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Auto Racing

Wing defends East Bay title

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 09:25 PM
GIBSONTON -

Defending champion Rodney Wing of Meridian, Miss., won the 75-lap A-Main feature event Sunday at East Bay Raceway Park to conclude the 11th annual Open-Wheel Modified Winternationals.

Rick Aukland finished a close second with Jared Landers, Kevin Weaver and Dave Hess Jr. rounding out the top five.

Wing started from the pole in the 24-car field and led the first 65 laps before being overtaken by Landers on Lap 66.

"At the fuel break (Lap 38), I figured we had about 35-40 laps left on our tires and decided not to change. I knew it was going to be borderline as to whether we could make it to the end. I started to conserve my tires," Wing said.

"After Jared passed, I knew there was only one spot where I was better than he was and that was on the inside in Turn 3. I picked my spot and made a dive for it."

Wing retook the lead on Lap 73 and held off a determined last-lap effort by Landers to take the win.

The win was the second of the week for Wing, as he also captured Thursday's feature event. With the victory, Wing became the only repeat Winternationals champion and earned $5,000.

Action Express prevails at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH - Joao Barbosa powered Action Express Racing to the 24 Hours of Daytona title Sunday, finishing an improbable victory in the organization's first appearance in the sports car endurance race.

The newly formed team avoided major mechanical problems and benefited from a late blunder by star-studded Chip Ganassi Racing to win by 50 seconds. No other car was within four laps of the winner.

Ganassi's Justin Wilson was leading before he made an ill-advised stop into the garage late, believing something was wrong with the No. 01 BMW Riley. The crew didn't find anything, and the difference was too much for teammate Scott Pruett to make up in the final two hours.

The group that has dominated the race recently could only watch as it lost to a team with few sponsors that, weeks ago, didn't exist.

"What can I say? I'm out of words," Barbosa said. "The teammates, the crew, they did a great job. Action Express rocks and it's going to keep going through the year."


Information from Tribune wires was used in this report.

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