Timmy Hogan passed Patrick Vareika with two laps to go, en route to his second Spring Showdown victory.
After winning Sunday’s inaugural Spring Showdown event for the 3/4 Modifieds at Volusia Speedway Park, Timmy Hogan wasn’t done putting fans at the edge of their seats Monday night.
When the 15-lap Feature for the Spring Showdown finale began, the front pack fanned out three- and four-wide. Patrick Vareika went from fourth to first on the first lap, after maneuvering through the hornets’ net of cars, including those of Timmy Hogan, Mikey Kopka, and Wade Olmsted.
After two early cautions, the field enjoyed a green flag run filled with the field jostling for positions. Then, on Lap 10, Robert Fleming Jr. took one of the wildest rides in Volusia Speedway Park history as he hit the Turn 3 wall and flipped into the Action Graphix billboard. He walked away unhurt.
Once the cleanup was complete and racing restarted, the battle for the win came down to two men – Patrick Vareika and Timmy Hogan. Hogan used the bottom lane to his advantage and closed in on Vareika.
The two drivers raced side-by-side going into the final corner, with the flag man eager to show one of them the checkered flag first.
However, through Turn 4, Vareika spun by the entrance of pit road and helped Lake Helen’s Timmy Hogan cruise to the win.
“Oh my God, I didn’t think I beat him.” Hogan said. “I think it was before the last caution that I ran to the inside, and I started to pull him. I figured ‘Man, if I can get to the inside, I’d probably get him if the caution comes out.’ Fortunately for me, it did. Kept telling myself ‘Stay to the bottom. Stay to the bottom.’ And I kept closing on him. I went to the bottom, we drag raced down the back, we barely touched, not a mark on my car, and I pulled ahead on turn four and that was the last I saw of him. Man, that was a hell of a race.”
Hogan was driving his son, Steven Powers’ #27 3/4 Modified instead of his familiar #26, which Steven drove Monday night. Hogan said he had to change his driving style a lot, but learned some things he can use for his car.
“[I had to change] a lot.” Hogan said. “We built this car for (Steven) last year. This was my first time driving the car in race conditions. This car drives itself. My car is a beast, an animal to drive. Oh my God, I gotta convince [Steven] to let me drive this one and he can have mine. I wanna thank Chaos Motorsports, AWS Roofing, Burks Lawn Care, Brad’s Drywall, Allen Plumbing, VIP Club Gymnastics, DeLand Chiropractic, Southern Screen, and Southern Construction for all their support.”
An injured Jesse Powers was unable to drive his #32P in Monday night’s race despite finishing third Sunday night. The man he tapped to drive his car, Mikey Kopka, finished in second place after driving his car for the first time.
“I can’t thank Randy and Jesse Powers enough for letting me drive this #32P 3/4 Mod,” Kopka said. “I have to thank Tad Olmsted for getting me started into it. He let me drive his #28 car a long time ago. But man, these things are a blast to drive. I drive everything, but these are the most fun. I’m out of breath, and I drive everything. Absolutely a blast.”
The Astor, FL, driver is most recognizable in a Dirt Late Model or Thunder Stock at Volusia, and he pointed out that he had to make some adjustments to compete in the Feature.
“Everything you get into is different steering-wise,” Kopka said. “This is a lot like the Late Model steering, but you have a lot less tire and traction. Man, everything you get into is different. These are tough as nails to drive. You gotta be a man to drive these things.”
Completing Monday night’s podium was the #99 of Wade Olmsted. He had a slew of problems throughout the night, missing Hot Laps due to mechanical issues. Despite the troubles the Orange City, FL driver rebounded in the Feature to finish on the podium.
“As we hit the checkered flag (last night), a wire pulled out in the wiring harness and shut the car down,” Olmsted said. “We scrambled all day today, my dad (Tad Olmsted) had to miss work to fix the car. We missed Hot Laps, we barely made it to the Heat Race, and the car drove good there. When the Feature came, the car was way too tight and definitely missed a gear or two.
“Congrats to Tim (Hogan), that’s a big deal. I gotta thank Vintage Custom Homes, GRC Drain, Allen Plumbing, Big T Tire, Chaos Motorsports, Dyno Action, Tires Plus, Action Graphix, and The Speed Store. We had a lot of issues, but a big deal to be on the podium again tonight.”
Rounding out the rest of the top five was the #51 of Dustin Peterson, and Battle in Barberville Winner Wryan Shaffer.
The Volusia Weekly Racing Championship begins in under two weeks with the running of the Opening Night Special. The Saturday night program will feature the 604 Late Models, 602 Late Models, DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, 3/4 Modifieds and Street Stocks. For event information and Volusia’s 2023 Racing Schedule, visit VolusiaSpeedwayPark.com.
Can’t make it to the track? You can also watch all the action live on DIRTVision – on your phone or 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 like 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.