Donny Schatz celebrates after winning the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series season opener. (Chris Owens photo)
10-time Champion Schatz Takes World of Outlaws Opener at Volusia
Four first-time DIRTcar Nationals UMP Modified winners celebrate victories
BARBERVILLE, FL — Feb. 7, 2020 — Donny Schatz thrilled a packed house Friday night at Volusia Speedway Park when he powered past the outside of Logan Schuchart with four laps to go and held on to win the season opener for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series at the DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford.
Schuchart set the pace for the first 26 laps before Schatz closed in late. Schatz, who missed an 11th Series championship last season by only four points — the narrowest margin in Series history — left little doubt he’s back and determined to have another championship campaign in his Tony Stewart Racing car.
Still, Schuchart was impressive with his runner-up finish. Defending champion Brad Sweet was third in his Kasey Kahne Racing machine, with Parker Price-Miller in fourth and David Gravel finishing fifth after spending the day at Daytona International Speedway practicing for Saturday’s ARCA race.
The field for the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds was split into four separate 15-lap Feature events by points the drivers earned over the first three nights of racing. Curt Spalding held off David Stremme to win the first Feature; Christian Thomas survived four restarts to take the checkered flag over Lucas Lee in the second Feature; David Reutimann won the third Feature after starting eighth; and Jason Beaulieu, who traveled more than 3,700 miles from New Westminster, British Columbia to race at Volusia, topped the final Feature.
There were 115 cars entered in competition Friday night — 79 DIRTcar UMP Modifieds and 36 Sprint Cars.
Hoffman dominates DIRTcar UMP Modified Feature to take points lead
BARBERVILLE, FL — Feb. 6, 2020 — Texan Aaron Reutzel outlasted the field Thursday at Volusia Speedway Park to capture the Sprint Car Feature on Night 3 of the DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford.
A series of cautions in the final five laps of the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Feature forced Reutzel to fight off Brad Sweet over a series of restarts. While several drivers struggled with tires over the final few laps, Reutzel said he pulled his wing back to help him survive and win for the 26th time with the All Stars and the first time in his career at Volusia Speedway Park.
Australia-native Ian Madsen was third with Tony Stewart Racing’s Donny Schatz and Kasey Kahne Racing’s James McFadden rounding out the top five.
In the DIRTcar UMP Modified Feature, defending champion Nick Hoffman earned the 16th DIRTcar Nationals victory of his career after sweeping past Mike McKinney for the lead on Lap 6. Once out front, Hoffman controlled the pace and pulled away for the win followed by McKinney, Brian Ruhlman and Justin Allgaier.
The victory, combined with tire issues for Kyle Strickler and Michael Long, vaulted Hoffman to the overall points lead for the event as he chases a record fifth Big Gator Trophy as DIRTcar Nationals champion.
There were 117 cars entered in competition Thursday night — 83 DIRTcar UMP Modifieds and 34 Sprint Cars.
BARBERVILLE, FL — Feb. 5, 2020 — Kasey Kahne Racing’s Brad Sweet picked up right where he left off last season by powering to victory Wednesday in the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series Feature on night two at Volusia Speedway Park’s DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford.
The defending World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series champion, Sweet swept from third to second to the lead on laps 12-14 and held off polesitter Ian Madsen to the checkered flag in the 25-lap feature on Volusia’s half-mile dirt oval.
Cory Eliason was third while recent Chili Bowl winner and NASCAR star Kyle Larson was the hard charger after racing from 14th to 4th. Sweet’s Kasey Kahne Racing teammate James McFadden rounded out the top five.
The DIRTcar UMP Modified Feature was a bit of role reversal from Tuesday’s opener with Kyle Strickler getting the best of Michael Long in the early going before David Stremme and Nick Hoffman forced their way into the battle for the lead. After working past Stremme with 7 laps to go, Hoffman set his sights on Strickler. Hoffman showed Strickler his nose going into Turn 1 on the final lap, forcing Strickler to drop from the top to Hoffman’s bottom groove in Turns 3 and 4, slicing Hoffman’s momentum headed to the checkered flag.
