GIBSONTON, Fla. – Keith Nosbisch has been the most dominating driver in crate late models this season at East Bay Raceway Park as well as being on top of his game when the crates are front and center during the Winternationals.
So, it was no surprise that the Valrico driver was in victory lane holding the $5,000 winner’s check at the end of a 50-lapper Saturday night.
“I got this Rocket chassis near the end of last year,” said Nosbisch “Jimmy Dodge built me a great engine that helped me make that bold move on Josh Peacock inside turn three and pull ahead in turn four to lead the second lap. We went a little softer on our Hoosier tires, he said jokingly, and to get ready for tonight, I went to practice on a slick go-kart track this afternoon.”
Describing the track as a little rough through the middle, he admitted he had to concentrate on hitting his marks and the 11 caution flags in the first 24 laps didn’t help. During the second half of the race his Image Skin Care-sponsored car had pretty much clear sailing. Although he seemed to slow in the closing five laps, lapped cars kept second place Doug Horton from making a serious challenge for the lead and Nosbisch had a margin of victory of 1.410 seconds at the finish.
Dalton Myers and pole sitter Josh Peacock finished in the top four, all completing the 50 lap distance. Shane Smith and David Schmauss were each one lap down and Tommy Prince was down two laps in seventh. Rounding out the top 10 were Bill Test, Kyle Musselman and Kurt Waush. Heats were won by Peacock, Jack Nosbisch Jr. and Keith Nosbisch.
Richie Stephens, from Salem, Ala., fought hard to become the repeat winner of the World Street Stock Championship worth $1,500.
“We didn’t get the word about the race until late, then we had trouble with the generator on the trailer on Thursday and couldn’t get the back door down to unload the cars,” Stephens said.
He said he didn’t expect the track to slick off like it did and after starting on the pole of the 20-car field, he led for 10 laps but lost the lead in turn one as both Ronnie Heard and Tim Powers got by him on lap 11. Then Powers led for seven laps while Tim Gay advanced from 19th spot up to third on lap 15. When Stephens managed to work his way back to the lead on lap 20, he was followed closely by Stephens and Gay.
The last nine laps were run caution-free and Stephens managed to cross the finish line ahead of Powers by a narrow margin of 1.006 seconds with Gay in a tight third. Scotty Kay Jr. and Thomas Hill ranked in the top five.