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Daily Dirt 02/22/2024 19:03:20

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February 13
East Bay Raceway Park,
Gibsonton, FL
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Winternationals) - $10,000
Information provided by: Todd Turner (last updated February 14, 8:11 am)
Carrier outduels Moran, grabs East Bay victory
Winternationals
  1. Eddie Carrier Jr.
  2. Devin Moran
  3. Jimmy Owens
  4. Jared Landers
  5. Jonathan Davenport
  6. Brandon Sheppard
  7. Mason Zeigler
  8. Bobby Pierce
  9. Steve Francis
  10. Dan Stone
  11. Billy Moyer
  12. Earl Pearson Jr.
  13. Stormy Scott
  14. Chris Brown
  15. Ricky Weiss
  16. Billy Moyer Jr.
  17. Jason Papich
  18. Don O'Neal
  19. Dennis Erb Jr.
  20. Gregg Satterlee
  21. Doug Blashe
  22. Tim Dohm
  23. Allen Murray
  24. Scott Bloomquist
  25. Davey Johnson
  26. Vic Hill
presented by
Rick Schwallie/rickschwalliephotos.com
Eddie Carrier Jr. celebrates in victory lane at East Bay.
What won the race: Eddie Carrier regained the lead from Devin Moran with seven laps remaining and grabbed his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory of the season.
Key notes: Time trials for Friday's program were held Thursday (to expedite Monday's makeup program, which was scheduled to follow Friday's regularly scheduled action.
Winner's sponsors: Carrier's Rocket Chassis has a Grover Racing Engine and sponsorship from Optima Batteries, Hess, Stewart & Campbell CPAs and Engines of Ohio.
Points chase: After three points races, Earl Pearson Jr. (650) leads Jonathan Davenport (600) and Jared Landers (595).
Car count: 41
Fast qualifier: Dan Stone
Time: 15.481 seconds
Polesitter: Scott Bloomquist
Heat race winners: Scott Bloomquist, Earl Pearson Jr., Jared Landers, Devin Moran
Consolation race winners: Billy Moyer Jr., Tim Dohm
Provisional starters: Jason Papich, Vic Hill, Davey Johnson, Chris Brown
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
By Todd Turner
DirtonDirt.com managing editor

GIBSONTON, Fla. (Feb. 13) — Regaining the lead with seven laps remaining, Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, W.Va., became the first two-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series winner of the season with a $10,000 victory at East Bay Raceway Park’s 39th annual Winternationals.

Carrier and Devin Moran of Dresden, Ohio, battled tightly in traffic that gave them both fits with Carrier coming out on top at the finish of the 50-lapper.

Moran, who raced with nosepiece damage most of the way, led laps 24-30 and 32-43 but settled for second at the third-mile oval while seventh-starting Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., rallied to finish third. Outside front-row starter Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark., and 10th-starting Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., rounded out the top five finishers.

The race's key moments came when Moran was bottled up behind a slower car on lap 31 and Carrier went around on the backstretch. But Carrier brushed the backstretch wall on the next lap and Moran zipped back past on lap 32.

When Moran again came up on the same slower car, Carrier was able to make his winning move on the 44th lap and head to victory.

“I love racing races like that. It wasn’t up on the wheel like it usually is here at East Bay, it was kind of patience, use-your-head, use-your-foot kind of night,” Carrier said. “I thought I showed my hand there when I passed Devin the first time, getting around that lapped car … I went down here and couldn’t make it stick in (turns) one and two and he got back by me and used that same line to get by the lapped car.

“I thought, 'Dang, there was my chance.' He kind of got away from me a little bit and then he caught some lapped traffic and I got back to him. I was just hoping I could find  some way to make him make a mistake … then I found something off of (turn) two real low. I’d just go in and about stop at the tire and get down on the bottom.

“Devin got behind another lapped car and kind of pushed a little bit there, and I kept my momentum up and got by him.”

Moran fell just shy of notching his second career Lucas Oil Series victory. He won in 2013 at his hometown Muskingum County Speedway.

“Congrats to Eddie, he obviously outdrove me there,” Moran said. "His car was a little bit better, so congrats to them and all them guys, they work hard.”

But Moran knew it was a tight battle.

