ALLSTAR: TBARA: East Bay Raceway Thursday race report

GIBSONTON, FL - Joey Saldana made it two for two Thursday night at East Bay Raceway in round two of the 25th annual All Star sprint East Bay Nationals. He defeated Danny Lasoski for the second consecutive night, pocketing another $4,000 for...

GIBSONTON, FL - Joey Saldana made it two for two Thursday night at East Bay Raceway in round two of the 25th annual All Star sprint East Bay Nationals. He defeated Danny Lasoski for the second consecutive night, pocketing another $4,000 for the 25 lap contest.

"It was tough to pass tonight," the happy winner said, smiling ear to ear. "It's a good thing I stated up front. Timing sixth quick is what made the difference." He also thanked Hoosier Tires for another great tire. "I ran a 12 (compound) last night and a 10 tonight. I haven't made any changes to the car yet!"

Saldana sat on the pole for the start, with youngster Blake Feese alongside. Rodney Duncan and Louisiana's Jason Johnson made up row two with Jeff Shepard and Lasoski comprising row three. Saldana took off into the lead when the race started with Feese trailing in second. Mike Wagner's spin on lap four slowed the pace, but Saldana kept the lead over Feese, Johnson, Lasoski and Duncan. Lasoski passed Duncan following the restart, and was pressuring Johnson when Terry McCarl lost power for the second caution on lap eight.

Lap 16 was a disaster for Shepard, who was running sixth. He was forced to slow when McCarl, who was lapped, got sideways in front of him. Shepard jammed on his brakes, jumped the cushion and flipped into the outside wall. He emerged unhurt. This made the restart order Saldana, Feese, Johnson, Lasoski, Craig Dollansky (up from 13th starting spot,) Duncan and Todd Gracey, up from 22nd.

Saldana was now dominating, pulling away to as much as a ten car length lead on an open track, with Feese and Johnson able to close in lapped traffic. A flat by Mark Keegan on lap 22 reset the field for a three lap run to the end. Lasoski got past Johnson for third following the restart and a circuit later Feese's excellent run came to an end as he rolled to a stop with rear end problems. This put Lasoski second, but Lasoski did not have anything for the leader and Saldana won with a two second victory margin. Lasoski ended second, followed by Johnson's Lanny Row-owned No. 41, Dollansky's Karavan No. 7, Gracey's Ken Cooper No. 25, Duncan's Harrison Trucking No. 22 and Texan Ronald Laney, up from 18th starting spot. Danny Smith was eighth with 26th starting Gary Wright ninth and Tim Shaffer tenth.

"I wanted to come here and get some laps in," Johnson said of his third place run. "I made a good friend here in Florida, Joey Saldana. He's been helping me a lot."

The K-T Equipment heat went to Dollansky, the JB Enterprise Racing Products heat to Jeff Shepard, the Crown Battery heat to Shaffer, the Engler Machine & Tool heat to McCarl while Ryan Flynn and Laney took the final two heats. Steven King and Wayne Johnson won the twin Georgia Marketing & Promotions C Mains, Lance Dewease the B Main and Jason Johnson captured the Haulmark Dash with Brian Ellenberger the Strawberry Dash $1,000 winner. Lasoski's 12.160 mark was a new track record in qualifying.

-Scott Hall

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Danny Lasoski , Blake Feese , Craig Dollansky , Joey Saldana , Wayne Johnson , Jason Johnson