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Daily Dirt 05/25/2024 00:35:47

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February 12
East Bay Raceway Park,
Gibsonton, FL
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Wrisco Winternationals) - $15,000
Information provided by: Kevin Kovac (last updated February 13, 6:30 am)
Moran snaps Sheppard's streak with East Bay win
Wrisco Winternationals
  1. Devin Moran
  2. Tyler Erb
  3. Mark Whitener
  4. Tanner English
  5. Brandon Overton
  6. Ashton Winger
  7. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  8. Jimmy Owens
  9. Tyler Bruening
  10. Tim McCreadie
  11. Kyle Bronson
  12. Colten Burdette
  13. Garrett Alberson
  14. Earl Pearson Jr.
  15. Shane Clanton
  16. Johnny Scott
  17. Boom Briggs
  18. Ross Robinson
  19. Hudson O'Neal
  20. Chase Junghans
  21. Brandon Sheppard
  22. Stormy Scott
  23. Spencer Hughes
  24. Daulton Wilson
  25. Josh Putnam
  26. Bob Gardner
  27. Frank Heckenast Jr.
presented by
Heath Lawson/heathlawsonphotos.com
Devin Moran celebrates his third Lucas Oil victory of the season.
What won the race: Snapping Brandon Sheppard's three-race winning streak, Devin Moran of Dresden, Ohio, went past Sheppard with a third-to-first move on a lap-34 restart and led the rest of Saturday's 50-lap Wrisco Winternationals finale at East Bay Raceway Park. The fifth-starting Moran earned $15,000 in leading the final 17 laps for his third Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory of the season.
Key notes: Tyler Erb notched a runner-up finish, 0.653 of a second behind the winner. ... Brandon Sheppard led laps 3-33 but lost the point to Moran on a restart, then got into the turn-four wall and fell back to 12th; on the ensuing restart Sheppard's race ended amid a three-car collision. ... Five cautions in all slowed the action, including one for rain that caused a 10-minute delay after 28 laps were complete. … Home-track driver Kyle Bronson ran as high as second but ended up 11th, the same position where he started. … Brandon Overton led the first two laps and led in all five of the week’s features without scoring a victory.
On the move: Mark Whitener of Middleburg, Fla., started ninth and finished third.
Winner's sponsors: Moran’s Tye Twarog Racing Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Tye Twarog Performance Parts, C&W Trucking, Big D's, Tommy Pope Construction, Accu-Force, M&M Painting & Construction, Car Source Auto, McHugh Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Red Oak Pub, VP Racing Fuels, Lucas Oil, FK Rod Ends, Hoosier Racing Tire, The Joie of Seating, igimage.com, Eddie's Sunoco and Muskingum County Speedway.
Points chase: After East Bay Saturday (points are made up of a driver's best five performances during Speedweeks): 1. Brandon Sheppard (1,260); 2. Devin Moran (1,240); 3. Tim McCreadie (1,125); 4. Tyler Erb (1,090); T5. Ricky Thornton Jr. (1,055); T5. Ashton Winger (1,055); 7. Hudson O’Neal (1,050); 8. Earl Pearson Jr. (1,030); 9. Dennis Erb Jr. (1,005); 10. Shane Clanton (990).
Current weather: Broken Clouds, 66°F
Car count: 69
Fast qualifier: Brandon Overton
Time: 14.471 seconds
Polesitter: Brandon Overton
Heat race winners: Brandon Overton, Tyler Erb, Devin Moran, Colten Burdette, Brandon Sheppard, Tanner English
Consolation race winners: Chase Junghans, Frank Heckenast Jr., Josh Putnam
Next series race: March 11, 411 Motor Speedway (Seymour, TN) $10,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff reports

GIBSONTON, Fla. — Devin Moran denied Brandon Sheppard's bid for East Bay Raceway Park history.

With Sheppard leading on a lap-34 restart, the third-running Moran zipped by to take command and kept the field in check the final 17 laps of East Bay's Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series finale to prevent an unprecedented fourth consecutive Wrisco Winternationals victory for Sheppard.

"I knew we were gonna have to do something special to beat (Sheppard). He was the best car all week long without a doubt," an excited Moran said in victory lane after his third-to-first move. "I felt that bottom cleaning up a little bit, like under that caution, and I knew if I could get straight and go, I had a chance to at least get (past Kyle Bronson) for second. But when we got into (turn) one and I was I was door-to-door with (Sheppard), I was going to the fence to get the lead, because I knew that might have been my only shot."

