The addition of the inaugural Battle in Barberville at Volusia Speedway Park gave drivers one more shot at ending the season with a trophy and extra money in their pockets.
Saturday night, Dalton Lanich and Wryan Shaffer made the most of the opportunity.
DIRTcar UMP Modifieds
Lanich finished second in track points at Volusia for the DIRTcar UMP Modified division but had yet to score a victory.
After finishing second in Heat 2, luck decided to go his way. With a draw determining a four-car invert, instead of starting fourth, Lanich was placed on the pole for the 25-lap, $1,500-to-win, Feature.
However, the win didn’t come easy.
On the initial start, second-place David Reutimann got the better jump on the start and took the early lead. Lanich looked under Reutimann entering Turn 1 a couple times in the first two laps, but the #00 Modified was strong enough to pull ahead at the exit of Turn 2.
Lanich didn’t give in, though. Side by side going into Turn 1 on Lap 6, with slower cars blocking both of their lanes, neither driver was willing to lift. However, luck, again, fell into Lanich’s way as a lane opened for him around the bottom. Diving low, making a three-wide pass under the two slower cars, he powered ahead to the lead.
“I went with a hard tire tonight and really started second guessing myself,” Lanich said. “But it started coming back in about the third or fourth lap and caught back up to [Reutimann].”
From there, Lanich went unchallenged. Bryan Bernhardt and Reutimann swapped second a couple times throughout Feature, but neither were strong enough to challenge Lanich.
When the checkered flag flew, Lanich claimed his first win of the season as the inaugural Battle in Barberville winner, while Reutimann finished second and Bernhardt finished third. Paul Shead scored the $100 Hard Charger Award from Allen Plumbing.
“It’s been going better and better every couple of weeks,” Lanich said. “I bought this new car… about a couple months ago. We ran it about five times and kept working at it and working at it and it finally came through.
“Man, it’s awesome. That’s a cool ass trophy. I have to thank the track. They had a perfect track tonight. Thanks to the fans for coming out, my sponsors, my dad, my stepdad, my mom, my wife, my kids. This is awesome. I really needed this win.”
DIRTcar UMP Modifieds Feature (25 Laps): 1. 51-Dalton Lanich; 2. 00D-David Reutimann; 3. B69-Bryan Bernhardt; 4. 17G-Nevin Gainey; 5. 00B-Buzzie Reutimann; 6. 3S-Josh Sanford; 7. 80-Paul Shead; 8. 99-Zane DeVilbiss; 9. 6B-Dave Baldwin; 10. 33-Kenny Mihalik; 11. 11Z-Zane Oedewaldt; 12. 12-Robert Gast; 13. 1P-Mike Phillips; 14. (DNF) 34P-Jim Passino; 15. (DNF) N8-Nate Huffingham; 16. (DNF) 11P-Charlie Phillips; 17. (DNF) 3-Tony Campbell; 18. (DNF) 222-Cory Hupp; 19. (DNF) 2-Joshua Kunstbeck
The past two years have been a roller coaster for Wryan Shaffer, searching for a win with no avail.
However, Saturday night, that ride took a new enjoyable twist.
After starting fourth in the 15-lap Feature, Shaffer methodically worked his way forward, stealing third on the initial start. He stole second on Lap 4 and then snuck under Dustin Peterson into Turn 1 to claim the lead on Lap 5.
From there, Shaffer ran a clean line the remaining 10 laps to pull ahead by 1.4 seconds and score his first win in two years – along with a $500 payday. Lawton Minchew scored the $100 Hard Charger Award from Allen Plumbing.
“This last year has been really tough,” Shaffer said. “We went back to basics. We got this thing squared around. I got under Dustin (Peterson) going into (Turn) one, I said, ‘I’m going to leave him the top and if he leaves me the bottom, I’m going for it.’ It stuck.
“You can’t top it. You can’t top it.”
3/4 Modifieds Feature (15 Laps): 1. 32-Wryan Shaffer; 2. 51-Dustin Peterson; 3. 23L-Lawton Minchew; 4. 26-Timmy Hogan; 5. 27-William Inabnett; 6. 23K-Korbin Minchew; 7. 0-Rusty Young; 8. 57-Ethyn Hwan; 9. 3X-Scott Durlin; 10. 7-Chris Olmstead; 11. 59-Nathyn Hwan; 12. 14-Austin Culver; 13. 88F-Aidan Foley; 14. 99-Wade Olmsted; 15. (DNS) 23V-Patrick Vareika; 16. (DNS) 7T-Thomas Belkey; 17. (DQ) 67-Tad Olmsted
UP NEXT: The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds will return to Volusia Speedway Park, Feb. 6-11, for the 52nd DIRTcar Nationals. For tickets, CLICK HERE.