JIMMY WILLS DOUBLES SATURDAY NIGHT TO WIN TUSA MOD LITE WINTER NATIONALS AT EAST BAY
By Charlie Brown, TAMPA, FL – Saturday night started with the 25-lap feature that had fallen victim to the curfew on Friday night. Jimmy May of Desoto, IA shot by pole sitter, Mitch Ward to lead lap one with C.J. Faison following in second. Jimmy Wills was on the move from sixth and pulled into second on the next lap. Jeff Isabelle looked strong shooting from eight to third.
May was able to build a lead over Wills. By lap ten Faison had gotten by Ward to reclaim fourth. Just before halfway defending Winter Nationals Champion, James Hill got by Ward to crack the top five after starting in tenth.
With ten to go the leaders caught the back of the field with May and Wills splitting a lapped car going into three and Wills taking the lead. The first yellow was out on lap 16 when Ward and Ty Short tangled. On the restart Hill got by Isabelle for third.
With five to go J.C. White got around bringing out the second caution. Under the yellow, Faison headed to the pits with smoke coming from the car. Hill edged May for second with three to go but May would battle his way back into the spot one lap later. The yellow was out for the final time with two laps to go after Tyler Riggs and Curt Miles, Jr. tangled hard in turn one.
Wills would control the final two circuits to earn his first win of the week. Jimmy May ended a great run in second with Teeters edging Hill for third. Jeff Isabelle rounded out the top five.
The top 12 drivers in points from the two Southern Regional features drew for the top 12 starting positions with the next 12 starters coming out of the top six from the two “B” Mains. Chris Logan drew the pole with Greg Rossell and Jim Boggett in row two in the Delaware Start.
Rossell took control at the drop of the green with Logan tucking into second. James Hill quickly climbed into the third spot and got by Logan for second. Josh May followed into the third spot as Tim White challenged Logan for fourth.
Texan Mike Walling came to a stop to bring out the first yellow on lap nine. On the restart White climbed to third with Jimmy Wills, who had started in ninth, rocketing into fourth. Rossell was fast and smooth on the point with Hill chasing in second. Wills got up to third but on lap 16 got sideways in turn two and dropped to sixth.
The second yellow was out on lap 18 as Nick Nash got around. On the restart Wills got a run coming off the second turn and shot by Josh May, White and Hill to take third behind Rossell and Teeters. Wills used the high line to get by Teeters with nine to go.
With five to go Wills had reeled in the leader Rossell. Staying on the high side he took the lead for lap 26. But it wasn’t over as Nash got around once again bringing the final yellow out with three to go. Wills was not to be denied his first Winter Nationals Championship as he sped away on the green leading the final laps to the checkered. Rossell earned a well-deserved second with Teeters ending a great week in third. Fourth went to Joe Isabelle and Jeff Isabelle rounded out the top five.
Thursday Night Makeup Feature Finish: 1. Jimmy Wills; 2. Jimmy May; 3. James Hill; 4. Jeff Teeters.; 5. Jeff Isabelle, Jr.; 6. Jim Boggett; 7. Joe Bob Veach; 8. Josh May; 9. Shane Pfeuffer; 10. Tim White; 11. Greg Rossell; 12. Joe Isabelle; 13. Josh Sliter; 14. Rick Ament; 15. Ken Meadows; 16. Mike Walling; 17. Mitch Ward; 18. Chris Logan; 19. Paul Klager; 20. Bryan Zehn; 21. Curt Miles, Jr.; 22. Evan Epperson; 23. Tyler Riggs; 24. J.C. White; 25. C.J. Faison; 26. Ty Short.
1st B Main Finish (Top Six to Transfer): 1. Josh Sliter; 2. Rick Ament; 3. Joe Isabell; 4. Jeff Isabell; 5. Chase Flatt; 6. C.J. Faison. 7. Mitch Ward; 8. Chris Logan; 9. Bryan Zehm; 10. Bo Bass; 11. Rob Meisner; 12. Dan Fergeson.
2nd B Main Finish (Top Six to Transfer): 1. Ty Short; 2. Ken Meadows; 3. Nick Nash; 4. J.C. White; 5. Jason Darocha; 6. Chris Frank; 7. Kevin Nicolino; 8. Evan Epperson; 9. Rick Demo; 10. Zakary Kimbrew; 11. Paul Klager; DNS – Curt Miles, Jr.
Saturday Night Winter National Finish: 1. Jimmy Wills; 2. Greg Rossell; 3. Jeff Teeters; 4. Joe Isabelle; 5. Jeff Isabelle, Jr.; 6. Ty Short; 7. Josh May; 8. Jimmy May; 9. Chris Logan; 10. Mike Walling; 11. Jim Boggett; 12. C.J. Faison; 13. Kenny Meadows; 14. Rick Ament; 15. Chris Frank; 16. Josh Sliter; 17. Jason Darocha; 18. Shane Pfeuffer; 19. James Hill; 20. Nick Nash; 21. Tim White; 22. Chase Flatt; 23. Joe Bob Veach; 24. J.C. White. DNQ: Mitch Ward; Kevin Nicolino; Alan Fink; Evan Epperson; Ed Zehn; Rick Demo; Bo Bass; Curt Miles, Jr; Paul Klager; Doug Fergeson; Rob Meisner; Zackary Kimbrew.
Non-qualifiers “Florida State Championship” Finish: 1. Kevin Nicolino; 2. Rick Demo; 3. Mitch Ward; 4.Paul Klager; 5. Alan Fink; 6. Rob Meisner; 7. Zakary Kimbrew; 8. Dan Ferguson; 9. Bo Bass; 10. DNS: Bryan Zehm; Curt Miles, Jr.; Tyler Riggs; DQ: Evan Epperson (illegal driver substitution).