Events

GATOR DUELS: Hoffman Gets DIRTcar Nationals Win No. 20, Arpin Bags First Win at Volusia Since ’07

Both winners now with a chance to start on the pole of Monday’s Gator Championship

Two of the biggest names in DIRTcar UMP Modified chassis building were shining bright on Gator Qualifier night.

Nick Hoffman, representing his own Elite Chassis, stood tall in Volusia Speedway Park Victory Lane with his 20th career DIRTcar Nationals Feature win Sunday night in Gator Qualifier #2.

The first Gator Qualifier from the rained-out portion of Saturday night was contested immediately following the Sunday Qualifier and saw the return of a former DIRTcar Nationals champion to Victory Lane for the first time in 14 years. Steve Arpin, representing Longhorn Modifieds by Loenbro Motorsports, was presented with his first Gator trophy as a DIRTcar Nationals Feature winner after leading flag-to-flag in Gator Qualifier #2.

The top-10 finishers from each of the Qualifiers have now been locked into Monday’s $5,000-to-win Gator Championship Feature; the top-five will redraw for their starting spots before the Feature Monday. Everyone else will be placed into a Last Chance Showdown event to try and get one of eight remaining spots on the grid of the big show.

Gator Qualifier #2 (Sunday’s program) – Nick Hoffman

Nearly nine years ago, Nick Hoffman captured his first Gator trophy at Volusia with a Feature win, then an up-and-coming UMP Modified driver with no national championships, Summit Modified titles or Big Gators. Sunday afternoon, he stood in Volusia Victory Lane after his third victory of the week in the 50th DIRTcar Nationals, now a favorite to win the Big Gator a sixth time.

On the track, it was another giant helping of Elite Chassis dominance, not only by Hoffman who led all 20 laps nearly unchallenged, but by many of Hoffman’s Elite customers. Four of the top-five drivers in the official finishing order are Elite pilots, including Hoffman himself, Garret Stewart, Matt Crafton and Justin Allgaier.

Hoffman now has a shot for the pole on Monday as he’ll be one of ten drivers in the redraw before the $5,000-to-win Gator Championship Feature. Sunday’s Qualifier redraw could be a sign of things to come for the five-time and defending event champion.

“Tonight, I was on my game on the redraw to draw the one, and I think that was crucial just to get out and set the pace and control the race myself,” Hoffman said. “My stuff’s just really good when it cleans up like that.”

Regardless of where he starts, there’s plenty of time in the 30-lap Feature to get it done from almost anywhere on the grid. He’s got the car, confidence in the seat and success in the history books on his side as he chases another coveted trophy that he comes to Florida every year in search of.

“[The Big Gator] is one of the most prestigious trophies in all of motorsports, and I’m lucky enough to have a bunch of them,” Hoffman said.

Josh James Photo

 

Feature (20 Laps) 1. 2-Nick Hoffman [1]; 2. 25-Tyler Nicely [2]; 3. 67-Garret Stewart [11]; 4. 88-Matt Crafton [5]; 5. 7-Justin Allgaier [4]; 6. 11H-Spencer Hughes [3]; 7. 25W-Allen Weisser [13]; 8. 12H-Jason Hughes [8]; 9. 17X-Richard Michael [27]; 10. 6A-Ryan Ayers [9]; 11. 9-Ken Schrader [15]; 12. 8S-Kyle Strickler [12]; 13. OOD-David Reutimann [24]; 14. 51-Brandon Green [6]; 15. 21D-Danny Schwartz [29]; 16. 4T-Zeke McKenzie [20]; 17. 7D-Brad DeYoung [22]; 18. OO-Buzzie Reutimann [25]; 19. 77-Ray Bollinger [7]; 20. 11J-Justin Haley [10]; 21. 49-Brian Ruhlman [21]; 22. 22T-Tony Anderson [28]; 23. 2A-Matt Altiers [30]; 24. 6-Ryan Fowler [26]; 25. 24-Travis Dickson [17]; 26. T9-Ryan Thomas [16]; 27. 47-Collin Thirlby [23]; 28. 8A-Austin Holcombe [14]; 29. 80-Rich Dawson [19]; 30. 99-Hunt Gossum [18]

Gator Qualifier #1 (from Saturday’s program) – Steve Arpin

The last time Steve Arpin was in Volusia Speedway Park Victory Lane, he was a 23-year-old Modified ace who had just claimed his first DIRTcar Nationals championship on the back of five-consecutive Feature wins. On Sunday night, he made a big trip down memory lane with a dominant victory in the second of two Gator Qualifiers.

“Honestly, I have never in my life had such a proud moment in my racing career,” Arpin told DIRTVision pit reporter Chase Raudman after the race.

Arpin, the Rallycross racer and Longhorn by Loenbro pilot, started on the pole after a Heat Race win and cleaned-up in the Feature, leading all 20 laps for his first Gator trophy and first Volusia win since his event championship year in 2007.

Three of the top-six drivers in the Feature finishing order were Longhorn by Loenbro cars, including Nick Allen and Mike McKinney who have been fast all week.

“To have these Longhorn by Loenbro cars just so consistently fast for our first time out, honestly, the only thing I’m more excited about than standing here is coming back next year,” Arpin said.

McKinney did try and swipe the lead from Arpin on one corner after a restart, attempting a big slide job as they dove into Turn 1. He was unsuccessful and later faded back to sixth, one spot out of the redraw, but gave those watching on DIRTVision a bit of mid-race excitement.

Josh James Photo

The Longhorn by Loenbro bunch has been fast all week, notching several podiums, top-fives and top-10s. Arpin has been taking notice and expressed his gratitude for each of their new customers on the property.

“I remember when my dad was out here watching me in 2007, and I could just see it in his eyes how proud he was of me,” Arpin said. “I feel like that now watching Tyler Nicely, Brandon Green, all these guys coming out here.”

Feature (20 Laps) 1. OOEH-Steve Arpin [1]; 2. 95-Michael Altobelli [7]; 3. 21A-Nick Allen [3]; 4. 45H-Kyle Hammer [8]; 5. 12L-Lucas Lee [5]; 6. 96M-Mike McKinney [2]; 7. 44-KC Burdette [18]; 8. 18L-Michael Long [10]; 9. 3L-Jeff Leka [24]; 10. K19-Will Krup [14]; 11. 45-Johnny Broking [30]; 12. O5-Dave Wietholder [6]; 13. 36-Kenny Wallace [13]; 14. 17T-Tyler Evans [21]; 15. 15B-Dave Baker [26]; 16. 15L-Joey Logano [20]; 17. 11N-Gene Nicholas [11]; 18. 5S-Curt Spalding [4]; 19. 6B-Dave Baldwin [28]; 20. 463-Daniel Sanchez [17]; 21. 97-Mitch Thomas [15]; 22. 12-John McClure [25]; 23. 88B-Chris Bolyard [19]; 24. 32-Chad Roush [22]; 25. 22K-Dale Kelley [16]; 26. 60-Shannon Fisk [29]; 27. 7T-Drake Troutman [9]; 28. 72-Todd Neiheiser [12]; 29. M41-Steve Maisel [34]; 30. 21J-Clay Harris [32]; 31. 35-David Stremme [23]; 32. O1-Earnie Woodard [27]; 33. O2-Chris Cook [31]; 34. 21-Taylor Cook [33]; 35. 27C-Billy Cevaal [35]

UP NEXT

The seventh and final round of racing for the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds at Volusia Speedway Park goes down Monday night in the 30-lap, $5,000-to-win Gator Championship. Last Chance Showdown races will kick things off before the redraw; catch all the action live on DIRTVision!

Gator Qualifier #1 Prelim Event Results:

Qualifying Flight-A 1. 2-Nick Hoffman, 19.102; 2. 25-Tyler Nicely, 19.404; 3. 88-Matt Crafton, 19.484; 4. 67-Garret Stewart, 19.506; 5. 6A-Ryan Ayers, 19.549; 6. 77-Ray Bollinger, 19.592; 7. 24-Travis Dickson, 19.614; 8. 80-Rich Dawson, 19.699; 9. 25W-Allen Weisser, 19.817; 10. 17X-Richard Michael, 19.829; 11. 49-Brian Ruhlman, 19.871; 12. 9-Ken Schrader, 19.972; 13. 47-Collin Thirlby, 20.116; 14. 176-Scotty Owens, 20.502; 15. 2J-Troy Johnson, 20.634; 16. 21D-Danny Schwartz, 20.646; 17. 83-Brianna Robinson, 20.647; 18. 9PG-Percy Gendreau, 20.694; 19. 57-Mark Grosvenor, 20.706; 20. 22J-John Baker, 20.728; 21. OO-Buzzie Reutimann, 20.753; 22. 11M-Tyler Morehouse, 20.837; 23. 7+7-Jeff Solinger, 21.185

Qualifying Flight-B 1. 7-Justin Allgaier, 19.143; 2. 11H-Spencer Hughes, 19.537; 3. 11J-Justin Haley, 19.61; 4. 12H-Jason Hughes, 19.7; 5. 99-Hunt Gossum, 19.707; 6. A1-Gary Bentley, 19.719; 7. 51-Brandon Green, 19.74; 8. T9-Ryan Thomas, 19.753; 9. 8A-Austin Holcombe, 19.773; 10. 8S-Kyle Strickler, 19.874; 11. 7D-Brad DeYoung, 20.112; 12. 4T-Zeke McKenzie, 20.159; 13. 114-Clayton Bryant, 20.231; 14. 22T-Tony Anderson, 20.254; 15. 2A-Matt Altiers, 20.296; 16. 31G-Stephen Pedulla, 20.322; 17. 6-Ryan Fowler, 20.369; 18. 15-Joey Miller, 20.378; 19. OOD-David Reutimann, 20.549; 20. 11-Jesse Rupe, 20.736; 21. 62E-Kim Edington, 20.782; 22. 74-Mike Franklin, 20.931; 23. 27-Tom Wakefield, 21.163

Heat #1 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 2-Nick Hoffman [1]; 2. 88-Matt Crafton [2]; 3. 6A-Ryan Ayers [3]; 4. 25W-Allen Weisser [5]; 5. 24-Travis Dickson [4]; 6. 49-Brian Ruhlman [6]; 7. 47-Collin Thirlby [7]; 8. OO-Buzzie Reutimann [11]; 9. 2J-Troy Johnson [8]; 10. 83-Brianna Robinson [9]; 11. 7+7-Jeff Solinger [12]; 12. 57-Mark Grosvenor [10]

Heat #2 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 25-Tyler Nicely [1]; 2. 77-Ray Bollinger [3]; 3. 67-Garret Stewart [2]; 4. 9-Ken Schrader [6]; 5. 80-Rich Dawson [4]; 6. 176-Scotty Owens [7]; 7. 21D-Danny Schwartz [8]; 8. 22J-John Baker [10]; 9. 9PG-Percy Gendreau [9]; 10. 17X-Richard Michael [5]; 11. 11M-Tyler Morehouse [11]

Heat #3 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 7-Justin Allgaier [1]; 2. 51-Brandon Green [4]; 3. 11J-Justin Haley [2]; 4. 8A-Austin Holcombe [5]; 5. 99-Hunt Gossum [3]; 6. 7D-Brad DeYoung [6]; 7. 6-Ryan Fowler [9]; 8. OOD-David Reutimann [10]; 9. 114-Clayton Bryant [7]; 10. 2A-Matt Altiers [8]; 11. 62E-Kim Edington [11]; 12. 27-Tom Wakefield [12]

