TAMPA, FL – Jack Nosbisch Jr. of Riverview, FL won the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series 40-lap season opener at East Bay Raceway Park on Thursday night driving the Buddy’s Home Furnishings Rocket in a blanket finish with Dennis “Rambo” Franklin of Gaffney, SC in the AES Racing Special.
Nosbisch took the lead from Franklin of lap 29 and began to pull away, but with five laps to go, Franklin caught Nosbisch and went to the inside, as the lead duo raced side-by-side to the checkered flag. Nosbisch was able to hold a .221 second advantage at the checkered flag.
“That was some fun racing and Franklin raced me clean,” Nosbisch said. “In those last few laps, I heard Franklin underneath me, and I kept trying to close the door on the bottom of the track, so he wouldn’t get a run on me.”
Franklin said he also appreciated the clean race Nosbisch gave him, as he tried to overcome a stumbling carburetor. Both drivers liked the new red clay surface at East Bay Raceway Park.
“My carburetor was stumbling for most of the race, but we raced clean,” Franklin said. “I think if it wasn’t for the carburetor, we would have had something for him. The track was good all night, as it had a lot of traction at the start of the race and slicked off at the end.”
“The track was great all night long, as we could race up high, down low, and just about any place we wanted to,” Nosbisch said. “This was the first race for us on this new clay, and I think we learned a lot tonight to make us better for tomorrow night and Saturday night.”
Chris Cantrell of Chester, SC finished third in the CANCO Rocket and was the VP Racing Fuels Rookie of the Race. Cantrell had a good night, as was the Fast Qualifier for the event, out-timing the 54-car field with a lap around the 1/3-mile clay oval in 15.865 seconds.
Austin Hubbard of Sanford, DE took the fourth spot in the AES Racing Special after starting 18th and Johnny Stokes of Columbus, MS was fifth in the Bassett Hound Motorsports GRT. Matthew Turner of Dawsonville, GA started 21st in the Hedman Husler and finished sixth to earn the Hedman Husler of the Race Award.
Dave Schmauss of Dover, FL took the seventh spot in the Cardinal Paint and Body Warrior, and Devin Dixon of Apollo Beach, FL finished eighth in the Mathis Farms Special. Phillip Cobb of Apollo Beach, FL drove the Mathis Farms Special to a ninth-place finish, and Larry Harrod of Plains, GA rounded out the top ten in the Harrod Logging Special.
The four 12-lap heat races were won by Franklin, Doug Horton of Bruceton Mills, WV in the Mainland Transport Warrior, Nosbisch, and two-time NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Champion David Earl Gentry of Murfreesboro, TN in the Eads Farms/Hardy & Associates Warrior. Gentry was testing the new $150 Bilstein Spec Shocks as a part of the company’s R&D Program.
In other preliminary action, the two 15-lap Brandon Best Western Hotel B-Main races were won by William Thomas of Phenix City, AL in the Harrod Logging Special and Hubbard.
When the field took the green flag to kick off the 36th Annual Winternationals at East Bay Raceway Park, Horton took the lead followed by Franklin, Nosbisch, Gentry and Cantrell. On lap five, Gentry lost the power steering belt and he was passed by Cantrell for fourth with an inside move in turn one.
Gentry lost a few more spots on lap six when Stokes got by him in turn one for fifth, while Dixon and Cobb dropped Gentry to eighth in turn four. By lap 11, Horton began to working the cars on the tail of the lead lap. Mark Tice of Avon, MS spun the Precision Marine Trak-Star in one to bring out the first of eight caution flags.
Horton had clear race track in front of him for the “Dixie Style” double-file restart followed by Franklin, Nosbisch, Cantrell, Stokes, Dixon, Cobb, Gentry, Doug Watson of Plant City, FL in the Brandon Auto Services Rocket, and Travis Varnadore of Dover, FL in the Sunstate International Trucks Special.
Varnadore spun in turn two on the restart to bring out the second caution flag of the race, and that moved the defending NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Champion Dan Breuer of Troutman, NC in the AES Racing Special into the top ten for the next restart. After the field went green, Cobb stalled in turn two on lap 12 while running seventh to bring out the third caution flag.
