Volusia Speedway Park

UNEXPECTED GATOR: Moran Claims First Big Gator Championship

WITH THE HELP OF A FLORIDA COUPLE, MORAN MADE THE TRIP TO FLORIDA FOR A CAREER WEEK

A trip to Volusia Speedway Park for the 50th DIRTcar Nationals wasn’t initially on Devin Moran’s 2021 itinerary. His new gator-wide smile signified his joy of that change.

Moran, 26, of Dresden, OH, claimed his first DIRTcar Nationals Big Gator championship on Saturday after an impressive display of consistency through the five rounds of Late Model races. If it wasn’t for a broken driveshaft on Wednesday, he could’ve finished on the podium in each event – he had finishes of third, second, 31st, first (his first Volusia win) and second.

“It’s pretty cool,” Moran said about claiming his first Big Gator title. “It’s pretty unexpected, to be honest. At the start of the week, we weren’t even planning on coming down here. Then to run top three even night, except for that one DNF, which I think we had a shot to win, it just gives us a lot of confidence… To start out the year the way we have, it’s been a lot of fun and like I said, it gives us a lot of confidence.”

If it wasn’t for Florida-residents Terry and Marry Ann Wright – who have been friends with Moran’s car owner for a while – Moran and his team would’ve skipped the prestigious event. They’ve been trying to get the team to come down for a couple of years and this year helped make it affordable for them, Moran said.

Bobby Pierce was his closest competitor in the championship hunt going into the final race – before Saturday’s event was canceled due to rain. He entered the night only nine points behind Moran and was on track to cut into that lead after setting Slick Woody’s Quick Time and starting on the outside pole of the Feature.

However, as fate would have it, he suffered a motor issue and the team was unable to get a new one in before the Feature started. Pierce hoped in Reid Millard’s car for the Feature but pulled in early and was unable to finish, unofficially handing the Big Gator championship to Moran who finished second that night. He earned his first golden gator trophy the night before.

Defending Big Gator champion and three-time defending World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series champion Brandon Sheppard finished second in over Big Gator points.

“Like I said, it’s so unexpected,” Moran said. “First of all, with us not coming and then winning the whole week. It sucks with what happened with Bobby that he had to change motors and couldn’t… It’s a bummer that he couldn’t race. But we had a really consistent fast car all week. It’s a special thing to take home this gator with as unexpected as it was.”

UP NEXT
The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series, on Friday, March 5, will return to Duck River Raceway Park in Lewisburg, TN.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision.

Carson Macedo claims victory at Volusia Speedway Park

Lemoore, California’s Carson Macedo was perfect on Thursday night at Volusia Speedway Park, helping the All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 close out the inaugural Sugarlands Shine Southern Tour presented by Elliott’s Custom Trailers and Carts with a non-stop, wire-to-wire victory. The DIRTcar Nationals win, scoring Macedo a $6,000 top prize, bumped his All Star win total to seven over the course of his young career, each of which accomplished at different facilities.

“This team did an amazing job tonight and I’m super thrilled with how things are going,” Carson Macedo said, driver of the Jason Johnson Racing No. 41. “We were able to put ourselves in great positions during the entire program and we really executed. I’m just super grateful to be a part of this race team. To come out of the box and win the second night out is pretty incredible.”

READ FULL TYLER ALTMEYER STORY AT ALLSTARSPRINT.COM

Logan Schuchart rallies from 13th to beat All Stars at Volusia Speedway Park

Starting 13th on the DIRTcar Nationals main event grid, Shark Racing’s Logan Schuchart was far from an odds-on favorite, but the Hanover, Pennsylvania-native accomplished the near-impossible on Wednesday night at Volusia Speedway Park and charged 12 positions to claim the Sugarlands Shine Southern Tour presented by Elliott’s Custom Trailers and Carts victory against the All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1. Impressive enough, Schuchart outdueled ten-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion, Donny Schatz, in the process, driving by the familiar No. 15 on lap 23 of 25.

Bumping his All Star victory count to two, Schuchart earned $6,000 for his efforts. Schatz held on to finish second, followed by Brad Sweet, David Gravel, and full-time All Star, Brent Marks.

