602 Late Models

LAST LAP GASPS: The Sunshine Showdown provides the excitement and suspense to end the month of April

The 2022 season continues to pack on great racing, wholesome stories and clear championship favorites as the month of April wraps up racing.

 

The clear winner of having the biggest comeback was Wyatt Gainey in the 602 Late Models. The young stud was wrecked out early of his heat, having him start from the rear. 

 

Once the features started, Gainey and his “Big Red” 8 car started picking off his opponents, making his way up to the top 5. He wasn’t satisfied though.

 

Cautions helped Gainey get closer to the leaders and made his way past the faster cars until he got to leader Jackson Hise with five to go. He slowly crept up on last week’s Work Force 25 winner and with one to go, he had a shot. 

 

A high side move in turns 3 and 4 was all that was needed for Gainey to spoil the party for Hise, who had led all but one lap. The one he didn’t lead? The last one.

 

He wouldn’t be the only Gainey to visit victory lane tonight though.

In the 604 Late Models, it began with chaos. The 03 of Morrie West flipped off turn 2 after making contact with the 131 of Matt Herlong. Thankfully, the driver was okay.

 

After the lengthy red flag to clean up the debris and tow the flipped 03, the feature was dominated by one man; Nevin Gainey.

 

The senior Gainey grabbed the lead from polesitter David Clegg and Brandon Wells early. The 17G showed its strength on the early portion of a run by launching like a Saturn V rocket while guys like Mikey Kopka, Wells, Joe Kump and Dustin Carter jostled around for positions inside the top 5.

 

Nevin Gainey took home the 604 win, and showed his emotion in victory lane. He was proud to have shared a moment like this with his son by being able to win on the same night Wyatt did.

In contrast to last week’s feature, the ¾ modifieds provided clean racing throughout the 15 lap feature. Though, another familiar face returned to victory lane again. That was the 23 of Korbin Minchew. 

 

The championship leader has now won three out of the four ¾ modifieds races this season. Minchew and his brother, Lawton, have given off a dynamic similar to Ricky Bobby and Cal Naughton Jr. in Talladega Nights, with Korbin Minchew winning and Lawton finishing second in tonight’s feature.

The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds had some wild action with a finish that was a carbon copy of the 602 Late Models feature.

 

At the sound of the green flag waving, the man to set the pace was Dalton Lanich, who created a healthy gap from the field over the usual front running guys such as Eric Moon, Seth Geary, Dillon Buhr and Buzzie Reutimann.

 

It was all going Lanich’s way until a caution with two to go made the field bunch back up for a green-white-checkered finish. At the drop of the green, Seth Geary was all over Lanich’s back bumper until the last lap, where he made a banzai move by pulling a slide job in front of Lanich and winning the feature.

 

This marks the second win for Geary this season, and gives him the championship lead over Moon, and defending champion Garret Stewart.

The Thunder Stocks, yet again, provided an excellent show with a unfamiliar face in victory lane.

 

All throughout the night, it was a four horse race between Shaun Daugharty, Dalton Strehle, Josh Byrd and Mark Tovet. Tovet and Strehle paced the field for most of the night, with the four drivers exchanging positions in the top 3 for most of the night.

 

When it came down to the wire, it was all Tovet and Byrd battling it out for the feature win. Byrd showed his late race pace was fast and strong. However, Tovet’s defending skills were stronger. At the wave of the checkered, it was the 1SHOT machine of Mark Tovet taking the Thunder Stock feature win.

There will be a week off in racing next Saturday, but the next race at the World’s Fastest Half Mile will be the Racer’s Memorial on May 7th. Gates will open at 4:00, with Hot Laps at 6:00. Can’t make it? Watch all the action live on DIRTVision. We’ll see you in two weeks!

TWO IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: The Big Dog 25 Shows A Series Of Two’s To Come

If your number was 2 in tonight’s running of the Big Dog 25, you probably came home a winner. This was the case for both Trynt Lloyd and Joe Belkey as they won in their respective divisions in a 2 car. Though, while they enjoyed a great night, let’s rundown everything that happened in tonight’s racing.

 

Trynt Lloyd was by far the driver of the night as he took both the 602 & 604 Late Model feature wins. He won the 602 heat, and led the field for most of the way in both races. It did come with challenges to his lead, as Jason Fitzgerald finished second in both late model features, Trey Mills, Donnie Chappell and Joe Kump proved to bring some healthy competition to the late model field. It will be fun to see who else will make it to victory lane as the season goes on.

