East Bay Raceway Park
Feb. 4 prelims: Dohm blazes to fast time
By Todd TurnerDirtonDirt.com chief writer
GIBSONTON, Fla. (Feb. 4) — Tim Dohm of Cross Lanes, W.Va., was the fastest of 73 qualifiers in Monday's Winternationals opener at East Bay Raceway Park. Details of preliminary events with official finishes:
Clint Smith fought off challenges from fellow front-row starter Rohn Moon to win the Strawberry Dash, a six-lap race for drivers not in the feature. Moon ended up with with Steve Casebolt a distant third. Several cars didn't make the call for the race and only six started. The main event should start by 9:45 p.m.
Finish: (1) Clint Smith, (2) Rohn Moon, (3) Steve Casebolt, (4) J.R. Hotovy, (5) Russ Adams, (6) Jeep Van Wormer.
Polesitter Eddie Carrier Jr. led all the way to earn a starting spot in the main event. Terry English muscled his way past Keith Nosbisch midway through the race for the second spot and Nosbisch faded in finishing third. Another Florida driver, Tyler Ivey, was fourth in the 12-lapper. Freddy Smith was scheduled to start on the front row, but he tagged the tail and pulled off early in the race. Donald Beyers spun in turn four on the eighth lap to bring out the first of three cautions, then Beyers wrecked again between turns one and two on the restart. On the final restart at lap eight, Joe Denby got upside down between turns three and four. Officials dropped a red flag, but he wasn't injured.
Finish: (1) Eddie Carrier Jr., (2) Terry English, (3) Keith Nosbisch, (4) Tyler Ivey, (5) Dan Stone, (6) Brian Shirley, (7) Bob Geiger, (8) D.J. Wells, (9) J.R. Hotovy, (10) Joe Denby, (11) Ray Cook, (12) Donald Beyers, (13) Jeff Beyers, (14) Russ Adams, (15) Peyton Taylor, (16) Freddy Smith.
Fourth-starting Randy Korte took the point from race-long leader Doug Horton on the sixth lap in turn one and cruised the rest of the way. Horton, who started outside the front row, started struggling and fell to third behind Chuck Harper at the lap-10 caution. Horton tried to regain the final transfer spot, but fell short in finishing third, just ahead of Steve Casebolt. The event was plagued by cautions. Five cars got banged around in a second-lap scramble between turns one and two that brought out the race's first caution. Third-starting Bryan Collins pulled up on the restart after smoke erupted from his car entering turn three, and polesitter John Mason pulled up lame with two laps remaining to bring out the third caution. The final caution appeared on a restart when Jackie Boggs and Tyler Boggs were among drivers caught up in a turn-one melee.
Finish: (1) Randy Korte, (2) Chuck Harper, (3) Doug Horton, (4) Steve Casebolt, (5) Eric Wells, (6) Ronnie Lee Whitt, (7) Tyler Boggs, (8) Tim Lance, (9) Jackie Boggs, (10) Kellen Chadwick, (11) John Mason, (12) Austin Hubbard, (13) Rohn Moon, (14) Jason McBride, (15) Clint Smith, (16) Bryan Collins.
Catching a break with a complete restart after he slowed on the first lap, Jared Hawkins made the most of his second opportunity to lead every lap easily. Polesitter Damon Eller fought off challenges from Rick Eckert and Josh Richards to get the second and final transfer spot. Richards closed in on Eller on the final lap but couldn't get past. Following the race, Eckert spun his tires in front of Richards to show his dissatisfaction with the tight racing in the final laps. A first-lap scramble brought out the first caution and Anthony White spun in turn two on the sixth lap.
Finish: (1) Jared Hawkins, (2) Damon Eller (3) Josh Richards, (4) Rick Eckert, (5) Dan Schlieper, (6) Wayne Chinn, (7) Joe Isabell, (8) Bryan Barber, (9) Marshall Austin Jr., (10) Doug Blashe, (11) Danny Johnson, (12) Jeep Van Wormer, (13) Anthony White, (14) Jim Borden, (15) Danny Mitchell, (16) Shon Flanary.
Polesitter Steve Francis, fresh off a victory two nights earlier in Brunswick, Ga., outran fellow front-row starter Scott James to win the final heat. Third-starting Freddy Smith held the third spot on a lap-three restart, but got too high in turn four as Kevin Cole grabbed the position. Cole held on to the third and final transfer spot ahead of Smith and local standout Keith Nosbisch. Three cautions slowed the action. Bob Geiger spun in turn four on the second lap and J.R. Hotovy spun on the restart. Steve Shaver spun in turn one on the third lap in an incident that included Ray Cook. | Heat race video
Finish: (1) Steve Francis, (2) Scott James, (3) Kevin Cole, (4) Freddy Smith, (5) Keith Nosbisch, (6) Tyler Ivey, (7) Peyton Taylor, (8) J.R. Hotovy, (9) Donald Beyers, (10) Bob Geiger, (11) Steve Shaver, (12) Ray Cook.
In a race with a two-car breakaway, third-starting Don O'Neal took the lead from Billy Moyer amid traffic on the eighth lap with an exciting move. The frontrunners were coming upon the slower car of Russ Adams when O'Neal dove low. Moyer dove between O'Neal and Adams in turn three, but Moyer washed up the track in turn four and allowed O'Neal to slip into a lead he'd never give up. Polesitter Tim McCreadie couldn't keep up with the top two but finished third while Eddie Carrier Jr. was fourth. Terry English never challenged in finishing fifth. O'Neal's victory gave Rayburn Race Cars victories in four straight heat races.
Finish: (1) Don O'Neal, (2) Billy Moyer, (3) Tim McCreadie, (4) Eddie Carrier Jr., (5) Terry English, (6) Brian Shirley, (7) Dan Stone, (8) Scott Riggs, (9) Jeff Beyers, (10) D.J. Wells, (11) Joe Denby, (12) Russ Adams.
