Events

GATOR SMOKE: Madden grabs DIRTcar Nationals win, Moran crowned Big Gator champion

Chris Madden wins at Volusia

Devin Moran wins “Big Gator” trophy by one point over Madden; earns second DIRTcar Nationals championship

Chris Madden knew he couldn’t play it safe Saturday night at Volusia Speedway Park. As the Gray Court, SC driver’s chances to win dwindled, he decided to seize an opportunity.

Madden ran fourth during the first 10 laps before taking a risk that led to reward. He thundered to the top of the Volusia clay, picking off Mike Marlar and Max Blair to get to second. That’s when he set his sights on leader Dale McDowell.

As the Chickamauga, GA driver moved to the middle to pass a slower car, “Smokey” dealt his final blow. Madden switched lanes through Turns 3 and 4, powering under McDowell to take control of the lead en route to winning the DIRTcar Nationals finale, while Devan Moran won the overall Big Gator Championship.

The choice to go to the outside was crucial in Madden’s 33rd career World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Models triumph.

“It was very important,” Madden said. “I thought we messed up with an adjustment, and when they dropped the green flag, I couldn’t keep up, and I was like, oh boy, I’m in trouble.

“The racetrack finally slowed down enough to where we were pretty good and [McDowell], and they caught lap traffic, so I had nothing to lose but step out there, and we found the groove and happened to get by right in time.”

Madden’s second career DIRTcar Nationals victory is the culmination of a consistent week for him and his team. He’s now at the top of the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models point standings—16 points ahead of McDowell.

“We’ve had a great car all week,” Madden said. “I’ve made some bad calls on restarts, picking the wrong line, and took myself out of a couple of wins this week. Overall, we’ve had a great week, my guys worked their tail off doing a great job, and I appreciate them.”

Mike Marlar, the 2018 Series Champion, crossed the line second. The Winfield, TN campaigner sat third for most of the race, getting by Rookie of the Year contender Max Blair on the final lap.

“I had a good car; I just couldn’t do much about it there,” Marlar said. “[Blair] was just in my line. I kind of waited until I thought I could pass on tires, and the last couple of laps, I just drove it a lot harder and got him. But I probably never would’ve gotten Madden.”

McDowell finished third after leading early in the race. “The Mac Daddy” felt he was a sitting duck once he caught the back of the field.

“I didn’t know where to go, and I went to the middle,” McDowell said. “That’s where I should’ve been, but [lap cars] moved out a little bit so [Madden] and them shot by me. Some days are your days, and some days aren’t.”

Max Blair, the Rookie of the race, slipped to fourth on the final lap. Despite making a mistake at the end, the Viper Motorsports team is happy to get its first top five of the season.

“Anytime you run fourth with these guys, it’s something to be proud of,” Blair said. “It sucks a little bit when you run second the whole race and then give it away on the last lap and fall back to fourth. But, with how this week went and everything, fourth is a lot better than 18th.”

The Centerville, PA driver leads the chase for Rookie of the Year after six races—10 points ahead of Tanner English.

He isn’t the only rookie who grabbed their first top five, as Kyle Hammer finished fifth. It’s momentum the Clinton, IL driver can take moving forward, on top of leading 20 laps during Thursday’s DIRTcar Nationals Feature.

“This is one of the hardest tracks we’ll probably hit on the schedule,” Hammer said. “I mean, look at all these guys. Ryan Gustin dominates one night and misses the Feature the next. We led half the Feature and missed the next night and take a provisional.

“It shows [Volusia] is a hard track no matter who you are, so I feel like we’ve got a huge confidence booster going into the rest of the year.”

While Madden did everything possible to win the Big Gator title, Moran took it home for the second straight year. “The Mailman” did just enough to win the DIRTcar Nationals championship—besting Madden by one point.

Big Gator Trophy Celebration

Despite not finding Victory Lane, Moran still made his way to the podium four times at Volusia. It capped off the end to a successful Speedweeks for the Dresden, OH driver.

It’s pretty cool,” Moran said. “We wanted to win so bad here this week, and I felt we had the car too.

“To come out here and get the big gator two years in a row after not racing a whole lot is a lot of fun. I can’t thank Wylie [Moran’s brother and crew chief] enough.”

Chris Madden proved that taking a chance at the right time can pay off on the path to Victory. It’s risks like Madden’s that led to a reward—and a chance to contend for a World of Outlaws CASE Late Models title.

UP NEXT: The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet make their inaugural appearance at The Rev in Monroe, LA, March 11-12. FOR TICKETS, CLICK HERE.

CASE Construction Feature (40 Laps): 1. 44-Chris Madden[3]; 2. 157-Mike Marlar[5]; 3. 17M-Dale McDowell[1]; 4. 111V-Max Blair[2]; 5. 45-Kyle Hammer[7]; 6. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[6]; 7. 8-Kyle Strickler[4]; 8. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[9]; 9. 39-Tim McCreadie[11]; 10. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[8]; 11. 16-Tyler Bruening[17]; 12. 9-Devin Moran[20]; 13. 76-Brandon Overton[14]; 14. 11H-Spencer Hughes[12]; 15. 81E-Tanner English[22]; 16. 130-Chase Osterhoff[19]; 17. 97-Cade Dillard[23]; 18. 1-Brandon Sheppard[25]; 19. B1-Brent Larson[24]; 20. 40B-Kyle Bronson[13]; 21. 11-Gordy Gundaker[29]; 22. 99B-Boom Briggs[28]; 23. 1T-Tyler Erb[21]; 24. 1R-Josh Richards[27]; 25. 89-Ashton Winger[18]; 26. 33M-Michael Norris[16]; 27. 19R-Ryan Gustin[26]; 28. 32-Chris Simpson[10]; 29. 3S-Brian Shirley[15] FOX FACTORY HARD CHARGER: Devin Moran [+8]

THE BIG GATOR: Jimmy Phelps conquers DIRTcar Nationals for first title, win

In 26 years with the Super DIRTcar Series, Jimmy Phelps has seen and experienced it all. But an occurrence Saturday night left him shocked and speechless.

He earned his first DIRTcar Nationals win – worth $6,000 – and claimed the 2022 Big Gator Championship after leading green to checkered in the 50-lap finale at Volusia Speedway Park.

“I got to be honest it’s kind of shocking,” Phelps said while throwing his arm in the air as if still unsure how he accomplished the massive feat. “We typically come down here to just run respectfully. We never really felt like we had a handle on this place. We unloaded really good and kept tweaking and getting better and better and better from there. It was fun.”

Phelps, of Baldwinsville, NY, was the most consistent driver throughout the five-day speed week at Volusia, finishing fourth, second, sixth, second and then the win.

Entering the night, he trailed his teammate Max McLaughlin – who won Friday night’s Feature – by five points in the Big Gator championship battle. But with the benefit of collecting points for his second Billy Whittaker Cars Fast Time Award of the week and Heat Race win, Phelps held a one-point lead over “Mad Max” before the Feature.

Another benefit, Phelps drew the pole in the Albany-Saratoga Speedway Redraw. He claimed it was what won him the race, but his precision and supersonic launches every restart didn’t hurt.

He gapped second-place Adam Pierson by more than two car lengths at the start of the 50-lap Feature, leaving the 2022 Rookie of the Year contender to fight off challenges from eight-time Series champion Matt Sheppard. He held off the veteran for several laps, but the low lane eventually prevailed for Sheppard.

By the time the reigning champion got to second, Phelps already had a straightaway lead on the field. Both ran low as rubber started to lay down. Sheppard cut a tenth into Phelps’s lead each lap but stalled out when he got about two car lengths behind the Heinke-Baldwin Racing #98H. Behind them, Mat Williamson and Larry Wight also got by Pierson to take over third and fourth, respectively.

Like drafting partners, the top-five stayed in line, sometimes closing, and sometimes losing ground on the driver in front of them. Phelps’s biggest optical through the halfway point was lap traffic. Maneuvering through the slower cars allowed Sheppard to close, at times enough where thoughts of attempting a pass could creep in mind.

A couple of cautions throughout the Feature allowed Phelps to avoid the slower cars for several laps after each restart, but the caution on Lap 10 changed the complexity of the race. Tire wear became a concern with Kyle Coffey being the first in a group of cars to blow a right rear. While some teams knew it was a possibility and gambled with softer compounds anyway, Phelps said concern set in due to the situation occurring sooner than he expected.

“I wasn’t 100 percent sure I was comfortable going out on a hard tire because if it was wrong and I backed up I’d really pay the price,” Phelps said. “We figured we could get out front and if it did (rubber up) we’d be in the right spot to control the pace. I was really nervous when I started seeing tires blowing.

“We were able to back the field up, slow the pace down, try to take it easy on the tires. Try to avoid the lap cars. Just got really lucky with the redraw (starting upfront).”

By the end of the 50 laps, his right rear was bare of tread, looking more like an asphalt tire.

While Phelps was able to manage the wear, his closest competitors weren’t privy to the same fortune in their attempts to run him down. Both Sheppard and Williamson suffered blown right rears in the closing laps, allowing Wight and Stewart Friesen to sneak their way into podium spots before the checkered flag.

