KD KELLEY WINS EAST BAY LATE MODEL CHAMPIONSHIP; CROUSE DOMINATES FEATURE
By Jason Loughren
Fans and drivers outlasted a weather delay for another great night of racing at the Clay by the Bay. Around 100 cars signed in as the racing season worked its way to next weekendís grand finale. Due to the weather delay heat races were only run in the Late Model class.
In the South Shore Auto Sales Late Models only 21 points separated front-runner KD Kelley and 2nd place driver Travis Varnadore at the start of the evening. Kelly and Varnadore started side by side on the 4th row in the final 25-lap feature race of the 2008 season.
Varnadore ran into trouble early when he was involved in an early caution that resulted in him restarting near the rear of the field. Kelley ran solid all night long.
Roger Crouse was the story of the race as he started in the 6th position and quickly made his way to the front of the field. Once in the lead Crouse drove away from the field taking the win in the final Late Model feature race of the season.
It was his first feature win in the Late Models this season. Al Larson had a terrific run coming home 2nd, his first top-5 of the season. Trevor Merrell was third. Bobby Alexander and Matt Miller rounded out the top-5. John Norris, Larson and Merrell won the heat races.
With his 8th place finish KD Kelley captured the 2008 Late Model points championship. In total, Kelley had 2 feature wins, 9 top 5ís and 15 top 10 finishes this season. Varnadore finished the feature in the 9th position. During 2008 he won 1 feature race, had 6 top 5 finishes and 16 top 10 finishes.
Bruce Harvey won the Gagelís Open Wheeled modifieds 15-lap feature race. Harvey started on the pole and never looked back. The win was Harveyís first of the season. Kyle Bronson and Scotty Williams battled for most of the race with Bronson taking the 2nd place finish. Williams finished 3rd. Dale Kelley finished 4th and Jeff Mathews rounded out the top-5.
Matt Haynes had the car to beat in the Outlaw 4ís. After starting in the 7th position he quickly made his way to the front of the field and was able to pull away for the victory. Shane Burrows finished 2nd. Pole sitter Stephen Hohlbaugh finished 3rd. Mavrick Varnadore and Michael Gulvin rounded out the top-5.
In the Limited Late Models Bobby Johns lead every lap on route to his first career feature win in the class. Sheryl Cochran finished a strong 2nd as she held of 3rd place finisher Alex Boerner. Roger Crouse finished 4th. Forrest Gough rounded out the top-5.
The Motorstats.com Street Stocks saw veteran racer Donnie Reed make a return trip to victory lane after a battle with Tim Spencer for many of the early laps of the race. The victory was Reedís 3rd of the season. Reed also leads the series points heading into next weekends final race of the season. Spencer finished 2nd. Matthew Grissom finished 3rd. Buck Woodhouse and Randy Tyler completed the top-5.
ASA sanctioned racing resumes at Eastbay Raceway Park Friday and Saturday night December 12th and 13th. The Salute Sports Grill Crate Late Model World Championship will take place next weekend along with the final races for the local classes.
Friday night features the Limited Sprints, Outlaw 4ís and Convire 4 Cylinder Bombers. On Saturday the 2008 season comes to a close with Motorstats.com Street Stocks, Limited Late Models and the Gagelís Open Wheeled Modifieds.
For a complete schedule visit us on the web at www.eastbayracewaypark.com or call the track office at 813-677-7223.