Matt Cooper - East Bay Raceway Park
Matt Cooper – East Bay Raceway Park

Tampa Fl – 2/9/13……Pulling off the biggest win of his career, Matt Cooper out of McKenzie TN drove the race of his life, staring out in front of the 26 car field through 11 caution periods and a mandatory fuel stop Saturday night to close out the 14th Annual Open Wheel Modified portion of the 37th East Bay Raceway Park Winternationals.

“This is the biggest win of my life,” he said in victory lane collecting the $5,000 check for his first-ever win at East Bay driving for his father Ronnie Cooper sponsored by Ronnie Cooper Trucking.

His brand new Mark Bush Racing Bandit car with a Mullins engine was the class of the field, performing flawlessly staying in front all the way having no trouplle pulling away on each and every restart and seemingly getting faster as the laps couned down to 75.

Even more remarkable on the lap 37 fuel mandatory fuel stop, his pit crew surprised him with the news that his Hoosiers had such good tire wear, that he could run as hard as he wanted to the end.

The race took one hour and 17 minutes and included 11 drivers from Florida but also had l3 states and Canada represented in the starting field. The Hard Charger , Dale Kelly, started 2lst and finished 8th, despite changing tires on the fuel stop and re-starting 17th.

Another remarkable story was the drive turned in by 71 year old Buzzie Reutimann who started 15th and was 10th at the fuel stop, restarted 15th and caused a caution on lap 60, restarted 15th and finished 6th.

Cooper and Bryce Jewell started in the front row with Dale Mathison and Kevin Adams in row two. Row three showed Devin Dixon and Roger Crouse followed by Kenny Wallace, Kyle Bronson, Austin Sanders, David Reutimann,Richard Michael and Bart Hartman in the front 12.

With Cooper leading Adams and Jewell the field went 20 laps before the first yellow and Mathison then used the outside line to take over third. But Jewell fought back and recaptured third until until David Reutimann broke a rear-end on lap 37 which turned into the mandatory fuel stop.

By lap 50 Cooper led Adams, Crouse, Bronson, Hartman, Dixon and Wallace. A rash of yellow flags followed on laps 58,60,61 and 67 with Crouse now up to 2nd followed by Hartman and Bronson. At the 70 lap mark, Cooper pulled away to a 10 car-length lead over Crouse, Adams, Hartman and Bronson.

Just as Cooper was working on half a straight away lead, the final yellow flew for Bronson. With a green, white, checkered finish Cooper won by 3 car lengths over Adams, Hartman, Crouse and Wallace in the top five. Buzzie Reutimann , Bobby Dixon, Dale Kelley, Jeff Curl, Austin Sanders, Joey Galloway, Richard Michael and Dave Dixon completed the 75 laps.

Adams, Jewell, Cooper and Mathison won the heats while the B-Mains went to Michael Turner and Galloway.

Jean Lynch for East Bay Raceway Park

Qualifying Times for the Open Wheel Modifieds
1. 9m-Dale Mathison – 16.613; 2. 40B-Kyle Bronson – 16.717; 3. 0J-Bryce Jewell – 16.816; 4. 12c-Jeff Curl – 16.863; 5. 9-Roger Crouse – 16.893; 6. 18-Matt Cooper – 16.990; 7. 36-Kenny Wallce – 17.034; 8. 17x-Richard Michael, Jr. – 17.039; 9. 28-Paul Miles – 17.090; 10. 40-Buzzy Adams – 17.091; 11. 64-Austin Sanders – 17.100; 12. 8m-Matt Miller – 17.123; 13. 01-Joey Galloway – 17.157; 14. 2-Devin Dixon – 17.163; 15. 27T-Michael Turner – 17.177; 16. 12-David Reutimann – 17.215; 17. 75H-Bart Hartman – 17.228; 18. 96G-David Schmauss – 17.253; 19. 141-Travis Varnadore – 17.263; 20. 00-Buzzie Reutimann – 17.278; 21. 205-Bobby Dixon – 17.310; 22. 7-Brad DeYoung – 17.396; 23. 2G-Troy Girolamo – 17.405; 24. 88-David Pollen, Jr. – 17.412; 25. 07s-James Shafer – 17.437; 26. 22-Dale Kelley – 17.497; 27. 00G-Mason Big Eagle – 17.549; 28. 98-Shon Flanary – 17.589; 29. 82N-Nick Tharp – 17.616; 30. 27n-Nate Bregenzer – 17.868; 31. 6-Rick Weekly – 17.878; 32. 20M-Mike Potosky – 17.947; 33. 96-Dennis Haven – 18.000; 34. 99-Wayne Hilderbrand – 18.019; 35. 19-Thomas Sigler – 18.052; 36. 50-Ken Murphy – 19.313; 37. 13c-Troy Clark – 19.441; 38. 27a-Greg Amick – 21.378; 39-21s-Denny Swartz – NT

