Second-annual event, Jan. 14-16, features four divisions across three days of racing
After the great success that was the inaugural DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals in January, Volusia Speedway Park’s kickoff event to the racing season returns in 2021 as the biggest Dirt Late Model extravaganza to hit the state of Florida with the addition of a fourth division of full-fendered fury.
The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet kick off their 2021 schedule with three straight nights of $10,000-to-win events over the course of the event, Jan. 14-16, launching the new standard-show purse, highlighted by $10,000 for the winner, $2,000 for 10th and $1,000-to-start. The Sunshine Nationals will effectively mark the beginning of the DIRTcar national points season, as each driver competing with the World of Outlaws will be eligible to earn points in the DIRTcar Late Model national points standings.
Three weeks later, the Outlaws return to The World’s Fastest Half-Mile for week two (Late Model week) of the legendary DIRTcar Nationals, proceeding two nights of DIRTcar Late Model action. With four consecutive shows from Wed-Sat, Feb. 10-13, all eyes will be on the week-long championship points battle for the Big Gator trophy. Tickets for the DIRTcar Nationals are also available now.
A total of eighty-one Late Models across the three divisions packed the pit area on the opening night of competition for the inaugural Sunshine Nationals back in January, with more coming in for Saturday night’s $10,000-to-win Pro Late Model finale.
Each of these storylines builds the narrative heading into the second annual event next January. Can Bronson defend his turf, keep the win streak going and repeat as Pro Late Model champion? Will the 602 Late Models see a fourth different winner? Who will take the World of Outlaws points lead out of the Sunshine Nationals and into the DIRTcar Nationals just one month later?
The answers will reveal themselves in just over four months. With a total purse of nearly $220,000 across all four divisions and the return of the nightly points system to determine the overall mini-series champion in each division, the 2021 racing season is set for quite a sunny kickoff.
DIRTcar Pro Late Model, 602 Late Model and Florida Late Model purses/format will remain the same for 2021. Invites for the DIRTcar Pro Late Model division are again extended to all Crate Racin’ USA, FASTRAK and RUSH Late Model competitors.
2021 DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals Winner’s Shares
Pro Late Model602 Late ModelFlorida Late Model
Thu., Jan. 14 – $1,500 $1,000 $1,500
Fri., Jan. 15 – $2,000 $1,200 $3,000
Sat., Jan. 16 – $10,000 $1,500 $1,500
DIRTVision presented by Drydene will provide live coverage of the 2021 Sunshine Nationals for all Fast Pass subscribers and PPV buyers. Head to DIRTVision.com today to sign-up for just $39 per month and never miss a moment of the action!
DIRTcar Racing is brought to fans by many important sponsors and partners, including: Hoosier Racing Tire (Official Tire), SIS Insurance (Official Insurance Provider), VP Racing Fuels (Official Racing Fuel), Chevy Performance Parts, iRacing (Official Online Racing Game) and NAPA Auto Parts (SDS). Contingency sponsors include: ARP Automotive Racing Products (SDS), ASI Race Wear (SDS), Bicknell Racing Products, Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux, Cometic Gasket (SDS), COMP Cams (SDS), DART (SDS), Fox Shox (SDS), and Wrisco (Exclusive Racing Aluminum) (SDS); along with manufacturer sponsors, including: Beyea Headers, FireAde, Intercomp,Racing Electronics and TNT Rescue.
BARBERVILLE, FL – The first race night of the inaugural DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals was jam-packed with the Late Model racing everyone had been craving since the 2019 regular season wound down just a few months ago.
Twenty-four 602 Late Models, 16 Florida Late Models and 41 Pro Late Models lined the Volusia Speedway Park pit areas on Thursday night for their first look of the year at the track under racing conditions. The three Features capped off what was a very entertaining night of racing at The World’s Fastest Half Mile, in which Kyle Bronson came out on top of the DIRTcar Pro Late Models, Cody Overton won the 602 Late Model Feature and David Showers Jr. was victorious in the final event of the evening, the Florida Late Model Feature.
DIRTcar PRO LATE MODELS – KYLE BRONSON
It seems as though it pays to be an ace of the Super Late Model ranks when jumping into a Pro Late Model at Volusia. Brandon, FL-native Kyle Bronson put on a dominant display of speed and car control over 25 laps as he beat out fellow Super Late Model big names Randy Weaver and Max Blair en route to his $1,500 victory.
