BARBERVILLE, FL – Nick Hoffman darted past Robbie Eilers on the opening lap and turned in a dominating 20-lap performance in the main event for his second UMP Modified win of the 46th Annual DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park on Friday night.
Hoffman, a Mooresville, NC native, was perfect all night long. He turned in his second perfect night of the week after he set quick time overall in qualifying before winning his heat race and capped the night with a main event victory.
“Rolling out on to the track before the feature, I knew I would be pretty dialed in,” Hoffman said.
“Robbie just buried it into [turn] one a little too deep and missed the bottom on the first lap. I drove by him by the center and led every lap. It was really good and after that I just made sure to hit my marks.”
On lap 12, Hoffman raced his way into lapped traffic and had to negotiate slower cars. It was a short challenge though, as a caution on lap 14 granted Hoffman a clean racetrack for the final six laps.
Hoffman’s teammate, Willie Krup of Mount Carmel, Ill., used the restart to take second from Eilers and then sustained the runner-up spot for his first podium finish this week.
“If I could hit the bottom without the water being out there [in turn three], we were pretty decent,” Krup said. “All in all, it was a pretty good run for us. I’ve had a fast car all week, I just haven’t gotten the good finishes yet.”
Krup had one final opportunity to steal a win from his teammate when the second and final caution waved for a spin on lap 19 just before Hoffman could take the checkered flag. However, Hoffman wouldn’t be denied as he drove to victory by over two seconds following the restart.
“The way it went all night, I knew if I just hit the bottom and didn’t miss it, I’d be fine,” Hoffman explained. “It was pretty nerve-wracking riding around during that caution thinking something might break.”
Eilers maintained the third spot for his first top-five finish of the week. Rounding out the top-five were Trent Young of Crofton, Ky. and Jacob Hawkins of Fairmont, WV.
“It’s fun here. This is our first trip here,” Eilers said. “It’s Ty Dillon’s old car. The car is familiar with the track, just not me. I think this is good for our first time here.”
Hoffman now enters the weekend of split qualifying nights for Monday’s $5,000-to-win event on a high as the only driver with a pair of Gator trophies this week.
“It’s definitely a confidence booster,” Hoffman said. “The biggest thing is to make sure you get through the heat race, don’t run into anybody and try to keep all four tires inflated.”
Krup, Eilers, Devin Dixon of Apollo Beach, Fla., Taylor Cook of Stanley, NC, and David Stremme of South Bend, Ind. were also heat race winners. Matt Crafton of Tulara, Cali., Tyler Clem of St.Petersburg, Fla. and Justin Allgaier of Riverton, Ill. claimed B-Main victories.
The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds return to action on Saturday night for the first of two qualifying nights for Monday’s $5,000-to-win show. They join the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series for the second straight night. Additional event information is available at www.dirtcarnationals.com.
-DIRTcar Press Release
-Photo credit: DIRTcar Racing
A-Main – (20 Laps) – 1. 2 – Nick Hoffman ; 2. K9 – Will Krup ; 3. 3E – Robbie Eilers ; 4. 10Y – Trent Young ; 5. 13 – Jacob Hawkins ; 6. 35 – David Stremme ; 7. 49 – Brian Ruhlman ; 8. 58 – Devin Dixon ; 9. 90 – Jason Beaulieu ; 10. 78 – Rich Pratt ; 11. 77 – Ray Bollinger ; 12. 8 -Kyle Strickler ; 13. 65 – Josh Rice ; 14. 2 – Jonathan Taylor ; 15. 12 – Tyler Nicely  16. 14T – Tyler Clem ; 17. 36 – Kenny Wallace ; 18. 98F – Derek Fisher ; 19. 17T – Tyler Evans ; 20. 72 – Todd Neiheiser ; 21. 21C – Taylor Cook ; 22. 28BX – Robert Garnes ; 23. 24Z – Zeke McKenzie ; 24. D4 – Dave Jamison ; 25. 7 – Justin Allgaier ; 26. 2X4 – Chase Collins ; 27. 88 – Matt Crafton ; 28. 45J – Johnny Broking .