When the green light brought the field back up to race speed, Nosbisch moved up to race Franklin side-by-side for the second spot on lap 14, but Franklin was able to hold on to the spot. Todd Morrow of East Ridge, TN spun the RT Racing Wheels TNT in turn four on lap 18 to bring out the fourth caution flag.
The top ten got busy in the middle laps of the race. Horton held an eight car-length advantage over Franklin and Nosbisch, but Dixon was on the move as he passed Stokes for the fifth spot on lap 20, and then got by Cantrell for fourth on lap 25. While Horton looked like he was on the verge of checking out on the field, his night ended suddenly on lap 26.
Going into turn one, Horton went up in smoke to bring out the caution flag. He coasted around the high side of the track as fire began come from underneath the car down the backstretch. Horton stopped in turn three where he was met by the track safety crew, who extinguished the flames, and Horton was uninjured. Horton earned the Dominator Race Products Hard Luck Award.
Franklin inherited the lead followed by Nosbisch, Dixon, Cantrell, Stokes, Schmauss, Hubbard, Thomas, Gentry, and Walker Arthur of Forrest, VA in the Cecil B. Arthur Beef Farms Rocket. Stokes passed Cantrell for fourth on the restart, and began to chase down Dixon to challenge for third.
Dixon spun out of the third spot in turn four on lap 29 to bring out the sixth caution flag of the race. Franklin led Nosbisch, Stokes, Cantrell, Schmauss, Thomas, Hubbard, Gentry, Turner, and Cobb down for the restart.
When the green flag came out, Nosbisch looked to the inside of Franklin to challenge for the lead, and made what would be the winning pass coming off the fourth turn. Cantrell got by Franklin for the second spot on lap 30, but one lap later, Franklin would reclaim the spot. Thomas spun out of the sixth spot on lap 32 to bring out the seventh caution flag of the race.
Gentry was trying to hang on to a top ten spot driving a car without power steering, but he spun in turn four on lap 33 to bring out the final caution flag. Nosbisch could not pull away from Franklin on the restart, as Rambo began to close in, and then look inside of the leader on lap 36.
The lead duo put on a side-by-side racing show to the checkered flag bringing the crowd to their feet with Nosbisch taking his second career NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series win, with both victories coming at his home track.
The 54-car field for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series season opener represented 14 different states and one province of Canada. There were 15 drivers from Florida, nine drivers each from Tennessee and Mississippi, three drivers from North Carolina, two drivers each from Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, West Virginia, Indiana, and Virginia, one driver representing Missouri, Maryland, Delaware and Arkansas, and two drivers from Ontario Canada.
The NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series returns to East Bay Raceway Park on Friday night with another 40-lap $2,000-to-win event, and again on Saturday night with a 50-lap $3,000-to-win show.
For more information about the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series visit the series web site at www.nesmithracing.com, or visit the series on Facebook at NeSmith Racing. Becoming a fan of the NeSmith Racing Facebook page will make you eligible for special prizes that will be given away each month. You can follow us on Twitter @NeSmithRacing.
