2019 in Review: Mini-Sprints

 

One word can describe the season for the Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Wingless Mini Sprints – Domination.

The performance of Robby Hoffmann was forecast when Hoffmann had a strong showing in the 43rd annual Winternationals. When it came time to open the regular season, Hoffman led off with a win on opening.

Through the next 10 events, the path to victory may have been a little different each time, but the result was always the same. Hoffmann would have a stranglehold on Victory Lane, winning all 11 features.

The performance also netted Hoffmann the championship of the Fall Mini Brawl, a special mid-season tournament that offered additional prizes to more than just the overall winner. Through the tireless efforts of racer Dustin Cates, sponsors lined up to provide additional purse money and prizes. The racers responded as the fields for these competitions swelled. There were 30 cars in the pit area on September 7th, the highest car count of the year for a division. That record only lasted until the second night of the Fall Mini Brawl when 36 cars were on hand for the competition.

The racing saw 43 different drivers throughout the year with the average car count of 11.4 in the regular season events (excluding the Mini Fall Brawl, which raised the overall average to 15).

2019 Top 5 – Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Mini Sprints

  1. Robby Hoffmann (66) 539
  2. Jamie Tinkham (51) 471
  3. Zack Amundsen (12) 404
  4. Steve Diamond (9D) 322
  5. Dirk Miller (68) 312

2019 in Review: Studio Red Salon Gladiators

 

The 2019 season would see Studio Red Salon in Brandon come aboard as title sponsor for the Gladiator class and an appreciative group of racers rewarded their new sponsor with some on-track excitement. High car counts throughout the year made challenging races and each feature winner earned his victory at the end of the event.

The season opened with Kever Raulerson reeling off three consecutive wins. The streak was ended on March 30 when Kyle Bowman notched his first main event in his first year in the class. Brother Daniel Bowman, the defending Gladiator champion, got in on the act with his first feature win coming on April 6. Jeff Smith would become the fourth different winner, closing the month of April with a feature win.

Tracy Maynard joined the ranks of first-time feature winners during one of two May appearances for the class. Patrick Fiore Sr. closed off the month with his first win of the year.

Kyle Bowman picked up his second win of the year in the lone appearance in June.

The division came back to action on August 31 and 2018 Rookie of the Year Logan Casteel topped his previous best of second place with his first main event win. Daniel Bowman brought home a second win as he was moving steadily up the point standings in an attempt to defend his title.

After nearly a month without Gladiator action, Casteel picked up his second win. The wins and steady finishes put him in the conversation as a potential track champion.

Also in that conversation was Kyle Bowman, who would hunt the front every time he took the green. He got his second win on November 2 as the point race tightened up. Fiore would become a repeat winner a week before another repeat winner would show up. Raulerson claimed his fourth win, nearly eight months after his last victory.

With three events left on the calendar, Kyle Bowman continued his charge, winning the next two. The point race was close as the final event took shape on December 14. Robert Kissam salvaged a frustrating season by taking home the win on the final night. Kyle Bowman managed to reach second place after starting at the rear, but Casteel’s third place would give him enough to protect a point lead and turn it into a track championship.

There were 52 drivers in the Studio Red Salon Gladiators with four drivers competing in all 18 events. The division brought an average of 18.5 cars to the pit area on each race night and 20 car feature fields were a common sight.

2019 Top 5 – Studio Red Salon Gladiators

  1. Logan Casteel (7) 714
  2. Kyle Bowman (46K) 665
  3. Daniel Bowman (46) 636
  4. Robert Kissam (911) 566
  5. Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124) 544

2019 in Review: Street Stocks

 

It would be a busy year for the Street Stock division, who would make 14 appearances from March to December.

The season opened with a newcomer to the division claiming the first night’s action. Nick Hebrank, a previous contender in the Outlaw 4 division, captured the main, but it proved to be a “good news, bad news” scenario when engine trouble developed at his next appearance that would keep him out of action for several weeks.

Thomas Pratt arrived in Victory Lane on March 23 for what would prove to be the first of two feature wins at East Bay in 2019. The third running of the division saw Tim Gay become the third different winner in as many races.

It would be awhile before there would be a new name in victory. Gay won the next four events with wins in April, May, June and August.

Visiting driver Tim Powers claimed the win in a Dirt’s 4 Racing Street Stock showdown that saw 21 drivers take the green flag for the biggest field of the year.

As the calendar turned to October, Matt Bozeman, who had parlayed steady finishes to a position of contention for the points title, finally broke through to claim a feature win for the C & M Lawn Care/DriveBarstow.com Motorsports Team.