“Man, that was close man,” he said in victory lane, talking about his struggles with traffic. “I've seen a couple of guys spin out lapped cars trying to pass 'em, and I’m not a big fan of that, and I know (his Hall of Famer father Donnie Moran) isn’t. So I was just trying to be as patient as possible.

“I definitely had to be patient with him, and we finally got by him, but by the end of the race (Carrier) ended up getting by me.”

Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., led the first 23 laps, but he got briefly sideways in turn four trying to lap Doug Blashe, the same driver who caused problems for Moran and Carrier in the ensuing laps. Pearson recovered in fifth but ended up 12th at the finish.

Another contender who ran into trouble was polesitter Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., who slipped back to third on the first lap and then bounced off the turn-one wall, ending his race.

The feature was slowed by three cautions, none for serious incidents.

After Bloomquist’s yellow, Ricky Weiss ended up facing the wrong way exiting turn four on the fifth lap and Allen Murray spun off turn two on the 12th lap.

Notes: Carrier won the Lucas Oil Series opener at Golden Isles Speedway near Brunswick, Ga., but it was a non-points event. … When Carrier won last year at East Bay, Moran also finished second in that race. … Earl Pearson Jr. held onto the series points lead despite his 12th-place finish, but he was complaining of pain to the thumb and ring finger on his left hand. Paramedics tended to the injury suffered when he got it caught in the steering wheel while making contact with Doug Blashe’s slower car. …. Reigning Lucas Oil champ Don O’Neal ducked into the pits during parade laps to put on a mud cover, giving up his 20th starting spot to start on the tail. He finished 18th. … Sixteen of 26 starters completed 50 laps.

Preliminary results:

Second consolation

Outside front-row starter Tim Dohm took the lead from third-starting Stormy Scott on the sixth lap and pulled away for a 12-lap victory. Polesitter Don O'Neal, who got off to a rough start, recovered to take second from Scott on the seventh lap and Scott settled for the final transfer spot. Chris Brown finished a distant fourth in the caution-free affair.

Finish (top four transfer): Tim Dohm, Don O'Neal, Stormy Scott, Chris Brown, Austin Rettig, Chad Hollenbeck, Terry English, Mike Benedum, Wendell Wallace, Gregg Hill, Jim O'Hara. Scratched: Steve Casebolt.

First consolation

Billy Moyer Jr. got rolling on the high side after an early restart and regained the lead from fourth-starting Kyle Bronson, who took advantage of a fiesty first-lap battle between Moyer and Vic Hill to take the lead at the outset. Moyer went by Bronson on the fifth lap, just before Bronson blew a right-rear tire and exited. Doug Blashed took second from Allen Murray on the final lap, leaving Murray with the third and final transfer spot ahead of Dustin Mitchell. Fifth-finishing Davey Johnson was in contention before getting into the turn-two wall on the lap-five restart. Four cautions appeared. Nick Davis and Jason Papich got briefly hooked together under the flagstand at the conclusion of the first lap, drawing a caution. Hill's race ended when he slapped the turn-one wall on the third lap while running third, drawing a second yellow. Bronson's flat brought out the third yellow. An accidental yellow flew on the final lap.

Finish (top three transfer): Billy Moyer Jr., Doug Blashe, Allen Murray, Dustin Mitchell, Davey Johnson, Freddie Carpenter, Dan Schlieper, Mark Dotson, Nick Davis, Kyle Bronson, Vic Hill, Jason Papich. Scratched: Kenny Pettyjohn.

Consolation race lineups

(12 laps; top three transfer)
First consolation
Row 1: Billy Moyer Jr., Vic Hill
Row 2: Davey Johnson, Kyle Bronson
Row 3: Allen Murray, Dustin Mitchell
Row 4: Jason Papich, Doug Blashe
Row 5: Freddie Carpenter, Nick Davis
Row 6: Dan Schlieper, Kenny Pettyjohn
Row 7: Mark Dotson
Second consolation
Row 1: Don O’Neal, Tim Dohm
Row 2: Stormy Scott, Austin Rettig
Row 3: Chad Hollenbeck, Chris Brown
Row 4: Terry English, Gregg Hill
Row 5: Mike Benedum, Wendell Wallace
Row 6: Jim O’Hara, Steve Casebolt