Heat #4 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 11H-Spencer Hughes [1]; 2. 12H-Jason Hughes [2]; 3. 8S-Kyle Strickler [5]; 4. T9-Ryan Thomas [4]; 5. 4T-Zeke McKenzie [6]; 6. 22T-Tony Anderson [7]; 7. 31G-Stephen Pedulla [8]; 8. 15-Joey Miller [9]; 9. 11-Jesse Rupe [10]; 10. 74-Mike Franklin [11]; 11. A1-Gary Bentley [3]

Last Chance Showdown 1 (10 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 49-Brian Ruhlman [1]; 2. 47-Collin Thirlby [3]; 3. OO-Buzzie Reutimann [5]; 4. 17X-Richard Michael [10]; 5. 21D-Danny Schwartz [4]; 6. 176-Scotty Owens [2]; 7. 9PG-Percy Gendreau [8]; 8. 83-Brianna Robinson [9]; 9. 2J-Troy Johnson [7]; 10. 7+7-Jeff Solinger [11]; 11. 57-Mark Grosvenor [13]; 12. 22J-John Baker [6]

Last Chance Showdown 2 (10 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 7D-Brad DeYoung [1]; 2. OOD-David Reutimann [5]; 3. 6-Ryan Fowler [3]; 4. 22T-Tony Anderson [2]; 5. 2A-Matt Altiers [9]; 6. 11M-Tyler Morehouse [14]; 7. 15-Joey Miller [6]; 8. 74-Mike Franklin [10]; 9. 114-Clayton Bryant [7]; 10. 27-Tom Wakefield [13]; 11. 62E-Kim Edington [11]; 12. 11-Jesse Rupe [8]; 13. 31G-Stephen Pedulla [4]; 14. A1-Gary Bentley [12]

Gator Qualifier #2 Prelim Event Results:

Qualifying Flight-A 1. 12L-Lucas Lee, 18.283; 2. 35-David Stremme, 18.745; 3. 17T-Tyler Evans, 18.883; 4. 97-Mitch Thomas, 18.967; 5. OOEH-Steve Arpin, 18.997; 6. 5S-Curt Spalding, 19.027; 7. 36-Kenny Wallace, 19.174; 8. 95-Michael Altobelli, 19.2; 9. 12-John McClure, 19.252; 10. O1-Earnie Woodard, 19.408; 11. 7T-Drake Troutman, 19.585; 12. O2-Chris Cook, 19.745; 13. 463-Daniel Sanchez, 19.793; 14. 11N-Gene Nicholas, 19.854; 15. 21-Taylor Cook, 19.883; 16. 88B-Chris Bolyard, 20.137; 17. 60-Shannon Fisk, 20.179; 18. 27C-Billy Cevaal, 21.304

Qualifying Flight-B 1. 96M-Mike McKinney, 18.894; 2. 21A-Nick Allen, 19.028; 3. K19-Will Krup, 19.091; 4. 21J-Clay Harris, 19.226; 5. 18L-Michael Long, 19.273; 6. 22K-Dale Kelley, 19.28; 7. O5-Dave Wietholder, 19.331; 8. 45H-Kyle Hammer, 19.362; 9. 32-Chad Roush, 19.365; 10. 72-Todd Neiheiser, 19.431; 11. 44-KC Burdette, 19.438; 12. 15L-Joey Logano, 19.58; 13. 45-Johnny Broking, 19.629; 14. 3L-Jeff Leka, 19.677; 15. 15B-Dave Baker, 19.735; 16. 6B-Dave Baldwin, 19.982; 17. M41-Steve Maisel, 20.119

Heat #1 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 10 Transfer 1. OOEH-Steve Arpin [3]; 2. 12L-Lucas Lee [1]; 3. 7T-Drake Troutman [6]; 4. 36-Kenny Wallace [4]; 5. 463-Daniel Sanchez [7]; 6. 17T-Tyler Evans [2]; 7. 12-John McClure [5]; 8. 60-Shannon Fisk [9]; 9. 21-Taylor Cook [8]

Heat #2 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 10 Transfer 1. 5S-Curt Spalding [3]; 2. 95-Michael Altobelli [4]; 3. 11N-Gene Nicholas [7]; 4. 97-Mitch Thomas [2]; 5. 88B-Chris Bolyard [8]; 6. 35-David Stremme [1]; 7. O1-Earnie Woodard [5]; 8. O2-Chris Cook [6]; 9. 27C-Billy Cevaal [9]

Heat #3 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 10 Transfer 1. 96M-Mike McKinney [1]; 2. O5-Dave Wietholder [4]; 3. 18L-Michael Long [3]; 4. K19-Will Krup [2]; 5. 44-KC Burdette [6]; 6. 32-Chad Roush [5]; 7. 15B-Dave Baker [8]; 8. 45-Johnny Broking [7]; 9. M41-Steve Maisel [9]

Heat #4 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 10 Transfer 1. 21A-Nick Allen [1]; 2. 45H-Kyle Hammer [4]; 3. 72-Todd Neiheiser [5]; 4. 22K-Dale Kelley [3]; 5. 15L-Joey Logano [6]; 6. 3L-Jeff Leka [7]; 7. 6B-Dave Baldwin [8]; 8. 21J-Clay Harris [2]

NEW FACES: Four First-Time DIRTcar Nationals Feature Winners Grace Volusia Victory Lane in Five-Feature Night

Logano 19th-to-3rd in impressive UMP Modified debut; Michael Jr. beats division’s best in stacked Feature

Five separate DIRTcar UMP Modified Features raced, four first-time winners went to Volusia Speedway Park Victory Lane on Friday night.

Night #4 of the 50th DIRTcar Nationals was all about appreciation for each and every one of the 96 UMP Modified drivers signed-in for competition; everyone got to form-up in the four-wide salute to the fans and race a 15-lap Feature for $700-to-win and a chance to stand in Victory Lane, front and center on the DIRTVision cameras.

Each race was lined up by the overall event points standings going into the evening, inverting both the top-10 starters in each race and the order the Features ran in. When all was said and done, four brand-new faces and one repeat winner from last year stood in Victory Lane, collecting their Volusia Gator trophies as DIRTcar Nationals Feature victors.

Feature #1 – David Reutimann

David Reutimann’s first DIRTcar Nationals victory came on Friday last year in the quad-Feature night, setting the stage for his second act as Friday night’s only repeat winner of the five Features contested.

“We’re not in the race we need to be in, but it’s a far cry from dropping out nine laps into the Feature because we were terrible last night,” Reutimann said in Victory Lane. “Track’s a little bit different; they’ve done a great job. Track’s got a little moisture in it, so it was fun.”

Reutimann started 15th on the grid and advanced through the field rapidly, using the wrecks and restarts to his advantage to gain his first chunks of position. By Lap 3, he had already cracked the top-five and was hot on the trail of the leaders.

Reutimann finally reached the back of leader Taylor Cook as they got the two-to-go signal, and that’s when he pulled the trigger. A great run down the backstretch set Reutimann up for the pass on the high side coming out of Turn 4, which he executed perfectly to take the lead and the eventual win for his second career Volusia Gator trophy.

Jim DenHamer Photo

Crossing the stripe third was none other than the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano, making his DIRTcar Nationals debut in a UMP Modified. Starting dead-last 19th place on the grid, Logano avoided multiple wrecks in front of him and made several clean passes under green-flag conditions to grab the final podium spot in what was a very impressive first competitive start in a UMP Modified.

“I only got one gear, and it was to go,” Logano told DIRTVision pit reporter Chase Raudman in his post-race interview. “It was a good time, I finished third, that’s great, and learned a little bit. Got a little bit of damage to fix, and we’ll come back at it tomorrow night.”

DIRTcar Feature #1 (15 Laps) 1. OOD-David Reutimann [15]; 2. 21-Taylor Cook [1]; 3. 15L-Joey Logano [19]; 4. OO-Buzzie Reutimann [17]; 5. 11-Jesse Rupe [2]; 6. 11Z-Zane Oedewaldt [18]; 7. 25P-Robert Poole [6]; 8. 62E-Kim Edington [8]; 9. 22J-John Baker [3]; 10. O2-Chris Cook [11]; 11. 89W-Rick Weitekamp [5]; 12. 4-Craig Shaw [13]; 13. 40-Shawn Reiss [16]; 14. 88B-Chris Bolyard [9]; 15. 27C-Billy Cevaal [12]; 16. M41-Steve Maisel [7]; 17. 27G-Jason Garver [4]; 18. 27-Tom Wakefield [10]; 19. 7F-Bryan Foy [14]

Feature #2 – Clay Harris

The first of four first-time Volusia Gator trophy winners went to Jupiter, FL’s own Clay Harris.

Harris, a notable 602 Late Model driver, wasted no time, getting right to work on leader Troy Johnson from his fourth-place starting spot in the early going. He got a good run on Johnson on Lap 5, completed the pass and cruised home for the win after a late restart, despite making an error in car setup.

“We tightened it up for the slick and it ended up being hammer-down,” Harris said in Victory Lane. “We had a little hiccup, but we recovered and [the car] was awesome tonight.”

Josh James Photo

DIRTcar Feature #2 (15 Laps) 1. 21J-Clay Harris [4]; 2. 2J-Troy Johnson [2]; 3. 12-John McClure [1]; 4. 57-Mark Grosvenor [12]; 5. 88S-Chris Smith [8]; 6. 11N-Gene Nicholas [5]; 7. 97-Mitch Thomas [7]; 8. 60-Shannon Fisk [3]; 9. 47-Collin Thirlby [15]; 10. 7+7-Jeff Solinger [9]; 11. 20-Tyler Hendrix [6]; 12. 9PG-Percy Gendreau [11]; 13. 6B-Dave Baldwin [13]; 14. O1-Earnie Woodard [19]; 15. 8-David Pinkerton [17]; 16. 59-Doug Stine [18]; 17. A1-Gary Bentley [14]; 18. 83-Brianna Robinson [16]; 19. 21D-Danny Schwartz [10]

Feature #3 – Chad Roush

The third UMP Modified Feature was mostly a game of attrition and staying out of trouble. Chad Roush did this the best out of his 18 other competitors.

While several wrecks took out multiple cars before a single lap was ever completed, Roush kept his nose clean up front and wasted zero time, making the pass to go from third to the lead on Lap 2.

A few restarts were thrown at him with high pressure behind from names like KC Burdette and Tony Anderson, but Roush held strong out front to pick up his first career DIRTcar Nationals victory.

“We gave one away a couple years ago down here, so I had to redeem myself,” Roush said in Victory Lane.

