The Storm Pay.com Crate Late Models brought the 2006 season to a close at East Bay Raceway Park. In the 100-lap main event, Randy Korte started 19th and moved through they field to claim the prize in his first Crate Late Model race. (See accompanying story for complete Late Model results).
In addition to the Crate Late Models, the night provided the final race for three of the track’s weekly divisions. The Outlaw 4s started the night’s action with a 15-lap main. Alex Boerner grabbed the early lead with Austin Gillman giving chase. After an early caution, Travis Varnadore moved to the outside to give chase for the top spot. Varnadore nailed down the position and kept the lead as caution waved on lap nine for Gillman. On the restart, Boerner wasted little time in snatching back the lead and held on for the victory. The win was the second of the season for the teenaged driver who has put the car up for sale, planning a move to the Open Wheel Modifieds in 2007. Varnadore claimed second and the 2006 track championship. Zach Amundsen settled in third, ahead of Steve Miller and Michael Gulvin.
A healthy field of 4 Cylinder Bombers closed off their 2006 campaign as last week’s feature winner Collin Kruse grabbed the early race lead. Unfortunately, Kruse developed mechanical problems and slowed on the front stretch, directly in line with a hard charging George Christensen, who lost several spots in the exchange. The lead went to B.J. Harp, who swept by Jimmy Alvis. Alvis lost second to Steve Kimpton, but Kimpton’s race ended on lap 12 with mechanical problems. Harp had no problems for the remainder of the race, moving out to his first win of the year. Alvis claimed second, ahead of Keith Kaylor, Kyle Eash, and K.C. Laramee.
The Street Stocks provided some exciting action in their final race. The point championship had been decided with Paul Gibbs picking up the crown. The 19-car, 15-lapper started off on a sour note when Buckshot Meixner lost a wheel on the front stretch, stacking up several cars. When the green took hold, Joseph Luce had the early race lead with Eric Johnson pushing up to second. On lap 3, Charlie Paris Jr., who had been caught up in the opening lap incident, rebounded to grab third. Paris cruised past the remaining two cars to take the lead. Paris had continuous challenges from Johnson, but Paris never trailed. The checkered flag gave Paris his seventh victory in 2006. Johnson took second with point champ Gibbs rallying for third. Buck Woodhouse added another top five with his fourth place finish, ahead of Bob Smith.
Kelly Hill picked the victory in the fan participation race, becoming a multiple winner in the monthly outings.
The 2007 season at East Bay Raceway Park looms with the annual Winternationals getting underway in late January. A complete schedule of events can be found at www.eastbayracewaypark.com.