Leading every lap, Killer put on a show out front as he grabbed the top spot on lap one and never looked back to collect the win, holding off a deep field of talent in the process.
“We’ve got a really great car, and I feel like as long as we keep the fenders on our car, we’ll have a chance to win these next couple,” Bronson said. “I’ve just got to do my job, and the car’s pretty damn good.”
The race was spotted with cautions, which meant Bronson was forced to deal with the pressure restacking behind him for each restart. But he handled those perfectly; it was a close call on lap nine that gave him his biggest challenge.
Middleburg, FL-driver Mark Whitener had a good run going to Bronson’s inside as they dove into Turn 1. The two ended up making slight contact, which sent Whitener around right in front of the oncoming field of cars. Somehow, everyone avoided him, and Whitener rejoined the field at the tail under the ensuing caution flag. Bronson escaped unharmed and went on to win the race, while Whitener made up a ton of ground in the final 16 laps to come back and finish eighth and pick up the Hard Charger honors.
“[Whitener] said he was going to go in and try to slide me there, but I was already turned down the racetrack and he hit me in the left-rear and turned himself around, I guess,” Bronson said. “We always race hard and rub a little bit, unfortunately. But that’s the way racing goes.”
Despite redrawing fifth, Randy Weaver found himself with a little bit of work to do in the early going of the 25-lap Feature, as he slipped back on the opening circuit and crossed the line in ninth on lap two. But with some patience and a great car, he and his newly wrapped #116 made it all the way back up front to collect the runner-up spot.
He’s traveled a long way from Titusville, PA, and there was no way Max Blair was leaving Volusia without at least one podium finish this weekend. He didn’t have to wait long, as he kept his car solidly inside the top 5 through all 25 laps to complete the podium.
Winner of the race run prior to the Pro Late Models Feature, Evans, GA-native Cody Overton, was looking to climb from the back to the front over 25 laps to put the cherry atop his Thursday night. Unfortunately, his night ended on the hook, as he was on the receiving end of a nasty pile-up wreck on the initial start that forced him to retire without a single lap completed.
Last Chance Showdown 2 (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer 1. 313-Devin Dixon ; 2. K37-Drew Kennedy ; 3. 11-Cruz Skinner ; 4. 721-Joe Kump ; 5. 32-Curtis Glover ; 6. 14-Howard Stalls ; 7. 39-Troy Dixon ; 8. 14B-John Baker ; 9. 6-Dillon Brown ; 10. C71-Cody Courtney 
602 LATE MODELS – CODY OVERTON
Overton did, however, take home a nice check in the first Feature of the evening for his efforts behind the wheel of his #97 602 Late Model – race he won by over three seconds ahead of runner-up Bud Chauncey and podium finisher Colton Leyendecker.
Using the low line to his advantage, Lil Sexy made a great move to the inside of Bud Chauncey on lap eight to take the lead, and the win, to kick off his 2020 season in Florida.
For most of the 20-lap Feature race, teenage pilot Bubba Whitener seemed to have had the Thursday night Feature locked up. Until he reached lap 13.
Trying to get around slower traffic on the high-side, Whitener came up on a car just before the flag stand and made heavy contact, sending the lapped car into the inside wall and severely damaging his own. Whitener went off on the hook, which handed the lead over to David Showers Jr., who took it and led the rest of the way for his first-ever Late Model victory.
Florida Late Model Feature (20 Laps): 1. 18 – David Showers, Jr.; 2. 17 – Richard Ferry; 3. 29 – Cameron Saunders; 4. 007 – Dusty Sparkman; 5. 40 – Adam Bennett; 6. 18A – Jared Allison; 7. 5MC – Robert Gast; 8. 54 – Terry Bronson; 9. 98 – Johnny Allen; 10. 68 – Ken Ellefson; 11. 5 – Bubba Whitener; 12. 26 – Bill Adkins; 13. 11K – Josh Kunstbeck; 14. 15 – John Bledsoe; 15. 59 – Brandon Catto; 16. 33 – TJ Evans
The Sunshine Nationals action continues from Volusia on Friday night with round two of racing. Hot Laps begin at 5:15pm ET on DIRTVision!
BARBERVILLE, FL — The weather might be dreary in many parts of the country, but a quick glance at the week ahead for Volusia Speedway Park is showing beautiful low-80 temperatures, perfect for the inaugural DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals Jan. 16-18 at the World’s Fastest Half Mile that sits just west of Daytona Beach.
