Wild Last Lap Finish For Limited Late Models Finds Dale Pope Back In Victory Lane At East Bay Raceway Park
May 4th, 2013 – Tampa, FL – It looked throughout the week that Mother Nature was going to play spoils for Saturday nights racing, but it was another cool night of racing here at East Bay Raceway Park. Five divisions were on hand with the Limited Late Models, Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds, V8 Warriors, Street Stocks and the Florida Old Time Mods ready to put on a show for the fans.
First feature of the night went to the Street Stocks with Brian Morgan and Garry Sheffield winning their heats. For the feature event it was Thomas Burnside and Roberto Morfin, Sr. making up the front row. When the green waved it was Burnside leading lap one until the first caution came out for several cars spinning and David Barwick, II tagging the back wall ending his night. Burnside would continue to lead until the next caution waved on lap nine as Michael Eaton spun in turn one. On lap ten it was Hunter Gustafson slapping the front stretch wall then spinning in turn one collecting Mike Wilson. On lap eleven it was Brian Morgan taking over the top spot after starting in the fifth position and going on to win the feature. Rounding out the top five were Thomas Burnside, Dennis Williams, Ronnie Heard and Dennis Wilson, Jr.
Next up was the Florida Old Time Modifieds. Winning the heats was David Kelly. For the feature event it was Tom McDonald and Bob Fink on the front row. Jamie Franklin charged up from the inside second row and would take over the lead on lap one but then would slow in turn four ending his night. That handed the lead over to JR Garcia. Garcia would lead until a hard charging Dan Darnell after starting from the rear of the field would take over on lap eight and would go on to win the feature. Finishing second was JR Garcia with David Kelly, Gary Riccio and Bob Fink rounding out the top five.
Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds were next with Austin Sanders and Bill Howard winning their heats. For the feature it was Tim Gay and Roger Crouse making up the front row for the feature. When the green waved it was Roger Crouse leading lap one until Austin Sanders would charge up from his fourth starting position and take over on lap ten. But it was Crouse once again taking over the lead on lap eleven only to surrender it again to Sanders on lap twelve and going on to win his fourth feature event of the 2013 Season. Rounding out the top five were Roger Crouse, Matt Miller, Tim Gay and Thomas Pratt.
Limited Late Models were next to follow with Waylon Haynes and Dale Pope winning their heats. Jason Pope and Shane Koperda made up the front row for the feature. After lap one it was Pope leading until the first of several cautions came out with Rich Livernois, Sr. spinning in turn one. Pope was still leading with Koperda second and Jesse Brown third. Caution would come once again on lap three as Dale Pope had spun in turn one. Next caution would come out as Forrest Gough would slow on the front stretch on the restart and would come to rest in turn three. Pope was still leading with Brown up to second, Koperda third and Tim Powers up to the fourth spot and Crouse fifth. On lap six it was Tim Powers taking over the lead for the next six laps. On lap twelve it was a hard charging Dalton Myers diving in turn two to take over the top spot but caution would come out sending Myers back to second and Powers the leader. Caution would follow once again on lap thirteen as Todd Ford slowed in turn two with a right rear flat ending his night. So with just two laps remaining, Powers was holding on to first with Myers second. On the last lap in turn three, Myers would dive into turn three tangling with Powers which set up a big chain reaction with several cars piling up out of turn four. Myers would cross the line first but was dq’d for unsportsman like conduct. Involved in the crash was Roger Crouse, Jason Pope and the eventual winner Dale Pope who was also involved in the crash. His car came to rest on the backstretch. “We were not supposed to win this race tonight, but we were in the right place at the right time” said an exhausted Pope. “We hit hard” as he was holding his ribs in Victory Lane without his car. After all the wreckage was cleared it was Dale Pope your winner with J.R. Prather, Shane Koperda, Jason Russell and Tim Powers would finish fifth.
Final feature of the night belonged to the V8 Warriors. Winning their heats was Bill Whitney and Jeff Weaver and would also make up the front row for the feature. Bill Whitney took the early lead but on lap two the first caution for debris on the track. When the race resumed it was on lap two as Joe Boyd lost a wheel in turn one ending his night. On lap three it was Whitney leading with Weaver second until Weaver spun in turn two and Whitney spinning on the backstretch. Whitney’s night had ended but Weaver was able to continue. That would put third place runner Ron Smith as the leader. On lap five it was Brian Danforth taking over the lead and crossing the line first, but in tech was dq’d for no muffler. Ron Smith would get the win with Raymond Folwell, Jeff Weaver, Tim Stoffel, and Brett Phillips rounding out the top five.
ASA racing continues next weekend with the first appearance of the year for the Eagle Jet Top Gun Sprints as they race for $1,000 to win presented by Gator Core and Go Green Auto Recycling. Also racing will be the Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds, Street Stocks and the Motorstats.com 4 Cylinder Bombers. For further information, log on to www.eastbayracewaypark.com for call 813-677-7223 for more information.