East Bay Raceway Park
Varnadore earns $3,800 for 50-lapper at East Bay
GIBSONTON, Fla. (June 11) — Starting outside the front row, Travis Varnadore of Dover, Fla., wasn't crazy about leading the early laps of Saturday's Scott Thompson Memorial at East Bay Raceway Park
“I hate starting up front,” said the eventual winner. “You’re right there where everyone can pass you.”
Indeed Mark Whitener of Middleburg, Fla., went by on lap 21, but when Whitener's right-front suspension broke with just four laps remaining in the 50-lap feature, Varnadore was in the right place at the right time.
He fought off a furious challenge from Devin Dixon of Apollo Beach, Fla., nipping him at the checkered flag for a $3,800 victory at the third-mile oval. Josh Peacock of Dover was third while Keith Nosbisch of Valrico, Fla., and Roger Crouse of Plant City, Fla.
“The 95 (Dixon) was there,” said Varnadore, at 20 years old the youngest winner of the Scott Thompson Memorial. “The 58 (Whitener) was the fastest car. We couldn’t get through turns one and two at all, but could really work turns three and four. Last year in this race, we lost a motor and I think we spun the year before. This is really exciting.”
While Varnado led nearly the first half of the race, when Whitener took control he pulled away, stretching his lead to nearly a half-track margin by lap 40. Dixon broke into the top five by then, and was up to third by the time Whitener was forced off the track, leaving just 12 cars running.
Varnadore got the lead on the restart but Dixon was right on him in the final laps. The leaders were nose-and-nose at the stripe with officials declaring Varnadore the winner.
Notes: The race was sponsored by Airgass. ... The event is a tribute to former racer Scott Thompson who died in a 2006 automobile accident. ... Doug Horton of Bruceton, Mills., W.Va., who regularly heads to East Bay for special events, rallied from his 23rd starting spot to finish eighth. ... Third-place finisher Josh Peacock earned $1,000 in bonuses from Doug Hawkins of SAK Construction for his positions on laps 15 and 38. ... East Bay returns June 18 with the Southern Performance Racing Parts 50 for the Late Models; Limited Late Models will also be on the card.
Scott Thompson Memorial: (1) Travis Varnadore, (2) Devin Dixon, (3) Josh Peacock, (4) Keith Nosbisch, (5) Roger Crouse, (6) Phillip Cobb, (7) Mavrick Varnadore, (8) Doug Horton, (9) David Schmauss, (10) Austin Kirkpatrick, (11) Kyle Musselman, (12) Kenny Monahan, (13) Mark Whitener, (14) Shan Smith, (15) Billy Boyd, (16) Billy Boyd Sr., (17) Bryan Bernhardt, (18) Steven Mathis Jr., (19) Dennis Williams, (20) Jack Nosbisch Jr., (21) Doug Watson, (22) John Norris, (23) John Koller, (24) Jason Kimball. Heat race winners (among 28 cars): T. Varnadore, Whitener, Peacock. Consolation winner: Koller.