Scotty Kay Jr.

The Clay Classic

The Florida sun was shining bright as fans arrived for the running of the Clay Classic. Five classes were set to do battle, and as always, the fans got a great show.

The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds kicked off the night’s feature events with a 16-car field running 20 laps. Garret Stewart started inside of row two after the redraw and quickly found his way to the front. Veteran racer Buzzy Reutimann and Dillon Buhr battled through the early stages of the race for second position, but Reutimann exitted the race with a right front flat on lap 12. After the caution Josh Sanford moved up to challenge Buhr for second, but nobody had anything for Stewart as he went on to win with Buhr finishing second and Sanford third.

With the victory lane celebration cut short due to rain in the area we moved right into the 602 Late Model Feature event. The drivers knew the rain could shorten the race, so everyone was ready and willing to make big moves early. Landon Lungren was the early leader, but Dustin Carter was on a mission to get to the front and with a big move on the outside of turns three and four he took the lead and never looked back, winning the race and banking $1000!  Joe Belkey finished second, and Robert Vaughn brought his car home in third.

The Street Stocks were ready to go next as rain still threatened to end the night’s racing. Chris Lawrance was in search of his 100th win and took the early lead, but on lap two Bubba Christian took the lead. A wreck on lap five brought out the caution and with lightning in the area we entered a brief delay. Once the lightning cleared the area and we got the race back underway, Bubba Christian resumed control and led the rest of the race to the win with Thomas Hill finishing second and Rick Osteen finishing third.

With rain no longer a threat the ¾ Mods took the track for their 15-lap feature event. Jesse Powers put his car out front early with Timmy Hogan in hot pursuit. As they approached lapped traffic Powers was able to clear the car of Stephanie Mathis, but as Hogan tried to clear she turned directly into his path causing damage to both cars. Neither were able to continue. When the race went back green Powers assumed the lead and held off the challenging Patrick Vareika to win his first ¾ mod feature event.

The final feature event of the night was the $750-to-win Thunderstocks. Scotty Kay Jr took the early lead, usually the safest place to be, but in this case a lapped car turned into his path trying to exit the track collecting Kay Jr. Fortunately Kay Jr was able to continue and remained the leader though his car was heavily damaged. Joe Belkey took advantage of the caution, and a side-by-side battle was on for the remainder of the race between him and Kay Jr. Each would lead laps, but when the checkered flag flew it was déjà vu for Belkey for a second week in a row losing the Thunderstock at the line by a nose, this week to Kay Jr.

Join us next week for the Short Track Shootout on Saturday Night right here at Volusia Speedway Park!

Dave Shank Photos

The Dennis North Memorial

Saturday night was a night filled with first wins, great racing, and much more. The night celebrated the memory of Dennis North as well as the birthday of Buzzie Reutimann. Emotions always run high on race day, and this day would be no exception. From tears to cheers, we saw it all.

The 604 Late Models kicked off the night with a 20-lap feature event and $1000 on the line to the winner. The race was littered with cautions early as drivers sorted out positions on the track. Joe Kump started on the pole and led until lap five when Johnny Collins used the outside line to take the lead. Kump suffered a flat right rear tire and fell out of contention while Mikey Kopka moved up to second and Branden Wells to third. The race finished under a long green flag run and the order would stay the same with Collins grabbing the win.

The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds were also running for $1000-to-win on the night with fan favorite Garret Stewart starting deep in the field after suffering a flat right front in the heat race. Buzzie Reutimann started pole fresh off of his 80th birthday party with son David starting outside second row. David Reutimann quickly assumed the lead, never looking back and taking the win. Garret Stewart worked his through the field to finish second, and Seth Geary rounded out the top three.

The Street Stocks brought 19 cars to Volusia Speedway Park on Saturday night for what would turn out to be one for the history books. Chris Lawrance started pole and led flag-to-flag holding off early race challenges from David Showers Jr and later challenges from Tim Gay. With the win Lawrance joined an elite group of drivers able to claim a win at Volusia when it was asphalt as well as on the dirt. Gay took home second, Showers Jr third, and Bubba Christian rounded out the top four.

Wryan Shaffer and Korbin Minchew led the 15-car  ¾ Modified field to the green on Saturday night. Wade Olmsted quickly found his way from tenth to first, but a mid-race caution gave Timmy Hogan a shot at the lead and he made the most of it scoring his first win at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile. Olmsted held onto second, and Dustin Peterson brought home third.

The evening’s big event was the Dennis North Memorial, pulling in 36 entries. Tewnty-four cars took the green in the main event after a Last Chance Showdown sent 12 cars home. The 38-lap feature event was led almost exclusively by Joe Belkey, but with less than ten to go Scotty Kay Jr and Jason Garver stepped up the pressure, and with six laps to go they were three-wide off of turn four for the lead. Garver used the bottom line and Kay the top line to get to the front in a side-by-side battle that lasted until the checkered flag fell. When the dust settled Scotty Kay Jr became the first repeat winner of the event with Garver bringing home second. Belkey finished third and Kevin Durden fourth.

Our next event is Saturday, May 15th featuring the Top Gun Sprint Classic. Joining the sprints will be the Street Stocks, 602 Late Models, and 604 Late Models. Come out to Volusia Speedway Park for what is sure to be a great night of racing!

13-Year-Old Hise Scores 602 Late Model Win at Spring Fling

Florida didn’t get the memo that we were running the Spring Fling this weekend as cold weather came back to town. Last weekend’s shorts and tee shirts were replaced by long pants and jackets while last weekend’s winners were replaced by new ones.

The 602 Late Models kicked the night off with a first-time winner. Jackson Hise had led several races at Volusia Speedway Park but had been plagued with car problems trying to get that first win. Tonight was his night as he led flag-to-flag, holding off challenges from Dustin Carter and last week’s winner Mikey Kopka to get the win. His friend Trey Mills joined him in victory lane to congratulate Hise, a truly great moment shared by these two future stars.

If the 602 Feature was about the youth of the sport, the Street Stocks was all about the veteran drivers. Tuck Trentham led the first sixteen of 20 laps, but a late charge by Rich Pratt and Thomas Hill set the stage for a great finish. Pratt used a restart and a good old fashioned threading of the needle to take the lead in the closing laps and score himself a victory. Trentham held on for second, and Chris Lawrance took home third.

Thunder Stocks brought out more veterans with last week’s winner Mike Tovet leading the early laps. Tovet surrendered the lead at the halfway point to Scotty Kay Jr., who went on to win. Kay hadn’t raced with us since the 2019 season but picked up speed as the night went on, and in the end, pulled away from the field. Tovet held on for second, and Peacock finished third. Bubba Roling, whose hauler was involved in an accident on the way to the track, arrived and unloaded just before the feature started, driving from 19th to 7th, an impressive run for no practice and a cold race car.

The Compact 4s ended the night with a four-car field taking the green flag. Cameron Kight led the early laps, but spun in turn two, allowing Todd Latour to t0 score back-to-back wins in the class.

The Spring Fling continues tomorrow as the 604 Late Models are slotted to run. They will be joined by the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, Thunder Stocks, and ¾ Mods.