FL (Jan. 29-Feb. 1) -- Sport Allen won the $10,000 Ronald Laney
Memorial race at Florida's East Bay Raceway Park on Saturday marking
the unofficial beginning of another sprint car season in the United
States. Although the four-night 5th Annual King of 360 Winternationals
event utilizes a Hoosier right rear spec tire, the real question was
whether the four winners would have Hoosiers on all four corners of
their racers. We are pleased to report that all four winners were
sporting the Hoosier brand on all four corners. On Wednesday, sixth
starting Terry McCarl captured the opener, while Sport Allen won the
second night of action after starting seventh. On Friday, Gary Wright
started on the pole and led every lap en route to the win. The event
culminated in Saturday's $10,000-to-win race won by Sport Allen from
the outside pole.
Forty-five cars posted times in pre-race qualifying. Jason Sides
posted fast time of the night with a lap of 12.982 seconds around the
1/3-mile East Bay oval. He was the only driver to eclipse the
13-second lap barrier. Sides also rides atop Hoosiers on all four tire
In the 25-lap feature, Terry McCarl won the
$1,500-to-win feature after starting sixth. It took McCarl just three
circuits to take over the lead and go on to the victory. McCarl stated
in the winner's circle after his win, "We didn't change tires all
night. These Hoosiers worked great." Lance Dewease finished
second followed by Gary Wright in third.
Forty-three cars posted times on the second night of action, and
once again, it was Jason Sides posting the quickest lap of the
evening. Sides' lap of 13.375 seconds was the night's best.
In the 25-lap feature, Sport Allen came from seventh
place to capture the $1,500 win. Allen also rode atop four Hoosier
tires en route to his win. Fred Rahmer took second followed by Lance
Forty-four cars posted times on Friday afternoon with Sport Allen
preventing Jason Sides from a third consecutive fast qualifier award.
Allen's time was 13.395 seconds over second-quick Sides who posted a
13.444 second lap.
In the night's feature, Gary Wright started on the
pole and defended his leader status throughout the entire 25-lap race.
Wright, from Texas, collected $1,500 for the win. Darren Stewart took
second while Jason Sides settled for third place honors.
The top six starters in the 26-car field for the $10,000-to-win finale
were set by points accumulated in the first three nights of racing.
The final 20 spots were determined via several qualifying races which
whittled the 40+ hopefuls to 26 in number. Terry McCarl started on the
pole with Sport Allen alongside.
Allen immediately jumped out into the lead at the drop
of the green flag and never looked back. Allen masterfully negotiated
lapped traffic on his way to the biggest win of his career while
collecting $10,000 for his stellar effort. Allen now becomes the fifth
different driver in five years to wear the King of the 360's crown
since its inception. Shane Stewart finished in second place, while Greg
Leonard took third place honors.
Hoosier Open Wheel Dirt Product Manager Neil Cowman
will be traveling to Florida, as will many Hoosier Product Managers,
for the annual racing season kick-off culminating in the Daytona 500.
Cowman commented, "I was very pleased to see Hoosier was the
brand of choice by all four night's winners and I am looking forward
to going to Volusia Speedway later this week to watch the Hoosier
brand perform in person."