Jim DenHamer Photo

DIRTcar Feature #3 (15 Laps) 1. 32-Chad Roush [8]; 2. 44-KC Burdette [11]; 3. 176-Scotty Owens [16]; 4. 22T-Tony Anderson [6]; 5. 2A-Matt Altiers [10]; 6. 6-Ryan Fowler [19]; 7. 463-Daniel Sanchez [18]; 8. 15B-Dave Baker [7]; 9. 22K-Dale Kelley [3]; 10. Z1-Zac Oedewaldt [1]; 11. 33-Ken Mihalik [15]; 12. 114-Clayton Bryant [5]; 13. 72-Todd Neiheiser [12]; 14. 15-Joey Miller [2]; 15. 24-Travis Dickson [4]; 16. 8A-Austin Holcombe [9]; 17. 11M-Tyler Morehouse [14]; 18. 74-Mike Franklin [17]; 19. 81-Steve Axtell [13]

Feature #4 – Nick Allen

In what was easily the best race of the night for the lead, Nick Allen squared off with three-time NASCAR Truck Series champion Matt Crafton and came out on top in the end for his first career Volusia Gator trophy.

Allen pulled out to a comfortable lead from the outside pole in the early going but was quickly met by a challenge from seventh-starting Crafton, who was a rocket ship on the bottom.

Crafton pulled up alongside Allen and took the spot away for two consecutive laps as the field eclipsed half-way; their side-by-side battle bringing those in attendance to the edge of their seats. Allen then cracked the whip on the top side and wrestled the lead back, fending Crafton off in the final laps and crossing the stripe first to collect the $700 check.

“I knew [Crafton] was good around the bottom; I just couldn’t hold the bottom like he could,” Allen said. “I was just trying to carry a little more momentum through the middle.”

Josh James Photo

DIRTcar Feature #4 (15 Laps) 1. 21A-Nick Allen [2]; 2. 88-Matt Crafton [7]; 3. 67-Garret Stewart [1]; 4. 12L-Lucas Lee [11]; 5. 77-Ray Bollinger [5]; 6. 4T-Zeke McKenzie [4]; 7. 45H-Kyle Hammer [12]; 8. 99-Hunt Gossum [17]; 9. 6A-Ryan Ayers [10]; 10. 95-Michael Altobelli [15]; 11. 23-Ryan Cripe [16]; 12. 17T-Tyler Evans [18]; 13. 45-Johnny Broking [14]; 14. 7D-Brad DeYoung [13]; 15. 31G-Stephen Pedulla [19]; 16. T9-Ryan Thomas [9]; 17. 3L-Jeff Leka [8]; 18. 7T-Drake Troutman [6]; 19. 9-Ken Schrader [3]

Feature #5 – Richard Michael Jr.

With Strickler, Hoffman, Stremme, Nicely, Arpin, McKinney and Hughes all in the same Feature, Richard Michael Jr. knew he had to be on his A-game if he wanted to win his first Volusia Gator trophy from outside the front row Friday night.

When the green flag dropped on a re-do of the original start after polesitter Kyle Strickler hit the Turn 2 wall, taking him out of the race, Michael pulled that A-game right from out of his pocket and put it on full display, leading all 15 en route to his first DIRTcar Nationals victory in dominating fashion.

“This is probably the biggest one of my career,” Michael said in Victory Lane. “We used to come down here a lot; haven’t been down here in about eight years. Every time we came down here, we didn’t have any good equipment.”

Once he got the lead on the original restart, Michael took off and flat-out ran away with the win, pulling away from the stacked competition in his Elite Chassis, built by Nick Hoffman, who finished fourth.

“We just put this car together about a week and a half ago at Nick [Hoffman’s] place. I’ve just got to thank him; if it wasn’t for him, there’s no way we’d be in Victory Lane,” he said.

Jim DenHamer Photo

DIRTcar Feature #5 (15 Laps) 1. 17X-Richard Michael [2]; 2. 7-Justin Allgaier [4]; 3. 96M-Mike McKinney [3]; 4. 2-Nick Hoffman [10]; 5. 25-Tyler Nicely [9]; 6. OOEH-Steve Arpin [6]; 7. 5S-Curt Spalding [8]; 8. 18L-Michael Long [15]; 9. 12H-Jason Hughes [5]; 10. 25W-Allen Weisser [13]; 11. 49-Brian Ruhlman [17]; 12. 35-David Stremme [7]; 13. 11H-Spencer Hughes [19]; 14. K19-Will Krup [14]; 15. 36-Kenny Wallace [12]; 16. O5-Dave Wietholder [20]; 17. 51-Brandon Green [18]; 18. 80-Rich Dawson [16]; 19. 8S-Kyle Strickler [1]; 20. 11J-Justin Haley [11]

UP NEXT

The first of the two Gator Championship qualifying nights for the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds hits the track Saturday night in Round #5 of the 50th DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park. Half of the field in attendance will race while the other half will have the night off and return on Sunday for their qualifier night, all helping to determine a portion of Monday night’s starting field for the $5,000-to-win Gator Championship finale.

Catch all the action live on DIRTVision!

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Hughes, Strickler Collect Wins in Second Night of DIRTcar Nationals UMP Modified Twin-20s at Volusia

First DIRTcar Nationals win for Hughes while Strickler remains unbothered by injury

A new single-day record car count 96 DIRTcar UMP Modifieds signed-in to compete Thursday night at Volusia Speedway Park for Round #3 of the 50th DIRTcar Nationals and graced those in attendance with another double-shot of Feature racing action.

Jason Hughes, the Dirt Modified veteran from Westville, OK, made the move early on Wednesday night winner Tyler Nicely to hoist the gator trophy as a first-time DIRTcar Nationals winner in Feature #1. Kyle Strickler, with a bandaged-up finger and all, caught David Stremme in the thick of lapped traffic and made the move to win Feature #2.

Feature #1 – Jason Hughes

Dirt Modified racing and chassis-building veteran Jason Hughes had made multiple DIRTcar Nationals appearances with the UMP Modifieds in his career but had never been able to reach Victory Lane. Until Thursday night.

“I’m pretty happy, we finally got us a gator,” Hughes said. “I felt like we got one stolen from us last year, and to come back and get one this year is pretty good.”

Hughes started his journey to Victory Lane from the fourth position and wasted no time going forward, reaching the runner-up spot inside of the first five laps. Tyler Nicely, Feature #1 winner from Wednesday night, led the opening laps and looked to be the one to beat until an early caution flag stacked up the field with Hughes right on his tail.

The green flag waived and Nicely got a solid start, as did Hughes. They raced close for three corners before Nicely made a rare slip-up out of the groove in Turn 4, opening the door for Hughes down low to take the spot.

“[Nicely] got in there tight and shoved across the corner and I got turned underneath him, and that was what got us out front,” Hughes said.

Josh James Photo

Nicely, of Owensboro, KY, came back at Hughes to his inside just a few laps later but was unsuccessful. Hughes put it on cruise control after a few more restarts and took the checkered flag for his first time at Volusia, Nicely coming in right behind.

Steve Arpin, of Fort Frances, ON, bagged his first podium finish of the week and his first at DIRTcar Nationals since his championship year in 2007 with a third-place run Thursday night. Fellow Longhorn by Loenbro chassis driver Mike McKinney was scheduled to start third and was penalized to the tail for a late arrival to staging, but overcame the fault and made it all the way back up to eighth by the checkered flag.

Feature (20 Laps) 1. 12H-Jason Hughes [4]; 2. 25-Tyler Nicely [1]; 3. OOEH-Steve Arpin [7]; 4. 21A-Nick Allen [2]; 5. 11J-Justin Haley [6]; 6. 77-Ray Bollinger [14]; 7. K19-Will Krup [10]; 8. 96M-Mike McKinney [3]; 9. 45H-Kyle Hammer [11]; 10. 88-Matt Crafton [25]; 11. 80-Rich Dawson [20]; 12. 7D-Brad DeYoung [17]; 13. 4T-Zeke McKenzie [12]; 14. 45-Johnny Broking [15]; 15. 15B-Dave Baker [23]; 16. 9-Ken Schrader [18]; 17. 21D-Danny Schwartz [19]; 18. 8A-Austin Holcombe [9]; 19. 2A-Matt Altiers [13]; 20. 72-Todd Neiheiser [24]; 21. 176-Scotty Owens [21]; 22. 24-Travis Dickson [22]; 23. 23-Ryan Cripe [16]; 24. 22K-Dale Kelley [5]; 25. 31G-Stephen Pedulla [8] Hard Charger: 88-Matt Crafton[+15]

Feature #2 – Kyle Strickler

Kyle Strickler went from the hospital, back to the track, from the Last Chance Showdown to the Feature and from 23rd to third in the Feature on Wednesday for one of the wildest nights in DIRTcar Nationals history. He backed that up Thursday night with his ninth career Feature win in the event, holding off longtime competitor Nick Hoffman in the process.

Fellow notable DIRTcar Nationals frontrunner David Stremme brought it home right behind them. Stremme, Hoffman and Strickler have become among the brightest faces of the UMP Modified division over the past few years, which Strickler made it a point to acknowledge in his Victory Lane interview on DIRTVision.

“These three cars here on the front-stretch here, we come down here and this Speedweeks means so much to us. We know who we’ve gotta outrun when we get here, and we all work really hard,” Strickler said.

Stremme kicked off the 20-lap Feature by jumping out to the lead in the opening laps, looking very strong and keeping Strickler and Hoffman at bay behind him. That was, until he hit lapped traffic.

Josh James Photo

Just past the halfway point, Stremme dove deep into a field of slower traffic, which gave Strickler and Hoffman the opportunity they needed to slip by. Which, they did, when Stremme got pinched a bit by a lapped car out of Turn 2 on Lap 13. Strickler got a great run out of the corner and drove firmly into Turns 3-4, sliding up in front of Stremme to complete the pass as they crossed the stripe.

“I was adjusting my driving style, and when we caught lapped traffic, it’s so tough when you’re the leader. So, that helped us out a bunch, and I think the track started coming our way too,” Strickler said.

Hoffman went with him one lap later to secure the second spot. A final restart appeared with 5 laps remaining but did not affect the running order; Strickler was just too smooth for anyone to catch.

Feature (20 Laps) 1. 8S-Kyle Strickler [1]; 2. 2-Nick Hoffman [4]; 3. 35-David Stremme [2]; 4. 18L-Michael Long [8]; 5. 7-Justin Allgaier [6]; 6. 5S-Curt Spalding [12]; 7. 11H-Spencer Hughes [10]; 8. 17X-Richard Michael [16]; 9. T9-Ryan Thomas [14]; 10. 7T-Drake Troutman [7]; 11. 51-Brandon Green [5]; 12. O5-Dave Wietholder [22]; 13. 99-Hunt Gossum [21]; 14. 36-Kenny Wallace [3]; 15. 67-Garret Stewart [19]; 16. 17T-Tyler Evans [15]; 17. 49-Brian Ruhlman [11]; 18. 25W-Allen Weisser [23]; 19. 21H-Clay Harris [13]; 20. 22T-Tony Anderson [17]; 21. 95-Michael Altobelli [9]; 22. 44-KC Burdette [20]; 23. OOD-David Reutimann [18]; 24. 12L-Lucas Lee [24] Hard Charger: O5-Dave Wietholder[+10]

UP NEXT

The DIRTcar UMP Modified action continues Friday night at Volusia Speedway Park with one of the pit area’s favorite nights of the year – everybody runs a Feature! A total of five Feature races for the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds is preliminarily scheduled for competition, lined up by points totals after the already completed Features. Catch all the action on DIRTVision!

