ALLSTAR: East Bay Friday February 18 Race

GIBSONTON, FL - Gary had the "Wright" stuff on night three of the $126,000 All Star Sprint 24th annual East Bay Nationals Friday night at Stanley Kolan’s East Bay Raceway. The smooth talking Texan, Wright, started on the front row, leading...

GIBSONTON, FL - Gary had the "Wright" stuff on night three of the $126,000 All Star Sprint 24th annual East Bay Nationals Friday night at Stanley Kolan’s East Bay Raceway. The smooth talking Texan, Wright, started on the front row, leading wire-to-wire and outran Joey Saldana and Danny Lasoski to become the first driver to defeat Lasoski this season. "Starting up front was the key," Wright recalled from victory lane, standing beside his own Chevrolet-powered Maxim. Wright’s crew consists of his father, Grady Wright and friends Jeff Reynolds, Ernie Cochran and Paul Pedron. Wright also captured a pair of checkereds here earlier this month in the East Bay 360 Nationals. Saldana started Denny Ashworth’s Imperial Packaging machine on the ButlerBuilt Hot Seat pole with Wright alongside. Greg Hodnett in the Zemco Headers Maxim and Terry McCarl gridded in row two, with six-time winner Lasoski and Craig Dollansky in row three. Wright took the early lead and began to pull away from Saldana, entering lapped traffic by the fifth circuit. By the time the first caution appeared on lap nine for a stalled Mike Wagner, the order behind Wright was Dollansky, Saldana, McCarl, Lasoski and Hodnett. Wright began pulling away from Dollansky after the green reappeared, and heavy lapped traffic came into play, with the leaders using a fine toothed comb to get past the lapped machines. On lap 17, disaster struck runner-up Dollansky. He was closing on Wright in traffic, poised to make a move for the lead, when he made contact with the lapped car of Byron Reed, sending him hard into the outside wall and out of the runner-up spot, bringing out a red flag. After the cleanup, the restart order was Wright, Saldana, Lasoski, McCarl, Hodnett and Rodney Duncan. With five laps remaining, Wright built up a three second lead and he had a cushion of two lapped cars over Saldana at the finish. "We got lucky tonight, qualifying sixth and starting up front," Saldana said of second, his best performance so far in Florida. "It was a pretty tricky track." Lasoski held on for third, with McCarl fourth in his own machine and Hodnett fifth. Billy Pauch came from tenth to sixth with Duncan earning the Team Simpson Racing Lucky Seven award for seventh in the Harrison Trucking machine ahead of Kenny Jacobs in his red Eagle chassis , Paul McMahan in Warren Johnson’s United Expressline No. U2 and Frankie Kerr. The United Expressline heat went to Kurt Winker, the Southwest Expressline heat to Terry Pletch, the United Specialties heat to Mike Wagner and the Southwest Glass heat to Reed with the United Expressline fifth heat to Keith Kauffman. McCarl won the United Expressline B Main and Indiana’s Curt Trainer was the Georgia Marketing & Promotions C Main winner. Dollansky earned a $1,000 bonus for his new track record in time trials over a 42 car field with a clocking of 12.183 seconds, breaking Lasoski’s 24-hour old mark. In the B, at the drop of the green flag, Lance Dewease and Trainer tangled in turn one and both flipped. Both drivers were okay.

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Series Sprint
Drivers Warren Johnson , Danny Lasoski , Craig Dollansky , Kenny Jacobs , Joey Saldana , Billy Pauch