An action-packed 55th season of racing at Volusia Speedway Park concluded with five first-time champions and one repeat winner in their division.
Earning the coveted track title for the first time in their division includes Dustin Carter (604 Late Models), Austin Leamon (602 Late Models), Dalton Lanich (DIRTcar UMP Modifieds), Jesse Powers (3/4 Modifieds), and Chris Mathis (Pick Your Part Street Stocks). Ron Adams earned his third title in the Thunder Stocks.
Each dueled with the best drivers in the region from April to September, earning their titles through consistency and victorious nights.
604 Late Models – Dustin Carter
After opening the 2023 season with a win, Dustin Carter carried that momentum to his first track championship with the 604 Late Model division – his second Volusia title overall.
The accomplishment comes in his second year of racing with the 604 Late Models, having transitioned from the 602 Late Model division.
Along with his victory, the Dustin, GA driver ended the year with four top-five finishes in five starts. Last year’s champion Joe Kump, of Islamorada, FL, finished one spot behind Carter in the standings – 30 points back. While he didn’t score a win, he did claim four top-10 finishes in five races.
2023 showcased continued resilience and determination from Deland FL’s Tuck Trentham. After his car owner Dick Murphy passed away in May, Trentham honored him well with two top fives and four top 10s this season, rounding out the season third in points.
602 Late Models – Austin Leamon
Fast-paced consistency was what Austin Leamon needed to secure his first 602 Late Models championship.
Though he did not win a Feature this season, the Lithia, FL driver kept his nose clean by finishing every race inside the top 10 and earning four top-five finishes.
Finishing second to Leamon – 31 points back – was Adam Bennett. The Jacksonville, FL native won the season opener, but a DNF in August hindered his chances to win the championship.
Cole Exum, of Valdosta, GA, finished the season strong with four podium finishes and a win in August. He was not able to compete for the championship because he entered the season late, but a valiant effort was rewarded with a podium in the championship.
DIRTcar UMP Modifieds – Dalton Lanich
One point. That’s all that separated Dalton Lanich from Josh Sanford in the 2023 championship battle.
To win his first title with the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, Lanich made a heroic comeback in the points after missing a race in July. The Bunnell, FL driver finished the season with two wins – including the season-opener – and a top five in every race he competed in.
Sanford, of Keystone Heights, FL, had his best season this year, scoring two top fives and a top 10 in every race. However, his consistency wasn’t enough to match Lanich’s championship year.
Jacksonville, FL’s Makayla Tyrrell turned the script around at Volusia in 2023, earning her first top-five points finish at Volusia Speedway Park. Tyrrell was able to wheel the car to two top-five finishes and scored her first podium at the track in July.
3/4 Modifieds – Jesse Powers
The 2023 season featured a theme of smooth sailing from Port Orange, FL’s Jesse Powers, who picked up his first Volusia Speedway Park 3/4 Modified championship.
The driver of the #32P finished top five in every 3/4 Modified Feature in 2023 and scored two wins.
Wade Olmsted, the 2021 3/4 Modified champion, capped off his final year in the division with a second-place run in points. He ended the year with two top-five finishes and three top-10s. All focus for Olmsted is now geared towards the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds.
Dustin Peterson earned his first podium points finish with a career year. The local driver from DeLeon Springs, FL won his first Feature in May and ended the year with three top-fives and four top-10 finishes.
Pick Your Part Street Stocks – Chris Mathis
After missing the 2022 season, Chris Mathis, of Edgewater, FL, made his triumphant return by earning his first championship in the Pick Your Part Street Stocks division. He earned four top fives and four top 10s.
Alan Peacock finished runner-up to Mathis – 25 points back. The Deland, FL driver struggled at the beginning of the season, but back-to-back wins in the final two PYP Street Stock races rocketed the #17 up to second in points.
Completing the division’s championship podium is Dade City, FL’s Jimmy Wagner. The “Little Gator” kept up with the competition, earning one win, three top-five finishes, and four top-10 results on the season.
Thunder Stocks – Ron Adams
From struggles to successes. That’s how Ron Adams’ 2023 champion season can be summed up.
After starting the season with a DNF, the Daytona Beach, FL native never finished outside the podium from May to September and won two races en route to his third track title.
Tanner Thomas finished second in points – 38 points back from Adams. The Oviedo, FL native earned his first win at Volusia in May and earned four top-fives and five top-10 finishes in 2023.
In a career-best season, Orlando, FL’s Justin Reynolds finished the year third in points – 113 points back from Adams. He won the Summer Sizzler in July, but a DNF and bad luck took the driver out of championship contention.
The next race on the Volusia Speedway Park schedule is weekly racing action on Saturday, October 14. The weekend will include the 602 Late Models, DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, 3/4 Modifieds, Thunder Stocks, and the Pick Your Part Street Stocks. Pit Gates and Grandstand Gates will open at 4:00 p.m. EST, with Hot Laps beginning at 6:00 p.m. EST.
If you can’t make it to the track, watch the action live on DIRTVision – available either online or through the DIRTVision app.
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About Volusia Speedway Park
Volusia Speedway Park, The World’s Fastest Half Mile, is a 0.5-mile dirt track located in DeLeon Springs, Florida. VSP is home to the most prestigious dirt racing events, such as the Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals, Germfree Southern Sprint Car Shootout, Sunshine Nationals, and the Emil & Dale Reutimann Memorial. The track hosts weekly races year-round with divisions of Dirt Late Models, Modifieds & Stock Cars. The track also hosts dirt-karting races at the facility. For more information, visit VolusiaSpeedwayPark.com.