The Veterans Day Classic honored those who served with five of Volusia Speedway Park’s best divisions
As the Florida pink and orange sunset shrouded Volusia Speedway Park into the night, the Veterans Day Classic was the excitement local fans had been waiting two months for.
Alongside the racing program, Volusia Speedway Park hosted a food drive with the Neighborhood Center of West Volusia and honored the Veterans who made the trip to Volusia to attend Saturday’s event.
After five action-packed Feature races – Kole Platt, Timmy Hogan, Todd Neiheiser, Nevin Gainey, and Jared Jones picked up the wins.
602 Late Models
Kicking off the night after rain in the early morning made the track slick, but racey. That showed when the 602 Late Models hit the track.
After 20 laps of a caution-free Feature race, it was Kole Platt out of Callahan, FL taking the checkered flag. Platt, who won the Labor Day Classic, led the entire race but had to fend off a hard-charging Bubba Roling from passing the driver of the #44P. Roling, of Clay Hill, FL, finished a close second place finish, perhaps needing one more lap to have gotten by Platt.
Finishing third was Palm Bay, FL’s Jason Papp, who earned his first career podium finish at Volusia Saturday. Completing the night’s top five included Dade City, FL’s Brody Smith – making his first start at VSP in 2023, and Jacksonville, FL’s Austin Lewis – his first career top-five finish at VSP.
15 laps of fun is what to expect out of the 3/4 Modifieds when they arrive in Volusia to race, with Saturday continuing to prove that statement.
While positions shuffled nonstop throughout the field, first place never saw a lead change. That position was held by Lake Helen, FL’s Timmy Hogan.
Hogan, who last won at Volusia in March at the Spring Showdown, had been close to victory but was never able to cross over that hump. He was able to do so Saturday after winning his Heat race, and then leading every lap of the 3/4 Modified Feature.
Coming home in second was DeLeon Springs, FL native Brad Fender making his debut in the #117, formerly driven by Patrick Vareika. Completing the Feature podium was Hogan’s son, Steven Powers. Joining the drivers in the night’s top five were Pierson, FL’s Dustin Childers, and Deland, FL’s Ethyn Hwan.
DIRTcar UMP Modifieds
It’s safe to say that Panama City, FL native Todd Neiheiser is going to ride into next week’s 10th Anniversary Emil & Dale Reutimann Memorial with added momentum, dominating the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds Feature by leading every lap and showing off his muscles.
Neiheiser, who last won at Volusia in February’s Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals, proved that the #72 Beak Built Chassis machine is ready for the country’s best to visit Volusia next weekend.
Finishing up just short of Neiheiser was Zephyrhills, FL’s Eric Moon. The driver of the Reutimann Racing #07 stayed close to the leader for all 25 laps – waiting for the right moment. Unfortunately for Moon, Neiheiser hit his marks and was able to hold him off for the win.
A much-needed podium for Buzzie Reutimann was achieved Saturday after a 2023 season full of bad luck for the driver of the #00B. Reutimann kicked off the night by winning his Heat race, then racing around the top five to secure his third-place finish.
Fourth went to Deland, FL’s Robert Gast, making a bounceback after DNFs in the last two Feature races, and Makayla Tyrrell of Jacksonville, FL completed the division’s top five.
604 Late Models
20 competitors made the trip for Saturday’s 604 Late Model Feature race, all looking for a win before the year comes to a close.
From the drop of the green flag, the Feature was mostly controlled by Oak Hill, FL’s Rob Pitcher, who was making his first start at Volusia in 2023. However, many cautions flew in the Feature, opening the door for more drivers to have a shot at winning. One of those was Ft. White, FL’s Nevin Gainey, who pulled off a risky move on the last restart by going all the way down to the bottom. Once Gainey hit the throttle, his #17G blasted off to the win.
Pitcher finished second, leaving Barberville with good vibrations with a clean and fast night to get familiar with Volusia.
Bubba Roling moved up from his sixth-place starting spot to add his place into the Feature’s podium after a hard-fought race inside the field. The same could also be said for Fruitland Park, FL’s Garret Stewart, who finished in fourth after jockeying around the top five in the 20-lap Feature. Completing the top five from the night was Jacksonville, FL’s Dalton Hopke, who was making his first appearance at Volusia in his #H1 604 Late Model.
Pick Your Part Street Stocks
Wrapping this night of honor was the Pick Your Part Street Stocks – with a clean race that featured a Georgia takeover in Victory Lane.
Making his debut in a big way on Saturday night was Swainsboro, GA’s Jared Jones. He began the night by winning the Heat race, then went on to lead every lap of the 20-lap Feature to earn his first career Volusia Speedway Park win.
Finishing second to Jones was Deland, FL’s Bubba Christian, who kept his car clean while being chased by another Deland native in Alan Peacock. Peacock charged up the field four spots to take home a third-place finish.
Completing the night’s top five includes Jonathan Croson, of Sorrento, FL, and Ft. Lauderdale, FL native Rick O’Steen who was the highest finishing car to DNF.
The next race on Volusia Speedway Park’s schedule is the 10th Anniversary Emil & Dale Reutimann Memorial, November 16-18. The weekend will include the country’s best DIRTcar UMP Modified drivers making the trip to Sunshine State in this $10,000-to-win classic. Get your tickets today at https://bit.ly/23Reutimann2Day.
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.