Jason Hughes

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Hughes, Strickler Collect Wins in Second Night of DIRTcar Nationals UMP Modified Twin-20s at Volusia

First DIRTcar Nationals win for Hughes while Strickler remains unbothered by injury

A new single-day record car count 96 DIRTcar UMP Modifieds signed-in to compete Thursday night at Volusia Speedway Park for Round #3 of the 50th DIRTcar Nationals and graced those in attendance with another double-shot of Feature racing action.

Jason Hughes, the Dirt Modified veteran from Westville, OK, made the move early on Wednesday night winner Tyler Nicely to hoist the gator trophy as a first-time DIRTcar Nationals winner in Feature #1. Kyle Strickler, with a bandaged-up finger and all, caught David Stremme in the thick of lapped traffic and made the move to win Feature #2.

Feature #1 – Jason Hughes

Dirt Modified racing and chassis-building veteran Jason Hughes had made multiple DIRTcar Nationals appearances with the UMP Modifieds in his career but had never been able to reach Victory Lane. Until Thursday night.

“I’m pretty happy, we finally got us a gator,” Hughes said. “I felt like we got one stolen from us last year, and to come back and get one this year is pretty good.”

Hughes started his journey to Victory Lane from the fourth position and wasted no time going forward, reaching the runner-up spot inside of the first five laps. Tyler Nicely, Feature #1 winner from Wednesday night, led the opening laps and looked to be the one to beat until an early caution flag stacked up the field with Hughes right on his tail.

The green flag waived and Nicely got a solid start, as did Hughes. They raced close for three corners before Nicely made a rare slip-up out of the groove in Turn 4, opening the door for Hughes down low to take the spot.

“[Nicely] got in there tight and shoved across the corner and I got turned underneath him, and that was what got us out front,” Hughes said.

Josh James Photo

Nicely, of Owensboro, KY, came back at Hughes to his inside just a few laps later but was unsuccessful. Hughes put it on cruise control after a few more restarts and took the checkered flag for his first time at Volusia, Nicely coming in right behind.

Steve Arpin, of Fort Frances, ON, bagged his first podium finish of the week and his first at DIRTcar Nationals since his championship year in 2007 with a third-place run Thursday night. Fellow Longhorn by Loenbro chassis driver Mike McKinney was scheduled to start third and was penalized to the tail for a late arrival to staging, but overcame the fault and made it all the way back up to eighth by the checkered flag.

Feature (20 Laps) 1. 12H-Jason Hughes [4]; 2. 25-Tyler Nicely [1]; 3. OOEH-Steve Arpin [7]; 4. 21A-Nick Allen [2]; 5. 11J-Justin Haley [6]; 6. 77-Ray Bollinger [14]; 7. K19-Will Krup [10]; 8. 96M-Mike McKinney [3]; 9. 45H-Kyle Hammer [11]; 10. 88-Matt Crafton [25]; 11. 80-Rich Dawson [20]; 12. 7D-Brad DeYoung [17]; 13. 4T-Zeke McKenzie [12]; 14. 45-Johnny Broking [15]; 15. 15B-Dave Baker [23]; 16. 9-Ken Schrader [18]; 17. 21D-Danny Schwartz [19]; 18. 8A-Austin Holcombe [9]; 19. 2A-Matt Altiers [13]; 20. 72-Todd Neiheiser [24]; 21. 176-Scotty Owens [21]; 22. 24-Travis Dickson [22]; 23. 23-Ryan Cripe [16]; 24. 22K-Dale Kelley [5]; 25. 31G-Stephen Pedulla [8] Hard Charger: 88-Matt Crafton[+15]

Feature #2 – Kyle Strickler

Kyle Strickler went from the hospital, back to the track, from the Last Chance Showdown to the Feature and from 23rd to third in the Feature on Wednesday for one of the wildest nights in DIRTcar Nationals history. He backed that up Thursday night with his ninth career Feature win in the event, holding off longtime competitor Nick Hoffman in the process.

Fellow notable DIRTcar Nationals frontrunner David Stremme brought it home right behind them. Stremme, Hoffman and Strickler have become among the brightest faces of the UMP Modified division over the past few years, which Strickler made it a point to acknowledge in his Victory Lane interview on DIRTVision.

“These three cars here on the front-stretch here, we come down here and this Speedweeks means so much to us. We know who we’ve gotta outrun when we get here, and we all work really hard,” Strickler said.

Stremme kicked off the 20-lap Feature by jumping out to the lead in the opening laps, looking very strong and keeping Strickler and Hoffman at bay behind him. That was, until he hit lapped traffic.