READ FULL TYLER ALTMEYER STORY AT ALLSTARSPRINT.COM

Sunshine Nationals, DIRTcar Nationals 2022 dates set for action-packed Florida openers

Volusia Speedway Park will host the Sunshine Nationals, on Jan. 20-22, and the DIRTcar Nationals, on Feb. 8-19

Two of the biggest season-opening events at Volusia Speedway Park for the World of Outlaws and DIRTcar will act as the perfect bookends for the series’ 2022 Florida events.

The Sunshine Nationals, featuring the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models, will kick off the Late Model season with another thrilling Late Model-Palooza, on Jan. 20-22.

Then, after a couple weeks of more exciting dirt racing around Florida, the 51st DIRTcar Nationals will commence, Feb. 8-19, featuring the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars, DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, All Star Circuit of Champions, DIRTcar Late Models, World of Outlaws Late Models and the Super DIRTcar Series.

“Dirt racing in Florida is going to be bigger and better than ever at the start of 2022,” said Brian Carter, World of Outlaws and DIRTcar CEO. “Demonstrating our commitment to our fans and drivers, we’ve coordinated with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series so there is no overlap of events, allowing fans to enjoy the best Late Model drivers in the world battle throughout Florida on a weekly basis from January to February.

“Then, that will lead into the always action-packed DIRTcar Nationals at the beginning of February where the best Sprint Car, Late Model, Modified and Big Block drivers will compete for the must-have golden gator trophies.”

The 2021 Sunshine Nationals set a high bar for the World of Outlaws Late Model season, producing two eye-widening events and a first-time winner. And this year’s 50th DIRTcar Nationals, Feb. 2-13, has again attracted the top race car drivers in the world, including two-time defending World of Outlaws Sprint Car champion Brad Sweet , Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano, Kenny Wallace, three-time defending World of Outlaws Late Model champion Brandon Sheppard and 2019 Super DIRTcar Series champion Mat Williamson.

Tickets for this year’s 50th DIRTcar Nationals are available now at VolusiaSpeedwayPark.com. Ticket’s for 2022’s Sunshine Nationals and DIRTcar Nationals will be available there at a later date.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision with the annual Platinum FAST PASS subscription for $299/year or the monthly FAST PASS subscription for $39/month.

TOP 50 DRIVERS: 50 years of elite DIRTcar Nationals drivers

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park. In that time, hundreds of talented drivers have entered Volusia County, attempting to leave a winner. Many have. More are still trying.

From Sprint Cars to Late Models to Modifieds to Big Blocks, Volusia and the DIRTcar Nationals has served as one of the best time capsules for all of dirt racing. For the 50th year of the event, we went through the long list of drivers that have competed for the coveted DIRTcar Nationals championship title and picked 50 of the best to ever grace the clay surface.

These are the top-50 drivers of the DIRTcar Nationals in alphabetical order:

Steve Arpin

 

 

Dave Blaney

Scott Bloomquist

 

 

Kenny Brightbill

 

 

Clint Bowyer

 

 

Shane Clanton

 

 

Austin Dillon

 

Ty Dillon

 

 

Craig Dollansky

 

 

Rick Eckert

Steve Francis

 

Stewart Friesen

 

 

Tim Fuller

 

 

David Gravel

 

Brett Hearn

 

Doug Hoffman

 

 

Nick Hoffman

 

 

Jimmy Horton

 

 

Kenny Jacobs

 

Alan Johnson

 

Danny Johnson

 

 

Jack Johnson

 

 

Jared Landers

 

Steve Kinser

 

 

Darrell Lanigan

 

 

Danny Lasoski

 

 

Chris Madden

 

Tim McCreadie

 

Billy Moyer, Sr.

 

Don O’Neal

 

 

Jimmy Owens

 

Billy Pauch

 

 

Earl Pearson, Jr.

