TAMPA, FL……1/31/10……Rodney Wing of Meridian, Mississippi broke the string of no repeat winners in the 11th Annual Open Wheel Modified Winternationals Championship race, that was run as a make-up race on Sunday afternoon after the $5,000-to-win 75-lap finale originally set for Saturday night was rained out at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, Florida.
This opening act of East Bay’s 34th Anniversary season of their showcase month of Winternational events will be hard to top, as 63 different Open Wheel Modifieds showed four different winners in preliminary nights before Wing, the defending 09 champion repeated.
After leading from the pole for 66 laps, before being passed by outside running Jared Landers, Wing revealed, “There was only one place on the race track where I was better than he was and that was in turn three, so I got my chance on lap 72 and I made a dive for the inside and pulled ahead to lead the last three laps.”
` Showing a lot of excitement in victory lane, Wing continued, “Landers is a class act and I could run with him all day long! I want to especially thank my car owner Jeff Mathews and his crew for supplying me his back-up car. Robert Delgado built us great engines for this Shaw chassis. I promise, I’ll be back to defend my title next year. Can’t wait to get home to tell my family all about it.
The front of the field for the 75 laps showed Wing and Stanley Donahoo in the front row, with Rick Aukland and Kevin Weaver in row two and Jeff Mathews inside Mike Potosky in row three. With Wing leading, there was only one caution on lap 11 for John McCaul who spun inside turn four, before a lap 38 yellow for Devin Dixon sitting in turn two which turned into the mandatory fuel stop.
The drivers had an opportunity to get out of their cars for tearoffs, water and add fuel to their cars while checking out the rubber situation on their right rear tires. The winner determined he had about another 35 laps of rubber left, if he drove a conservative race to the end and didn’t abuse his tires.
Meanwhile 13th starting Jared Landers was up to eighth at the fuel stop. He said after the race, “I figured if I had new rubber, I could run it extra hard. I just can’t run a’ follow the leader race’ and I’d feel guilty if I didn’t get tires. I was doing alright and picking up spots on the outside after the break, and after I got in the lead, I made a mistake and kind of took it easy.” His Shaw by Landers chassis performed flawlessly with a Mullins engine under the hood. It carried sponsorship by Mark Martin Ford/Chevy, TSM Shock package and DV Products. His crew at East Bay was headed by Mike and Matt Cooper.
Rick Aukland, who described his right rear tire as looking like an inner tube , told the crowd that, “Jared (Landers) woke us up. Obviously there’s another lane out there, and he showed us all something. If your car is working well it’s all good in a 75-lapper, but if it’s not, it can be a handful. We were tight in hot laps, but OK for the race.”
Aukland capitalized on the battle for the lead and at the last minute slipped into second place at the checkered flag with his Lightning chassis with a “Big” Rick Twarg powerplant under the hood. Sponsors on his NO. 2A included Quick Time Performance Parts, Sweeney Services and Brandon Rental.
Kevin Weaver started fourth and finished fourth, while Dave Hess, Jr. started seventh and was as high as fourth, but settled for fifth. Rounding out the top ten it was Don O’Neal, Stormy Scott, Shane Sabraski, Brady Short and Dale Mathison.
The top six in points from the week were locked in and then the eight heat winners advanced followed by the two B-Main cars of Devin Dixon, Brady Short, Tommie Seets, Jr, Mike Spatola, Danny Schwartz, Shane Sabraski, Steven Pfeifer and Curt Gelling. Two provisional starters were East Bay’s highest point man that didn’t make the race John Bradley and farthest tow (2563 miles) Jeremy Newberry from Brentwood, California.
Thanks, Jean Lynch for East Bay Raceway Park
Rodney Wing repeats as open wheel modified champion at Eastbay Raceway Park 1/31/10
(Mike Horne Photo)
Rodney Wing retakes the lead for the win with 3 laps remaining in the Open Wheel Modified
Winternationals Championship at Eastbay Raceway Park 1-31-10 (Mike Horne Photo)
STATS – OPEN WHEELMODIFIEDS – EAST BAY RACEWAY PARK – SUNDAY, 1/31/10
(Saturday Nights event was rained out 1/30/10 – Results for Sunday 1-31-10)
Top 6 in Points are Locked into A Main – 1)Jeff Mathews 2)Rodney Wing 3)Kevin Weaver 4)Stanley Donahoo 5)Mike Potosky 6)Rick Aukland
1st Heat – 1)Dave Hess, Jr. 2)Brady Short 3)Tyson Turnbull 4)Mike Spatola 5)Bobby Gierke 6)Dennis Haven
2nd Heat – 1)Stormy Scott 2)Devin Dixon 3)Les Duellman 4)John Bradley 5)Jeremy Kerzman 6)Rick Cannata
3rd Heat – 1)Roger Crouse 2)Tommie Seets, Jr. 3)Jason Schill 4)Greg Reutimann 5)Scotty Kincaid 6)Tim Peterson
4th Heat – 1)Don O’Neal 2)Jeremy Newberry 3)Thomas Sigler 4)Buzzie Reutimann 5)Darrell George 6)Rob Fuqua DNS
5th Heat – 1)Allen Weisser 2)Steven Pfeifer 3)Dave Baldwin 4)Chris Littrell 5)Kyle Bronson
6th Heat – 1)Dale Mathison 2)Denny Schwartz 3)Austin Sanders 4)Bruce Bregenzer 5)Duanne Dale
7th Heat – 1)Jared Landers 2)Shane Sabraski 3)Vic Vena 4)Terry Haven 5)Glen Underwood
8th Heat – 1)John McCaul 2)Curt Gelling 3)Wayne Hammond 4)Nate Bregenzer DNS 5)Bob Broking DQ
1st B – Main (Top 4 go to back of A inside row) – 1)Devin Dixon 2)Brady Short 3)Tommie Seets, Jr. 4)Mike Spatola 5)Buzzie Reutimann 6)Jason Schill 7)Greg Reutimann 8)Tyson Turnbull 9)Jeremy Kerzman 10)Jeremy Newberry 11)Bobby Geirke 12)Tim Peterson 13)John Bradley 14)Dennis Haven 15)Darrell George 16)Les Duellman 17)Thomas Sigler 18)Rick Cannata 19)Scotty Kincaid 20)Rob Fuqua DNS
2nd B – Main (Top 4 go to back of A outside row) – 1)Denny Schwartz 2)Shane Sabraski 3)Steven Pfeifer 4)Curt Gelling 5)Duanne Dale 6)Austin Sanders 7)Bruce Bregenzer 8)Glen Underwood 9)Chris Littrell 10)Kyle Bronson 11)Dave Baldwin 12)Vic Vena 13)Wayne Hammond 14)Terry Haven 15)Bob Broking 16)Nate Bregenzer DNS
2 Provisionals – 1)John Bradley (Highest in points for East Bay) 2)Jeremy Newberry (Farthest Tow-Brentwood, CA-2553 Miles)
A – Main (75 Laps) – 1)Rodney Wing 2)Rick Aukland 3)Jared Landers 4)Kevin Weaver 5)Dave Hess, Jr. 6)Don O’Neal 7)Stormy Scott 8)Shane Sabraski 9)Brady Short 10)Dale Mathison 11)Stanley Donahoo 12)Jeff Mathews 13)Steven Pfeifer 14)Mike Spatola 15)Denny Schwartz 16)Allen Weisser 17)Buzzie Reutimann 18)John Bradley 19)Roger Crouse 20)Jeremy Newberry 21)John McCaul 22)Devin Dixon 23)Tommie Seets, Jr. 24)Mike Potosky 25)Curt Gelling DNS