OFFICIAL RESULTS OF ROUND 1 AT EAST BAY RACEWAY PARK IN TAMPA, FL ON 2/2/12:
POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN LAPS $ WON
1. 3 01 Jack Nosbisch Jr. Riverview, FL 40 $2,000
2. 1 27c Dennis Franklin Gaffney, SC 40 $1,000
3. 5 114 Chris Cantrell (R) Chester, SC 40 $700
4. 18 37c Austin Hubbard Sanford, DE 40 $550
5. 6 1 Johnny Stokes Columbus, MS 40 $500
6. 21 10 Matthew Turner Dawsonville, GA 40 $525
7. 9 105 Dave Schmauss Dover, FL 40 $375
8. 10 95 Devin Dixon Apollo Beach, FL 40 $350
9. 8 32 Phillip Cobb (R) Apollo Beach, FL 40 $325
10. 13 27 Larry Harrod Plains, GA 40 $300
11. 4 56 David Earl Gentry Murfreesboro, TN 40 $275
12. 23 47 Shannon Lee Lumberton, MS 40 $250
13. 19 T1 Todd Morrow East Ridge, TN 40 $225
14. 7 07 Doug Watson Plant City, FL 40 $200
15. 24 24 Mark Tice Avon, MS 39 $175
16. 17 22 William Thomas Phenix City, AL 31 $150
17. 2 11 Doug Horton Bruceton Mills, WV 25 $140
18. 16 87 Walker Arthur Forrest, VA 25 $125
19. 20 21p Josh Peacock Dover, FL 25 $125
20. 11 B7 Dan Breuer Troutman, NC 17 $125
21. 12 14 Maverick Varnadore Dover, FL 11 $125
22. 14 18 Chase Edge Lafayette, AL 9 $125
23. 15 B69 Bryan Bernhardt Clearwater, FL 9 $125
24. 22 7b Jim Beeman North Vernon, IN 9 $125
FAST QUALIFIER: Cantrell, 15.865 Seconds
PROVISIONALS: Lee and Tice
LEAD CHANGES: 2
LAP LEADERS: Horton, 1-25; Franklin, 26-28; Nosbisch, 29-40
LAPS LED: Horton, 25; Nosbisch, 12; Franklin, 3
VP RACING FUELS ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Cantrell
HEDMAN HUSLER OF THE RACE: Turner (started 21st and finished 6th)
DOMINATOR RACE PRODUCTS HARD LUCK AWARD: Horton
INTEGRA RACING SHOCKS JUST MISSED IT AWARD: Anthony White
RACE CAR ENGINEERING 5TH-PLACE AWARD: Stokes
KRC 6TH-PLACE AWARD: Turner
QA 1 RACE PRODUCTS 7TH-PLACE AWARD: Schmauss
RACE CAR ENGINEERING 8TH-PLACE AWARD: Dixon
MODERN IMAGES 9TH-PLACE AWARD: Cobb
KRC 10TH-PLACE AWARD: Harrod
MIKE’S CUSTOM TANKS 11TH-PLACE AWARD: Gentry
SHORTY’S SHOCK SERVICE 12TH-PLACE AWARD: Lee
SCHOENFELD HEADERS 13TH-PLACE AWARD: Morrow
J.T. KERR RACING EQUIPMENT 14TH-PLACE AWARD: Watson
KINSER AIR FILTERS 15TH-PLACE AWARD: Tice
MARGIN OF VICTORY: .221 Seconds
TIME OF THE RACE: 39 Minutes and 30.309 Seconds
POS CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CHASSIS LAP 1 LAP 2 TIME
1 114 Chris Cantrell – R Chester, SC Rocket 16.005 15.865 15.865
2 27 Larry Harrod Plains, GA Scorpion 16.267 15.901 15.901
3 27c Dennis Franklin Gaffney, SC Barry Wright 16.091 16.191 16.091
4 T1 Todd Morrow East Ridge, TN TNT 16.269 16.152 16.152
5 95jr Steve Mathis Jr. Plant City, FL Rayburn 16.332 16.173 16.173
6 22 William Thomas Phenix City, AL Scorpion 16.257 16.404 16.257
7 105 Dave Schmauss Dover, FL Warrior 16.767 16.290 16.290
8 2* Shane Hitt Buckhannon, WV Warrior 16.476 16.304 16.304
9 17c Steve Cooke Mt. Airy, NC Barry Wright 16.420 16.331 16.331
10 10 Matthew Turner Dawsonville, GA DWB 16.768 16.693 16.693
11 46m Kyle Musselman Lutz, FL Warrior 17.063 16.793 16.793
12 99w Shan Smith Dade City, FL TNT 17.255 16.984 16.984
