The 2022 Winternationals came to a thrilling conclusion as the annual Ronald Laney Memorial King of the 360s capped off five weeks of racing.
With the top six drivers locked in by virtue of points accumulated on the first two nights, there were 18 spots remaining to be filled with Saturday racing. Five heat races brought 10 more drivers with heats won by Danny Martin Jr., Carson McCarl, Davie Franek, Dale Howard, and Danny Smith. B mains were won by Max Stambaugh, Johnny Gilbertson, Brendan Mullen and Tim Shaffer.
The 40-lap A-main for the 360 Sprints took the green with Ryan Smith grabbing the early lead. Mark Smith took the point on lap 10 and would lead until lap 26 when Sam Hafertepe Jr. rebounded to the front as the field was picking its way through lapped traffic. With Hafertepe and Smith concentrating on the bottom of the race track, Terry McCarl looked to the high side for a ticket to the front. Dylan Westbrook was working the high groove as well. The action was hectic and the only thing missing was a caution flag. The yellow never appeared as the 40-lap feature took 11 minutes to complete with Hafertepe reigning victorious. The 2022 winner remarked in Victory Lane that they were unsure of how the event would turn out and were making adjustments up until being called to the track. The winner added that he has not been successful at East Bay, so it was a relief to be able to add this to his list of accomplishments.
Jeff Isabell Jr. topped the 25-lap Mod Lite feature, returning to the cockpit after sitting out last night’s event in favor of car owner Doug Williams. Isabell, who had won his heat race, came from the eighth starting position to earn the win. Rob Misener was a winner in the other heat.
East Bay Raceway Park would like to thank those who took part in the success of the 46th annual Winternationals. The 2022 regular season will open on March 12 with Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Sprints, Florida Late Models, Mod Lites, V-8 Warriors and Gladiators.
Feature: Sam Hafertepe Jr. (15H), Mark Smith (43), Terry McCarl (24x), Ryan Smith (10x), Dylan Westbrook (47x), Danny Martin Jr. (24), Carson McCarl (27), Davie Franek (28F), A.J. Maddox (3A), Aaron Reutzel (8), Max Stambaugh (5M), Tim Shaffer (28), Dale Howard (47), Danny Smith (66), Matt Kurtz (92), Johnny Gilbertson (22), Cody Bova (20B), Chris Martin (44), Brendan Mullen (11M), Garrett Green (82), Phil Gressman (7c), Eric Riggins Jr. (47R), Zane DeVault (7D), Ricky Peterson Jr. (2P)
Feature: Jeff Isabell Jr. (14), Larry Hubbard Jr. (56)< Austin Martin (97), Josh Sliter (17), Morghan Johnson (1), Brent Begolo (16), Bo Bass (41B), Sean Iftody (27), Anthony Stewart (33K), Dylan Dunn (22D), Rob Misener (6), Randy Giroux (88), Ryleigh Sliter (17x), Frank Winewski (16W), J.T. Joiner (6j), Jeff Bonnema (5B), Codey Benoit (5x), Alex Cline (07c)