 

It only took 2 features, but Garret Stewart has returned to his winning ways at Volusia in the DIRTcar UMP Modified. Starting from the pole after a redraw, he showed the field the whole way to rack in another feature win in his time at Volusia. Without a doubt, the run for a 6th consecutive championship has returned with a vengeance. The question will be if anyone else will be able to challenge him. Seth Geary has proven to be fast, but does he have better consistency than what Stewart brings each season?

 

The ¾ modifieds showed themselves to be great in competition, wherever it is through the field. At the start, the dynamic duo of the Minchew’s showed up and out, with Korbin and Lawton leading most of the first half. Then, a familiar face to ¾ victory lane, TImmy Hogan, spoiled the party for the duo, and went on to win. The Olmsted’s of Tad and Wade also came to fight, so they will be something to watch for next Saturday.

 

Lastly, Joe Belkey came up and showed his dominance in the Thunder Stocks again, blowing out the field to win his second of the two features this season, in a number 2 car. Coincidence? Perhaps, but what was not questionable was the sheer speed he had out on the track. Don’t be surprised if he racks up a ton more wins as the season progresses.

 

Next Saturday will be the Work Force 25 here at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile. Gates will open at 4:00, with Hot Laps kicking off at 6:00. Can’t make it? No problem, DIRTVision will broadcast all the action live with flag to flag coverage. We’ll see you then!

 

FIRST NIGHT FUN: Opening Night Proves That 2022 Is Not The Same

If anything about tonight’s Opening Night Special at Volusia showed anything, it’s that nothing is over until it’s actually over, and that there are going to be some wide open championship battles throughout the season. Every winning driver had to grind each lap, and it surely made the night a great one to watch.

 

Hands down, the driver of the night was one, Joe Belkey. He not only won the 602 Late Model feature, but the Thunder Stock feature as well. He had to battle with Donnie Chappell in the early stages until his night was done due to a mechanical failure. From that point on, he was able to have a smooth ride the rest of the way en route to the win. In the Thunder Stocks, it was an uphill climb as he started dead last in the feature. Battling with defending champion Shaun Daugharty & Justin Reynolds, Belkey made his presence known. Not only that, tonight’s performance showed that it will not be surprising if he’s in the hunt for a championship in November.

 

In the 3/4 Modifieds, it almost became an endurance race as there were multiple cautions in the first few laps. After the final caution on lap 5 went green to checkered, it became a battle between brothers as Korbin & Lawton Minchew battled for the win. Defending champion, Wade Olmsted, made his way through the field. He would only to finish second to the eventual winner, Korbin Minchew.

 

The 604 Late Models was the Joe Kump Show, leading every lap of the night. Even though he commanded the field doesn’t mean there weren’t challenges to his lead. The defining two drivers in the battle for the win was Jeff Choquette and Donnie Chappell, with them both faltering at the end.

 

Finally, the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds showed that this could be the year a driver can tip Garret Stewart off the top step as champion. Seth Geary led all but one lap, while the rest of the field were jostling all around for position and space. Hunter Gustafson stayed on Geary’s trail throughout the race, while Stewart finished third to him in a close finish. Many drivers battled to try and earn a podium spot, or even top 5. In the end, it was Eric Moon and 80 year-old Buzzie Reutimann who took the remaining spots to secure a top 5 finish.

 

Volusia Speedway Park’s next race is the Spring Fling next Saturday on April 2nd. Gates will open at 4:00, and will be broadcasted live on DIRTVision. We’ll see you then! Below are photos by Dave Shank. We hope you enjoy!

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Volusia Speedway Park Brings New Additions & Competition

As the month of March begins to wind down, it’s finally time to get the local racing season started! Volusia Speedway Park will begin the 2022 season on March 26th with the 602 Late Models, 604 Late Models, DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, 3/4 Modifieds, Street Stocks and Thunder Stocks throughout the year. So to get you caught up on what you missed last year and what’s new this year, here is a rundown of everything you need to know before the first race.

 

Volusia on DIRTVision: For the first time in Volusia Speedway Park’s 54 year history, every race run at the track will be broadcasted live on DIRTVision. Volusia will be joining other iconic tracks such as Knoxville Raceway, Williams Grove Speedway & Millbridge Speedway as one of few premier dirt tracks across the country to have races streamed live from race to race. Whether you live locally, out of state, or across the pond in Australia, you can watch the racing from Volusia Speedway Park from anywhere, live on Saturday nights! Go to DIRTVision.com to see what options are best for you!

