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The Clay Classic

The Florida sun was shining bright as fans arrived for the running of the Clay Classic. Five classes were set to do battle, and as always, the fans got a great show.

The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds kicked off the night’s feature events with a 16-car field running 20 laps. Garret Stewart started inside of row two after the redraw and quickly found his way to the front. Veteran racer Buzzy Reutimann and Dillon Buhr battled through the early stages of the race for second position, but Reutimann exitted the race with a right front flat on lap 12. After the caution Josh Sanford moved up to challenge Buhr for second, but nobody had anything for Stewart as he went on to win with Buhr finishing second and Sanford third.

With the victory lane celebration cut short due to rain in the area we moved right into the 602 Late Model Feature event. The drivers knew the rain could shorten the race, so everyone was ready and willing to make big moves early. Landon Lungren was the early leader, but Dustin Carter was on a mission to get to the front and with a big move on the outside of turns three and four he took the lead and never looked back, winning the race and banking $1000!  Joe Belkey finished second, and Robert Vaughn brought his car home in third.

The Street Stocks were ready to go next as rain still threatened to end the night’s racing. Chris Lawrance was in search of his 100th win and took the early lead, but on lap two Bubba Christian took the lead. A wreck on lap five brought out the caution and with lightning in the area we entered a brief delay. Once the lightning cleared the area and we got the race back underway, Bubba Christian resumed control and led the rest of the race to the win with Thomas Hill finishing second and Rick Osteen finishing third.

With rain no longer a threat the ¾ Mods took the track for their 15-lap feature event. Jesse Powers put his car out front early with Timmy Hogan in hot pursuit. As they approached lapped traffic Powers was able to clear the car of Stephanie Mathis, but as Hogan tried to clear she turned directly into his path causing damage to both cars. Neither were able to continue. When the race went back green Powers assumed the lead and held off the challenging Patrick Vareika to win his first ¾ mod feature event.

The final feature event of the night was the $750-to-win Thunderstocks. Scotty Kay Jr took the early lead, usually the safest place to be, but in this case a lapped car turned into his path trying to exit the track collecting Kay Jr. Fortunately Kay Jr was able to continue and remained the leader though his car was heavily damaged. Joe Belkey took advantage of the caution, and a side-by-side battle was on for the remainder of the race between him and Kay Jr. Each would lead laps, but when the checkered flag flew it was déjà vu for Belkey for a second week in a row losing the Thunderstock at the line by a nose, this week to Kay Jr.

Join us next week for the Short Track Shootout on Saturday Night right here at Volusia Speedway Park!

Dave Shank Photos

The Sunshine Showdown

As the sun began to set over Volusia Speedway Park there was a different feeling in the air. A Showdown was coming. Not one at high noon, but instead under the lights. The young guns came looking to oust the outlaws, but would they be up to the task? As the night got underway one thing was clear, it was anyone’s showdown to win!

As the Showdowns got started a new name appeared at the top. Bryan Bernhardt came to town looking to take down the DIRTcar UMP Modified big guns. Local gunslingers Garret Stewart and Dillon Burh were sizing him up early not sure what to do with him. The duel for the lead was intense, but when the dust settled Stewart won the Showdown and held onto his title as the fastest gun in town. Bernhardt would bring it home in second while Buhr finished third.

Next on the track to settle the score were the ThunderStocks. Joe Belkey led early, while Bubba Roling and Shaun Daugharty battled for second. Roling exited on lap five leaving Daugharty on his own to duel Belkey. It looked as if Belkey was untouchable, but a late race caution closed the gap and when this gunfight ended only one was left standing as Daugharty took the win and claimed the $500 reward.

The 604 Late Model $1000-to-win was up next. One of the original outlaws Tuck Trentham won his heat race and was looking to show the young guns he still has what it takes to win a showdown! Trey Mills made a big move early through the middle to show he had other plans for how this showdown would end. Trey went to the lead on that move and never looked back, holding off challenges from Donnie Chappell and Brandon Wells to take the win in his showdown and put the old guns on notice that the young guns were here to stay!

