Story By: EAST BAY RACEWAY PARK – TAMPA, FL – The second night of the 47th annual Winternationals offered a stark contrast to the action seen on opening night. While the opener was dominated by caution-free laps by the dozens, the Friday activity saw the red flag appear in three of the five mains.
The first red flew during the V-8 Warrior/Thunderstock 15-lapper. As the field was slowed for a Tim Gay caution for a turn two spin, Raymond Rogers flipped his car on the frontstretch. Rogers, who was running in the top three at the time of the incident, was not hurt.
The fortune was better for Cody Allen, who had his share of bad luck on Thursday, finishing last. Allen dominated the Friday main, earning the distinction of “worst to first” and [putting himself back in Victory Lane. Allen took two of the three mains in 2022. Heats were won by Nick Brown and Jason Burnside.
Mini Sprint action also drew a red flag when heat race winner Bruce Comer flipped near the halfway mark of the race. The 2021 track champion ended his quest to double down on the night, but his nephew Bryce, winner of the opening night feature, picked up the honors in earning his second win of the year.
Will Karas put together a dominant performance to secure his second win of the week in Micro Sprint action. Karas kept his perfect week going, adding a heat win to his record as local racer Zach LaRose finally brought a win for a Florida driver.
The Gladiators offered up one of the best features of the night with a 15-lap main that ran caution-free. Defending track champion Patrick Tabb took the lead on lap four, but soon found himself dealing with an uncooperative race car. That allowed Charles Paris Jr. an opportunity to grab the lead and a win. Tabb and Paris staked claims to earlier heats.
Justin Webster put on a dominant run that didn’t end as expected with the 25-lap main for the Top Gun Sprints. Webster had built up a substantial lead until coming in contact with a lapped car, which resulted in Webster flipping and ending his chances at a trip to Victory Lane. Tyler Clem came to the front after passing Danny Jones and appeared to be headed to the win until lapped traffic stymied his efforts. The congestion opened a lane for Steve Diamond Jr. who led his first lap at the white flag. It was smooth sailing from there for Diamond to return to the winner’s circle.Cleam, Luke Hill and Andrew Griffin had won their preliminaries.
The final night of action comes Saturday to conclude week one of the 2023 Winternationals.
TOP GUN SPRINTS
Feature – Steve Diamond Jr. (20c), Tyler Clem (14c), Garrett Green (82), Andrew Griffin (32), Danny Jones (14), Billy Bridges (11B), Luke Hill (41), Robbie Smith (6S), Bob Martin (10), Owen Dimm (17), Joe Zuczek (50), Dustin Burtron (97), Tyler Orzechowski (38), Lucas Rodriguez (2R), Trey Meredith (11), Andy Cobb (15), Tyler Porter (99), Scott Baldwin (4), Justin Webster (21), Billy Boyd Jr. (89), Brandon Grubaugh (G6), Bryan Riddle (2M)
Feature – Cody Allen (68), Jerry Rogers (92), Jason Burnside (12J), Nick Brown (12), Daniel Bowman (46), Collin Kruse (92c), Derek Gray (189), Jarod Gay (23), Justin Scarberry (24), Wayne Kissam (07), Billy Cassidy (17), Raymond Vann (1), Tim Gay (25), Macy Bozeman (58), Cody Mezyk (40), Raymond Rogers (48), Kyle Kruse (18), Michael Hart (99). DNS – Juston Meeks (10)
Feature – Charles Paris Jr. (15), Patrick Tabb (03), Derrick Edwards (17), Jeff Lacey (99), Davey Martin (55), Kayla Jones (412), Robert Kissam (911), Tracy Maynard (62), Randy Tyler (22), Socks Dittebrand (222), Callie Gubich (209), James Paris (09), Wayne Kissam (4×4), Jimmy Williams (8w), Rodney Martin (21), Raymond Rogers Jr. (00), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Jennah Santos (105), Tim Ross (9). DNS – Daniel Bowman (162), Patrick Fiore (88)
Feature – Will Karas (48k), Zach LaRose (33Z), Chris Kennedy (2), Cliff Evans (16), Nadia Ebersole (25), Rudy Rodriguez (1), James Ivey (58), Haley Moore (8), Jazlyn Boyles (30), Noelle Ebersole (42), Logan Evans (66), Patrick Moore (14). DNS – Colin Strife
Feature – Bryce Comer (9), Doug Dyal (97D), David Hall (67), Mark Reynolds (1NY), Bruce Comer (21), Charles Landis Jr. (12), Jo Jo Davis (7), Jesse Foster (1), Tyler Landis (66). DNS – Bubba Rains (07)