Richards Takes Tuesday's Winternationals Victory
TAMPA, FL (February 14, 2017) – Josh Richards took the lead from Davey Johnson on lap five of the 25-lap main event on Tuesday night at East Bay Raceway Park during the 41st Annual Wrisco Industries Winternationals - presented by E3 Spark Plugs. Richards had to fight off fellow West Virginia driver, Tim Dohm for his seventh career win at “The Clay by the Bay.”
Richards, in the Best Performance Motorsports, Rocket Chassis, Dargie-powered entry earned the outside front row for the main event after a last-lap pass on Austin Hubbard in a pivotal heat race number three.
Hubbard in the Mid-Coastal Siding, Trinity Logistics, Rocket Chassis came home in third followed by Devin Moran in the Tye Twarog, Rocket Chassis and David Breazeale in the Henderson Motorsports, Moyer Victory Race Car who rounded out the top five.
“We made a lot of changes from last night, we worked our way back to seventh last night, so tonight was a whole lot better. The pass on Austin [Hubbard] on the final lap of that heat race was crucial. Davey [Johnson] started off good. We stayed right with him until we were able to get around him.”
“Thanks to the team for a great job. That makes it two for four with Randall Edwards and all the other guys. I am grateful for this opportunity to drive this car. Thanks to Peoples National Bank, Valvoline, Corey Frazier-State Farm Insurance, Keyser, Riggs Motorsports, Integra, and Sunoco Race Fuels.”
“I didn’t know how many wins we could get down here. That’s two already. I really couldn’t see who was behind me. It felt like the car was leaning over there at the end. The tires might have been burned off I am not sure right now. We are still learning the communications between Randall and myself. It’s always good to win here at East Bay.” Said the 28-year-old in Lucas Oil Victory Lane.
Dohm - a former winner at East Bay - was happy with his second-place finish. “To run second behind Josh Richards, it was a good night then. I love East Bay. I was way better tonight than I was last night. I hope the track stays like this all week. When you can hit the brown surface instead of that little sliver of black out there it sure makes for a better race,” said the driver of the Dohm’s Cycle, Swartz Chassis.
Hubbard’s third-place run continues improvement for the driver who suffered through a tough 2016 season. “This was another good finish for us. I kept the car straight, and it gets better every night. I am getting back in the groove. We are on the podium, so it’s one step closer to winning. Josh passed me on the last lap of the heat and that prevented me from starting on the front row. He ran a great race so congratulations to him and his team.”
Completing the top ten were Tyler Erb, Hudson O’Neal, Michael Lake, Ricky Weiss, and Dennis Erb Jr.
For additional news visit www.lucasdirt.com
Sheppard Takes Opening Night At Winternationals
TAMPA, FL (February 13, 2017) Defending Dirt Track World Champion, Brandon Sheppard picked up his first career East Bay Raceway Park victory on Monday night during the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned Wrisco Industries Winternationals - Presented by E3 Spark Plugs. Sheppard - who started fourth on the grid - drove the Mark Richards Racing, Valvoline, Rocket Chassis’ House Car to the win after taking the lead on the fifth lap.
Trailing Sheppard across the finish line were Earl Pearson Jr., Devin Moran, Kyle Bronson, and Brian Shirley.
Shirley led the first four circuits of the 25-lap main event until Sheppard came from the outside of the second row to take over the top spot. Sheppard then held off Pearson, who had started seventh, for the victory. It was Sheppard’s fifth career LOLMDS win.
“It’s good to finally get a win at East Bay. We have been coming here for several years and to do it on opening night this year feels great. In a short race like this you must get to the front as soon as you can. The car was good all night long. We could pass cars low and high and then we finally cleared Shirley. It was a good race up front. This Rocket XR-1 Chassis is just fabulous and the Durham Race Engine was flawless.”
Once Sheppard had the lead, he had to wait through two caution flags inside the final five laps of the race. Pearson slipped under Moran on a lap 20 restart and held that spot to the finish in the Carlton and Kemp Lamm-owned, Dunn-Benson Ford, Longhorn Chassis.