The ¾ mods took the track next and lately the young gun Wade Olmsted has been on fire but in the heat the outlaw Timmy Hogan rode in on somebody else’s horse and stole the race on the last lap. In the Showdown Olmsted was looking for revenge and he found it as he strolled to a win and took home the bounty. Hogan would ride out of town a second place finisher with Jesse Powers running third.

There was only one Showdown left to decide on the night with the Street Stocks taking the track last. The young guns were outmatched in this race as another of the original outlaws was on the front row and ready to show he still had the fastest draw. Chris Lawrence would draw first and take the early lead. Bubba Christian and Heath Walker would duel for the right to challenge Lawrance for victory but on this night, it was all Lawrance scoring the win in the final Showdown of the night and taking the cash prize!

Next year these Cowboys can return to defend their titles as Sunshine Showdown winners. Next week, June 19th is the Clay Classic here at Volusia Speedway Park. Make your plans now to join us!

 

 

The Gator Nationals

After a soggy start to the weekend with a rainout on Saturday night, the Gator Nationals finally got underway on Sunday evening. Five classes of racing took to the track to do battle on this Memorial Day Weekend, and as expected the show kept fans on their feet all night.

The feature events kicked off with a 20-lap DIRTcar UMP Modified race and a $2000 winner’s purse. Seth Geary started on the pole and took the early lead. Garret Stewart charged thru the pack from his seventh starting position to second, and after a caution with five to go he got his chance at Geary. On the restart Stewart pulled to the inside of Geary and the two raced side-by-side for a couple of laps, but Geary was able to pull back ahead at the white flag and went on to win the race.

In the second feature event of the evening the Thunder Stocks took the track for what would be a caution filled race. Young Bubba Roling was the early leader holding off several challenges from seasoned veterans, but on a restart on lap seven Shaun Daugharty used the inside line in turn one to take the lead and never look back. Roling held on for a second place finish, and Charlie Staats finished third.

The third feature of the night was the 602 Late Models. With $1500 on the line we all knew this would be  a good race. Brenden Smith won his heat race and took the early lead in the feature, closely trailed by Mikey Kopka and Dustin Carter. As the race wound down it was clear that Brenden Smith was not going to be caught tonight. He went on to win with Kopka and Carter finishing second and third.

The ¾ Modifieds were the fourth feature of the night. Timmy Hogan took the early lead, while Wade Olmstead and Dustin Peterson put on a show behind him running side-by-side for second. With six laps to go Olmstead took the long way around turn one and two riding the cushion and taking the lead down the back stretch. A caution on the next lap tightened up the field, but once the green flag dropped it was clear Olmstead was on a mission. He went on to pick up his first feature win with Hogan and Powers rounding out the top three.

In the final feature of the night the Street Stocks took the track. An early side-by-side battle between David Showers Jr and Bubba Christian  set up a very fast paced race. Christian took the lead on the third lap and never looked back notching the victory. Chris Lawrance moved up to take second, and Showers finished third.

We thank everyone who joined us this Memorial Day weekend, especially our veterans. Our next race is the Sunshine Showdown on June 12th.

The Dennis North Memorial

Saturday night was a night filled with first wins, great racing, and much more. The night celebrated the memory of Dennis North as well as the birthday of Buzzie Reutimann. Emotions always run high on race day, and this day would be no exception. From tears to cheers, we saw it all.

The 604 Late Models kicked off the night with a 20-lap feature event and $1000 on the line to the winner. The race was littered with cautions early as drivers sorted out positions on the track. Joe Kump started on the pole and led until lap five when Johnny Collins used the outside line to take the lead. Kump suffered a flat right rear tire and fell out of contention while Mikey Kopka moved up to second and Branden Wells to third. The race finished under a long green flag run and the order would stay the same with Collins grabbing the win.

The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds were also running for $1000-to-win on the night with fan favorite Garret Stewart starting deep in the field after suffering a flat right front in the heat race. Buzzie Reutimann started pole fresh off of his 80th birthday party with son David starting outside second row. David Reutimann quickly assumed the lead, never looking back and taking the win. Garret Stewart worked his through the field to finish second, and Seth Geary rounded out the top three.

