TAMPA, FL....The temperature dropped 15 degrees after an afternoon rain and cold front moved over East Bay Raceway during the afternoon free barbeque for drivers, owners, crews and families. But the racing action couldn't have been hotter on...
TAMPA, FL....The temperature dropped 15 degrees after an afternoon rain and cold front moved over East Bay Raceway during the afternoon free barbeque for drivers, owners, crews and families. But the racing action couldn't have been hotter on the second preliminary night of the three-day 3rd Annual $64,000 King of 360's as a "Florida Boy," Kenny Adams won the $l,500 first place prize, plus the $500 bonus money offered by USCS President, Pete Walton. Adams expressed his feelings about the win, "So many people worked so many hours to make this happen. I'm happy a Floridian won."
With the fastest six qualified cars inverted for the 25-lap A-Main, Mike Woodring, who normally runs the Empire Super Sprints based in New York, sat on the pole in his own No. 19 Trevis Craft with Kelly Kinser outside in the NBC Steering, Stealth. Last night's winner, Lance Dewease put the Harz J&J in third starting spot with Gary Wright outside. The team cars of Adams and Red Stauffer made up the third row.
It was Kinser who led the first lap before the caution had to come out for Christie Passmore. Kinser led again running high in unfamiliar territory, according to his usual low-line style. But the yellow came out again on lap three for Stauffer, slowing the pace and bunching up the field. When Dewease, who was running second, saw Kinser on top, he went to the other extreme and ran a tight inside groove. He almost made it work and it was a side-by-side completion of the fifth lap. Wright had been very much in the mix and split the two front runners, getting by Dewease on lap six, but not quite getting the job done on the high flying Kinser.
Kinser led Wright on lap nine with Adams passing Dewease for third. Adams got noticably faster at this point and worked the lapped traffic to his advantage, slipping into the lead on lap ten. By the next round, it was Adams, Wright, Dewease, Kinser and Wayne Johnson in fifth. Kinser spun and then pulled out.
A caution cleared the lapped traffic and the leaders showed their strength, just blowing away the competition and stretching their margins as the fans watched a four-car length lead separate Adams from Wright and equally spaced distances between Wright and Dewease and ditto for Dewease and Johnson and now add Ronald Laney.
One more strategic caution came out for a spin by Jason Johnson in turn four set up a two lap dash to the finish. But Adams was up to the challenge, holding off Wright, who "broke a motor last night" and they borrowed one of Dupuy's engines. Next came Dewease, who admitted, "I messed up and let Gary and Kenny get by and I kind of lost my rhythm." Wayne Johnson, Laney and Jeff Shepard ranked next. Rounding out the top ten, it wasJeff Shepard, Joey Saldana, Travis Rilay, Jason Sides and Kenny Jacobs.
The track surface was slower tonight because of the afternoon rain and Red Stauffer was the only driver of the 69 cars on hand to qualify in the 12 second bracket with a time of 12.921.
The eight heats went to Larry Neighbors, Mike Chadd, Paul McMahan, Saldana, Kinser, Terry McCarl, Rilat and Jason Johnson.
The C-Main went to Jacobs and the twin B's were won by Adams and Jacobs. Michael Depuy was the happy winner of the Invitational Dash worth $1,000 to him. The race is for all drivers that do not make the A-Main and the 10-car field is picked by luck of the draw. Track owner Kolan had Jack Miller announce some shocking news at the drivers' meeting. For those who have worn the King of 360's crown.....that would be Gary Wright and Ronald Laney, there will be a $5,000 bonus in store for either of them if they can repeat on Saturday night.
-East Bay Speedway