FL (February 12) -- Terry McCarl, winner of five consecutive
410-sprint track championships at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa, captured
his first-ever win at Florida's East Bay Raceway Park Thursday night
when race leader Jim Nier slowed after completing lap 24 thinking it
was the final lap. The momentary lapse in judgment was just enough for
McCarl and two other drivers to motor past Nier at the finish line.
McCarl pocketed $4,000 for the win. Once again, the Hoosier brand
dominated the second night of racing in the 28th Annual 410 Sprint
Winternationals sweeping the first 15 positions in the night's 25-lap
feature race. Hoosier Open Wheel Dirt Product Manager Neil Cowman
attended the annual event and provided the details for this report.
Thirty-three cars (32 on Hoosiers) posted times in
qualifying on the 1/3-mile track with Jeff Shepard setting fast time
with a lap of 13.079 seconds. Terry McCarl was second fastest at
13.085 seconds followed by Craig Dollansky, Jesse Giannetto and Jim
Nier as Hoosier-shod cars posted the 22 fastest times in qualifying.
There were four heat races contested with each being
won by a driver using the Hoosier brand. Last night's winner Joey
Saldana won the first heat, while Jeremy Campbell, Nick Naber and
Lance Dewease were the other three heat winners.
In the 25-lap feature, Shane Stewart and Jim Nier
started on the front row with Nier and his Hoosier D10/RD12 rear drive
combination taking the lead at the outset. From there, Nier was in
command of the race leading through the 24th lap. That's when Nier
lifted off the gas pedal thinking he saw a checkered flag waving as he
crossed the line with one-to-go. This allowed Terry McCarl, who was in
hot pursuit riding on a pair of Hoosier D10's, to quickly close the
distance and overtake Nier for the $4,000 winner's purse. The error
also allowed Shane Stewart to take second and Craig Dollansky to claim
third. Both Stewart and Dollansky opted to run the 25-lap sprint using
a pair of RD12's. Nier settled for a fourth place finish with Greg
Hodnett (RD12/RD12) rounding out the top five.
Greg Leonard, Jeff Shepard, Sammy Swindell, Danny
Smith and Joey Saldana finished sixth through tenth, while Fred
Rahmer, Jeremy Campbell, Lance Dewease, Nick Naber and Ed Lynch, Jr.
completed the top-fifteen sweep for Team-Hoosier.
The 28th Annual 410 Sprint Winternationals at East Bay
Raceway Park resumes tonight with the third of four nights of action
heading into Saturday's big finale.
The Hoosier brand remains undefeated in open
competition 410 Sprint racing during the 2004 Speedweeks in