Elkhart, IN — Reveal The Hammer announces travel money to all Outlaw Super Late Model drivers that participate at the first four rounds of racing. The bonus sponsored by op1vet.com, will offer a $1200 bonus to drivers that have perfect attendance at the first four races of the Reveal The Hammer season.
“We are looking to build a group of race teams to follow the series. This gives fans confidence that they’re going to see their favorite drivers at Reveal The Hammer races,” remarked Donny Klotz of RTH. “We had Ed Christner from Op1Vet looking for way to promote his business and get involved with the series and he liked the idea of supporting drivers that support the series. It’s like a stimulus plan for racers. Along with the drivers’ bonus, one lucky fan will receive a separate award as well.”
The May events at New Paris Speedway and Anderson Speedway as well as the June events at Berlin Raceway and Birch Run Speedway are the four qualifying events. The $1200 bonus will be paid at Birch Run Speedway on June 11. An announcement will be made prior to the August 7th event at Berlin Raceway on the travel bonus for the final 3 races.
Military Veteran and Op1Vet President Ed Christner will be at all Reveal The Hammer races promoting and raising money for the group’s cause, “Changing 1 Veteran’s Life at a Time.” To learn more visit opt1vet.com as well as their social media platforms.
2021 Reveal the Hammer Outlaw Super Late Model Schedule
May 8 New Paris Speedway – New Paris, IN
May 15 Anderson Speedway – Anderson, IN
June 9 Berlin Raceway & Entertainment Center – Marne, MI
June 11 Birch Run Speedway & Event Center – Birch Run, MI
Aug 7 Berlin Raceway & Entertainment Center – Marne, MI
Aug 28 Auto City Speedway – Clio, MI
Sept 11 Birch Run Speedway & Event Center – Birch Run, MI
About Reveal The Hammer Outlaw Super Late Model Series
A touring series designed to support Outlaw Super Late Model competitors looking to compete at a variety of race tracks in the Upper Midwest while still having the ability to compete in a weekly series as well as special high profile events. www.facebook.com/RevealTheHammer
For more information about the Reveal The Hammer Series, visit Facebook @RevealTheHammer or email: [email protected]
-Reveal The Hammer Press Release
-Photo Credit: JohnnyB Imagery
Waverly, OH — Hudson O’Neal won the Buckeye Spring 50 on Sunday Night at Atomic Speedway for his second series win of 2021. For the first time in his career, the 20-year-old Indiana native is atop the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Point Standings.
O’Neal became the third and final leader of the race after he took the lead on lap nine from Devin Moran. He held off Tim McCreadie to win by .563 seconds. Moran came home in third followed by Jonathan Davenport and Kyle Bronson.
Kyle Strickler started on the pole and took the lead at the start of the race as drivers were running two and three-wide around the 3/8ths mile high-banked track. Strickler led until Moran took over the point on lap five. The top three of Moran, Strickler, and O’Neal, were putting on a spectacular race for the lead when Strickler suffered a right rear flat tire, forcing a caution flag with 19 laps complete. Strickler exited to the pits, which meant that no driver on the series tour this year has won from the pole starting spot.
A caution at the halfway mark set-up a long green-flag stretch of racing for 22 laps until a lap 48 caution set up a race to the finish. O’Neal was able to break away on the restart, and that was enough to send him to Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the ninth time in his career.
O’Neal has now joined Tyler Erb as the only 2-time winner so far in LOLMDS competition this season. He previously went to Lucas Oil Victory Lane at East Bay back in January. “I can’t thank these guys enough for their work on this race car. We had one of the University of Northwestern Ohio students on board with us this weekend. Thanks to my family and everybody involved with the race team. This car was awesome from the start. I know McCreadie was all over me a couple of times and all it was going to take was one mistake and he [McCreadie] would get by me.”
McCreadie stayed with O’Neal and was ready to pounce if O’Neal made a mistake, but settled for the second spot. “I didn’t need the yellow at the end. It looked like he [O’Neal] got lost on the track a little bit, which happens sometimes when you are leading. I moved around and found something that was really good. His guys told him that under the caution. We passed a lot of good cars. I wish I could have been a tick better, but it’s no shame finishing second to Hudson.”
Moran was in the hunt for his first series win of the season for most of the race and rounded out the podium in third. “That was a heck of a race. Congratulations to Huddy. He capitalized when I messed up and I feel like we gave that one away. Good job to those guys for winning and to Timmy for second. I feel like we need to keep our heads up and we can get a lot of wins this year.”
The winner’s Roger Sellers owned, Double Down Motorsports Rocket Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Lazydays RV, O’Neal’s Salvage and Recycling, Lucas Oil Products, 210 Enterprises, and WR1 Sim Chassis.