13 19 Marcus Minga Shannon, MS Rocket 17.010 17.085 17.010
14 17 Kyle Weatherman Wentzville, MO Rocket 17.172 17.064 17.064
POS CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CHASSIS LAP 1 LAP 2 TIME
1 11 Doug Horton Bruceton Mills, WV Warrior 15.994 15.929 15.929
2 95 Devin Dixon Apollo Beach, FL Barry Wright 16.466 16.066 16.066
3 17x Anthony White Clinton, TN Stinger 16.177 16.295 16.177
4 1 Johnny Stokes Columbus, MS GRT 16.372 16.314 16.314
5 *18 Kevin Wilson Stoneville, NC Wilson 16.867 16.336 16.336
6 24 Mark Tice Avon, MS Trak-Star 16.874 16.487 16.487
7 1g Pierce McCarter – R Sevierville, TN Warrior 17.037 16.523 16.523
8 18 Chase Edge Lafayette, AL Mastersbilt 16.775 16.573 16.573
9 117 Jake Teague – R Oliver Springs, TN Bloomquist 16.589 16.763 16.589
10 10c Ronnie Cooper McKenzie, TN GRT 16.615 16.811 16.615
11 36 Cody Dawson Westover, MD Rocket 17.427 16.667 16.667
12 40 Justin Summers – R Greenback, TN Stinger 16.937 17.518 16.937
13 51 Mack McCarter Sevierville, TN CVR 16.980 17.456 16.980
POS CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CHASSIS LAP 1 LAP 2 TIME
1 87 Walker Arthur Forest, VA Rocket 16.188 16.530 16.188
2 32 Phillip Cobb – R Apollo Beach, FL Barry Wright 16.858 16.190 16.190
3 56 David Earl Gentry Murfreesboro, TN Warrior 16.313 16.306 16.306
4 69 Tony Lawson Laurel, MS Scorpion 16.393 16.732 16.393
5 14 Mavrick Varnadore Dover, FL Rayburn 16.713 16.599 16.599
6 7B Jim Beeman North Vernon, IN Rayburn 16.733 17.403 16.733
7 121 Michael Blount Sumrall, MS Trak-Star 16.971 16.752 16.752
8 21r Shannon Reed Bloomington, IN Rayburn 17.047 16.761 16.761
9 29 Philip Potts Brighton, ONT Can Lazer 17.203 16.991 16.991
10 51p John Polasini – R Leland, MS Mastersbilt 18.621 17.146 17.146
11 J1 Johnny Phillips Lenoir City, TN Warrior 17.147 17.497 17.147
12 10s Elmer Stevenson Trenton, ONT Can Lazer 18.170 NT 18.170
13 10w Rodney Wing Meridian, MS Rocket NT NT NT
POS CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CHASSIS LAP 1 LAP 2 TIME
1 07 Doug Watson Plant City, FL Rocket 16.051 16.119 16.051
2 01 Jack Nosbisch Jr. Riverview, FL Rocket 16.075 17.915 16.075
3 B7 Danny Breuer Troutman, NC Barry Wright 16.798 16.207 16.207
4 B69 Bryan Bernhardt Clearwater, FL Rocket 16.844 16.374 16.374
5 21p Josh Peacock Dover, FL Warrior 16.720 17.303 16.720
6 47 Shannon Lee Lumberton, MS GRT 16.734 18.422 16.734
7 18a Jared Allison Cocoa, FL Trak-Star 17.012 16.793 16.793
8 8s Steve Miller Tampa, FL Rocket 16.854 17.291 16.854
9 116 Greg Robertson Waynesboro, VA Rocket 16.882 18.219 16.882
10 37c Austin Hubbard Sanford, DE Barry Wright 16.926 17.029 16.926
11 72 Frank Wilson Harold, FL Trak-Star 16.937 17.012 16.937
12 41 Travis Varnadore Dover, FL Rayburn 18.129 17.244 17.244
13 17k Cody Kierre – R Beebe, AR GRT 19.762 18.861 18.861
HEAT RACES (12 Laps – Top 4 Transfer To Main Event):
1ST HEAT: 1. Franklin; 2. Cantrell (R); 3. Schmauss; 4. Harrod; 5. Morrow; 6. Turner; 7. Thomas; 8. Weatherman; 9. Cooke; 10. Minga; 11. Mathis; 12. Smith; 13. Musselman; 14. Hitt.
