Whitner Takes Scott Thompson Memorial
GIBSONTON, Fla. – Mark Whitner picked up his second-straight victory in the seventh annual Scott Thompson Memorial 50-lap late model feature Saturday at East Bay Raceway Park, taking home $4,00 for his efforts.
The first feature of the night was the V8 Warriors. Winning their heats were Don Foligno and Jeff Weaver. When the green flag waved for the feature it was pole sitter Derek Gray taking the early lead. The first caution came out as Jeff Firestein spun in turn two. After the restart Gray was followed by Jeff Weaver into turn one with Foligno right on his back bumper. On lap six it was Gray and Weaver side by side at the line until the next lap when Weaver took over the top spot.
The final caution came out as Tim Stoffel spun in turn two. With the final restart on lap eleven Weaver had Reyes right on his back bumper hoping Weaver would make the mistake and pick up the win. When the checkered waved it was Weaver picking up the win the Marco Reyes, Kevin Cassaday, Jessica Robbins and Bill Whitney rounding out the top five.
Next up were the Limited Late Models as Father and Son Scotty Williams and Jesse Brown won their heat races. For the feature it was Brown on the pole with Todd Ford on the outside front row. When the green waved Brown took over the top spot until a caution came out as Keven Devrieze spun in turn two.
On the restart Brown had points leader Dale Pope and Kyle Worden on his bumper until Worden spun in turn four collecting four other cars. So on lap two it would be a single file restart as the Limited Late Models had not run since May 18th due to all the rainouts in June and July. Two other cautions came out but it was the second caution as Randy Shields spun in turn two almost collecting the leaders as he pulled out onto the race track right in front of them. When the checkered waved it was Jesse Brown picking up his very first Limited Late Model Feature Win.
“I was a little nervous with Pope racing me hard,” Brown stated in Victory Lane. “This is my dad’s old car and we just put a new body on it.”
Rounding out the top five were Dale Pope, Ricky Land who picked up bonus money courtesy of All Steel Building & Components for third place. Rich Livernois, Sr. and Rick Martin finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Next were the Florida Old Time Mods as Dan Darnell picked up the Feature Win. Dan said in Victory Lane that we come out here to race for fun and put on a show for the fans. Rounding out the top five were David Kelly, Jamie Franklin, Mark Steve and Tom McDonald.
Next it was time for the Scott Thompson Memorial. Winning their heats were Kyle Bronson, Mark Whitner, Rich Pratt and Keith Nosbisch. Previous winners of the Scott Thompson Memorial were Keith Nosbisch who won in 2007 and 2009. Rich Pratt won in 2008, Doug Horton in 2010, Travis Varnadore in 2011 and Mark Whitner in 2012. For the feature it was Keith Nosbisch and Rich Pratt making up the front row. Young Levi of the Thompson family gave the command for the drivers to start their engines. On the start it was Wayne Hammond getting spun in turn four and would make it a complete restart.
Then on the next attempt six cars including Hammond, David Schmauss, Doug Watson, Shan Smith, Devin Dixon and Kyle Mussleman all would spin in turn two. All would be able to continue with Dixon going to the pits and was able to make it out before the start but would have to start at the tail end of the field. On the third try it was Nosbisch leading the way for the first five laps and then started to come upon lapped traffic. The first caution came out on lap nine when Shan Smith spun in turn three right in front of Nosbisch with Keith making contact with Smith but with no damage.
On the restart Nosbisch would continue to lead as Whitner tried to use the high side to his advantage and try to reel in Nosbisch. Caution would then come out for Hammond spinning in turn two on lap thirteen. Nosbisch again had Whitner on his back bumper with Kyle Bronson and Doug Horton in tow. After the green waved it was Horton on the move as he made it by Bronson and Whitner and moved up to second spot.
On lap twenty two as Nosbisch was trying to get around lapped cars and had one right in front of him and had to put on the brakes allowing Horton to take over the lead heading into turn one with Whitner hanging on to second and Nosbisch back to third. At the half way point caution came out as Steven Mathis, Jr. and Doug Watson spun in turn four. So on the restart it was Whitner leading with Nosbisch back up to second and Horton falling back to third.
The race would continue on with all three drivers making their way thru the field passing lapped cars until the caution came out on lap forty-four as Kyle Musselman spun in front of the leaders almost collecting Whitner. When the checkered waved it was Mark Whitner winning back to back Scott Thompson Memorials.
“I knew Scott and we raced together so this means a great deal to me for me to be able to win this back to back,” Whitner stated in Victory Lane. “It takes a team effort to win this race and to make it here in Victory Lane. I have to thank Mark Rey for making the right call on the tires because if it was me I would have guessed wrong.”
Rounding out the top five were Doug Horton, Kyle Bronson, Keith Nosbisch and Devin Dixon.
The final event of the night was the Motorstats.com 4 Cylinder Bombers. Winning their heats were Brett Calonge and John Moore. Starting on the front row were Jeremey Douglas and Richard Humfeld. Humfeld led the first four laps until Patrick Fiore, Sr. blew a motor and caught on fire and pulled to the infield bringing out the caution.
On the restart Humfeld had Jimmy Baker and Raymond Vann trying to chase him down. Humfeld and Vann were side by side by at the line on lap six until Vann broke ending his night and hopes to make it three in a row. The last caution came out for debris in turn four as Humfeld went on to win the feature. Rounding out the top five were Jimmy Baker, Kayla Jones, Robert Purcell and Don R. Quinn.