Column By: ROBERT SYMONDS / RPW – Tampa, FL – Tonight, Saturday February 9th is the final night of the week long event the 43rd Annual Winternationals at East Bay Raceway Park. This year we have seen a lot of great racing action and surprising outcomes. Heading into the final night, here is some of the highlights of the past 5 nights of action.
Tyler Erb as many know is the new to the Best Performance Motorsports ride in 2019. He has already captured 3 wins on the season with 2 of them being the first two nights of the Winternationals week. Though we haven’t seen Erb as the victor in the last few races, this does not mean he is out of the hunt. Tyler Erb has only finished out of the top 3 once this year and that was the final night of Golden Isles Speedway last Saturday, 5 events ago. Don’t count out Terbo tonight as we run 60 laps in the finale.
Jonathan Davenport in his famed white 49 Late Model is still looking very strong. Tying Tyler Erb in the Winternationals for wins and having great finishes when it comes to point shows is a huge plus. At the beginning of the week JD did struggle finishing inside the top 10 however Superman tweaked the car and has now found his rhythm. Being 10 points behind Earl Pearson Jr for the leader of the touring points will give any driver the motivation and the drive to finish well inside the top 5. Look for Superman to strike again in the finale tonight
Earl Pearson Jr is another driver that seemed to have an up and down Winternationals. The ups for the Hurricane Earl Pearson Jr have outweighed the downs. Pearson has had 3 top five finishes along with a 7th place and 11th place so far at East Bay. The point leader may have something up his sleeve on the final night of the Winternationals. He will be in the Stuckey ride with the orange spoiler again tonight as he is only 10 points ahead of Davenport and 30 ahead of Erb.
Tim McCreadie has struggled during Speedweeks in general. Finishing outside of the top 10 most of the time, TMac was finally able to crack a 10th place finish on Tuesday night during Winternationals and also finished in his highest of the season of 6th place so far. Can McCreadie turn things around during the finale tonight?
Other Notes- Look for some fast drivers out of qualifying. Some of these drivers are really fast in qualifying but end up chasing the handling as the night goes on. Another note to add, the track may be black and slick again tonight. We have seen this last night and the track actually started taking some rubbing. Expect more of the same tonight.
Tonight is the final night of the 43rd Annual Winternationals for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. The coverage tonight will be on RPWUpdate on Twitter starting at around 7:15pm. After tonight, the drivers will head north to Ocala for their only trip in 2019 to Bubba Raceway Park where Jonathan Davenport claimed victory.