Austin Dillon

TOP 50 DRIVERS: 50 years of elite DIRTcar Nationals drivers

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park. In that time, hundreds of talented drivers have entered Volusia County, attempting to leave a winner. Many have. More are still trying.

From Sprint Cars to Late Models to Modifieds to Big Blocks, Volusia and the DIRTcar Nationals has served as one of the best time capsules for all of dirt racing. For the 50th year of the event, we went through the long list of drivers that have competed for the coveted DIRTcar Nationals championship title and picked 50 of the best to ever grace the clay surface.

These are the top-50 drivers of the DIRTcar Nationals in alphabetical order:

Steve Arpin

 

 

Dave Blaney

Scott Bloomquist

 

 

Kenny Brightbill

 

 

Clint Bowyer

 

 

Shane Clanton

 

 

Austin Dillon

 

Ty Dillon

 

 

Craig Dollansky

 

 

Rick Eckert

Steve Francis

 

Stewart Friesen

 

 

Tim Fuller

 

 

David Gravel

 

Brett Hearn

 

Doug Hoffman

 

 

Nick Hoffman

 

 

Jimmy Horton

 

 

Kenny Jacobs

 

Alan Johnson

 

Danny Johnson

 

 

Jack Johnson

 

 

Jared Landers

 

Steve Kinser

 

 

Darrell Lanigan

 

 

Danny Lasoski

 

 

Chris Madden

 

Tim McCreadie

 

Billy Moyer, Sr.

 

Don O’Neal

 

 

Jimmy Owens

 

Billy Pauch

 

 

Earl Pearson, Jr.

 

Daryn Pittman

 

Josh Richards

 

Brian Ruhlman

 

Joey Saldana

 

Donny Schatz

 

Kenny Schrader

 

Jeff Shepard

 

Brandon Sheppard

 

 

Matt Sheppard

 

David Stremme

 

Kyle Strickler

 

Brad Sweet

 

Sammy Swindell

 

Kenny Wallace

 

Pat Ward

 

 

Larry Wight

 

 

Doug Wolfgang

THE BIG 5-O: Ironmen UMP Modified Drivers Take on 50th DIRTcar Nationals Feb. 2-8, 2021

New stars Hoffman, Nicely set to battle with veterans Wallace, Stremme and others

Jan. 6, 2021 โ€“ The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds have long been known as the โ€œIronmenโ€ of the DIRTcar Nationals.

For the past several years of the iconic Florida event, theyโ€™ve competed the first seven nights alongside the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series and World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series.

When the stout field rolls into Volusia Speedway Park Feb. 2-8 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the event, one hand will point to the divisionโ€™s future stars while the other reaches back on the history books. Some of the divisionโ€™s most exciting points chases and storylines have been produced over the past 15 years, featuring a slew of instantly recognizable names.

Rick Young Photo (2007)

The 2007 DIRTcar Nationals was headlined with the success of one young Canadian, who ushered in a new level of dominance not previously seen in DIRTcar Nationals UMP Modified history. Twenty-three-year-old Steve Arpin, of Fort Frances, ON, brought his Larry Shaw Race Cars #00 into the facility and made his mark on history, winning an incredible five consecutive Features in seven nights to earn his first DIRTcar Nationals championship. It seemed as though Arpin would hold this record forever, until one man sparked a legacy of his own the following year.

When Arpin was seriously injured at Volusia in February 2008, the door swung open for another driver to step up to the plate. Jared Landers, of Batesville, AR, won two Features that year, setting him up for a memorable run in 2009 where he won five non-consecutive Features over seven nights of racing, tying Arpinโ€™s record and crowning him DIRTcar Nationals champion for the first time in his career.

The next four years didnโ€™t see quite the level of dominance brought on by Arpin and Landers but was made up for with a diverse group of Feature winners and champions.

Present-day Late Model veteran Dave Hess Jr., of Waterford, PA, won two Features en route to his Golden Eagle trophy in 2010, one year before Emporia, KSโ€™s own Clint Bowyer led the charge of NASCAR-driven success at the event.

