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Revised 2022 Winternationals Schedule

Due to potential conflicts with other tracks and series schedules, the 2022 WinterNationals schedule at East Bay Raceway Park has been revised. The new schedule opens up opportunities for additional classes not previously involved, allowing for increased participation.

The 46th annual WinterNationals will open with five divisions. V-8 Warrior/Thunderstocks, Street Stocks, Gladiators, Mini Sprints and Micro Sprints will have a practice session on Wednesday, January 19 before beginning three nights of racing.  The V-8 Warriors/Thunderstocks will compete for $300 to win on Thursday and Friday with the winner’s share jumping to $500 on the Saturday night finale. The Street Stocks will see an increased purse each night with winner’s take being $400 on Thursday, $500 on Friday and $1,000 on Saturday. Gladiators, Mini Sprints and Micro Sprints will receive $150 for the winner of each class on Thursday and Friday with $300 as the top prize on Saturday.

Five nights of UMP DIRTcar /East Bay Raceway Park Open Wheel Modified racing will begin on Tuesday, January 25. The Tuesday and Wednesday shows will pay $1,000 to the Modified winner with fans getting a special admission price of only $10 to watch the action. The Thursday (January 27) show will add the Top Gun Sprints for the remaining three nights of the week. Modified winners receive $1,500 for victory on Thursday and Friday with the Saturday winner taking home $5,000. Top Gun Sprints compete for $1,000 to win each night. A practice session for the two divisions will be held on Monday, January 24.

Late Model fans won’t want to miss the appearance of the Crate Racin’ USA 602 and 604 divisions as they face three nights of action. The opening night (Thursday, February 3) will see the 602s battle for $500 to win with the 604 winner receiving $2,500. That same prize awaits Friday’s 604 winner, but the stakes double for the 602s as a top prize of $1,000 awaits. The final night of these two classes sees the biggest [payout with $5,000 to win for the 604 champ and $2,500 for the 602 winner.

The annual appearance of the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series will once feature six nights of racing. The action begins Monday, Feb. 7 after a Sunday practice day. The top national competitors will battle it out with the purses increasing throughout the week. The winner of the Saturday finale will once again nab $15,000. In 2021, five different winners appeared in Victory Lane with only Tyler Erb able to double down on the week, including the Saturday finale.

For the third year, the All-Star Circuit of Champions 410 Sprints will thunder at the Clay by the Bay with two nights on the schedule. Valentine’s Day (Monday, February 14) starts off the action with the second show on Tuesday, February 15, each offering $6,000 to win. Last year, Mother Nature took the first night, but Donny Schatz grabbed the feature win on night #2 with eventual 2021 All-Star Champion Tyler Courtney grabbing fourth in his East Bay 410 Sprint debut. This year, the All Stars will be joined by the Mini Sprints, making a return appearance in the 46th annual WinterNationals.

The action concludes with the 21st running of the Ronald Laney Memorial King of the 360s. Preliminary events on Thursday and Friday (Feb. 17 and 18) pay $2,000 to winning driver. The Saturday finale carries a top prize of $10,000 to close the WinterNationals with a bang. The 360s will be joined by three nights of racing in Mod Lites with the Saturday winner taking home $500.

Additional information can be found here

Eddie Cox

East Bay Raceway Park would like to express our deepest sympathy to the friends and family of Eddie Cox, who passed away recently. Eddie worked at East Bay Raceway Park in 2002.

There will be no services. Please keep the family in your prayers.

Mathews Prevails as Gene Slaughter Memorial Race Winner

A field of 21 604 Late Models turned out for the fourth annual Gene Slaughter Memorial with $2,000 plus added contingencies on the line for the winner. When it was all said and done on the track, the tech officials determined the final outcome.