Qualifying Event Results:

Qualifying Flight-A 1. 12H-Jason Hughes, 18.519; 2. 96M-Mike McKinney, 18.519; 3. 2A-Matt Altiers, 18.652; 4. OOEH-Steve Arpin, 18.678; 5. 22K-Dale Kelley, 18.92; 6. 45-Johnny Broking, 18.993; 7. 8A-Austin Holcombe, 19.074; 8. 45H-Kyle Hammer, 19.096; 9. 4-Craig Shaw, 19.128; 10. OO-Buzzie Reutimann, 19.181; 11. 7D-Brad DeYoung, 19.313; 12. 11N-Gene Nicholas, 19.332; 13. 97-Mitch Thomas, 19.354; 14. 9PG-Percy Gendreau, 19.382; 15. 15B-Dave Baker, 19.476; 16. 74-Mike Franklin, 19.556; 17. M41-Steve Maisel, 19.559; 18. 12-John McClure, 19.753; 19. 33-Ken Mihalik, 19.82; 20. 21D-Danny Schwartz, 19.892; 21. 89W-Rick Weitekamp, 20.896; 22. 27S-Paul Schloss, 22.19; 23. 176-Scotty Owens, NT; DNS. 40-Shawn Reiss, NT

Qualifying Flight-B 1. 11J-Justin Haley, 18.46; 2. 21A-Nick Allen, 18.663; 3. 25-Tyler Nicely, 18.686; 4. 4T-Zeke McKenzie, 18.71; 5. 77-Ray Bollinger, 18.912; 6. 80-Rich Dawson, 18.984; 7. 6A-Ryan Ayers, 19.002; 8. 23-Ryan Cripe, 19.013; 9. K19-Will Krup, 19.176; 10. 31G-Stephen Pedulla, 19.192; 11. 88-Matt Crafton, 19.292; 12. 88S-Chris Smith, 19.422; 13. 83-Brianna Robinson, 19.46; 14. 24-Travis Dickson, 19.483; 15. 7F-Bryan Foy, 19.52; 16. 72-Todd Neiheiser, 19.541; 17. 9-Ken Schrader, 19.59; 18. 57-Mark Grosvenor, 19.616; 19. 88B-Chris Bolyard, 20.21; 20. 11M-Tyler Morehouse, 20.446; 21. 27-Tom Wakefield, 20.482; 22. 59-Doug Stine, 20.872; 23. 22J-John Baker, 21.092; 24. O2-Chris Cook, NT

Qualifying Flight-C 1. 35-David Stremme, 18.298; 2. 49-Brian Ruhlman, 18.486; 3. 51-Brandon Green, 18.494; 4. 36-Kenny Wallace, 18.679; 5. 95-Michael Altobelli, 18.737; 6. 7T-Drake Troutman, 18.749; 7. 21H-Clay Harris, 18.83; 8. 17T-Tyler Evans, 18.836; 9. 25P-Robert Poole, 18.984; 10. 32-Chad Roush, 18.992; 11. 3L-Jeff Leka, 19.077; 12. 67-Garret Stewart, 19.092; 13. 22T-Tony Anderson, 19.235; 14. 27G-Jason Garver, 19.246; 15. A1-Gary Bentley, 19.293; 16. 25W-Allen Weisser, 19.38; 17. 99-Hunt Gossum, 19.423; 18. 463-Daniel Sanchez, 19.484; 19. 21-Taylor Cook, 19.521; 20. O1-Earnie Woodard, 19.563; 21. 6-Ryan Fowler, 19.606; 22. 60-Shannon Fisk, 19.747; 23. 62E-Kim Edington, 20.108; 24. 7+7-Jeff Solinger, 20.138

Qualifying Flight-D 1. 7-Justin Allgaier, 18.362; 2. 12L-Lucas Lee, 18.409; 3. 2-Nick Hoffman, 18.503; 4. 5S-Curt Spalding, 18.603; 5. 11H-Spencer Hughes, 18.605; 6. 8S-Kyle Strickler, 18.634; 7. OOD-David Reutimann, 18.754; 8. 18L-Michael Long, 18.815; 9. 15-Joey Miller, 18.875; 10. 44-KC Burdette, 18.99; 11. O5-Dave Wietholder, 19.133; 12. 17X-Richard Michael, 19.167; 13. T9-Ryan Thomas, 19.172; 14. 47-Collin Thirlby, 19.21; 15. 11-Jesse Rupe, 19.339; 16. 114-Clayton Bryant, 19.358; 17. 20-Tyler Hendrix, 19.374; 18. Z1-Zac Oedewaldt, 19.494; 19. 81-Steve Axtell, 19.548; 20. 8-David Pinkerton, 19.576; 21. 2J-Troy Johnson, 19.685; 22. 6B-Dave Baldwin, 19.707; 23. 12M-David Moheng, 21.074; 24. 27C-Billy Cevaal, 21.542

Heat #1 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 12H-Jason Hughes [1]; 2. 22K-Dale Kelley [3]; 3. 8A-Austin Holcombe [4]; 4. 2A-Matt Altiers [2]; 5. 7D-Brad DeYoung [6]; 6. 97-Mitch Thomas [7]; 7. 176-Scotty Owens [12]; 8. 15B-Dave Baker [8]; 9. 4-Craig Shaw [5]; 10. M41-Steve Maisel [9]; 11. 89W-Rick Weitekamp [11]; 12. 33-Ken Mihalik [10]

Heat #2 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 96M-Mike McKinney [1]; 2. OOEH-Steve Arpin [2]; 3. 45H-Kyle Hammer [4]; 4. 45-Johnny Broking [3]; 5. 21D-Danny Schwartz [10]; 6. 11N-Gene Nicholas [6]; 7. 74-Mike Franklin [8]; 8. 9PG-Percy Gendreau [7]; 9. OO-Buzzie Reutimann [5]; 10. 12-John McClure [9]; 11. 27S-Paul Schloss [11]; 12. 40-Shawn Reiss [12]

Heat #3 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 25-Tyler Nicely [2]; 2. 11J-Justin Haley [1]; 3. K19-Will Krup [5]; 4. 77-Ray Bollinger [3]; 5. 9-Ken Schrader [9]; 6. 7F-Bryan Foy [8]; 7. 83-Brianna Robinson [7]; 8. 27-Tom Wakefield [11]; 9. 22J-John Baker [12]; 10. 88-Matt Crafton [6]; 11. 88B-Chris Bolyard [10]; 12. 6A-Ryan Ayers [4]

Heat #4 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 21A-Nick Allen [1]; 2. 31G-Stephen Pedulla [5]; 3. 4T-Zeke McKenzie [2]; 4. 23-Ryan Cripe [4]; 5. 80-Rich Dawson [3]; 6. 24-Travis Dickson [7]; 7. 72-Todd Neiheiser [8]; 8. 88S-Chris Smith [6]; 9. O2-Chris Cook [12]; 10. 11M-Tyler Morehouse [10]; 11. 57-Mark Grosvenor [9]; 12. 59-Doug Stine [11]

Heat #5 – Flight (C) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 35-David Stremme [1]; 2. 51-Brandon Green [2]; 3. 95-Michael Altobelli [3]; 4. 21H-Clay Harris [4]; 5. 22T-Tony Anderson [7]; 6. 99-Hunt Gossum [9]; 7. 21-Taylor Cook [10]; 8. 25P-Robert Poole [5]; 9. A1-Gary Bentley [8]; 10. 6-Ryan Fowler [11]; 11. 62E-Kim Edington [12]; 12. 3L-Jeff Leka [6]

Heat #6 – Flight (C) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 36-Kenny Wallace [2]; 2. 7T-Drake Troutman [3]; 3. 49-Brian Ruhlman [1]; 4. 17T-Tyler Evans [4]; 5. 67-Garret Stewart [6]; 6. 25W-Allen Weisser [8]; 7. 463-Daniel Sanchez [9]; 8. 7+7-Jeff Solinger [12]; 9. 27G-Jason Garver [7]; 10. 32-Chad Roush [5]; 11. 60-Shannon Fisk [11]; 12. O1-Earnie Woodard [10]

Heat #7 – Flight (D) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 2-Nick Hoffman [2]; 2. 7-Justin Allgaier [1]; 3. 11H-Spencer Hughes [3]; 4. T9-Ryan Thomas [7]; 5. OOD-David Reutimann [4]; 6. O5-Dave Wietholder [6]; 7. 20-Tyler Hendrix [9]; 8. 81-Steve Axtell [10]; 9. 2J-Troy Johnson [11]; 10. 15-Joey Miller [5]; 11. 11-Jesse Rupe [8]; 12. 12M-David Moheng [12]

Heat #8 – Flight (D) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 8S-Kyle Strickler [3]; 2. 18L-Michael Long [4]; 3. 5S-Curt Spalding [2]; 4. 17X-Richard Michael [6]; 5. 44-KC Burdette [5]; 6. 12L-Lucas Lee [1]; 7. 47-Collin Thirlby [7]; 8. 114-Clayton Bryant [8]; 9. Z1-Zac Oedewaldt [9]; 10. 6B-Dave Baldwin [11]; 11. 8-David Pinkerton [10]; 12. 27C-Billy Cevaal [12]

Last Chance Showdown 1 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer 1. 176-Scotty Owens [3]; 2. 15B-Dave Baker [5]; 3. 97-Mitch Thomas [1]; 4. 33-Ken Mihalik [13]; 5. 11N-Gene Nicholas [2]; 6. 74-Mike Franklin [4]; 7. 4-Craig Shaw [7]; 8. 9PG-Percy Gendreau [6]; 9. 12-John McClure [10]; 10. 89W-Rick Weitekamp [11]; 11. M41-Steve Maisel [9]; 12. OO-Buzzie Reutimann [8]; 13. 27S-Paul Schloss [12]; 14. 40-Shawn Reiss [14]

Last Chance Showdown 2 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer 1. 24-Travis Dickson [2]; 2. 72-Todd Neiheiser [4]; 3. 6A-Ryan Ayers [13]; 4. 7F-Bryan Foy [1]; 5. 88S-Chris Smith [6]; 6. 88-Matt Crafton [9]; 7. 11M-Tyler Morehouse [10]; 8. O2-Chris Cook [8]; 9. 83-Brianna Robinson [3]; 10. 59-Doug Stine [14]; 11. 27-Tom Wakefield [5]; 12. 57-Mark Grosvenor [12]; 13. 22J-John Baker [7]; 14. 88B-Chris Bolyard [11]

Last Chance Showdown 3 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer 1. 99-Hunt Gossum [1]; 2. 25W-Allen Weisser [2]; 3. 3L-Jeff Leka [13]; 4. 32-Chad Roush [10]; 5. 6-Ryan Fowler [9]; 6. 463-Daniel Sanchez [4]; 7. 7+7-Jeff Solinger [6]; 8. 60-Shannon Fisk [12]; 9. 21-Taylor Cook [3]; 10. 25P-Robert Poole [5]; 11. 62E-Kim Edington [11]; 12. A1-Gary Bentley [7]; 13. 27G-Jason Garver [8]; 14. O1-Earnie Woodard [14]

Last Chance Showdown 4 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer1. O5-Dave Wietholder [1]; 2. 12L-Lucas Lee [2]; 3. 114-Clayton Bryant [6]; 4. Z1-Zac Oedewaldt [8]; 5. 15-Joey Miller [9]; 6. 81-Steve Axtell [5]; 7. 2J-Troy Johnson [7]; 8. 20-Tyler Hendrix [3]; 9. 11-Jesse Rupe [11]; 10. 8-David Pinkerton [12]; 11. 27C-Billy Cevaal [14]; 12. 6B-Dave Baldwin [10]; 13. 47-Collin Thirlby [4]; 14. 12M-David Moheng [13]

Carson Macedo claims victory at Volusia Speedway Park

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

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

READ FULL TYLER ALTMEYER STORY AT ALLSTARSPRINT.COM

TWICE AS NICE: Nicely, Hoffman Find Victory Lane in Twin-20 DIRTcar Nationals UMP Modified Features at Volusia

Strickler bags podium finish out of Last Chance Showdown after hospital visit just hours before

A grand total of 94 DIRTcar UMP Modifieds packed Volusia Speedway Park’s pit area Wednesday for night #2 of competition at the 50th DIRTcar Nationals, prompting a format change that called for two separate, 20-lap Features before the night was out.