Fourth heat

Devin Moran used back-to-back passes in turn four to take the lead amid a wild battle up front with front-row starters Tim Dohm and Bobby Pierce as well as Billy Moyer. Moyer nipped Pierce at the line for second with Mason Zeigler grabbing fourth. Tim Dohm took the lead as the polesitting Bobby Pierce got airborne entering turn one on the first lap, and Dohm stayed until command with Pierce, Moran and Moyer hot on his heels. Moran slid into Dohm on the seventh lap between turns three and four, allowing Pierce to slip under and take the lead. But Moran went back to work a lap later and slid under Pierce for a lead he'd never give up. Moyer stayed right in the mix and edged Pierce at the checkers. Dohm slipped back to finish fifth.

Finish (top four transfer): Devin Moran, Billy Moyer, Bobby Pierce, Mason Zeigler, Tim Dohm, Austin Rettig, Chris Brown, Gregg Hill, Wendell Wallace. Scratched: Steve Casebolt.

Third heat

Jared Landers slid up and under polesitter Eddie Carrier Jr. with a bold move the fifth lap and led the rest of the way in a 10-lapper with a top-two breakaway. Jonathan Davenport was third in a distant second while outside front-row starter Brandon Sheppard settled for fourth ahead of reigning Lucas Oil champ Don O'Neal. The race ran caution-free, but on the cool-down lap, Sheppard and Carrier exchanged not-so-pleasantries on the backstretch.

Finish (top four transfer): Jared Landers, Eddie Carrier Jr., Jonathan Davenport, Brandon Sheppard, Don O'Neal, Stormy Scott, Chad Hollenbeck, Terry English, Mike Benedum, Jim O'Hara.

Second heat

Outside front-row starter Earl Pearson jumped into the lead at the outset and raced to victory with fourth-starting Jimmy Owens in tow. Owens closed at the finish to make it close, finishing just .144 seconds back. Steve Francis was third while Gregg Satterlee was a distant fourth with the final transfer spot. Polesitter Vic Hill got a poor start, sliding up in turn two and crossing the line fifth after the first lap; he was back to sixth when he slipped under Kyle Bronson in turn three while Bronson slid up into the wall but continued. Nick Davis retired early. The first start was called back.

Finish (top four transfer): Earl Pearson Jr., Jimmy Owens, Steve Francis, Gregg Satterlee, Vic Hill, Kyle Bronson, Dustin Mitchell, Doug Blashe, Nick Davis.

First heat

Outside front-row starter Scott Bloomquist had by far his best showing the week, cruising to a 10-lap heat victory as drivers maneuver higher on the racetrack with the infield tires pushed further out. Polesitter Dan Stone couldn't keep up with Bloomquist, finishing nearly three seconds back, but he held onto second while Ricky Weiss and Dennis Erb Jr. got the other two transfer spots. Billy Moyer Jr. was a distant fifth. The first start was called back.

Finish (top four transfer): Scott Bloomquist, Dan Stone, Ricky Weiss, Dennis Erb Jr., Billy Moyer Jr., Davey Johnson, Allen Murray, Jason Papich, Freddie Carpenter, Dan Schlieper. Scratched: Kenny Pettyjohn.

Pre-race setup

The first race of a Friday evening doubleheader will pay $10,000-to-win and serve as the third Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points race of the season. Forty-one drivers are set for heat races based on Thursday's qualifying.

Friday's opening program is made up of hot laps, heat races, consolations and the 50-lap main event.

Dennis Erb Jr. (Tuesday), Josh Richards (Wednesday) and Billy Moyer (Thursday) are winners so far this week in races with 11 lead changes combined. The make up race for Monday's rainout is the nightcap of the doubleheader with a complete program minus time trials, which were also held Thursday.

Pre-race notes

Friday's track prep included pushing large tractor tires into the apex of both corners, perhaps 20 feet further out than the previous configuration. Drivers had mixed feelings, but Gregg Satterlee figured "if it makes the racing better, leave it." It gives a little bit of a trianglish look to the turns, and hitting the tire would be a severe penalty. "That'll cost you a bumper and a nosepiece minimum if you hit that thing," Satterlee said. ... The first victim of the tires in hot laps was Missouri driver Mark Dotson in turns three and four; Dotson is being assistent in the pits by former John Blankenship crew chief Tom Buckingham. ... Scott Bloomquist switched to a different car than what he's run previously during the week. ...  Kenny Pettyjohn and Steve Casebolt have scratched, leaving 39 cars in the pits and in action.

