GIBSONTON, FL – Two-time defending East Bay Raceway Park Modified champion Bryan Bernhardt scored one for the local racers with a convincing victory in the 25-lap A-Main to kick off the 43rd annual Winternationals. ”I am thankful I can run with these guys,” Bernhardt told Chris Stepan in Victory Lane. “I want to thank the fans for coming out here tonight to be a part of this.”
Bernhardt was involved in mid-race incident with leader Shane Burrows that saw the two get together on the frontstretch. Bernhadrt was able to continue while Burrows sat stationary, relegating Burrows to the tail while Bernhardt inherited the lead. “It’s the last thing I wanted to do was to tangle with Shane. I hope we can work it out because I enjoy racing with him and these guys.”
Bernhardt led a contingent of five Florida racers in the top five and was pleased with the news. “We get no credit for racing here,” he said. “We really have to race some of the best every week and it’s tough.”
East Bay track record holder Kyle Bronson paced the field in qualifying by posting a 16.652 run. Bronson drew a four inversion for the heats, but still prevailed in his preliminary. Heat winners included Jeff Mathews, Bernhardt, Shon Flanary and Burrows.
Local racers Bill Howard and Dale Kelley scored B Main wins to earn spots in the 24-car feature.
A field of 50 Modifieds, representing 14 states, kicked the first of four nights for the Modifieds.
Dennis Williams backed up an adventurous Street Stock heat race with a spirited run to the front to claim the 15-lap feature. Williams grabbed the lead with an outside pass on lap 6 and moved on to the victory.
Calvin Cook and Richie Stephens were heat race winners.
The racing action continues Thursday, Jan. 24 with hot laps followed by Modified qualifying, Street Stocks hit the track first for heat races with Modified preliminaries next up. B-Mains set the stage for the A main competition.
WEDNESDAY – January 23, 2019
A-MAIN: Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Ivedent Lloyd Jr. (311), Kye Bronson (1), Mavrick Varnadore (4), Jeff Mathews (33), Phillip Cobbs (03), Doug Horton (33H), Kevin Adams (40), Shon Falnary (98), Shane Burrows (70B), Devin Dixon (311), Roger Crouse (15), Dale Kelley (22), Lucas Lee (12L), Curt Myers (1M), Eric Moon (18), Steve Meyer Jr. (1A), Bill Howard (47), Bill Roberts Jr. (5R), Brad Goff (41), Chris Wilson (17), Jimmy Lennex (8), Chris Smith (88), Chad Roush (32)
B-MAIN 1: Dale Kelley (22), Chris Wilson (17), Chad Williamson (96C), Dave Baldwin (6B), Jayson Good (85), Brad DeYoung (7), Michael Turner (127), Gary Bentley (A-1), Wesley Duboise (12), Dustin Thayer (10T), Dean Noseworthy (60X), Tom Sigler (19), KC Burdette (44KC), Roger Jackson (J1), Drew Bender (29B)
B-MAIN 2: Bill Howard (47), Bill Roberts Jr. (5R), Gary Eicher (29), Pat Hoffman (308), Matt Altiers (2A), Seth Geary (7G), Corey Partin (99), Kenny Carlson (21c), Joey Lee (662), Mike Potosky (M20), Dennis Haven (96), Pat Passanise (19P), Gordy Gundaker (11), Brett Kennard (5M). DNS – Travis Varnadore (205)
A-MAIN: Dennis Williams (24), Richie Stephens (69S), Rich Livernois (71), Calvin Cook (69C), Scotty Kay Jr. (69K), Brian Morgan (9), Thomas Pratt (22), Tim Powers (44), John Bradley (57), Jim Baker (69x), Jason Harrison (69H), Shan Smith (90), Justin Rodgers (95), Henry Burnside (31), Chris Combs (14), Rob Brill hart (77B), Joel Andrews (56), Robert Tyler (99), Josh Sigler (19). DNS – Christopher Combs.