After heat races were won by Doug Horton, Mavrick Varnadore and Tom Fiebelkorn, the 20-car field assembled shortly after intermission in the six-division program. Travis Varnadore took the lead from the pole position with Fiebelkorn giving chase. The field was slowed on the second lap for a two-car incident. On the restart, Mavrick Varnadore scooted into second. Mavrick and Jack Nosbisch would exchange the spot behind Travis on subsequent restarts. On lap 19, two-time feature winner Shan Smith made himself a factor. On a lap 22 restart, Smith came from third to first and built up a big lead into lapped traffic. While Smith was stretching it out, none of the top five positions were certain as battles were brewing. Cody Overton, in his first East Bay start, slipped past Travis Varnadore for second as the white flag came out, but a caution nullified the pass. With the green and white waving, Smith shot off to leave the rest to decide their respective fates. Jeff Mathews vaulted into second at the checkered flag. The top finishers headed to the scale while Smith went to Victory Lane. After the ceremony, the unofficial winner reported to tech, only to be disqualified for a tire violation. The turn of events gave Mathews the win for the 50-lap main.

Mathews and Overton were doing double duty, competing in the Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds. Mathews won his heat race, as did David Pollen Jr. For the 15-lap feature, Billy Howard grabbed the initial lead, but Bryan Bernhardt soon asserted himself in the top position. Bernhardt would have his hands full as both Mathews and Overton hounded the leader. Overton was able to be the one to dispatch Bernhardt and claim the win. Not only was this the first appearance at East Bay for the Modified winner, it was also his first-ever Modified race. It became one to remember, adding to his third place run in the Late Models.

Overton’s win was one of many that would see Victory Lane welcome a new face in 2021. To open the program, the Q Auto & Injury Mini Sprint main was captured by Bryce Comer, who held off his uncle Bruce for the win. Bruce Comer had won the preliminary.

J.T. Joiner was a first-time winner in the Mod Lite class, which saw point leader Alex Cline secure the heat. Cline would be the hunter in the 15-lap main, trying to get by Joiner and score another feature. Joiner ran steady lines to keep the competition at bay, bringing home his first win of the year after starting the season with a runner-up finish.

Tommy Hill made the three-hour trip from home to race at East Bay on his birthday. No one was giving him gifts for the occasion as the Street Stock feature was a hard-fought win for the Clewiston driver. Jerry Bruce was best in class for the heat win.

Point leader Charles Paris Jr. notched his sixth win of the 2021 season, slipping by Derrick Edwards to move on to Victory Lane in the 17-car main. D.J. Taylor and Raymond Vann  won their heats, but found difficulty in the feature.

The racing continues next Saturday Oct. 9 as the Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Sprints headline a card that includes 602 Late Models, V-8 Warriors, Q Micro Sprints, Gladiators and the return of the Daytona Antique Auto Racing Association.

604 LATE MODELS

Feature: Jeff Mathews (33), Travis Varnadore (41), Cody Overton (33), Keith Nosbisch (02), Doug Horton (46), Mavrick Varnadore (95M), Phillip Cobb (03), Steve Mathis Jr. (95), Tom Fiebelkorn (45T), Jack Nosbisch (12), Brenden Smith (17SS), Matt Herlong (131), Trever Taylor (7T), Jesse Brown (7JR), Jimmy Wagner (17W), John Norris (87), Billy Boyd Jr. (ZERO), Daniel Woody (29), Thomas Burnside (13). DNS – Jimmy Waldrop (9). DQ – Shan Smith (32).

GAGEL’S OPEN WHEEL MODIFIEDS

Feature: Cody Overton (33), Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Jeff Mathews (33), Austin Sanders (64), Jason Jack (54), Patrick Passanise (333), Billy Howard Jr. (47), Paul Rivall (15R), David Pollen Jr. (88), Scott Bane (23B), Cam Canova (6), Ryan Thompson Jr. (54T)

Q MINI SPRINTS

Feature: Bryce Comer (9), Bruce Comer (21), David Hall (67), Charles Landis (12), Joe Bartow (3), Doug Dyal (97D), Shanna Walters (13)