Professional MotorSports Services

Modifieds 2/9/2013
A-Main:1. Matt Cooper (McKenzie, TN), 2. Buzzy Adams (Cameron, WI), 3. Bart Hartman (Zanesville, OH), 4. Roger Crouse (Plant City, FL), 5. Kenny Wallace (St Louis, MO), 6. Buzzie Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL), 7. Bobby Dixon (Plant City, FL), 8. Dale Kelley (Dover, FL), 9. Jeff Curl (Forrest, IL), 10. Austin Sanders (Seffner, FL), 11. Joey Galloway (Manor, SK), 12. Richard Michael Jr. (Ischua, NY), 13. Devin Dixon (Apollo Beach, FL), 14. Greg Amick (Spencer, IN), 15. Michael Turner (Paris, TN), 16. Kyle Bronson (Brandon, FL), 17. Bryce Jewell (Madisonville, KY), 18. Brad DeYoung (Wheatfield, IN), 19. Matt Miller (Tampa, FL), 20. Masen Bigeagle (Manor, SK), 21. Dale Mathison (Clearwater, MN), 22. Rick Weekly (Buffalo, IL), 23. David Reutimann (Charlotte, NC), 24. Nate Bregenzer (Lithia, FL), 25. David Pollen Jr. (Tampa, FL), 26. Shon Flanary (Church Hill, TN),

B-Main 1:1. Michael Turner (Paris, TN), 2. Buzzie Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL), 3. Bobby Dixon (Plant City, FL), 4. Greg Amick (Spencer, IN), 5. Dale Kelley (Dover, FL), 6. Rick Weekly (Buffalo, IL), 7. Paul Miles (Owensboro, KY), 8. Dennis Haven (Brentford, SD), 9. Thomas Sigler (St. Mary’s, FL), 10. Mike Potosky (Guys Mills, PA), 11. Travis Varnadore (Dover, FL), 12. Masen Bigeagle (Manor, SK), 13. Ken Murphy (Okeechobee, FL), 14. Denny Schwartz (Ashmore, IL),

B-Main 2:1. Joey Galloway (Manor, SK), 2. David Pollen Jr. (Tampa, FL), 3. Jeff Curl (Forrest, IL), 4. Brad DeYoung (Wheatfield, IN), 5. Shon Flanary (Church Hill, TN), 6. Nate Bregenzer (Lithia, FL), 7. Troy Girolamo (Eleva, WI), 8. Matt Miller (Tampa, FL), 9. David Schmauss (Tampa, FL), 10. Troy Clark (North Vernon, IN), 11. Wayne Hilderbrand (Okechobee, FL), 12. Nick Tharp (Owensboro, KY), 13. James Shafer (Clendenin, WV),

Heat Race 1:1. Buzzy Adams (Cameron, WI), 2. Devin Dixon (Apollo Beach, FL), 3. Austin Sanders (Seffner, FL), 4. Bobby Dixon (Plant City, FL), 5. Rick Weekly (Buffalo, IL), 6. Mike Potosky (Guys Mills, PA), 7. Travis Varnadore (Dover, FL), 8. Masen Bigeagle (Manor, SK), 9. Thomas Sigler (St. Mary’s, FL), 10. Ken Murphy (Okeechobee, FL),

Heat Race 2:1. Bryce Jewell (Madisonville, KY), 2. Roger Crouse (Plant City, FL), 3. David Reutimann (Charlotte, NC), 4. Michael Turner (Paris, TN), 5. Buzzie Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL), 6. Greg Amick (Spencer, IN), 7. Dale Kelley (Dover, FL), 8. Paul Miles (Owensboro, KY), 9. Dennis Haven (Brentford, SD), 10. Denny Schwartz (Ashmore, IL),

Heat Race 3:1. Matt Cooper (McKenzie, TN), 2. Kenny Wallace (St Louis, MO), 3. Richard Michael Jr. (Ischua, NY), 4. David Pollen Jr. (Tampa, FL), 5. Shon Flanary (Church Hill, TN), 6. Jeff Curl (Forrest, IL), 7. Troy Clark (North Vernon, IN), 8. Wayne Hilderbrand (Okechobee, FL), 9. Nick Tharp (Owensboro, KY), 10. James Shafer (Clendenin, WV),

Heat Race 4:1. Dale Mathison (Clearwater, MN), 2. Kyle Bronson (Brandon, FL), 3. Bart Hartman (Zanesville, OH), 4. Joey Galloway (Manor, SK), 5. Matt Miller (Tampa, FL), 6. Brad DeYoung (Wheatfield, IN), 7. Troy Girolamo (Eleva, WI), 8. David Schmauss (Tampa, FL), 9. Nate Bregenzer (Lithia, FL),

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