Volusia’s reigning Reutimann Memorial winner Tyler Nicely, of Owensboro, KY, took advantage of another slick and smooth racing surface to grab the win in the first Feature, while the five-time and defending DIRTcar Nationals UMP Modified champion Nick Hoffman, of Mooresville, NC, did the same to score the victory in Feature #2.

Feature #1 – Tyler Nicely

Tyler Nicely seems to be picking up right where he left off at Volusia last November.

His then-brand-new Longhorn by Loenbro chassis powered him to his first career victory in the track’s marquee event, the Emil & Dale Reutimann Memorial, in November of last year. Less than three months have passed and he’s already back in Victory Lane. This time, making the pass for the lead on Lucas Lee and holding off another star-studded cast of competitors for his fourth career win in the event.

“All Speedweeks I’ve been trying to get this win; I’m glad it’s on this stage at Volusia,” Nicely said. “It’s always nice to win it with a bunch of cars, standing on this stage and getting a gator.”

Nicely’s been in action since the opening round of the Winternationals at East Bay Raceway Park two weeks ago and hadn’t been able to find Victory Lane through those five starts plus another last weekend at North Florida Speedway. But after a third-place finish in Tuesday night’s opener, Nicely cashed out with his momentum and advanced two spots higher to collect the $1,000 victory Wednesday night.

Nicely started on the outside of the front row and immediately went to work on polesitter Lucas Lee, catching him in open track and making the pass to his inside on Lap 5.

From there on out, it Nicely’s race to lose. Nobody seemed to have anything for the race leader by the end of 20 circuits as he crossed to collect the checkers. However, if there had been just one more caution later in the race, he may have had a familiar foe knocking on his door.

Jim DenHamer Photo

Kyle Strickler, of Mooresville, NC, may have gone though one of the most bizarre, painful, yet most successful runs to the front in DIRTcar Nationals history Wednesday night.

Earlier in the evening, Strickler was taken in an ambulance to a nearby hospital after severely cutting his left middle finger in the pit area while operating the lift his team uses to raise their car up.

“When I was in the ambulance after almost cutting my finger off, they told me, ‘it’s a hard no on you racing tonight,’ because that was the first question I asked them,” Strickler said. “We ended up going to the hospital, getting it stitched up and making it back here in time.”

Indeed, he did get back to the track on time. But only to tag the tail of Last Chance Showdown #1, where he snagged the final transfer spot into the first Feature. This set him up for a 23rd-place starting spot in that event, where he drove all the way back to finish third, making for what will surely be one of the most memorable nights of his career.

Feature (20 Laps) 1. 25-Tyler Nicely [3]; 2. 5S-Curt Spalding [4]; 3. 8S-Kyle Strickler [23]; 4. OOEH-Steve Arpin [8]; 5. 25W-Allen Weisser [14]; 6. 12L-Lucas Lee [2]; 7. 21A-Nick Allen [1]; 8. 6A-Ryan Ayers [11]; 9. 88-Matt Crafton [15]; 10. 36-Kenny Wallace [6]; 11. 80-Rich Dawson [5]; 12. 3L-Jeff Leka [7]; 13. 7D-Brad DeYoung [17]; 14. 9-Ken Schrader [21]; 15. 2A-Matt Altiers [20]; 16. 7T-Drake Troutman [9]; 17. 32-Chad Roush [24]; 18. 23-Ryan Cripe [16]; 19. 114-Clayton Bryant [19]; 20. K19-Will Krup [13]; 21. A1-Gary Bentley [22]; 22. Z1-Zac Oedewaldt [18]; 23. 8A-Austin Holcombe [12]; 24. 21H-Clay Harris [10] Hard Charger: 8S-Kyle Strickler[+20]

Feature #2 – Nick Hoffman

Nick Hoffman has often preferred the slicker, slower racing surfaces at the big tracks like Volusia. That certainly showed again Wednesday night, as he took full advantage of it in collecting his 19th career DIRTcar Nationals Feature win.

Compared to the Feature event previous, Hoffman wasted even less time in moving to the front, making the pass on polesitter David Stremme on Lap 3. From there on out, nobody had anything for the two-time and defending UMP Modified national points champion as he crossed the stripe for the win.

He makes it look so simple on the DIRTVision cameras, but sometimes, much of the battle is won before the race even starts in the pit area. Like Tuesday night, it came down to a tire selection to help Hoffman pick up the win.

Jim DenHamer Photo

“I knew it was probably gonna latch-up there in the second Feature, so I went with the hard tire again tonight,” Hoffman said. “Once it started to latch-up, I got really tight and just couldn’t maneuver quite like I needed to.”

Hoffman’s Elite Chassis had yet another good showing with himself and Justin Allgaier finishing 1st and 3rd, respectively.

“I know every nook and cranny on that racecar, so that really helps. Just running my own chassis for the last eight years; we’ve got a really good balance, obviously, at this place. It just suits my style, momentum racing, and when it gets dead slick like this, it’s really where I’m the best,” Hoffman said.

The DIRTcar UMP Modified action continues Thursday night from Volusia Speedway Park’s 50th DIRTcar Nationals with Round #3 of racing. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision!

Feature (20 Laps) 1. 2-Nick Hoffman [2]; 2. 96M-Mike McKinney [4]; 3. 7-Justin Allgaier [6]; 4. 35-David Stremme [1]; 5. 12H-Jason Hughes [3]; 6. 11J-Justin Haley [7]; 7. 49-Brian Ruhlman [9]; 8. 18L-Michael Long [5]; 9. 51-Brandon Green [14]; 10. 95-Michael Altobelli [8]; 11. 67-Garret Stewart [11]; 12. 11H-Spencer Hughes [12]; 13. 31G-Stephen Pedulla [17]; 14. T9-Ryan Thomas [21]; 15. O5-Dave Wietholder [19]; 16. 17X-Richard Michael [13]; 17. 77-Ray Bollinger [10]; 18. 4T-Zeke McKenzie [15]; 19. 4R-Ricky Thornton [24]; 20. 25P-Robert Poole [18]; 21. 45-Johnny Broking [22]; 22. 17T-Tyler Evans [16]; 23. 15-Joey Miller [23]; 24. 22K-Dale Kelley [20] Hard Charger: T9-Ryan Thomas[+7]

Qualifying Event Results

Qualifying Flight-A 1. 21A-Nick Allen, 18.212; 2. 25-Tyler Nicely, 18.444; 3. 80-Rich Dawson, 18.466; 4. 6A-Ryan Ayers, 18.676; 5. K19-Will Krup, 18.789; 6. 3L-Jeff Leka, 18.819; 7. 7T-Drake Troutman, 18.861; 8. 88-Matt Crafton, 18.969; 9. 7D-Brad DeYoung, 18.984; 10. 114-Clayton Bryant, 19.022; 11. 44-KC Burdette, 19.095; 12. 27G-Jason Garver, 19.15; 13. 9-Ken Schrader, 19.213; 14. 6-Ryan Fowler, 19.252; 15. 72-Todd Neiheiser, 19.369; 16. 21-Taylor Cook, 19.555; 17. M41-Steve Maisel, 19.649; 18. 24-Travis Dickson, 19.692; 19. 6B-Dave Baldwin, 19.81; 20. 27-Tom Wakefield, 19.872; 21. 8-David Pinkerton, 20.064; 22. 33-Ken Mihalik, 20.359; DNS. 8S-Kyle Strickler, NT; DQ. 21S-Kenny Shaw, 19.666

Qualifying Flight-B 1. 5S-Curt Spalding, 18.504; 2. 12L-Lucas Lee, 18.553; 3. 36-Kenny Wallace, 18.665; 4. OOEH-Steve Arpin, 18.716; 5. 21H-Clay Harris, 18.892; 6. 8A-Austin Holcombe, 18.919; 7. 176-Scotty Owens, 19.111; 8. 23-Ryan Cripe, 19.147; 9. 32-Chad Roush, 19.198; 10. A1-Gary Bentley, 19.313; 11. 11N-Gene Nicholas, 19.403; 12. 2A-Matt Altiers, 19.441; 13. Z1-Zac Oedewaldt, 19.443; 14. 9PG-Percy Gendreau, 19.548; 15. 25W-Allen Weisser, 19.703; 16. 57-Mark Grosvenor, 19.707; 17. 62E-Kim Edington, 19.856; 18. O1-Earnie Woodard, 20.057; 19. 11M-Tyler Morehouse, 20.087; 20. 22J-John Baker, 20.222; 21. 89W-Rick Weitekamp, 20.861; 22. 12M-David Moheng, 21.049; DQ. 47-Collin Thirlby, 19.63

Qualifying Flight-C 1. 2-Nick Hoffman, 18.463; 2. 35-David Stremme, 18.48; 3. 49-Brian Ruhlman, 18.586; 4. 15-Joey Miller, 18.629; 5. 31G-Stephen Pedulla, 18.68; 6. 4T-Zeke McKenzie, 18.767; 7. 17X-Richard Michael, 18.789; 8. 67-Garret Stewart, 18.92; 9. 18L-Michael Long, 18.942; 10. 11J-Justin Haley, 18.979; 11. 2J-Troy Johnson, 19.107; 12. 99-Hunt Gossum, 19.152; 13. 11-Jesse Rupe, 19.305; 14. O5-Dave Wietholder, 19.309; 15. T9-Ryan Thomas, 19.539; 16. 463-Daniel Sanchez, 19.574; 17. 74-Mike Franklin, 19.579; 18. 15B-Dave Baker, 19.604; 19. 83-Brianna Robinson, 19.662; 20. 60-Shannon Fisk, 19.709; 21. 81-Steve Axtell, 19.777; 22. O2-Chris Cook, 19.981; 23. 20-Tyler Hendrix, 20.371; 24. 59-Doug Stine, 20.852

