Barberville, Fla. – Nick Hoffman led every lap he raced en route to his first win of the 46th Annual DIRTcar Nationals in DIRTcar UMP Modified action at Volusia Speedway Park on Wednesday night. The Mooresville, N.C. driver paced all 20 laps of the main event to earn his eighth career Volusia victory.
“This will just add to my pond. I have eight of them now,” Hoffman said in Victory Lane as he received his Gator trophy. “Nothing went wrong tonight. Last night was kind of a struggle, but it was awesome tonight. I knew the racetrack was going to be in my favor tonight. I just tried to hug the infield wall and make laps as smooth as I could.”
Hoffman was flawless in the bottom groove and proved too strong even for the field of talented veterans. He held off Arnold, Mo. driver Kenny Wallace in the opening laps and David Stremme of South Bend, Ind. following the final restart of the night on lap 17. “I knew a couple of those guys would try the top, but most of the time here you’re married to the bottom,” Hoffman said.
“I knew if I hit my marks those last two laps it was going to be hard to get around me.”
Stremme was happy to earn a podium finish after starting seventh and recording a sixth-place result on Tuesday night. However, the driver of the No.35 was adamant his team can still find more speed.
“We were just a little bit off last night and we’re just going to keep working on some stuff,” Stremme said. “Hats off to Nick. He was the best car last night and tonight. We’ll keep digging. There are a lot of great cars here. We had to pass a lot to get up here.”
Clarklake, Mich. driver Brian Ruhlman was among the top-three for the second straight night. Ruhlman had to dispatch of Wallace on the final lap to earn a third-place finish.
“We went harder on tire, I think, than anybody else here,” Ruhlman explained. “We got rolling in the middle. We didn’t need that caution at the end because I think those guys were slowing down, but a top-three, we’ll take it.”
Hoffman set fast time to start the night during group time trials with a lap of 18.218 seconds, topping Ruhlman’s Tuesday fast time of 18.747 seconds around the half-mile.
Hoffman was also a heat race winner, along with Ruhlman, Wallace, Garrett Stewart of Leesburg, Fla., Blake Spalding of Lima, Oh., and Jeff Leka of Buffalo, Ill.
Will Krup of Mount Carmel, Ill., Johnny Broking of Grand Rapids, Minn. and Kyle Strickler of Mooresville, NC were winners in a trio of B-Mains. Gene Nicholas of Lowell, Ark. qualified into the main event as the fastest 4th-place finisher in the three B-Mains.
The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds return to action alongside the Arctic All-Star Circuit of Champions sprint car series on Thursday night as the 46th annual DIRTcar Nationals continue at Volusia Speedway Park.
-DIRTcar Press Release & Photo
DIRTcar UMP Modifieds A-Main – [20 Laps – Starting Position in Brackets]: 1. 2 Nick Hoffman , 2. 35 David Stremme , 3. 49 Brian Ruhlman , 4. 36 Kenny Wallace , 5. 67 Garrett Stewart , 6. 90 Jason Beaulieu, 7. 13 Jacob Hawkins , 8. 9 Ken Schrader , 9. 4 Mike Learman , 10. 65 Josh Rice, 11. K9 Will Krup , 12. 2×4 Chase Collins , 13. 7 Justin Allgaier , 14. 3L Jeff Leka , 15. 98 Shon Flanary , 16. 88 Matt Crafton , 17. 21C Taylor Cook , 18. 10Y Trent Young , 19. 11N Gene Nicholas , 20. 45J Johnny Broking , 21. 77 Ray Bollinger , 22. 25 Tyler Nicely , 23. D4 Dave Jamieson , 24. 1 Blake Spalding , 25. 3E Robbie Eilers , 26. 72 Todd Neiheiser , 27. 8 Kyle Strickler , 28. 69 AJ Fike .