 

DIRTcar UMP Modifieds: If there was a definition for dominance in the 2021 UMP Modified division, it would show a picture of Garret Stewart. Almost every race last season saw him on the podium, or holding a trophy in his hand. Stewart has shown throughout the 51st DIRTcar Nationals that he hasn’t slowed down at all, and will look to show the same of what he showed last year.

 

602 Late Models: After a strong first half of the 2021 season that included 3 wins, last year’s track champion, Dustin Carter, will look to make it back to back championships with momentum on his side. However, 2020 track champion, Mikey Kopka, will be a great challenger to Carter after starting off 2021 with five podiums. Those being two wins and three second place finishes. The one key to winning this championship is consistency. Whoever makes it through the season without having many issues will have a great shot at winning the championship.

 

604 Late Models: Brandon Wells took home the championship last year after having a rough start with a DNF in the first race. With a trophy in hand and steering wheel in the other, you know he’ll be refreshed and ready for a second championship run.

 

3/4 Modifieds: Young Wade Olmsted showed that he’s got a lot of potential in his future when he won the 2021 championship, beating Timmy Hogan by a mere 21 points. This division is full of competition and drivers that have great potential to win the championship, and it could very well go down to the final race to determine who will be champion in 2022.

 

Street Stocks: Despite missing the first race of the season, Chris Lawrence pulled off the big comeback with six straight podiums and three wins to be able to win the championship. However, 3rd place in the standings, Bubba Christian, was a clear favorite to win the championship had he not missed 3 races throughout the season. It could be a dogfight between Lawrence and Christian for the 2022 championship.

 

Thunder Stocks: Even though Shaun Daugharty had a very slow start that included two DNF’s and one missed show, he fired on all fours when he needed to. A huge rebound that consisted of five wins and finishing in the top 3 at every race from the end of May until the season finale in November was what would earn him the track championship. It’ll be a storyline to see if Daugharty can bring more of the heat at the first race.

Thursday’s Portion of Sunshine Nationals at Volusia Postponed to Friday

Due to time constraints and current track conditions, all three Features on Thursday’s portion of Sunshine Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park are postponed to Friday at 3pm.

The DIRTcar Pro Late Model Feature will kick off Friday’s racing, followed by the $10,000-to-win World of Outlaws Late Models Feature and the 602 Late Model Feature.

Gates will open Friday at 2:30 pm, and Thursday’s tickets will be honored.

Following the three Feature events, the grandstands will be cleared, and tickets for Friday’s event will be sold.

Anyone who has a pit pass for Thursday’s event will need to buy Friday’s pit pass to see the postponed Features. That pass will also allow them access to Friday’s regularly scheduled event.

Friday’s portion of Sunshine Nationals is scheduled to start at 4:30 pm.

For the latest on the World of Outlaws Late Models, make sure to follow on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and at www.WorldofOutlaws.com.

If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online on with the DIRTVision App.

Saturday’s Blazing Guns 30 Falls to Rain

A storm rolled through Volusia Speedway Park Saturday afternoon, forcing track officials to postpone the Blazing Guns 30 with 602 and 604 late models as well as DIRTcar UMP Modifieds.

Next up will be the scheduled event is the Labor Day Classic Sept. 3-5 featuring 602 Late Models, 3/4 Modifieds, DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, Street Stocks, 604 Late Models and Thunder Stocks.

Donnie Chappell Takes Florida Late Model Win in Labor Day Championship Finale

The Labor Day Championships wrapped up Sunday at Volusia Speedway Park with Florida Late Models, Thunderstocks, Compact 4’s and a 602 Late Model All Stars.

Florida Late Models: The Florida Late Models Visited Volusia Speedway Park on Sunday to take a shot at a $1500 pay day. The 30-car field broke into four heat races filled with stories including a win in the first heat by 13-year-old Jackson Hise. Other Heat winners included Donnie Chappell, Jared Allison, and Joe Kump.

The B-Main would set the rest of the field with four cars transferring to the A. Winner David Clegg led flag to flag and secured his spot while Adam Bennett and Steve Shead rounded out the top three. The final transfer spot was taken by Steven Stratton who edged out Dennis Williams at the line by less than two feet.

