Tampa, FL – Practice night on Wednesday at the 2013 Winternationals at the East Bay Raceway Park had an exciting addition with the Hoosier Mod Lite World Shoot out Invitational. It was truly an international event with 24 drivers from four countries and five states competing in the 30-lap, $1000 to win event.
When the checkered flag fell, it was Jimmy Wills, the 2012 TUSA Southern Regional Champion and Delaware International Speedway track champion taking home the World Champion honors.
Last year’s Winternationals Champion, Doug Williams was slated to start on the pole but lost an engine in practice. This moved STARS Midwest Champion, Chase Flatt of Monmouth, IL to the point. The red was out before the first lap was complete when Ray Sliter of Ridgeway, Ontario got over Nick Nash of Smyrna, Delaware’s wheel and barrel rolled down the front straight. Sliter was shaken in the scary crash but was not injured.
Back under the green former Winternationals Champion, Mikey Hay of Somerset, Pa. grabbed the lead with Wills riding the cushion from eighth into second. An international incident took place on lap three when UK Champion Simon Paton of Sleaford, England tangled with Australian racer, Jamie Corling on the back straight to bring out the yellow.
Wills edged Hay on the restart to take the lead and immediately began to open an advantage. While Hay watched from a distance in second Flatt kept the pressure on from third. 250 Speedway Champion, Ken Meadows of Deerfield, Ohio was running fourth and Josh Isabelle of Penneville, NY held fifth.
At the mid-point of the race, Nick Sapp of Milford, Del. got sideways coming off the second turn setting off a tangle that included Josh May of Desoto, Iowa, Darrell Lewis of Butler, Pa. and Lynn Knepper of Somerset, Pa. May was able to continue and was on a charge.
Hay started to slow and would eventually pull to the infield as Isabelle took second from Flatt. James Hill of Laurel, Del. began to charge through the field with May, how had restarted in the rear in tow. With ten to go the pair were running fourth and fifth. One lap later, May got by both Hill and Flatt to take third.
With the final 16 laps being run caution free, Wills was able to open a comfortable lead and drove to the win. Isabelle finished a well-earned second after experiencing engine problems in practice and May, who started in 23rd finished in third. Fourth went to Hill and Meadows rounded out the top five.
Thursday night’s action was rained out. Races resume on Friday and Saturday nights.
Mod Lite World Shoot Out Invitational Finish: 1. Jimmy Wills, Felton, DE; 2. Jeff Isabell, Jr., Penneville, NY; 3. Josh May, Desoto, IA; 4. James Hill, Laurel, DE; 5. Ken Meadows, Deerfield, OH; 6. Chase Flatt, Monmouth, IL; 7. Randy Bryan, Ames, IA; 8. Darrell Lewis, Butler, PA; 9. Simon Paton, Sleaford, UK; 10. Alan Knepper, Somerset, PA; 11. Kevin Nicolino, Deerfield, OH; 12. Lynn Knepper, Somerset, PA; 13. Mikey Hay, Somerset, PA; 14. Nick Sapp, Milford, DE; 15. Josh Sliter, Ridgeway, Ont.; 16. Tyler Riggs, New Matamoros, OH; 17. Jamie Corling, Twowoomba, Australia, ; 18. Ty Short, Ellendale, DE; 19. Tom Schnabel, Yorkville, IL; 20. Joe Isabell, Penneville, NY; 21. Erik McKinney, Felton, DE; 22. Ray Sliter, Ridgeway, Ontario; 23. Nick Nash, Smyrna, DE; DNS: Doug Williams; Andy Hennigar.