“I was sitting in a pretty good spot,” Wight said. “I could see all three of their tires. I saw Sheppard showing a patch of canvas there with about eight or nine to go, so I knew I didn’t have to worry about him. Then Williamson’s tire wasn’t much better… I just sat back and watched them and took advantage of the situation.”

All of Phelps’s Big Gator competitors suffered an issue in the final stages of the race with Williamson finishing seventh, Peter Britten 10th and McLaughlin 17th. However, all four, along with Friesen made history this week as the Super DIRTcar Series saw five straight different winners during DIRTcar Nationals for the first time in the 51 years of the event.

With a pair of new trophies and wealth of confidence going into the 2022 championship season – starting at Atomic Speedway, March 25-26 – this is a DIRTcar Nationals Phelps will cherish.

“It means a ton,” he said. “It’s something you come down here every year praying to get. This year we finally had the race team, the race car, a bunch of guys that work really hard and they gave us a car where it got me the confidence to stay upfront and do it all week. It’s tough. A lot of luck. You have to draw good and qualify well. We’ve been doing this a long time. I don’t know how many years we got left coming down here, so I’m glad we finally did it.”

UP NEXT
The Super DIRTcar Series starts its championship season during its debut at Atomic Speedway on March 25-26.

If you can’t make it to the track, the race will be live on DIRTVision – watch either online on with the DIRTVision App.

RESULTS
DIRTcar Nationals Feature #5 (50 Laps): 1. 98H-Jimmy Phelps[1]; 2. 99L-Larry Wight[16]; 3. 44-Stewart Friesen[17]; 4. 35M-Mike Mahaney[5]; 5. 8S-Rich Scagliotta[14]; 6. 54-Steve Bernard[28]; 7. 88-Mat Williamson[4]; 8. 25P-Michael Parent[24]; 9. 16X-Dan Creeden[21]; 10. 21A-Peter Britten[7]; 11. 3J-Marc Johnson[9]; 12. 19-Tim Fuller[19]; 13. 35LJ-LJ Lombardo[23]; 14. 111-Demetrios Drellos[8]; 15. 1K-Rick Laubach[10]; 16. 3H-Justin Haers[11]; 17. 8H-Max McLaughlin[6]; 18. 118-Jim Britt[25]; 19. 14-CG Morey[26]; 20. (DNF) 88D-Olden Dwyer[20]; 21. (DNF) 215P-Adam Pierson[2]; 22. (DNF) 2L-Jack Lehner[18]; 23. (DNF) 30W-Joseph Watson[15]; 24. (DNF) 23C-Kyle Coffey[12]; 25. (DNF) 9S-Matt Sheppard[3]; 26. (DNF) 12S-Darren Smith[22]; 27. (DNF) JS98-Rocky Warner[13]; 28. (DNF) 83-Brian Swartzlander[27]

MAD FOR GATORS: Max McLaughlin scores second DIRTcar Nationals win, Big Gator points lead

The first three times Max McLaughlin asked Volusia Speedway Park for its iconic gator trophy this week it said “no.”

With every “no,” frustration grew. A third; an eight; and then a second. The latter, causing dejection to take over his posture.

Friday night, during the fourth round of DIRTcar Nationals Super DIRTcar Series action, “Mad Max” no longer asked politely. Feeling like he should’ve already had a 2022 gator resting in his trailer, the Mooresville, NC driver extracted every ounce of grit he had for 30 laps to wrestle his way to victory.

Jimmy Phelps, Mat Williamson and Demetrios Drellos tried to deny McLaughlin another win, but his patience triumphed, and he was handed his second DIRTcar Nationals little gator trophy – along with the Big Gator Championship points lead.

“At the start of the drop of the green I thought we were going to go backward in a hurry,” McLaughlin said. “I was really tight. I was like, there’s no way we’re going to be able to get off the bottom. The track had a lot of grip and the car kept getting better and better. Man, it was fun to drive.

“My guys worked their asses off this week. We changed a motor and brought out a backup car. I got the best team in the world and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

McLaughlin showed his speed early, claiming the Billy Whittaker Cars Fast Time Award. That earned him the pole for his Heat Race but had to settle second at its conclusion after Peter Britten bested him for the win.

Luck helped him in the Albany-Saratoga Speedway Redraw, placing him on the front row, alongside polesitter Demetrios Drellos, for the Feature.

The two young stars raced side by side for the first lap before Drellos edged ahead and left McLaughlin to fend off Williamson. McLaughlin’s fear of fading soon set in as Williamson easily slid by him for second.

Then, a caution arose that not only changed the complexity of the race but the Big Gator Championship. Then point-leader Peter Britten slowed on the backstretch due to a broken shock.

On the restart, McLaughlin tossed his F.X. Caprara #8H machine to the bottom of the track, blowing by Williamson and pulling even with Drellos by the center of the first corner. He was able to maintain his pass on Williamson, but Drellos again got the better run off the turn.

The caution flew again on Lap 14 due to Matt Sheppard suffering a flat tire. When the race resumed, McLaughlin again powered his way into the first turn, getting an advantage on Drellos and pulling ahead of him down the backstretch. By sliding high and blocking Drellos’s run, the orange and white #8H got breathing room to drive away.

Behind him, Williamson and Phelps were on the move, both passing Drellos to fill out the podium. With six laps to go, they were given a final shot at the 21-year-old when Britten blew a tire and brought the caution out again. According to officials, Williamson jumped the gun on his attack during the restart and was moved back a position before the next attempt. That placed Phelps alongside his teammate for a six-lap duel.

The veteran was unable to match McLaughlin in those final laps but earned his second runner-up finish of the week and helped Heinke-Baldwin Racing bring home its first 1-2 finish since 2015.

“It says a lot. It says we came down here prepared,” said Phelps, of Baldwinsville, NY. “We typically, me personally typically, haven’t run strong down here and they gave me a great race car.”

Williamson was unpleased with the rule of being put back a position for jumping the start and stated his car had an issue with restarts all race.

“We ran a harder tire and just couldn’t fire on the restarts,” the St. Catharines, Ontario driver said. “Hats off to Max and Jimmy, they ran a great race.”

With Britten’s issues causing him to finish 22nd and Stewart Friesen missing the race due to his NASCAR commitments, McLaughlin catapulted to the Big Gator Championship points lead with one race to go – currently leading Williamson and Phelps by five points and Britten by 18.

In his first week back with Heinke-Baldwin Racing – after a two-year absence – winning in just their fourth race together, the defending Big Gator champion now has his sights set on asking Volusia for a gator one more time.

“We’ve been so damn fast. It’s been so much fun,” McLaughlin said. “Tonight, was a great race. Last night was a great race. We just need to keep the momentum rolling.”

UP NEXT
The Super DIRTcar Series returns to Volusia Speedway Park for the 51st DIRTcar Nationals finale, Saturday, Feb. 19 – the Big Gator Championship night. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the race, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online or with the DIRTVision App.

RESULTS
DIRTcar Nationals Feature #4 (30 Laps): 1. 8H-Max McLaughlin[2]; 2. 98H-Jimmy Phelps[6]; 3. 88-Mat Williamson[3]; 4. 99L-Larry Wight[15]; 5. 3J-Marc Johnson[11]; 6. 111-Demetrios Drellos[1]; 7. 2L-Jack Lehner[7]; 8. 23C-Kyle Coffey[5]; 9. 35M-Mike Mahaney[10]; 10. 3H-Justin Haers[26]; 11. 215P-Adam Pierson[14]; 12. JS98-Rocky Warner[13]; 13. 16X-Dan Creeden[12]; 14. 30W-Joseph Watson[20]; 15. 8S-Rich Scagliotta[9]; 16. 54-Steve Bernard[24]; 17. 12S-Darren Smith[25]; 18. 14-CG Morey[19]; 19. 1K-Rick Laubach[22]; 20. 1-Andrew Smith[16]; 21. 35LJ-LJ Lombardo[23]; 22. 21A-Peter Britten[4]; 23. 1G-Darwin Greene[21]; 24. 83-Brian Swartzlander[17]; 25. (DNF) 9S-Matt Sheppard[8]; 26. (DNF) 19-Tim Fuller[18]

RETURN OF THE MAC: McDowell scores second World of Outlaws win of 2022 at Volusia

Dale McDowell wins at Volusia

Devin Moran grabs fourth straight podium finish, leads Big Gator points

Only one word describes Dale McDowell’s 2022 season—emotional.

Less than a month after the Chickamauga, GA driver opened the season with a win at Sunshine Nationals, he backed it up with another one Thursday night at Volusia Speedway Park.

McDowell outran Devin Moran and Darrell Lanigan in the final 10 laps to earn his first Gator trophy since 2018. Tears fell from the “Mac Daddy’s” eyes in Victory Lane, at a loss for words for his recent accomplishments—including his triumph against cancer.

“We came down here in January to see if we were worthy of coming back, and it’s been a dream come true,” McDowell said.