 

Daryn Pittman

 

Josh Richards

 

Brian Ruhlman

 

Joey Saldana

 

Donny Schatz

 

Kenny Schrader

 

Jeff Shepard

 

Brandon Sheppard

 

 

Matt Sheppard

 

David Stremme

 

Kyle Strickler

 

Brad Sweet

 

Sammy Swindell

 

Kenny Wallace

 

Pat Ward

 

 

Larry Wight

 

 

Doug Wolfgang

ANOTHER ANIMAL: Higher Purses, New Track Surface Await Super DIRTcar Series at Volusia Speedway Park

By Joe Grabianowski

The Super DIRTcar Series returns to action on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at Volusia Speedway Park kicking off five straight days of Big Block Modified action. The Series helps ring in 50 years of prestigious DIRTcar Nationals history with expanded purses and a brand new racing surface.

The Big Blocks start with a four-pack of 30-lap Features worth $4,000-to-win to set up a $5,000-to-win 50-lap Feature finale. The purse has also been expanded to increase the amount to start each Feature to $300 Tuesday through Friday and $350 on Saturday. 

Plus, the World’s Fastest Half-Mile now has a brand new surface, which has been raced on already by the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models and has received high praise from the racers.

Three-time Big Gator champion and seven-time Super DIRTcar Series champion Matt Sheppard, from Waterloo, NY, knows not to haul south with any assumptions about Volusia from one year to the next. He’s ready to add to his eight-win DIRTcar Nationals victory count. 

“Volusia is certainly another animal compared to most of the tracks we’ve been to,” Sheppard said. “I’ve been going to Volusia for a long time now. It’s tough. It’s a tough place to get figured out from year to year. It seems like you go one year and you think you’ve got a handle on it. You go back the next year and everything changes. I don’t know what it is about the place but there are definitely certain guys that run really well down there and certain guys that seem to struggle. I think I’ve had it a little bit of both ways. Last year was one of the years I struggled. Hopefully, we can turn that around this year.”

Sheppard earned a place in the DIRTcar Nationals Top 50 Drivers list, which included drivers from the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series, DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, and Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds.

Despite coming from various racing backgrounds all premier dirt racers want a Big Gator of their own to take home, signifying they won the championship of their division.

“The Big Gators are in my basement with a bunch of my other trophies. I kept a few of the little gators but everyone loves them so I gave a few of them away to fans and crew members,” Sheppard said. “I’ve got a trophy shelf across the top of my shop and there is a Big Gator up there along with one of the stuffed animal gators. Whenever kids come over to my house they are always intrigued by the big bronze gator on the floor.”

That’s one crowded trophy shelf. It never hurts to have a Big Gator to keep the rest in line. 

You can watch Matt Sheppard and the stars of the Super DIRTcar Series at the DIRTcar Nationals Feb. 9-13 at Volusia Speedway Park. Get your tickets at DIRTcarNationals.com

If you can’t make it to the speedway be sure to sign up for DIRTVision and watch all the action live and in HD. Be sure to get the all-new DIRTVision Platinum FAST PASS Annual Subscription which includes all Super DIRTcar Series races plus all NAPA Super DIRT Week events, World of Outlaws, and DIRTcar Racing plus weekly racing from Knoxville, Williams Grove, Jacksonville, and more.

50th DIRTcar Nationals Hot Laps Moved up to 2PM on Sunday, Feb. 7

The 50th DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park on Sunday, Feb. 7, will kick off at 2pm(ET), starting with Hot Laps for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars and DIRTcar UMP Modifieds.

With a fairly significant football game taking place that Sunday night, DIRTcar and Volusia officials will open the grandstands at 1pm before going into Hot Laps at 2pm and racing at 3pm, ensuring fans can have the best of both worlds if they choose.

The Outlaws — known as The Greatest Show on Dirt — will race in a $10,000-to-win Feature while the UMP Modifieds will be racing for a chance to qualify for The Gator Championship the following night at Volusia.

For the remainder of the event from Tuesday, Feb. 2, to Saturday, Feb. 6, and Monday, Feb. 8, to Saturday, Feb. 13, fans can enter the grandstands at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile dirt track nightly at 5pm(ET) with opening ceremonies and racing at 6:50pm.

While the best way to catch all of the action is in the track’s practically brand-new grandstands, the racing will also air around the world on DIRTVision as part of the broadcast giant’s Fast Pass.