Hoffman narrowly held off Stremme for second as Long was fourth and Jason Hughes in fifth.
Long holds off Strickler to capture first Gator Trophy of 12-night event
BARBERVILLE, FL — Feb. 4, 2020 — Michael Long surged to the lead on the opening lap of the DIRTcar UMP Modified Feature Tuesday night and fought off Kyle Strickler to the checkered flag for the first Gator Trophy of the 12-night DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford at Volusia Speedway Park.
Long, of Fowler, Ill., used the high side in Turns 1 and 2 to keep Strickler, who started eighth, pinned to the bottom and unable to maximize his horsepower. After a couple of cautions seven laps into the race, a 12-lap green-flag run forced Long to negotiate heavy lapped traffic on the high-speed half-mile dirt oval.
“Luckily, they went to the bottom,” Long said of the lapped cars. “When you see the #8 of Strickler on the board it makes you nervous on restarts, especially going into Turn 1. I knew once I got rolling I was good. He had to out-motor me and I knew if I hit the restarts right I was going to be alright.”
Ryan Cripe wound up third while defending DIRTcar Nationals champion Nick Hoffman started 21st and powered his way to a fourth-place finish. Zeke McKenzie was fifth after starting 28th to earn Hard Charger honors.
NASCAR CONNECTIONS: Kenny Wallace raced to a ninth-place finish in the Feature while David Stremme went for a spin after contact with Cripe as they were battling for third, collecting last summer’s Daytona winner Justin Haley in the process. … Three-time NASCAR Truck Series champion Matt Crafton missed the Feature by one position in a Last Chance Showdown that also included Xfinity Series standout Justin Allgaier, who finished one spot behind Crafton, and Truck Series racer Sheldon Creed, who finished eighth.
WINGED WARRIORS: World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars — including drivers like recent Chili Bowl winner and NASCAR star Kyle Larson — rolled onto the half-mile dirt oval for a final tune-up session before the high-powered, winged sprint cars compete at Volusia the next five nights.
As many as eight former champs expected to race at World’s Fastest Half-Mile
BARBERVILLE, FL – The 49th annual DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park is just over a week away, affording the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series superstars a chance to make final preparations before the Series races four nights during the two-week event at The World’s Fastest Half Mile.
The event itself runs Feb. 4-15 and includes World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars (Feb. 7-9), All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars (Feb. 5-6), the Super DIRTcar Series (Feb. 11-15), DIRTcar UMP Modifieds (Feb. 4-10) and DIRTcar Late Models (Feb. 10-11), with the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models competing Feb. 12-15.
Of the 42 completed World of Outlaws Late Model Series races at Volusia, 2004 Series champion Scott Bloomquist leads all drivers in wins with six, his first coming in 2004. 2015 Series champion Shane Clanton is tied with two-time and defending Series champion Brandon Sheppard for second-most with five; 2005 champion Billy Moyer and four-time Series champion Josh Richards follow with four and 2007 champion Steve Francis has three.
Every driver coming into the venue knows the score. Sheppard currently holds a slim point lead after the first three races at Vado Speedway Park, riding on three-straight runner-up finishes. The Rocket-Shepp has not won a World of Outlaws race since his trip to Victory Lane at Sharon Speedway last August, where he completed an exciting pass for the lead on Ricky Weiss coming to the white flag to win the 25-lap preliminary Feature.
But Volusia has been Rocket1 Racing’s playground in recent visits. Sheppard has won the last five World of Outlaws Features held at the half-mile, going back to the final race of the 2018 DIRTcar Nationals. Last year, he swept the competition of 50+ entrants to win all four Morton Buildings Features and win his first Big Gator trophy as the only Late Model driver in event history to win four consecutive Features.
This year, Sheppard already has drivers knocking on his door for company, both atop the points standings and in Victory Lane. Weiss, Chris Madden and Cade Dillard have already won races in Vado and surround Sheppard in points, occupying spots two, three and four. Dillard, in fourth place, sits only 16 points back of Sheppard.