The event featuring three divisions of Dirt Late Models is drawing competitors from across the country to take on the Southeast’s best.
Among those is Sam Halstead, a DIRTcar Pro Late Model racer who hails from New London, Iowa, and regularly competes in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Missouri. He’ll add Florida to the list next week.
“I’ve always been wanting to race in Florida for the last five, six years,” said Halstead, a winner on the opening night of last October’s DIRTcar Fall Nationals at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55. “I just decided I better do it now, or I’ll never do it.”
He worked on the crew for a friend’s DIRTcar UMP Modified in 2018 at Volusia, but Magnolia Motor Speedway in Mississippi is the farthest south he’s ever raced.
He’s headed to Volusia looking to make it worth his while, too.
“Winning it!” Halstead said of his main goal. “I’m also looking forward to the warm weather. … I’m getting older, and decided if I’m ever going to do it, I better do it now. If I don’t do it this year, I won’t ever do it.”
Halstead will be competing in the Pro Late Model class, which is one of three along with Florida Late Models and 602 Late Models that will have Feature events each night of competition for nine total chances to win over the three days.
Tickets are $20 for Adults on Thursday, Jan. 16, and Friday, Jan. 17. Tickets on Saturday, Jan. 18, are $25. Kids under 12 are FREE in the grandstands all three days. Tickets are available at the track. Camping is also available for $25 per day.
There will be an open practice night on Wednesday, Jan. 15. On Thursday, Jan. 16, and Friday, Jan. 17, grandstands open at 5 p.m., Hot Laps are at 5:15, Opening Ceremonies slated for 6:50 p.m. followed by Heat Races, Last Chance Showdowns and Features. On Saturday, Jan. 18, grandstands open at 5 p.m. with Hot Laps at 5:30, Opening Ceremonies at 6:50 followed by Heat Races, Last Chance Showdowns and Features. The final race of the event will be the $10,000-to-win Pro Late Model Feature.
DeLEON SPRINGS, FL — Dirt Late Model racers have circled Jan. 16-18, 2020, on their calendars for the inaugural DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.
Three complete nights of action featuring DIRTcar Pro Late Models, Florida Late Models and 602 Late Models are nearing as DIRTcar officials posted the complete competitor guide and Entry Form this week.
Fans have been filling grandstands across the Southeast to watch Dirt Late Model racing, and now they have the unique opportunity to see this special event in January at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile dirt track, just outside of Daytona Beach, FL.
A practice night on Wednesday, Jan. 15, will precede the Sunshine Nationals, giving all competitors a chance to dial in their cars before the action counts. Points will be tracked throughout the event and a champion of each division will be crowned at the conclusion of Saturday night’s races, including the $10,000-to-win DIRTcar Pro Late Model Feature.
Reserved camping is available by calling 844-DIRT-TIX, all tickets and pit passes will be available at the gate.
Stay tuned to DIRTcar Racing on Facebook and Twitter for late-breaking news and updates.
BARBERVILLE, Fla. — DIRTcar Racing will kick off the 2020 season with the all-new DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals Jan. 16-18 at Volusia Speedway Park. The event will feature DIRTcar Pro Late Models, Florida Late Models and 602 Late Models racing for a total purse of nearly $100,000, including a $10,000-to-win finale for Pro Late Models.
The DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals includes Feature events for all three classes each night at the Worlds’ Fastest Half Mile Dirt Track, with points assigned to results on the first two nights that will set the field for the Saturday finales, similar to the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series Firecracker 100 weekend.
“Dirt late models are an important part of DIRTcar Racing, and we are excited to showcase them in January at Volusia with the Sunshine Nationals a few weeks ahead of the DIRTcar Nationals,” DIRTcar Racing COO Tom Deery said. “With the number of late models running the 602 and 604 motors, especially in the southeast, we felt it was time for them to be the focus of an event like this one. For those further north, where winter is going to be around well into March and April, this gives them a chance to break free from cabin fever, head to Florida for a vacation and go racing.”
Just like the DIRTcar Nationals in February, gates will open each day at 5 p.m., with on-track action beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tickets and camping for the event are on sale now through the ticket link at DIRTcarNationals.com.
A practice night on Wednesday, Jan. 15, will precede the Sunshine Nationals, giving all competitors a chance to get dialed in before the action counts.
For information as the event draws closer, make sure to visit DIRTcar.com, and stay tuned to DIRTcar Racing on Facebook and Twitter.