TAMPA, FL (February 3-7, 2009) -- If you are a late model dirt driver in the
winner's circle at East Bay Raceway Park, chances are pretty good you are
riding on Hoosier racing tires. In fact, for the past five years every night's
feature winner at the East Bay Winternationals has taken the checkered flag
while riding on Hoosier tires. Winners this year included Matt Miller, Billy
Moyer and Josh Richards (photo) who won three times with Dennis Erb Jr. capturing
Saturday's $12,000 finale.
Rain washed out Monday's official start of the 33rd annual Lucas Oil
Winternationals, with racing taking place the following day after the weather
warmed up and the track dried out.
On Tuesday, 69 cars jammed the pits for their chance at the opening night's
$5,000 prize. When the 30-lap feature was over, Matt Miller emerged the winner
after starting sixth on the grid. Miller, using a Hoosier LM40 as his compound choice, battled his way into the lead on lap 23 en route to
On Wednesday, 72 cars were on hand at the 1/3-mile oval speedplant. In the
night's 30-lap feature, Billy Moyer took the lead at the race's halfway mark.
Moyer, who was the opening night's runner-up finisher, led the remainder of the
way to claim the $5,000 payout. The changing track conditions led Moyer to
select Hoosier's softest late model dirt compound (1100) option for the 30-lap
The following night had 75 cars looking to collect the $7,000 prize for
winning the night's 40-lap feature. The race featured four leaders including
20-year-old Josh Richards who took the lead on lap 12. The Rocket chassis
driver, riding on Hoosier's speedy 1100 compound, defended the top
spot the rest of the way en route to his first win at the 33rd Winternationals.
On Friday, there were two feature races. The matinee race was Monday's
rescheduled $5,000-to-win event. In the 30-lap race, Josh Richards led all but
the first lap en route to his second win in a row. The daytime race saw "Kid Rocket" opt to run the feature
using Hoosier's 1300
The excitement was just getting started for young Richards. In Friday
night's regularly scheduled $10,000-to-win race, the Shinnston, WV driver made
it three in a row winning the night's 50-lap feature from the outside pole
position. The evening race attracted 72 entries. The 50-lap race had Richards
opting to run Hoosier's 1600 compound. The decision proved to be correct with
Richards leading all 50 laps en route to his third consecutive
The five days of racing culminated in Saturday's exciting 75-lap finale
which attracted 74 drivers. The final race had 24 of the 25 starters running on
Hoosier tires. The packed house definitely got their money's worth as they
witnessed an amazing charge through the field by Dennis Erb Jr. in search of a
Erb started 18th in the 24-car field and took a bit of a gamble using
Hoosier's 1100 compound on all four corners of his Rayburn chassis for the
75-lap marathon. In the end, the gamble paid off big for the 36-year-old
driver. Erb skillfully moved through the field ultimately taking the lead from
Scott Bloomquist on lap 62 en route to the win.
During the five days of racing at East Bay, it is worth noting that every
competitor raced on Hoosier (rear) tires at least once during the event. Not
surprisingly, all six fast qualifiers rode on Hoosiers as did 33 of the 34 heat
race winners. In fact, 133 of 149 feature starters rode on Hoosier racing
Hoosier Late Model Dirt Product Manager Shanon Rush commented after the 33rd
Winternationals, "We sincerely appreciate the support and performance
of our (Hoosier-shod) drivers at East Bay again this year."
Rush added, "It is always great to start off the new season with
success and we hope we can continue it throughout the 2009 season."
For complete Winternationals race results or more information
about the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series you can visit their website at www.lucasdirt.com.