wayne Kissam won their respective heats.

Paul Seburn added his second feature win of the year, backing up a March triumph with a Saturday night win in the Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Micro Sprints. Seburn hunted down early race leader Doug Dyal and scooted away for the feature win to back up his earlier heat win.

Kyle Bowman topped the Gladiator main event for his first feature win of the season. Rodney Martin led from the start with Bailey Purcell in tow. Kyle Bowman grabbed the lead on lap six and found himself defending against a familiar foe as brother Daniel had used the high line to grab second. Kyle prevailed in the main. Daniel Bowman and Bailey Purcell brought home heat wins.

The next racing event will be held August 1 with a visit from the Top Gun Sprints with Mod Lites, Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds, Street Stocks, V-8 Warriors, and Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Mini-Sprints. Special Event pricing is in effect.

GAGEL’S OPEN WHEEL MODIFIEDS

Feature: Rich Pratt (13), Jeff Mathews (33), Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Dale Kelley (22), Billy Howard (47), Frank Lewis (72L), Drew Jackson (08), Jim Baker (69X), Scott Bane (23B), Pat Passanise (19), Roger Crouse (15), Megan Rae Meyer (11M), Jerry Bourland (777). DNS – Austin Sanders (64)

LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN

Feature: Jeff Mathews (33), Tanner Cobb (c03), Forrest Gough (21), Scotty Williams (27W), Jesse Brown (7), Steve Brendle (141), Megan Rae Meyer (11M), Tim Dowling (12D), Thomas Burnside (13), Cole Crawford (4), Jason Pope (102), Buck Woodhouse (55), Hunter Boyd (6), Keven Devrieze (99)

V-8 WARRIORS

Feature: Gary Lucas (106), George Handy (105), Collin Kruse (92), Mark Roadarmel Jr. (81), Kalen Maynard (2), Cody Mezyk (40), Macy Bozeman (58), Wayne Kissam (107), Robert Grant (124), Randy Shields (49), Kayla Handy (104), Bill Whitney (15). DQ – Juston Meeks (10)

Q AUTO & INJURY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEYS MICRO SPRINTS

Feature: Paul Seburn (23), Jerod Meyers (7), William Burnside (13), Jo Jo Davis (27), Joshua Davis (J), Doug Dyal (1G)

GLADIATORS

Feature: Kyle Bowman (46K), Daniel Bowman (46), Patrick Tabb (07), Alyssa Grant (46A), Davey Martin (55), Derrick Edwards (17), Ricky Rutledge Sr. (4), Nick McAllister (97M), Hunter Lovelady (68), Callie Gubich (513), Rodney Martin (21), Bailey Purcell (14), David Zeman (13), Tracy Maynard (62), Nick Sperbeck (34)