Additionally, several other contenders are expected to make an appearance at Volusia to spoil the Outlaws’ party. Headlining will be the most recent Late Model winner at the facility, Kyle Bronson. Killer swept the DIRTcar Pro Late Model competition of 40+ entrants, winning all three races in the division to become the inaugural DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals championship.
Other big non-Outlaw names expected to be in attendance include (but are not limited to) Josh Richards, Jonathan Davenport, Tyler Erb, Tim McCreadie, Earl Pearson Jr., Mike Marlar, Dale McDowell, Brian Shirley, Kent Robinson, Brandon Overton and Jimmy Owens.
Joining the Outlaws on the racing card for all four nights will be the Big Block Modifieds from the Super DIRTcar Series. Hot Laps are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on all four nights.
Tickets to the 49th annual DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park are on sale now, including camping, packages and pit passes.
If you can’t make the trip south to see the racing spectacle in person, catch all 12 nights of action from Volusia Speedway Park live from the comfort of your home with a Fast Pass Subscription to DIRTVision.
BARBERVILLE, FL – Three days of Dirt Late Model racing in the Sunshine State came to an exciting finish on Saturday night at Volusia Speedway Park when Kyle Bronson completed the weekend sweep of the DIRTcar Pro Late Model class after a thrilling battle with Michael Page to capture the $10,000 Sunshine Nationals finale check.
Completing Saturday night’s action were two other action-packed Features in which Colton Leyendecker traded in back-to-back third-place finishes for a win in the 602 Late Model division while Dusty Sparkman got his first career win at Volusia in the Florida Late Model Feature.
DIRTcar PRO LATE MODELS – KYLE BRONSON
A member of the invading “Super Late Model regulars” club this weekend, Brandon, FL’s Kyle Bronson was a big favorite to win it all right from the get-go. And he did just that.
The 29-year-old wheelman known as Killer never lost his focus throughout the entire event. Not once. He was fastest overall on practice night, set fast time in Qualifying on Friday night, won all but one of his Heat races and was victorious in all three Features. Utter domination.
One notable regarding his wins – each one was increasingly more challenging than the last. That notion really came to the forefront in Saturday night’s drive to Victory Lane, when he was forced to drive through fellow Super Late Model guru Michael Page to earn it. And make no mistake, Page really, really made Bronson work for it.
Right at the drop of the green, Page made a beeline for the lead as he proceeded to grab it and lead the field around to complete the first lap. Starting right behind Page, Bronson followed him and broke away from the pack a few laps later to start their high-speed battle for the top spot.
Bronson threw the first of many traded slide-jobs between the two on lap 10, clipping Page’s nose as he drove on by. On a restart just three laps later, Page returned the favor by getting into Bronson’s left-rear on a failed pass attempt in Turn 1.
“I slid [Page] and he kinda got in the back of me, but it was just hard racing,” Bronson said. “He hit me in the left-rear, just trying hard, and when he did it bent my left-rear wheel.”
“We’re both as hard of a racer as the other,” Page said. “I just felt that, on a racetrack that was wide, [Bronson] just kinda came in there and thought he had me cleared but he didn’t. It knocked the steering wheel out of my hands.”
The next restart restacked the field and refocused Page, as he threw a slide-job of his own, which Bronson countered by crossing-over as they raced out of Turn 2. The second of two red flags was displayed as they entered turn three, and there the leaders sat, parked right next to each other amidst the stoppage, discussing their intentions.
“It just rubbed me the wrong way because the last time we raced, [Bronson] did the same so I returned the favor, maybe a little worse, but we stopped down there and I told him,” Page said. “We talked for a minute and I said, ‘let’s race.’ And after that, we raced. I don’t know if you could have raced anybody harder after that.”
“We were just telling each other how much we loved each other and were ready to drink a beer after the races,” Bronson joked.
Sitting inside of his Baird Truck and Trailer Sales #18X, Page was dreading the time spent not moving, as the gamble he took on tire selection for the 30-lap Feature did not appear to be working to his advantage.
“The red flags killed it. I went on hard tires so they kinda sealed-up on me. Every time the car would come back in, the yellow would come out,” Page said.
