- Feb. 24 - East Bay Raceway Park by Sam Holbrooks


Doug Horton - Chip Brindle - East Bay Raceway

Fifth starting Doug Horton races the Keith Nosbisch owned #11 underneath Bryan Bernhardt and on to the win in Friday's NeSmith Chevrolet Racing Series event at East Bay Raceway Park. (Neil Miller - photofinishes)

Doug Horton - Jack Nosbisch Jr - Neil Miller

Doug Horton and #12 Jack Nosbisch Jr. race for the lead before finishing in that order at the end of the first night of a three-night NeSmith Chevrolet Racing Series stint at East Bay Raceway Park. (Neil Miller - photofinishes)

NeSmith Racing: Horton Likes Tire Choice at East Bay Opener

Roby Helm

TAMPA, FL – Doug Horton of Bruceton Mills, W.V. won the 40-lap season opener for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series on Thursday at East Bay Raceway Park. Driving the Mainland Transport Warrior, Horton learned to like the tire choice car owner Ken Nosbisch made before the race at the halfway point when took the lead and never looked back.  

Horton started fifth and moved up to the second spot by lap 18. He then battled with early leader Bryan Bernhardt of Clearwater, Fla. after a lap 19 restart, and took the lead with an inside move coming off the fourth turn on lap 20. Horton then kept the point and at one time pulled out to a full straightaway lead. 

Chip Brindle - David Gentry

David Gentry races the top side of #21 Chip Brindle as he advances toward a fourth place finish in the opening night of racing at East Bay.(Neil Miller - photofinishes)

Matthew Turner - Chip Brindle

Matthew Turner works his way under Chip Brindle for sixth place in the late going at East Bay. (Neil Miller - photofinishes)

 “I wasn’t sure about the tire choice Ken made at the start of the race, but as the race went on, the car got faster, and I knew he made the right choice,” Horton said. “I have to dedicate this win to my wife, because on the way down here, she asked me when she was going to get her picture made with me under the palm trees in victory lane. I’ve won a lot of races down here, but never when she was here..” 

Jack Nosbisch, Jr. of Riverview, Fla. ran in the top three all race long and finished second, leading Keith Nosbisch, two-time series Champion David Earl Gentry, and Bernhardt

Bernhardt took the lead from polesitter Chip Brindle at the start of the race, followed by Jack Nosbisch Jr., Phillip Cobb, and Turner. On lap two, Turner passed Cobb for the fourth spot, and on lap five, Jack Nosbisch Jr. made an outside move down the backstretch on Brindle to take the second spot. 

Horton drove by Turner for fourth on lap 10, and on lap 12, he passed Brindle for the third spot with an inside move coming off the fourth turn. Horton caught Jack Nosbisch Jr. by lap 17 to challenge for second, and then got an inside run coming off the fourth turn on lap 18 to take the position. 

Doug Horton and crew

Doug Horton and his winning team at East Bay. (Neil Miller - photofinishes)

The first of four caution flags came out on lap 19 for debris, and a tangle on the restart that spun Shannon Lee on the front straightaway brought out caution flag number two.  Lee was done for the night, and that earned him the Dominator Race Products Hard Luck Award.

On the next restart, Horton got to the inside of Bernhardt and the top two cars raced side-by-side for the entire lap. As the field took the crossed flags to signal the halfway point in the race, Horton took the lead, while Keith Nosbisch and Gentry climbed up to the fourth and fifth spots, respectively. 

Horton began to pull away from Bernhardt, but his advantage was erased on lap 27 when Steve Cooke spun. A multi-car tangle on the restart brought out the fourth and final caution flag of the race, and sent Cobb to the tail of the lead lap cars for the restart. 

Steve Cooke - Phillip Cobb

Steve Cooke spun and collected #32 Phillip Cobb, forcing Cobb to the rear midway through the race. (Neil Miller - photofinishes)

Horton picked up where he left off after the next restart, while Jack Nosbisch Jr. challenged Bernhardt for second, and took the position from Bernhardt coming off the fourth turn. By lap 29, John Over had charged from the 22nd starting spot to move up to the seventh position, and Varnadore, who started 20th, was riding in eighth. 

By lap 33, Horton had stretched his advantage over Jack Nosbisch Jr. to a full straightaway lead. Keith Nosbisch got by Bernhardt for third on lap 37, and Gentry dropped Bernhardt to fifth by moving up to the fourth spot on lap 38. Horton’s margin of victory was 4.184 seconds at the checkered flag.

Doug Horton - Chip Brindle - East Bay Raceway

Doug Horton races past Chip Brindle and on to the win in Friday's NeSmith Chevrolet Racing Series event at East Bay Raceway Park. (Neil Miller - photofinishes)

Feb. 24 - East Bay Raceway Park - NeSmith Racing Series

1) Doug Horton, 2) Jack Nosbisch Jr., 3) Keith Nosbisch, 4) David Earl Gentry, 5) Bryan Bernhardt, 6) Matthew Turner, 7) Chip Brindle, 8) Dan Breuer, 9) John Over, 10) Travis Varnadore, 11) Phillip Cobb, 12) Eric Cooley, 13) Doug Watson, 14) Shane Hitt, 15) Steve Mathis, 16) Larry Harrod, 17) Shan Smith, 18) Johnny Stokes, 19) Mavrick Varnadore, 20) Robert Cossell, 21) Steve Cooke, 22) Dave Schmauss, 23) Shannon Lee, 24) Michael Blount

Fast Time (46 entries): Horton; Heat winners: Brindle, Bernhardt, Cobb, Jack Nosbisch Jr.; B-Main winners: Cooley, Cossell



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