In scoring his third Lucas Oil Series victory of the season at as many tracks, the driver from Dresden, Ohio, took the checkers 0.653 of second ahead of runner-up Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas. Ninth-starting Mark Whitener of Middleburg, Fla., was third for Ocala-based Big Frog Motorsports with Tanner English of Benton, Ky., in fourth. Pole-starting Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., who led the first two laps before Sheppard took command, rounded out the top five in a race where rain briefly delayed the first green flag then halted action for 10 minutes on lap 28.

Sheppard's bid for a record-setting fourth consecutive victory looked promising as the New Berlin, Ill., driver dominated through the race's halfway point, but then everything went wrong for the Rocket Chassis house car driver. Amid a series of cautions, Moran stole the lead from Sheppard, then on the same lap Sheppard got hung up against the turn-four wall, tumbling back to 12th. On the ensuing restart, Sheppard was in the middle of a three-car collision that ended his night.

"It was good week," a disappointed Sheppard said. "I just hated it that it ended this way."

Moran was as thrilled as Sheppard was dejected in capturing his second career victory at East Bay, a track where his Hall of Fame father also won twice, including the 2004 Winternationals finale.

"Man, this is so awesome. Man, that was a badass race. (Track owner) Al (Varnadore) and them guys did an awesome job on the track. I think the rain helped. It helped us because we had a softer (right-rear) tire than almost everyone," Moran said. "I'm just pretty much speechless because there for a while I didn't know if we could do it or not. Like I said, the rain kind of brought a little moisture back into the track and I knew we were soft. This car is just bad to the bone."

Moran, whose previous Speedweeks victories came at Golden Isles Speedway near Brunswick, Ga., and Ocala's Bubba Raceway Park, had his best run in East Bay's finale after contending most every night.

"We've just been missing it here all week just a little bit. We tried (changes) earlier in the night and it was pretty good. We just went more and more as the night went on," Moran said. "(Saturday's) restarts after that were a little sketchy ... I knew I was gonna have to move down and I just didn't know when. I about gave it away to (Tyler Erb) and I got it back off (turn) two. It was just awesome."

Sheppard thought Moran got a good jump on the race's critical restart — maybe too good.

"You're not supposed to pass before the (chalk) line (at the turn-four exit). Maybe he wasn't past me before the line? I don't know," said Sheppard, who also questioned the wisdom of going back to green on a wet track. "I mean, he was ahead of me long before we got to the flagstand, that's for sure. After that I went in (to the corner) too close to Moran and got stuck in the cushion."

Erb, a two-time winner at East Bay last season, was disappointed to fall short with his second podium finish of the week.

"It was the craziest race. I've never been in a race that rained and did everything that happened there, but just, you know, them last two or three cautions, I didn't need him to go my way when (Moran) and Kyle (Bronson) and Sheppard were all on the top. I just wish it would have stayed green," he said. "I'm just excited to be here. Hate to run second, but we'll take it."

Whitener, whose Augie Burtram-owned car is wrenched by Mike Rey, said the team "finally got it where I could drive it tonight. ... Augie's spending all the money and Mike Rey's worked on this thing, he's putting his heart and soul in it trying to get it fast for me.

"I'm just glad to be on a podium with them. It feels like a win with this tough crowd. I've got a lot of laps around here, so we'll we'll take this as a win and we'll go next week and maybe we can get us a victory at Volusia (Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.).

Five cautions slowed the action, the first for the light rain shower after 28 laps, then again when a yellow flag dropped on lap 34 after Boom Briggs ended up facing the wrong direction.

Two cautions appeared on lap 35, first for a slowing Chase Junghans then for a turn-four tangle among Sheppard, Garrett Alberson and Stormy Scott.

The final yellow appeared on the 45th lap when Shane Clanton took Ross Robinson's car around in turn three.

Notes: Devin Moran owns five career Lucas Oil Series victories. ... Brandon Overton led in each of the week's five main events but went winless. ... Home-track driver Kyle Bronson started 11th and rallied to second before fading back to 11th after the flurry of midrace cautions. ... Eighteen of 27 starters completed 50 laps. ... Four-time series champ Earl Pearson Jr. was forced to take a provisional starting spot in a backup car after a breaking a rear end during the fifth heat. ... Dale Hollidge led seven of eight laps in the first heat before losing the point to Brandon Overton; he lost his runner-up finish when postrace inspection because his car failed the droop rule — not because the deck height was exceeded but because the chain in the suspension was not tight, Lucas Oil Series tech director Steve Francis said. ... Garrett Smith also lost a heat transfer spot when he failed to report to the scales after finishing third. ... Daulton Wilson shredded a right-rear tire running second in the fifth heat, but he was able to transfer to the main event through a consolation race. ... Pierce McCarter scratched from a pole starting spot in the second consolation.

