The Friday rainout did nothing to dissuade the efforts of the teams who gathered in the East Bay Raceway Park pits for a Saturday night of racing. A field of 47 Newsom Raceway Parts Crate Racin’ USA Late Models, 28 Top Gun Sprints and 15 V-8 Warriors filled the pit area with racers who had designs on parking in Victory Lane.
The process would be a bit different for the Crate Late Models, who would qualify and run heats. Those who did not qualify for the feature through the heats would attempt a B main.
Fastest of the qualifiers on the night was the next to last driver to trip the timer. Local racer Jeff Mathews put up a blistering 15.428 for the fastest time of the week.
A complete list of preliminary results can be found at crateracinusa.com
As for the feature event, Jeremy Shaw was the man to beat throughout the early stages and Pennsylvania racer Max Blair wanted to put his name into the conversation. The two raced strong in the early going as Devin Dixon made his move to the top groove. On a restart, Dixon wasted no time in getting to the lead. While Shaw and Blair had their own little race developing, Dixon sliced through the field to win the 50-lap main.
After starting in the eighth row on Thursday, Garrett Green found himself closer to the front with a spot outside row five. He moved up when eighth starting Brandon Grubaugh could not present (Grubaugh dropped a valve on the last lap of his heat race). On the first start, the field was called back after a Bryan Eckley spin and Green inherited the sixth starting spot for the successful green flag.
When the race started, Green made immediate moves to second by the fourth turn and then swept to the lead just before the first lap was completed. Caution came out shortly after that for a spin by Billy Bridges and Nebraska racer Tim Fricke, but Green had already established himself as race leader, ahead of Matt Kurtz and AJ Maddox. Kurtz lost second, then slowed to a stop to bring out another caution as drivers from the back of the field started advancing into the top 10. On each restart, Green was able to pull away from the field and Maddox had to defend to keep second. Justin Webster moved to the top and shot past Maddox for second on lap seven. Green again encountered lapped traffic and managed to put as many as four cars between himself and Webster.
The race went under a red flag when Kyle Connery flipped, causing heavy damage to his car. The remaining five laps would be just as hectic. Shane Butler, who had taken the initial green flag in 18th, had quietly worked into the top five and then bypassed Maddox for third. That would be as far as he could get as he pressured Webster for second in the waning laps. No one could catch the race winner as Green picked up his second East Bay win, his second series win of the year and asserted himself in the top spot in the point standings. The top three drivers in the point standings from the two nights of racing will claim the Speedweeks Mini Series bonus monies from Creative Power Systems.
No one was able to claim the Lee and Jeff Barfield Memorial Clean Sweep, which moves to $900 for the next series event. Webster, Maddox, Eckley and Joe Zuczek were heat race winners.
Michael Hart followed the crew’s advice and kept his #99 tucked in on the bottom line to roll to the V-8 feature win. The race was red flagged for a Gary Lucas flip. Lucas was unhurt, but unable to continue. Defending East Bay track champion George Handy won his heat race with the second preliminary going to Randy Shields.
The 2020 Winternationals moves into week three with the arrival of the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series, which will hold a practice session on Sunday (Feb. 2) and open six nights of racing on Monday, Feb. 3
CRATE RACIN’ USA
Feature: Devin Dixon (313), Jeremy Shaw (38s), Max Blair (111), Travis Varandore (41), Keith Nosbisch (02), Drew Kennedy (K37), Jeff Mathews (33), Bruce Harvey (27), Joseph Joiner (10), Clay Harris (6), Hunter Sweet (15), Freddie Carpenter (17C), Steve Mathis Jr. (95), Cruz Skinner (11S), Nevin Gainey (17G), Pierce McCarter (71), Bo Slay (2), Jim Couch (41c), Jody Knowles (66), Todd Cooney (30), Daniel Woody (29), Walker Arthur (87), Randy Weaver (116), Jake Knowles (66k)
TOP GUN SPRINTS
Feature: Garrett Green (82), Justin Webster (21), Shane Butler (18), Danny Sams III (1*), Hayden Campbell (5), A.J. Maddox (3A), Robbie Smith (6S), Joe Zuczek (50), Luke Hill (41), Andrew Griffin (27), Harley Zimmerman (00), Tim Fricke (43MB), Bruce Durden (17), Freddie McCall (1), Bryan Eckley (12B), Nathan Barouch (13), Larry McVay (83), Johnnie Alexander (113), Scott Baldwin (4), Kyle Connery (91), Cole Nichols (N20), Billy Bridges (11B), Matt Kurtz (20), Brandon Grubaugh (G6)
Feature: Michael Hart (99), Wayne Kissam (107), Kalen Maynard (2), Jon Basquin (6B), Mason Love (1M), George Handy (105), Raymond Rogers (10), Randy Shields (30), Gary Lucas (106), Raymond Vann (1), Mark Roadarmel (66), Jeff Weaver (26). DNS – Nick Brown (12), Collin Kruse (92), John Bradley (X)