Zimmerman Paces Top Gun Sprints at East Bay

For the first time in over four months, the Top Gun Sprint Series made a return to East Bay Raceway Park in front of a crowd hungry for winged Sprint action. At the end of it all, a new East Bay winner stood in Victory Lane, thanks to a late race pass that opened the door for victory.

Harley Zimmerman slipped past Brandon Grubaugh on lap 24 of the 25-lap main to secure the win. Zimmerman and Grubaugh had been locked in battle throughout most of the race, but it was a battle for second most of the time. Race leader Billy Bridges was able to keep the hard charging duo at bay through most of the contest. Grubaugh took the lead on lap 17 and held the point until Zimmerman came calling.

With his win, Zimmerman picked up an additional $300 in the Jeff & Lee Barfield Memorial Clean Sweep, a bonus offered to a heat race winner who captures the feature. AJ Maddox and Grubaugh were other heat winner

The race got off to a slow start as a multi-car crash saw the car of series point leader Keith Butler on its side before a lap was complete. Butler’s crew was able to make the repairs needed to get him back into action before losing a lap. The race was red flagged a second time when DJ Peeples experienced handling issues and a hard-charging Tim George had nowhere to go, flipping along the front stretch fence and destroying a fast race car.

The annual Gary Gay Memorial for Street Stocks drew a field of 21cars for a 25-lap main. Defending champion Tim Gay started the feature on the pole, but it was outside polesitter Tim Powers who asserted command. It was clear that Gay wanted the repeat win, but Powers would not give up the top spot. At race end, it was Thomas Pratt who had the best shot, but Powers was not to be denied, capturing his first East Bay win of 2019. Heat victories went to Gay, Pratt and Powers.

The Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Micro-Sprint main had all of the makings of business as usual as point leader Larry Rarer had worked to a comfortable lead in pursuit of his sixth straight main. With two laps remaining, a mechanical issue stymied Rarer’s bid, handing the lead to heat race winner Joe Taylor. Taylor’s luck would not be much better and an opportunity was presented to second generation racer Jerod Meyers, who would not be denied. Meyers brought home the family ride (complete with a “For Sale” sign) to score his first win of the year in a race that saw three different leaders in the last two laps.

Point leader George Handy asserted himself early to secure his fourth feature win of the year to open the Saturday program, backing up his heat win of earlier in the V-8 Warrior division.

Brandon Yates continued his dominance of the Outlaw 4 class as the defending champion rolled to his fourth straight win. Yates and Eric Knight finished on top in the heat races.

Danny Bowman closed off the action-packed night by outdueling Charlie Sanders to win the Florida Old Time Modifieds main. Tom McDonald had won the heat.

The next action for East Bay Raceway Park will take place on Saturday, October 5. Pro Late Models return for the running of the Gene Slaughter Memorial Twin 20s. Joining the action will be Street Stocks, V-8 Warriors, Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys wingless Mini-Sprints, Mod-Lites and Florida Old Time Modifieds. Race time is 6:30 p.m. at the Clay by the Bay


Feature: Harley Zimmerman (00), Brandon Grubaugh (G6), Billy Bridges (11), Garrett Green (82), AJ Maddox (3A), Keith Butler (19), Matt Kurtz (20), Joe Zuczek (50), Johnny Alexander (3T), Luke Hill (41), Guy Bos (3K), Scott Baldwin (4), Jeff Bye (26), Chris Hahn (2), D.J. Peeples (30), Tim George (1*), Bryan Eckley (12B), Michael Steinruck (44A), Dylan Colding (23D), Frank Beck (89), Kyle Connery (91), Nathan Barouch (13), Hayden Campbell (5), Nikki Voisey (96). DNS – Bruce Durden (17D)


Gary Gay Memorial: Tim Powers (44), Thomas Pratt (22), Tim Gay (90), Justin Rodgers (05), Robert Allen (98), Matt Bozeman (58), Jerry Bruce (35), Randy Shields (30), Billy Barstow (56), Carl Malone (7), John Bradley (57), Jeff Rodgers (95), Billy Ray Johnson (59), Mike Wilson (68), David McCormack (26), David Hildebrant (3H), Doug Johnson (09), Paul Davis (10), Henry Burnside (31), William Pugh (15), Marco Reyes (93R)


Feature: Jerod Meyers (7), Paul Seburn (23), Joe Taylor (29), Wade Evans (27), Larry Rarer (97z), Doug Dyal (97D), Brian Baxter (98), Corey Dyal (00D), William Burnside (13), William Brannan Jr. (60), Mike Meyers (0). DNS – Chris Livernois (71)


Feature: Brandon Yates (53), Eric Knight (7), Stephen Hohlbaugh (23S), Vernon Hart (48), Mark Moniz (41E), Candice Kealy (D4R), Candie Wright (42), Michael Ridgeway (47), Robert Schrunk (03), Bob Fleming (88)


Feature: George Handy (105), Jason Burnside (12J), Wayne Kissam (07), Juston Meeks (10), Gary Lucas (23), Macy Bozeman (58), Nate Whitehurst (07W), Mark Pickelsimer (6). DQ – Collin Kruse (92)


Joey Vital Jr.

