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Austin Holcombe, Cole Czarneski, Lucas Lee Win Tuesday East Bay Winternationals Triple-25s

Tyler Carr Photos

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A repeat winner, a first-time winner and the defending Winternationals champion all made appearances in East Bay Raceway Park Victory Lane Tuesday in the second night of triple-25 Features.

Monday night winner Austin Holcombe, DIRTcar UMP Modified newcomer Cole Czarneski, and two-time and defending Winternationals Championship Feature winner Lucas Lee each shined the brightest in their respective groups, winning by considerable distances and collecting a bit of momentum as the weeklong event pushes forward into the halfway point.

Feature #1 – Austin Holcombe

Less than 24 hours after scoring his first career East Bay Winternationals win, Austin Holcombe backed it up with his second-straight checkered flag in two nights at the historic 1/3-mile oval.

“Shoutout to my guys, we keep plugging away at it,” Holcombe said. “I felt like we were even better tonight. I know the track was a little different because we were in the first group, but it was elbows-up, wide open. I’m exhausted.”

Tyler Carr Photo

Holcombe grabbed the lead on the opening lap from the outside pole and never looked back, leading all 25 laps en route to the win. Even with pressure from Will Krup and Chris Wilson behind him on restarts, Holcombe never flinched. He’s now the only driver with a perfect two-for-two record on the week.

“We just treat it as another race,” Holcombe said. “We want to keep going forward, keep getting better, and we really don’t let the pressure get to us. That’s when you start making mistakes and letting the little things get to you. I just keep it as another race and we’ll just keep moving forward on to the next night.”

A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 8A-Austin Holcombe[2]; 2. K9-Will Krup[3]; 3. 17-Chris Wilson[1]; 4. 25W-Allen Weisser[12]; 5. M20-Mike Potosky[11]; 6. 9-Cory Balkey[16]; 7. 64-Austin Sanders[6]; 8. 23Z-Austin Self[14]; 9. 26G-Ryan Gierke[13]; 10. 19A-Thomas Sigler[21]; 11. 1W-Brian Wilburn[17]; 12. 81-Jeremy Owens[19]; 13. 1XX-Oscar McCown[4]; 14. A85-Brandon Hutchinson[10]; 15. 97G-Jason Crose[22]; 16. 3F-Rob Fuqua[9]; 17. 101-Hunter Feltner[7]; 18. 0L-Mason Love[23]; 19. 64M-Tim McCafferty[20]; 20. 10X-Billy Uptegraff[8]; 21. 11R-Jeremy Rayburn[5]; 22. 27-Beau DeYoung[15]; 23. 16H-Justin Hart[18]; 24. (DNS) 75R-Jason Russell

Qualifying 1: 1. 17-Chris Wilson, 00:16.846[3]; 2. 8A-Austin Holcombe, 00:16.858[7]; 3. K9-Will Krup, 00:16.972[1]; 4. 1XX-Oscar McCown, 00:17.044[13]; 5. 11R-Jeremy Rayburn, 00:17.080[10]; 6. 64-Austin Sanders, 00:17.093[16]; 7. 101-Hunter Feltner, 00:17.102[20]; 8. 10X-Billy Uptegraff, 00:17.120[6]; 9. 3F-Rob Fuqua, 00:17.168[14]; 10. A85-Brandon Hutchinson, 00:17.252[23]; 11. M20-Mike Potosky, 00:17.267[19]; 12. 25W-Allen Weisser, 00:17.275[18]; 13. 26G-Ryan Gierke, 00:17.389[4]; 14. 23Z-Austin Self, 00:17.542[8]; 15. 27-Beau DeYoung, 00:17.649[17]; 16. 9-Cory Balkey, 00:17.808[11]; 17. 1W-Brian Wilburn, 00:17.902[21]; 18. 16H-Justin Hart, 00:18.007[5]; 19. 81-Jeremy Owens, 00:18.153[2]; 20. 64M-Tim McCafferty, 00:18.240[24]; 21. 19A-Thomas Sigler, 00:18.294[15]; 22. 97G-Jason Crose, 00:20.468[12]; 23. (DNS) 0L-Mason Love; 24. (DNS) 75R-Jason Russell

Feature #2 – Cole Czarneski

Cole Czarneski had never driven UMP-style Modified until his Speedweeks campaign started last week at North Florida Speedway. Three races in, and he’s already a Feature winner.

The 18-year-old from Denmark, WI, made the 1,300-plus mile trip south to Florida to be a part of East Bay’s final presentation of Winternationals. He’s a Dirt Modified regular around home and has had plenty of seat time competing with his local/regionally sanctioned groups, but in 2024 decided to venture out the DIRTcar world and compete with the best in the UMP Modified ranks.

