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.

Smith was clearly dominant throughout the early stages, working masterfully through lapped traffic when the situation arose and it arose often with the torrid pace Smith was maintaining. Smith claimed the lead from the start as Brett Wright slipped up into second place. As Smith closed on lapped traffic, he kept the car down low to make passes while adding to his lead. When a lap 10 caution waved for Wayne Johnson, Smith had a cushion of four lapped cars between himself and Wright. The action was hot within the top five as Terry McCarl moved to the runner-up spot and, one lap later, Tony Stewart jumped to third. McCarl would close to second and provide the next worry for Smith. On a lap 21 restart, the conversation centered on which of the top three would win.

When the green came out, McCarl made his move to gain the lead, but only momentarily. Smith got it back, but a new face was becoming a factor. California racer Cory Eliason moved to the top of the track and found plenty of speed. As Eliason slipped past McCarl, it looked like there would not be enough laps to allow Eliason to catch the leader. Eliason had other thoughts as he stayed in hot pursuit until the final corner, winning the drag race to the finish. Eliason scored the win from the 11th starting spot.

The 24-car field was set with the top 16 in passing points during the heat races locked in. The remaining eight spots were reserved for the top two finishers in each of 4 B Mains.

Sam Hafertepe Jr., Dylan Westbrook, Frank Beck and Jason Sides won B mains. Heats were won by Terry Gray, Josh Baughman, Todd Gracey, Danny Martin, Tony Stewart and Terry McCarl were heat race winners. A field of 52 cars were on hand for the opening night.

Luke Thomas went from worst to first in the 25-lap A Main for Mini Sprints. Thomas was actually scheduled to start on the pole, but ragged start attempts caused track officials to relegate Thomas to the tail. The move may have provided added momentum as it didn’t take long to get Thomas into the top 5. He was trading second with Robbie Smith by mid-race, but the field still had to catch Robby Hoffmann. Thomas proved to be up to the task, hunting down the leader on lap 17 and staying on the bottom to Victory Lane.

Larry Rarer made his first visit to East Bay Raceway Park’s winner’s circle, passing 2018 track champion Kevin Strife in the 20-lap Micro Sprint feature.

Action continues Friday night with a return visit for the three classes. An additional consolation non-qualifiers race for the 360 Sprints will be added to the card on Friday and Saturday, paying $500 to win, courtesy of Wetherington Tractor Services.

360 SPRINTS

Feature: Cory Eliason (26), Mark Smith (1), Terry McCarl (4), Tony Stewart (14), Danny Martin Jr. (24M), Seth Bergman (23), Danny Sams III (24D), Jason Sides (7S), Sam Hafertepe Jr. (15), Brett Wright (14B), Tim Shaffer (49x), Mason Daniel (33M), Todd Gracey(3), Thomas Kennedy (21k), Shawn Dancer (49), Terry Gray (10), Dustin Daggett (85), Dylan Westbrook (47x), Dale Howard (47H), Wayne Johnson (2c), CJ Jones (10J), Josh Baughman (17), Cale Conley (7k), Frank Beck (89)

B MAIN 1 – Sam Hafertepe Jr. (15H), Thomas Kennedy (21k), Travis Rilat (1R), Shawn Murray (22), Cory Turner (13), Ryan Turner (91), Max Stambaugh (51). DNS – Davie Franek (28F), Johnny Gilbertson (22G)

B MAIN 2 – Dylan Westbrook (47x), Dale Howard (47H), Matt Kurtz (92), Greg Wilson (w20), Nick Snyder (116), Lucas Wolfe (5W), Phil Gressman (7c), Ryan Harrison (197). DNS – Brandon Grubaugh (20), Conner Morrell (28)

B MAIN 3 – Frank Beck (89), Shawn Dancer (49), Dustin Clark (16c), Garrett Green (82), Gregg Jones (7J), Hayden Campbell (5), Taylor Walton (93), Joey Schmidt (1S)

