GIBSONTON, Fla. (Feb. 10) — Charging past polesitter Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., on lap two of 35, second-starting Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., led the remaining circuits to score a $7,000 Lucas Oil Series victory on Wednesday night at East Bay Raceway Park.
Marlar led the opening lap, but fell to his fellow front-row starter on the following circuit. Successfully navigating lapped traffic and overcoming late-race cautions, it appeared that Davenport had all but wrapped up the victory when second-running Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., hit the wall in turns three and four on lap 34 to draw a red flag. The defending Lucas Oil Series champion led the final lap to capture his 18th career series triumph.
“I don’t think place ever gives you one easy,” Davenport said after the race. “It’s really a demanding track and the groove moves so much you never really know where to go. I knew I was pretty good on the top through three and four, but it just got so far out there. I missed it a couple of times and hit the wall one time.
“Then about two more times I almost hit the wall coming off the corner because I’d just lose the front tires. It got really hard to get turned in. I slammed on the brakes one time and about shut the motor off. I just tried to stay wherever the brown was and just hold on."
Advancing from the 10th starting spot, Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., finished second with Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., running third. Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., improved from the 11th starting position to run fourth, with Brandon Sheppard rallying from the 18th starting spot to round out the top five.
“We made a lot of gains tonight,” O’Neal said. “We’ve just got to get qualified a little better. I think we learned enough tonight, I think we’ll get qualified better tomorrow. My teammate (Darrell Lanigan) had a good run tonight and we’re all working hard. We’ve just got to get a tick better and start up front."
Notes: The win marked Davenport’s first career Super Late Model victory at East Bay. … The first yellow flag waved on lap 15 when Tim Dohm spun in turn four. … Brian Shirley drew a caution on lap 17 when he got into the wall in turns one and two. … A yellow flag flew on lap 20 when Jared Landers spun in turn four, collecting Bobby Pierce. … Justin Rattliff got into the wall in turns one and two on the ensuing restart, retiring early. … A yellow flag waved on lap 32 for debris on the racetrack. …A red flag fell for Tim McCreadie on lap 34 when he hit the turn four wall challenging for the lead. … Mike Marlar led the opening lap, but retired early after receiving damage during a restart.
Preliminary notes and results:
Mike Marlar, whose only previous Winternationals victory came in 2010, starts from the pole position in his first feature appearance driving a new Capital Race Car. His front-row mate, Jonathan Davenport, will make his second start in the new K&L Rumley Longhorn Race Car he debuted on Tuesday night. … Eddie Carrier Jr. gave third-heat winner Davenport a stiff challenge, even diving inside of the defending Lucas Oil Series champion in turns three and four on lap two just as a caution flag flew. Could Carrier, who won a Winternationals feature last year, have overtaken Davenport if the yellow flag hadn’t appeared? “I don’t know,” he said. “I was close, but I don’t know if I could’ve got by him.” Nevertheless, Carrier’s ability to keep J.D. in his sights was encouraging. “Especially in these conditions,” Carrier said of the fast, top-dominant surface for the heats. “He’s really good in these conditions. I’m waiting for it to slow down — I’m an old man.” … Josh Richards won the second heat going away, but he might still have more speed in his Rocket Chassis house car for the 35-lap feature. He was hampered ever-so-slightly by a stumble in his engine that his father, Mark Richards, was working to correct afterward with some tuning of the powerplant and its carburetor. Mark said getting the carburetor jetting correctly adjusted to Florida’s low-altitude, damp-air conditions is critical to get full performance from a motor. “When you can see your breath, you need (more) fuel (to feed the engine),” said the elder Richards, who noted that racing in Florida at this time of year requires carefully matching engine adjustments to the conditions. In that vein, Mark said he uses several weather stations, including a cell-phone app, to monitor the air. … Brian Shirley had his Bob Cullen-owned Longhorn humming around the extreme top side of the track in outrunning Scott Bloomquist to win the fourth heat. “We at least got back up to speed,” said Shirley, who started fourth in the feature. “Last night was our worst night (of Speedweeks). If you don’t feel comfortable running close to that wall, you’re on the edge of getting destroyed. The car’s more comfortable tonight so we could do that. Now it’s just a matter of finding traction (in the feature).” … Steve Francis finished fifth in the second B-Main but received a transfer spot because heat-race qualifier Mark Whitener scratched due to a broken rearend.
DirtonDirt.com Strawberry Dash results
Finish (winner transfers to feature): Freddie Carpenter, Josh Rice, Gregg Satterlee, Allen Murray, Randy Weaver, Colton Flinner, John Gardner, Jake Davis, Sonny Conley, Nick Davis
DirtonDirt.com Strawberry Dash lineup
Row 1: Freddie Carpenter, Jake Davis
Row 2: Josh Rice, John Gardner
Row 3: Mason Zeigler, Gregg Satterlee
Row 4: Nick Davis, Sonny Conley
Row 5: Alex Ferree, Randy Weaver
Polesitter Tim Dohm charged to an early lead, holding off second-starting Brandon Sheppard to win the second consolation. Sheppard finished runner-up, with Bobby Pierce improving one spot to run third. Fighting back challenges from Steve Francis, Earl Pearson Jr. took the fourth and final transfer spot, with Francis finishing fifth.
