Mathews Secures $5,000 East Bay Win with Last Lap Pass, Adams Takes Championship
GIBSONTON, Fla. (February 11, 2017) – The Sunshine State Modified Tour was back at East Bay Raceway Park Saturday night for a 75-lap, $5,000-to-win main event. Jeff Mathews topped the star studded field in dramatic fashion for his second consecutive win.
After Kenny Wallace took the lead on the opening lap, Mathews cruised on by to take the point. Mathews then set sail and held the lead until Kevin Adams reeled him in and made a bid for the lead. Adams came around to lead lap 33, but Mathews regained the top spot on the following lap and led the field to the mandatory fuel stop on lap 35.
When the race resumed, Mathews led the first 10 laps after the break until Adams once again showed his hand. Adams, who came in as the SSMT point leader, then built up a comfortable lead of his own, but periodic cautions kept the rest of the field within striking distance.
With 15 to go, Mathews chased down Adams and stole the lead, but the race was far from over. On the final lap, Adams was charging hard on Mathews, but had a lapped car between himself and the leader. As they headed into turn one for the final time, Adams dove to the inside and secured a beautiful slide job to momentarily take the lead.
Mathews countered with a crossover down the backstretch to lead into turn three and took Adams’ line away at the entry of the corner. Adams dove to the bottom of turn four and diamonded off of the corner to get a run to the checkered flag, but Mathews edged him out by a half car length at the line.
Adams came home in the second spot, followed by Mike VanGenderen, Ray Bollinger, and Kenny Wallace.
With the runner-up effort, Adams claimed his second SSMT points championship. He edged out Kenny Wallace by 32 points.