The Street Stocks brought 19 cars to Volusia Speedway Park on Saturday night for what would turn out to be one for the history books. Chris Lawrance started pole and led flag-to-flag holding off early race challenges from David Showers Jr and later challenges from Tim Gay. With the win Lawrance joined an elite group of drivers able to claim a win at Volusia when it was asphalt as well as on the dirt. Gay took home second, Showers Jr third, and Bubba Christian rounded out the top four.

Wryan Shaffer and Korbin Minchew led the 15-car  ¾ Modified field to the green on Saturday night. Wade Olmsted quickly found his way from tenth to first, but a mid-race caution gave Timmy Hogan a shot at the lead and he made the most of it scoring his first win at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile. Olmsted held onto second, and Dustin Peterson brought home third.

The evening’s big event was the Dennis North Memorial, pulling in 36 entries. Tewnty-four cars took the green in the main event after a Last Chance Showdown sent 12 cars home. The 38-lap feature event was led almost exclusively by Joe Belkey, but with less than ten to go Scotty Kay Jr and Jason Garver stepped up the pressure, and with six laps to go they were three-wide off of turn four for the lead. Garver used the bottom line and Kay the top line to get to the front in a side-by-side battle that lasted until the checkered flag fell. When the dust settled Scotty Kay Jr became the first repeat winner of the event with Garver bringing home second. Belkey finished third and Kevin Durden fourth.

Our next event is Saturday, May 15th featuring the Top Gun Sprint Classic. Joining the sprints will be the Street Stocks, 602 Late Models, and 604 Late Models. Come out to Volusia Speedway Park for what is sure to be a great night of racing!

The Work Force 30

Mother Nature has been the nemesis of Florida tracks this season, but tonight she finally gave us a break. Five classes, a perfect racetrack, and excited fans made this a great race night all together.

The 602 Late Models kicked off the evening with the $1500-to-win Work Force 30-lapper. Early leader Travis Staats looked to be in control until a mechanical failure left him barely able to roll. Dustin Carter assumed the lead and never looked back, at times gapping the field by near half a track. He took the win in a caution filled race that left many unable to finish. Mikey Kopka finished a solid second and Joe Belkey came from the back to finish third.

Next up were the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds. Patrick Vareika and Larry Burkins led the field to green after the redraw. Burkins assumed the early lead, but Dillon Buhr charged to the front on lap four.

The first caution flew on lap 11 when pole sitter Vareika slowed on the back stretch. Lapped traffic had separated the leaders prior to the caution, but with the field bunched up the race for the win had just got a lot closer as Burkins, Stewart, and the rest of the field were back within striking distance.

When the race restarted a side-by-side battle quickly got underway between Buhr and Stewart, each taking turns running the high and low side. Stewart, who started tenth, took the lead for the final time with two laps to go and took the win and $1000. Buhr finished second, with Burkins and Rackley rounding out the top four.

The Thunder Stocks were next to race with Alan Peacock taking the early lead, but on lap two Jason Garver took the top position. Garver’s luck ran out, though, on lap five as his engine officially reached its expiration date.

On the restart David Showers Sr led the field to green with Dustin Turnage Jr and Joey Haslauer close behind. Showers led the rest of the race  and took the win with second going to Peacock, who picked his way thru the field from seventh place putting on a great show along the way!

The Dirts4Racing ¾ Mods were the fourth class on track for their feature event with fifteen cars taking the green flag. Robert Fleming Jr and Dustin Peterson started on the front row with Peterson leading lap one. That lead wouldn’t last long as Patrick Vareika took the lead on lap two never looking back. The biggest mover of the night was definitely young Wade Olmsted, who came from thirteenth to second!

Last out were the Dirts4Racing Street Stocks. David Showers Jr took the early lead, followed closely by Tim Gay and Tuck Trentham. Showers Jr and Gay battled side by side for several laps with Gay finally getting clear out front. Showers continued to challenge, but Gay held on for the win banking $750.

Our next race is the Dennis North Memorial on Saturday, May 8th. The 604 Late Models, DIRTcar UMP Mods, ¾ Mods, Thunder Stocks, and Street Stocks are on the Schedule. Don’t miss it!

