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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.

Nosbisch, Harvey Snare East Bay Pro Late Model Mains

With just under 100 cars in the pit area, fans at East Bay Raceway Park were treated to some exciting racing for the start of the month of October.

A field of 26 Pro Late Models gathered for the second annual Gene Slaughter Memorial Twin 20s, honoring the longtime track tire man. Three heat events set the field for the first 20-lapper as Tanner Cobb, Steve Mathis and Jeff Mathews prevailed in the preliminaries.

A field of 23 would gather for the first event. Phillip Cobb had the early lead, but found himself challenged by six-time feature winner Keith NOsbisch. On a lap five restart, Nosbisch was able to make his move for the lead. Things got a little hairy when the leaders hit lapped traffic on lap 10. Tommy Prince spun in the backstretch with the car of John Norris climbing onto the disabled racer. Only quick action saved leader Nosbisch from being caught up in the melee. On the restart, Tarvis Varnadore was able to shoot past three cars to move into second and begin to harass the leader. After initially slipping back, Mathews was able to work back into the conversation, passing Varnadore. At one point, Mathews slipped past the leader, but Nosbisch was able to duck down to reclaim the position and roll on to his seventh win of the year.

In the second feature, which saw 21 cars take the green, it was all about Bruce Harvey. Masterfully working his way through traffic, Harvey was able to focus on his own race and not worry about the ones trying to catch him. It proved to be the winning formula as Harvey took home his first East Bay Pro Late Model main event. Nosbisch was charging to the back bumper of the leader with two laps to go, but the steady drive by Harvey denied a repeat winner.

This night also saw the second night of the Mini Fall Brawl and the competitors in the Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Mini-Sprints responded in a resounding fashion. Last month, there were 30 cars on hand for the opening round and this time, the car count climbed to 35. The large field brought the first B main in a division since the Winternationals. Four heats were won by Dusty Cates, Robby Hoffmann, Robbie Smith and Bruce Comer. From the start, Hoffmann made a statement that would not be denied. Grabbing the lead as the field completed its first lap, Hoffmann stretched out an insurmountable lead, Despite three yellow flags bunching the field, there would be no denying Hoffmann’s return to Victory Lane, running his regular season win streak to 8 races in addition to Winternationals victories in 2019. The B main was won by Zack Amundsen, who was unable to compete in his heat race, but led the four transfers from the consy.

The evening’s activity opened with Mod Lites and the class saw a new winner in Victory Lane at the end of the 15-lap, 17 car feature. Darren Bass swept by point leader Austin Martin in heavy traffic to pull out to the top spot on lap five. Bass kept up the assault through the field and he was never challenged en route to the win. Tim McLeod and Larry Hubbard Jr. opened the night with wins in their preliminaries.

A new winner was also crowned in V-8 Warrior action as Collin Kruse took over to claim the win in the 15-lap main. Kruse and Nick Brown were respective winners of the heat race.

Point leader Matt Bozeman finally broke through to lay claim to a Street Stock feature race, taking the lead from teammate Billy Barstow early on. Bozeman also won his heat race.

Danny Bowman brought home the wins in the heat and feature for the Florida Old Time Modifieds.

Racing action resumes next week, Saturday, Oct. 12, with the BOOMTRUX.COM non-wing Top Gun Sprints (rescheduled from August 17). The Gagel’s Modifieds, Street, Stocks, V-8 Warriors, Wingless Mini-Sprints, Studio Red Salon Gladiators and Florida Old Time Modifieds join the action.

PRO LATE MODELS

Feature #1: Keith Nosbisch (02), Jeff Mathews (33), Travis Varnadore (95V), Bruce Harvey (27), Jimmy Waldrop (9), Steven Brendle (141), Thomas Burnside (13B), Waylon Haynes (11), Josh Peacock (0), Phillip Cobb (03), Daniel Woody (29), Scotty Williams (27W), Roger Crouse (15), Forrest Gough (21), Jason Russell (75R), Steve Mathis Jr. (95), Dustin {Perez (8), Tommy Price (71), John Norris (87), Jason Pope (102), Keven Devrieze (99), Billy Boyd Sr. (3), Tim Dowling (12D). DNS – Tanner Cobb (03T), Jesse Brown (7), D.J. Sanders (48)

Feature #2: Harvey, Nosbisch, Waldrop, P. Cobb, Gough, Varnadore, Mathis, Mathews, Dowling, Brendle, Devrieze, Pope, Burnside, Haynes, Boyd, Russell, Perez, Peacock, Woody, Crouse, Williams. DNS – T. Cobb, Brown, Prince, Sanders, Norris

Q AUTO & INJURY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEYS MINI SPRINTS

Feature: Robby Hoffmann (66), Kenny Brewer (45), Robbie Smith (77), Austin Craddock (17), Steve Diamond (x9), Zack Amundsen (12), Jordan Feagle (26), Kevin McKenzie (7), Joe Askew (78J), Paige Moss (95), Bruce Comer (21), Jamie Tinkham (51), A.J. Parrish (88), Dirk Miller (68), Brad Sutton (9), Don Quinn (33), Rhea Lynn Moss (23), David Hall (67), Russ Heider (86), John Crowder (30), Dennis Sanchez (9s), Dusty Cates (6), Eddie Moss (30x), Zac Gorski (33G)

B Main: Amundsen, Gorski, R. Moss, Sanchez, Chris Silva (26s), Lee Gower (22x), Rob Vigh (5), Wayne Feagle (66F), Chris Diamond (9D), Ron Leonardini (4), Jake Salvati (17J), Charles Kalck (22), Donnie Quinn (33D), Mike Meyers (7M), Bailee Spitulski (29P). DNS – Joe Bartow (3)

MOD LITES
Feature: Darren Bass (14B), Brian Teeters (44T), Tim McLeod (28M), Austin Martin (97), Alex Cline (07), Larry Hubbard Jr. (56), Bo Bass (25), Andrew Smith (71), Cody Benoit (7), Russell Campbell (27), Aaron Stalling (31A), David Santee (15), Jeff Bannema (5B), Dalton Ellis (44), Brodrick Kennedy (06), Roger Wolfe (83), James McGroarty (07)

V-8 WARRIORS

Feature: Collin Kruse (92), Jason Burnside (12j), George Handy (105), Chris Zimmerman (30), Gary Lucas (23), Kevin Cassaday (7), Wayne Kissam (07), Jeff Weaver (26), Kalen Maynard (2), Nick Brown (12), Rhett Wilson (1X), Macy Bozeman (58)

STREET STOCKS

Feature: Matt Bozeman (58), Henry Burnside (31), Billy Barstow (56), Mark Roadarmel Jr. (B75), Billy Ray Johnson (59). DNS – Robert Tyler (99), Mike Wilson (89), Raymond Folwell (22)

FLORIDA OLD TIME MODS

Feature: Danny Bowman (00), Charlie Sanders (7A), Dan Darnell (111), Jamie Frankland (1). DNS – Tom McDonald (22)