The veteran driver earned a $10,000 check and his 14th career World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series win, tying him for 14th all-time with Tim Fuller.

Despite his success in 2022, it’s a position McDowell never thought he’d be in after his off-track battle.

“I’ve been through a lot, and I have a lot of help behind me and support,” McDowell said. “It’s pretty emotional because I’ve been through a good bit, but I’m just happy to be here.”

While McDowell held the lead in the final 21 laps, Rookie of the Year contender Kyle Hammer led the first 19.

The Clinton, IL driver lost the lead to McDowell on a Lap 20 restart and dropped back to fifth before spinning in Turns 3 and 4, ending his night.

Even though he finished 27th, Hammer gained a boost of confidence racing against some of the top Late Model drivers in the country.

“We started really bad here in the beginning of the week,” Hammer said. “So, to be able to come where we were to here is just awesome for our team, a huge confidence booster.

“I feel like we actually know what we’re doing in the slick now.”

Devin Moran crossed the line second, earning his fourth DIRTcar Nationals podium. The “Mailman” leads the battle for a “Big Gator” trophy but wants a little gator to go with it. He stated he needed to start closer to the front to do that.

“We found some stuff in our Heat Race, and I felt like we were really, really good,” Moran said. “We’ll put that in our Qualifying setup tomorrow and hopefully start on the front row of the [Heat Race], and maybe we can start up front in one of these Features.

“We may not have passed the best car, but we’ve passed plenty of cars this week. We’ll just keep after it.”

Darrell Lanigan crossed the line third after starting 12th. The three-time Series champion stated he’s improving each night, especially in his ability to drive through the field.

“We’ve got our car close now,” Lanigan said. “It’s pretty balanced when we can drive in traffic.”

Chris Madden finished fourth, adding to his Series points lead—12 points ahead of McDowell. It’s the Gray Court, SC driver’s third top-five in four races. And 2021 World of Outlaws CASE Late Models Rookie of the Year Tyler Bruening rounded out the top five.

Dale McDowell’s 2022 season has been an emotional ride he never expected. “The Mac Daddy” is taking things one race at a time, embracing every win as it comes.

“I’m just completely blessed,” McDowell said.

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws CASE Late Models return to Volusia Speedway Park for another day of action at DIRTcar Nationals along with the Super DIRTcar Series. For Tickets: CLICK HERE.

CASE Construction Equipment Feature (40 Laps): 1. 17M-Dale McDowell[4]; 2. 9-Devin Moran[9]; 3. 29-Darrell Lanigan[12]; 4. 44-Chris Madden[3]; 5. 16-Tyler Bruening[18]; 6. 58-Mark Whitener[5]; 7. 89-Ashton Winger[14]; 8. 81E-Tanner English[13]; 9. 1-Brandon Sheppard[15]; 10. 40B-Kyle Bronson[23]; 11. 39-Tim McCreadie[11]; 12. 157-Mike Marlar[17]; 13. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[16]; 14. 111V-Max Blair[29]; 15. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[6]; 16. 25-Shane Clanton[20]; 17. 18-Chase Junghans[24]; 18. 11H-Spencer Hughes[21]; 19. B1-Brent Larson[27]; 20. 1R-Josh Richards[30]; 21. 99B-Boom Briggs[26]; 22. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[22]; 23. 11-Gordy Gundaker[28]; 24. 8-Kyle Strickler[7]; 25. 19R-Ryan Gustin[25]; 26. 10-Garrett Smith[10]; 27. 45-Kyle Hammer[2]; 28. 76N-Blair Nothdurft[8]; 29. 32-Chris Simpson[19]; 30. 76-Brandon Overton[1] FOX FACTORY HARD CHARGER AWARD: Max Blair [+15]

UNDER PRESSURE: Williamson uses Super DIRT Week pressure to claim third DIRTcar Nationals victory

Mat Williamson felt the pressure of NAPA Super DIRT Week Thursday evening.

But that pressure had nothing to do with the October event. He and his Buzz Chew Racing team were 1,200 miles south of where it’s even held.

It was the third of five straight days of Super DIRTcar Series racing at Volusia Speedway Park during the 51st DIRTcar Nationals. And after back-to-back sixth-place finishes in the first two races, something needed to change. He knew it. His team knew. So, they treated Thursday’s event like it was the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at Super DIRT Week.

“Today, you would’ve sworn it was Oswego, Sunday morning, trying to decide what we were going to do for a 200-lap race,” Williamson said. “We took this one pretty seriously and hopefully it leads to some momentum going forward.

“Just because we haven’t lived up to the expectations of how we ran last year. I think we got through the middle of September to Charlotte, we didn’t run out of the top-five. Then, we had two six-place finishes. People expect things. We worked really hard over the winter to build this car, me and Spot. We tried some things we learned over the years and came here wanting to win. That’s kind of what we expected. If you don’t turn things around by Wednesday, you’re going to have a rough week.”

And a rough week he will no longer have.

Williamson drove like he was after his third NAPA Super DIRT Week title, wrestling with Stewart Friesen and Max McLaughlin for 30 laps, emerging the victor by the time the checkered flag was revealed.

His path to collecting a third golden gator trophy looks smooth on paper – qualifying fastest in his group, winning his Heat Race and drawing the #2 pill in the Albany-Saratoga Speedway Redraw – but when it came time for the Feature, Friesen and McLaughlin showed him no mercy.

The St. Catharines, Ontario driver raced side by side with fellow Canadian Stewart Friesen for the first two laps, neither showing an upper hand. On the third lap, Friesen threw an early Hail Mary into Turn 1, crossing in front of Williamson and stealing the lead by the exit of Turn 2. But the speed difference from their choice of line benefited Williamson. He crossed underneath Friesen down the backstretch and catapulted his Buzz Chew #88 back to the lead in Turn 3.

An early caution lined them back side by side for the restart, setting up a battle that would last the rest of the Feature. Williamson ran high, Friesen low, and the two raced side by side for more than 10 laps. The SRI Performance/Halmar International #44 would nose ahead of Williamson every time Friesen dove it into the corner, but Williamson was always stronger on the exit. Friesen tried another slide job with 17 laps to go, moving himself to the high lane and Williamson low, but Williamson still prevailed.

While they sparred, Max McLaughlin – from seventh – surprised them both, creating a three-car battle for the lead. He snuck underneath Friesen for second and then surprised Williamson with a run through the middle that helped him edge ahead of the #88 for a corner.

“Any time you’re racing with Stewie (Friesen) you know you have to be up on the wheel,” Williamson said. “He never gives up and he gives it his all. I thought that was him on the outside of me down the back straightaway there. I didn’t know that was Max. Max is still pretty young, and God damn, he’s putting together some good finishes down here. He’s going to be tough to beat this year.

“Them two, the race out front was pretty hectic. It kept me on my toes.”

With eight laps to go, Williamson put the final nail in the coffin, getting a run through Turns 1 and 2 that propelled him ahead of McLaughlin and allowed him to drive away.

“We were just really good on the bottom and through the black there in the middle. I don’t know, I might be a little too soft on the right rear. I don’t know,” a visually dejected McLaughlin said after the race. “Just got to get with these guys and see what we got. Late in the run when it started to rubber up there, I had such a good car at the start, but it started to latch down in (Turns) three and four and I couldn’t turn in a 40-acre field.”

Friesen ended up losing third with two laps to go when current 2022 DIRTcar Nationals Big Gator Championship points leader Peter Britten made sure to continue his streak of not finishing outside the podium. So far this week, Britten has finished second, first and third.

“We didn’t fire as well as I had hoped but we had all good cars in front of us,” Britten said. “Just held steady with them at the beginning and later on in the race I felt like they were getting worse, or I was getting better. Either way, I felt good. At the end, I saw those guys coming back to me. I just wish I had another 10 laps.”

Matt Sheppard also got Friesen in the final two laps, moving past him for fourth – his first top-five and top-10 of the week – and forcing Friesen to settle for fifth.

Britten currently holds a 24-point lead over Friesen in the Big Gator Championship points standings. However, Friesen will have to miss Friday’s race due to running the NASCAR Truck Series race at Daytona. The next driver in line is Williamson – 25 points behind Britten.

“The rest of the week is big,” Williamson said. “We’ve got two more big races here and we can leave with our heads held high because we’re going home with a gator. It’s pretty sweet. The rest of the week, the pressure is off.”