Qualifying Flight-D 1. 12H-Jason Hughes, 18.318; 2. 96M-Mike McKinney, 18.443; 3. 51-Brandon Green, 18.783; 4. 11H-Spencer Hughes, 18.898; 5. 7-Justin Allgaier, 18.9; 6. 45-Johnny Broking, 18.907; 7. 77-Ray Bollinger, 18.908; 8. 17T-Tyler Evans, 18.934; 9. 97-Mitch Thomas, 19.143; 10. 88S-Chris Smith, 19.205; 11. 45H-Kyle Hammer, 19.303; 12. 95-Michael Altobelli, 19.313; 13. 25P-Robert Poole, 19.411; 14. 22K-Dale Kelley, 19.549; 15. 22T-Tony Anderson, 19.579; 16. 4R-Ricky Thornton, 19.769; 17. 12-John McClure, 19.805; 18. 21D-Danny Schwartz, 19.886; 19. 88B-Chris Bolyard, 20.252; 20. 7+7-Jeff Solinger, 20.439; 21. 11Z-Rob Pitcher, 21.008; 22. 27C-Billy Cevaal, 21.447; 23. 27S-Paul Schloss, 22.292

Heat #1 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 21A-Nick Allen [1]; 2. 80-Rich Dawson [2]; 3. 7T-Drake Troutman [4]; 4. K19-Will Krup [3]; 5. 7D-Brad DeYoung [5]; 6. 9-Ken Schrader [7]; 7. M41-Steve Maisel [9]; 8. 6B-Dave Baldwin [10]; 9. 44-KC Burdette [6]; 10. 72-Todd Neiheiser [8]; 11. 8-David Pinkerton [11]; 12. 8S-Kyle Strickler [12]

Heat #2 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 25-Tyler Nicely [1]; 2. 3L-Jeff Leka [3]; 3. 6A-Ryan Ayers [2]; 4. 88-Matt Crafton [4]; 5. 114-Clayton Bryant [5]; 6. 21-Taylor Cook [8]; 7. 6-Ryan Fowler [7]; 8. 27G-Jason Garver [6]; 9. 24-Travis Dickson [9]; 10. 27-Tom Wakefield [10]; 11. 33-Ken Mihalik [11]; 12. 21S-Kenny Shaw [12]

Heat #3 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 5S-Curt Spalding [1]; 2. 36-Kenny Wallace [2]; 3. 21H-Clay Harris [3]; 4. 25W-Allen Weisser [8]; 5. Z1-Zac Oedewaldt [7]; 6. 11N-Gene Nicholas [6]; 7. 62E-Kim Edington [9]; 8. 32-Chad Roush [5]; 9. 89W-Rick Weitekamp [11]; 10. 11M-Tyler Morehouse [10]; 11. 176-Scotty Owens [4]; 12. 47-Collin Thirlby [12]

Heat #4 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 12L-Lucas Lee [1]; 2. OOEH-Steve Arpin [2]; 3. 8A-Austin Holcombe [3]; 4. 23-Ryan Cripe [4]; 5. 2A-Matt Altiers [6]; 6. 9PG-Percy Gendreau [7]; 7. 22J-John Baker [10]; 8. A1-Gary Bentley [5]; 9. 57-Mark Grosvenor [8]; 10. O1-Earnie Woodard [9]; 11. 12M-David Moheng [11]

Heat #5 – Flight (C) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 2-Nick Hoffman [1]; 2. 18L-Michael Long [5]; 3. 49-Brian Ruhlman [2]; 4. 17X-Richard Michael [4]; 5. 31G-Stephen Pedulla [3]; 6. T9-Ryan Thomas [8]; 7. 81-Steve Axtell [11]; 8. 74-Mike Franklin [9]; 9. 20-Tyler Hendrix [12]; 10. 2J-Troy Johnson [6]; 11. 83-Brianna Robinson [10]; 12. 11-Jesse Rupe [7]

Heat #6 – Flight (C) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 35-David Stremme [1]; 2. 11J-Justin Haley [5]; 3. 67-Garret Stewart [4]; 4. 4T-Zeke McKenzie [3]; 5. O5-Dave Wietholder [7]; 6. 60-Shannon Fisk [10]; 7. 15-Joey Miller [2]; 8. 15B-Dave Baker [9]; 9. 59-Doug Stine [12]; 10. O2-Chris Cook [11]; 11. 463-Daniel Sanchez [8]; 12. 99-Hunt Gossum [6]

Heat #7 – Flight (D) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 12H-Jason Hughes [1]; 2. 7-Justin Allgaier [3]; 3. 77-Ray Bollinger [4]; 4. 51-Brandon Green [2]; 5. 25P-Robert Poole [7]; 6. 22T-Tony Anderson [8]; 7. 12-John McClure [9]; 8. 45H-Kyle Hammer [6]; 9. 97-Mitch Thomas [5]; 10. 88B-Chris Bolyard [10]; 11. 27S-Paul Schloss [12]; 12. 11Z-Rob Pitcher [11]

Heat #8 – Flight (D) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 96M-Mike McKinney [1]; 2. 95-Michael Altobelli [6]; 3. 11H-Spencer Hughes [2]; 4. 17T-Tyler Evans [4]; 5. 22K-Dale Kelley [7]; 6. 4R-Ricky Thornton [8]; 7. 45-Johnny Broking [3]; 8. 21D-Danny Schwartz [9]; 9. 88S-Chris Smith [5]; 10. 7+7-Jeff Solinger [10]; 11. 27C-Billy Cevaal [11]

Last Chance Showdown 1 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer 1. 9-Ken Schrader [1]; 2. 8S-Kyle Strickler [13]; 3. 6-Ryan Fowler [4]; 4. 24-Travis Dickson [8]; 5. 6B-Dave Baldwin [5]; 6. 8-David Pinkerton [11]; 7. 33-Ken Mihalik [12]; 8. 27-Tom Wakefield [10]; 9. 21-Taylor Cook [2]; 10. M41-Steve Maisel [3]; 11. 27G-Jason Garver [6]; 12. 44-KC Burdette [7]; 13. 72-Todd Neiheiser [9]; 14. 21S-Kenny Shaw [14]

Last Chance Showdown 2 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer 1. A1-Gary Bentley [6]; 2. 32-Chad Roush [5]; 3. 11N-Gene Nicholas [1]; 4. 11M-Tyler Morehouse [9]; 5. 62E-Kim Edington [3]; 6. 9PG-Percy Gendreau [2]; 7. O1-Earnie Woodard [10]; 8. 57-Mark Grosvenor [8]; 9. 12M-David Moheng [12]; 10. 89W-Rick Weitekamp [7]; 11. 176-Scotty Owens [11]; 12. 22J-John Baker [4]; 13. 47-Collin Thirlby [13]

Last Chance Showdown 3 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer 1. T9-Ryan Thomas [1]; 2. 15-Joey Miller [4]; 3. 81-Steve Axtell [3]; 4. 99-Hunt Gossum [14]; 5. 20-Tyler Hendrix [7]; 6. 463-Daniel Sanchez [12]; 7. 60-Shannon Fisk [2]; 8. 2J-Troy Johnson [9]; 9. 15B-Dave Baker [6]; 10. 74-Mike Franklin [5]; 11. 83-Brianna Robinson [11]; 12. O2-Chris Cook [10]; 13. 59-Doug Stine [8]; 14. 11-Jesse Rupe [13]

Last Chance Showdown 4 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer 1. 45-Johnny Broking [4]; 2. 4R-Ricky Thornton [2]; 3. 45H-Kyle Hammer [5]; 4. 22T-Tony Anderson [1]; 5. 7+7-Jeff Solinger [10]; 6. 97-Mitch Thomas [7]; 7. 88S-Chris Smith [8]; 8. 12-John McClure [3]; 9. 88B-Chris Bolyard [9]; 10. 27C-Billy Cevaal [12]; 11. 27S-Paul Schloss [11]; 12. 21D-Danny Schwartz [6]; 13. 11Z-Rob Pitcher [13]

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

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

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

READ FULL TYLER ALTMEYER STORY AT ALLSTARSPRINT.COM

CHAMP STRIKES FIRST: Hoffman Kicks off 50th DIRTcar Nationals with 18th Career Event Win at Volusia

Spalding pleased with runner-up after leading most, Arpin sixth in return to Volusia

There was just no stopping the five-time and defending DIRTcar Nationals champion Tuesday night.

Nick Hoffman scribed yet another chapter in his big book of DIRTcar UMP Modified dominance at Volusia Speedway Park with his 18th Feature win in event history, making the pass on eventual runner-up Curt Spalding in the second half of the race after a restart to claim victory.

Chilly temperatures and a smooth, slick racing surface made for ideal track conditions for the two-time and defending DIRTcar UMP Modified national points champion to race on.

“Normally I suck earlier in the week here. It’s normally pretty fast and I’m just not as good in that condition. For it to be this slick already this early in the week, hats off to the track prep crew. It’s way easier on equipment and makes our week a hell of a lot easier when the track is slower,” Hoffman said.

Volusia’s track surface was just recently redone, which presented each driver with a new element to take into account as they selected tire compounds for the 20-lap Feature.

“I just went harder on tire than them guys around me, so that definitely paid off by the end of the race,” Hoffman said. “My cars just work way better on a harder tire, so it was kind of a no-brainer for me.”

Hoffman, of Mooresville, NC, put those tires to the test almost immediately, taking second from his fourth-place starting spot in just five laps. Spalding, of Watervliet, MI, had jumped to the lead from the outside pole and had a decent gap on Hoffman in the opening circuits, until Hoffman turned on the jets and closed the gap to just a car-length as they approached halfway.

A caution flag on Lap 9 reset the field gave Spalding his first test on the restart, which he solidly passed by keeping Hoffman at bay behind him, but only for a few more times around. Another yellow on Lap 13 put Hoffman right behind him once more, and Spalding knew what was coming.

“I knew he was gonna banzai me,” Spalding said. “I was pretty good in [Turns] 3 and 4, and he had to get me passed in 1 and 2, and I knew it.”

Hoffman got a tremendous run to Spalding’s outside as they took the green on the restart, then blasted off again out of Turn 2 to complete the pass as they raced down the backstretch.

“I was able to roll down the hill and get the momentum on the front-straightaway, and I was actually just riding at [Spalding’s] quarter-panel, running at about quarter-throttle so that way, when he peeled-off to run the bottom, I could just gas-up and drive back by him,” Hoffman said.

Spalding was able to maintain second through the checkered flag while Hoffman cruised to the victory by almost five seconds. Despite giving up the lead in the second half, he was very pleased with his performance.

Luis Torres Photo

“We’re very happy,” Spalding said. “To unload with this caliber of cars and get the job done, we’re pretty happy.”

Tyler Nicely, of Owensboro, KY, crossed the line in third after a strong drive from fifth. The most recent Emil & Dale Reutimann Memorial winner found a hot rod early in the week with his new Longhorn by Loenbro chassis, as did fellow Loenbro pilot Steve Arpin, who placed sixth in his first race back in his own car at Volusia since 2008.

Polesitter David Stremme crossed the stripe in fourth after slipping back in the first half, but his Lethal Chassis cars looked strong, especially with fellow Lethal racer Spalding going runner-up.

The DIRTcar UMP Modified action continues from the 50th DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park Wednesday night with another 20-lap, $1,000-to-win program in race #2 of 7 for the division. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision!