It is with heavy hearts that we have to say good bye to another of our racing family.  It is never easy to say goodbye to our loved ones, but to have to do it at such a young age is even harder.  Joey Vital Jr. passed away on September 6 at the age of 22.   Our prayers go out to his fiancé Brittanie Josephson and his daughter Brooklyn.   Joey was a member of the Boyd family that has always been such a big part of the racing family at East Bay.  Our thoughts and prayers are with each of them during this time.  The Celebration of Life Service for Joey will be held at the First Baptist Church of Gibsonton tomorrow, Friday, September 13th at 2:00 PM.   The family will receive friends from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.    Please keep the Josephson, Boyd, Vital and Burnett families in your prayers.

Cumby Scores Florida Late Model Win at East Bay

As the calendar tipped into September, East Bay Raceway Park saw the highest car count of the season as the six-division program brought 119 cars into the jam-packed pit area. The Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Wingless Mini-Sprints led the parade as 30 cars signed in for the first round of the Mini Fall Brawl.

The Florida Late Model Series made the first visit of the season to the Clay by the Bay. As race number five of the travelling series schedule, several series regulars made their first visit of the year, but it wasn’t obvious. Point leader Chuck Cumby showed why he holds the top spot, taking the race lead in the late stages of the 25-lap main.

Polesitter Steve Mathis would be the class of the field from the start as Bruce Harvey made a nice move coming off the fourth turn on the first lap to secure second. Harvey would prove to be the early challenger, but Mathis would maintain the point. Meanwhile, Cumby found himself just inside the top five until a restart near the halfway mark. With a powerful drive off turn two, Cumby went from fifth to directly behind Harvey. On a subsequent restart, Cumby was posted outside, but still made the pass to secure second. From there, he closed in on Mathis as leader and runner-up were hunting down lapped traffic. Mathis got caught up behind Dennis Williams and made contact which broke his momentum. Cumby seized the opportunity to grab the lead that would never be given back. Mathis, Harvey and Forrest Gough would secure heat race wins.

The Mini Fall Brawl had originally been planned for August, but weather problems forced the first round to September. The 30 cars contested four heat races, won by Robby Hoffmann, Jamie Tinkham, Austin Craddock and Jordan Feagle. The 15-lap main event saw Hoffmann dive to the bottom to take the lead on the first lap. Tinkham stayed close enough to worry the leader, but soon found himself being pestered by the likes of Zack Amundsen. Deeper in the field, Robbie Smith was making a charge and would soon find Smith in second. All of this was happening behind Hoffmann, who rolled to his seventh consecutive feature win. Hoffmann shared Victory Lane with fellow racer Dusty Cates, who served to spearhead additional sponsorships and prize money for the Mini Fall Brawl, including contingency awards and special prizes for selected spots.

Shane Burrows bypassed race leader Bryan Bernhardt to secure his first victory of the year in the Gagel’s Modified 20-lap main. Burrows was able to slip by as fending off challenges from Josh Sanford, who had a strong run going. Mavrick Varnadore put on a late race charge to move into an eventual second, but Burrows had decided the outcome by that point. Bernhardt, Roger Crouse and Travis Varnadore claimed heat races.

Point leader Austin Martin kept his record perfect by scoring his fourth feature win in as many tries. Martin started the race on the pole, a place he doesn’t particularly like to start, as he stated in Victory Lane. He felt it put him at a disadvantage to learning what the competitors were doing. Still, with his lead, he only had to worry about James McGroarty, who bypassed Martin to lead a few laps, before Martin returned the favor and regained the lead on lap 11. Brian Teeters and Larry Hubbard Jr. claimed heat wins.

V-8 Warrior action was hot and heavy from start to finish as Jason Burnside took the early lead. The leader bobbled on the second lap and then encountered some mechanical issues, exiting the race track. It gave the lead to Gary Lucas, who quickly found himself fighting to hold on with charges from Michael Hart and Raymond Vann. Eventually, it would be Vann who would take the lead and gain his first win of the year. Heat races were victories for Vann and Hart.