Finish (top four transfer): Tim Dohm, Brandon Sheppard, Bobby Pierce, Earl Pearson Jr., Steve Francis, Alex Ferree, Freddie Carpenter, Josh Rice, Ricky Weiss, Randy Weaver, Nick Davis, Mason Zeigler
Charging to the lead as the green flag waved, polesitter Devin Moran led all 10 laps to win the first consolation. Outside polesitter Chad Hollenbeck held on to his second-place starting spot, with Bob Gardner finishing third. Fighting back challenges from Gregg Satterlee, Gregg Oakes grabbed the fourth and final transfer spot.
Finish (top four transfer): Devin Moran, Chad Hollenbeck, Bob Gardner, Gregg Oakes, Gregg Satterlee, Austin Kirkpatrick, Colton Flinner, Jake Davis, John Gardner, Allen Murray, Sonny Conley. Scratched: Chuck Julien
(10 laps; top four transfer)
Row 1: Devin Moran, Chad Hollenbeck
Row 2: Bob Gardner, Gregg Satterlee
Row 3: Greg Oakes, Austin Kirkpatrick
Row 4: Allen Murray, Colton Flinner
Row 5: John Gardner, Jake Davis
Row 6: Chuck Julien, Sonny Conley
Row 1: Tim Dohm, Brandon Sheppard
Row 2: Earl Pearson Jr., Bobby Pierce
Row 3: Alex Ferree, Steve Francis
Row 4: Mason Zeigler, Randy Weaver
Row 5: Freddie Carpenter, Nick Davis
Row 6: Ricky Weiss, Josh Rice
Charging to the lead on the start, polesitter Brian Shirley held off fourth-starting Scott Bloomquist, edging ahead at the line to win the fourth heat race. Bloomquist ran second, with Jimmy Owens holding on to his third-place starting spot. Dennis Erb Jr. finished fourth to transfer to the feature, with Brandon Sheppard slipping from his front row starting spot to round out the top five.
Finish (top four transfer): Brian Shirley, Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens, Dennis Erb Jr., Brandon Sheppard, Bobby Pierce, Randy Weaver, Steve Francis, Nick Davis, Josh Rice
Polesitter Jonathan Davenport led to the opening lap, with a yellow flag waving for debris on the racetrack on lap two, just as third-starting Eddie Carrier Jr. began challenging for the lead. A second yellow flew on the ensuing restart when contact between Don O’Neal and Ricky Weiss sent the defending WISSOTA champion into the turn-two wall, collecting Mason Zeigler. Davenport grabbed the heat race win, with Carrier finishing runner-up. O’Neal ran third, with Mark Whitener taking the fourth and final transfer spot.
Finish (top four transfer): Jonathan Davenport, Eddie Carrier Jr., Don O’Neal, Mark Whitener, Tim Dohm, Alex Ferree, Mason Zeigler, Freddie Carpenter, Ricky Weiss
Getting the jump on the start, outside polesitter Billy Moyer Jr. led the opening lap, with polesitter Josh Richards quickly shooting to the lead in turns one and two on the second lap. Pulling away from the field, Richards picked up the heat race win, with Tim McCreadie improving one spot to finish second. Darrell Lanigan ran third, with Moyer Jr. dropping back to run fourth and transfer to the feature.
Finish (top four transfer): Josh Richards, Tim McCreadie, Darrell Lanigan, Billy Moyer Jr., Chad Hollenbeck, Gregg Satterlee, Austin Kirkpatrick, Colton Flinner, Jake Davis. Scratched: Sonny Conley
Jumping to the lead at the drop of the green flag, polesitter Mike Marlar held off Jared Landers to win the first heat. Landers finished runner-up at the line, with Kyle Bronson holding on to his third-place starting spot. Justin Rattliff finished fourth, with Devin Moran running fifth after challenging for the final transfer spot.
Finish (top four transfer): Mike Marlar, Jared Lander, Kyle Bronson, Justin Rattliff, Devin Moran, Bob Gardner, Greg Oakes, Allen Murray, John Gardner, Chuck Julien
Heat race lineups
(eight laps; top four transfer)
Row 1: Mike Marlar, Jared Landers
Row 2: Kyle Bronson, Justin Rattliff
Row 3: Devin Moran, Bob Gardner
Row 4: John Gardner, Greg Oakes
Row 5: Allen Murray, Chuck Julien
Row 1: Josh Richards, Billy Moyer Jr.