Josh James Photo

Just past the halfway point, Stremme dove deep into a field of slower traffic, which gave Strickler and Hoffman the opportunity they needed to slip by. Which, they did, when Stremme got pinched a bit by a lapped car out of Turn 2 on Lap 13. Strickler got a great run out of the corner and drove firmly into Turns 3-4, sliding up in front of Stremme to complete the pass as they crossed the stripe.

“I was adjusting my driving style, and when we caught lapped traffic, it’s so tough when you’re the leader. So, that helped us out a bunch, and I think the track started coming our way too,” Strickler said.

Hoffman went with him one lap later to secure the second spot. A final restart appeared with 5 laps remaining but did not affect the running order; Strickler was just too smooth for anyone to catch.

Feature (20 Laps) 1. 8S-Kyle Strickler [1]; 2. 2-Nick Hoffman [4]; 3. 35-David Stremme [2]; 4. 18L-Michael Long [8]; 5. 7-Justin Allgaier [6]; 6. 5S-Curt Spalding [12]; 7. 11H-Spencer Hughes [10]; 8. 17X-Richard Michael [16]; 9. T9-Ryan Thomas [14]; 10. 7T-Drake Troutman [7]; 11. 51-Brandon Green [5]; 12. O5-Dave Wietholder [22]; 13. 99-Hunt Gossum [21]; 14. 36-Kenny Wallace [3]; 15. 67-Garret Stewart [19]; 16. 17T-Tyler Evans [15]; 17. 49-Brian Ruhlman [11]; 18. 25W-Allen Weisser [23]; 19. 21H-Clay Harris [13]; 20. 22T-Tony Anderson [17]; 21. 95-Michael Altobelli [9]; 22. 44-KC Burdette [20]; 23. OOD-David Reutimann [18]; 24. 12L-Lucas Lee [24] Hard Charger: O5-Dave Wietholder[+10]

UP NEXT

The DIRTcar UMP Modified action continues Friday night at Volusia Speedway Park with one of the pit area’s favorite nights of the year – everybody runs a Feature! A total of five Feature races for the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds is preliminarily scheduled for competition, lined up by points totals after the already completed Features. Catch all the action on DIRTVision!

Qualifying Event Results:

Qualifying Flight-A 1. 12H-Jason Hughes, 18.519; 2. 96M-Mike McKinney, 18.519; 3. 2A-Matt Altiers, 18.652; 4. OOEH-Steve Arpin, 18.678; 5. 22K-Dale Kelley, 18.92; 6. 45-Johnny Broking, 18.993; 7. 8A-Austin Holcombe, 19.074; 8. 45H-Kyle Hammer, 19.096; 9. 4-Craig Shaw, 19.128; 10. OO-Buzzie Reutimann, 19.181; 11. 7D-Brad DeYoung, 19.313; 12. 11N-Gene Nicholas, 19.332; 13. 97-Mitch Thomas, 19.354; 14. 9PG-Percy Gendreau, 19.382; 15. 15B-Dave Baker, 19.476; 16. 74-Mike Franklin, 19.556; 17. M41-Steve Maisel, 19.559; 18. 12-John McClure, 19.753; 19. 33-Ken Mihalik, 19.82; 20. 21D-Danny Schwartz, 19.892; 21. 89W-Rick Weitekamp, 20.896; 22. 27S-Paul Schloss, 22.19; 23. 176-Scotty Owens, NT; DNS. 40-Shawn Reiss, NT

Qualifying Flight-B 1. 11J-Justin Haley, 18.46; 2. 21A-Nick Allen, 18.663; 3. 25-Tyler Nicely, 18.686; 4. 4T-Zeke McKenzie, 18.71; 5. 77-Ray Bollinger, 18.912; 6. 80-Rich Dawson, 18.984; 7. 6A-Ryan Ayers, 19.002; 8. 23-Ryan Cripe, 19.013; 9. K19-Will Krup, 19.176; 10. 31G-Stephen Pedulla, 19.192; 11. 88-Matt Crafton, 19.292; 12. 88S-Chris Smith, 19.422; 13. 83-Brianna Robinson, 19.46; 14. 24-Travis Dickson, 19.483; 15. 7F-Bryan Foy, 19.52; 16. 72-Todd Neiheiser, 19.541; 17. 9-Ken Schrader, 19.59; 18. 57-Mark Grosvenor, 19.616; 19. 88B-Chris Bolyard, 20.21; 20. 11M-Tyler Morehouse, 20.446; 21. 27-Tom Wakefield, 20.482; 22. 59-Doug Stine, 20.872; 23. 22J-John Baker, 21.092; 24. O2-Chris Cook, NT