Bowyer won three Features on his way to a Golden Eagle in 2011, paving the way for fellow Richard Childress Racing teammates Ty and Austin Dillonโ€™s three newly styled Big Gator championship trophies, collected from 2012-2015. The brothers won a combined 12 DIRTcar Nationals Features over that period, missing out on only the 2013 points championship to another NASCAR legend, Kenny Schrader.

While Austin hoisted his first Big Gator in 2015 with Ty finishing just 10 points behind in third, one driver stood between them in the points that year.

Belleville, IL-born Nick Hoffman, now residing in Mooresville, NC, has since been the one man to beat when it comes to the UMP Modifieds at the DIRTcar Nationals. He and his blue/orange Elite Chassis #2 have been tearing up Volusia in February for the past five years, winning 13 Features and five consecutive Big Gator trophies from 2016-2020.

Hoffman (2) and David Stremme (35) racing for position in the 2020 DIRTcar Nationals (Rick Neff Photo)

Armed with his second consecutive DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals championship and DIRTcar UMP Modified national championship honors that 2020 brought him, 2021 is looking brighter than ever for the reigning Big Gator champion to repeat at Volusia.

Of course, several big-name contenders in the division will be gunning for their right to hoist the Big Gator trophy as well, including former NASCAR stars David Stremme, Kenny Wallace and 2020 Reutimann Memorial winner Tyler Nicely.

Tickets for the 50th annual DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park, Feb. 2-13, are on sale now at DIRTcarNationals.com. If you canโ€™t make it to the track, be sure to tune into DIRTVision to watch all the action live from the comfort of your home!

