The opportunity presented itself for first time winners to make their mark on the 2009 season with four new names added to the list in Saturday night racing action.
The action started with a field of 10 Outlaw 4 division cars taking the opening green in their 15-lap main. Mavrick Varnadore jumped into the early lead with heat race winner Mickey Wright giving chase. A hard-charging Amanda Rogers worked her way through the field, moving into second with two laps to go.
Despite the charge, Rogers couldn’t catch Varnadore, who posted a wire-to-wire victory and nailed his first feature of the year. Rogers came home second with Wright third. Shirlene Hammond’s steady race earned her a fourth place run with last week’s feature winner Stephen Hohlbaugh in fifth. Hohlbaugh claimed the earlier heat win.
The Gagel’s Auto Parts Open Wheel Modifieds got off to a rocky start when a red flag stopped action for a multi-car pileup in the front stretch, touched off when Wayne Hammond tagged the front stretch wall. When action resumed, early leader Buzzie Reutimann went to the bottom of the track in search of grip. He found plenty as the car rocketed off the corners. Pursuing competitors kept falling back. Shane Burrows was first to challenge, but drifted high to give Jeff Mathews his turn. Mathews made the best of it, but couldn’t catch Reutimann’s ride. In Victory Lane, Buzzie joked that he was racing under duress, driving his son David’s ride. “If I didn’t win, he was going to put me on a budget,” he said. Reutimann also owned up to an engine that was pushing the temperature gauge to 240 degrees. “What was this, 500 laps,” he joked. Mathews claimed second, ahead of heat winner Alex Boerner, double duty driver Roger Crouse and Burrows. Hammond won his heat before suffering the wreck in the finale.
The 25-lap feature for the South Shore Auto Sales Late Models began with brothers Jack and Keith Nosbisch taking the front row start. Jack got the best of Keith in the drag race to turn one, but only two laps were completed before a caution waved for Maxx Bennett. Once the green returned, former pavement late model racer Rich Pratt was turned, bringing another yellow. When action resumed, heat winner Patrick Williams was in charge of third and locked in a desperate battle to hold the spot. His first challenges came from Jeff Mathews and the pair exchanged the spot until Mathews wrestled it away. Pratt and former Street Stock champ Paul Gibbs tangled to bring a lap 9 yellow and realigned the field. In the Ybor City restart, Keith Nosbisch chose the outside line to keep Jeff Mathews low. The two contested for second, giving leader Jack Nosbisch some breathing room. Keith Nosbisch never officially lost second, but it would be as high as he would get. Jack Nosbisch doubled down, adding the feature win to his earlier heat. In Victory Lane, he acknowledged that it seemed like it took forever to get the first win of the year. He knew the competition was coming, but he focused on keeping the car in the fast lane to victory. Mathews came up with a third with Williams keeping fourth. Bennett rebounded from the early race spin for fifth. David Schmauss also scored a heat triumph.
The www.MOTORSTATS.com Four Cylinder Bombers were in for a wild night. Three heat races opened the program, but the wildest moment came late in the second race. Benny Metzger’s car turned sideways onto the front stretch, rolling three times before coming to rest on its wheels with the driver’s door panel ripped away. Metzger was unhurt and the repairs were made to bring the car back for the extra-distance feature. The class was given an additional 10 laps, bringing the distance to 25. There were 27 of the scheduled 30 starters on hand for the green. Heat winner Bubba Puyear took immediate command of the race, followed by Raymond Vann, who has scored a feature win this season. Puyear kept Vann into second until Vann and third-place Tommy Hufstutler tangled in the backstretch, knocking both out of contention. Roberto Morfin Jr. began to pursue Puyear, but his first win was in sight and he made it stick. Morfin Jr. had to settle for second, ahead of George Handy, Wayne Kissam, and Roberto Morfin Sr.
ASA sanctioned racing resumes at East Bay Raceway Park Saturday, April 4, 2009 at 6:30pm. “Adams Used Auto Parts Night” will see action for South Shore Auto Sales Late Models, East Bay Sprints, Street Stocks and 4 Cylinder Bombers. For more information call the track office at 813-677-7223 or visit us on the web at www.eastbayracewaypark.com.