Feature lineup

(50 laps)

Row 1: Brandon Overton, Colten Burdette
Row 2: Tyler Erb, Brandon Sheppard
Row 3: Devin Moran, Tanner English
Row 4: Hudson O'Neal, Ashton Winger
Row 5: Mark Whitener, Garrett Alberson
Row 6: Kyle Bronson, Shane Clanton
Row 7: Bob Gardner, Ricky Thornton Jr.
Row 8: Tyler Bruening, Johnny Scott
Row 9: Boom Briggs, Jimmy Owens
Row 10: Chase Junghans, Frank Heckenast Jr.
Row 11: Josh Putnam, Tim McCreadie
Row 12: Ross Robinson, Daulton Wilson
Row 13: Earl Pearson Jr., Stormy Scott
Row 14: Spencer Hughes

Consolation race results

(10 laps; top two transfer)

First consolation: Chase Junghans, Tim McCreadie, Brian Shirley, Brian Nuttall Jr., Clinton Hersh, Brenden Smith, Dan Stone, Blair Nothdurft, Dale Hollidge, Logan Zarin, Matt Cosner, Kenny Monahan, Joe Denby. Scratched: Kyle Hardy, Colton Flinner, Josh Rice, Jason Riggs, Jadon Frame.

Second consolation: Frank Heckenast Jr., Ross Robinson, Dennis Erb Jr., Spencer Hughes, Trevor Collins, Stormy Scott, Cody Overton, John Henderson, Mason Oberkramer, Brennon Willard, Blake Spencer, Kyle Lear, Jason Miller. Scratched: Pierce McCarter, Kody Evans, Adam Boyd.

Third consolation: Josh Putnam, Daulton Wilson, Michael Lake, Jake O'Neil, Garrett Smith, Todd Brennan, Ryan King, Deshawn Gingerich, Josh Richards, Jeff Mathews, Earl Pearson Jr., Bryant Dickinson. Scratched: Chase Osterhoff, Will Roland, Freddie Carpenter, Jason Hiett.

Heat race results

(Eight laps; Top three transfer)

First heat: 1. Brandon Overton, Hudson O'Neal, Bob Gardner, Chase Junghans, Brian Nuttall Jr., Brenden Smith, Joe Denby, Kyle Hardy, Colton Flinner. Disqualified: Dale Hollidge (apparent second-place finisher penalized for rear-deck height violation). Scratched: Josh Rice, Jason Riggs.

Second heat: Tyler Erb, Mark Whitener, Tyler Bruening, Tim McCreadie, Brian Shirley, Dan Stone, Logan Zarin, Blair Nothdurft, Clinton Hersh, Matt Cosner, Kenny Monahan. Scratched: Jadon Frame.

Third heat: Devin Moran, Kyle Bronson, Boom Briggs, Pierce McCarter, Dennis Erb Jr., Ross Robinson, Blake Spencer, Stormy Scott, Jason Miller, Kyle Lear. Scratched: Adam Boyd.

Fourth heat: Colten Burdette, Ashton Winger, Ricky Thornton Jr., Frank Heckenast Jr., Spencer Hughes, John Henderson, Cody Overton, Trevor Collins, Mason Oberkramer, Kody Evans, Brennon Willard.

Fifth heat: Brandon Sheppard, Garrett Alberson, Johnny Scott, Michael Lake, Todd Brennan, Daulton Wilson, Chase Osterhoff, Will Roland, Earl Pearson Jr. Disqualified: Garrett Smith (apparent third-place finisher penalized for failing to report to scales). Scratched: Jake O'Neil.

Sixth heat: Tanner English, Shane Clanton, Jimmy Owens, Josh Putnam, Josh Richards, Ryan King, Jeff Mathews, Deshawn Gingerich, Bryant Dickinson, Freddie Carpenter. Scratched: Jason Hiett.