“These young guys are wearing me out,” said Pearson, a 3-time East Bay winner who was among only seven drivers in the starting field who had ever won at the track. “It was a total turnaround from Golden Isles. The crew has worked hard on this car and the Larry Wallace Racing Engine was super-strong tonight as well. To come from where we did in just 25 laps we should be set-up well for the rest of the week.”
Moran realized that his slipping out of the groove with five laps to go cost him a shot at the win. “It was driver error. But I had fun tonight running up front like I did. Hopefully this bodes well for the rest of the season,” said the driver of the Tye Twarog Racing entry.
Completing the top ten were Austin Hubbard, Josh Richards, Tyler Erb, Hudson O’Neal, and Gregg Satterlee.
For additional news visit www.lucasdirt.com
Tyler Erb Wins at North Florida Speedway
New Waverly, Texas (02/13/17) – Tyler Erb’s confidence level for the 2017 season got a major boost on Sunday evening, when he parked his First Class Septic #91 Rocket Chassis XR1/Clements Racing Engines Inc. Super Late Model in victory lane at North Florida Speedway. The $5,000 win was extra special for the Texas racer. (Bob Wing photo)
“Last year at Speedweeks I just felt like I was just a field filler every night, so to come out and win the third night out at Speedweeks this year really means a lot,” said the 20-year-old. “We’ve worked really hard in the off-season. I just want to thank my family, my sponsors, and my team for all of their hard work and support.”
Tyler Erb opened his February Speedweeks on Friday night at Golden Isles Speedway (Brunswick, Georgia) for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (LOLMODS) season-opener. Drawing 51 entries for the two-day Rhino Ag Super Bowl of Racing, Erb edged his way into the $10,000-to-win A-Main with a 3rd place finish in his heat. Earning the 18th-starting spot, Tyler jumped up two positions in the 50-lapper registering a 16th place outing.
Richards Grabs Rhino Ag Super Bowl Of Racing Finale
WAYNESVILLE, GA (February 11, 2017) – In his first career-season competing full-time on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, Josh Richards won Saturday Night’s Rhino Ag Super Bowl of Racing presented by General Tire finale at Golden Isles Speedway. Richards took the lead on lap three and never looked back. The victory marks his 13th career LOLMDS victory, and his first win after having joined the Best Performance Motorsports Team last November.
Richards led defending series champion Scott Bloomquist’s Reece Monument Company, Crop Production Services, Sweet-Bloomquist Chassis and Brandon Overton’s Chip Stone, Longhorn to the finish line by several car lengths. Bloomquist and Overton had a spirited race for most of the 60-lap main event as Overton tried several times to get by Bloomquist. Brian Shirley finished in fourth, followed by the 2015 LOLMDS National Champion, Jonathan Davenport.
“I don’t know what to say right now. Thanks to all of fans for their support. It [switching race teams] was one of the toughest decisions I have ever made. I have always wanted to work with Randall [Edwards]. I can’t thank these guys enough for this opportunity. It’s great to win the second night out in this car. Everything is new on this ride and we are just trying to get acclimated to it,” said the 28-year-old in Lucas Oil Victory Lane.
Rebounding from the previous night - where Richards had started on the front row, but faded to sixth at the finishn- he was elated for a better outcome. “I made an adjustment that I didn’t realize I had made last night and it definitely cost us. I was kicking myself afterward because I had done it by accident. We’ve really had a good car all weekend, I’m glad that I didn’t make the same mistake tonight. I can’t thank these guys enough for having faith in me!”
The Eric and Kelly Brock owned team is sponsored by Peoples National Bank, Corey Frazier-State Farm Insurance, Valvoline, Keyser, Riggs Motorsports, Integra, and Sunoco Race Fuels. The Rocket XR1 Chassis is powered by a Dargie Racing Engine.
