Seth Geary

BANG BANG: Outlaw Shootout Delivers Slide Jobs, Close Racing and Points Swings as the Season Passes Halfway

With a race name like the Outlaw Shootout, the night lived up to what it was supposed to be.

 

After chaos, slide jobs and surprise moves to win, it was a night many drivers will and won’t look fondly upon as the 2022 season hits the halfway mark.

 

To start the night off, the 604 Late Models ran a clean race with close action between the leaders of Brandon Wells, Dustin Carter and Mikey Kopka. The three stayed close to each other throughout the 20 lap feature, and it became a battle until the end. Wells held the challenge off and earned his first win of the 2022 season.

 

In the points battle between Dustin Carter and Mikey Kopka, it was Kopka with the 604 Late Model points lead by just one point over Carter going into the weekend. After tonight, Dustin Carter now holds the lead over Kopka with the same margin; one point.

 

1. 39W-Brandon Wells[1]; 2. 5-Dustin Carter[3]; 3. 51K-Mikey Kopka[2]; 4. 07-David Clegg[9]; 5. 721-Joe Kump[4]; 6. 75-Sonny Thompson[5]; 7. 15M-Chris Meyer[8]; 8. 9-Kody Jett[10]; 9. 10S-Steve Shead[13]; 10. 21D-Lenny Dallman[12]; 11. (DNF) 46C-Hamp Conley[14]; 12. (DNF) M51-Mark Steube[11]; 13. (DNF) 12-Robert Gast[7]; 14. (DNF) 25C-Donnie Chappell[6]; 15. (DNF) 1J-Jason Papp[16]; 16. (DNS) 54T-Tuck Trentham

 

The ¾ Modifieds proved they continue to produce good racing with a return to victory lane for a familiar face.

 

Patrick Varieka made his first start of the season in the ¾ modifieds and instantly showed he was the man to beat. First by winning his heat race in dominant fashion. Then, he grabbed the lead in the feature early and never relented.

 

After a late race caution with four to go, Vareika received a challenge from second place running Timmy Hogan. Hogan had the short run pace on Varieka and tried to attempt to pass him for the lead, but Vareika had the long run pace and would help him hold on to win in his return to the ¾ Modifieds in 2022.

 

1. 117-Patrick Vareika[4]; 2. 26-Timmy Hogan[6]; 3. 23K-Korbin Minchew[2]; 4. 67-Tad Olmsted[8]; 5. 23L-Lawton Minchew[3]; 6. 51-Dustin Peterson[7]; 7. 26L-Colton Lane[10]; 8. 23-Wray Shaffer[12]; 9. 32-Wryan Shaffer[11]; 10. 27-Steven Powers[13]; 11. 9-Logan Malone[15]; 12. 32P-Jesse Powers[9]; 13. 0-CR Hill[17]; 14. (DNF) 53-Rusty Young[1]; 15. (DNF) 99-Wade Olmsted[5]; 16. (DNF) 57-Nathyn Hwan[14]; 17. (DNS) 10-Ethyn Hwan

 

 

The main show of the night, the $1,500 to win in the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, showed that even the season’s top competitors can get their hands dirty with aggressive moves.

 

Throughout the 25 lap feature, the night was dominated by three guys; Seth Geary, Garret Stewart and Dalton Lanich. Most of the night was dominated by Geary with a lead of over two seconds while Stewart, Lanich and Ryan Rackley would try to secure the second spot.

 

After a late caution with four laps to go remaining, Geary would have to try and hold off his biggest title competitors on what was the last restart of the night.

 

On the restart, Stewart sent it deep on Geary going through turns one and two and would even make contact with Geary after speeding off with the lead. Rackley would then fight Geary for second while Stewart cruised to his second win of the 2022 season.

 

Showing off displeasure on the cooldown lap, Geary pulled up close to Stewart and revved his engine to show he didn’t like what he did to grab the Outlaw Shootout feature win. The win closes the gap in the championship with Stewart now 18 points behind Geary going into the halfway stretch.

 

1. 67-Garret Stewart[4]; 2. 7G-Seth Geary[2]; 3. 99-Ryan Rackley[3]; 4. 51-Dalton Lanich[5]; 5. 15-Hunter Gustafson[1]; 6. 80-Paul Shead[13]; 7. 3-Josh Sanford[7]; 8. 00-Buzzie Reutimann[6]; 9. 34P-Jim Passino[11]; 10. 34-Rob Giffen[16]; 11. 37-Eddie Scarberry[14]; 12. (DNF) 96-Kyle Arvin[12]; 13. (DNF) 3D-Makayla Tyrrell[9]; 14. (DNF) 11Z-Zane Oedewaldt[10]; 15. (DNF) 24B-Dillon Buhr[8]; 16. (DNS) 39W-Brandon Wells

 

The Street Stocks was a similar case tonight like the 604 Late Models where the leaders all stayed close to each other with battles for positions all across the 20 lap feature. 