Heat race lineups

(10 laps; top four transfer)
First heat
Row 1: Dan Stone, Scott Bloomquist
Row 2: Ricky Weiss, Billy Moyer Jr.
Row 3: Dennis Erb Jr., Davey Johnson
Row 4: Freddie Carpenter, Allen Murray
Row 5: Dan Schlieper, Kenny Pettyjohn
Row 6: Jason Papich
Second heat
Row 1: Vic Hill, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 2: Steve Francis, Jimmy Owens
Row 3: Gregg Satterlee, Nick Davis
Row 4: Mark Dotson, Doug Blashe
Row 5: Dustin Mitchell, Kyle Bronson
Third heat
Row 1: Eddie Carrier Jr., Brandon Sheppard
Row 2: Jared Landers, Stormy Scott
Row 3: Don O’Neal, Jonathan Davenport
Row 4: Mike Benedum, Chad Hollenbeck
Row 5: Terry English, Jim O’Hara
Fourth heat
Row 1: Bobby Pierce, Tim Dohm
Row 2: Mason Ziegler, Devin Moran
Row 3: Billy Moyer, Austin Rettig
Row 4: Wendell Wallace, Chris Brown
Row 5: Steve Casebolt, Gregg Hill

Time trials (unofficial)

(Qualifying held Thursday)
First group
Dan Stone (21D), Thompson, Pa., 15.481
Vic Hill (7h), Mosheim, Tenn., 15.635
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 15.691
Earl Pearson Jr. (1), Jacksonville, Fla., 15.705
Ricky Weiss (7), Headingly, Manitoba, 15.796
Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., 15.811
Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., 15.816
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 15.952
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 15.977
Gregg Satterlee (22), Indiana, Pa., 16.064
Davey Johnson (1j), Latrobe, Pa., 16.086
Nick Davis (92), Gumboro, Del., 16.128
Freddie Carpenter (c4), Parkersburg, W.Va., 16.181
Allen Murray (2), San Antonio, Texas, 16.290
Doug Blashe (1), Marion, Wis., 16.299
Mark Dotson (85d), Cameron, Mo., 16.330
Dan Schlieper (s9), Oak Creek, Wis., 16.353
Dustin Mitchell (D8), Pine Level, N.C., 16.587
Kenny Pettyjohn (38), Millsboro, Del., 16.746
Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 16.827
Jason Papich (91p), Nipomo, Calif., 16.874
Second group
Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va., 15.838
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 15.976
Brandon Sheppard (B5), New Berlin, Ill., 16.081
Tim Dohm (6T), Cross Lanes, W.Va., 16.124
Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark., 16.157
Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 16.218
Stormy Scott (2s), Las Cruces, N.M., 16.237
Devin Moran (99m), Dresden, Ohio, 16.371
Don O’Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind., 16.415
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 16.416
Jonathan Davenport (6), Blairsville, Ga., 16.440
Austin Rettig (94), Sikeston, Mo., 16.468
Mike Benedum (25), Bristol, W.Va., 16.551
Wendell Wallace (77), Batesville, Ark., 16.757
Chad Hollenbeck (4DS), Kingsley, Pa., 16.778
Chris Brown (21), Spring, Texas, 16.912
Terry English (96), Benton, Ky., 17.103
Steve Casebolt (c9), Richmond, Ind., 17.120
Jim O’Hara (44j), Moscow, Pa., 17.129
Gregg Hill (8), Eveleth, Minn., 17.299

Feature lineup

Row 1: Bloomquist, Landers
Row 2: Pearson, Moran
Row 3: Stone, Carrier
Row 4: Owens, Moyer
Row 5: Weiss, Davenport
Row 6: Francis, Pierce
Row 7: Erb, Sheppard
Row 8: Satterlee, Zeigler
Row 9: Moyer Jr., Dohm
Row 10: Blashe, O'Neal
Row 11: Murray, Scott
Row 12: Papich, Hill
Row 13: Johnson, Brown
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