After 70 days since the last race at Volusia Speedway Park, the racing returned on Saturday night after a pause in the program for scattered showers.
Once cars were able to return to the track, smooth sailing soared, with Dustin Burtron, David Showers Jr, Robert Gast, and Justin Reynolds winning their first Feature races in the 2023 Volusia Speedway Park regular season.
Top Gun Sprint Cars
What started as a COVID dream became a racing reality as Dustin Burtron wins his second Top Gun Sprint Car Series race in 2023, and his first win at Volusia Speedway Park in his young career.
The 19-year-old Burton, from Seminole, FL, grew up watching races at Volusia Speedway Park. Now, he gets to go home with a Feature Winner trophy in hand.
“It really means the world,” Burton said. “I’ve grew up watching the World of Outlaws with my dad here as a kid. After that, COVID started, we invested in an iRacing rig, Volusia is on the game so I logged a lot of laps. To come here and win means a lot to me and my family for sure.”
For the duration of the 25-lap Feature, Burton commanded the field, leading every lap en route to his first win at the “World’s Fastest Half Mile”.
“Man, I had a great car,” Burton said. “The car handled excellently, I barely had to move the wheel, and when you have that you know you have a car that is set to win. The track was really gripped up, and I knew it was going to be hard to pass once we got going. Restarts were gonna be a challenge to hit those right, but luckily I did and I came out on top. I wanna thank my mom and dad, I’m actually wearing my dad’s suit tonight for the first time, so it means a lot to win in it. The whole Johnny Law Motorsports team, Jason Law, John Hess, Harry McDonald, Mark Bridges, Danny Jones, and everyone that’s had a hand in this win tonight.”
Finishing second behind Burtron was Sarasota, FL’s Danny Martin Jr., a man that was in hot pursuit of Burtron throughout the evening. Saturday night is one where Martin was oh-so-close, but not enough to catch the #97.
Completing the Top Gun Sprint Car Series podium was Sarasota, FL’s Austin Martin, who ran consistently in the top five throughout the evening, making up two spots from his fifth place starting spot.
The rest of the top five includes Dade City, FL’s Trey Meredith and Springhill, FL’s Danny Jones. Both drivers sit inside the top five of the Top Gun Sprint Car Series points, looking to close the gap on the points leader, Apollo Beach, FL native Steve Diamond Jr.
604 Late Models
After winning his first race of 2023 at Volusia in January’s Sunshine Nationals, David Showers Jr put on a clinic for the 604 Late Model field to watch, winning the Feature after leading all 20 laps.
Showers, from St. Augustine, FL, won his Heat race, started from the pole of the Feature, and commanded the field with the expertise and knowledge he has gathered as a seasoned Volusia veteran.
Coming home second, was the Decatur, GA native of Dustin Carter. The Month of Money winner needed a rebound after a flurry of problems at the start of the Summer. The Feature result now puts him second in points.
Rounding out the top three was points leader Joe Kump, who had a hard-charging night from a 12th-place starting spot. By lap eight of the 20-lap Feature, he had made it into the top five. The result puts him seven points ahead of Carter in the standings.
The rest of the top five includes familiar faces, with Deland, FL’s Tuck Trentham finishing fourth. And former 3/4 Modified star Lawton Minchew earned his first 604 Late Model on Saturday night.
DIRTcar UMP Modifieds
For Deland, FL’s Robert Gast, he has had to wait a long time to earn his first win at Volusia Speedway Park in a DIRTcar UMP Modified. The time had finally come for the driver of the #12 Morgan Speed Solutions machine, earning it at the Summer Sizzler.
After a costly mistake by polesitter Buzzie Reutimann at the at the initial start of the Feature, Gast inherited the lead and took off with it, running consistently fast laps in order to win at Saturday’s Summer Sizzler. With the win, Gast now leads the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds points as the season heads into the Fall season.
Jacksonville, FL’s Dillon Buhr came home in second place, who rode behind Gast’s coattails each lap. The driver of the #24 had few chances to get around Gast, but never materialized. The result, however, gives Buhr the #2 position in the championship, 20 points behind Gast.
Earning her first podium at Volusia on Saturday night was the Jacksonville, FL’s Makayla Tyrrell. She won her Heat race at the start of the night but was never able to challenge Gast or Buhr for the win. “Miss Smooth” now sits fourth in the points standings with the top three results.
Completing the Feature’s top five includes Interlachen, FL’s Josh Sanford, and the Keystone Heights, FL native of Nate Huffingham.
Keeping the trend of domination throughout the night, the stats will show Orlando, FL’s Justin Reynolds leading every lap en route to the Summer Sizzler Feature win.
What it won’t show you was the close battle between him and Daytona Beach, FL’s Ron Adams throughout the 20-lap Feature.
A clean Feature for the Thunder Stocks, Reynolds and Adams raced each other with respect, with the Feature ending in a photo finish to cap off the Feature. Reynolds won by just 0.021 over the hard-charging Adams.
Adding to his consistently high finishes in 2023 is Oviedo, FL’s Tanner Thomas. The division’s current points leader ran close behind Reynolds and Adams tightly, but was never able to make a move to win the Feature.
His father, Patrick Thomas, finished behind him in fourth. After being shuffled out by a poor start, Thomas methodically worked his way back into a comfortable spot. On the last lap, he passed Clewiston, FL’s Tommy Hill to finish fourth. Hill, the man who started on the pole immediately dropped to fourth after a rough start, and was beat to the line by Thomas, still earning a top five result.
The next Volusia Speedway Park will be the Back To School Night on Saturday, August 12. The night will include a $1,000 to win 602 Late Model Feature, and a $500 to win 3/4 Modifieds. Joining the fun will be the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, Thunder Stocks and the Gladiators. 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.
For the latest on Volusia Speedway Park, follow on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and at VolusiaSpeedwayPark.com.
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.