Sign Of The Tides: Drivers Prepare For Highs, Lows At East Bay Raceway

By Victoria Beaver

Where else but Florida would Mother Nature find a new way to impact a racing weekend? At East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, track regulars have learned to check the tide schedule online or printed in the local paper — because if you go in unprepared, the track could pull you under like a riptide.

“It’s crazy. Since we’re so close to the bay, the tide has a lot to do with the racing surface,” Devin Dixon explained. “For instance if it’s going to be a low tide anywhere between 7 and 10 at night normally it’s going to dry out and get wide. If it’s going to be high tide around that same time, it’s going to be pretty heavy. It’s not as much racing wise. It’s pretty good, but there’s less passing because it’s hammered down.”

While the track locals have learned how to read the conditions at East Bay and adjust to low and high tides, a number of drivers from outside the region can expect a hard transition to the track at the second annual Dalton Myers 54 on Saturday, Dec. 16.

Watch the Dalton Myers 54 LIVE on FloRacing 

In 1990, Scott Bloomquist broke his wrist when he started running hot laps on a dry track and finished them on a wet one. Bloomquist was running full speed when water started to seep up, creating a much slicker racing surface. The broken wrist wouldn’t keep Bloomquist down for long, as the next week he went on to win his second World 100 at Eldora Speedway.

"Some nights, it’s almost like trying to ride a greased pig."

“[The tide] definitely does [impact the racing],” Doug Horton said. “I learned that years ago traveling down here. You need to know before you go if the tide is coming in or out. You can tell by the way that the race track is prepared if the tide is coming in. Later in the evening it will push that moisture up to the race track. Some nights, it’s almost like trying to ride a greased pig. It gets slick and it takes some time to read into the race track and learn how the tide affects it. Being down here with the water table as high as it is it definitely affects the racing surface.”

The shape and banking of the track increase the effect of the tides, as turn one and two sit lower than turns three and four. Since the first set of corners sit closer to the water table underneath, they get slicker faster as the tide rises.

“East Bay is one of those places that when you race it you either love the place or you hate the place,” Horton said. “It’s just one of those race tracks. It’s a pretty physical race track where you need to be up on the wheel and get after it at times, and when it gets slick it’s even more difficult to get around then a lot of other places I’ve been.”

Dalton Myers 54 Coverage

Doug Horton Has Found A Home At East Bay Raceway
Devin Dixon Returns Home To Race The Dalton Myers 54 

More By Victoria Beaver

Three Cheers For Zac Taylor 
Kyle Busch Wins Second Snowball Derby 
Brian Brown Used Knoxville Base To Stage His Flo 50 Campaign
Harli White Completes Johnny Herrera’s Chili Bowl Team 
Chris Ferguson Breaks Down His Cherokee Win 

Super DIRT Week Bid, $10K Up For Grabs In High-Stakes Battle On The Midway

Super DIRTcar Series Closes July With 3 Must-See Stops On FloRacing

After four long years, the Super DIRTcar Series is making its return this Thursday to the famed Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, NY, for the Battle on the Midway.

World Of Outlaws Notebook: Donny Schatz Opens 'Month Of Money' On A Roll

Donny Schatz showed he will be the driver to beat during the “Month of Money” for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series as he picked up three wins in a four-race span in the state of Ohio, including his third straight in the $50,000 Kings Royal. 

World Of Outlaws Gearing Up For The 'Month Of Money'

Tradition is a key aspect in the sprint car world. One of the biggest traditions is the “Month of Money,” which typically runs from the middle of July until the middle of August.

By The Numbers: Super DIRTcar Series Adds 3 New Names To 2018 Wins Ledger

Super DIRTcar Series Closes July With 3 Must-See Stops On FloRacing

Over the past six days, a trio of new drivers have etched their names into season record books as race winners in the 2018 Super DIRTcar Series.

Better Than Luck: Brett Hearn Breaks Through For Victory At Outlaw Speedway

Super DIRTcar Series Closes July With 3 Must-See Stops On FloRacing

Brett Hearn didn’t have high expectations before hopping into his No. 20 car at Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, NY, on Tuesday for the seventh Super DIRTcar Series race of the season.

World Of Outlaws Notebook: Sweet, Madsen Shine At Cedar Lake Speedway

Brad Sweet and Kerry Madsen were victorious in the two-night FVP Platinum Battery Shootout for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin last weekend.

Outlaw 100: Sheppard, Johnson Look To Extend Dominance At Weekly Track

Super DIRTcar Series Ramps Up Early July Slate On FloRacing

The Super DIRTcar Series has hit the busy portion of the 2018 schedule and will run its third race in six days when it rolls into Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, NY, for the Ultimate Outlaw 100 on Tuesday, July 10. The fast 1/3-mile track has seen plenty of rejuvenation since Big-Block Modified driver and businessman Tyler Siri purchased the track prior to the 2016 season. 

Freedom Fighter 100: Jimmy Phelps Wins His 1st Series Race In 2018

Super DIRTcar Series Ramps Up Early July Slate On FloRacing

Courtesy of Super DIRTcar Series

VERNON, NY — The "Baldwinsville Bandit" Jimmy Phelps struck gold on Sunday night, winning the $6,000-to-win Freedom Fighter 100 at Utica-Rome Speedway in front of a tremendous crowd. Race fans witnessed an incredible race as Phelps held off charge after charge from the likes of Stewart Friesen and Danny Johnson. 

Clash Of Titans: Friesen, Sheppard On Course For Freedom Fighter 100 Battle

Super DIRTcar Series Ramps Up Early July Slate On FloRacing

The Super DIRTcar Series is set to race its second half-mile track in the last week with a stop at Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, NY, on Sunday, July 8.

Liberty 100: Danny Johnson Wins 81st Race In Super DIRTcar Series

A trip to Land of Legends Raceway in Canandaigua, NY, on Thursday night was just what "The Doctor” ordered for Danny Johnson to return to Victory Lane for the first time in the Super DIRTcar Series since September 2016.