 

Jimmy Wagner, Donnie Ashford and Alan Peacock all jockied around for the top three positions throughout the feature. Peacock stayed up front for the majority of the feature with Wagner knocking down his bumper in the second spot.

 

After close calls and heartbreak in not winning in 2022, Peacock finally came home a 2022 feature winner with Wagner finishing second and Ashford third.

 

When asked about if he knew how close Wagner and Ashford were behind him, Peacock exclaimed “I kept hearing them behind me throughout the race, but never in front!”

 

Peacock’s first win of 2022 adds a cushion to his lead in the points over Bruce Griffin by 16 points.

 

1. 17-Alan Peacock[2]; 2. 17W-Jimmy Wagner[4]; 3. 66A-Donnie Ashford[1]; 4. 72-Bruce Griffin[3]; 5. 63-Chris Lawrence[7]; 6. 40-Clayton Ruth[6]; 7. 388-Glen Swiger[9]; 8. (DNF) 7R-Rick O’Steen[8]; 9. (DNF) 11K-Kameron McGauley[5]

 

In Thunder Stocks, you could be safe to call it the Justin Reynolds Show.

 

In the heat race, he made a daring three wide move to take the lead on the opening lap after starting back in the fifth spot. He went to win the heat and headed straight to the lead in the feature.

 

It wasn’t all a cakewalk though. Reynolds was challenged by Thunder Stocks star Joe Belkey. The 20 of Reynolds finished in the top three in every Thunder Stocks race he entered this season and he was ready to finally knock down the win that eluded him this season.

 

After 20 laps of close racing and hanging on to the lead, Reynolds came under the checkered flag with his first win of the 2022 season.

 

In his interview with DIRTVision, he credited the competition for keeping it clean and fun and is willing to take up sponsors that are looking to get into local dirt racing.

 

1. 20-Justin Reynolds[4]; 2. 2-Joe Belkey[6]; 3. 73J-Justin Durbin[5]; 4. 00-Shaun Daugharty[3]; 5. 13-Ron Adams[10]; 6. 30-Chris Jeune[2]; 7. 10S-Ronnie Scarberry[9]; 8. 73S-David Szczepanik[11]; 9. 38-Charles King[1]; 10. 27-Jordan Strickland[12]; 11. 96J-Scott Haas[7]; 12. (DNS) 27M-Wesley Morgan

 

The next race for Volusia Speedway Park will be the Clay Classic on June 25th. TIckets are $12 for general admission with kids 12 and under getting free admission. Tickets can be purchased at the gates and they will open on race days at 4:00PM. Hot Laps will roughly start two hours after at 6:00PM.

 

You can also watch all the action live on DIRTVision with a FastPass subscription. We’ll see you on the 25th.

BORN TO BE WILD: Tropical Storms Stay Away, New Drivers Race To 2022 Victory Lane

The week leading up to the Wild Card 25 was nothing short of speculation, worry and anticipation. After talks of there being a tropical storm to ravage the night of racing, there was consideration of cancellation. Instead, the track management pushed on for racing and it was the best decision to make.

 

The Wild Card name lived up to the night provided, however. Unlikely winners and new faces to the 2022 victory lane made the night special.

 

Mikey Kopka has been mentioned many times throughout the 2022 season with one question; when will he break the bad luck? The Pierson native has come close so many times and was just unable to close the deal at the end of the night. That was until the 602 late models raced last night. Barring challenges from Lenny Dallman and Travis Staats, Kopka threw the monkey off his shoulders and cashed in the $700 in his 1A machine.

 

  1. 1A-Mikey Kopka[3]; 2. 18-Austin Leamon[7]; 3. 1AR-Travis Staats[4]; 4. 99-Colton Blair[2]; 5. 21D-Lenny Dallman[1]; 6. 57-Fletcher Mason[5]; 7. 35D-Justin Dean[6]; 8. 12-Billy Gast[9]; 9. 31-Tim Swartz[8]; 10. (DNF) 47-Michael Ridgeway[12]; 11. (DNF) M51-Mark Steube[10]; 12. (DNF) 3C-Cale Gilbert[11]; 13. (DNF) 23-Jason Papp[13]

The headliner for the Wild Card was the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds. A season high 22 cars made up the field for the $1,500 to win feature event. The race was controlled mostly by the 21J of Clay Harris. Harris started 5th and easily made his way up to lead the field. After a late race caution, the 21J was jumped on the restart and couldn’t make up the time lost. The man that took the race over was none other than points leader Seth Geary. Geary crossed under the line to get his third win of the season, including another tally mark to extend his points lead.

