By: Lucas Halbert
Photo: Mike Ruefer
Tampa, Florida (1/25/2021)… Hudson O’Neal was patient in the caution filled race and pounded the bottom relentlessly on Monday night to win at East Bay Raceway Park.
Kyle Bronson started on the pole with Brandon Overton on his outside. The lead was not Bronson’s long before O’Neal took it briefly. Tyler Erb and Brandon Sheppard while joined the battle for the lead also.
Erb went top shelf early to take the top spot. Terbo may have been showing the way around the top, but moving through the field was Devin Moran, who started 22nd and made his to 5th in just twelve laps.
After a caution for Kyle Bronson, Brandon Sheppard and Moran started their attack on Erb. On one of the many restarts on Monday night, Erb finally made the mistake that B-Shep and Moran were looking for.
Erb spinning his tires allowed the reigning World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion to rocket to the outside and take the lead down the backstretch. Erb went down low in turn three and four, making contact with Moran, causing Tyler Erb to spin around and bring out another caution.
Since Sheppard was not able to record a lap, scoring went back to the last completed lap to set the lineup. After starting 22nd, Devin Moran was now in the lead. But not for long, Hudson O’Neal kept faithful to the bottom and took the lead with a third of the race left.
A caution with two to go halted O’Neal’s visit to victory lane. But it did not matter as Hudson held off a rim riding Brandon Sheppard to the opening night at East Bay.
Brandon Overton rounded out the podium, followed by a trio of drivers who had the Tampa, Florida track figured out. Devin Moran finished 4th after passing 18 cars, Earl Pearson Jr. picked off 19 drivers en route to a top 5. The Hard Charger of the race was Lebanon, Missouri native Tony Jackson Jr, who gained 24 spots on his way to a 6th place finish.
Feature Results (30 Laps):
1. (71) Hudson O’Neal , 2. (1S) Brandon Sheppard , 3. (76) Branon Overton , 4. (9) Devin Moran , 5. (1) Earl Pearson Jr ], 6. (56JR) Tony Jackson Jr , 7. (1T) Tyler Erb , 8. (81E) Tanner English , 9. (157) Mike Marlar , 10. (33J) Jeff Mathews , 11. (17D) Zack Dohm , 12. (99JR) Frank Heckenast Jr , 13. (25) Shane Clanton , 14. (00H) Wo; Herrington , 15. (28E) Dennis Erb Jr . 16. (14B) John Baker , 17. (14) Josh Richards , 18. (18J) Chase Junghans , 19. (22) Gregg Satterlee , 20. (49) Jonathan Davenport , 21. (76B) Blair Nothdurft , 22. (385) Mark Whitener , 23. (20) Jimmy Owens , 24. (11H) Spencer Hughes , 25. (39) Tim McCreadie , 26. (21) Billy Moyer Jr , 27. (40B) Kyle Bronson , 28. (25Z) Mason Zeigler , 29. (16) Tyler Bruening , 30. (3S) Brian Shirley