UP NEXT
The Super DIRTcar Series returns to Volusia Speedway Park for its fourth night of racing during the 51st DIRTcar Nationals on Friday, Feb. 18. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

RESULTS
DIRTcar Nationals Feature #3 (30 Laps): 1. 88-Mat Williamson[2]; 2. 8H-Max McLaughlin[7]; 3. 21A-Peter Britten[8]; 4. 9S-Matt Sheppard[6]; 5. 44-Stewart Friesen[1]; 6. 98H-Jimmy Phelps[10]; 7. 1K-Rich Laubach[4]; 8. 30W-Joseph Watson[5]; 9. 99L-Larry Wight[21]; 10. 16X-Dan Creeden[3]; 11. 8S-Rich Scagliotta[9]; 12. 23C-Kyle Coffey[16]; 13. 12S-Darren Smith[12]; 14. 19-Tim Fuller[15]; 15. 3H-Justin Haers[20]; 16. 111-Demetrios Drellos[13]; 17. 2L-Jack Lehner[14]; 18. 35M-Mike Mahaney[11]; 19. 14-CG Morey[25]; 20. 118-Jim Britt[19]; 21. 215P-Adam Pierson[18]; 22. 83-Brian Swartzlander[23]; 23. 25P-Michael Parent[22]; 24. 3J-Marc Johnson[26]; 25. JS98-Rocky Warner[24]; 26. (DNF) 37MD-Jeremiah Shingledecker[17]

SEXY SURVIVAL: Overton Holds on for Second Career DIRTcar Nationals win

Brandon Overton wins at Volusia Speedway Park

The Evans, GA driver passed Dale McDowell on a restart en route to his 19th career World of Outlaws Win

Brandon Overton’s clock was ticking Wednesday night.

As the laps wound down at Volusia Speedway Park, so did the life of the engine inside his Longhorn Chassis.

Luckily for “Big Sexy,” his clock didn’t strike midnight. The engine held up long enough to take the checkered flag for his second career DIRTcar Nationals win.

Overton wasn’t sure he’d make it to the end in the last few laps—holding his breath and hoping the engine stayed together. All of this while Devin Moran lurked behind him.

“I was looking, and I could see it smoking, and I knew it’s got to be over pretty soon,” Overton said. “I was just getting it so tight down there I was just holding it to the floor. I could tell it was dying; it was just muffling out.

“Hell, there ain’t nothing you can do; it’s already done its damage.”

Before the engine started to blow, Overton’s car came to life in the second half of the race. The Evans, GA driver, took advantage of a caution for then race-leader Kyle Strickler and powered around Dale McDowell for the top spot.

Overton put the car anywhere he wanted to, thanks to wholesale changes made to his Late Model throughout the week.

“We’ve changed everything on this thing every single night, every single Feature we’ve ran,” Overton said. “The new body rules and stuff kind of has us in a little box, and we just got to figure it out.

“I had a pretty good package with the way everything was, and it changed a little bit. We just have to keep working; that’s what makes this fun.”

The DIRTcar Nationals win is Overton’s 19th World of Outlaws CASE Construction Late Model Series triumph—tying him with Jimmy Owens. It’s a win that may not have happened without Kyle Strickler’s lousy luck.

The Mooresville, NC driver dropped out while leading with 25 laps to go. He stated it was a problem his team found on Tuesday—one they hoped to fix before the Feature.

“We had drivetrain issues [Tuesday],” Strickler said. “The yoke pulled off the rear end, but everything felt good today. I thought we had a really good car and broke a lower jackshaft in the rear-end.

“I’m not sure if it had to do with last night or not, but the car was good and it’s just part of it.”

Devin Moran continued his hot streak to start the season, scoring his third trip to the DIRTcar Nationals podium with a second-place finish.

The Dresden, OH driver stated he thought he had a shot at winning before he saw Overton’s engine start to expire.

“I felt like I was catching him before that,” Moran said. “I don’t know if it’s because his engine was getting worse and worse.

“I wasn’t going to slide him in Turns 3 and 4 because I knew I was too far back. But I wanted to at least run a different line if he did blow up.”

Moran’s consistency puts him on a path toward his second straight “Big Gator” trophy—as he leads the week-long standings on the strength of three podiums.

Reigning Series Champion Brandon Sheppard passed more cars than anyone Wednesday, earning the Fox Factory Hard Charger award. “The Rocket Shepp” crossed the line third after switching to a backup car and starting 25th.

After he didn’t qualify through his Heat Race, the Rocket1 Racing team decided to switch cars—one that paid off.

“My team just comes thru in tough times like we had today,” Sheppard said. “It was really just a mutual agreement to switch cars, and it worked out. All of our cars are good. We were just missing something on that other one.”

Hudson O’Neal finished fourth, his second top-five finish of the season. Three-time Series champion Darrell Lanigan rounded out the top five.

Brandon Overton didn’t only win a “Gator,” but a race against time. It shows the clock hasn’t struck midnight on Overton’s success against the best Dirt Late Model racing has to offer.

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series returns to Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 17 for their second night of DIRTcar Nationals, along with the Super DIRTcar Series. For tickets to the event: CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online on with the DIRTVision App.

CASE Construction Feature (40 Laps): 1. 76-Brandon Overton[8]; 2. 9-Devin Moran[9]; 3. 1-Brandon Sheppard[25]; 4. 71-Hudson O’Neal[7]; 5. 29-Darrell Lanigan[4]; 6. 44-Chris Madden[2]; 7. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr[13]; 8. 1R-Josh Richards[27]; 9. 81E-Tanner English[18]; 10. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[6]; 11. 1T-Tyler Erb[23]; 12. 44B-Colten Burdette[15]; 13. 111V-Max Blair[20]; 14. 16-Tyler Bruening[21]; 15. B1-Brent Larson[12]; 16. 6S-Blake Spencer[22]; 17. 11-Gordy Gundaker[14]; 18. 99B-Boom Briggs[28]; 19. 14M-Morgan Bagley[29]; 20. 39-Tim McCreadie[11]; 21. 17M-Dale McDowell[5]; 22. 10-Garrett Smith[10]; 23. 45-Kyle Hammer[30]; 24. 89-Ashton Winger[16]; 25. 3S-Brian Shirley[17]; 26. 8-Kyle Strickler[1]; 27. 25-Shane Clanton[24]; 28. 157-Mike Marlar[3]; 29. 97-Cade Dillard[19]; 30. 19R-Ryan Gustin[26] Fox Factory Hard Charger Award: Brandon Sheppard [+22}.

REDEMPTION RUN: Thornton Scores First DIRTcar Nationals Win in Dominant Fashion

Ricky Thornton Jr. Wins at Volusia Speedway Park

The Chandler, AZ driver, led all 30 laps en route to his first Volusia Speedway Park Victory

A year ago, Ricky Thornton Jr. seemed destined for his first DIRTcar Nationals win—until heartbreak struck. He lost the lead on a late-race restart, spoiling his chances for victory.

History didn’t have a chance to repeat itself Monday night. The Chandler, AZ driver took advantage of a caution-free Feature, leading all 30-laps to score his first DIRTcar Nationals win at Volusia Speedway Park.

Thornton jumped to the roof of his car in Victory Lane, raising two fists into the Florida sky and letting out a joyful scream—knowing he got his redemption and the $7,000 paycheck.

“I felt like we almost had one last year, and we gave it away there late in the race,” Thornton said. “This is pretty awesome.”

While Thornton dominated the event, he knew he had to be sharp at the start of the race. “RTJ” lined up next to Brandon Overton, who won the last DIRTcar Nationals Feature in 2021.

Thornton powered ahead of Overton on the outside lane, grabbing a lead he’d never relinquish off Turn 2. The outside was where Thornton wanted to go, allowing him to set his own pace in the early stages of the Feature.

“I actually preferred starting on the outside; that way, I could run into [Turn 1] as hard as I wanted,” Thornton said. “It worked out for us; I got a really good start and got out in front of [Overton].

“I was trying to distance myself as much as I could; that way, once we did get to traffic and I had to slow down, they wouldn’t get by me. The top never really slowed down all the way, so it’s pretty awesome.”

As Thornton drove away from the field, Chris Madden charged from his eighth starting position to finish second. The Gray Court, SC campaigner, took the opposite approach from Thornton, using the bottom en route to a runner-up finish.

Madden felt he could’ve had a shot at the win if he had a better starting position.

“We needed to start closer to the front,” Madden said. “We qualified good tonight, inverted back, and then started, I think eighth there.

“We had a really good racecar tonight. I’m really proud of my guys; I’m proud of our finish; I’m proud of our car and what we learned tonight. It was a great racetrack, and we had a fun race.”

Defending DIRTcar Nationals champion Devin Moran crossed the line third—his 13th straight top-10 finish in 2022.

The Dresden, OH driver felt he wasn’t good enough on the outside to contend with both Thornton and Madden.

“Ricky was checked out pretty good, and I think Chris [Madden] was a little better than us,” Moran said. “We were probably a third-place car, we were too tight to run the top, and we just need to work on it a little bit and get it ready for tomorrow.”

Pole-sitter Brandon Overton finished fourth, and Dale McDowell rounded out the top five.

Ricky Thornton Jr. didn’t back down from a second chance at winning his first Gator—giving him DIRTcar Nationals redemption. It’s a momentum that keeps his eyes on a larger prize—a “Big Gator” trophy on his mantle.

The quest for a “Big Gator” continues Tuesday night at Volusia Speedway Park as the Late Models return for their second night of action at DIRTcar Nationals. For tickets, CLICK HERE.

The Super DIRTcar Series and the Xtreme Outlaw Sprint Cars presented by Low-E Insulation will also join the racing card.

If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online on with the DIRTVision App.

