East Bay Winter Nationals Modifieds



TAMPA, FL…..It took four lead changes to have “part-time” Modified racer Kevin Weaver emerge as the winner of $1,500 on opening night for the 8th Annual Open Wheel Modified Winternationals Wednesday night at East Bay Raceway Park.

            With 103 drivers on hand from 15 states plus Canada, Weaver was the first to admit to track announcer Chris Stepan, “I don’t run with these guys enough to know them or recognize their cars.  I was just trying to pass cars….when I came up on Raymond Rogers, I thought he was a lapped car.  But, when I challenged him and he challenged me back, I figured it out real quick that he was the leader!”

            The winning move came in turn three on lap 23, when Rogers got a little high and out of shape.   Weaver drove under him to go on and build a six-car length lead at the finish over Matt Goulden who also took advantage of Rogers’ miscue to collect second place with Rogers dropping to third at the checkered flag after 25 laps.

            “We came with the same set-up as last year and tires were the only thing we changed all night,” the soft-spoken Weaver revealed.  With only 15 races on his Bob Pierce chassis that he took as a trade-in on a late model, the car handled like a dream.  “The track had a low, high and middle groove tonight and I could run anywhere and for the first time, my daughter Paige was here to see me race.”

            Usually running his Late Model, Weaver is behind the wheel of his No. B-12 Modified only about seven times a year.  Tonight it was powered by a Hixon engine, using Bilstein Shocks and Hoosier tires.  His sponsors this year include Jimmy John’s Gormet Sandwiches and Rigsby Homes helped with the fuel bill.  Mason Fisher and Josh Beebe made up the winner’s crew.

            The ten heat winners were subjected to a redraw for starting positions in the A-Main and Weaver came up on the short end of that – drawing a number 10 pill.  Junior Nolan and Jamie Burrows made up the front row with Rogers and Goulden in row two.  It was Nolan who led the first two laps through three early cautions.

            Goulden took command on lap three and rode the inside groove, but Rogers was right with him and finally used an outside move in turn four to lead lap nine.  By lap 15, Rogers had a three second lead over the field.  As the laps ticked off, Rogers went higher and actually bounced off the wall several times and finally got sideways enough in turn three for Weaver to blast by on the inside with three laps to go.

            Behind the Weaver, Goulden and Rogers trio, it was Jeff Mathews and Todd Gilpin in the top five.  Rounding out the top ten, it was Roger Crouse, Wayne Hammond, Dane Groves, Jason Jamison and Shane Cottle.

            With the track in excellent condition for afternoon time trials, a total of four cars were under Dan Hamstra’s track record of 17.021 set back on February 11, 2001 with Corey Conley coming off as the new track record holder with a 16.725.

            Ten heats were run, locking in the top two for the A-Main.  Conley dropped a drive shaft on the front stretch in his heat sending him in search of a starting spot through the C-Main.   Tony Roland and Conley advanced from the first C-Main whileTyler Ivey and Brandon Carlson moved up from the second C-Main.  The first B-Main advanced Mark Dotson and Steve Arpin, while Wayne Hammond and Scott Weber earning their way into the A-Main from the second B-Main. 

                                    Thanks, Jean Lynch for East Bay Raceway Park
























East Bay Winter Nationals Modifieds


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Revised: February 23, 2013