Qualifying Flight-C 1. 35-David Stremme, 18.298; 2. 49-Brian Ruhlman, 18.486; 3. 51-Brandon Green, 18.494; 4. 36-Kenny Wallace, 18.679; 5. 95-Michael Altobelli, 18.737; 6. 7T-Drake Troutman, 18.749; 7. 21H-Clay Harris, 18.83; 8. 17T-Tyler Evans, 18.836; 9. 25P-Robert Poole, 18.984; 10. 32-Chad Roush, 18.992; 11. 3L-Jeff Leka, 19.077; 12. 67-Garret Stewart, 19.092; 13. 22T-Tony Anderson, 19.235; 14. 27G-Jason Garver, 19.246; 15. A1-Gary Bentley, 19.293; 16. 25W-Allen Weisser, 19.38; 17. 99-Hunt Gossum, 19.423; 18. 463-Daniel Sanchez, 19.484; 19. 21-Taylor Cook, 19.521; 20. O1-Earnie Woodard, 19.563; 21. 6-Ryan Fowler, 19.606; 22. 60-Shannon Fisk, 19.747; 23. 62E-Kim Edington, 20.108; 24. 7+7-Jeff Solinger, 20.138

Qualifying Flight-D 1. 7-Justin Allgaier, 18.362; 2. 12L-Lucas Lee, 18.409; 3. 2-Nick Hoffman, 18.503; 4. 5S-Curt Spalding, 18.603; 5. 11H-Spencer Hughes, 18.605; 6. 8S-Kyle Strickler, 18.634; 7. OOD-David Reutimann, 18.754; 8. 18L-Michael Long, 18.815; 9. 15-Joey Miller, 18.875; 10. 44-KC Burdette, 18.99; 11. O5-Dave Wietholder, 19.133; 12. 17X-Richard Michael, 19.167; 13. T9-Ryan Thomas, 19.172; 14. 47-Collin Thirlby, 19.21; 15. 11-Jesse Rupe, 19.339; 16. 114-Clayton Bryant, 19.358; 17. 20-Tyler Hendrix, 19.374; 18. Z1-Zac Oedewaldt, 19.494; 19. 81-Steve Axtell, 19.548; 20. 8-David Pinkerton, 19.576; 21. 2J-Troy Johnson, 19.685; 22. 6B-Dave Baldwin, 19.707; 23. 12M-David Moheng, 21.074; 24. 27C-Billy Cevaal, 21.542

Heat #1 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 12H-Jason Hughes [1]; 2. 22K-Dale Kelley [3]; 3. 8A-Austin Holcombe [4]; 4. 2A-Matt Altiers [2]; 5. 7D-Brad DeYoung [6]; 6. 97-Mitch Thomas [7]; 7. 176-Scotty Owens [12]; 8. 15B-Dave Baker [8]; 9. 4-Craig Shaw [5]; 10. M41-Steve Maisel [9]; 11. 89W-Rick Weitekamp [11]; 12. 33-Ken Mihalik [10]

Heat #2 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 96M-Mike McKinney [1]; 2. OOEH-Steve Arpin [2]; 3. 45H-Kyle Hammer [4]; 4. 45-Johnny Broking [3]; 5. 21D-Danny Schwartz [10]; 6. 11N-Gene Nicholas [6]; 7. 74-Mike Franklin [8]; 8. 9PG-Percy Gendreau [7]; 9. OO-Buzzie Reutimann [5]; 10. 12-John McClure [9]; 11. 27S-Paul Schloss [11]; 12. 40-Shawn Reiss [12]

Heat #3 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 25-Tyler Nicely [2]; 2. 11J-Justin Haley [1]; 3. K19-Will Krup [5]; 4. 77-Ray Bollinger [3]; 5. 9-Ken Schrader [9]; 6. 7F-Bryan Foy [8]; 7. 83-Brianna Robinson [7]; 8. 27-Tom Wakefield [11]; 9. 22J-John Baker [12]; 10. 88-Matt Crafton [6]; 11. 88B-Chris Bolyard [10]; 12. 6A-Ryan Ayers [4]

Heat #4 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 21A-Nick Allen [1]; 2. 31G-Stephen Pedulla [5]; 3. 4T-Zeke McKenzie [2]; 4. 23-Ryan Cripe [4]; 5. 80-Rich Dawson [3]; 6. 24-Travis Dickson [7]; 7. 72-Todd Neiheiser [8]; 8. 88S-Chris Smith [6]; 9. O2-Chris Cook [12]; 10. 11M-Tyler Morehouse [10]; 11. 57-Mark Grosvenor [9]; 12. 59-Doug Stine [11]