MOD LITES

Feature: J.T. Joiner (6J), Alex Cline (07c), Dylan Dunn (22), Terry Joiner (6), Jeff Bonnema (5B), Anthony Stewart (33), Jeff Wolfe (83), Rocky Scott (4), Brodrick Kennedy (24), Bill Pennington (28P), Thomas Walsh (32T)

STREET STOCKS

Feature: Tommy Hill (1H), Richard Livernois Jr. (71), Paul Davis (10), Jerry Bruce (35), Buck Woodhouse (55), Danny Yannone (53), Kyle Bowman (46K), Brad Langford (B46), Harold Williams (98). DNS – Doug Johnson (09)4

GLADIATORS

Feature: Charles Paris Jr. (03T), Robert Kissam (911), Rodney Martin (21), Derrick Edwards (17), Wayne Kissam (07), Daniel Casey (3D), Patrick Tabb (03), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Jerry Moore (70), Britt Mann (4×4), Dalton Goldhammer (18), Callie Gubich (513), Daniel Bowman (46), D.J. Taylor (00), J.B. Moffitt (6P), Raymond Vann (1), Tracy Maynard (62), Patrick Fiore (88), Ricky Rutledge (4)

Added to Tonight’s event!

Additional awards will be given during the running of the annual Gene Slaughter Memorial for 604 Late Models. Fit Together Fitness will award $50 to the leader of lap 10. RCP America will add $100 to the winner. Plumb Crazy Plumbing will award $100 to the leader on lap 24 and will give an additional $100 to last place.

In addition to the 604 Late Models, there will be racing in the Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds, Street Stocks, Mod Lites, Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Mini Sprints and Gladiators.

Pit gates open at 4, main gate opens at 5, races start at 6:30.

Admission is $17 for adults, seniors & military $15, Teens 13-17 $10. Children under 12 free with paying adult.

Dolores Knight

Graveside services for Dolores Knight will be held on Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. at the Blount & Curry Funeral Home @Garden of Memories, 4207 E. Lake Ave in Tampa. Mrs. Knight was the mother of track official Stacy Knight (Janet) and grandmother of Outlaw 4 driver Eric Knight.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the donor’s favorite charity or donations can be made to the AMI/YES program.

Wings or Without: Grubaugh Wins Top Gun non-wing Main

The twice-delayed return of the Top Gun Sprints to East Bay Raceway Park brought 23 cars and a ton of excitement in the five-division program to close off the track’s September schedule.

Heat winners Shane Butler, Danny Martin Jr. and Brandon Grubaugh found themselves in the first two rows of the 25-lap main, a prime position to claim the $600 from the Lee & Jeff Barfield Memorial Clean Sweep, but it would polesitter and point leader Tyler Clem would lead the first lap. Clem was hounded by Butler as the field endured its first caution on lap 4. On the restart, Clem scooted out into the lead and led for a lap when the rear end locked, sending him into a spin. About that time, Martin had mechanical issues and retired from the competition. Butler and Grubaugh inherited the top two spots for the restart on lap 5.

When the race went back to green, Butler set a fast pace using the top line to rocket off the corners. The strategy backfired when Butler went high in turn three, riding the wall and coming to a stop, fortunately on all fours. Grubaugh became the leader and the sole driver with a chance at the bonus.

The restart saw Grubaugh protecting the top line against the assault from Justin Webster, who had moved into second from fourth on the restart. Webster was able to slip by Grubaugh on lap 8 and soon Grubaugh found himself locked in a position battle with defending series champion AJ Maddox, who had started in the 10th row after a flat tire in his heat. Maddox was able to get by, but a caution for Bryan Eckley reverted the field. It took Maddox one lap to creep back into the runner-up spot. The stint was short lived as Grubaugh regained second on lap 14. One lap later, Grubaugh powered off the second turn and shot past Webster to regain the lead. It proved to be good timing as a red flag appeared on the next lap when Frank Beck spun, facing traffic and Kyle Connery’s car launched into the air to bring out the red.

Things began to settle down as attrition reduced the field with only one caution on lap 19. Maddox was able to slide by Webster for second, but could not chase down Grubaugh’s G6. The wingless win for Grubaugh backed up a winged win at East Bay on March 20, the last series appearance of 2021.