2ND HEAT: 1. Horton; 2. Stokes; 3. Dixon; 4. Edge; 5. White; 6. Teague (R); 7. Tice; 8. M. McCarter; 9. P. McCarter (R); 10. K. Wilson; 11. Summers (R); 12. Dawson; 13. Cooper.
3RD HEAT: 1. Nosbisch; 2. Watson; 3. Breuer; 4. Bernhardt; 5. Lee; 6. Hubbard; 7. Peacock; 8. Allison; 9. F. Wilson; 10. Robertson; 11. Miller; 12. Kierre (R); 13. T. Varnadore.
4TH HEAT: 1. Gentry; 2. Cobb (R); 3. M. Varnadore; 4. Arthur; 5. Beeman; 6. Blount; 7. Potts; 8. Reed; 9. Polasini (R); 10. Phillips; 11. Lawson; 12. Stevenson; 13. Wing.
BRANDON BEST WESTERN HOTEL B-MAINS (15 Laps – Top 3 Transfer To Main Event):
1ST B-MAIN: 1. Thomas; 2. Morrow; 3. Turner; 4. White; 5. M. McCarter; 6. P. McCarter (R); 7. Tice; 8. Weatherman; 9. Cooke; 10. Summers (R); 11. Minga; 12. K. Wilson; 13. Teague (R); 14. Cooper; 15. Mathis DNS; 16. Smith DNS; 17. Dawson DNS; 18. Mussleman DNS; 19. Hitt DNS.
2ND B-MAIN: 1. Hubbard; 2. Peacock; 3. Beeman; 4. Potts; 5. F. Wilson; 6. T. Varnadore; 7. Phillips; 8. Kierre (R); 9. Allison; 10. Stevenson; 11. Polasini (R); 12. Reed; 13. Lee; 14. Robertson; 15. Blount; 16. Miller DNS; 17. Lawson DNS; 18. Wing DNS.
NeSMITH CHEVROLET DIRT LATE MODEL SERIES POINT STANDINGS THROUGH 2/2/12:
1. 01 Jack Nosbisch Jr. – 100
2. 27c Dennis Franklin – 96
3. 114 Chris Cantrell (R) – 94
4. 37c Austin Hubbard – 92
5. 1 Johnny Stokes – 90
6. 10 Matthew Turner – 88
7. 105 Dave Schmauss – 86
8. 95 Devin Dixon – 84
9. 32 Phillip Cobb (R) – 82
10. 27 Larry Harrod – 80
11. 56 David Earl Gentry – 78
12. 47 Shannon Lee – 76
13. T1 Todd Morrow – 74
14. 07 Doug Watson – 72
15. 24 Mark Tice – 70
16. 22 William Thomas – 68
17. 11 Doug Horton – 66
18. 87 Walker Arthur – 64
19. 21p Josh Peacock – 62
20. B7 Dan Breuer – 60
R – Denotes VP Racing Fuels Rookie of the Year Candidate
NeSmith Chevrolet, Buick, GMC of Claxton, GA is the Title Sponsor of the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series. NeSmith Chevrolet, Buick, GMC is the nation’s number one GM Powertrain Dealer four years running, with free delivery anywhere in the Southeast. Chevrolet Performance Parts is an Official Sponsor of the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series. Hoosier Racing Tire is the Official Tire Sponsor of the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series. VP Racing Fuel is the Official Racing Fuel of the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series. Hedman Hedders is the Official Hedder of the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series and the Hedman Husler Award sponsor. RockAuto.com is an Official Sponsor of the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series. NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Contingency Sponsors for 2012 are Dominator Race Products, Race Car Engineering, KRC, QA 1 Precision Products, Modern Images, Mike Custom Tanks, Shorty’s Shock Service, Schoenfeld Headers, Integra Racing Shocks, J.T. Kerr Racing Equipment, Kinser Air Filters, Trak-Star Race Cars, Warrior Race Cars, Rocket Chassis, GRT Race Cars, TNT Race Cars, and Stinger Race Cars.
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