Meanwhile, an unfortunate situation was developing right underneath Bronson’s #40B as they sat parked on the track, waiting for cleanup to conclude. The contact Bronson’s left-rear tire received from Page’s nose on the earlier restart resulted in a slow leak, and Bronson could hear the clock ticking as they awaited the next restart.
“My tire was going flat since lap 14, and then we had the red flag after that,” Bronson said. “I was praying we went back green [quick] because I could hear my tire leaking. Then it finally blew out coming to the checkered.”
“It didn’t officially blow all the way out until the last lap there, we were racing on probably a pound or two of air,” Bronson added.
In the end, the tire held up… at least, as long as it needed to for Bronson to see the checkers. He battled with the Georgian for several more laps after the red, again trading slide-jobs for the lead before lap 20. Another restart with 13 laps remaining threw Brandon Williams into the mix, who Bronson was also able to put behind him as he drove to his third checkered flag in three nights.
All-in-all, the Bronson v. Page battle was settled 100 percent on the racetrack. They may have beaten and banged their cars up quite a bit before all was said and done, but the greatest sight of all may have been in Victory Lane, where the two smiled and shook hands in front of the crowded Volusia bleachers and DIRTVision cameras.
“He knows how I felt and I know how he felt,” Page said. “Instead of going around and talking to everybody else about it, we worked it out like you’re supposed to as a racer.”
Williams brought out the final caution flag of the race with four laps remaining and dropped out due to an ill-timed mechanical failure, crumpling his best run of the weekend. Arthur Walked capped off his solid weekend with his first podium finish, and Jason Fitzgerald rebounded from being a part of the second red flag incident to come back and finish fifth.
Randy Weaver was strong all weekend but couldn’t find his mojo when it mattered most; settling for seventh after starting outside pole in the finale. Ashton Winger joined the Pro Late Model field for a chance at the 10-grand on Saturday, and had a decent run going early, but was on the receiving end of a nasty barrel-rolling flip in Turn 2 that ended his night. He, and every other driver involved, walked away under his own power.
After finishing third twice in the first two races over the weekend, Leyendecker finally pulled it off and picked up the win in the final 602 Late Model Feature of the inaugural Sunshine Nationals.
Driving past Raymond Folwell on lap five, Leyendecker grabbed the lead and never looked back, holding off Thursday night’s winner, Cody Overton, for the $1,500 check. For his consistent efforts throughout the weekend, Leyendecker was also crowned the Sunshine Nationals miniseries champion of his division.
Heat #3 (6 Laps) – Top 8 Transfer 1. 3-Raymond Folwell ; 2. 33-Colton Leyendecker ; 3. 17S-Brenden Smith ; 4. 388-Jackson Hise ; 5. OO-Louis Ledlow ; 6. 27K-Timmie King ; 7. 97-Cody Overton 
FLORIDA LATE MODELS – DUSTY SPARKMAN
It was almost a three-peat in two different classes over the weekend, but Sparkman put a stop to that by winning the final Florida Late Model Feature in dominating fashion, leading the final 14 laps to earn his first-ever victory in a Late Model of any kind.
Thursday and Friday night’s winner, David Showers Jr., finished sixth and was crowned the miniseries champion of the division by way of his three top-10 results.
DIRTcar Racing hits Volusia Speedway Park again on Feb. 4 with the UMP Modifieds to kick-off the 49th annual DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford. Tickets are on sale now.
DIRTVision will also be live all throughout DIRTcar Nationals, Feb. 4-15, for viewers to watch every lap in every race of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series, Super DIRTcar Series, All-Star Circuit of Champions and DIRTcar UMP Modifieds’ visit to The World’s Fastest Half Mile.
BARBERVILLE, FL – Night #2 of the inaugural DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals was a very telling tale of who the Saturday night finale contenders will be, with two repeat winners, almost a third, on Friday night at Volusia Speedway Park.
Kyle Bronson was one of two drivers to double-up on Friday night, making a big move for the lead underneath Jadon Frame on a restart to get the edge, which he carried all the way back to the checkered flag for his second consecutive DIRTcar Pro Late Model win at Volusia. Likewise, David Showers Jr. went back-to-back in the Florida Late Model division, just one night after scoring his very first win in a Late Model, and Bud Chancey took advantage of an engine malfunction out front to claim his first 602 Late Model win at The World’s Fastest Half Mile.