DIRTcar UMP Modified Feature (20 Laps) 1. 2-Nick Hoffman [4]; 2. 5S-Curt Spalding [2]; 3. 25-Tyler Nicely [5]; 4. 35-David Stremme [1]; 5. 17X-Richard Michael [6]; 6. OOEH-Steve Arpin [13]; 7. 36-Kenny Wallace [7]; 8. 3L-Jeff Leka [10]; 9. K19-Will Krup [3]; 10. 96M-Mike McKinney [12]; 11. 6A-Ryan Ayers [27]; 12. 7-Justin Allgaier [20]; 13. O5-Dave Wietholder [9]; 14. 80-Rich Dawson [25]; 15. 12H-Jason Hughes [8]; 16. 25W-Allen Weisser [29]; 17. 49-Brian Ruhlman [19]; 18. 4T-Zeke McKenzie [11]; 19. 51-Brandon Green [18]; 20. 9-Ken Schrader [17]; 21. T9-Ryan Thomas [28]; 22. 11H-Spencer Hughes [32]; 23. 7T-Drake Troutman [16]; 24. 11J-Justin Haley [15]; 25. 67-Garret [31]; 26. 12L-Lucas Lee [23]; 27. 45H-Kyle Hammer [30]; 28. 45-Johnny Broking [24]; 29. 88-Matt Crafton [26]; 30. 23-Ryan Cripe [14]; 31. 77-Ray Bollinger [22]; 32. 99-Hunt Gossum [21] Hard Charger: 6A-Ryan Ayers[+16]

Qualifying Flight-A 1. 12H-Jason Hughes, 18.369; 2. 3L-Jeff Leka, 18.568; 3. 9-Ken Schrader, 18.753; 4. 25-Tyler Nicely, 18.844; 5. 11-Jesse Rupe, 18.845; 6. 114-Clayton Bryant, 18.866; 7. 80-Rich Dawson, 18.869; 8. 51-Brandon Green, 18.89; 9. 97-Mitch Thomas, 18.914; 10. 15-Joey Miller, 18.948; 11. 2J-Troy Johnson, 19.056; 12. 25W-Allen Weisser, 19.066; 13. O5-Dave Wietholder, 19.115; 14. 32-Chad Roush, 19.115; 15. 44-KC Burdette, 19.117; 16. 24-Travis Dickson, 19.311; 17. 9PG-Percy Gendreau, 19.451; 18. 83-Brianna Robinson, 19.557; 19. 12-John McClure, 19.84; 20. 89W-Rick Weitekamp, 20.22; DNS. A1-Gary Bentley, NT; DNS. 78-Rich Pratt, NT; DQ. 7+7-Jeff Solinger, 20.121

Qualifying Flight-B 1. 2-Nick Hoffman, 18.118; 2. 35-David Stremme, 18.529; 3. 4T-Zeke McKenzie, 18.61; 4. 7-Justin Allgaier, 18.616; 5. 49-Brian Ruhlman, 18.624; 6. 96M-Mike McKinney, 18.661; 7. 45H-Kyle Hammer, 19.081; 8. 17T-Tyler Evans, 19.132; 9. 22T-Tony Anderson, 19.23; 10. 2A-Matt Altiers, 19.248; 11. 176-Scotty Owens, 19.251; 12. 6B-Dave Baldwin, 19.263; 13. 95-Michael Altobelli, 19.278; 14. 463-Daniel Sanchez, 19.364; 15. 88S-Chris Smith, 19.481; 16. 88-Matt Crafton, 19.485; 17. 60-Shannon Fisk, 19.489; 18. 6-Ryan Fowler, 19.782; 19. 21D-Danny Schwartz, 19.862; 20. 8-David Pinkerton, 20.001; 21. 8A-Austin Holcombe, NT; 22. 11N-Gene Nicholas, NT; 23. 77S-Jim Shipman, NT

Qualifying Flight-C 1. 36-Kenny Wallace, 18.658; 2. 23-Ryan Cripe, 18.924; 3. 67-Garret Stewart, 18.948; 4. K19-Will Krup, 19.197; 5. 99-Hunt Gossum, 19.248; 6. 77-Ray Bollinger, 19.256; 7. OOEH-Steve Arpin, 19.29; 8. 72-Todd Neiheiser, 19.32; 9. 31G-Stephen Pedulla, 19.329; 10. 15B-Dave Baker, 19.383; 11. 27G-Jason Garver, 19.564; 12. 6A-Ryan Ayers, 19.622; 13. 7F-Bryan Foy, 19.623; 14. 4-Craig Shaw, 19.755; 15. 22J-John Baker, 19.893; 16. 81-Steve Axtell, 19.975; 17. 62E-Kim Edington, 20.015; 18. O1-Earnie Woodard, 20.061; 19. 33-Ken Mihalik, 20.116; 20. 57-Mark Grosvenor, 20.166; 21. 59-Doug Stine, 20.966; 22. 27-Tom Wakefield, 21.285; 23. 27S-Paul Schloss, 22.024

Qualifying Flight-D 1. 12L-Lucas Lee, 18.979; 2. 5S-Curt Spalding, 19.106; 3. 11J-Justin Haley, 19.116; 4. 45-Johnny Broking, 19.124; 5. 17X-Richard Michael, 19.149; 6. T9-Ryan Thomas, 19.321; 7. 11H-Spencer Hughes, 19.377; 8. 7T-Drake Troutman, 19.412; 9. 7D-Brad DeYoung, 19.474; 10. 74-Mike Franklin, 19.517; 11. 47-Collin Thirlby, 19.83; 12. 20-Tyler Hendrix, 19.864; 13. M41-Steve Maisel, 19.912; 14. 22K-Dale Kelley, 19.96; 15. Z1-Zac Oedewaldt, 20.01; 16. 21S-Kenny Shaw, 20.057; 17. 11Z-Zane Oedewaldt, 20.166; 18. 11M-Tyler Morehouse, 20.206; 19. 18L-Michael Long, 20.311; 20. 88B-Chris Bolyard, 20.588; 21. 40-Shawn Reiss, 20.689; 22. 5-Jerry Foster, 20.786; 23. 73-Mark Rhodes, 21.168

Heat #1 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer 1. 12H-Jason Hughes [1]; 2. O5-Dave Wietholder [7]; 3. 9-Ken Schrader [2]; 4. 80-Rich Dawson [4]; 5. 12-John McClure [10]; 6. 44-KC Burdette [8]; 7. 97-Mitch Thomas [5]; 8. 2J-Troy Johnson [6]; 9. 7+7-Jeff Solinger [12]; 10. 11-Jesse Rupe [3]; 11. 9PG-Percy Gendreau [9]; 12. A1-Gary Bentley [11]

Heat #2 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer 1. 25-Tyler Nicely [2]; 2. 3L-Jeff Leka [1]; 3. 51-Brandon Green [4]; 4. 25W-Allen Weisser [6]; 5. 114-Clayton Bryant [3]; 6. 15-Joey Miller [5]; 7. 32-Chad Roush [7]; 8. 24-Travis Dickson [8]; 9. 89W-Rick Weitekamp [10]; 10. 83-Brianna Robinson [9]; 11. 78-Rich Pratt [11]

Heat #3 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer 1. 2-Nick Hoffman [1]; 2. 4T-Zeke McKenzie [2]; 3. 49-Brian Ruhlman [3]; 4. 22T-Tony Anderson [5]; 5. 45H-Kyle Hammer [4]; 6. 95-Michael Altobelli [7]; 7. 176-Scotty Owens [6]; 8. 88S-Chris Smith [8]; 9. 60-Shannon Fisk [9]; 10. 21D-Danny Schwartz [10]; 11. 8A-Austin Holcombe [11]; 12. 77S-Jim Shipman [12]

Heat #4 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer 1. 35-David Stremme [1]; 2. 96M-Mike McKinney [3]; 3. 7-Justin Allgaier [2]; 4. 17T-Tyler Evans [4]; 5. 463-Daniel Sanchez [7]; 6. 88-Matt Crafton [8]; 7. 6B-Dave Baldwin [6]; 8. 2A-Matt Altiers [5]; 9. 6-Ryan Fowler [9]; 10. 8-David Pinkerton [10]; 11. 11N-Gene Nicholas [11]

Heat #5 – Flight (C) (8 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer 1. 36-Kenny Wallace [1]; 2. OOEH-Steve Arpin [4]; 3. 99-Hunt Gossum [3]; 4. 67-Garret Stewart [2]; 5. 31G-Stephen Pedulla [5]; 6. 27G-Jason Garver [6]; 7. 33-Ken Mihalik [10]; 8. 59-Doug Stine [11]; 9. 27S-Paul Schloss [12]; 10. 7F-Bryan Foy [7]; 11. 22J-John Baker [8]; 12. 62E-Kim Edington [9]

Heat #6 – Flight (C) (8 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer 1. K19-Will Krup [2]; 2. 23-Ryan Cripe [1]; 3. 77-Ray Bollinger [3]; 4. 6A-Ryan Ayers [6]; 5. 15B-Dave Baker [5]; 6. 72-Todd Neiheiser [4]; 7. 81-Steve Axtell [8]; 8. O1-Earnie Woodard [9]; 9. 4-Craig Shaw [7]; 10. 57-Mark Grosvenor [10]; 11. 27-Tom Wakefield [11]

Heat #7 – Flight (D) (8 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer 1. 17X-Richard Michael [3]; 2. 11J-Justin Haley [2]; 3. 12L-Lucas Lee [1]; 4. 7D-Brad DeYoung [5]; 5. 11H-Spencer Hughes [4]; 6. 11Z-Zane Oedewaldt [9]; 7. Z1-Zac Oedewaldt [8]; 8. 47-Collin Thirlby [6]; 9. M41-Steve Maisel [7]; 10. 18L-Michael Long [10]; 11. 40-Shawn Reiss [11]; 12. 73-Mark Rhodes [12]

Heat #8 – Flight (D) (8 Laps) – Top 3 Transfer 1. 5S-Curt Spalding [1]; 2. 7T-Drake Troutman [4]; 3. 45-Johnny Broking [2]; 4. T9-Ryan Thomas [3]; 5. 21S-Kenny Shaw [8]; 6. 74-Mike Franklin [5]; 7. 20-Tyler Hendrix [6]; 8. 88B-Chris Bolyard [10]; 9. 22K-Dale Kelley [7]; 10. 11M-Tyler Morehouse [9]; 11. 5-Jerry Foster [11]

Last Chance Showdown 1 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer 1. 80-Rich Dawson [1]; 2. 25W-Allen Weisser [2]; 3. 44-KC Burdette [5]; 4. 32-Chad Roush [8]; 5. 24-Travis Dickson [10]; 6. 114-Clayton Bryant [4]; 7. 15-Joey Miller [6]; 8. 7+7-Jeff Solinger [11]; 9. 12-John McClure [3]; 10. 2J-Troy Johnson [9]; 11. 83-Brianna Robinson [14]; 12. 9PG-Percy Gendreau [15]; 13. 97-Mitch Thomas [7]; 14. 89W-Rick Weitekamp [12]; 15. 11-Jesse Rupe [13]; 16. 78-Rich Pratt [16]; 17. A1-Gary Bentley [17]

Last Chance Showdown 3 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer 1. 88-Matt Crafton [6]; 2. 45H-Kyle Hammer [3]; 3. 17T-Tyler Evans [2]; 4. 22T-Tony Anderson [1]; 5. 95-Michael Altobelli [5]; 6. 8A-Austin Holcombe [15]; 7. 463-Daniel Sanchez [4]; 8. 88S-Chris Smith [9]; 9. 176-Scotty Owens [7]; 10. 60-Shannon Fisk [11]; 11. 6B-Dave Baldwin [8]; 12. 6-Ryan Fowler [12]; 13. 2A-Matt Altiers [10]; 14. 21D-Danny Schwartz [13]; 15. 8-David Pinkerton [14]; 16. 11N-Gene Nicholas [16]; 17. 77S-Jim Shipman [17]