Fourth-starting Dennis Erb Jr. took the lead from polesitter Vic Coffey on the third lap and led the rest of the way at one of his favorite tracks. Jacobsen, who started third, dropped Coffey to the third spot on the sixth lap with a turn-four pass. Coffey held that spot the rest of the way while Doug Horton was fourth over Randy Korte, who is piloting a Riggs Motorsports car. Jason McBride ran as high as fourth but spun in turn four on the final lap and never crossed the finish line. A second-lap caution appeared when Clint Smith slowed in turn two; Smith pulled out shortly after the restart.
Finish: (1) Dennis Erb Jr., (2) Eric Jacobsen, (3) Vic Coffey, (4) Doug Horton, (5) Randy Korte, (6) Chuck Harper, (7) Steve Casebolt, (8) Tim Lance, (9) Kellen Chadwick, (10) Jason McBride, (11) Clint Smith.
In a battle between Rayburn Race Car drivers, polesitter Justin Rattliff repelled repeated passing attempts by third-starting Terry Casey for a 10-lap victory. Casey nearly got under Rattliff in turn four on the final lap, but Rattliff held on. Matt Miller was unchallenged in finishing in the third and final transfer spot. John Mason was fourth in a race slowed by one caution.
Finish: (1) Justin Rattliff, (2) Terry Casey, (3) Matt Miller, (4) John Mason, (5) Bryan Collins, (6) Jackie Boggs, (7) Tyler Boggs, (8) Ronnie Lee Whitt, (9) Austin Hubbard, (10) Eric Wells, (11) Rohn Moon.
Canadian Dave Tyrchniewicz, the driver nicknamed "Turk," won his first-ever heat race at East Bay by outrunning third-starter Shannon Babb. Mike Marlar, who started outside the front row but dropped back to fourth midway through the race, rallied to challenge Babb for second late in the race and grab the third and final transfer spot. Jared Hawkins, who at one point passed Marlar, was fourth with his boyhood buddy Josh Richards rallying from the tail to finish fifth. Two cautions slowed the race early. Richards brushed the wall between turns one and two on the first start and had to tag the tail, and a scramble on the next start ended with Shon Flanary spinning.
Finish: (1) Dave Tyrchniewicz, (2) Shannon Babb, (3) Mike Marlar, (4) Jared Hawkins, (5) Josh Richards, (6) Danny Mitchell, (7) Doug Blashe, (8) Jeep Van Wormer, (9) Shon Flanary, (10) Ky Harper, (11) Jim Borden.
Pulling away from the outset and then holding off fast qualifier, Donnie Moran raced to a 10-lap victory in the opening heat. Dohm, who started third, worked past Billy Drake on the second lap and closed in on Moran late in the race, but couldn't make a pass. Drake got the third transfer spot over Damon Eller while Tim Fuller was fifth over Rick Eckert.
Finish: (1) Donnie Moran, (2) Tim Dohm, (3) Billy Drake, (4) Damon Eller, (5) Tim Fuller, (6) Rick Eckert, (7) Wayne Chinn, (8) Dan Schlieper, (9) Anthony White, (10) Bryan Barber, (11) Joe Isabell, (12) Marshall Austin Jr., (13) Danny Johnson.
Tim Dohm of Cross Lanes, W.Va., a winner last year at East Bay Raceway Park, was the overall fast qualifier in the opening night of this year's Winternationals. Dohm posted a lap of 14.504 seconds for the best lap among 73 entrants of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series non-points event. Other drivers topping their groups in the group-qualifying format: Terry Casey of New London, Wis. (14.552); Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill. (14.532); Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind. (14.697); Eric Jacobsen of Santa Cruz, Calif. (14.745; and five-time Dirt Track World Champion Freddy Smith (14.879).
Dohm spun three on the series wheel following time trials, setting a three-car inversion for six heat races. Dohm and the other top group qualifiers will start inside the second row. Dohm, who talked of retiring from driving following his victory last season at East Bay, is glad to be back at the third-mile oval where he's always fast. "I've been thinking about it all year long and couldn't wait to get back," Dohm said.
Michael England of Glasgow, Ky., was scheduled to be in action, but his father David England died of an apparent heart attack on Sunday night in Tampa. England was 49. The track honored him with a moment of silence. ... Josh McGuire of Grayson, Ky., scratched from time trials after having engine problems. He'll get a Tuesday delivery of a rocker arm from GCP Engines in Ashland, Ky., to make repairs. ... Each qualifier received a single lap on the track. ... The first three nights of action at East Bay are run under Lucas Oil Series rules but with no points. The last three nights count toward parts, but the three nights together count the equivalent of a single race during the regular season. ... Seventy-six cars were in attendance at Sunday's practice with 73 entering Monday. ... Mark Andersen of Blanchard, Mich., who flipped his car in the Feb. 2 finale at Golden Isles Speedway's Super Bowl of Racing IV in Brunswick, Ga., arrived in the pits following East Bay's time trials. ... Terry English is fielding a MasterSbilt for the first time at East Bay. ... Randy Korte is driving for the Riggs Motorsports team, which also entered cars for Kevin Cole and Scott Riggs. ... Brian Shirley is driving a C.J. Rayburn house car. ... Josh Richards is piloting the Ernie Davis-owned No. 25 that he piloted last season occasionally at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway. ... Peyton Taylor is driving the car owned by Steve Rushin of Poplar Bluff, Mo. ... Billy Drake is back in a Rayburn Race Car. ... Dan Stone is debuting a Rocket Chassis after several years driving Lazer cars. ... Earl Pearson Jr. and Bart Hartman were among drivers with their haulers in the pits who didn't race.