Like last Saturday’s Volusia Speedway Park season-opener, the night was filled with crazy moments and Mother Nature wants to have a taste of the action. But, new winners and the thunder reigned over the night skies as the Volusia Month of Money continued on.
After five Features, Scotty Kay Jr, Adam Bennett, Jesse Powers, Donnie Chappell, and Joe Belkey took home the trophies at Volusia for the first time in 2023.
Mother Nature thought she brought the Thunder when lightning in the area paused the racing for 45 minutes. When racing resumed, 20 Thunder Stocks made the call to race in a 25-lap, $1,200 to win Feature. What resulted from it was a close-competition throughout the night.
He may have led every lap in Saturday’s Thunder Stocks Feature, but the effort made was not easy for Scotty Kay Jr, who fended off familiar favorites to win Saturday’s Feature.
Kay, from Okeechobee, FL, started from the pole position and immediately took charge from the get-go. His lead was reeled back in by Oviedo, FL’s Patrick Thomas and Tanner Thomas, with both drivers preying behind Kay and waiting for the right moment to pounce. They received that opportunity when the caution flag flew with two laps to go.
Patrick Thomas got past Kay on the final lap, until a caution was thrown before all drivers completed the final lap, giving Kay the lead once again.
Thomas never got his second chance, and Kay went on to win his first race in 2023 at the Month of Money.
Patrick Thomas and Tanner Thomas finished second and third place respectively, with both drivers having a lot of positive results to look back on after the Feature.
Defending Thunder Stocks champion Shaun Daugharty and Daytona Beach, FL’s Joe Belkey wrapped up the top-five after having to fight to move up the leaderboard.
Thunder Stocks Feature 20 Laps | 00:28:31.507
- 34-Scotty Kay Jr; 2. 25T-Patrick Thomas; 3. 1-Tanner Thomas; 4. 00-Shaun Daugharty; 5. 02-Joe Belkey; 6. 23-Willy Cuddy; 7. 91-Bubba Christian; 8. 118-Ron Adams; 9. 23W-Trent Wilson; 10. 9AR-Charlie Staats; 11. 38-Charles King; 12. 118S-Donald Springer; 13. (DNF) 73-David Szczepanik; 14. (DNF) 70D-Charlie Stone; 15. (DNF) 69K-Mikey Kopka; 16. (DNF) 44X-Daniel Baldwin; 17. (DNF) 69-Derrick Wood; 18. (DNF) 5H-Tommy Hill; 19. (DNF) 27-Jordan Strickland; 20. (DNS) B1-Brandon Archer
602 Late Models
Jacksonville, FL’s Adam Bennett showed up and showed out in the 602 Late Models Feature, leading every lap from the drop of the green flag to win his first race of 2023.
The driver of the no. 40 Bennett Bros. Motorsports machine was not always safe in the lead, as Lithia, FL’s Austin Leamon and Ormond Beach, FL’s Tim Swartz ran close behind Bennett throughout the 20-lap, $700 to win Feature.
Leamon took home second place, making a strong result for the sophomore driver that intends to battle for the 602 Late Models championship this season.
Swartz rounded out the podium, with the #31 earning the hard-charger status after making up seven positions from a 10th place starting position.
Completing the top-five from the Feature was Port Orange, FL’s Justin Dean, and Deland, FL’s Mark Steube, the defending 602 Late Model champion.
602 Late Models Feature 20 Laps | 00:17:31.220
- 40-Adam Bennett; 2. 28-Austin Leamon; 3. 31-Tim Swartz; 4. 35D-Justin Dean; 5. M51-Mark Steube; 6. 12-Billy Gast; 7. 21D-Lenny Dallman; 8. (DNF) 1J-Jason Papp; 9. (DNF) 1AR-Travis Staats; 10. (DNF) 21S-Shayne Dayhaw; 11. (DNF) 11-J R Gray; 12. (DNF) 3K-Kale VanSickle; 13. (DNF) 32P-Jesse Powers; 14. (DNF) 3C-Harley Hughes; 15. (DNS) 69-Mikey Kopka
After a 45-minute lightning hold after the 602 Late Models Feature, the 3/4 Modifieds were able to get their turn at racing on Saturday night, with an exciting 15-lap Feature as the result.
Orange City, FL’s Wade Olmsted was the driver to watch out for in the Feature, but the driver of the #99 had a slew of drivers to battle throughout the night.
First was Dustin Peterson. The driver out of DeLeon Springs, FL battled side-by-side with Olmsted in the first few laps of the night, until a mechanical issue forced him to pull into the pits and end his night.
The next driver to challenge Olmsted was Lake Helen, FL’s Timmy Hogan. After a series of cautions bunched up the field, Hogan stayed close behind Olmsted until he stopped on the frontstretch on lap 12, ending his night.
The last driver that stepped challenge was Port Orange, FL’s Jesse Powers. The driver of the #32P battled Olmsted closely, and when the white flag flew, Powers took his chance to win.