DIRTcar PRO LATE MODELS – KYLE BRONSON
It was a case of déjà vu on the podium of the Pro Late Model Feature on Friday night, as Bronson led the final 20 laps and beat out fellow Super Late Model stars Randy Weaver and Max Blair. However, Bronson had to work for it a bit, compared to Thursday night.
Killer jetted out to the runner-up spot within two laps of the race, giving chase to leader Jadon Frame. A restart on lap five put Bronson’s #40B on Frame’s rear bumper as they dove into turn one, Bronson with a big run to Frame’s inside. The two made contact that ended with Frame in the wall and Bronson racing off, unharmed.
“I kept getting under the guy, and he kept turning left on me, but I really didn’t have position to finish him off with the way these Crate motors run around here,” Bronson said. “When I finally got position on him, I felt like I was about a half-car ahead of him. I went to do a slide-job on him and, I don’t really know if he just stayed in the gas or hit a slick spot and hit the fence or whatever happened.”
Frame left the track on the hook as Bronson stayed out and led the rest of the way to collect $2,000 for the win. Bronson admitted he and Frame touched as they battled for the lead out of Turn 2, but also said what followed was just the product of the drive to win.
“I hate what happened, but in my shoes, if I had to do anything over again, I wouldn’t change nothing I did. I wish the outcome would have been a little bit different, but that’s the way it goes. We come to win these races; I’m driving my butt off to win these races. [My team] are giving me a damn good car, so I’ve just got to do my job,” Bronson said.
“There definitely was contact, 100 percent. It wasn’t anything crazy, just a deal that I feel like on these Crate cars, when someone gets their quarter-panel to your left-front, it’s time to check. Or, stay out there and wreck yourself – kinda what [Frame] did,” Bronson added.
Randy Weaver had another solid drive to a runner-up finish, this time from much further back, starting 9th and dropping back to 12th on the first lap. He made patient moves through the field and used the well-timed yellows to catch the leaders within 15 laps to score his second podium finish of the weekend.
Max Blair held his car inside the top-five for most of the race, dropping back to seventh after the lap five restart, but was able to rebound for another third-place finish. For a short time, the Titusville, PA-native held the runner-up spot before Weaver tracked him down and passed him with what could have been the fastest car on the track, next to Bronson.
Douglasville, GA’s Super Late Model guru Michael Page finally brought out his #18X on day two of competition and joined the field as one of the favorites on the roster. His first night on track, however, did not go as he had planned, as his race ended by stopping at the topside of turn two with a mechanical failure.
He may have had the win handed to him on Thursday night when leader Bubba Whitener wrecked while leading, but make no mistake, David Showers Jr. had to work for his second-ever win in a Late Model on Friday night.
Taking the lead on lap one, Showers nearly ran away with the show in the early going, but Whitener tracked him down and put the pressure on in the final laps to make it an exciting chase for the finish line. Leading all 25 laps, Showers collected $3,000 for his victorious efforts.
In what originally looked to be Cody Overton’s second consecutive win in the Sunshine Nationals 602 Late Model Feature, Thursday night’s runner-up Bud Chancey took advantage of a poorly timed engine failure on Overton’s part to scoop-up the win – his first victory at Volusia.
Overton started on the front row and jetted out to a commanding lead early on before going up in a puff of smoke on lap 12, handing over the lead, and the win, to Chancey. Chancey took no prisoners after getting the lead, out in front by a 5-second margin at the checkers.
The DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals action continues on Saturday night with the 30-lap, $10,000-to-win finale for the Pro Late Models and 20 laps and $1,500-to-win for Florida Late Models and 602 Late Models. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision!
BARBERVILLE, FL – The first race night of the inaugural DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals was jam-packed with the Late Model racing everyone had been craving since the 2019 regular season wound down just a few months ago.