Heat #5 – Flight (C) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 35-David Stremme [1]; 2. 51-Brandon Green [2]; 3. 95-Michael Altobelli [3]; 4. 21H-Clay Harris [4]; 5. 22T-Tony Anderson [7]; 6. 99-Hunt Gossum [9]; 7. 21-Taylor Cook [10]; 8. 25P-Robert Poole [5]; 9. A1-Gary Bentley [8]; 10. 6-Ryan Fowler [11]; 11. 62E-Kim Edington [12]; 12. 3L-Jeff Leka [6]

Heat #6 – Flight (C) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 36-Kenny Wallace [2]; 2. 7T-Drake Troutman [3]; 3. 49-Brian Ruhlman [1]; 4. 17T-Tyler Evans [4]; 5. 67-Garret Stewart [6]; 6. 25W-Allen Weisser [8]; 7. 463-Daniel Sanchez [9]; 8. 7+7-Jeff Solinger [12]; 9. 27G-Jason Garver [7]; 10. 32-Chad Roush [5]; 11. 60-Shannon Fisk [11]; 12. O1-Earnie Woodard [10]

Heat #7 – Flight (D) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 2-Nick Hoffman [2]; 2. 7-Justin Allgaier [1]; 3. 11H-Spencer Hughes [3]; 4. T9-Ryan Thomas [7]; 5. OOD-David Reutimann [4]; 6. O5-Dave Wietholder [6]; 7. 20-Tyler Hendrix [9]; 8. 81-Steve Axtell [10]; 9. 2J-Troy Johnson [11]; 10. 15-Joey Miller [5]; 11. 11-Jesse Rupe [8]; 12. 12M-David Moheng [12]

Heat #8 – Flight (D) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 8S-Kyle Strickler [3]; 2. 18L-Michael Long [4]; 3. 5S-Curt Spalding [2]; 4. 17X-Richard Michael [6]; 5. 44-KC Burdette [5]; 6. 12L-Lucas Lee [1]; 7. 47-Collin Thirlby [7]; 8. 114-Clayton Bryant [8]; 9. Z1-Zac Oedewaldt [9]; 10. 6B-Dave Baldwin [11]; 11. 8-David Pinkerton [10]; 12. 27C-Billy Cevaal [12]

Last Chance Showdown 1 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer 1. 176-Scotty Owens [3]; 2. 15B-Dave Baker [5]; 3. 97-Mitch Thomas [1]; 4. 33-Ken Mihalik [13]; 5. 11N-Gene Nicholas [2]; 6. 74-Mike Franklin [4]; 7. 4-Craig Shaw [7]; 8. 9PG-Percy Gendreau [6]; 9. 12-John McClure [10]; 10. 89W-Rick Weitekamp [11]; 11. M41-Steve Maisel [9]; 12. OO-Buzzie Reutimann [8]; 13. 27S-Paul Schloss [12]; 14. 40-Shawn Reiss [14]

Last Chance Showdown 2 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer 1. 24-Travis Dickson [2]; 2. 72-Todd Neiheiser [4]; 3. 6A-Ryan Ayers [13]; 4. 7F-Bryan Foy [1]; 5. 88S-Chris Smith [6]; 6. 88-Matt Crafton [9]; 7. 11M-Tyler Morehouse [10]; 8. O2-Chris Cook [8]; 9. 83-Brianna Robinson [3]; 10. 59-Doug Stine [14]; 11. 27-Tom Wakefield [5]; 12. 57-Mark Grosvenor [12]; 13. 22J-John Baker [7]; 14. 88B-Chris Bolyard [11]

Last Chance Showdown 3 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer 1. 99-Hunt Gossum [1]; 2. 25W-Allen Weisser [2]; 3. 3L-Jeff Leka [13]; 4. 32-Chad Roush [10]; 5. 6-Ryan Fowler [9]; 6. 463-Daniel Sanchez [4]; 7. 7+7-Jeff Solinger [6]; 8. 60-Shannon Fisk [12]; 9. 21-Taylor Cook [3]; 10. 25P-Robert Poole [5]; 11. 62E-Kim Edington [11]; 12. A1-Gary Bentley [7]; 13. 27G-Jason Garver [8]; 14. O1-Earnie Woodard [14]

Last Chance Showdown 4 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer1. O5-Dave Wietholder [1]; 2. 12L-Lucas Lee [2]; 3. 114-Clayton Bryant [6]; 4. Z1-Zac Oedewaldt [8]; 5. 15-Joey Miller [9]; 6. 81-Steve Axtell [5]; 7. 2J-Troy Johnson [7]; 8. 20-Tyler Hendrix [3]; 9. 11-Jesse Rupe [11]; 10. 8-David Pinkerton [12]; 11. 27C-Billy Cevaal [14]; 12. 6B-Dave Baldwin [10]; 13. 47-Collin Thirlby [4]; 14. 12M-David Moheng [13]