Bloomquist held off Overton at end after making some contact during the race. “We weren’t too bad tonight. We needed a little more time for practice. We should have been here Thursday for practice. We just need to get here sooner. We got close tonight, but there’s a few things I would have loved to have changed.”
Overton was pleased with his weekend at Golden Isles Speedway - notching a third-place finish after his victory on Friday night. “To run how we did against these guys says a lot about our team. We would have liked to have won tonight as well. To race with Bloomquist for most of the race was fun and we tried plenty of times to get around him but he did what he needed to do out there.”
Completing the top ten were Doug Drown, Kenny Pettyjohn, Don O’Neal, Tyler Erb, and Tim McCreadie.
For more news visit www.lucasdirt.com
Mike Pegher Jr Wins Crate Late Model Championship
Tampa, FL…… 2/4/17…. The top 6 drivers from the last two nights were locked into tonight’s A-Main. Those drivers were Mike Pegher Jr of Cranberry Township, PA., Doug Horton of Wimauma, FL., Logan Roberson of Waynesboro, VA., Max Blair of Centerville, PA., Hudson O Neal of Martinsville, IN and Keith Nosbisch of Valrico, FL.
Mike Pegher, Jr. drew the number one spot and put him on the pole for the A-main with Doug Horton on the outside front row.
From the start of the race Pegher, Jr. took the lead and held of several attempts from hard charging Keith Nosbisch, Max Blair and Mark Whitener.
When the checkered waved it was the Pennsylvania driver picking up his second win in three nights scoring a total of $5,000 for his weekend here at East Bay Raceway Park.
Rounding out the top ten were Keith Nosbisch, Max Blair, Mark Whitener, Hudson O’Neal, Doug Horton, Doug Watson, Travis Varnadore, Kenny Monahan and Logan Roberson.
For additional news visit www.eastbayracewaypark.com
Photo courtesy of www.eastbayracewaypark.com/Mike Horne Photo
Kyle Bronson Captures Chevrolet Performance World Championship Title
Ocala, FL – The state of Florida has been the home of the Chevrolet Performance World Championship for the NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series since the inaugural season of the series. Sunshine State drivers always turn out in top form in hopes of keeping the World Championship title and the $10,000 payday in state. In recent years, however, Mother Nature has tried her best to put her name on the win list as weather has delayed or postponed the event in recent season. 2017 would be no different as consistent rain showers moved over Bubba Raceway Park on the original race date of Saturday January 28th pushing the event back one day to Sunday January 29th.
43 cars entered on Saturday before the postponement, with 37 returning for action on Sunday. RockAuto.com Pole Qualifying got the afternoon started with 4 groups to qualify. At the end of qualifying the home state of Florida was represented well with Brandon, Florida’s Kyle Bronson setting overall fast time in his Brandon Collision sponsored Rocket Race Car and putting his group as Heat Race #1 to race for the pole starting position. After heat race action, it was fellow home state driver “Magic Man” Mark Whitener of Middleburg, FL picking up the win in Heat Race #1 and setting himself on the pole for the 100-lap feature.
With the home state of Florida being well represented, frequent competitors on the RUSH Late Model Series made it known that they had made the long trip from the northern United States in search of a $10,000 payday and bragging rights. Mike Pegher Jr. piloted his #RJ1 Rocket to fast time in his group and a heat race win placing him on the outside front row for the feature. The third group was paced by Virginia’s Tyler Bare, son of legendary Late Model ace Booper. Bare would have to settle for second in the Heat, as Friday night’s feature winner Jamie Perry would drive his P4 machine to victory and claim the third starting spot for the feature. Veteran Tennessee driver Ronnie Johnson would set fast time for the fourth and final group, but a young driver with a familiar last name to those in the dirt racing world, Hudson O’Neal, would pick up the heat race win and roll off from the fourth starting spot. O’Neal, whose dad Don is one of the top drivers in the Super Late Model ranks, was referred to as the “New Deal” referencing his father’s moniker “The Real Deal”.
