Saturday nights at your local short track will provide you with the toughness, determination, and grit from drivers as they battle it out to finish with a trophy in hand. At the Short Track Showdown on Saturday night, it provided all of that and a little more.
Many drivers and teams across the Southeastern region brought a 604 Late Model to the World’s Fastest Half Mile as there was $3,200 on the line. The extra $200 would be from Hot Lap Qualifying Presented by Action Graphix. The fast man of the night would be Nevin Gainey, who had won two weeks ago in his numbered 17 604 Late Model.
At the start of the 30-lap feature, the early leader would be Hunter Peacock, but it would be ill-fated with the competition that was on his tail.
That competition would be Gainey and Trynt Lloyd, who with Peacock, controlled the top three for most of the night.
Nevin Gainey leads the field during the 30 lap feature (Dave Shank Photography)
A caution on lap 8 would be the final nail in the coffin for Peacock to have a way to hold onto the lead, with only half a lap into the restart, Gainey cleared Peacock and led the rest of the way.
Though, with two laps to go, a caution would bunch up the field for a chaotic two-lap dash to the finish. Gainey got away early, but Jason Fitzgerald would close in quickly to take second with the white flag waving. Gainey took home the $3,000 purse, with Fitzgerald second and Peacock rounding out the top three.
604 Late Models Feature 30 Laps | 00:17:59.975
- 17G-Nevin Gainey; 2. 7-Jason Fitzgerald; 3. 12P-Hunter Peacock; 4. 18B-Mark Fleischer; 5. 721-Joe Kump; 6. 388-Jackson Hise; 7. 51K-Mikey Kopka; 8. 41-Derike Bennett; 9. 10S-Steve Shead; 10. (DNF) 86-Chase Collins; 11. (DNF) 29S-Cameron Saunders; 12. (DNF) 14JR-Trey Mills; 13. (DNF) 31-Dustin Carter; 14. (DNF) 2-Trynt Lloyd; 15. (DNF) 39W-Brandon Wells; 16. (DNF) 26-Bill Adkins; 17. (DNF) 9-Kody Jett; 18. (DNF) 19-Kam Boyd; 19. (DNF) 5W-Mark Whitener; 20. (DNF) 11-Quentin Steedley; 21. (DNF) 118-David Showers Jr; 22. (DNF) 54T-Tuck Trentham; 23. (DNF) 169-Thomas Tatum
The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds have had some major shakeups and have ridden a good wave of energy throughout the 2022 season. What began as a championship duel between Seth Geary and defending champ Garret Stewart has now become a wide-open championship battle.
Going into tonight, the points leader would be none other than Buzzie Reutimann, the 81-year-old that won the hearts of fans after winning on August 6th. He would come into the night with a new challenge; control and extend the points lead.
Throughout the night, the man that would control the night would be Dillon Buhr. He had some defending to do from Bryan Bernhardt, a Clearwater native who would be on Buhr’s tail for the entire 20-lap feature.
Buhr would hold him off though and would win his first race of the 2022 season. For him it was a “long time waiting on this one”. The hard-charger would be Reutimann, who had gained ten spots to finish inside the top five and control the points lead over second place Dalton Lanich.
DIRTcar UMP Modifieds Feature 20 Laps
- 24B-Dillon Buhr; 2. B69-Bryan Bernhardt; 3. 15-Hunter Gustafson; 4. 00-Buzzie Reutimann; 5. 18-Eric Moon; 6. 3S-Josh Sanford; 7. 99-Gavin Graham; 8. 80-Paul Shead; 9. 51-Dalton Lanich; 10. 3D-Makayla Tyrrell; 11. 40-Shawn Reiss; 12. (DNF) 91-Jamie Green; 13. (DNF) 2C-Ronnie Chance; 14. (DNF) 11Z-Zane Oedewaldt; 15. (DNF) 222-Cory Hupp; 16. (DNF) 18A-Jared Allison; 17. (DNF) 3-Tony Campbell; 18. (DNS) 34-Rob Giffen; 19. (DNS) 11P-Charlie Phillips; 20. (DNS) 102-Jonathan Thomas
The 602 Late Models, from the start, was a youth-controlled event. The top three that finished that night haven’t graduated high school yet.
The dominant car of the night would be the all-familiar 14JR of Trey Mills. Every race that Mills was in, he led every lap and won every race. If you were to look up the textbook definition of wire-to-wire, it would show a picture of the 14JR Late Model. In the feature, Mills wouldn’t be challenged for the lead at all, despite the many cautions and close runs shown from fellow young guns like Jackson Hise, Wyatt Gainey, and Colton Blair.
