The Wild Card 25

With the eighth annual Emil and Dale Reutimann Memorial race just one week away, the stars of the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds were in the house to shake down their cars and try to find any edge to increase their chance of taking home the win next weekend.

The night started off with a 602 Late Model feature that saw Devin Walker following up a heat race win by over half a track, with a feature win that looked very similar at times. He was challenged by multiple feature race winner Donnie Chappell on a few restarts, but on the longer runs Walker slipped away, eventually taking the checkers first. Chappell went on to finish second, and after a heated battle that took place over multiple laps Travis Staats edged out Dustin Carter for third.

The second class out was the ¾ Modifieds. With a championship on the line, the drivers took the track for their last race of the season. Lawton and Korbin Minchew took turns leading the early laps, but on lap seven veteran racer Patrick Varieka took the lead. A battle for the lead between Varieka, Timmy Hogan, and Wade Olmsted involved lapped traffic, drawing a caution and setting up a two-lap shootout for the win. Varieka held off the challenging Hogan to grab the win, and Olmsted came home third and clinched his first championship in only his third season of racing.

The race the fans had been waiting for was up next as the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds took the track. Kenny Wallace started outside of the front row after his heat race win, with other heat race winners Seth Geary and David Reutimann on the second row. Treb Jacoby made the trip from Missouri and started on the pole, but Wallace and Reutimann jumped out front early. They caught the rear of the 26-car field quickly setting up a maze to navigate, but Reutimann kept Wallace right in his sights. Geary ran strong until a mechanical issue took him out with four to go, leaving Jacoby and Garrett Stewart to race for third. Wallace went on to win with Reutimann second and Stewart giving the fans just a small preview of what is in store for them next Friday and Saturday night!

The Street Stock feature saw veteran drivers leading the field to green with Tuck Trentham on the pole and Chris Lawrance on the outside. Another long-time contender, Jimmy Wagner got in on the action early, but it was Trentham’s night to shine as he drove his number 54 machine to victory, leading every lap. Wagner finished second, and Thomas Hill came home in third.

The final feature of the night was the Thunder Stocks. Shaun Daughtary got to the front quickly and gave a repeat performance of his heat race win taking the checkers in feature as well. Charlie Staats finished second and Sean Babcock finished third.

Next weekend is the big one: the eighth annual Emil and Dale Reutimann Memorial. Practice starts Thursday night, with racing Friday and Saturday night. You won’t want to miss this one as all of the stars of the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds will be there!

The Fall Classic

The Fall Classic couldn’t have been more appropriately named as the weather was perfect and the sound of racing was in the air. The Top Gun Sprints were in town, and the stands were packed for what was to be a great night of racing.

The night’s main events kicked off with a $1,000-to-win 604 Late Model Feature with 14 cars taking the green flag. David Clegg led this one from the green flag and looked to have it in the bag, but a late race caution with five to go wiped away the lead he had built up. On the restart Derike Bennett moved to the outside to challenge and in turn three took the lead and went on to win the race. Clegg finished second, and Joe Kump rounded out the top three.

Next up were the Top Gun Sprints. Twenty-two cars made the trip to Volusia for this event, and the crowd couldn’t wait to get their sprint car fix. Tyler Clem took the lead from Brandon McLain on lap two and proceeded to walk away from the field. On lap 8 a caution closed the gap back up, but Clem wouldn’t be caught tonight. Clem became the winner, followed by Hayden Campbell and AJ Maddox in second and third.

The third feature of the night was the ¾ modifieds. With the championship series winding down a good finish was a must for those in contention. Timmy Hogan took the early lead, followed by Jesse Powers and Wade Olmsted. Olmsted moved to second after a mid-race caution and on the last lap gave the challenge to Hogan on the inside, but Hogan held him off at the line and went on to win the feature. Olmsted was second and Powers brought it home in third.

The 602 Late Models were up next with 16 entries taking the green flag. Brandon Yates jumped out to the early lead, followed by Jackson Hise. They swapped the lead back and forth with Yates resuming the lead coming to a caution flag with five laps to go, allowing Dustin Carter to close the gap and join in on the battle. When the green flag flew again it wasn’t a full lap before turn four became a parking lot with cars trying to avoid hitting the sideways Carter piled up. A lengthy caution left Yates and Hise to battle it out with Kopka now in striking range in third. Kopka suffered a flat right rear taking him out of contention. Yates went on to win the feature, followed by Hise and Lenny Dallman in second and third.

The final feature of the night was the Thunder Stocks. Shaun Daugharty went to the front on lap one, followed closely by Josh Byrd while a few car lengths back Alan Peacock and Ron Adams battled for the third position. Adams brought out a caution with a flat right rear and tightened the field back up. On the restart Peacock moved to second and challenged Daugharty for the lead briefly before another cation came out when Adams lost a motor off of turn four. Once track clean up was complete Daugharty  once again led the field to green and captured the win, followed by Byrd in second and Charlie Staats in third.

