Garret Stewart

Stewart Wins DIRTcar UMP Modified Feature and Sets Sights on Bristol

The 2021 Spring Fling was in full swing tonight. After a chilly Friday night of racing Saturday brought slightly warmer temperatures and some hot racing.

The night kicked off with a 604 Late Model Feature. Last night’s 602 winner Jackson Hise returned to try for a sweep of the weekend, but the night belonged to Donnie Chappell. Chappell started outside second row and quickly took the lead, never looking back. At times Chappell stretched as many as 10 car lengths on the field. The win sets the stage for the $5,000-to-win Bad Fast 50 on April 17th that will see the best of the best 604 Late Models competing for the cash!

The Thunder Stocks returned for a second consecutive night of racing in a $600-to-win shootout that drew in 24 starters. Alan Peacock lead flag-to-flag in a closely contested win. Dustin Turnage Jr.  challenged throughout the race, and a late charge by Jason Garver wasn’t be enough as Peacock held on for the win. In victory lane Peacock’s mother had the biggest smile as it was her first trip to Volusia to see her son race, and he didn’t disappoint.

In the DIRTcar UMP Modified Feature Garret Stewart started pole. His competitors are used to trying to hold off his charges through the pack, but giving chase is a whole different game. Clay Harris hung with Stewart early, and Buhr made a late charge, but in the end Stewart scored the win. Next stop for Stewart is next weekend at the Bristol Bash!

The final feature of the night was a 16-car field of ¾ Mods. Paul Shead took the lead on lap 2 holding off challenges from Patrick Vareika to take the win. Wade Olmsted rode the cushion from a tenth place starting position to a solid third challenging Vareika on the outside for second.

We are off next week but will return Saturday, April 17th for the $5000-to-win Bad Fast 50!

The Season Opener, Take Two!

The warm dry weather has finally returned to Florida and so has racing at Volusia Speedway Park! After a successful Sunshine Nationals and DIRTcar Nationals it’s finally time to kick off the 2021 Season! Opening night at Volusia is always fun for fans and drivers alike. Everyone is ready to get back to racing, and who better to lead lap number one of the new season than Trey Mills, fresh off his trip to Bristol. The fans love seeing Trey out front, and we’re sure it’s his favorite place to be.

The 602 Late Models kicked off the feature events for the night. Mikey Kopka, the 2020 602 Points Champion started inside pole, and Trey Mills was outside pole. Mills lead lap one, but Kopka charged to the front on lap two and never looked back, scoring a victory. Dustin Carter battled with Mills thru the middle portion of the race, eventually taking the 2nd position away. Mills held on for third, and Nick Kirkus brought his number 20 machine home in fourth.

Next out was the Street Stocks. Kopka was pulling double duty, and after his victory lane celebration ended he jumped in the number 46 starting outside pole. Kopka lead lap one, but Bubba Christian took the lead on lap 2. Tuck Trentham followed Christian thru, and the two battled for the lead throughout the race with Christian holding off all challenges and taking the win. Trentham was second, and Rick Osteen made his way thru the pack to finish third. Kopka came home in fourth.

The Big Dog 30 was next on the grid featuring a 30-lap DIRTcar UMP Modified race and a $1500 payday for the winner. Dillon Buhr started fourth and shot straight to the lead on lap one. Buhr was fast thru the middle of the race, but Garret Stewart was on the prowl, picking off cars one by one on several restarts. By the halfway point Stewart and Buhr were side by side battling, with Stewart taking the lead and going on to score another victory. Todd Neiheiser came thru the pack from his ninth place starting position to finish second, while Jeff Matthews and Dillon Buhr round out the top four.

The Thunder Stocks were the fourth feature of the night. Early leader Ron Adams held off challenges from several drivers before surrendering the lead with just three laps left to Mike Tovet who went on to win. Adams was unable to hold off Joey Haslauer on the final lap and fell to third place. Jonathan Croson was finished fourth.

The final feature of the night was won by Todd Latour. His dominance in the Compact 4 division continued as he easily worked his way to the front taking the win. Cameron Kight was second, and Nick Abatsas was third.

We race again next Friday and Saturday night for our Spring Fling! Check the schedule for class details! See you next weekend at Volusia Speedway Park.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Trey!

After a week of bad weather capped by tropical storm Eta crossing the Florida peninsula and laying down several inches of rain, there wasn’t much hope that we would get to race,  but on Thursday the skies cleared, the ground dried, and the enthusiasm returned. Volusia was set to race!

The night kicked off with a salute to our Veterans and our honorary starter Wally Wallace who served for 42 years dropping the first green flag. The heats set up what would be five of the most memorable features of the year. Rookies rose to the occasion, and the old guard proved they could still hang with the young guns of the sport.

The 602 Late Models were the first feature, and likely the most talked about feature in the Southeast in the coming week. After winning his heat race Trey Mills attempted to shock the world as the 12 year old started from the inside of row 2 to demonstrate how he stacks up against the elite of his class.

Multiple feature winner Dustin Carter assumed the early lead but suffered a mechanical problem just before hallway and surrender the lead to a challenging Mills. There was no looking back after that as Mills went on to win with Brenden Smith and Mikey Kopka rounding out the top three.

The second feature of the night proved to be one to remember as well. With the Reutimann Memorial Race just one week away, Justin Allgaier was in town to shake down his ride. David and Buzzy Reutimann were ready to go as well, but local hot shoe Garret Stewart wasn’t willing to share the podium just yet.

Stewart has won every UMP Modified race this season at VSP, and tonight was no exception. Holding off challenges from David Reutimann and later Allgaier, Stewart kept his perfect record intact and cruised to yet another win in 2020 collecting the $1000 in prize money.

The next feature up, the Florida Late Models saw a familiar face biding for another win on the night. Trey Mills once again raced from the front of the pack after a second-place heat race finish and a good draw put him on the pole for the 20-lap, 27-car, $1000-to-win feature event.

Clean air was the key as multiple wrecks rendered several cars unable to finish the event. Up front Mills handled the restarts like a seasoned veteran, holding off challenges from some of the best in the business, but a restart on lap 11 left Mills the hunter instead of the hunted as Shan Smith took advantage of the high line that was starting to come in and assumed the lead that he wouldn’t give up. Smith and Mills checked out on the pack running one, two but the story book ending had to wait another week as Smith was the victor this week and went home $1000 richer.

The ¾ Modified feature saw a familiar battle up front as heat race winner Pat Vareika attempted to sweep the night but to do so had to battle Paul Shead in the feature.

The side-by-side dual in the feature was led from the beginning by pole sitter Paul Shead, who assumed the high line while Vareika worked the bottom side. Lap after lap left us wondering which one would come out on top. Right down to the checkered flag they battled with Shead pulling ahead at the line to take the victory.

In the final feature of the night a 28-car field was ready to go after the $1000 prize money in the D4R Street Stock season finale. Bruce Griffin led them to green in a race with multiple wrecks, including one between Griffin and David Showers that ended with Griffin taking the trip to the pits on the hook.

Three-wide racing was the theme early and Justin McGauley used the battles behind him to put distance between himself and the field as he pulled away to win his first feature at Volusia Speedway Park. Joe Belkey went on to finish second and David Showers Jr finished third.

The next race is the Reutimann Memorial, which begins with a Thursday Practice and racing on Friday and Saturday nights. The November 19th -21st event is just days away so we will be racing again before you know it!