Feature (30 Laps): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[2]; 2. 44-Chris Madden[8]; 3. 9-Devin Moran[6]; 4. 76-Brandon Overton[1]; 5. 17M-Dale McDowell[4]; 6. 16-Tyler Bruening[7]; 7. 1-Brandon Sheppard[3]; 8. 157-Mike Marlar[12]; 9. 25-Shane Clanton[11]; 10. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[13]; 11. 32-Chris Simpson[10]; 12. 29-Darrell Lanigan[5]; 13. 19R-Ryan Gustin[14]; 14. 18D-Daulton Wilson[17]; 15. 40B-Kyle Bronson[15]; 16. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr[9]; 17. 89-Ashton Winger[24]; 18. 58-Mark Whitener[18]; 19. 36-Logan Martin[21]; 20. 11-Spencer Hughes[16]; 21. 14M-Morgan Bagley[22]; 22. 31-Tyler Millwood[19]; 23. 97-Cody Overton[23]; 24. 11B-Stacy Boles[20]

WHO TO EXPECT: Xtreme Outlaw Sprint Cars Debut on Monday and Tuesday at Volusia

DIRTcar Nationals Gator Trophy and $10,000 Payday Awaits Star-Studded Field

History will be made this week at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, FL as traditional sprint cars join the lineup at the 51st DIRTcar Nationals.

The Xtreme Outlaw Sprint Car Series presented by Low-E Insulation will officially make their grand entrance on Monday & Tuesday with both nights streaming LIVE on DIRTVision.

A group of 15 drivers has already committed to the entire 14-race schedule with hopes of claiming the inaugural Series championship in 2022. Joining those full-timers in action this week is a laundry list of well-known superstars in the non-wing world who have their sights set on winning one of the sought-after gator trophies at DIRTcar Nationals.

It all begins on Monday, February 14 with a $5,000-to-win program on Valentine’s Day, followed by a big $10,000-to-win special on Tuesday, February 15. Fans can BUY TICKETS HERE to secure a seat for this historic happening at The World’s Fastest 1/2-Mile.

Here’s who you can expect to see over the next two nights in Volusia.

FULL-TIME DRIVERS:

  • Anthony Nicholson of Bartlett, TN will drive his own DHR Suspension #16. The 35-year-old is a multi-time winner with the POWRi WAR Sprints and ASCS Elite Non-Wing Series.
  • Chad Boespflug of Hanford, CA has teamed up with legendary crew chief Scott Benic in 2022. The nine-time USAC Sprint Car winner will wheel the famed #2B in Xtreme Outlaw action.
  • Chase Stockon of Fort Branch, IN owns the USAC Iron Man record for most consecutive starts and now finds a new challenge in chasing the Xtreme Outlaw title aboard the KO Motorsports #5S.
  • Cole Bodine of Rossville, IN has graduated from the micro sprint and midget ranks to a full-time sprint car schedule between Xtreme Outlaw and USAC. The 23-year-old runs the DCT Racing #57B.
  • Dallas Hewitt of Troy, OH has planned a special throwback #21 in honor of his iconic uncle Jack Hewitt. He’s a multi-time BOSS Sprint Car winner with his set on the Xtreme Outlaw Series in 2022.
  • Dennis Gile of Glendale, AZ spearheads a two-car operation this year with the Xtreme Outlaw Series. He’s a four-time ASCS Desert Series victor.
  • Jason McDougal of Broken Arrow, OK runs alongside Stockon aboard the KO Motorsports #5M. J-Mac is already a multi-time USAC Sprint Car and Midget winner at 24 years old.
  • Kory Schudy of Springfield, MO is fresh off a championship season with USAC MWRA and now turns his focus to an Xtreme Outlaw title aboard the Jon Sawyer owned #28.
  • Kyle Shipley of Peoria, AZ will embark on a full season with Xtreme Outlaw driving the Michael Dutcher #17 across the 14-race campaign.
  • Landon Simon of Tipp City, OH will run the True North Cannabis #24 throughout the year with Xtreme Outlaw. He’s a winner with both the USAC Sprint Cars and POWRi WAR Sprint Cars.
  • Mario Clouser of Auburn, IL bagged the POWRi WAR Sprint Car championship in 2021, and now prepares for an Xtreme Outlaw title run in 2022 aboard the Eberhardt/Zirzow #6.
  • Mitchel Moles of Raisin City, CA will run a second Gile #13M entry as the micro sprint standout begins expanding his career into midgets and sprints in 2022.
  • Shane Cockrum of Benton, IL brings the Amati Racing #66 back to the national stage this year with veteran Davey Jones on the wrenches.
  • Wesley Smith of Nixa, MO recorded a breakout year with 10 total wins between WAR and MWRA, now he’s taking the Carquest Auto Parts #44 on the road with the Xtreme Outlaw Series.
  • Zach Daum of Pocahontas, IL is a three-time POWRi National Midget champion, but his 2022 journey focuses on the Xtreme Outlaw Sprint Car title with the McGarry Motorsports #31

GATOR CHASERS: 

  • Alex Bright of Collegeville, PA is a 13-time USAC East Coast Sprint Car winner and heading to Florida with the Hummer Motorsports #20.
  • Brady Bacon of Broken Arrow, OK is a four-time USAC National Sprint Car Champion and he’s pumped to get his first chance at a gator this week aboard the Wedgewood Motorsports #98.
  • Briggs Danner of Allentown, PA has turned plenty of heads at 20 years old and will get his next chance to leave a large impression this week in the Heffner Racing #5G.
  • Carson Short of Marion, IL has his #21 dialed in for two nights at Volusia this week with the chance at becoming the first driver to win with both the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and Xtreme Outlaw Series.
  • C.J. Leary of Greenfield, IN heads south with the Michael Motorsports #77M and aims to kick off his 2022 campaign with a golden gator.
  • Jake Swanson of Anaheim, CA made the move from the west coast to Indiana, but still represents Team AZ and looks to leave with the loot in the #21AZ.
  • Justin Grant of Ione, CA will wheel the NOS Energy Drink, TOPP Motorsports #4 in pursuit of a potential $15,000 sweep only days after sweeping the USAC Midget opening weekend.
  • Logan Seavey of Sutter, CA loves a big, slick 1/2-mile and gets just that this week as he brings the Baldwin-Fox #5 to Volusia for a shot at the Xtreme Outlaw gators.
  • Matt Westfall of Pleasant Hill, OH runs the Marshall #33 as he’ll become the first driver to compete with both the World of Outlaws Late Models and Xtreme Outlaw Series.
  • Robert Ballou of Rocklin, CA will try to bolster his already impressive resume with 31 USAC Sprint Car wins as he heads to Volusia with his sights set on the DIRTcar Nationals victory.
  • Shane Cottle of Kokomo, IN gets to throttle the Hogue #39 at Volusia on Monday and Tuesday night.
  • Thomas Meseraull of San Jose, CA will guide Chris Dyson’s #20 with Sean Michael on the wrenches.

You can watch every lap of the Xtreme Outlaw Series debut LIVE on DIRTVision and follow along with lineups, results, live timing, points, and more on the MyRacePass app.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: World of Outlaws CASE Late Models prepare to Gator Hunt at Volusia Speedway Park

The field rolls to green at Volusia Speedway Park

The yearly quest for a “Big Gator” is on at Volusia Speedway Park as the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models make their second trip to the Florida this season for the 51st DIRTcar Nationals, Feb. 16-19.

On Wednesday, Feb. 16, the World of Outlaws return for the first of four DIRTcar Nationals 40-lap, $10,000-to-win Features, during the week. The held over 30-lap, $10,000-to-win Feature from January’s Sunshine Nationals will run at the end of Wednesday’s event. The DIRTcar Nationals Features will continue Feb. 17-19.

Also, before The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet take center stage, two nights of DIRTcar Late Model action kick off the week with a pair of 30-lap, $7,000-to-win Features Feb. 14-15.

Drivers will accumulate points on all six nights to determine who adds a “Big Gator” trophy to their mantle. Wednesday’s Sunshine Nationals Feature won’t count toward the Big Gator Championship

The Super DIRTcar Series will join the Late Models all week, along with the debut of the Xtreme Outlaw Sprint Cars presented by Low-E Insulation on Feb. 14-15.

If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online on with the DIRTVision App

Here are some of the storylines to keep an eye on entering DIRTcar Nationals:

Sheppard Rolls in Hot: Four-time and defending Series champion Brandon Sheppard is already off to a hot start in 2022. In January, he opened the season with two wins at the Wild West Shootout and backed it up with four wins across Florida.

The “Rocket Shepp” is also no stranger to Victory Lane at Volusia, winning eight DIRTcar Nationals Features since 2017. Despite those wins, he’s hoping to rebound after his best finish was sixth at the Florida venue in 2021.

He opened the 2022 season with a seventh-place finish at Sunshine Nationals and hopes to keep up that consistency during the seven-race week.

A World of Outlaws win at DIRTcar Nationals could give him a piece of World of Outlaws history, tying him with Josh Richards for most Series wins (78).