We will be back at VSP for more racing action on Saturday, November 13th! Stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter for more info!

photos by Dave Shank

The Labor Day Classic Night 2

The second night of The Labor Day Classic had a hard act to follow with all of the action on night one; and with the 604 Late Models in town it was sure to be a great night of racing.

The feature events kicked off with the 604 Late Models. Thirty-seven cars came to town to take a shot at the $2000 winner’s purse, and after four heat races and a Last Chance Showdown won by Nick Kirkus, the field was set. Johnny Collins and Jackson Hise brought the field to the green with Collins leading lap one. On lap two Donnie Chappell took the lead and never looked back, holding off a late challenge from Clay Harris, who came from 8th to 2nd but wasn’t able to find a way around Chappell. Chappell scored the win and a second straight big payday at VSP.

The second feature of the night was the ¾ Modifieds. The previous night’s winner Jesse Powers was looking to go back to back on the weekend, but he would have to come from deep in the field if he wanted to make it happen. The front row saw young Lawton Minchew and veteran Timmy Hogan lead the field to the green. Hogan took the early lead and found his way back to victory lane followed closely by Wade Olmsted in second and Korbin Minchew in third.

Third out were the 602 Late Models. Thirty-three cars returned after night one to contend for the $2000 winner’s purse. Four heat races and a Last Chance Showdown won by Devin Walker set the field with Chase Collins and Nevin Gainey leading the field to the green. Trey Mills found his way to the front early and was in for a few battles before this one was over. Jason Garver threw the challenges early to mid-race, and later in the race Devin Walker moved up to second and challenged for the lead, but in the end, Mills took the checkered flag, scoring another victory at VSP. Walker came home second and Garver third.

The final feature of the night was the ThunderStocks. Twenty-five cars lined up for this one, and with several previous race winners in the field, it was pretty much anyone’s race to win. Jason Garver and Justin Reynolds started on the front row and when the green flag dropped the duel was on. Garver and Reynolds swapped the lead back and forth early, but eventually Reynolds got clear and Bud Chancey moved up to challenge. As the laps wound down Reynolds held on to the lead, taking the win and banking $750. Chancey finished second and Shaun Daugharty finished third.

Join us again on September 18th as the ThunderStock Series returns to VSP. Thank you to everyone who came out and enjoyed the Labor Day Classic with us and enjoy your Holiday tomorrow!

The Labor Day Classic Night 1

Central Florida racers and race fans were ready to get back to racing after a long summer off, and what better place to be on Labor Day weekend than at Volusia Speedway Park for the Labor Day Classic. Eighty-eight cars filled the pits for night one of the two-night show. With the stands full early, all that was left to do was race!

The ¾ Modifieds kicked off the night with a 15-car field taking the green flag led by Jesse Powers. Powers went on to lead every lap with Wade Olmsted keeping him in his sights but unable to make a pass and finishing second. Timmy Hogan won his heat race and brought home third followed by Dustin Peterson, who also won his heat race earlier in the evening.

Up next were the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds. Zane Oedewaldt and David Reutimann brought the 19-car field to the green flag. Reutimann took the early lead, with Garret Stewart making big moves to get to second early, setting up a battle that the crowd couldn’t wait to see. Reutimann had the edge until lap 16 when he broke a wheel. Stewart was the benefactor of Reutimann’s bad luck, going on to win the feature followed closely by Larry Burkins and young Ryan Rackley, who nailed down his first podium finish at VSP.

The 602 Late Models were third out with 35 cars bidding for spots in the Feature. Four heat races later, followed by a Last Chance Showdown won by Jackson Hise, the 26-car field was set. Donnie Chappell took the lead on the first lap, followed by Dustin Carter and David Showers Jr. Trey Mills made his way up to third to join the battle between Carter and Chappell. A late race caution gave Mills the chance to pass Carter, but he had to settle for second as Chappell took the win.

The final feature of the night was the Street Stocks. Tuck Trentham was the early leader in this one,  but Joe Belkey charged to the front on lap five. In a race riddled by cautions, the safest place to be was up front, where, with five laps to go, Chris Lawrance put himself in position to challenge Belkey for the win after passing Trentham. With a late race caution it came down to a three lap shootout with Belkey coming home the winner. Lawrance finished second and Trentham third.

That’s all for night one of two from Volusia Speedway Park, but make sure to join us tomorrow as we continue the Labor Day Classic with the 604 Late Models, 602 Late Models, Thunder Stocks, and ¾ modifieds.

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!