With temperatures in the Sunshine State beginning to cool down, the racing at Volusia Speedway Park will heat up again on Saturday, October 14 with five weekly divisions making the trip to the World’s Fastest Half Mile.
The 602 Late Models, DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, 3/4 Modifieds, Thunder Stocks, and the Pick Your Part Street Stocks in this all-out showdown.
Here are the top storylines heading into Saturday:
602 Late Models
Entering Saturday night, Lithia, FL’s Austin Leamon will arrive at Volusia as the newest champion in the 602 Late Models. The sophomore driver is still looking for his first win but has been the most consistent driver, finishing every race inside the top 10 and earning four top-five finishes.
The field of competitive 602 Late Models is a highly diverse one, with past Feature winners in the past year including Jacksonville, FL’s Adam Bennett and Kale Van Sickle, Ormond Beach, FL’s Tim Swartz, Valdosta, GA’s Cole Exum, Callahan, FL’s Kole Platt, and Ft. White, FL’s Nevin Gainey. Expect these drivers to challenge for the win on Saturday night.
DIRTcar UMP Modifieds
Riding the most momentum into Saturday night is new points champion, Dalton Lanich. The Bunnell, FL driver enters the weekend looking to continue his streak of finishing in the top five in every Feature and a possible third Feature win.
Though he barely lost to Lanich in the points chase by a mere one-point difference, Josh Sanford enters Volusia looking to earn his first Feature win of 2023. The Keystone Heights, FL native maintained consistency in the season, earning top-10 Feature finishes in every race.
Other notable drivers that have been highly competitive at Volusia in 2023 to look for include Jacksonville, FL’s Makayla Tyrrell and Dillon Buhr, DeLand, FL’s Robert Gast, and 2022 track champion Buzzie Reutimann. A win for any of these drivers could help them prepare for November’s Emil & Dale Reutimann Memorial, November 16-18.
Port Orange, FL’s Jesse Powers sang his tune of dominance at Volusia, winning the 3/4 Modified championship by 92 points. Like Lanich, the driver of the #32P finished in the top five in every Feature he raced, along with two victories in the 2023 season.
Late to the party, but lighting it up in the 3/4 Modifieds is the #H1 of Dalton Hopke. Hopke, from Jacksonville, FL, scored the last two wins of the season in dominating fashion. Preparing to join the Late Models at Volusia in the future, Hopke could be a favorite to return to victory lane before he makes the transition.
Don’t let Lake Helen, FL’s Timmy Hogan’s fourth-place finish in the points standings fool you. The driver of the #26 is a competitive machine to look out for on Saturday night. Hogan swept the inaugural Spring Showdown Feature races in March and finished second in the last two 3/4 Modifieds Feature races at Volusia.
Entering Saturday night with his newly awarded third track championship, Daytona Beach, FL’s Ron Adams is riding high with good vibes. The driver of the #118 has fired on all fours since May – never finishing outside of the top three in every Feature, and wins in the last two races of the 2023 season.
Coming up short of Adams, 38 points back is Oviedo, FL’s Tanner Thomas. The driver of the #1T picked up his first Feature win at the track in May, and earned five top-10 finishes in six races.
Former Feature winners at Volusia that are forced to be reckoned on Saturday feature drivers like Tanner’s father, Patrick Thomas, Orlando, FL’s Justin Reynolds, and Clewiston, FL’s Tommy Hill.
Pick Your Part Street Stocks
Entering the 2023 season, Chris Mathis did not have a Feature victory at Volusia and was inactive from racing in 2022. This Saturday night, the Edgewater, FL native will ride in as the track champion of the Pick Your Part Street Stocks. Mathis earned his first Feature victory at the track in May – with the #46 machine earning five top-5 Feature finishes.
Looking to keep up the intensity is Adam Peacock. The DeLand, FL driver won the last two Feature races in the division, both in commanding fashion. Watch for the #17 machine to be at the head of the field competing for the Feature win.
Other Feature winners at Volusia to look out for on Saturday include “The Little Gator” Jimmy Wagner, 2022 division champ Bruce Griffin, DeLand, FL’s Bubba Christian, and Daytona Beach, FL’s Jimmy Wagner.