Skyline’s the Limit: Skyline Motorsports has double the odds of walking away with a “Big Gator” at this year’s DIRTcar Nationals.

Shane Clanton won the week-long chase in 2015, winning four out of five Features. The “Georgia Bulldog” has six DIRTcar Nationals victories and scored a top-10 when the Series visited Volusia in January.

Meanwhile, his teammate, 2021 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year Tyler Bruening, has been consistent at The World’s Fastest Half-Mile. The Decorah, IA driver, has four straight top-10’s at Volusia, including three in 2021 which kicked off his third-place points finish.

Bruening is still trying to find Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws for the first time. He’s found success on tracks a half-mile or larger, grabbing three top-fives and nine top-10s in 2021.

Erb is the Word: Brandon Sheppard isn’t the only Illinois driver who’s had a fast start to 2022. Dennis Erb Jr. also enjoys the Florida sun, especially after his second-place finish in the season opener at Sunshine Nationals.

The Carpentersville, IL driver backed it up with a Florida Speedweeks victory earlier this month, showing he’ll be a contender among the best dirt Late Model racing has to offer.

While he’s yet to win a Feature at DIRTcar Nationals, he’s scored two top-fives, and three top-10s in his last three races at The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.

If Erb, flanked by 2021 Crew Chief of the Year Heather Lyne, can keep his consistency going at Volusia, it could put him in a position to contend for his first World of Outlaws CASE Late Models championship.

Viper Strike: The 2022 World of Outlaws Rookie Class has six drivers vying to be at the top of the list. But after one Feature, Max Blair stands above the rest.

In January, Blair opened the season with an eighth-place finish—nine spots ahead of the next highest finishing rookie Gordy Gundaker.

The Centerville, PA driver leads the Rookie of the Year standings heading into DIRTcar Nationals—18 points ahead of Gundaker and 20 points ahead of Tanner English.

While Blair has the early jump on his competition, five World of Outlaws Features are up for grabs at Volusia, and any of the six rookies could take advantage into The Rev in March.

Heat Seeking Mailman: When the quest for the “Big Gator” begins on Monday, Devin Moran is looking to go back-to-back.

The Dresden, OH driver has entered 13 races in 2022, grabbing three wins and eight top-fives. He’s only finished outside the top-10 once.

While “The Mailman” finished 22nd in the season opener at Volusia Speedway Park during Sunshine Nationals, he was in the top-five when bad luck sidelined him during the 30-lap Feature.

Moran has found success on half-mile tracks in the past—winning a Feature at DIRTcar Nationals in 2021 and backing it up with a victory at Bristol Motor Speedway last April.

Return of the Mac: Dale McDowell opened his 2022 season in style, winning the season opener at Sunshine Nationals just four months after being diagnosed with cancer.

The “Mac Daddy” will be back for DIRTcar Nationals and has a great chance to build off his victory.

In his last 10 races at Volusia Speedway Park, McDowell has a win, three top-fives, and five top-10s. The Chickamauga, GA driver is searching for his fourth DIRTcar Nationals win—his last coming in 2018.

He’ll also start on the outside pole of the held over 30-lap Feature from Sunshine Nationals.

Georgia Gator Hunt: Brandon Overton has accomplished a lot in his dirt Late Model career, including a 2021 season that may go unmatched.

But there’s one thing missing from “Big Sexy’s” trophy case—a Big Gator.

Overton’s success on a half-mile track in 2021 is one for the record books, winning both Dirt Late Model Dream’s and the 51st World 100 at Eldora Speedway. He also grabbed his first DIRTcar National Feature win last season.

WHEN AND WHERE

Feb. 16-19 – Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, FL

ABOUT THE TRACK

Volusia Speedway Park is a half-mile oval
Online – https://volusiaspeedwaypark.com

Previous Volusia Speedway Park Winners

2022- Dale McDowell on Jan. 21
2021 – Kyle Bronson on Jan. 14, Kyle Strickler on Jan. 16, Kyle Strickler on Feb. 10, Devin Moran on Feb. 11, Brandon Overton on Feb. 12
2020 – Brandon Sheppard on Feb. 12, Jimmy Owens on Feb. 13, Feb. 14 & Feb. 15
2019 – Brandon Sheppard on Feb. 13, Feb. 14, Feb. 15 and Feb. 16
2018 – Tim McCreadie – Feb. 14; Dale McDowell – Feb. 15; Scott Bloomquist – Feb. 16; Brandon Sheppard – Feb. 17
2017- Shane Clanton on Feb. 24; Don O’Neal on Feb. 25
2016 – Josh Richards on Feb. 18, 19; Shane Clanton on Feb. 20
2015 – Shane Clanton on Feb. 19, 20, 21
2014 – Casey Roberts on Feb. 20; Kyle Bronson on Feb. 22
2013 – Scott Bloomquist on Feb. 21; Billy Moyer on Feb. 22; Darrell Lanigan on Feb. 23
2012 – Dennis Erb Jr. on Feb. 23; Billy Moyer on Feb. 25
2011 – Scott Bloomquist on Feb. 17; Scott Bloomquist on Feb. 19
2010 – Josh Richards on Feb. 11; Brady Smith on Feb. 13
2009 – Josh Richards on Feb. 12; Steve Francis on Feb. 14
2008 – Josh Richards on Feb. 14; Billy Moyer on Feb. 16
2007 – Josh Richards on Feb. 17
2006 – Earl Pearson Jr. on Feb. 16; Steve Francis on Feb. 18; Chris Madden on Oct. 14
2005 – Billy Moyer on Feb. 17; Tim McCreadie on Feb. 19; Scott Bloomquist on Oct. 29
2004 – Steve Francis on Feb. 3; Bart Hartman on Feb. 4; Shannon Babb on Feb. 6; Scott Bloomquist on Feb. 8

 

TRACK RECORDS

Volusia Speedway Park- 15.645 set by Tim McCreadie on Feb. 14, 2018

On the Internet
World of Outlaws CASE Late Models Series
Twitter – Twitter.com/WoOLateModels – @WoOLateModels
Instagram – Instagram.com/WoOLateModels – @woolatemodels
Facebook – Facebook.com/WorldofOutlawsLateModelSeries
YouTube – Youtube.com/WorldofOutlaws
DIRTVision – DIRTVision.com – Platinum annual FAST PASS for $299 or monthly FAST PASS for $39/month

Around the Turn: The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet make their first appearance at The Rev in Monroe, LA March 11-12. CLICK HERE for Tickets.

Feature Winners: (1 Driver)
Rank- Driver- Hometown-Wins

  1. Dale McDowell, Chickamauga, GA- 1

Heat Race Winners (6 Drivers)
Rank- Driver- Hometown-Wins

  1. Dale McDowell-Chickamauga, GA-2
    Chris Madden-Gray Court, SC-2
  2. Brandon Sheppard- New Berlin, IL-1
    Devin Moran-Dresden, OH-1
    Ashton Winger, Hampton, GA-1
    Ross Robinson, Georgetown, DE-1

Last Chance Showdown Winners (4 Drivers)
Rank- Driver- Hometown-Wins

  1. Cade Dillard-Robeline, LA-1
    Hudson O’Neal- Martinsville, IN-1
    Max Blair, Centerville, PA-1
    Logan Martin, Plains, MO-1

Podium Finishes (3 Drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – Podiums

  1. Dale McDowell, Chickamauga, GA-1
    Dennis Erb Jr., Carpentersville, IL-1
    Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, CA-1

Fox Factory Hard Charger Award Winners (1 Drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – H.C.

  1. Hudson O’Neal, Martinsville, IN-1

Slick Woody’s Quick Time Award Winners (1 Drivers)
Rank – Driver, Hometown – QTs

  1. Kyle Hammer, Clinton, IL-1
    Dale McDowell, Chickamauga, GA-1

2022 World of Outlaws Late Model Schedule & Winners

No./ Day, Date / Track / Location / Winner (Total Wins)
1. Thursday, Jan. 20 / Volusia Speedway Park/Barberville, FL / Dale McDowell (1)
2. Thursday, Jan. 21/Volusia Speedway Park/Barberville, FL/

SEVEN RINGS: Hoffman Crowned Seven-Time DIRTcar Nationals Champ After Gator Championship Win

Strickler second, Krup third in 30-lap main event

An entire family of reptilian gold is headed back to Mooresville, NC, after yet another dominating DIRTcar UMP Modified performance at Volusia Speedway Park from the now seven-time DIRTcar Nationals champion, Nick Hoffman.

Hoffman scored the win in Saturday’s Gator Championship Feature, the fourth of his career, giving him his seventh-straight Big Gator trophy as points champion of the division. No other driver has won more than two.

Starting sixth, Hoffman had some work to do to get to the lead. Outside polesitter Kyle Strickler maintained the top spot through the first 11 laps before Hoffman caught him in traffic and blasted by on the bottom out of Turn 2.