The following week, it would be the fourth different winner in the last four shows when second generation racer Justin Rodgers came home a winner. Another new name graced the winner’s circle when the division returned in November. Mike Wilson, who had the notoriety of winning the division’s first heat event, finally shook the monkey from his back and prevailed in a feature.

Pratt would lock down his second feature two weeks later. A somewhat familiar face found his way to the promised land at the end of the month when 2018 Street Stock champion John Bradley showed winning form.

It seemed somewhat fitting that the man who won he most features would win the last one. Tim Gay sealed the victory on December 7, but it was the perfect attendance and several top 3 runs that propelled Bozeman to the title. The 2019 champion never finished below eighth place in his 14 appearances.

There were 37 different drivers who signed in to compete in Street Stock racing. The average car count for the 14 events was 12 cars for the division.

2019 Top 5 – Street Stocks

  1. Matt Bozeman (58) 566
  2. Billy Barstow (56) 530
  3. Mike Wilson (68) 474
  4. Mark Roadarmel Jr. (B75) 438
  5. Henry Burnside (31) 388

2019 in Review: Q Sprints

The Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Sprints had the unique distinction of seeing a different winner in every feature in the 2019 regular season. In the end, the 2018 track champion Joe Zuczek would do what it would take to make it back-to-back track titles.

The first driver to take a spot in Victory Lane would be former track champion Tim George of Venice. His win came on March 30.

A dozen cars were part of the May 4 Full House Night when the division returned for night #2. Bryan Eckley came away with the feature victory and found himself in a tie for the points lead with George.

It would be nearly six months before the class would get a chance to compete again. When the field hit the track on November 2, another former track champion would park on the frontstretch. Dylan Colding, who had experienced a number of setbacks in his racing efforts in 2019, was able to break through for the win.

The track title was up for grabs when the final night of the division’s schedule came to pass on November 16. When the checkered flag flew, it was 2018 champion Zuczek with the win. That victory, along with disappointing outings for George and Eckley, sealed the championship for Zuczek.

The events averaged 11.3 cars for the division with 23 different drivers in action.

2019 Top 5 – Q Auto & Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys Sprints

  1. Joe Zuczek (50) 154
  2. Tim George (B2) 146
  3. Robbie Smith (6S) 130
  4. Andrew Griffin (32) 129
  5. Billy Bridges (11B) 125

 

2019 in Review: Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds

The Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds helped kick off the 2019 regular season at East Bay Raceway Park, bringing a field of 13 cars for the opening night program. The feature saw Dale Kelley claim the win to start the season in the right direction.

Veteran Roger Crouse fought his way back to Victory Lane in the second appearance of the class, which came on March 16. Crouse bested a field of 14 cars for the win.

The final March appearance of the class saw former track champion Austin Sanders become the third different winner for the class.

A pair of April appearances brought defending champion Bryan Bernhardt to Victory Lane twice with wins on April 20 and April 27. The latter event was the Brandon Ford 40, which saw 22 cars take the green flag.

Dale Kelley became the second driver to win two feature events on the season by taking the 15-lap feature on May 4. Bernhardt would add his third feature two weeks later as the May 18 brought a hiatus for the class until September.

On September 7, a new name was added to the list of 2019 winners. It would be Shane Burrows in a rare appearance that would park in Victory Lane.

That would be the last time anyone who wasn’t Bryan Bernhardt would win a feature in the Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds for 2019. Bernhardt ran off four straight wins (Oct. 12, Nov. 2, Nov. 9 and Dec. 7) including the Larry Miller Memorial. He captured the points title for the second straight year.

In 2019, there were 33 different drivers who competed in the class, including Michael Wesselman from Indiana, who paid a late season visit. The average car count for the Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds was 13.

Local drivers are expected to mix it up with travelers when the 2020 Winternationals kicks off on January 21, 2020 as East Bay/UMP Modifieds will serve as the headlining class for five nights of racing.

2019 Top Five

  1. Bryan Bernhardt (B69) 459
  2. Austin Sanders (64) 422
  3. Drew Jackson (08) 414
  4. Dale Kelley (22) 409
  5. Billy Howard (47) 396

 

2019 in Review: V-8 Warriors

It was a busy season for the V-8 Warrior class in 2019. The division started with the first show of the year on March 2 and concluded on the final show of the season on Dec. 14 with few off weeks in between. The class hit the track 19 times and saw nine different winners.

Jason Burnside would start off the year on the right foot by claiming the opening night win, besting the 13-car field on March 2. It would be Gary Lucas taking his turn in the spotlight on the following night of competition on March 16 while Tommy Hill would make a stop on March 30, topping a field of 19 cars.

April action would open with 2018 track champion George Handy snaring his first win as the class had seen four races with four different winners as of April 6. Lucas became the first multiple winner, capturing the April 27 15-lapper over a 12-car field.