Twenty-four 602 Late Models, 16 Florida Late Models and 41 Pro Late Models lined the Volusia Speedway Park pit areas on Thursday night for their first look of the year at the track under racing conditions. The three Features capped off what was a very entertaining night of racing at The World’s Fastest Half Mile, in which Kyle Bronson came out on top of the DIRTcar Pro Late Models, Cody Overton won the 602 Late Model Feature and David Showers Jr. was victorious in the final event of the evening, the Florida Late Model Feature.
DIRTcar PRO LATE MODELS – KYLE BRONSON
It seems as though it pays to be an ace of the Super Late Model ranks when jumping into a Pro Late Model at Volusia. Brandon, FL-native Kyle Bronson put on a dominant display of speed and car control over 25 laps as he beat out fellow Super Late Model big names Randy Weaver and Max Blair en route to his $1,500 victory.
Leading every lap, Killer put on a show out front as he grabbed the top spot on lap one and never looked back to collect the win, holding off a deep field of talent in the process.
“We’ve got a really great car, and I feel like as long as we keep the fenders on our car, we’ll have a chance to win these next couple,” Bronson said. “I’ve just got to do my job, and the car’s pretty damn good.”
The race was spotted with cautions, which meant Bronson was forced to deal with the pressure restacking behind him for each restart. But he handled those perfectly; it was a close call on lap nine that gave him his biggest challenge.
Middleburg, FL-driver Mark Whitener had a good run going to Bronson’s inside as they dove into Turn 1. The two ended up making slight contact, which sent Whitener around right in front of the oncoming field of cars. Somehow, everyone avoided him, and Whitener rejoined the field at the tail under the ensuing caution flag. Bronson escaped unharmed and went on to win the race, while Whitener made up a ton of ground in the final 16 laps to come back and finish eighth and pick up the Hard Charger honors.
“[Whitener] said he was going to go in and try to slide me there, but I was already turned down the racetrack and he hit me in the left-rear and turned himself around, I guess,” Bronson said. “We always race hard and rub a little bit, unfortunately. But that’s the way racing goes.”
Despite redrawing fifth, Randy Weaver found himself with a little bit of work to do in the early going of the 25-lap Feature, as he slipped back on the opening circuit and crossed the line in ninth on lap two. But with some patience and a great car, he and his newly wrapped #116 made it all the way back up front to collect the runner-up spot.
He’s traveled a long way from Titusville, PA, and there was no way Max Blair was leaving Volusia without at least one podium finish this weekend. He didn’t have to wait long, as he kept his car solidly inside the top 5 through all 25 laps to complete the podium.
Winner of the race run prior to the Pro Late Models Feature, Evans, GA-native Cody Overton, was looking to climb from the back to the front over 25 laps to put the cherry atop his Thursday night. Unfortunately, his night ended on the hook, as he was on the receiving end of a nasty pile-up wreck on the initial start that forced him to retire without a single lap completed.
Last Chance Showdown 2 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer 1. 313-Devin Dixon ; 2. K37-Drew Kennedy ; 3. 11-Cruz Skinner ; 4. 721-Joe Kump ; 5. 32-Curtis Glover ; 6. 14-Howard Stalls ; 7. 39-Troy Dixon ; 8. 14B-John Baker ; 9. 6-Dillon Brown ; 10. C71-Cody Courtney 
602 LATE MODELS – CODY OVERTON
Overton did, however, take home a nice check in the first Feature of the evening for his efforts behind the wheel of his #97 602 Late Model – race he won by over three seconds ahead of runner-up Bud Chauncey and podium finisher Colton Leyendecker.
Using the low line to his advantage, Lil Sexy made a great move to the inside of Bud Chauncey on lap eight to take the lead, and the win, to kick off his 2020 season in Florida.
For most of the 20-lap Feature race, teenage pilot Bubba Whitener seemed to have had the Thursday night Feature locked up. Until he reached lap 13.
Trying to get around slower traffic on the high-side, Whitener came up on a car just before the flag stand and made heavy contact, sending the lapped car into the inside wall and severely damaging his own. Whitener went off on the hook, which handed the lead over to David Showers Jr., who took it and led the rest of the way for his first-ever Late Model victory.
