The hot streak of Volusia Speedway Park races continued on Saturday night when the track welcomed the Top Gun Sprint Cars, 602 Late Models, 3/4 Modifieds, and the Pick Your Part Street Stocks for racing.
After four Features – Tyler Clem, Cole Exum, Dalton Hopke, and Alan Peacock won at Volusia on Saturday night.
Top Gun Sprint Cars
St. Petersburg, FL’s Tyler Clem was originally scheduled to race in the Big Frog Motorsports #58 Super Late Model in Alabama, but motor issues had him making the trip to DeLeon Springs, FL to drive the Smith Racing #6S in his first race at Volusia since winning the Germfree Southern Sprint Car Shootout Finale.
Clem did not miss a beat, as he went on to win the 25-Lap Feature race excitingly.
Pinellas Park, FL’s Sport Allen held the early lead in the Top Gun Sprints but had a flurry of cars to hold off. It proved too much, as three-time champion Danny Martin Jr. passed Allen for the lead.
It looked like it was going to be easy pickings for Danny Martin Jr to pick up his third Top Gun Volusia win in four races, but Clem had something to say.
On the final restart of the Feature, Clem sent the Smith Racing #6S deep into turns one and two, squeezed Martin up high, and grabbed the lead to win his second Sprint Car race in 2023.
“It was nice to win the Heat race so we could go for the clean sweep,” Clem said. “We got up to second early, behind Sport (Allen) and kind’ve tried to find a lane to get around him. And Danny (Martin Jr.) rolled by us both, and he was fast. I got by Sport after the first yellow and then I saw (Danny) slipping off of turn four so I needed to get by before he found a new line. If you leave the door open, someone is going to take it and that’s what happened. I can’t thank the Smiths and Big Frog for letting me get to drive their Sprint Car and Late Model.”
Martin was none too pleased with Clem and the move he made for the lead, showing his displeasure on the track. However, the Sarasota, FL driver came home to finish second place.
Completing the night’s podium was the Johnny Law Motorsports #14 of Danny Jones. The Springhill, FL driver raced inside the top five throughout the Feature.
The finishing top five consisted of Summer Sizzler champion Dustin Burtron, and Allen.
602 Late Models
It had been too long since Cole Exum laid his eyes on Volusia Speedway Park as a driver. On Saturday night, he got to enjoy the feeling of being in Victory Lane.
The Valdosta, GA driver started the night by winning his Heat race. Then, he immediately jumped to the lead in the 20-lap Feature. Exum had to hold off challengers in Bubba Roling, Austin Leamon, and Nevin Gainey. All of whom were never able to topple the #16 on Saturday night.
Gainey, from Ft. White, FL, finished a close second to Exum after moving himself into contention to win on the final restart, but he was never able to catch him.
Leamon, the Lithia, FL driver, had a great points night after finishing third, and extending his points lead on the field.
Rounding out the rest of the top five included Roling, who battled Exum in the early going, and Decatur, GA’s Dustin Carter made his return to the 602 Late Models with a top five.
The gloves were on for Dalton Hopke, who controlled the 3/4 Modifieds Feature from start to finish to get his first win of the 2023 season.
Hopke began the night by winning his Heat race in dominating fashion. This turned out to be the pace the Jacksonville, FL driver continued with, grabbing the lead on the second lap after starting in fifth place.
The man who Hopke outran, Lake Helen, FL’s Timmy Hogan, was never able to challenge Hopke for the lead similar to last Saturday’s racing between the two. Hogan finished second in his son, Steven Powers’ #27 car, with Deland, FL’s Paul Shead finishing in third, driving Hogan’s #26 machine.
Current division points leader Jesse Powers finished fourth, in a night where the #32P was looking to extend his lead going into September, and young Colton Lane of Pierson, FL grabbed his second top five of his career, continuing the positive momentum the #26L is showing.
Pick Your Part Street Stocks
Oh, Street Stocks, how we’ve missed you dearly.
For the first time since May 20, the Pick Your Part Street Stocks turned laps at “The World’s Fastest Half Mile”, with the action satisfying the fans that anticipated these machines on the race track.
After a close 20-lap Feature, Alan Peacock grabbed the Feature win after having to battle nonstop for the lead between familiar faces.
Jimmy Wagner is always a favorite at Volusia and had to battle endlessly with the pack and Peacock for the win. The Dade City, FL will look towards the Labor Day Classic to close the gap.
Making it onto the podium was current division points leader Chris Mathis. He began the night by winning the Heat race but had to consistently forge his way to make it in the top three. The Edgewater, FL native will have to pull a steady string of good races in order to win the championship.
Rounding out the night’s top five includes Live Oak, FL’s Johnathan Crain, and Clewiston, FL’s Tommy Hill.
The next race on Volusia Speedway Park’s schedule is the Labor Day Classic, on September 1-3. The weekend will include the 604 Late Models, 602 Late Models, DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, 3/4 Modifieds, Thunder Stocks and the Pick Your Part Street Stocks. There will be open practice on Friday, with racing action on Saturday and Sunday. Pit Gates and Grandstand Gates will open at 4:00 p.m. EST, with Hot Laps beginning at 6:00 p.m. EST.
If you can’t make it to the track, watch the action live on DIRTVision – available either online or through the DIRTVision app.
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