 

  1. 7G-Seth Geary[6]; 2. 67-Garret Stewart[9]; 3. 21J-Clay Harris[5]; 4. 51-Dalton Lanich[2]; 5. 15-Hunter Gustafson[4]; 6. 80-Paul Shead[1]; 7. 11Z-Zane Oedewaldt[11]; 8. 3S-Josh Sanford[15]; 9. 17-Patrick Vareika[7]; 10. 34P-Jim Passino[18]; 11. 3-Tony Campbell[17]; 12. 34-Rob Giffen[16]; 13. 37-Eddie Scarberry[14]; 14. (DNF) 00-Buzzie Reutimann[13]; 15. (DNF) 11P-Charlie Phillips[21]; 16. (DNF) 1P-Mike Phillips[19]; 17. (DNF) 91-Jamie Green[12]; 18. (DNF) 22K-Dale Kelley[8]; 19. (DNF) 2-Joshua Kunstbeck[22]; 20. (DNF) 18-Eric Moon[3]; 21. (DNF) 2D-Ray Durrence Jr[20]; 22. (DNS) 7S-Ronnie Chance

The 604 late models was what the event almost ended with. Past lap 11, the race was stopped for rain coming into the area. It had sprinkled a few times prior to the cars going green, but nothing too serious. Fortunately, the rain stopped and added enough water to the track to help make the track tackier and faster. For the eventual winner, David Clegg, he talked about how he thought the track would be a disadvantage to him because he had struggled in the lead prior to the rain. 

 

When the race went back green, Clegg led the final 11 laps to be completed and gets his first win of 2022 under his belt.

 

  1. 07-David Clegg[6]; 2. 5-Dustin Carter[3]; 3. 51K-Mikey Kopka[2]; 4. 721-Joe Kump[10]; 5. 75-Sonny Thompson[5]; 6. 54T-Tuck Trentham[8]; 7. 12-Robert Gast[7]; 8. 26-Bill Adkins[9]; 9. 46C-Hamp Conley[12]; 10. RP1-David Castello[13]; 11. (DNF) 10S-Steve Shead[11]; 12. (DNF) 41-Derike Bennett[4]; 13. (DNF) 11K-Joshua Kunstbeck[1]

The Thunder Stocks were led and controlled by two men all night; Shaun Daugharty and Mike Tovet. Throughout the feature. They continued swapping the lead from each other until Tovet left everyone in the dust to collect the win in a caution free event.

 

  1. 1SHOT-Mike Tovet[4]; 2. 00-Shaun Daugharty[2]; 3. 20-Justin Reynolds[3]; 4. 1-Tanner Thomas[1]; 5. 9AR-Charlie Staats[6]; 6. 30-Chris Jeune[5]; 7. 73S-David Szczepanik[8]; 8. 96J-Scott Haas[11]; 9. 10S-Ronnie Scarberry[7]; 10. 27-Wesley Morgan[9]; 11. (DNS) 38-Charles King

Jimmy Wagner made the Street Stock feature his walk in the park for the entire 20 laps. He led from green to checkered and was close to lapping the field up to third by the end of lap 20. The win makes it his second, with a points lead to now be in sight.

The next event for the World’s Fastest Half Mile is the Bad Fast 30. Gates open at 4:00, with Hot Laps to follow at 6:00. Be sure to come out, or watch the broadcasting action live on DIRTVision. We’ll see you then!

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!

 

The Gator Nationals

After a soggy start to the weekend with a rainout on Saturday night, the Gator Nationals finally got underway on Sunday evening. Five classes of racing took to the track to do battle on this Memorial Day Weekend, and as expected the show kept fans on their feet all night.

The feature events kicked off with a 20-lap DIRTcar UMP Modified race and a $2000 winner’s purse. Seth Geary started on the pole and took the early lead. Garret Stewart charged thru the pack from his seventh starting position to second, and after a caution with five to go he got his chance at Geary. On the restart Stewart pulled to the inside of Geary and the two raced side-by-side for a couple of laps, but Geary was able to pull back ahead at the white flag and went on to win the race.

In the second feature event of the evening the Thunder Stocks took the track for what would be a caution filled race. Young Bubba Roling was the early leader holding off several challenges from seasoned veterans, but on a restart on lap seven Shaun Daugharty used the inside line in turn one to take the lead and never look back. Roling held on for a second place finish, and Charlie Staats finished third.

The third feature of the night was the 602 Late Models. With $1500 on the line we all knew this would be  a good race. Brenden Smith won his heat race and took the early lead in the feature, closely trailed by Mikey Kopka and Dustin Carter. As the race wound down it was clear that Brenden Smith was not going to be caught tonight. He went on to win with Kopka and Carter finishing second and third.

The ¾ Modifieds were the fourth feature of the night. Timmy Hogan took the early lead, while Wade Olmstead and Dustin Peterson put on a show behind him running side-by-side for second. With six laps to go Olmstead took the long way around turn one and two riding the cushion and taking the lead down the back stretch. A caution on the next lap tightened up the field, but once the green flag dropped it was clear Olmstead was on a mission. He went on to pick up his first feature win with Hogan and Powers rounding out the top three.

In the final feature of the night the Street Stocks took the track. An early side-by-side battle between David Showers Jr and Bubba Christian  set up a very fast paced race. Christian took the lead on the third lap and never looked back notching the victory. Chris Lawrance moved up to take second, and Showers finished third.

We thank everyone who joined us this Memorial Day weekend, especially our veterans. Our next race is the Sunshine Showdown on June 12th.