Stewart Wins DIRTcar UMP Modified Feature and Sets Sights on Bristol

The 2021 Spring Fling was in full swing tonight. After a chilly Friday night of racing Saturday brought slightly warmer temperatures and some hot racing.

The night kicked off with a 604 Late Model Feature. Last night’s 602 winner Jackson Hise returned to try for a sweep of the weekend, but the night belonged to Donnie Chappell. Chappell started outside second row and quickly took the lead, never looking back. At times Chappell stretched as many as 10 car lengths on the field. The win sets the stage for the $5,000-to-win Bad Fast 50 on April 17th that will see the best of the best 604 Late Models competing for the cash!

The Thunder Stocks returned for a second consecutive night of racing in a $600-to-win shootout that drew in 24 starters. Alan Peacock lead flag-to-flag in a closely contested win. Dustin Turnage Jr.  challenged throughout the race, and a late charge by Jason Garver wasn’t be enough as Peacock held on for the win. In victory lane Peacock’s mother had the biggest smile as it was her first trip to Volusia to see her son race, and he didn’t disappoint.

In the DIRTcar UMP Modified Feature Garret Stewart started pole. His competitors are used to trying to hold off his charges through the pack, but giving chase is a whole different game. Clay Harris hung with Stewart early, and Buhr made a late charge, but in the end Stewart scored the win. Next stop for Stewart is next weekend at the Bristol Bash!

The final feature of the night was a 16-car field of ¾ Mods. Paul Shead took the lead on lap 2 holding off challenges from Patrick Vareika to take the win. Wade Olmsted rode the cushion from a tenth place starting position to a solid third challenging Vareika on the outside for second.

We are off next week but will return Saturday, April 17th for the $5000-to-win Bad Fast 50!

13-Year-Old Hise Scores 602 Late Model Win at Spring Fling

Florida didn’t get the memo that we were running the Spring Fling this weekend as cold weather came back to town. Last weekend’s shorts and tee shirts were replaced by long pants and jackets while last weekend’s winners were replaced by new ones.

The 602 Late Models kicked the night off with a first-time winner. Jackson Hise had led several races at Volusia Speedway Park but had been plagued with car problems trying to get that first win. Tonight was his night as he led flag-to-flag, holding off challenges from Dustin Carter and last week’s winner Mikey Kopka to get the win. His friend Trey Mills joined him in victory lane to congratulate Hise, a truly great moment shared by these two future stars.

If the 602 Feature was about the youth of the sport, the Street Stocks was all about the veteran drivers. Tuck Trentham led the first sixteen of 20 laps, but a late charge by Rich Pratt and Thomas Hill set the stage for a great finish. Pratt used a restart and a good old fashioned threading of the needle to take the lead in the closing laps and score himself a victory. Trentham held on for second, and Chris Lawrance took home third.

Thunder Stocks brought out more veterans with last week’s winner Mike Tovet leading the early laps. Tovet surrendered the lead at the halfway point to Scotty Kay Jr., who went on to win. Kay hadn’t raced with us since the 2019 season but picked up speed as the night went on, and in the end, pulled away from the field. Tovet held on for second, and Peacock finished third. Bubba Roling, whose hauler was involved in an accident on the way to the track, arrived and unloaded just before the feature started, driving from 19th to 7th, an impressive run for no practice and a cold race car.

The Compact 4s ended the night with a four-car field taking the green flag. Cameron Kight led the early laps, but spun in turn two, allowing Todd Latour to t0 score back-to-back wins in the class.

The Spring Fling continues tomorrow as the 604 Late Models are slotted to run. They will be joined by the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, Thunder Stocks, and ¾ Mods.

The Season Opener, Take Two!

The warm dry weather has finally returned to Florida and so has racing at Volusia Speedway Park! After a successful Sunshine Nationals and DIRTcar Nationals it’s finally time to kick off the 2021 Season! Opening night at Volusia is always fun for fans and drivers alike. Everyone is ready to get back to racing, and who better to lead lap number one of the new season than Trey Mills, fresh off his trip to Bristol. The fans love seeing Trey out front, and we’re sure it’s his favorite place to be.