Point leader Daniel Bowman helped his cause with his second feature win of the 2019 season in defense of his 2018 track crown. Bowman, who had fuel pump issues with his car in last week’s races, was able to keep himself in the conversation throughout the contest. Bowman, Kyle Bowman and Tracy Maynard scored heat wins.

East Bay Raceway Park will return to action on Sept. 21 with Law Enforcement, Fireman and EMT Appreciation Night. Racing action will see Top Gun Sprints, Street Stocks (Gary Gay Memorial), Outlaw 4s, Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Micro Sprints and Florida Old Time Modifieds in action.


Feature: Chuck Cumby (88), Raymond Folwell (3), Steve Mathis Jr. (95), Wayne Reutimann Jr. (00), Bruce Harvey (27), Jason Pope (102), Roger Crouse (15), Tom Fiebelkorn (45T), Josh Peacocok (0), Jimmy Waldrop (9), Phillip Cobb (11), Thomas Burnside (13B), Buck Woodhouse (55), Joe Kump (15K), Dennis Williams (33), Mark Steube (10), Tanner Cobb (03T), Dustin Perez (8), Wesley Livernois (44), Scotty Williams (27W), Forrest Gough (21), Shan Smith (32)


Feature: Robby Hoffmann (66), Robbie Smith (77), Kenny Brewer (45), Zack Amundsen (12), Jamie Tinkham (51), Paige Moss (95), Steve Diamond (9d), Brad Sutton (9), Austin Craddock (17), Kevin McKenzie (7M), Dennis Sanchez (9S), Don Quinn (33), John Crowder (30), Charles Kalck (22), Bruce Comer (21), Donnie Quinn (33D), Joe Askew (78J), Russ Heider (86), Dirk Miller (68), Eddie Moss (23), Jordan Feagle (26), Cody Bryson (30X), David Hall (67), Wayne Feagle (661), Chris Diamond (9c), Mike Meyers (7). DNS – Joe Bartow (3), Dusty Cates (6), Ty Nevins (33N), Camden George (55)


Feature: Shane Burrows (70B), Mavrick Varnadore (4), Josh Sanford (3), Roger Crouse (15), Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Garret Stewart (67), David Pollen Jr. (88), Seth Geary (7G), Austin Sanders (64), Frank Lewis (72L), Jerry Bourland (777), Randy Shields (69XL), Travis Varnadore (205), Buzzie Reutimann (00), Keven Devrieze (99), Dale Kelley (22), Bill Howard Jr. (47), Drew Jackson (08), Eric Moon (18)

Feature: Austin Martin (97), James McGroarty (07), Bo Bass (14B), Larry Hubbard Jr. (56), Larry Hubbard III (77), Alex Cline (07c), Andrew Smith (71), Jeff Wolfe (83), Jeff Bonnema (5B), Steve Olone (20), Brian Teeters (44T), David Santee (15), Dalton Ellis (7), Brandon Archer (87A), Aaron Stalling (31A)


Feature: Raymond Vann (1), Gary Lucas (23), Juston Meeks (10), George Handy (105), Wayne Kissam (07), Jessica Robbins (09), Kevin Strife (30), Kalen Maynard (2), Macy Bozeman (58), Jason Burnside (12J), Nate Whitehurst (07W). DQ – Michael Hart (99)


Feature: Daniel Bowman (46), Robert Kissam (911), Logan Casteel (7), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Rodney Wingate (8), Kyle Bowman (46k), Alyssa Grant (36g)Nicholas McAllister (97M), Patrick Tabb (03), Terry Burke (16), Rick Rutledge Sr. (4), Bob Zutz (47), Derrick Edwards (17), Kever Raulerson (99R), Rodney Martin (21), Davey Martin (55), Tracy Maynard (62), Johnathan Wood (56). DNS – Chase Seward (20), Rob Ramer (37), David Zemar (13).

Winternationals Schedule Announcement

The 44th annual Winternationals at East Bay Raceway Park will feature 17 nights of racing action wih action starting on January 21 and concluding on Feb. 15.

Featured divisions include UMP/EBRP Modifieds, Street Stocks, Top Gun Sprints,Durrence Layne Chevrolet Late Models, V-8 Warriors/Thunder Stocks, 360 Sprints, Mini Sprints and Micro Sprints. The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will make six consecutive appearances in February with the final two races paying $12,000 to the winner.

Ticket prices reflect grandstand prices. Pit Passes are available on the day of the show.