The win marks Mills’ first win in a 602 Late Model this season, but his second win at the track this season with the other in a 604 Late Model at the Top Gun Classic in May.
602 Late Models Feature 20 Laps
- 14JR-Trey Mills; 2. 388-Jackson Hise; 3. 8-Wyatt Gainey; 4. 99-Colton Blair; 5. 1AR-Travis Staats; 6. 31D-Dustin Beckelheimer; 7. 53-Brandon Yates; 8. M51-Mark Steube; 9. 44P-Kole Platt; 10. 18S-Brian Scott; 11. 18R-Bubba Roling; 12. 57-Fletcher Mason; 13. 11JR-Ryan Beckelheimer; 14. 35D-Justin Dean; 15. 18-Austin Leamon; 16. 1J-Jason Papp; 17. 3C-Cale Gilbert; 18. (DNF) 18D-David Showers Sr; 19. (DNF) 5-Jamie Green; 20. (DNF) 11-J R Gray; 21. (DNF) 21D-Lenny Dallman; 22. (DNF) 69-Mikey Kopka; 23. (DNF) 31-Tim Swartz; 24. (DNS) 5W-Bubba Whitener
The ¾ Modifieds provided what may be the final nail in the coffin towards the field trying to take the season championship away from the 23K of Korbin Minchew. Without his brother, Lawton, Korbin would be the only Minchew to try and gun for the win since the brothers would control the top three in most races this year. All of a sudden, Korbin’s aspirations would soon become more of a reality.
Early in the race, the familiar favorites of Minchew and Timmy Hogan, Jesse Powers, and Patrick Vareika would be expected to control the top two. Then, on lap two, everything changed.
The 26 of Hogan made contact with Vareika going into turns one and two, sending Vareika spinning and Hogan hitting the inside wall, ending both of their nights abruptly.
Minchew wouldn’t be all too worried from thereon, leading the rest of the way to win his fifth race of the season and extending the points lead over second place, Tad Olmsted.
3/4 Modifieds Feature 20 Laps | 00:37:55.298
- 23K-Korbin Minchew; 2. 32P-Jesse Powers; 3. 23-Wray Shaffer; 4. 67-Tad Olmsted; 5. 21J-Jeff Newton; 6. 26L-Colton Lane; 7. 32-Wryan Shaffer; 8. 59-Nathyn Hwan; 9. 0-CR Hill; 10. (DNF) 117-Patrick Vareika; 11. (DNF) 53-Aidan Foley; 12. (DNF) 0Z-Jason Stewart; 13. (DNF) 26-Timmy Hogan; 14. (DNF) 57-Ethyn Hwan; 15. (DNF) 51-Dustin Peterson; 16. (DNF) 99-Wade Olmsted; 17. (DNF) 9-Logan Malone; 18. (DNF) 3X-Scott Durlin
The Thunder Stocks wrapped up the show in a spectacular fashion. After wrecks that included a wild flip from the 27 of Wesley Morgan in the early portion of the night, the competition became fresh but familiar across the field.
The majority of the battle for the top spot was between the 00 of Shaun Daugharty and the 91 of Bubba Christian. After a long green flag run, Christian would clear the 00 and go on to earn his first win of 2022 while also making his first start of 2022 in the Thunder Stocks.
Thunder Stocks Feature 20 Laps
- 91-Bubba Christian; 2. 25-Patrick Thomas; 3. 69-Mikey Kopka; 4. 00-Shaun Daugharty; 5. 42-Josh Byrd; 6. 22-Jonathan Croson; 7. 57P-Joey Haslauer; 8. 30-Chris Jeune; 9. 73S-David Szczepanik; 10. (DNF) 33T-DANIEL TECKENBROCK; 11. (DNF) 82D-Justin Dean; 12. (DNF) 9AR-Charlie Staats; 13. (DNF) 41-Nevin Gainey; 14. (DNF) 18-Bubba Roling; 15. (DNF) B11-Buddy Higgins; 16. (DNF) 27-Wesley Morgan; 17. (DNF) 32-John Thorpe; 18. (DNF) 27S-Jordan Strickland; 19. (DNF) 10S-Ronnie Scarberry; 20. (DNF) 1-Tanner Thomas; 21. (DNS) 9-Gavin VanHoose
The next race at the World’s Fastest Half Mile will be the Labor Day Classic from September 2nd through the 4th. It will feature all six weekly racing classes, including a doubleheader for the late models. Tickets start at $12 with kids 12 and under receive 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.