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Apple Creek,OH 1-23-01
The Renegade STARS Racing Series will kick-off the 2001 racing season at East Bay Raceway in Tampa,FL with three nights of racing at the semi-banked 1/3rd mile track. East Bay Raceway's "25th Silver Anniversary Late Model Winternationals" starts Monday, February 5 headlined by a 50 lap feature event paying $5,000 to the winner. Racing action Tuesday, February 6 will be capped off with a 75 lap feature event with $7,000 earmarked for the winner. The final night of Renegade STARS Racing Series sanctioned "Winternationals" happens Friday, February 9 with $12,500 awaiting the winner of the 100 lap feature event. Over $100,000 in total purse money has been posted for the three nights of Renegade STARS Racing Series action by East Bay Raceway owner Stan Kolan and GM Tom Hall.

A "who's who" of dirt Late Model racecar drivers will converge on East Bay Raceway for the "25th Silver Anniversary Late Model Winternationals" with defending Renegade STARS Racing Series champion Chub Frank set to defend his title. The Sugar Grove,PA driver has never grabbed a feature event win at East Bay Raceway with his best ever finish coming on the final night of the 2000 "Fall Nationals" when he placed second to eventual winner Rick Eckert.

In 21 previous Renegade STARS Racing Series sanctioned events at East Bay Raceway a whopping 16 different drivers have put themselves into victory lane. 1996, 1997 and 1998 STARS champion Steve Francis leads the way with three triumphs and will try and add to that total when the Ashland,KY native rolls out his Mopar Performance Parts/Valvoline sponsored No. 15 Francis Racing Rocket Chassis/Stanton-Mopar Racing Engine Dodge R/T.

The only other drivers to grab multiple STARS victories at East Bay Raceway include 1993 and 1994 STARS titleist Davey Johnson of Greensburg,PA who will pilot the Mark Richards Racing No. 1J Rocket Chassis/Draime Racing Engines Chevrolet Monte Carlo as well as Billy Moyer of Batesville,AR and multi-time East Bay Raceway champion Keith Nosbisch of Valrico,FL. Johnson, Moyer and Nosbisch all have two STARS feature wins at East Bay Raceway.

Drivers with one STARS triumph apiece at East Bay Raceway include Gary Stuhler of Greencastle,PA; 1989 and 1990 STARS champion Mike Balzano of Parkersburg,WV; Rick Aukland of Zanesville,OH; Steve Shaver of Parkersburg,WV; Rick Eckert of York,PA; Booper Bare of Rockbridge Baths,VA; Wendell Wallace of Batesville,AR; Jimmy Mars of Elk Mound,WI; Dan Schlieper of Pewaukee,WI; Don O'Neal of Martinsville,IN; Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine,IA and defending Renegade STARS Racing Series "Winternationals" champion Ray Cook of Brasstown,NC. Cook thrilled the capacity crowd in the 2000 event storming from his 21st starting position into the lead on lap 75 and racing away to a 3.5 second margin of victory over Mike Balzano to capture the $10,000 top prize.

1994 was the first year that STARS sanctioned the "Winternationals" at East Bay Raceway with Steve Francis grabbing the opener while Billy Moyer came from dead last the next night to take the "Winternationals" title. Davey Johnson captured the 1995 "Winternationals" opener with Rick Aukland etching his name into the record books as "Winternationals" champion the next night.

1996 saw the "Winternationals" expanded to three nights of racing. Billy Moyer grabbed the opener with Steve Francis flexing his muscle to grab the final two nights of racing and the "Winternationals" crown. Local star Keith Nosbisch protected his home turf in 1997 taking the opener with Steve Shaver grabbing night two while Booper Bare, who was one-lap down early in the event, got his lap back and then kept his car in front for the "Winternationals" title.

Rain played havoc with the 1998 "Winternationals" with only the opener and the closer being completed. For the second straight year Nosbisch won the opening night while Mike Balzano took home the "Winternationals" title. Three different winners in three nights of racing thrilled the fans in 1999 as Davey Johnson and Gary Stuhler grabbed the preliminaries and Jimmy Mars captured the "Winternationals" championship. The beginning of the new century saw Wendell Wallace and Dan Schlieper win the first two nights of STARS competition with Ray Cook becoming the "Winternationals" champion.

Adult general admission tickets are $25, $30 and $35 respectively for the three nights of Renegade STARS Racing Series action. Children 12 and under are half-price. Pit pass admission is $30, $35 and $40. Pit gates will open at 3:30 pm with spectator gates opening at 5:00 pm. Warm-ups are slated to begin at 6:00 pm with CARRERA SHOCKS "Challenge the Clock" Time Trials at 7:00 pm and racing to follow. A complete program of heat races, MASTERSBILT RACE CARS "B" Mains and the ISKY RACING CAMS dash will precede the feature events each evening. Joining the Renegade STARS Racing Series on the racing docket for the Friday, February 9 show will be the DIRT Modifieds.

East Bay Raceway is located in Gibsonton,FL west of I-75. Take exit 48 off of I-75 south of Tampa, then 2 miles west, then 1.2 miles north on U.S. Route 41, then right 1.3 miles on Old U.S. Route 41, then right on Burts Rd. For further information phone East Bay Raceway at (813) 677-7223, (813) 677-2632, toll free at (877) 457-5611 or visit the East Bay Raceway website at .

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