Take the "Checkers" on Hoosier Tires!Hoosier Racing TireTake the "Checkers" on Hoosier Tires!

    

LATE MODEL DIRT DRIVERS ON HOOSIERS
DOMINATE EAST BAY FOR 5TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

2-17-09
Josh Richards was a big winner on Hoosiers at East Bay (Photos courtesy of Rick Schwallie.) 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 the win. 

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 race. 

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 compound. 

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 victory. 

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 $12,000 payday. 

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 tires. 

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.

      

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