“I got aero-tight a couple of times behind him, and then in lapped traffic too, when we were racing through,” Hoffman said of his chase with Strickler. “I just had to bide my time and slow down. I didn’t want to wear my tires out. We were killing tires earlier, so I didn’t know, being later in the night, how bad tires wear was going to be of an issue.”

From that point forward, it was all Hoffman’s race to lose. He was never seriously challenged for the lead again.

Meanwhile, the battle for second was heating up behind him. Strickler held second for a restart on Lap 13, but Will Krup made the most of the bottom lane that Strickler have him have at the drop of the green, swiping the spot away with a horsepower move down low.

Krup’s time in second wouldn’t last, however, as Strickler got another chance on a restart at the halfway point. He ripped around the top groove and was able to carry enough momentum to get back around Krup on Lap 16.

Hoffman (2) makes the move for the lead on Strickler (8) (Josh James Artwork)

Looking back, Krup said he should’ve done more to miss a small patch in Turn 1 that upset the car, costing him some speed.

“I clipped it a couple times off that restart once I got around him, and [Strickler] was able to roll back around me,” Krup said. “After that, I just kinda fell in line and tried to bring home a strong third-place finish.”

Strickler gave it all he had to catch Hoffman in the final 10 laps but was unable to make up the gap. Hoffman’s lead was as large as four seconds at one point, further showcasing his dominance on the half-mile tracks.

“Any of the places like this here or Eldora – those big places that you can just momentum and make speed through the corner ­­– I feel like that’s where my car is the best and it’s where I’m the best,” Hoffman said.

After redrawing the sixth spot on the starting grid, Hoffman knew he was not going to be denied of his fourth Gator Championship Feature win.

“Even with Kyle starting on the front row, I felt like my racecar was that good,” he said. “I had no doubt in my mind that my racecar was plenty good enough to do this deal from sixth.”

Strickler crossed the line in second with a car he said he could handle, but just needed more speed.

“We went a completely different direction for the Feature, and I got the feel I needed on the front-end, but we just weren’t stuck enough in the rear of the car,” Strickler said.

Krup (K9) battling with Hoffman and Kenny Wallace for position (Josh James Artwork)

Despite his relentless efforts to catch Strickler, Krup came up just a bit short. However, the podium finish goes down in the record books as one of his best-ever finishes in the Gator Championship at Volusia.

“At the end of the race, I felt like I had a decent chance at [Strickler],” Krup said. “We kinda got in lapped traffic, but I couldn’t get around him. All-in-all, still a good run.”

THURSDAY MAKEUP FEATURES
Saturday’s program began with ten, 15-lap makeup Features from Thursday night’s postponed program.

Winners:
Feature 1 – Rob Pitcher
Feature 2 – Jonathan Taylor
Feature 3 – Michael Altobelli
Feature 4 – David Stremme
Feature 5 – Justin Allgaier
Feature 6 – Nick Hoffman
Feature 7 – Jason Garver
Feature 8 – Billy Green
Feature 9 – Tony Anderson
Feature 10 – Rich Michael Jr.

UP NEXT
The UMP Modified portion of the 51st DIRTcar Nationals is complete, but DIRTcar Racing isn’t done at Volusia just yet. The event breaks on Sunday but will return to action on Monday with the DIRTcar Late Models alongside the debut of the Xtreme Outlaw Series Non-Wing Sprint Cars.

Buy a ticket to watch it in person or stream every lap live on DIRTVision.

Gator Championship (30 Laps): 1. 2H-Nick Hoffman[6]; 2. 8-Kyle Strickler[2]; 3. K9-Will Krup[3]; 4. 67-Garret Stewart[9]; 5. 99G-Hunt Gossum[11]; 6. 7-Justin Allgaier[10]; 7. 35-David Stremme[14]; 8. 5E-Rick Eckert[16]; 9. 8A-Austin Holcombe[13]; 10. 36-Kenny Wallace[4]; 11. 88C-Matt Crafton[17]; 12. 5CS-Curt Spalding[23]; 13. 12L-Lucas Lee[26]; 14. 1S-Brian Shaw[18]; 15. 21J-Clay Harris[5]; 16. 96M-Mike McKinney[33]; 17. 81-Steve Axtell Jr[19]; 18. 95-Michael Altobelli[29]; 19. 18L-Michael Long[8]; 20. 11M-Michael McGee[20]; 21. 242X-Dawson Cook[25]; 22. 90-Jason Beaulieu[21]; 23. 5-Jonathan Taylor[28]; 24. 7T-Evan Taylor[24]; 25. 242-Brandon Bollinger[30]; 26. 18-Eric Moon[27]; 27. 21A-Nick Allen[12]; 28. 24-Zeke McKenzie[1]; 29. 24H-Mike Harrison[7]; 30. 21D-Danny Schwartz[15]; 31. 14C-Rick Conoyer[22]; 32. 27G-Jason Garver[31]; 33. 00-Buzzie Reutimann[32]

LCS 1 (10 Laps): 1. 90-Jason Beaulieu[3]; 2. 242X-Dawson Cook[5]; 3. 463-Daniel Sanchez[2]; 4. 05-Dave Wietholder[10]; 5. C8-Cole Perine[9]; 6. 0-Glenn Styres[6]; 7. 2-William Bartlett[14]; 8. 02-Chris Cook[12]; 9. 1-Brenden Rassel[13]; 10. I 70-Kim Edington[18]; 11. 72-Todd Neiheiser[7]; 12. 242-Brandon Bollinger[4]; 13. (DNS) 97-Mitch Thomas; 14. (DNS) 25-Tyler Nicely; 15. (DNS) 22T-Tony Anderson; 16. (DNS) 33-Kenny Mihalik; 17. (DNS) 62E-Deece Schwartz; 18. (DNS) 711B-Jerry Bland Jr; 19. (DNS) 27C-Billy Cevaal; 20. (DNS) 22-Dale Kelley; 21. (DNS) 05X-Kyle Hammer; 22. (DNS) 6B-Dave Baldwin; 23. (DNS) 77S-Jim Shipman

LCS 2 (10 Laps): 1. 5CS-Curt Spalding[1]; 2. 18-Eric Moon[4]; 3. 49-Billy Green[5]; 4. 00D-David Reutimann[2]; 5. 00EH-Steve Arpin[8]; 6. 77-Ray Bollinger[9]; 7. 77D-Dustin Demattia[12]; 8. 00-Buzzie Reutimann[11]; 9. 100-Andy Galgoci[14]; 10. 11N-Gene Nicholas[17]; 11. 33M-Steve Stevenson[6]; 12. 88-Chris Bolyard[16]; 13. 01-Joel Ortberg[13]; 14. 96-Matt Johnson[15]; 15. 51-Brandon Green[7]; 16. 1R-Ryan Rackley[3]; 17. (DNS) 114-Clayton Bryant; 18. (DNS) 92K-Tom Krankel; 19. (DNS) 16C-John Clippinger; 20. (DNS) 59-Doug Stine; 21. (DNS) 97G-Jason Crose

LCS 3 (10 Laps): 1. 14C-Rick Conoyer[4]; 2. 12L-Lucas Lee[7]; 3. 95-Michael Altobelli[3]; 4. 96M-Mike McKinney[8]; 5. 777-Trevor Neville[10]; 6. 11W-Beau Aikey[14]; 7. 27R-Steve Rex[15]; 8. 176-Scotty Owens[22]; 9. 21KS-Kenny Shaw[19]; 10. N8-Nate Huffingham[13]; 11. 27G-Jason Garver[1]; 12. M41-Steve Maisel[20]; 13. 22J-John Baker[6]; 14. (DNS) 24D-Jesse Dill; 15. (DNS) 9PG-Percy Gendreau; 16. (DNS) M20-Mike Potosky; 17. (DNS) 21S-Seth Daniels; 18. (DNS) 20-Tyler Hendrix; 19. (DNS) Z06-Larry Mott; 20. (DNS) 2J-Troy Johnson; 21. (DNS) 89W-Rick Weitekamp; 22. (DNS) 7N7-Jeff Solinger

LCS 4 (10 Laps): 1. 7T-Evan Taylor[2]; 2. 5-Jonathan Taylor[4]; 3. 65-Dylan Woodling[8]; 4. 32-Chad Roush[7]; 5. 17C-Coleman Evans[14]; 6. 117-Clinton Gillen[13]; 7. 4S-Craig Shaw[10]; 8. 11-Tyler Morehouse[12]; 9. 27-Joshua Kunstbeck[17]; 10. 07-Curtis King[16]; 11. 88-Zayden Bolyard[21]; 12. (DNS) 6-Ryan Ayers; 13. (DNS) Z1-Zac Oedewaldt; 14. (DNS) 22B-Austen Becerra; 15. (DNS) 99-Justin Haley; 16. (DNS) 96P-Slade Parsons; 17. (DNS) 11Z-Zane Oedewaldt; 18. (DNS) 21C-Drew Charlson; 19. (DNS) 11R-Jesse Rupe; 20. (DNS) 17X-Richard Michael Jr; 21. (DNS) 91P-Rob Pitcher

Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 91P-Rob Pitcher[1]; 2. 114-Clayton Bryant[7]; 3. 14C-Rick Conoyer[2]; 4. 24D-Jesse Dill[8]; 5. 4S-Craig Shaw[16]; 6. 07-Curtis King[5]; 7. 88-Chris Bolyard[3]; 8. N8-Nate Huffingham[6]; 9. 96-Matt Johnson[9]; 10. 27C-Billy Cevaal[11]; 11. 88-Zayden Bolyard[17]; 12. 21S-Seth Daniels[4]; 13. (DNS) 7N7-Jeff Solinger; 14. (DNS) 27-Joshua Kunstbeck; 15. (DNS) 05X-Kyle Hammer; 16. (DNS) 89W-Rick Weitekamp; 17. (DNS) 2J-Troy Johnson; 18. (DNS) 77S-Jim Shipman; 19. (DNS) 6B-Dave Baldwin; 20. (DNS) 97G-Jason Crose; 21. (DNS) 59-Doug Stine

Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 5-Jonathan Taylor[5]; 2. 242-Brandon Bollinger[6]; 3. 27R-Steve Rex[16]; 4. 27G-Jason Garver[9]; 5. 2-William Bartlett[19]; 6. 11-Tyler Morehouse[21]; 7. 117-Clinton Gillen[13]; 8. 463-Daniel Sanchez[4]; 9. 176-Scotty Owens[2]; 10. 11N-Gene Nicholas[17]; 11. 11R-Jesse Rupe[10]; 12. 100-Andy Galgoci[1]; 13. 22J-John Baker[3]; 14. 0-Glenn Styres[18]; 15. 711B-Jerry Bland Jr[11]; 16. I 70-Kim Edington[20]; 17. 20-Tyler Hendrix[8]; 18. Z06-Larry Mott[15]; 19. Z1-Zac Oedewaldt[14]; 20. 11Z-Zane Oedewaldt[12]; 21. 1-Brenden Rassel[7]

Feature 3 (15 Laps): 1. 95-Michael Altobelli[1]; 2. 36-Kenny Wallace[2]; 3. 32-Chad Roush[3]; 4. 242X-Dawson Cook[11]; 5. 21D-Danny Schwartz[4]; 6. 77-Ray Bollinger[8]; 7. 72-Todd Neiheiser[14]; 8. 24-Zeke McKenzie[6]; 9. 17C-Coleman Evans[5]; 10. 7T-Evan Taylor[21]; 11. 00-Buzzie Reutimann[13]; 12. 21KS-Kenny Shaw[20]; 13. 18-Eric Moon[16]; 14. 22-Dale Kelley[7]; 15. 11W-Beau Aikey[15]; 16. 01-Joel Ortberg[17]; 17. 02-Chris Cook[12]; 18. 62E-Deece Schwartz[18]; 19. 05-Dave Wietholder[10]; 20. M41-Steve Maisel[9]; 21. (DNS) 6-Ryan Ayers

Feature 4 (15 Laps): 1. 35-David Stremme[4]; 2. 00EH-Steve Arpin[2]; 3. 51-Brandon Green[5]; 4. 18L-Michael Long[6]; 5. 5E-Rick Eckert[7]; 6. 00D-David Reutimann[8]; 7. 88C-Matt Crafton[22]; 8. 11M-Michael McGee[16]; 9. 777-Trevor Neville[10]; 10. 81-Steve Axtell Jr[14]; 11. 22T-Tony Anderson[19]; 12. 77D-Dustin Demattia[15]; 13. 33-Kenny Mihalik[13]; 14. 9PG-Percy Gendreau[20]; 15. 90-Jason Beaulieu[18]; 16. 22B-Austen Becerra[3]; 17. 24H-Mike Harrison[1]; 18. 1R-Ryan Rackley[9]; 19. 16C-John Clippinger[11]; 20. 12L-Lucas Lee[17]; 21. 33M-Steve Stevenson[12]; 22. 92K-Tom Krankel[21]

Feature 5 (15 Laps): 1. 7-Justin Allgaier[7]; 2. 65-Dylan Woodling[5]; 3. 8-Kyle Strickler[4]; 4. 2H-Nick Hoffman[6]; 5. 67-Garret Stewart[14]; 6. 8A-Austin Holcombe[13]; 7. 5CS-Curt Spalding[19]; 8. C8-Cole Perine[12]; 9. 49-Billy Green[18]; 10. 17X-Richard Michael Jr[9]; 11. 1S-Brian Shaw[2]; 12. 96M-Mike McKinney[21]; 13. 21A-Nick Allen[8]; 14. 21C-Drew Charlson[16]; 15. 99G-Hunt Gossum[20]; 16. 99-Justin Haley[10]; 17. K9-Will Krup[17]; 18. 25-Tyler Nicely[11]; 19. 96P-Slade Parsons[15]; 20. M20-Mike Potosky[22]; 21. 97-Mitch Thomas[1]; 22. 21J-Clay Harris[3]

Feature 6 (15 Laps): 1. 2H-Nick Hoffman[2]; 2. 8-Kyle Strickler[4]; 3. K9-Will Krup[1]; 4. 7-Justin Allgaier[3]; 5. 67-Garret Stewart[7]; 6. 36-Kenny Wallace[6]; 7. 5E-Rick Eckert[16]; 8. 8A-Austin Holcombe[13]; 9. 24H-Mike Harrison[5]; 10. 24-Zeke McKenzie[9]; 11. 88C-Matt Crafton[17]; 12. 21D-Danny Schwartz[15]; 13. 1S-Brian Shaw[18]; 14. 18L-Michael Long[8]; 15. (DNS) 21J-Clay Harris; 16. (DNS) 99G-Hunt Gossum; 17. (DNS) 21A-Nick Allen; 18. (DNS) 35-David Stremme

Feature 7 (15 Laps): 1. 27G-Jason Garver[3]; 2. 5CS-Curt Spalding[4]; 3. 00D-David Reutimann[7]; 4. 7T-Evan Taylor[8]; 5. 463-Daniel Sanchez[5]; 6. 95-Michael Altobelli[10]; 7. 18-Eric Moon[15]; 8. 14C-Rick Conoyer[14]; 9. 242X-Dawson Cook[17]; 10. 1R-Ryan Rackley[11]; 11. 5-Jonathan Taylor[16]; 12. 90-Jason Beaulieu[9]; 13. 11M-Michael McGee[2]; 14. 24D-Jesse Dill[6]; 15. 242-Brandon Bollinger[13]; 16. (DNS) 81-Steve Axtell Jr; 17. (DNS) Z1-Zac Oedewaldt; 18. (DNS) 9PG-Percy Gendreau

Feature 8 (15 Laps): 1. 49-Billy Green[1]; 2. 33M-Steve Stevenson[5]; 3. 72-Todd Neiheiser[6]; 4. 65-Dylan Woodling[12]; 5. 77-Ray Bollinger[14]; 6. 12L-Lucas Lee[7]; 7. 0-Glenn Styres[3]; 8. 22J-John Baker[4]; 9. 4S-Craig Shaw[18]; 10. C8-Cole Perine[13]; 11. 777-Trevor Neville[17]; 12. 00EH-Steve Arpin[11]; 13. 32-Chad Roush[9]; 14. 05-Dave Wietholder[15]; 15. 114-Clayton Bryant[16]; 16. (DNS) 22B-Austen Becerra; 17. (DNS) 51-Brandon Green; 18. (DNS) 96M-Mike McKinney

Feature 9 (15 Laps): 1. 22T-Tony Anderson[1]; 2. 77D-Dustin Demattia[6]; 3. 00-Buzzie Reutimann[2]; 4. 11-Tyler Morehouse[7]; 5. 11W-Beau Aikey[14]; 6. 02-Chris Cook[5]; 7. 117-Clinton Gillen[11]; 8. 27R-Steve Rex[18]; 9. 01-Joel Ortberg[9]; 10. 17C-Coleman Evans[15]; 11. 96-Matt Johnson[17]; 12. N8-Nate Huffingham[10]; 13. 2-William Bartlett[12]; 14. 21S-Seth Daniels[3]; 15. 1-Brenden Rassel[8]; 16. 100-Andy Galgoci[13]; 17. (DNS) 11Z-Zane Oedewaldt; 18. (DNS) 33-Kenny Mihalik

Feature 10 (15 Laps): 1. 17X-Richard Michael Jr[1]; 2. 91P-Rob Pitcher[5]; 3. 11R-Jesse Rupe[16]; 4. 176-Scotty Owens[10]; 5. 11N-Gene Nicholas[6]; 6. 88-Chris Bolyard[3]; 7. 07-Curtis King[11]; 8. I 70-Kim Edington[9]; 9. 88-Zayden Bolyard[17]; 10. 21KS-Kenny Shaw[7]; 11. 27-Joshua Kunstbeck[8]; 12. 27C-Billy Cevaal[12]; 13. M41-Steve Maisel[14]; 14. 16C-John Clippinger[13]; 15. (DNS) 62E-Deece Schwartz; 16. (DNS) Z06-Larry Mott; 17. (DNS) 22-Dale Kelley