Kyle Hardy talks about his $5,000 victory for Chuck Bowie Racing.
What won the race: Turning back a stiff challenge from Mark Whitener with four laps remaining, Kyle Hardy of Stephens City, Va., held on Saturday at East Bay Raceway Park to capture the weekend finale on the Crate Racin' USA Winter Shootout. Hardy earned $5,000 in fighting off fast qualifier Phillip Cobb after the 50-lapper's final restart.
Quotable: "I never get emotional, I don't know what the hell's wrong," Hardy said tearing up in victory lane and thanking his supporters. "Damn, this is super fun."
Key notes: Hardy won on his mother's birthday. ... Mark Whitener, who won Thursday and Friday's $2,500 features, ended up fourth after suffering apparent right-front damage in a lap-46 incident. ... Hardy was leading into turn three on that lap when the second-running Whitener pulled alongside in the inside groove. The frontrunners touched and then Whitener made contact with the slower car of Ben Scott, who spun the draw the race's third and final caution. ... Travis Varnadore led the first three laps and Phillip Cobb laps 4-13 before Hardy took over by diving low in turn one. He led the rest of the 50-lapper, winning by seven-tenths of a second over Cobb. ... Yellow flags also flew on lap 32 (when Jake Knowles stopped in turn four) and lap 34 (a slowing Keith Nosbisch). ... Tanner Collins scratched from the feature.
On the move: Tail-starting Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., finished third.
Winner's sponsors: Hardy's Chuck Bowie Racing Rocket Chassis is sponsored by Advanced Elevator and WMD Race Cars.
Points chase: After East Bay Saturday: 1. Dylan Knowles (500); 2. Jason Welshan (492); 3. Mark Whitener (474); 4. Jake Knowles (450); 5. Cory Hedgecock (426); 6. Joseph Joiner (402); 7. Drew Kennedy (400); 8. Mack McCarter (356); 9. Kyle Bronson (336); 10. Jake Rainey (322).
Current weather: Clear, 70°F
Car count: 55
Fast qualifier: Phillip Cobb
Time: 15.909 seconds
Polesitter: Phillip Cobb
Heat race winners: Braeden Dillinger, Travis Varnadore, Jason Welshan, Kyle Hardy, Phillip Cobb, Kyle Lukon
Consolation race winners: Shan Smith, Cory Hedgecock, Jeremy Shaw
Provisional starters: Drew Kennedy, Kyle Bronson
Next series race: March 12, Clarksville Speedway (Clarksville, TN) $4,000