Previous UMP Modified Feature Winners
February 10, 2020 โ€“ Spencer Hughes
February 9, 2020 โ€“ Kyle Strickler
February 8, 2020 โ€“ Nick Hoffman
February 7, 2020 โ€“ Curt Spalding, Jason Beaulieu, Christian Thomas, David Reutimann
February 6, 2020 โ€“ Nick Hoffman
February 5, 2020 โ€“ Kyle Strickler
February 4, 2020 โ€“ Michael Long
February 11th, 2019 โ€” Kyle Strickler
February 11th, 2019 โ€” Kyle Strickler
February 11th, 2019 โ€”Lucas Lee
February 8th, 2019 โ€” R.C. Whitwell, Justin Haley, Gordy Gundaker, Brandon Green, Jesse Rupe
February 7th, 2019 โ€” Nick Hoffman
February 6th, 2019 โ€” Taylor Cook
February 5th, 2019 โ€” Michael Long
February 11th, 2018 โ€” Kyle Strickler
February 10th, 2018 โ€” Tyler Nicely
February 9th, 2018 โ€” Kyle Strickler, Tyler Nicely, Frank Paladino, Larry Mott
February 8th, 2018 โ€” Nick Hoffman
February 7th, 2018 โ€” Nick Hoffman
February 6th, 2018 โ€” David Stremme
February 21st, 2017 โ€” Jacob Hawkins, Jonathan Taylor, J.E. Stalder
February 20th, 2017 โ€” Nick Hoffman
February 19th, 2017 โ€” Nick Hoffman
February 19th, 2017 โ€” Will Krup
February 17th, 2017 โ€” Nick Hoffman
February 16th, 2017 โ€” Brian Ruhlman
February 15th, 2017 โ€” Nick Hoffman
February 14th, 2017 โ€” Jacob Hawkins
February 16th, 2016 โ€” Derrick Ramey, Justin Allgaier, Ray Bollinger
February 15th, 2016 โ€” Nick Hoffman
February 14th, 2016 โ€” Brian Ruhlman
February 13th, 2016 โ€” Nick Hoffman
February 12th, 2016 โ€” Trent Young
February 11th, 2016 โ€” Tyler Nicely
February 10th, 2016 โ€” Nick Hoffman
February 9th, 2016 โ€” Nick Hoffman
February 16th, 2015 โ€” Austin Dillon
February 15th, 2015 โ€” Austin Dillon
February 14th, 2015 โ€” Nick Hoffman
February 13th, 2015 โ€” Ty Dillon
February 12th, 2015 โ€” David Stremme
February 11th, 2015 โ€” Kyle Strickler
February 10th, 2015 โ€” Austin Dillon
February 18th, 2014 โ€” Ty Dillon
February 18th, 2014 โ€” Joel Ortberg
February 17th, 2014 โ€” Ty Dillon
February 16th, 2014 โ€” Austin Dillon
February 15th, 2014 โ€” Ty Dillon
February 14th, 2014 โ€” Ty Dillon
February 13th, 2014 โ€” Kyle Bronson
February 11th, 2014 โ€” Kyle Strickler
February 19th, 2013 โ€” Ty Dillon
February 19th, 2013 โ€” Jacob Poel
February 19th, 2013 โ€” Jason Zimmer
February 18th, 2013 โ€” Ken Schrader
February 17th, 2013 โ€” Matt Westfall
February 16th, 2013 โ€” Jacob Poel
February 15th, 2013 โ€” Nick Hoffman
February 12th, 2013 โ€” Rodney Sanders
February 21st, 2012 โ€” Austin Dillon
February 21st, 2012 โ€” Mike Wedelstadt
February 21st, 2012 โ€” Tyler Carpenter
February 20th, 2012 โ€” Nick Hoffman
February 19th, 2012 โ€” Kenny Wallace
February 18th, 2012 โ€” Chad Kinder
February 17th, 2012 โ€” Ty Dillon
February 16th, 2012 โ€” Kenny Wallace
February 15th, 2012 โ€” Kenny Wallace
February 14th, 2012 โ€” Dale Mathison
February 15th, 2011 โ€” Ty Dillon
February 15th, 2011 โ€” Kenny Schrader
February 15th, 2011 โ€” Austin Dillon
February 14th, 2011 โ€” Ty Dillon
February 13th, 2011 โ€” Clint Bowyer
February 12th, 2011 โ€” Richie Tosh
February 11th, 2011 โ€” Ryan Gustin
February 10th, 2011 โ€” Clint Bowyer
February 9th, 2011 โ€” Clint Bowyer
February 8th, 2011 โ€” Austin Dillon
February 8th, 2010 โ€” Jared Landers
February 7th, 2010 โ€” Austin Dillon
February 6th, 2010 โ€” Dave Hess, Jr.
February 4th, 2010 โ€” David McWilliams
February 3rd, 2010 โ€” Dave Hess, Jr.
February 10th, 2009 โ€” Austin Dillon
February 9th, 2009 โ€” Jared Landers
February 8th, 2009 โ€” Jared Landers
February 7th, 2009 โ€” Randy Hall
February 6th, 2009 โ€” Jared Landers
February 5th, 2009 โ€” Austin Dillon
February 4th, 2009 โ€” Jared Landers
February 3rd, 2009 โ€” Jared Landers
February 11th, 2008 โ€” Dave Groves
February 10th, 2008 โ€” Tim Hancock
February 9th, 2008 โ€” Dave Hess, Jr.
February 8th, 2008 โ€” Jared Landers
February 7th, 2008 โ€” Jared Landers
February 6th, 2008 โ€” Scott Drake
February 5th, 2008 โ€” Jesse Stovall
February 12th, 2007 โ€” Joey Kramer
February 11th, 2007 โ€” Steve Arpin
February 10th, 2007 โ€” Steve Arpin
February 9th, 2007 โ€” Steve Arpin
February 8th, 2007 โ€” Steve Arpin
February 7th, 2007 โ€” Steve Arpin
February 6th, 2007 โ€” Kenny Wallace
February 12th, 2006 โ€“ Joey Kramer
February 10th, 2006 โ€“ Duke Whiseant
February 9th, 2006 โ€“ Duke Whiseant
February 8th, 2006 โ€“ Chad Ohnsted
February 7th, 2006 โ€“ Craig Thatcher
February 6th, 2006 โ€“ Blake Jetvig
February 14th, 2005 โ€“ Joey Kramer
February 13th, 2005 โ€“ Craig Thatcher
February 12th, 2005 โ€“ Joey Kramer
February 11th, 2005 โ€“ Joey Kramer
February 10th, 2005 โ€“ Craig Thatcher
February 9th, 2005 โ€“ Steve Arpin