Everything that led up to the racing that went down at Volusia Speedway Park was determined all by Mother Nature. All throughout the week, there was rain and potential cancellations of the Labor Day Classic. However, the rain stayed away, and track crews worked to make the track good to go for racing. The result? A great racing product that everyone enjoyed.
The 604 Late Models kicked off the night with a record 25 cars starting in the feature. Through the early portion of the night, calamity was always around the corner. Three cautions with only two laps completed may have changed the driver’s mindset as from thereon, no other caution was thrown.Clay Harris was the dominant man of the night, leading the majority of laps in the 604 Late Models to win the feature. He did have to hang on from a fast-closing Mark Whitener, but Harris would still hang on to win. However, it wouldn’t be his only win of the night.
604 Late Models Feature 20 Laps | 00:30:40.284
- 6H-Clay Harris; 2. 40-Mark Whitener; 3. 721-Joe Kump; 4. 74-Jason Garver; 5. 12P-Hunter Peacock; 6. 17G-Nevin Gainey; 7. 18B-Mark Fleischer; 8. 51-Mikey Kopka; 9. 388-Jackson Hise; 10. 67-Garret Stewart; 11. 11K-Joshua Kunstbeck; 12. 51A-Larry Anderson; 13. 5-Dustin Carter; 14. (DNF) 27-Trynt Lloyd; 15. (DNF) 118-David Showers Jr; 16. (DNF) 16-Wyatt Gainey; 17. (DNF) 54T-Tuck Trentham; 18. (DNF) 31S-Tim Swartz; 19. (DNF) 10S-Steve Shead; 20. (DNF) 75-Sonny Thompson; 21. (DNF) 515-David Markham Jr; 22. (DNF) 1A-Brad Fender Jr; 23. (DNF) 39W-Brandon Wells; 24. (DNS) 25-Sean Reagan; 25. (DQ) 21-Ivedent Lloyd
The ¾ Modifieds had a relatively safe and competitive night, with a familiar face returning to victory lane.
Few cautions were thrown in the early portion of the night, but the 15-lap feature would stay green until the last caution with three laps to go.
The man who was out front all night was Wade Olmsted, who swapped cars with his dad, Tad, to take his 67-numbered modified to his first win of 2022. Leading every lap, it looked as if he was back in his groove after winning the ¾ championship last year.
3/4 Modifieds Feature 15 Laps | 00:10:13.441
- 67-Wade Olmsted; 2. 23L-Lawton Minchew; 3. 32P-Jesse Powers; 4. 23-Wray Shaffer; 5. 32-Wryan Shaffer; 6. 27-Steven Powers; 7. 53-Aidan Foley; 8. 99-Tad Olmsted; 9. 23K-Korbin Minchew; 10. 21J-Jeff Newton; 11. 7-Chris Olmstead; 12. 57-Ethyn Hwan; 13. 117-Brian Schrunk; 14. 59-Nathyn Hwan; 15. 0-CR Hill; 16. (DNF) 26-Timmy Hogan; 17. (DNS) 26L-Colton Lane; 18. (DNS) 3X-Scott Durlin; 19. (DNS) 9-Logan Malone
In his return to racing at the World’s Fastest Half Mile, Donnie Chappell raced like he hadn’t missed a step. He started on the pole and was able to get away from the field for most of the 25-lap feature. Then, on lap 19, he suffered a mechanical failure and had to stop the car, ending what was a dominant night for him. The man that ran second? Nevin Gainey.
Gainey, when in clean air, was unstoppable, cruising to his first win in a 602 Late Model, and taking home $1,000 in his pink and black 26-numbered car.
602 Late Models Feature 25 Laps | 00:28:04.903
- 26-Nevin Gainey; 2. 01-Jason Garver; 3. 388-Jackson Hise; 4. 91-Jamie Green; 5. 44P-Kole Platt; 6. 2-Trynt Lloyd; 7. 53-Brandon Yates; 8. 1AR-Travis Staats; 9. M51-Mark Steube; 10. 11R-Ryan Beckelheimer; 11. 18-Austin Leamon; 12. 99-Colton Blair; 13. 21D-Lenny Dallman; 14. 1J-Jason Papp; 15. (DNF) 37S-Layne Smith; 16. (DNF) 25-Donnie Chappell; 17. (DNF) 22-Chris Hunter; 18. (DNF) 11-J R Gray; 19. (DNF) 3C-Cale Gilbert; 20. (DNF) 5-Dustin Carter; 21. (DNF) 31-Tim Swartz; 22. (DNF) 10X-David Ponton; 23. (DNF) 31D-Dustin Beckelheimer; 24. (DNF) 35-Robbie Hager; 25. (DNS) 07-Gage Griffen
The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds wrapped up the features in night one of the Labor Day Classic. And just like the 604 Late Models, it was simply the Clay Harris show. He jumped in his 21J, started on the pole, and led from the green flag to the checkered flag.
Though a hard-charging Dillon Buhr began to close the gap on Harris, it was too little too late. Buhr finished a close second, and points leader Buzzie Reutimann rounded out the top three. Be sure to keep a close eye on the championship battle in the UMP Modifieds, as the floodgates have spread wide open.
DIRTcar UMP Modifieds Feature 20 Laps | 00:10:07.845
- 21J-Clay Harris; 2. 24B-Dillon Buhr; 3. 00-Buzzie Reutimann; 4. 7G-Seth Geary; 5. 51-Dalton Lanich; 6. 3D-Makayla Tyrrell; 7. 80-Paul Shead; 8. 99-Gavin Graham; 9. 34-Rob Giffen; 10. (DNF) 11Z-Zane Oedewaldt; 11. (DNF) 222-Cory Hupp; 12. (DNF) 3S-Josh Sanford; 13. (DNF) 18-Eric Moon; 14. (DNF) 17-Patrick Vareika; 15. (DNF) 3-Tony Campbell; 16. (DNF) 11P-Charlie Phillips; 17. (DNS) 00D-David Reutimann; 18. (DNS) 96-Matt Johnson
The next race at the World’s Fastest Half Mile will be the Fall Classic on September 17th. It will feature 604 Late Models, DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, Thunder Stocks and ¾ Modifieds, including the final appearance of the Top Gun Sprint Car Series in 2022. Tickets start at $20, with kids 12 and under receiving free admission. Gates will open at 4:00PM, with Hot Laps at 6:00PM. For more information on the next race and other events held at the track, visit volusiaspeedwaypark.com
About Volusia Speedway Park
Volusia Speedway Park, The World’s Fastest Half Mile, is a dirt track located in DeLeon Springs, Florida. Home of prestigious events like the DIRTcar Nationals, Sunshine Nationals and the Dale & Emil Reutimann Memorial, the track hosts weekly races year round with divisions of late models, UMP modifieds, 3/4 modifieds, street stocks and thunder stocks. The track also hosts the American Flat Track Series and dirt karting races at the facility.