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News

Roberson Named Winner at East Bay’s Winter Shootout Event

Roberson Named Winner at East Bay’s Winter Shootout Event

GIBSONTON, Fla. (Feb. 4) — Logan Roberson of Waynesboro, Va., was sitting in his car on the frontstretch after finishing second in a 30-lapper on the second night of a three-race Crate Racin’ USA Winter Shootout Series weekend tripleheader at East Bay Raceway Park.

He reached to turn the ignition switch to the off position, removed his belts and harnesses, sat back for a few minutes to decompress from the high-speed racing that had just been completed at the third-mile oval, and looked briefly out the driver’s side window.

“Close,” he said with a sigh. “No cigar.”

The track is located near Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood. Affectionately known as Cigar City, the famous community known around the world for its shopping, dining and nightlife includes restaurants that serve delicious Cuban food and high-quality cigar shops and production factories. It’s located just down the road a small handful of miles from the track, and is an area rich in local lore.

While Roberson probably wasn’t planning to light up a stogie with a second-place finish, a post-race disqualification of apparent winner Doug Horton did leave the young driver with a victory and a $2,500 prize after he crossed the stripe a close second behind the former Bruceton Mills, W. Va., resident’s Bobby Lake Motorsports entry.

Horton, a popular driver who now lives in the Sunshine State, led every circuit from the pole and stretched a solid lead in the race’s early-to-middle stages. He was rarely challenged until Roberson closed the gap later in the event. As the laps wound down, Roberson stayed close to Horton’s rear bumper, but was never able to make the pass.

During postrace tech inspection procedures, Horton’s car was disqualified for what series officials determined to be an outside-the-seals engine infraction related to valve spring height requirements, costing Horton the first-place money.

Roberson, who spent the entire distance chasing Horton, was named as the race winner ahead of a 28-car field that was culled from a whopping 76-car entry list, and he was trailed in the revised top five by Jeremy Shaw on Millport, Ala., Travis Varnadore, Steve Mathis Jr. and Jason Welshan.

“You do hate to win a race on a disqualification, because it seems like all the initial publicity goes to them, and nobody remembers later who officially won the race,” Roberson said. “Having a good car is probably what kept me close to him, I think. You hate that for any driver, but I’m just glad to see the series is going to do tech the right way, and follow through with their rules.”

It was the fourth race in the Eastaboga, Ala-based organization’s highly-anticipated miniseries, which is an assortment of eight events that usually draws extremely large car counts. Both of the first two nights at the famed speedplant pulled car counts in the mid-70s range, which continues a trend that has been re-established in the past two years as Crate Racin’ USA made a long-awaited return to the tricky oval during 2021 Florida Speedweeks. Last year marked the burgeoning company’s first visit in several years.

Roberson’s win marked the second night in a row that a Virginia-based driver claimed a victory, fresh on the heels of Kyle Hardy’s thrilling, last-lap pass to earn a win on the opening night of the three-race engagement. It was also Roberson’s first-ever victory with the organization.

Sponsors on Roberson’s Rusty Webb Racing-fielded CVR Race Cars entry included Tennessee Shine Company, Morgan-McClure, R.W. Properties, Baker’s Wrecker Service and Matlock Sign Company.

“I started driving for him [Webb] last year after racing against him a lot,” Roberson said. “We won a touring series championship, and then put the deal together over the off-season after I’d raced against him all year.”

Roberson’s victory might have given a hint of the strong team that could be developing from the duo’s off-season pairing. It’s early yet to judge completely, but Roberson’s performances during the three-race weekend were notable.

“We had a good car all night in the race, and we’ve honestly had a really good car since we got here,” Roberson said. “Tonight it was very maneuverable. Qualifying is important at these races, and it’ll set up the rest of your night well. During the race my dad was signalling me, and moving me around. I was just trying to go where he [Horton] wasn’t.”

About Crate Racin’ USA
The economical Chevrolet Performance 602 and 604 Circle Track Engine is utilized by competitors in the various divisions presented by Crate Racin’ USA. It’s in stock and available for free, next-day delivery from Newsome Raceway Parts in Hartsville, S.C.

Each engine is built and sealed at the factory to prevent any expensive modifications. To place an order, call 1-877-497-3624.
For more information and rules, visit the organization’s website at www.crateracinusa.com, or follow our extensive social media programs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Newsome Raceway Parts, a division of Raceway Chevrolet in Hartsville, S.C., is the title sponsor of Crate Racin’ USA. E-Z-GO Golf Carts is the title sponsor of the newly-established E-Z-GO $100,000+ Challenge.

Chevrolet Performance is an official sponsor of the organization, along with Advanced Laser & Machine, Cruise with the Champions, Hoosier Racing Tire, KRC Power Steering, Knowles Race Parts and Bodies, My Race Pass, VP Racing Fuels and Lubricants and Willy’s Carburetors.

Official chassis sponsors include Warrior Race Cars, Rocket Chassis and CVR Race Cars.

Florida Winternationals (Night Two): 1. Logan Roberson, 2. Jeremy Shaw, 3. Travis Varnadore, 4. Steven Mathis Jr., 5. Jason Welshan, 6. Cody Overton, 7. Nevin Gainey, 8. Rodney Wing, 9. Jeff Choquette, 10. Andy Nezworski, 11. Drew Kennedy, 12. Mark Whitener, 13. Brenden Smith, 14. Walker Arthur, 15. Cory Hedgecock, 16. Matt Cooper, 17. Jody Knowles, 18. Trevor Collins, 19. David Showers Jr., 20. Jamie Burford, 21. Dillon Brown, 22. Keith Nosbisch, 23. Garrett Mosley, 24. Mack McCarter, 25. Brian Smith, 26. Joe Denby, 27. Rodgerick Dykes.
Disqualified: Doug Horton.

Winter Shootout Series (current points): 1. Cory Hedgecock, 348 points; 2. Jason Welshan, 308; 3. Jody Knowles, 300; 4. Nevin Gainey, 270; 5. Jamie Burford, 246; 6. Rodgerick Dykes, 214; 7. Garrett Mosley, 190; 8. (tie) Wil Herrington and T.J. Brittain, 186; 10. Mark Whitener, 176; 11. Rodney Wing, 174; 12. Travis Varnadore, 170; 13. (tie) Jake Knowles and Tim Clark, 164; 15. Jeremy Steele, 160; 16. David Showers Jr., 158; 17. Austin Yarbrough, 150; 18. (tie) Kyle Hardy and Logan Roberson, 148; 20. Trevor Collins, 144.

Entries: 76
Boyd-Bilt Fabrication Fast Qualifier: Doug Horton, 15.809 seconds
Lap leaders: Doug Horton 1-30.
Cautions: 2
KRC Power Steering Heat winners: Travis Varnadore, Jeremy Shaw, Brian Smith, Logan Roberson, Drew Kennedy, Keith Nosbisch, Jeff Choquette, Doug Horton.
KRC Power Steering B-main winners: Mark Whitener, Jason Welshan, Walker Arthur, David Showers Jr.