Last Chance Showdown 3 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer 1. 6A-Ryan Ayers [2]; 2. 67-Garret Stewart [1]; 3. 31G-Stephen Pedulla [3]; 4. 15B-Dave Baker [4]; 5. 72-Todd Neiheiser [6]; 6. 33-Ken Mihalik [7]; 7. 81-Steve Axtell [8]; 8. 57-Mark Grosvenor [14]; 9. 59-Doug Stine [9]; 10. O1-Earnie Woodard [10]; 11. 4-Craig Shaw [12]; 12. 27G-Jason Garver [5]; 13. 22J-John Baker [15]; 14. 27-Tom Wakefield [16]; 15. 27S-Paul Schloss [11]; 16. 7F-Bryan Foy [13]; 17. 62E-Kim Edington [17]

Last Chance Showdown 4 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer 1. T9-Ryan Thomas [2]; 2. 11H-Spencer Hughes [3]; 3. 74-Mike Franklin [6]; 4. 47-Collin Thirlby [9]; 5. 7D-Brad DeYoung [1]; 6. 11M-Tyler Morehouse [14]; 7. 18L-Michael Long [13]; 8. 22K-Dale Kelley [12]; 9. Z1-Zac Oedewaldt [7]; 10. 88B-Chris Bolyard [10]; 11. 20-Tyler Hendrix [8]; 12. M41-Steve Maisel [11]; 13. 11Z-Zane Oedewaldt [5]; 14. 40-Shawn Reiss [15]; 15. 21S-Kenny Shaw [4]; 16. 5-Jerry Foster [16]; 17. 73-Mark Rhodes [17]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BACK FOR MORE: Steve Arpin Returns to UMP Modified Racing at Volusia with Longhorn by Loenbro

New racing venture, partnership with Longhorn bred relationship with McKinney and Nicely

For the first time since his accident in 2008, Steve Arpin will return to the seat of a DIRTcar UMP Modified this week in the 50th DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.

The former DIRTcar Nationals UMP Modified champion from Fort Frances, ON, won a record five-consecutive Features at Volusia in 2007, leading to his first event points title. A year later, he decided to leave the dirt track world behind to pursue other racing ventures after suffering severe burns when a water line came unhooked while on the track.

This year, Arpin makes his return to Volusia behind the wheel of a Longhorn Modified by Loenbro Motorsports, debuting his new #00eh against a deep field of UMP Modified talent as they race seven-straight nights, Feb. 2-8, in search of the Big Gator championship.

Twelve seasons away from the DIRTcar world has left Arpin longing to strap back into the seat of his own UMP Modified, and what better place to do it than on the 50th anniversary of Volusia’s biggest event.

“The time was coming regardless because this has been where my passion is from the get-go,” he said.

EXPLORING HIS PASSION

Since his debut in 2013, Arpin has become a household name in the Rallycross world, competing internationally in events under several sanctioning bodies and the X Games. Several seasons of success on the circuit have quenched his thirst for thrills, but his passion for the dirt track has never been a dying flame.

“When I got into Rallycross, I was actually in Brazil racing, right after the X Games, and I called my dad and said, ‘This is as much fun I’ve had since I was racing Dirt Modifieds.’ So that’s always been my benchmark for where my love in the sport is,” he said.

Arpin’s car for the 2007 DIRTcar Nationals (Rick Young Photo)

Like most of the nation’s top wheelmen, Arpin advanced through several levels of motorsports before seeing success on the big stage. Racing everything from go-karts, mini-sprints and even snowmobiles as a kid, Arpin got his first Modified start at the age of 15. Although he had raced (and won) at Volusia before, a 23-year-old Arpin came to Volusia in 2007 and made DIRTcar Nationals history with his record five-consecutive Feature wins – one that has since only been tied by Jared Landers in 2009.

His accident in the following year’s DIRTcar Nationals took him out for the better part of 2008. Then, in 2009, he cashed-in on an opportunity to drive in the ARCA Menard’s Series. Some great finishes there landed him a NASCAR Xfinity Series ride at JR Motorsports in 2010 before making starts for Turner Motorsports in both the Truck and Xfinity Series through the 2012 season.

Two seasons of Rallycross competition led Arpin to NASCAR team owner Chip Ganassi’s new Rallycross program for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Loenbro Motorsports proprietors Paul & Jon Leach were co-owners of the operation at the time and eventually took over the team’s assets after Ganassi’s disinvolvement in 2017.

NEW VENTURE

Arpin has been with Loenbro ever since and brought the Modified program into the mix in October of last year. Loenbro partnered with Longhorn Chassis to build cars at their shop in China Grove, NC, as well as Bilstein Shocks, to provide customers with their own take on the UMP Modified.

“For me, it was just all about the people,” Arpin said. “It wasn’t the plan going into 2020 that this is what we were going to be doing. I had a great opportunity to start building a relationship with Bilstein on lots of the other programs that we’re doing. Ultimately, those conversations just led to the Modified program.”

Bloom working at the Loenbro Shop

The Loenbro squad brings in several experienced professionals to the table, including those who have already worked with some of the division’s biggest names. Austin Bloom, who worked with multi-time DIRTcar Nationals Feature winner Kyle Strickler, has helped the team with their Rally car program and is one of many on the frontlines of the Loenbro Modified fabrication efforts.

“It was about that group of people all collaborating all their strengths to build an awesome racecar,” Arpin said. “It’s all just a bunch of steel, you just need really good people to tell it what to do.”

TEAM LONGHORN

For every great car, there’s a great driver sitting behind the wheel, and Longhorn by Loenbro’s got quite a stacked lineup ready for to compete in the 50th DIRTcar Nationals and throughout the 2021 season.

Mike McKinney, of Plainfield, IL, suits up with a Loenbro Longhorn for the 2021 season after a solid year of competition in 2020 that saw him reach DIRTcar UMP Modified Victory Lane 19 times. The Magic Man has zero plans of scaling back on that number in 2021, and Longhorn by Loenbro is where he feels he has the best chance of continuing his success in the future.

“For me, it was kind of a business decision,” McKinney said. “This sport – it isn’t a hobby of mine; it isn’t something I do for fun. It’s something I take very seriously and want to be around for a long time.”

Like Loenbro, McKinney has built a professional relationship with the folks at Bilstein Shocks, which also aided in making the connection to Loenbro.

“For me, it’s a no-brainer with the support that Steve and the Loenbro guys are going to bring,” McKinney said. “I’ve worked really close with Bilstein Shocks, and they’re the primary shock on this car. To work directly with them on one chassis brand’s gonna help a lot.”

Outside the Loenbro Motorsports headquarters in China Grove, NC

Two-time and defending Summit Racing Equipment American Modified Series champion Tyler Nicely, of Owensboro, KY, also stepped up to the plate with a Longhorn by Loenbro last fall and scored two big victories – one right at Volusia Speedway Park in the 7th annual Emil & Dale Reutimann Memorial.

Nicely was introduced to Arpin and the opportunity to drive a Longhorn by Loenbro through his team’s new business partners, John & Scott Clippinger. Scott and Arpin are longtime racing friends and reconnected last year, settling on a plan for both John and Nicely to drive Loenbro Longhorns in 2021.

“This is a good opportunity for me to try and take my racing career to the next level,” Nicely said. “We’re all gunning to be in a Late Model, so we’re just surrounding ourselves with the right people and trying to make the next move in our racing careers.”

Both McKinney and Nicely spent several years with their former chassis brand Elite Chassis, owned and operated by two-time and defending DIRTcar UMP Modified national champion Nick Hoffman. Each won numerous races and are very pleased with the time they spent driving under the Elite banner. Their talks were mutually understanding, and all recognized that the switch was just the next step in each of their racing careers.

“I talked with Nick and he understands the people I’m involved with, Bilstein and them,” McKinney said. “He understands it as well, to be in this sport, you’ve got to surround yourself with the right people and the right help. Nick’s been my buddy well before he was building Modifieds, and he’s going to continue being my buddy.”

“I still consider Nick one of my best friends,” Nicely said. “If it wasn’t for Nick, my name probably wouldn’t have been a bigger name in the Modifieds. He’s helped me tremendously.”

2021 READY

Back at the shop, Arpin and the Loenbro group have some big plans for 2021 and beyond. In addition to continuing the Rallycross ventures, Arpin and Loenbro plan on producing their Longhorn chassis under multiple different rules packages for the different sanctioning bodies across the country. But there’s a reason why they’re starting 2021 racing with the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds.

Inside the Loenbro Motorsports headquarters in China Grove, NC

 “It’s where the technology is,” Arpin said. “It’s been fascinating watching Hoffman and [David] Stremme do what they’ve done with their cars. The Lethal [Chassis] and the Elites – they’re good cars.

“To have the opportunity to come out and compete with those guys… I feel like they’re at the top of their game, and if you want to be the best, you’ve got to race against the best.”

The events that are yet to unfold for Arpin as he makes his return to DIRTcar UMP Modified racing in 2021 are as good as anyone’s guess. But one thing’s for sure – he’s proud of where he’s been, and has the utmost confidence in his team to help him reach new heights.

“I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish in my Modified career, but I’ve been gone for a long time,” Arpin said. “For the likes of Justin Labonte and everyone at Longhorn to have the confidence in me to take this over… it’s truly one of the highlights of my career.”

Be on the lookout for Arpin as he takes on a full week of DIRTcar UMP Modified racing in the 50th DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park, Feb. 2-8. McKinney, Nicely, Hoffman, Stremme and more will be on the track; catch all the action live on DIRTVision!

TOP 50 DRIVERS: 50 years of elite DIRTcar Nationals drivers

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

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

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

Steve Arpin

 

 

Dave Blaney

Scott Bloomquist

 

 

Kenny Brightbill

 

 

Clint Bowyer

 

 

Shane Clanton

 

 

Austin Dillon

 

Ty Dillon

 

 

Craig Dollansky

 

 

Rick Eckert

Steve Francis

 

Stewart Friesen

 

 

Tim Fuller

 

 

David Gravel

 

Brett Hearn

 

Doug Hoffman

 

 

Nick Hoffman

 

 

Jimmy Horton

 

 

Kenny Jacobs

 

Alan Johnson

 

Danny Johnson

 

 

Jack Johnson

 

 

Jared Landers

 

Steve Kinser

 

 

Darrell Lanigan

 

 

Danny Lasoski

 

 

Chris Madden

 

Tim McCreadie

 

Billy Moyer, Sr.

 

Don O’Neal

 

 

Jimmy Owens

 

Billy Pauch

 

 

Earl Pearson, Jr.

 

Daryn Pittman

 

Josh Richards

 

Brian Ruhlman

 

Joey Saldana

 

Donny Schatz

 

Kenny Schrader

 

Jeff Shepard

 

Brandon Sheppard

 

 

Matt Sheppard

 

David Stremme

 

Kyle Strickler

 

Brad Sweet

 

Sammy Swindell

 

Kenny Wallace

 

Pat Ward

 

 

Larry Wight

 

 

Doug Wolfgang