The feature race saw Donnie Chappell (above) taking the early lead and Hise running second. In lapped traffic Hise kept pace with Chappell and when a late race caution came out with five laps to go it seemed as if Hise would get one more chance to challenge for the win. When the wreck was cleared Hise’s car wouldn’t crank and he was pushed to the pits. When the race restarted Chappell continued his dominance on the night and took the checkered flag followed by Chuck Comby and Joe Kump who rounded out the top three.

Thunderstocks: The Thunderstock cars came out to take a shot at $750 tonight at Volusia Speedway Park. Twenty Cars were split into two heat races won by Ron Adams and Bubba Christianson.

In the feature Hayden McCormick jumped out to an early lead and never looked back holding off challenges from Joe Belkey after multiple cautions and taking home the win and a nice payday! Joe Belkey was second and Bubba Christianson was third.

Compact 4’s: Tonight’s Compact 4 class at Volusia Speedway Park brought in 13 cars trying to win the $250 prize money. Chuck Frater and David Costello won their heat races and in the Feature it was all Chuck Frater leading flag-to-flag. John Pedaggi finished second and David Costello brought home third.

602 Late Model All Stars: The 602 Late Model All Stars brought the stars of late model racing to Volusia Speedway Park Sunday Night with 23 cars taking the green flag for the 30 lap Feature event! Fast time was set by Shane Riner setting him up for a pole position start. After a four wide salute to the fans outside pole sitter Trey Mills, the 12 year old driver of the number 14 car took the early lead. After multiple cautions and restarts Mikey Kopka took his turn out front leading until around 10 to go when Clay Harris, last nights winner of the VSP 602 Late Models, made the outside pass and had clear sailing to a victory and a $2000 payday. Trey Mills wasn’t about to settle for third and with two laps left he used the cushion to pass Kopka and take the second position. Kopka went on to finish third and pole sitter Shane Riner was fourth.

Clay Harris Tops 602 Late Models at Labor Day Championship Opener

Two-day Labor Day Championships at Volusia Speedway Park kicked off on Saturday with 602 Late Models, DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, Street Stocks and 3/4 Modifieds.

VSP 602 Late Models: The VSP 602 Late Models started off the show at VSP Saturday night. Heat race winners included Mikey Kopka, Trey Mills, and Gage Griffin setting the stage for a 27-car feature event.

Gage Griffin lead the early laps of the feature race putting several cars laps down but a mid race caution erased that lead and after two more cautions Griffin started to fade and Clay Harris (above) who started 9th drove it to the front and claimed the Victory and a cool $1,000 payday! Pole Sitter Bud Chancey hung on for second place and Trey Mills placed 3rd.

DIRTcar UMP Modifieds: The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds were back in action Saturday Night gunning for the $1,500 to win prize money. The heat races were packed with action as 35 cars took their shot to get into the A-Main. Clay Harris secured his spot winning the first heat and while Dale Kelley and Rich Pratt took home wins in the second and third heats.

The B-Main was the last chance for 11 racers to get the final four transfer spots into the A-Main. Kenny Mihalik led early but a late race spin sent him to the back ending his chances for a transfer spot. Jamie Carter assumed the lead but Ronnie Chance had the high line working and went on to take the win. Carter finished second, Patrick Vareika was third, and the final transfer spot went to Gregory Skyta.

In the A-Main it was all Seth Geary early. Geary had a comfortable lead most of the night but a late race caution allowed the pack to close the gap and put Garret Stewart back in contention for the win. After another caution with Stewart starting on the second row he was able to get around Geary and pull away from the pack keeping his win streak alive and banking $1,500.

Street Stocks: The Street Stocks visited Volusia Speedway Park for a $750 to win showdown! The heat races had this writer wondering if this was 2020 or the 1980’s as veteran racers David Showers Sr and Tuck Trentham took wins in heat one and two. Bubba Christian and David Showers Jr also won their heats.

With 33 cars there was definitely going to be a B-Main, which was led flag to flag by Sammy Hatcher. Alan Peacock took second and with a last lap pass Cory Hupp took the last transfer spot sending Josh Sanford home.

In the feature event, David Showers Jr. led flag to flag holding off challenges early from Tuck Trentham and a late race challenge from Joe Belkey winning $750 and a $250 bonus for being topless! Belkey went on to finish second and Livingood finished third. Both Belkey and Livingood also banked extra money for being topless!

3/4 Modifieds: The 3/4 Modifieds were the final feature of the night. Paul Shead won the heat race and after being collected in an early wreck was able to hold off Tim Hogan to take the Feature Win and $300!