Time trials

Group A
Driver (car no.), hometown

  1. Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga., 14.471
  2. Mark Whitener (58), Middleburg, Fla., 14.503
  3. Devin Moran (9), Dresden, Ohio, 14.666
  4. Dale Hollidge (0), Mechanicsville, Md., 14.762
  5. Tyler Erb (1), New Waverly, Texas, 14.773
  6. Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 14.812
  7. Hudson O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 14.837
  8. Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., 14.866
  9. Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 14.872
  10. Colton Flinner (48), Allison Park, Pa., 14.894
  11. Dan Stone (2), Thompson, Pa., 14.946
  12. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 14.950
  13. Josh Rice (11), Verona, Ky., 14.983
  14. Logan Zarin (1z), Moon Township, Pa., 15.041
  15. Pierce McCarter (71), Pigeon Forge, Tenn., 15.063
  16. Bob Gardner (4G), East Peoria, Ill., 15.074
  17. Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 15.084
  18. Jason Miller (94), Winchester, Va., 15.115
  19. Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 15.131
  20. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 15.156
  21. Blake Spencer (6s), St. Augustine, Fla., 15.174
  22. Brian Nuttall Jr. (16), Claxton, Ga., 15.179
  23. Clinton Hersh (16), Somerset, Pa., 15.187
  24. Stormy Scott (2s), Las Cruces, N.M., 15.336
  25. Kyle Hardy (99), Stephens City, Va., 15.375
  26. Blair Nothdurft (76), Renner, S.D., 15.377
  27. Ross Robinson (7), Georgetown, Del., 15.402
  28. Brenden Smith (17ss), Dade City, Fla., 15.413
  29. Matt Cosner (66), Ridgeley, W.Va., 15.511
  30. Kyle Lear (151), Severna Park, Md., 15.558
  31. Jason Riggs (81r), College Grove, Tenn., 15.617
  32. Kenny Monahan (31), Lakeland, Fla., 15.669
  33. Adam Boyd (6B), Riverview, Fla., 16.102
  34. Joe Denby (27), Tullahoma, Tenn., 16.129
  35. Jadon Frame (J8), Decherd, Tenn., 16.266

Group B

  1. Ashton Winger (89), Hampton, Ga., 14.685
  2. Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 14.686
  3. Tanner English (81E), Benton, Ky., 14.799
  4. Colten Burdette (44), Parkersburg, W.Va., 14.810
  5. Garrett Alberson (58), Las Cruces, N.M., 14.876
  6. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 14.921
  7. Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill., 14.926
  8. Daulton Wilson (18D), Fayetteville, N.C., 14.928
  9. Jeff Mathews (33), Brandon, Fla., 14.982
  10. Ricky Thornton Jr. (20rt), Chandler, Ariz., 15.023
  11. Garrett Smith (10), Eatonton, Ga., 15.114
  12. Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 15.153
  13. Spencer Hughes (11), Meridian, Miss., 15.178
  14. Todd Brennan (20), Zanesville, Ohio, 15.197
  15. Josh Putnam (212), Florence, Ala., 15.204
  16. John Henderson (2x), Aiken, S.C., 15.217
  17. Johnny Scott (1st), Las Cruces, N.M., 15.239
  18. Freddie Carpenter (K), Parkersburg, W.Va., 15.273
  19. Trevor Collins (11ac), Seaford, Del., 15.275
  20. Earl Pearson Jr. (46), Jacksonville, Fla., 15.295
  21. Josh Richards (1R), Shinnston, W.Va., 15.316
  22. Cody Overton (97), Evans, Ga., 15.352
  23. Will Roland (22), Jasper, Ga., 15.368
  24. Ryan King (1G), Seymour, Tenn., 15.394
  25. Mason Oberkramer (93), Broseley, Mo., 15.501
  26. Michael Lake (27), Uniontown, Pa., 15.662
  27. Jason Hiett (19m), Oxford, Ala., 15.669
  28. Kody Evans (4G), Camden, Ohio, 15.678
  29. Chase Osterhoff (130), Kankakee, Ill., 15.702
  30. Deshawn Gingerich (0), Dover, Pa., 15.723
  31. Brennon Willard (3w), Lebanon, Mo., 15.994
  32. Jake O’Neil (0), Tucson, Ariz., 16.062
  33. Bryant Dickinson (5*), Ionia, Mich., 16.084
  34. Kerry King (0KB), Delmar, Del., no time

Saturday's schedule

1:30 p.m. - Pits cleared
2 p.m. - Pits reopen
5 p.m. - Drivers' meeting (if necessary)
5:30 p.m. - Hot laps
- Time trials
7 p.m. - Invocation and national anthem
- Heat races (8 laps)
- Consolation races (10 laps)
- Feature (50 laps)

Feature lineup

Row 1: B. Overton, Burdette
Row 2: T. Erb, Sheppard
Row 3: Moran, English
Row 4: O'Neal, Winger
Row 5: Whitener, Alberson
Row 6: Bronson, Clanton
Row 7: Gardner, Thornton
Row 8: Bruening, J. Scott
Row 9: Briggs, Owens
Row 10: Junghans, Heckenast
Row 11: Putnam, McCreadie
Row 12: Robinson, Wilson
Row 13: Pearson, S. Scott
Row 14: Hughes

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