Through turns one and two, he “Power”ed past Olmsted and took the lead on the final lap, crossing the line to steal the win for the first time this season.
Saturday’s Feature was another bitter loss for Olmsted, but his second place finish has him tied in the points with Powers, setting the stage for a championship battle that could go down to the wire.
Third place went to Orange City, FL’s Rusty Young, who won Heat 1 and stayed close behind the leaders throughout the Feature.
Fourth place went to Colton Lane, a statement finish for the 11 year-old driver out of Pierson, FL in his second season of 3/4 Modifieds racing.
Wrapping up the night’s top-five was Lake Helen, FL’s Steven Powers, who made up 11 positions in the Feature from a 16th place starting spot.
3/4 Modifieds Feature 15 Laps | 00:18:38.142
- 32P-Jesse Powers; 2. 99-Wade Olmsted; 3. 48-Rusty Young; 4. 26L-Colton Lane; 5. 27-Steven Powers; 6. 88F-Aidan Foley; 7. 9-Logan Malone; 8. 3X-Scott Durlin; 9. 7T-Thomas Belkey; 10. 1-CR Hill; 11. (DNF) 26-Timmy Hogan; 12. (DNF) 7-Chris Olmstead; 13. (DNF) 59-Nathyn Hwan; 14. (DNF) 67-Tad Olmsted; 15. (DNF) 51-Dustin Peterson; 16. (DNF) 0-Matt Hodges; 17. (DNS) 57-Ethyn Hwan
604 Late Models
After missing last week’s 604 Late Model Feature last week, Donnie Chappell took no time regaining what he missed by winning Saturday night’s Month of Money Feature.
Chappell, of St. Augustine, FL, went straight to work as the green flag dropped on the 20-lap Feature, rocketing straight to the lead after starting on the outside of the front row. Chappell had a lights-out performance, growing his lead to over 12 seconds by the time the first caution flag flew with two laps to go.
With a two-lap dash on the line, Chappell kept cool under pressure, holding off the field en route to his first Volusia Speedway Park win in 2023.
Finishing behind Chappell was Valrico, FL’s Keith Nosbich, who steadily made his way towards the leaders after starting in eighth for the Feature.
“The Sodfather” David Clegg finished in third, with the Bunnell, FL driver earning his second top-10 on the season and his first podium of the 2023 season.
Defending 604 Late Model champion Joe Kump finished in fourth, his second top-five of the season. The result also gives him the points lead over David Clegg by 10 points.
Rounding out the top-five was Matt Herlong, an impressive result for the Valrico, FL native.
604 Late Models Feature 25 Laps | 00:17:10.530
- 25C-Donnie Chappell; 2. 02-Keith Nosbisch; 3. 07-David Clegg; 4. 721-Joe Kump; 5. 131-Matt Herlong; 6. 3-Josh Sanford; 7. 54T-Tuck Trentham; 8. 07S-Jeff Scofield; 9. 42-Steven Stratton Sr; 10. 75-Sonny Thompson; 11. 30-Steven Stratton JR; 12. 51A-Larry Anderson; 13. (DNF) 5-Dustin Carter; 14. (DNF) 87-Keith Lilley; 15. (DNF) 23L-Lawton Minchew; 16. (DNS) 1J-Jason Papp
Pick Your Part Street Stocks
A simple and smooth night was all Joe Belkey could as for, winning the Pick Your Part Street Stocks Feature by leading from start-to-finish.
Belkey, from Daytona Beach, FL, took no time to grab the lead and fly away from the field, grabbing the top spot by turn three of the first lap.
From there on out, Belkey got the job done with no cautions, distractions, or problems in sight. The win marks Belkey’s first of 2023, but more wins are to be expected from the #119 Kid City USA PYP Street Stock.
Earning second was Edgewater, FL’s Chris Mathis, who moved up two spots from his fourth place starting spot.
Dover, FL’s Jeff Conyers completed the Feature’s top-three after starting from the pole position.
DeLeon Springs, FL’s Chris Lawrence and Ft. Lauderdale’s Rick O’Steen finished fourth and fifth place respectively after a tight battle between the two drivers.
Street Stocks Feature 20 Laps | 00:07:22.373
- 119-Joe Belkey; 2. 46-Chris Mathis; 3. 47-Jeff Conyers; 4. 63-Chris Lawrence; 5. 7R-Rick O’Steen; 6. 17-Alan Peacock; 7. 9-Gavin VanHoose
The next race at the World’s Fastest Half Mile will be the finale to the Month of Money on Saturday, April 29. The night will feature 604 Late Models, 602 Late Models, DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, the Pick Your Part Street Stocks, and the Thunder Stocks. General Admission tickets start at $12, and kids 12 and under receive free admission. Gates will open at 4:00 PM, with Hot Laps at 6:00 PM. For more information on the next race and other events held at the track, visit VolusiaSpeedwayPark.com
Can’t make it to the track? You can also watch all the action live on DIRTVision. Coverage starts with Hot Laps at 6:00 PM. Head to their site at DIRTVision.com – on your mobile device or your TV.
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.