The 602 Late Models kicked off the feature events for the night. Mikey Kopka, the 2020 602 Points Champion started inside pole, and Trey Mills was outside pole. Mills lead lap one, but Kopka charged to the front on lap two and never looked back, scoring a victory. Dustin Carter battled with Mills thru the middle portion of the race, eventually taking the 2nd position away. Mills held on for third, and Nick Kirkus brought his number 20 machine home in fourth.

Next out was the Street Stocks. Kopka was pulling double duty, and after his victory lane celebration ended he jumped in the number 46 starting outside pole. Kopka lead lap one, but Bubba Christian took the lead on lap 2. Tuck Trentham followed Christian thru, and the two battled for the lead throughout the race with Christian holding off all challenges and taking the win. Trentham was second, and Rick Osteen made his way thru the pack to finish third. Kopka came home in fourth.

The Big Dog 30 was next on the grid featuring a 30-lap DIRTcar UMP Modified race and a $1500 payday for the winner. Dillon Buhr started fourth and shot straight to the lead on lap one. Buhr was fast thru the middle of the race, but Garret Stewart was on the prowl, picking off cars one by one on several restarts. By the halfway point Stewart and Buhr were side by side battling, with Stewart taking the lead and going on to score another victory. Todd Neiheiser came thru the pack from his ninth place starting position to finish second, while Jeff Matthews and Dillon Buhr round out the top four.

The Thunder Stocks were the fourth feature of the night. Early leader Ron Adams held off challenges from several drivers before surrendering the lead with just three laps left to Mike Tovet who went on to win. Adams was unable to hold off Joey Haslauer on the final lap and fell to third place. Jonathan Croson was finished fourth.

The final feature of the night was won by Todd Latour. His dominance in the Compact 4 division continued as he easily worked his way to the front taking the win. Cameron Kight was second, and Nick Abatsas was third.

We race again next Friday and Saturday night for our Spring Fling! Check the schedule for class details! See you next weekend at Volusia Speedway Park.

The 2020 Door Closer

Cool temperatures and hot racing were on tap for the final night of the 2020 season at Volusia Speedway Park. As always, the side-by-side racing was at its best and fans got everything they could ever want from a Saturday night show at the World’s Fastest Half Mile!

The Florida Late Models kicked off the feature events with David Clegg putting on an exhibition in his #07 Snow Brothers Chassis. Clegg pulled out to a big lead early and never looked back. Kunstbeck in the #11 contended for second early before falling back, leaving the #84 of Gray and the #721 of Kump to battle it out for the runner up position. Kump eventually secured the position with five to g,o but the night belonged to Clegg, who went on to win and bank a cool $1500 in winnings!

The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds were running for $1200, and 20 cars lined up to take their shot at the cash prize. Pole-sitter Eric Moon took the early lead, but after a caution on lap three David Reutimann made a quick pass in turn one to grab the lead. Seth Geary worked his way to second challenging Reutimann right to the end, but Reutimann held on to take the win and a nice pay day. Geary came home in second, and Garver brought the #27 home in third.

The Thunder Stocks were up next. Ron Adams led the early laps of this race, holding off early challenges from the #17 of Alan Peacock. As the laps ticked off Jason Garver worked his way up to challenge Adams, but the big mover of the night was Joe Belkey. The fifteenth place starting position isn’t normally where you look to find the eventual winner of a race, but by lap 7 Belkey was challenging Adams, and after a three-wide battle that included Garver, Belkey once and for all put his #112 Monte Carlo out front and cruised to a win and a $750 pay day. Garver held on for second ,and pole-sitter Joey Haslauer came back to finish third.

The ¾ mods were the fourth feature on the night. Pole-sitter Paul Shead has been hard to beat all year and after he jumped out front it looked as if the result would once again be the same, but Pat Vareika stormed up beside Shead on lap two to take the lead and pulled away to take the win. Shead held on for second, and young Mason Olmsted made a last-lap pass on the outside to take third from Tim Hogan.