Row 2: Tim McCreadie, Gregg Satterlee
Row 3: Darrell Lanigan, Austin Kirkpatrick
Row 4: Chad Hollenbeck, Colton Flinner
Row 5: Jake Davis, Sonny Conley
Row 1: Jonathan Davenport, Tim Dohm
Row 2: Eddie Carrier Jr., Ricky Weiss
Row 3: Mason Zeigler, Don O’Neal
Row 4: Mark Whitener, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 5: Freddie Carpenter, Alex Ferree
Row 1: Brian Shirley, Brandon Sheppard
Row 2: Jimmy Owens, Scott Bloomquist
Row 3: Bobby Pierce, Steve Francis
Row 4: Dennis Erb Jr., Josh Rice
Row 5: Randy Weaver, Nick Davis
Weather conditions are cool and breezy for the second consecutive day. … Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., became the fifth driver in the history of East Bay’s Winternationals to win the meet’s first two features, joining Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind. (2001, ’02, ’12), Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis. (2004), Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark. (1986) and Kenny Brightbill of Sinking Spring, Pa. (1981). No driver has ever captured three straight A-Mains to start a Winternationals. … Richards, who plans to depart East Bay after tonight’s program and head north for the Friday-Saturday World of Outlaws Late Model Series events at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga., has won three straight Winternationals features. He pulled off the feat in 2009, winning the Thursday headliner and then sweeping a Friday doubleheader to bag three first-place checks in a 24-hour period. … Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who finished third in Tuesday night’s feature — his best East Bay finish since he won the 2011 Winternationals finale — is keeping an eye on his cell phone while at the track. His wife, Karen, is back home in the Empire State and due to give birth to the couple’s second child (a girl) on Feb. 22. … After sitting out Monday night’s opener, Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., had a rough outing in Tuesday’s feature — his first start at East Bay in over a decade, he said. He hit Jared Landers’s spinning car in turn two with two laps remaining, bending the nose of his Clint Bowyer Racing car but fortunately doing no more serious damage. … Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., will be behind the wheel of a brand-new Capital Race Car after the 2015 machine he had been running was sidelined by a hard B-Main crash on Tuesday night. He drilled the turn-one wall head-on after starting the race from the pole position. “It was the first time I ever hit and my teeth hurt,” said Marlar, who also reported a sore neck after the accident. Marlar was happy to note that his car wasn’t as heavily damaged as he originally thought. “As hard as I hit I thought it would be worse than it was,” he said. “The rear bars got bent because the rearend bounced up in the air so we’ll have to drop it off at Capital (in Woodstock, Ga.) on the way home and put it on the jig to straighten it, but surprisingly it doesn’t need a front clip.” … Hoosier’s Shanon Rush spoke during the drivers’ meeting to offer teams some suggestions to deal with excessive tire wear that was reported during Tuesday’s action. He gave air pressure recommendations and ideas for siping the outside two rows of tread on the tires that could help “reduce the amount of blistering” that was experienced.
Correction: Fixes spelling of Shanon Rush.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series runs the third round of the 40th annual Winternationals on Wednesday with a $7,000-to-win non-points event.
Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., notched his second straight East Bay victory on Tuesday evening, overtaking Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark., in the early running. Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., finished second, with Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., running third.
Wednesday’s program is made up of hot laps, time trials, heat races, consolations, the DirtonDirt.com Strawberry Dash and the 35-lap main event.
Time trial results
Driver (car no.), hometown, time
Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 14.730
Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va., 14.765
Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark., 14.843
Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., 14.964
Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 15.027
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 15.070
Justin Rattliff (16), Campbellsville, Ky., 15.081
Gregg Satterlee (22), Indiana, Pa., 15.102
Devin Moran (99m), Dresden, Ohio, 15.104
Darrell Lanigan (15L), Union, Ky., 15.121
Bob Gardner (4G), Washington, Ill., 15.533
Austin Kirkpatrick (11K), Ocala, Fla., 15.574
John Gardner (38C), Germantown Hills, Ill., 15.590
Chad Hollenbeck (4Ds), Kingsley, Pa., 15.672
Greg Oakes (22G), Franklinville, N.Y., 15.718
Colton Flinner (75), Allison Park, Pa., 15.869
Allen Murray (2M), San Antonio, Texas, 15.887
Jake Davis (7D), Hackett, Ark., 16.023
Chuck Julien (57), Apopka, Fla. 17.466
Sonny Conley (1x1), New Martinsville, W.Va., no time
Jonathan Davenport (6), Blairsville, Ga., 14.789
Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., 14.791
Tim Dohm (6T), Cross Lanes, W.Va., 14.802
Brandon Sheppard (B5), New Berlin, Ill., 14.816
Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va., 15.031
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 15.038
Ricky Weiss (7w), Headingly, MB, 15.051
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 15.052
Mason Zeigler (25Z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 15.080
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 15.100
Don O’Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind., 15.104
Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., 15.297
Mark Whitener (5W), Middleburg, Fla., 15.300
Dennis Erb Jr. (28e), Carpentersville, Ill., 15.305
Earl Pearson Jr. (1), Jacksonville, Fla., 15.316
Josh Rice (11), Verona, Ky., 15.325
Freddie Carpenter (K), Parkersburg, W.Va., 15.393
Randy Weaver (116), Crossville, Tenn., 15.441
Alex Ferree (47), Saxonburg, Pa., 15.676
Nick Davis (92), Delmar, Del., 15.992