East Bay Raceway Park
Horton captures Crate opener at East Bay
By Roby HelmNeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series
GIBSONTON, Fla. (Feb. 24) — Doug Horton of Bruceton Mills, W.Va., won the 40-lap season opener for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series on Thursday night at East Bay Raceway Park, earning $2,000 in the Crate Late Model special. Horton learned to like the tire choice car owner Ken Nosbisch made before the race at the halfway point when took the lead and never looked back in his Mainland Transport-sponsored Warrior Race Car.
Horton started fifth, and moved up to the second spot by lap 18. Horton then battled with early race leader Bryan Bernhardt of Clearwater, Fla., after a lap-19 restart, and took the lead with an inside move coming off the fourth turn on lap 20. Horton then kept the point and at one time pulled out to a full straightaway lead.
"I wasn't sure about the tire choice Ken made at the start of the race, but as the race went on, the car got faster, and I knew he made the right choice," Horton said. "I have to dedicate this win to my wife because on the way down here she asked me when she was going to get her picture made with me under the palm trees in victory lane. I've won a lot of races down here, but never when she was here. Hopefully there will be a couple more pictures with her after this one."
Jack Nosbisch Jr. of Riverview, Fla., ran in the top three all race long and finished second. Keith Nosbisch of Valrico, Fla., took the third spot and two-time series champion David Gentry of Lewisburg, Tenn., was fourth ahead of Bernhardt.
The three-race weekend continues on Friday night for a 40-lap, $2,000-to-win event, and again on Saturday night for a 50-lap $3,000-to-win event.
NeSmith @ East Bay: (1) Doug Horton, (2) Jack Nosbisch Jr., (3) Keith Nosbisch, (4) David Gentry, (5) Bryan Berhardt, (6) Matthew Turner, (7) Chip Brindle, (8) Dan Breuer, (9) John Over, (10) Travis Varnadore, (11) Phillip Cobb, (12) Eric Cooley, (13) Doug Watson, (14) Shane Hitt, (15) Steve Mathis, (16) Larry Harrod, (17) Shan Smith, (18) Johnny Stokes, (19) Mavrick Varnadore, (20) Robert Cossell IV, (21) Steve Cooke, (22) David Schmauss, (23) Shannon Lee, (24) Michael Blount. Fast qualifier (among 46 cars): Horton, 16.206 seconds. Heat race winners: Brindle, Bernhardt, Cobb, J. Nosbisch. Consolation winners: Cooley, Cossell. Provisional starters: Harrod, Blount.