Fresh off a hot night of racing on August 12, the 2023 Volusia Speedway Park season rolls on this Saturday, August 19 with the Top Gun Sprint Car Series making their final appearance at The World’s Fastest Half Mile before December’s Battle In Barberville. Slated to race alongside will be the 602 Late Models, 3/4 Modifieds, and the Pick Your Part Street Stocks.
Here’s a look at the storylines heading into Saturday:
Top Gun Sprint Car Series
The July 29 running of the Summer Sizzler was the first Top Gun race at Volusia in 2023, with 19-year-old Dustin Burtron taking his first career win at Volusia in his #97 Johnny Law Motorsports.
The Seminole, FL driver sits fourth in the Top Gun Sprints standings and will look to close the gap with a second win at Volusia.
Apollo, FL’s Steve Diamond Jr leads the Top Gun Sprints points coming into the weekend, earning a top five at the Summer Sizzler. Diamond has a comfortable points cushion, leading by 56 points over second place, Luke Hill.
Speaking of Hill, the Safety Harbor, FL native finished one position behind Diamond at the Summer Sizzler with a sixth-place result. Hill could be one to look for to earn his first Volusia victory.
602 Late Models
The hunt for the 2023 championship took a detour for frontrunners Tim Swartz and Adam Bennett. Swartz got caught in an accident off of turn two and never recovered, and Bennett retired due to mechanical issues.
Their problems on Saturday night was Austin Leamon’s gain, finishing inside the top five and grabbing the points lead in the process.
Bennett and Swartz look to rebound on Saturday, with both drivers separated by four points and eight points on Leamon respectively.
Palm Bay, FL’s Jason Papp had a career night at Volusia last Saturday, winning his first Heat race and grabbing a top five after being involved in an accident on lap one.
Involved in the lap one incident as well was the Jacksonville, FL young gun of Kale Van Sickle. The rookie began his 602 Late Model career with a win on May 20, and could be a possibility to see win on Saturday night.
Despite the shakeup that occurred on Saturday night in the 3/4 Modifieds, the points picture looks relatively the same, with the frontrunners avoiding trouble on Saturday.
Jesse Powers won the 3/4 Modifieds after the top two cars were disqualified, but do not discount the driver of the #32P.
The Port Orange, FL driver has finished in the top five in all four 3/4 Modifieds Features, winning two out of the four ran this season. Powers will look to extend his points lead further on Saturday night.
Chris Olmstead has had a whirlwind season, winning the first points race of 2023, to falling behind Powers by 46 points, the Deland, FL driver will have to close the gap in Patrick Varieka’s #117 after his primary #7 suffered mechanical issues in July.
Double-duty will not be needed for Orange City, FL’s Wade Olmsted, who is battling for points in both the 3/4 Modifieds, and the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds. The 2021 3/4 Modifieds champion finished on the podium twice in four Features this season.
Pick Your Part Street Stocks
91 days. That is how long it has been since the Pick Your Part Street Stocks ran a Feature at Volusia Speedway Park. As the division gets back to business on Saturday, the points battle will be one to watch with the closing number of races.
The points standings show the top two separated by only one point. Edgewater, FL’s Chris Mathis leads, with Daytona Beach, FL native Joe Belkey sitting in second. This will be a battle to watch for coming in the next few weeks.
Sitting third in points, 32 points back is Ft. Lauderdale, FL’s Rick O’Steen. Last season’s runner-up has ran up front, but will need a win in order to close in on the lead before September.
Dade City, FL’s Jimmy Wagner is always a racer that PYP Street Stock have to beat in order to win at Volusia. Wagner has finished in the top five two out of three Features, including a win at the season opener. Watch for the #17W to make moves.
Saturday Pit and Grandstand Gates will open at 4:00 p.m., with Hot Laps at 6:00 p.m. Can’t make it to the track? Watch all the action live on DIRTVision – through your mobile phone or computer.
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.