Jerod Meyers made a triumkphant return to action in the Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorney Micro Sprints, going wire to wire in the 12-lap main. The second generation driver started in the front row alongside his father, Mike. Jerod ran a poised race, keeping the car at the bottom of the track to run unmolested. Doug Dyal won the heat race.

The 15-lap Street Stock feature was decided on a lap 14 pass as Paul Davis slipped by Rich Livernois for the top spot. Davis became the third different leader in the race. Livernois started as the leader, but faced immediate pressure from Zack Amundsen. An Amundsen pass was taken away by a caution, but Zack got right back to business and secured the lead. On lap six, an incident between turns one and turn saw Billy Barstow’s ride fly over Jerry Bruce, making one complete roll. The driver was okay. Livernois got back out front, making an inside move on lap 10 as Amundsen began to fade. The pressure from Davis was instant, but it took until the final lap to seal the deal. Amundsen and Davis were heat winners.

Wesley Livernois captured the heat and feature in the 602 Late Model class, overcoming early season woes to claim the wins.

Brittany Hart parlayed her heat win into a feature win in the 15-lap Gladiator main. Wearing a chain in memory of her late grandmother, Hart enjoyed an emotional Victory Lane to cap off the night’s action. Patrick Tabb and Thomas Adams started their nights with wins in the heats.

Action resumes on Saturday Oct. 2 with the running of the Gene Slaughter Memorial for 604 Late Models with a 50-lap feature. Also on the card Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds, Street Stocks, Mod Lites, Q Mini Sprints and Gladiators.

TOP GUN SPRINTS

Feature: Brandon Grubaugh (G6), A.J. Maddox (3A), Justin Webster (21), Luke Hill (41), Danny Jones (14), Guy Bos (3x), Tyler Orzechowski (38), Skeeter Kelley (46), Ric Voisey (96), Cole Nichols (N20), Frank Beck (89), Kyle Connery (91), Rick Dietz (15), Bryan Eckley (12B), Tyler Clem (6S), Shane Butler  (18), Danny Martin Jr. (24), Tim George (1*), Steve Diamond (9), Scott Baldwin (4). Louis Brashear (14x), Andrew Griffin (32). DNS – Chris Hahn (2). DQ – Stan Butler (1c)

Q MICRO SPRINTS

Feature: Jerod Meyers (7), Doug Dyal (97D), Mike Meyers (77), Chris Kennedy (2), Paul Seburn (23), Kaylee Dyal (11D), William Burnside (13)

STREET STOCKS

Feature: Paul Davis (10), Richard Livernois (71), Zack Amundsen (20), Buck Woodhouse (55), Jerry Bruce (35), Allen Bailey (51), Kyle Bowman (46K), Billy Barstow (756), Danny Yannone (53), Brad Langford (B46), Matt Bozeman (58), Doug Johnson (09). DNS – Josh Jones (05)

602 LATE MODELS

Feature: Wesley Livernois (44), John Wayne Haynes (52)

GLADIATORS

Feature: Brittany Hart (99), Patrick Tabb (03), Charles Paris Jr. (03T), Robert Kissam (911), Rodney Martin (21), Wayne Kissam (07), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Jerry Moore (70), Davey Martin (55), Danielo Casey (3D), Thomas Adams (T2), Ricky Rutledge Sr. (4), Callie Gubich (513), Gregory Valdez (60), D.J. Taylor (00), Daniel Bowman (46), Derrick Edwards (17), David Zeman (13), Patrick Fiore (88). DNS – Kyle Kruse (1K), Jeff Smith (15)

Donnie Reed

East Bay Raceway Park owners and staff would like to send our deepest sympathy to the family of Donnie Reed.  Donnie’s Celebration of Life will be held Thursday (Sept. 23) at 37302 Tucker Road, Zephyrhills, FL  33541 at 6:00 pm.  Please keep Donnie’s children Jennifer, Chessie and Eric in your prayers.