43rd Annual Winternationals Scheduled at East Bay Raceway Park

43rd Annual Winternationals Scheduled at East Bay Raceway Park

By: Larry Jewett

Since the mid-1970s, East Bay Raceway Park has been a beacon of racing, drawing competitors from throughout the U.S. and Canada to compete in the annual extravaganza known as the Winternationals. January 2019 will mark the 43rd consecutive year for the event, which has been a stepping stone for future success in the sport.

Once again, a diversified schedule will provide an opportunity for countless racers while giving spectators who travel hundreds of miles looking for action with a wide variety to choose from. Fan favorites dot the schedule, no matter when you choose to attend.

Throughout the four-week run, each week starts with a practice session to allow drivers to get their bearings around the Clay by the Bay and prepare for the challenges that lie ahead in the remainder of the week. From the practice day to the end of the week, excitement ramps up as purses gradually increase and stakes are higher with each passing night.

The racing starts Wednesday, January 23 with open wheel action from the UMP (United Midwestern Promoters)/EBRP (East Bay Raceway Park) Modifieds as the headlining division. A long-standing fan favorite, this schedule gives local racers a chance to compete alongside top traveling teams from the Midwest and throughout the country. East Bay’s Winternationals has set the stage for success for many of these travelers who utilize the knowledge gained at East Bay for their racing seasons that start a few months later. Joining the Modifieds, local racers, as well as visitors from throughout the Southeast, compete in the Street Stock class. These cars have four nights of excitement, culminating with a $5,000-to -win Modified feature while Street Stocks do battle for the winner’s take of $1,000.

January 31 will be the opening night for three divisions of racing action that include the Stingray Performance Crate Late Models, Top Gun Sprints and V8 Warriors (aka Thunder Stocks). This variety offers something for everyone with fast-paced Late Models, thrilling open wheel racing and the stars of the future in stock car action. Each class will face three nights of racing and it is not uncommon to see different winners each evening. If someone could win all Crate Late Model mains, there’s a take-home of $7,500 possible for three nights work. V8 Warriors will battle for $500-to-win on Saturday, a good way to offset travel expenses or upgrade a racing program.

One of the most popular attractions of Winternationals is the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, which will return for six nights of intense competition. In 2018, nearly 400 different drivers competed with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series in a year where it all began at East Bay Raceway Park. Jonathan Davenport is expected to begin his defense of the 2018 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship at East Bay with these upcoming events. Davenport captured two Winternationals wins in 2018 to start his road to the championship. The final two nights of the 43rd annual Winternationals (Feb. 8 & 9) will pay a whopping $12,000 for the victor each night.

The action doesn’t stop here, though. The final week of racing opens with a sweetheart racing schedule on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) offering 360 Sprints, Mini-Sprints and Micro Sprints. It’s the open wheel fan’s dream come true as three divisions keep the action exciting for three nights. The final event on Feb. 16 will be the King of the 360s Ronald Laney Memorial, bringing $10,000 to the winner. Three-time winner Terry McCarl is the defending champion of the event.

More information can be found at www.ebrp.co or by calling East Bay Raceway Park at (813) 677-7223.

Winternationals at a Glance

Jan. 23 -26 – UMP/EBRP Modifieds and Street Stocks

Jan. 31 – Feb. 2 – Stingray Performance Crate Late Models, Top Gun Sprints, V8 Warriors (Thunder Stocks)

Feb. 4-9 – Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

Feb. 14-16 –360 Sprints, Mini-Sprints, Micro Sprints

Grant Survives & Thrives in WDGX Night 2

Justin Grant has won a few and lost a few in the same manner throughout his racing career.  He’s now won and lost in the same manner at Bubba Raceway Park following his USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory Friday on night two of “Winter Dirt Games X.”

Smith Dominates East Bay 360 Sprints

Mark Smith was on the threshold of victory in the opening race, denied by a last lap pass for a win. Whether that turn of events was motivation or the idea that Smith has a fast race car, whatever the circumstance, Smith was not to be denied as he marched through the field to claim the Friday win.

Last Lap Hero Windom Scores USAC Sprint Opener

Chris Windom led just one lap in Thursday’s USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car season opener at Bubba Raceway Park, but it was the one that paid the most as the Canton, Ill. driver prevailed on a wild final lap scramble that saw three different race leaders edge ahead at one point in an instant Valentine’s Day classic.

Eliason Blasts to East Bay Sprint Victory

The final week of the 43rd annual Winternationals got off to a raucous start with a nailbiting finish in the 25-lap 360 Sprint main event. Early race leader Mark Smith appeared to be destined for the opening night win until Cory Eliason changed the conversation.

Grant Goes to the TOPP in Ocala Sprint Practice

Justin Grant recorded the fastest lap in Wednesday night’s USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car practice session at Bubba Raceway Park in preparation for this weekend’s “Winter Dirt Games X” events.

USAC Sprint Title Defense Begins for Courtney

It’s already been a dream start to the season for Tyler Courtney as he’s continued his roll of success through the offseason following a 2018 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car crown.

COMING SOON: Live Racing Like Never Before

Prepare for a new immersive live experience that will transform the way you watch racing. You shared your live stream dreams with us and we're making them all come true with fan-driven features that you've been craving. 

WDGX Opener a Boon to USAC Sprint Title Hopefuls

To roll off the trailer and find immediate success is the ideal goal for all USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car drivers and teams competing in this week’s “Winter Dirt Games X” season openers February 14-15-16 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla.

New Car & Driver Combos Greet USAC Sprint Season

Musical chairs was a part of the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car offseason as a multitude of drivers, including six of the top-11 in last year’s standings, have found new homes for the 2019 tour, beginning with this week’s “Winter Dirt Games X” season openers on Feb. 14-15-16 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla.

Sunshine Double Dips in Ocala

Sunshine Double Dips in Ocala with 2nd Straight USAC Midget Victory