Right away, Czarneski spotted the differences between his usual Modified configuration and the UMP style and made quick work adapting to it.

“We’ve got a lot more power in this car; this is only my third race, and they’ve all been this week,” Czarneski said. “You really gotta drive these things. I like to drive my car nice and smooth, and you’ve really gotta get on the throttle on these things. You’ve got a lot of motor versus that Crate car; you can really throttle out of some stuff especially when the track’s pretty heavy if you get tight.”

His quick learning came in handy Tuesday at East Bay when faced with the task of regaining the lead from outside polesitter, Michael Turner. Turner had taken the lead at the drop of the green and looked strong out front, leading the first 10 laps of the Feature.

Czarneski (21cz) racing Turner (27) for the lead (Tyler Carr Photo)

But when the field went back to green after a caution on Lap 11, Czarneski found the top side to his liking and pinned the throttle through Turns 1-2 to build a run down the backstretch. Through Turns 3-4, he and Turner stayed close, but Czarneski had the momentum on the top out of Turn 4 and took the lead away at the start/finish line.

“I almost got there on that first restart,” Czarneski said. “I caught [Turner’s] quarter panel a little bit when he came sliding through. I knew on that second one I wanted to pick the top again and get a good run because the more I arced it in there, the better it was getting.”

Now in control of the field, Czarneski stayed strong on all following restarts and led the field back around to the checkers to secure the win.

A Feature 2 (25 Laps): 1. 21CZ-Cole Czarneski[1]; 2. 27T-Michael Turner[2]; 3. 77-Ray Bollinger[6]; 4. 99J-Treb Jacoby[3]; 5. S21-Seth Daniels[4]; 6. 37-Devin Wright[12]; 7. 8C-Corey Bevard[9]; 8. 25-Josh Lolmaugh[19]; 9. 14-Skyler Douglas[14]; 10. 15K-Chris Kittle[18]; 11. 6B-Dave Baldwin[8]; 12. 77C-Jason Cox[20]; 13. 4-Mike Halliday[21]; 14. 14C-Rick Conoyer[17]; 15. 11-Tyler Morehouse[16]; 16. 05-Dave Wietholder[15]; 17. 7-Brad Deyoung[10]; 18. 43J-Jacob Hall[13]; 19. 16C-John Clippinger[7]; 20. 21S-Denny Schwartz[5]; 21. 82-Gary Dillon[11]; 22. 98-Shawn Vaughn[23]; 23. 15R-Paul Rivall[22]; 24. (DNS) 24-Zeke McKenzie

Qualifying 2: 1. 21CZ-Cole Czarneski, 00:16.800[7]; 2. 27T-Michael Turner, 00:16.843[2]; 3. 99J-Treb Jacoby, 00:16.852[15]; 4. S21-Seth Daniels, 00:17.081[14]; 5. 21S-Denny Schwartz, 00:17.184[23]; 6. 77-Ray Bollinger, 00:17.244[6]; 7. 16C-John Clippinger, 00:17.423[17]; 8. 6B-Dave Baldwin, 00:17.447[20]; 9. 8C-Corey Bevard, 00:17.453[1]; 10. 7-Brad Deyoung, 00:17.495[16]; 11. 82-Gary Dillon, 00:17.526[19]; 12. 37-Devin Wright, 00:17.592[12]; 13. 43J-Jacob Hall, 00:17.626[5]; 14. 14-Skyler Douglas, 00:17.648[4]; 15. 05-Dave Wietholder, 00:17.757[24]; 16. 11-Tyler Morehouse, 00:17.916[21]; 17. 14C-Rick Conoyer, 00:17.965[11]; 18. 15K-Chris Kittle, 00:18.014[8]; 19. 25-Josh Lolmaugh, 00:18.032[10]; 20. 77C-Jason Cox, 00:19.128[3]; 21. 4-Mike Halliday, 00:38.030[18]; 22. 15R-Paul Rivall, 00:38.030[13]; 23. (DNS) 98-Shawn Vaughn; 24. (DNS) 24-Zeke McKenzie

Feature #3 – Lucas Lee

The defending UMP Modified Florida Speedweeks champion is back in Victory Lane at East Bay.

Lucas Lee dominated Feature #3, leading all 25 laps nearly unchallenged to bag his sixth career Winternationals win.

“After we got going and I found I could move out and step back down, the car was really good,” Lee said. “At first, I was sliding too much on entry and kinda hurting me. After I got to moving out a little bit and cutting down, I’d launch off the corner if I hit the bottom right. It drove itself pretty good.”

On Monday night, Lee was bested by Jason Garver by a wide margin. Tuesday was a different story, as Lee looked far more maneuverable out front – something he attributes to a better tire choice.