Jimmy Wagner led the Street Stocks to the green flag, but Tuck Trentham led the first lap. A veteran of racing at Volusia Speedway Park, Trentham looked untouchable in the early laps, but a familiar name from earlier in the evening found his way to the front after a three-wide pass on the outside of turn four. Thunder Stock winner Joe Belkey put his #119 car out front and held off multiple challenges for the lead from Trentham to take the Street Stock win and bank another $750 on the night. Chris Lawrence used a late-race restart to move up to the second position, while Trentham brought his car home in third.

The Compact 4s were the final race of the night and the final race of the 2020 season. In an almost Cat in the Hat-like rhyme Todd Latour in his Compact 4 shut the door on the 2020 season. Leading every lap and gapping the field, Latour was never challenged, taking the win and $150.

With that the 2020 season has come to an end. We return to action in January for the DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals, followed by the legendary DIRTcar Nationals. Get your tickets now!

Reutimanns Remembered

Tonight was all about the Reutimann family and specifically remembering the lives of Emil and Dale Reutimann. With Buzzie and David already in the race, all that was left to run were a couple of Last Chance Showdowns and then onto the 50-lap main event.

The night’s opening ceremonies celebrated Emil and Dale’s memory on the stage of the front stretch and then went straight into a redraw that put Devin Dixon on the pole for the Feature. Before this could be run a pair of Last Chance Showdowns determined who else was in and who was going home.

The first Last Chance Showdown got off to a rough start with three straight cautions. Finally, on the fourth attempt, pole-sitter and eventual race winner Kenny Wallace led the field to a string of green flag laps. Three more cautions came out and when the final checkers flew Kenny Wallace, Jason Garver, and Todd Neiheiser transferred to the Feature.

The second Showdown saw the No. 1S of Brian Shaw making big moves to come to the front after an 11th place start. Shaw came all the way to third, finishing behind the winner, Brandon Wells, and second place Eric Moon to punch their tickets to the big show later in the evening.

The 50-lap Feature event left seats unused for the first portion of the race. From the driver introductions on the front stretch, to the four-wide salute, this show kept fans on their feet.
Pole-sitter Devin Dixon led the opening laps but by lap 22 had lap times slowing while other drivers were surging forward. Just before halfway Tyler Nicely once again found himself leading a race as lapped traffic issues slowed Dixon, allowing Nicely to catch him and make the pass. This pass cost Dixon an extra $500 as Nicely won the halfway leader award and banked an additional $500.00 on the weekend.

As the laps rolled on it was clear once again Nicely had the car to beat. Though Justin Allgaier was able to get past him a couple of times Nicely was able to gathered it up and find a way back to the lead. When Nick Hoffman joined the battle late in the race it looked as if he may have had a little something for the leader, but it wasn’t to be as Nicely went on to take the win and bank another $5,000.00 on top of his already bountiful weekend earnings. Allgaier came in second, and Hoffman brought it home in third. Rich Pratt took the Hard Charger award, worth $250.00.

The SS Shan Smith Sails to Another Victory

The Florida Late Models were back for another round at Volusia Speedway Park this weekend. The 27-car field started the first of three Heat races with a familiar face out front. 12-year-old Trey Mills won Heat one and looked to be the car to beat once more. He was followed in second by last night’s Thunder Stock winner, Jared Allison. Heats two and three were similar affairs with Nevin Gainey and Jeff Choquette taking wins.

The 17SS of Smith started on the outside pole and never looked back in the Feature. Choquette mounted several challenges after cautions closed the gap but was unable to take away Smith’s position. Smith went on to win and bank $1500.00, while Choquette settled for second.

Taking Home the Lyon’s Share of the Prize Money

Patrick Lyon’s #01 Street Stock isn’t only a good looking car, but a very fast one too. His competitors learned this the hard way tonight as Lyon ran away in his Heat race and continued the trend in the Feature. Shane Nichols and Joe Belkey both had brief stints out front, but when all was said and done the Lyon couldn’t be tamed and he went on to win and collect $750.00 for his night’s work.

Up Next at Volusia Speedway Park

Saturday, December 5th : Volusia Car Races
Saturday, December 12th: Volusia Karting