GIBSONTON, Fla. – Thomas Pratt drove to victory in the open-wheel modified division at East Bay Raceway Park Saturday night.
The first feature of the night went to the Outlaw Fours. Stephen Hohlbaugh won his heat. For the feature event on the front row it was Zach Amundsen and Billy Howard. Billy Howard took the early lead, but then on lap one, Nick Hebrank spun and brought out the first caution.
On the restart, Howard took the lead again, but then on lap three it was the defending Champion Jesse Brown blowing an engine and was done for the night. As the final green waved, Billy Howard picked up his fourth feature win of the season with Hohlbaugh, Amundsen, J.R. Baker and Jessica Robbins rounding out the top five.
Next up were the Florida Mini Sprints. Current points leader Gavin Thomas, Paige Moss and Dirk Miller won their heat races. For the feature it was Paige Moss and John Crowder making up the front row. But before the green was waved, the drivers did a four wide salute to the fans. When the green waved it was Eddie Moss, Jr. taking the lead for the first part of the race.
On lap 13, Dylan Coldings night ended as he went up in smoke on the backstretch. When the green waved once again it was Moss, Jr. and Gavin Thomas battling lap after lap for the lead. With just a few laps to go, it was Nicholas Snyder, Thomas and Moss, Jr. going three before another caution came out putting Moss, Jr. back on the lead lap.
When the checkered waved it was Thomas picking up his fourth feature win in a row. Snyder came home second with Moss, Jr., Dirk Miller, and David Hall rounding out the top five.
The Limited Late Models were next. Roger Crouse won his heat race. For the feature event it was the current points leader Shane Kopedra and Rookie points leader Jason Russell making up the front row. Koperda took the early lead but then on lap two he spun in turn two handing the lead over to Crouse.
The green waved and it was Crouse taking the lead, but then Officials spotted fuel leaking out of Crouse’s car bringing out the caution and sending him to the pits for a quick fix. That handed the lead over to the rookie Jason Russell. Several cautions came out throughout the race but it was Jason Russell picking up his very first win ever in a stock car. Russell started out several years back starting in the 4 Cylinder Bombers, then moving up to the Outlaw Fours and Street Stocks.
Then making the jump into the Limited Late Models and week after week fought to gain his way into Victory Lane. Al Varndaore, Track President came down to congratulate Jason and told him he earned that win. Jason thanked a lot of friends for sticking by him and helping him set up the car. Crouse came back to finish second with Jason Pope, Shane Koperda and Tim Gay rounding out the top five.
Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds were next in line with defending Champion Austin Sanders and current point leader David Pollen, Jr. winning their heat races. Thomas Pratt and Bruce Harvey made up the front row for the feature event.
Pratt took the early lead until the first caution came out on lap two and Mickey Wright came to rest in turn four. Wright was able to continue. Pratt once again showed the way until lap ten when Eric Knight brought out the caution in turn four. When the checkered waved, it was Pratt once again in Victory Lane for the second time this season.
“We never changed a thing from the last time we ran second the last time out,” Pratt said in Victory Lane. Pollen, Jr. Sanders, Harvey and Bobby Dixon rounded out the top five.
The final feature of the night belonged to the Motorstats.com 4 Cylinder Bombers. Patrick Tabb, Robert Kissam and Brett Calonge won their heats. Kissam and Tabb made up the front row for the feature event. Kissam took the early advantage and never looked back until with just several laps to go, points leader Troy Dittebrand came to rest in turn four ending his night and possible lead change in the points.
With just two to go, Kissam went on to win his second feature of the year with Brett Calonge, John Moore, Richard Humfeld and Don R. Quinn rounding out the top five.