Lee (12) holding off Strickler (8) racing for the lead (Tyler Carr Photo)

“Last night, I put a 60 on in the first group, and it was a dumb move,” Lee said. “Tonight, we went with a 30 and I felt my car the whole time.

“That’s what I felt different – I put a 30 on this time. I could fire off. With the cautions, it’s hard to have a 60 on with that many cautions.”

Lee was also forced to deal with heavy competition Tuesday night, being placed in the same Feature with Kyle Strickler and two-time Winternationals champion Rodney Wing. Despite the tough company, Lee’s concentration never wavered.

“You just put your pants on, go out there and do what you’ve gotta do,” Lee said. “Me and Kyle’s raced so long together. A lot of people don’t know it, me and him are pretty good friends just because of the respect we’ve had over the years racing a lot of places together.”

Strickler retired from the event early after his right-rear tire exploded, heavily damaging the right side of his car. Wing came across the line runner-up after taking the checkered on Monday.

A Feature 3 (25 Laps): 1. 12L-Lucas Lee[2]; 2. 33W-Rodney Wing[5]; 3. 20-Brian Skaggs[4]; 4. 8-Jimmy Lennex[8]; 5. 72-Todd Neiheiser[12]; 6. 88-David Pollen[11]; 7. 6ST-Joseph Thomas[15]; 8. 14M-Mavrick Varnadore[20]; 9. 1H-Ben Harmon[10]; 10. 4SA-Kevin DeYoung[17]; 11. 18C-Miles Cook II[7]; 12. 14L-Dalton Lane[16]; 13. 99-Wade Olmsted[19]; 14. 09-Michael Leach[6]; 15. 0NO-Jamie Layton[23]; 16. 119-Josh Sigler[24]; 17. 0-Damian Kiefer[18]; 18. 54H-Zachary Hawk[14]; 19. 333-Wade Rookard[22]; 20. 12-Jeff Parsons[13]; 21. E85-Jesse Strange[21]; 22. 87Z-George Zieman[9]; 23. 8S-Kyle Strickler[1]; 24. 27G-Jason Garver[3]

Qualifying 3: 1. 8S-Kyle Strickler, 00:16.320[17]; 2. 12L-Lucas Lee, 00:16.500[19]; 3. 27G-Jason Garver, 00:16.581[2]; 4. 20-Brian Skaggs, 00:16.805[22]; 5. 33W-Rodney Wing, 00:16.967[15]; 6. 09-Michael Leach, 00:16.997[7]; 7. 18C-Miles Cook II, 00:17.152[10]; 8. 8-Jimmy Lennex, 00:17.168[14]; 9. 87Z-George Zieman, 00:17.223[5]; 10. 1H-Ben Harmon, 00:17.272[1]; 11. 88-David Pollen, 00:17.304[11]; 12. 72-Todd Neiheiser, 00:17.422[13]; 13. 12-Jeff Parsons, 00:17.493[3]; 14. 54H-Zachary Hawk, 00:17.555[6]; 15. 6ST-Joseph Thomas, 00:17.641[20]; 16. 14L-Dalton Lane, 00:17.703[12]; 17. 4SA-Kevin DeYoung, 00:17.719[9]; 18. 0-Damian Kiefer, 00:17.726[18]; 19. 99-Wade Olmsted, 00:17.779[4]; 20. 14M-Mavrick Varnadore, 00:17.874[21]; 21. E85-Jesse Strange, 00:18.014[16]; 22. 333-Wade Rookard, 00:18.309[23]; 23. 0NO-Jamie Layton, 00:18.688[24]; 24. (DNS) 119-Josh Sigler

UP NEXT

The East Bay Winternationals action continues Wednesday night, Jan. 31, but will have a different format from Monday and Tuesday.

All entrants will be split up into multiple, smaller groups and will first run Qualifying to set lineups for Heat Races, taking time against only the cars in their respective groups. From there, a standard program of Heat Races and Last Chance Showdown events will be run to set the lineup for a single Feature event.

Beginning with Wednesday’s program, event points will be awarded to each driver based on their Feature or Last Chance Showdown finish, using the standard DIRTcar points structure. The same format will be run Thursday and Friday, and each driver’s points collected over Wednesday, Thursday and Friday’s programs will be tallied at the conclusion of Friday’s events.

The six drivers with the most points after Friday’s program will be automatically locked into the 75-lap Championship Feature on Saturday. All other drivers will run further qualification events on Saturday to fill the rest of the main event lineup.

Wednesday’s driver’s meeting is set for 5:15pm. Hot Laps will go on track at 5:30. Tickets will be available for purchase at the gate. If you can’t be at the track to watch in person, follow along on X (formerly Twitter)Facebook and Instagram for live updates.

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