Tickets for the 50th DIRTcar Nationals are available online, with a schedule featuring Sprint Cars, Dirt Late Models, UMP Modifieds and Big Block Modifieds:

FULL SUNDAY SCHEDULE
10:00am – Pit Pass sales begin & Will Call opens
10:45am – Pit areas secured, credentials & Pit Passes required
1:00pm – Grandstand gates open & Fan Pit Pass booth opens in Midway
2:00pm – Hot Laps followed by Qualifying
3:00pm – Opening Ceremonies, followed by Racing

FULL DIRTCAR NATIONALS SCHEDULE
Tuesday, Feb. 2 – DIRTcar UMP Modifieds/Sprint Car Hot Laps

Wednesday, Feb. 3 – Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars presented by Mobil 1/DIRTcar UMP Modifieds

Thursday, Feb. 4 – Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars presented by Mobil 1/DIRTcar UMP Modifieds

Friday, Feb. 5 – World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars/DIRTcar UMP Modifieds

Saturday, Feb. 6 – World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars/DIRTcar UMP Modifieds

Sunday, Feb. 7 – World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars/DIRTcar UMP Modifieds (EARLY START TIME OF 3 PM ON SUNDAY ONLY)

Monday, Feb. 8 – DIRTcar UMP Modifieds Gator Championship/DIRTcar Late Models

Tuesday, Feb. 9 – DIRTcar Late Models/Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds

Wednesday, Feb. 10 – World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models/Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds

Thursday, Feb. 11 – World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models/Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds

Friday, Feb. 12 – World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models/Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds

Saturday, Feb. 13 – World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models/Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds

Mother Nature Washes Out Volusia 40

The Volusia 40, scheduled for Saturday, September 19 at Volusia Speedway Park has been cancelled due to persistent rains and saturated grounds.

Next on the schedule is the Fall Classic, on Saturday, October 17, with the Top Gun Sprints, 602 Late Models, Street Stocks, and Compact 4s.

Rain Cancels Saturday Heat Wave

BARBERVILLE, FL — August 21, 2020 — Racing at Volusia Speedway Park has been halted by persistent rains yet again as track officials have been forced to cancel Saturday’s Heat Wave due to saturated grounds.

Next on the schedule is a Test & Tune on Friday, September 4, followed by the Labor Day Championships  September 5-6, featuring DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, 602 Late Models, Street Stocks, and Compact 4s on Saturday, and DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, 602 Late Models, Florida Late Models, 3/4 Modifieds,  and Thunder Stocks on Sunday. Labor Day Monday will move over to the Kart Track with all classes – J.R.1, J.R.2, Lights, Medium, S.-Heavy, Heavy (30 laps).

American Flat Track Kicks Off 2020 at Volusia

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 18, 2020) – Five-time Grand National Champion Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) notched up the 50th premier-class victory of his American Flat Track career with a second dominant win at Barberville, Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park in Saturday’s Volusia Half-Mile II presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys.

The “50” that may be more relevant to Mees at the moment, however, is the 50 points he logged with his season-opening double victory that launched his 2020 AFT SuperTwins presented by Vance & Hines title campaign in perfect form.

Mees actually started from the second row this time around, allowing reigning AFT SuperTwins Champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) a chance to make an early escape of his own after Mees’ Friday disappearing act.

However, Mees worked fast, slashing through the field, and ultimately, Bauman less than three minutes into the Main Event. Mees steadily built his advantage up to just over a second as the two encountered lapped traffic and managed that gap to the checkered flag.

“What an amazing night,” Mees said. “We struggled in the Semi; we gambled with the set-up and just went backwards. Kenny Tolbert and Bubba Bentkey worked their magic for the Main and the motorcycle was hooked up so good off the corners thanks to Jimmy Wood with Öhlins Suspension. Those guys got me so hooked for the entire weekend, and I came in so hungry.”

Brandon Robinson (No. 44 HCRR Racing/Ben Evans Racing Indian FTR750) dueled with Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750) for third over the race’s opening half before clearing off to a lonely podium finish. It was a supremely gritty performance on the part of Robinson, who not only managed to finish third following 38 laps in sweltering conditions, but did so just seven weeks after breaking his ankle.

Halbert got swallowed up by a charging Brandon Price (No. 92 Roof Systems of Dallas, Texas Indian FTR750), but managed to retake fourth as they went back and forth while weaving past slower riders. Price actually found himself dropped back to sixth at the flag, as Davis Fisher (No. 67 BriggsAuto.com Indian FTR750) joined their fight late and stole away fifth position.

AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys

2019 rookie sensation Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) entered the season as many pundits’ hot pick to earn the 2020 AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys crown. Those predictions may have been second guessed by some after Daniels failed to make the Main Event in Friday’s opener. However, Daniels immediately reestablished himself as a serious player in this year’s title fight with an inspired ride to victory on Saturday night.

Even better, the win came following one of the most entertaining and hectic races in AFT Singles history. An eight-rider pack fought for the lead throughout the eight-minute regulation of the Main, with Daniels, Chad Cose (No. 49 Wally Brown Racing/American Suzuki RM-Z450), and Mikey Rush (No. 14 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) all taking turns at the front with countless passes for position just behind.

But just as the timer clicked 0:00 to set up a final two-lap shootout to decide the winner, the red flag flew. As a result, Daniels took point in a staggered restart, lining up just ahead of teammate Rush and Shayna Texter (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F).

Once the race resumed, Rush sought a way past teammate Daniels but instead found himself displaced by Texter entering Turn 1 on the final lap. Daniels pumped his fist as he closed on the checkered flag, unaware that Texter had a run on him as well. Despite the near disaster, Daniels held on to the redemptive win by a scant 0.020 seconds at the stripe, even though Texter’s final charge marked the fastest lap of the night between the three competitors.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve won a national, and last night we didn’t even qualify for the Main Event,” Daniels said. “It’s just awesome to have this great team behind me. We’ve got our work cut out for us now, but we’re going to make a fight for this championship — I think we showed that tonight. I’m just pumped.”

Early-race leader Cose finished fourth, followed by Brandon Kitchen (No. 105 Donley Excavating/TCD Suspension KTM 450 SX-F), Cameron Smith (No. 44 Mike Butler Racing/Cornerstone Masonry Group Honda CRF450R), and Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Roof Systems DFW/Duffy Fleet Services KTM 450 SX-F).

AFT Production Twins

Reigning AFT Production Twins champion Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Roof Systems Yamaha MT-07) was far from satisfied after opening his title defense with a ‘mere’ podium finish in Friday evening’s opener. He promptly set things right for himself in Saturday’s rematch, registering a blowout victory to put himself back atop the points order.

Texter grabbed the holeshot and never looked back. James Rispoli (No. 43 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) and Ryan Varnes (No. 68 RVR/RoyBuilt Don’s Kawasaki Ninja 650) raced in close formation behind the leader over the contest’s opening half, but Texter slowly broke their challenge and powered to 3.244-second margin of victory.

Texter’s lopsided win was reminiscent of the three consecutive victories he logged to kick off his triumphant ‘19 campaign. It also provided strong evidence that he’s rediscovered the mojo he spent much of the latter half of last year looking to reclaim.

An emotional Texter dedicated the race to his best friend and title-winning mechanic, Jon Reid, who passed away last November, and another good friend in Jess Garcia, who died this past Wednesday.

“Last night felt a bonus to me because I knew how badly we were struggling,” Texter said. “And the first couple of sessions out today, we were really struggling again. But I have to say, I just have a lot of confidence in my team and in myself. And with all the hard work we put in, I’m just going to battle all year long. There’s no quit.”

Varnes appeared primed to overtake Rispoli late in the race as he did on Friday night. That is, right up until the moment he suffered a mechanical issue that erased his podium hopes with just over a minute remaining on the scoreboard.

As a result, the final spot on the box behind Rispoli went to another national championship-winning roadracer returned to dirt track in the ever-popular Danny Eslick (No. 64 Scott Powersports/R&D Machine Kawasaki Ninja 650).

Prior to Varnes’ misfortune, Eslick was also the beneficiary of a mechanical problem on the part of Nick Armstrong (No. 60 Lessley Brothers Racing, Competitive SheetMetal Yamaha MT-07), who slowed while battling Eslick for fourth with less than three minutes on the clock.

The final two positions in the top five fell to Ben Lowe (No. 25 Roof Systems of Dallas/Bruce Lowe Excavating Yamaha MT-07) and Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Weirbach Racing, Kawasaki USA Ninja 650).