Florida Late Model Feature (20 Laps): 1. 18 – David Showers, Jr.; 2. 17 – Richard Ferry; 3. 29 – Cameron Saunders; 4. 007 – Dusty Sparkman; 5. 40 – Adam Bennett; 6. 18A – Jared Allison; 7. 5MC – Robert Gast; 8. 54 – Terry Bronson; 9. 98 – Johnny Allen; 10. 68 – Ken Ellefson; 11. 5 – Bubba Whitener; 12. 26 – Bill Adkins; 13. 11K – Josh Kunstbeck; 14. 15 – John Bledsoe; 15. 59 – Brandon Catto; 16. 33 – TJ Evans
The Sunshine Nationals action continues from Volusia on Friday night with round two of racing. Hot Laps begin at 5:15pm ET on DIRTVision!
BARBERVILLE, FL — The weather might be dreary in many parts of the country, but a quick glance at the week ahead for Volusia Speedway Park is showing beautiful low-80 temperatures, perfect for the inaugural DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals Jan. 16-18 at the World’s Fastest Half Mile that sits just west of Daytona Beach.
The event featuring three divisions of Dirt Late Models is drawing competitors from across the country to take on the Southeast’s best.
Among those is Sam Halstead, a DIRTcar Pro Late Model racer who hails from New London, Iowa, and regularly competes in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Missouri. He’ll add Florida to the list next week.
“I’ve always been wanting to race in Florida for the last five, six years,” said Halstead, a winner on the opening night of last October’s DIRTcar Fall Nationals at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55. “I just decided I better do it now, or I’ll never do it.”
He worked on the crew for a friend’s DIRTcar UMP Modified in 2018 at Volusia, but Magnolia Motor Speedway in Mississippi is the farthest south he’s ever raced.
He’s headed to Volusia looking to make it worth his while, too.
“Winning it!” Halstead said of his main goal. “I’m also looking forward to the warm weather. … I’m getting older, and decided if I’m ever going to do it, I better do it now. If I don’t do it this year, I won’t ever do it.”
Halstead will be competing in the Pro Late Model class, which is one of three along with Florida Late Models and 602 Late Models that will have Feature events each night of competition for nine total chances to win over the three days.
Tickets are $20 for Adults on Thursday, Jan. 16, and Friday, Jan. 17. Tickets on Saturday, Jan. 18, are $25. Kids under 12 are FREE in the grandstands all three days. Tickets are available at the track. Camping is also available for $25 per day.
There will be an open practice night on Wednesday, Jan. 15. On Thursday, Jan. 16, and Friday, Jan. 17, grandstands open at 5 p.m., Hot Laps are at 5:15, Opening Ceremonies slated for 6:50 p.m. followed by Heat Races, Last Chance Showdowns and Features. On Saturday, Jan. 18, grandstands open at 5 p.m. with Hot Laps at 5:30, Opening Ceremonies at 6:50 followed by Heat Races, Last Chance Showdowns and Features. The final race of the event will be the $10,000-to-win Pro Late Model Feature.
DeLEON SPRINGS, FL — Dirt Late Model racers have circled Jan. 16-18, 2020, on their calendars for the inaugural DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.
Three complete nights of action featuring DIRTcar Pro Late Models, Florida Late Models and 602 Late Models are nearing as DIRTcar officials posted the complete competitor guide and Entry Form this week.
Fans have been filling grandstands across the Southeast to watch Dirt Late Model racing, and now they have the unique opportunity to see this special event in January at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile dirt track, just outside of Daytona Beach, FL.
A practice night on Wednesday, Jan. 15, will precede the Sunshine Nationals, giving all competitors a chance to dial in their cars before the action counts. Points will be tracked throughout the event and a champion of each division will be crowned at the conclusion of Saturday night’s races, including the $10,000-to-win DIRTcar Pro Late Model Feature.
Reserved camping is available by calling 844-DIRT-TIX, all tickets and pit passes will be available at the gate.
Stay tuned to DIRTcar Racing on Facebook and Twitter for late-breaking news and updates.