GIBSONTON, Fla. – It was another night of watching the skies as Mother Nature was trying to end the night before it was started at East Bay Raceway Park on Saturday.
A few drops came from the skies above but eventually went away as 15 sprints were ready to claim the 2nd Annual Bob Long Memorial. Also racing were the Outlaw Fours, V8 Warriors and the Motorstats.com 4 Cylinder Bombers.
First feature went to the Outlaw Fours. Winning the heat was Jesse James Foster. For the feature it was Megan Meyer and Nick Hebrank. When the green flag waved it was Hebrank leading lap one until lap two when Meyer spun in turn one facing the wrong way. On the restart it was Hebrank leading the field until lap three when Billy Howard took over the lead and never looked back.
“We finally got the monkey off our back. We were leading the last race and the motor blew up. I was almost ready to sell this and help my dad on his Open Wheel,” said Howard in Victory Lane.
Rounding out the top five were Nick Hebrank, Brandon Yates, Jesse James Foster and Megan Meyer.
Next up were the V8 Warriors. Winning their heats were Tommy Hill and Bill Whitney who also made up the front row for the feature. When the green flag waved it was Hill leading the way from green to checkered flag winning his second feature of the season. Several cars battled lap after lap trying to catch him but were not able to. Rounding out the top five were Marco Reyes, Bill Whitney, Derik Rose and Jeff Weaver.
Next up was the Bob Long Memorial for the Sprints. Bob’s eldest daughter Elaine Sanders waved the green flag at the start of the race. Leading lap one it was pole sitter Billy Boyd, Jr. until the first caution came out on lap one as Rick Byerly spun in turn two. When the race was restarted on lap one, Billy Boyd, Jr. had pressure from Tony Agin with defending Champion Kerry Gilbert in third. Last year’s winner Danny Martin, Jr. pulled off on lap six in a backup car as his primary car went up in smoke in the heat race.
On lap eleven it was Bob’s grandson DJ Peeples spinning on the back stretch bringing out the second and final caution. On the restart it was Boyd, Jr. Gilbert and Agin with Tim George and Johnnie Alexander your top five. But on the start it was Agin jumping the restart going pass Gilbert and would be penalized. Billy Boyd, Jr. would continue to fight his way thru traffic and would go on to win the feature.
“I think this is one of my biggest wins in my career. Last year I had to sit and watch Danny Martin, Jr. win it and thought it would be an honor to win this,” Boyd Jr. stated in Victory Lane.
Rounding out the top five were Kerry Gilbert, Tim George, DJ Peeples and Tony Agin.
The final feature of the night was the Motorstats.com 4 Cylinder Bombers. Winning their heats were Raymond Vann and William Burnside and would also make up the front row for the feature. When the green waved it was Raymond Vann leading the field into turn one and leading after lap one. Only one caution would come out and it was on lap eleven for debris in turn one. When the race resumed it was Vann picking up his first win of the year. Rounding out the top five were John Moore, Don R. Quinn, George Handy and William Burnside.