B MAIN 4 – Jason Sides (7S), Cale Conley (7k), Danny Smith (4), Cody Bova (20), Alex Hill (77x), Bobby Tersillo (51), Brant O’Banion (47), Dan Nanticoke (15), Ricky Peteron (16B)

MINI SPRINTS

FEATURE: Luke Thomas (97), Robby Hoffmann (66), Robbie Smith (77), John Craddock (17), Daison Pursley (9P), Austin Craddock (17C), Eddie Moss (07), Rhea Moss (23), Mike Thompson (11), Jim Young (8), Steve Diamond Jr. (9), A.J. Parrish (88), Jim Kradel (19), Michael Luckert (93), David Hall (67), John Crowder (30), Ty Nevins (33N), T.J. Greve (8G), Tyler Walton (14T), Cody Bryson (41). DNS – Paige Moss (04), Jim McNulty (52R)

MICRO SPRINTS

FEATURE: Larry Rarer (97Z), Kevin Strife (46), Jared Meyers (0), Mike Meyers (7), Wade Evans (27), Paul Seburn (23), Christopher Diamond (9), Bill Gise (111), Joe Bartow (3), William Brannan Jr. (60). DNS – Chris Livernois (71)

Written By: Larry Jewett

Memorial Day Event at Weedsport Speedway

Weedsport Speedway's annual Memorial Day race is shaping up to be another extravagant event for not only the Super DIRTcar Series drivers but for the fans as well.

Almost Heaven: 5th Mega 100 Draws Near

Are you ready to take country roads to the place where you belong? It’s Almost Heaven once again at the Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, West Virginia. The 5th running of the Dirt Modified “MEGA 100” kicks off your unofficial start to racing summer on Thursday May 30th until Saturday June 1st. Witness the warriors of open wheel battle for unprecedented payouts during the Easts Elite Grassroots Racing Vacation!

7 Talking Points Heading Into Speedmachine Weekend

The events are coming thick and fast right now as the FIA World Rallycross Championship build’s up to round four in the UK this weekend, with the Dayinsure World RX of Great Britain being held at Silverstone as part of the Speedmachine Festival.

Opinion: Andrew Coley's Verdict on New RX Tracks

We’re three rounds into this year’s FIA World Rallycross Championship, and of those three rounds we’ve had two brand new rallycross tracks, so I thought I’d write a few words on the new track layouts and the racing they provided.

Stockon Finally Holds the Rifle; Wins Tony Hulman Classic

Chase Stockon had tamed the Terre Haute Action Track multiple times in his USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car career with a “Jim Hurtubise Classic” win in 2012 and a “Don Smith Classic” victory in 2016 to his credit.

Dave Steele Carb Night Classic Entry List Released

Six past USAC Silver Crown winners at Lucas Oil Raceway are ready to roll this Friday, May 24, in the “Dave Steele Carb Night Classic” at the .686-mile paved oval in Brownsburg, Ind.

USAC/CRA Sprints to Salute Indy at Perris

This Saturday, May 25th, the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will return to their “home track,” Perris Auto Speedway for the annual “Salute to Indy.”

Hoosier Hundred - What it Means to Me

As we look forward to one final ride, it is difficult to put into words just what the Hoosier Hundred, and racing at the Indiana State Fairgrounds means to me. I’m originally from Kingsburg, a small town in California, and moved to Indianapolis with my wife Jordan for the racing. Let’s be honest, it certainly wasn’t for the weather.

River Town Showdown Rescheduled for Aug. 30

The Brandt “River Town Showdown,” featuring a USAC doubleheader with the AMSOIL National Sprint Cars, NOS Energy Drink National Midgets in addition to the B-Mods, has been rescheduled for Friday, August 30, at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill.  It will now be the start of a big racing weekend in Southern Illinois with Du Quoin State Fair events Saturday-Monday.

Tulare's Faria Memorial Moved to June 7

The previously scheduled “Chris & Brian Faria Memorial” for Saturday, June 8th, at Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway has been moved to Friday, June 7th.