The month of May was all Nick Brown as he went back-to-back on May 4 and May 18. Handy would pick up his second win on June 1 and it would be almost three months before the V-8 Warriors were back in action.

On August 31, Handy took the lead in feature wins with his third triumph of the year. An attempt for two wins in a row with the following week’s action (Sept. 7) was stymied by Raymond Vann’s only win of the year. Handy was able to get back to Victory Lane on Sept. 21 to run his win total to four.

Collin Kruse, who had dropped early in the first feature of the year back in March, was able to get the program turned around and claim the feature over 11 other racers as the action rolled into October. It would be Handy again asserting himself with the Oct. 12 victory, his fifth win to solidify a point lead.

From this point, V-8 Warriors would be a part of every racing program until season end. Wayne Kissam recorded his first feature win, backing up a runner-up dash earlier in the year.  The three remaining November events had a similar outcome as George Handy parked in Victory Lane at the end of the 15-lap mains.

In December, Kruse came back to Victory Lane, beneficiary of misfortune for Raymond Rogers who appeared to have the field covered until mechanical issues changed the outcome. The final night of racing on December 14 saw a new name in victory with Juston Meeks breaking through for an important win.

There were 38 different drivers who competed in the V-8 Warrior class, which averaged 11 cars per event.

2019 Top Five – V-8 Warriors

  1. George Handy (105) 829
  2. Jason Burnside (12J) 783
  3. Gary Lucas (23) 776
  4. Wayne Kissam (07) 737
  5. Juston Meeks (10) 417

 

 

2019 in Review: Late Model Sportsman

The Late Model Sportsman class would have nine appearances on the 2019 schedule to give the competitors a chance at dethroning 2018 champion Forrest Gough.

When the season opened on March 9, Gough would pick up where he left off the previous year, recording a feature win. He would back it up the following week with his second feature win in as many tries.

As the month of March ended, it would be a new face in Victory Lane as Megan Meyer charged to the lead in the 15-lap main and no one could catch her before the checkered flag came out.

With only one schedule appearance in April and May, Gough got back on his winning ways with both of those victories giving him four wins in five tries.

A combination of Mother Nature and scheduling forced the class out of action for nearly six months. When the Late Model Sportsman were able to race on November 2, it was Waylon Haynes who saw his hard work pay off with a victory. The following week, Gough was back in Victory Lane. Bruce Harvey put his name in the record books as the month of November concluded.

The final night of racing came on December 7. Gough had already clinched the point title in the class, but added a feature win to bookend the season.

There were 26 different drivers in the class, which averaged 7.6 cars per feature event.

2019 Top Five – Late Model Sportsman

  1. Forrest Gough (21) 419
  2. Buck Woodhouse (55) 284
  3. Tanner Cobb (03T) 207
  4. Scotty Williams (27W) 195
  5. Megan Meyer (11M) 127

2019 in Review: Pro Late Models

It would be a busy year for the Pro Late Model class with several longer races and memorial races included on the 2019 schedule.

Veteran Keith Nosbisch opened up the action by triumphing in the opening program on opening night March 2. The Pro Late Models would appear three times in the month of March and the winner would be the same, but the driver finishing second was different every time.

There would be 26 cars signed in for the Donnie Tanner Memorial, which would feature a 50-lap main. Devin Dixon laid claim to the victory on April 6.

When racing returned in May, Nosbisch bested a field of 12 on Full House Night. As June opened, Travis Varnadore would notch his first win of the year, capturing the Prevatt Family Memorial before the summer break.

Pro Late Models kicked off the second half od the year with the Jack Nosbisch Memorial Twin 20s. Keith Nosbisch took both of the wins.

After a visit by the Florida Late Model Series (won by Chuck Cumby), points racing resumed with the October 5 running of the Gene Slaughter Memorial Twin 20s. Keith Nosbisch took the first feature win, then found himself winner of the second feature after the winner was disqualified.

Jeff Mathews would bring a victory to his camp on November 2, but Nosbisch would solidify his points title with his ninth feature win on November 16.

The final event of 2019, the Dalton Myers Memorial 54, saw Kyle Bronson make a triumphant return in his only 2019 appearance.

The average car count was a respectable 17.3 cars per event, including several where the car count exceeded 25. There were 49 drivers who recorded points for the 2019 season. Including the visitors for the Florida Late Models, there were 60 different Late Model drivers at East Bay during the regular season.

2019 Top 5 – Pro Late Models

  1. Keith Nosbisch (02) 551
  2. Phillip Cobb (03) 384
  3. Travis Varnadore (95V) 382
  4. Jason Russell (75R) 302
  5. Jesse Brown (7) 280