THREE FOR THREE
Luke Thomas swept the three night’s of Florida Mini Sprint Car
action at East Bay Raceway Park
(Photo by Neil Eric Miller)
TUESDAY, MARCH 2, 2010 - AREA AUTO RACING NEWS
MICRO-SPRINTS • Slingshots • MICRO-SPRINTS • Slingshots - Makes East Bay Raceway Park Track History - Luke Thomas Sweeps Florida Micro Sprint Car Winter Nationals
BY MARK McKEON
GIBSONTON, FL – Luke Thomas of Wyoming, Del., made history by going 6-for-6 during the 34th annual Florida Mini Sprint Association-sanctioned Winter Nationals for 600 and 750cc Micro Sprints at East Bay Raceway Park, winning his heat at the feature on all three night of competition.
It was the first time in the 18-year history of the event that a driver has won the A-Main on all three nights.
A former track champion at both Middleford (Del.) Speedway and Airport (Del.) Speedway, the 25-year-old grain farmer was untouchable behind the wheel of his Spar- powered Guhl-injected PMP chassis during the annual event and collected$2,000.
“I can’t believe this,” a grateful Thomas said in Victory Lane, accompanied by his parents and car owner Jimmy Ellis. “The motor and the chassis worked perfectly and my guys gave me a great car to race.” Former winner Jim Young of Johnstown, Pa., finished second on Thursday and Friday, before being sidelined with a steering arm failure on Saturday. In the Saturday finale, Thomas started fourth, but was in the lead by the end of the first lap.
Never seriously challenged, he led all 25 laps and finished well ahead of perennial rival Travis Senter of Osceola, Ark., who was trapped behind a lapped car for much of the race. Brian Roseman drove a suburb race on the outside groove, coming from 13th to finish third.
Fla. Mini Sprint Car Feature Finish:
Luke Thomas, Travis Senter, Brian Roseman, Kenny Harris III, Brett Micholski, Brett Arndt, Brock Zearfross, Bill Jackson, Heath Henly, Jason Van Dorel, Tyler Devault, Tim Buckwalter, Brett O’Donnell, Tim O’Donnell, David Pleaugh, Jody McKenzie, Rick Gross, Jerry Schott Jr., Jim Young, Rhea Lynn Moss, Terri Peter, Ryan Greth, Ryan Smith, Brandon White, Darren Hasty, Tom Kohler.
(Friday) – Arguably the most exciting race of the weekend, last Friday’s 20-lap feature was slowed only twice by yellow flags. It was highlighted by three lead changes among Thomas, Ryan Greth and Jim Young, with Travis Senter in the hunt as well. After leading early, Thomas slipped back to third place before finding the handle and charging back to the front.
Fla. Mini Sprint Car Feature Finish: Luke Thomas, Jim Young, Ryan Greth, Ryan Smith, Travis Senter, Brian Roseman, Jason Van Dorel, Bill Jackson, Heath Henley, David Pleaugh, Brock Zearfross, Brett Arndt, Tom Kohler, Stan Wiggam, Justin Lineman, Eddie Moss Jr., Kenny Harris III, Tim Buckwalter, Darren Hasty, Brett
O’Donnell, Blake Fuller, Jerry Schott Jr., Brandon White, Charles Cobourn, Paul
Lanza, Russell Heider.
(Thursday) - Luke Thomas of Wyoming, Del., picked up where he left off last January
and won the opening night 20-lap Micro Sprint feature at 34th annual Winter Nationals at East Bay Raceway Park. Thomas, who was runner-up in last year’s overall Florida Mini Sprint Association Winter Nationals points championship, now has back-to-back Winter Nationals victories separated by 56 weeks. It was a night to savor for Thomas. He drew starting spot No. 7 in his heat and won it with a dramatic last lap pass. Lining up on the pole for the feature, Thomas was the class of the field, leading every lap, often by as much as a straightaway
on the one third mile oval.
“I can’t believe it,” said Thomas. “Nothing seemed to be going our way on the trip down and in practice, but they whole crew we kept working at it.” Jim Young of Johnstown, Pa., came from 11th to finish second, grabbing the spot with three laps to go after staging a torrid battle with Travis Senter of Osceola, Ark. The race got ugly at the drop of the green flag, when second row starter Ed Moss’s motor stumbled and cars stacked up behind him at the starter’s stand. In the ensuing five- car scuffle, Moss’s granddaughter, 16-year-old rookie Rae Lynn Moss was shunted into the frontstretch wall. Though uninjured, she was out for the night. The yellow flag flew three more times, on lap four when Russ Heider hit the fourth turn wall, on lap nine when Tim Buckwalter’s car stalled and on lap 12 when Brock Zearfoss’s car slowed. Thomas had no trouble holding the lead on every restart.
Fla. Mini Sprint Car Feature Finish:
Luke Thomas, Jim Young, Travis Senter, Tom Kohler, Brian Smith, Brian Roseman, Terry Peters, David leaugh, Bill Jackson, Jason Van Dorel, Kenny Harris III, Tim Buckwalter, Ryan Greth, Stan Wiggam,
Brett O’Donnell, Darren Hasty, Chris Pacetti, Dirk Miller, Mark Rider, Ron Bishop, Brock Zearfoss, Jesse Teed, Russell Heider, Ed Moss, Heath Henley, Rea Lynn Moss.
NOTES: More than 45 cars signed-in to race, including a large contingent from New Jersey and Pennsylvania and several from Georgia. ... All three generations of the Moss family competed with Grandpa Ed Moss, Sr, Dad Ed Moss, Jr. and daughter Rheas Lynn all getting track time.. ... Although Luke Thomas was happy with his
PMP Chassis, Tim Buckwalter didn’t share the feeling for his. “I don’t want to be a quitter, but if we can’t get this thing figured out, we’re going to go to our back-up SB3 car,” Buckwalter said before Friday’s show. That’s exactly what he did for Saturday’s event, in which he finished 12th. ... The Micro racing at East Bay was clean and quick this year, with few cautions flags in either the qualifiers or the main events.
2010 East Bay
3 Race Sweep
From - Ellis Motorsports
Looking Forward To A Great 2010 Season