After the top 16 drivers were transferred into the feature from heat race finishes, two B-Mains were contested to take 4 more drivers into the starting field for the $10,000 to win World Championship. Florida drivers Blake Spencer and Ken Monahan would take the two transfer spots in B-Main 1, while Corey Almond and 14-year old Tyler Clem would take B-Main 2’s transfer positions. Following the B-Mains, the top 12 drivers from Bubba Army Winter National points from Thursday and Friday night would move to a Last Chance Qualifier that would take the top 2 finishers as the final starting spots for the feature. Kentucky’s Victor Lee and Mississippi’s Marcus Minga would take the final two Last Chance spots to fill the World Championship starting field.
After a quick once over by the Bubba Raceway Park track crew, the field took to the speedway for pre-race ceremonies and driver introductions. Once the festivities were complete, and the fans gave the drivers the command to fire engines, it was time to get down to business. As the Bubba Raceway Park pace vehicle exited, Whitener and Pegher would lead the field to green for 100-laps of action. The attention given to the track surface proved to be worth the wait as fierce action began as soon as the green flag fell.
Elbows up racing would be the pace until lap 8 when the first of 10 caution flags flew, for the slowing car of Alexander City, AL driver Jason Britton. The Dixie-style double file restart would re-establish the hard-core racing when the caution lights would flash again on lap 19 for the slowing 17 of Logan Roberson. Whitener remained at the front of the field controlling the race and navigating lapped traffic quickly with Bronson and Pegher in pursuit before a lap 38 caution for the 56jr of Katy, TX driver Colton Horner who exited with mechanical issues. The field raced again with Whitener maintaining his lead, but not running off in the distance as he had on previous restarts. A lap 48 caution brought a great run to an end as third running Trent Ivey of Union, SC had to make a pit stop after contact flattened his left rear tire. This setup a couple of quick cautions as the 6 of Blake Spencer spun on lap 50, before a multi car accident on lap 54.
A lap 68 caution for the slowing P4 of Jamie Perry setup what would be some of the tensest moments of the 100-lap event. At the restart, the 111 of Pennsylvania’s Max Blair had made his way inside the top 3 from his 11th starting spot, and unlike the previous restarts Whitener was having to hold off Blair and Bronson. Blair would prove too much to handle as he made a move to the inside of Whitener exiting turn 4 to officially take the lead on lap 72. But the caution would quickly wave on lap 73 after contact between Doug Horton and Brandon Sheppard. On the ensuing restart, racing amongst the top 5 had reached a fever pitch with contact, rubbing, and slide jobs occurring rapidly. This would continue until a lap 90 caution would stack the field up for a 10 lap shootout to the finish. As the field raced back to life under the green flag, Whitener would make a move to the inside of Blair off turn 2 making contact with the left front of Blair’s Rocket Race car. Meanwhile, Bronson was ready to pounce as the first and second place cars began to race each other hard. As the field came off turn 4 to put lap 91 on the scoreboard, Blair made contact with Whitener and then came to a hard stop against the outside retaining wall just past the start finish line. Blair would suffer too much damage to continue, and Whitener’s machine would have damage to the rear spoiler and back of his ULC Motorports machine.
The damage to Whitener’s machine would show up as on the ensuing restart he would struggle to hold off the hard charging cars at the front of the field. Bronson would get by Whitener and Pegher would follow suit. With the laps winding down, the 17B Sallack Well Service Rocket being driven by Brandon Sheppard found a line that he and his machine liked as he marched through the field and got by Pegher for the second position. Another impressive run had been quietly mounted throughout the race as the 14-year old Tyler Clem had quietly and perfectly taken care of his equipment and moved into the top 5 from his 20th starting position. As the Sunoco Race Fuels checkered flag waved it would be Bronson able to keep Sheppard at bay, with Pegher coming home in third, Clem in fourth, and a stellar run from Hudson O’Neal to round out the top 5 finishers.
For additional news visit www.nesmithracing.com