Completing the top ten were Jimmy Owens, Tyler Erb, Josh Richards, Shane Clanton, and Mike Marlar.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Buckeye Spring 50
Sunday, March 21st, 2021
Atomic Speedway – Waverly, OH
Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Jonathan Davenport / 13.938 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Devin Moran / 14.226 seconds
Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, All Transfer): 1. 8-Kyle Strickler; 2. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 3. 1S-Brandon Sheppard; 4. C9-Steve Casebolt; 5. 19R-Ryan Gustin; 6. 14G-Joe Godsey; 7. 20-Jimmy Owens; 8. 21K-Kirk Phillips
Summit Racing Equipment Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, All Transfer): 1. 71-Hudson O’Neal; 2. 81E-Tanner English; 3. 11R-Josh Rice; 4. 21-Billy Moyer Jr; 5. 4G-Kody Evans; 6. 29-Clint Keenan; 7. 28C-Tyler Carpenter
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, All Transfer): 1. 9-Devin Moran; 2. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 3. 1T-Tyler Erb; 4. 14-Josh Richards; 5. 25-Shane Clanton; 6. 71R-Rod Conley; 7. 16R-Rusty Griffaw
Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, All Transfer): 1. 1-Earl Pearson Jr; 2. 39-Tim McCreadie; 3. 157-Mike Marlar; 4. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 5. 20B-Todd Brennan; 6. 14R-Jeff Roth; 7. 20TC-Tristan Chamberlain
Lucas Oil Feature Finish (50 Laps):
|1||3||71||Hudson O’Neal||Martinsville, IN||$13,050|
|2||8||39||Tim McCreadie||Watertown, NY||$7,050|
|3||2||9||Devin Moran||Dresden, OH||$4,550|
|4||5||49||Jonathan Davenport||Blairsville, GA||$2,800|
|5||6||40B||Kyle Bronson||Brandon, FL||$3,550|
|6||25||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN||$3,800|
|7||10||1T||Tyler Erb||New Waverly, TX||$3,250|
|8||14||14||Josh Richards||Shinnston, WV||$3,300|
|9||18||25||Shane Clanton||Zebulon, GA||$3,100|
|10||12||157||Mike Marlar||Winfield, TN||$3,050|
|11||7||81E||Tanner English||Benton, KY||$1,600|
|12||9||1S||Brandon Sheppard||New Berlin, IL||$2,450|
|13||16||20RT||Ricky Thornton Jr||Adel, IA||$2,250|
|14||13||C9||Steve Casebolt||Richmond, IN||$1,100|
|15||4||1||Earl Pearson Jr||Jacksonville, FL||$1,850|
|16||22||71R||Rod Conley||Wheelersburg, OH||$1,000|
|17||24||14R||Jeff Roth||Bentonville, AR||$1,000|
|18||29||21K||Kirk Phillips||Ashland, KY||$1,000|
|19||26||16R||Rusty Griffaw||Festus, MO||$1,000|
|20||21||14G||Joe Godsey||Edinburgh, IN||$1,000|
|21||20||20B||Todd Brennan||Zanesville, OH||$1,000|
|22||17||19R||Ryan Gustin||Marshalltown, IA||$1,000|
|23||27||28C||Tyler Carpenter||Parkersburg, WV||$1,000|
|24||23||29||Clint Keenan||Pataskala, OH||$1,000|
|25||1||8||Kyle Strickler||Mooresville, NC||$1,000|
|26||19||4G||Kody Evans||Camden, OH||$1,000|
|27||28||20TC||Tristan Chamberlain||Richmond, IN||$1,000|
|28||15||21||Billy Moyer Jr||Batesville, AR||$1,000|
|29||11||11R||Josh Rice||Verona, KY||$1,000|
Lap Leaders: Kyle Strickler (Laps 1 – 3); Devin Moran (Laps 4 – 8); Hudson O’Neal (Laps 9 – 50)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Hudson O’Neal
Arizona Sport Shirts CJC – Presented by DirtOnDirt Feature Winner: n/a
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/a
Margin of Victory: 0.563 seconds
Cautions: Josh Rice (Lap 8); Kyle Strickler (Lap 19); Clint Keenan (Lap 25); Ricky Thornton Jr. (Lap 47); Joe Godsey (Lap 48)
Series Provisionals: n/a
Fast Time Provisional: n/a
Series Emergency Provisionals: n/a
Track Provisionals: n/a
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Hudson O’Neal, Tim McCreadie, Devin Moran
Penske Shocks Top 5: Hudson O’Neal, Tim McCreadie, Devin Moran, Jonathan Davenport, Kyle Bronson
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Jimmy Owens (Advanced 19 Positions)
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: none
Hot Rod Processing Most Laps Led: Hudson O’Neal (42 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Jimmy Owens
Eibach Springs Rookie of the Race: n/a
Dirty Girl Racewear Fastest Lap of the Race: Tim McCreadie (Lap #5 – 15.158 seconds)
Fast Shafts Tough Break of the Race: Ricky Thornton Jr.
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Trevor Crittenden (Hudson O’Neal)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Cornett Racing Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Rocket Chassis
Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Tim McCreadie
Time of Race: 33 minutes 44 seconds
-Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Press Release and Photo
Bristol, IN — The talented driver from North Royalton, Ohio looks to build on his 2020 success and take home the 2021 Reveal The Hammer Outlaw Super Late Model title. The young wheelman continues to progress up the Outlaw SLM ladder and has high hopes for his team this summer.
In 2020 the race season for Brandon Short Racing ran a very limited schedule, as did much of the sport due to the pandemic, but the team did compete at the weekly program at Midvale Speedway winning six of seven OSLM events. Then add stout performances at Owosso, Lorain County, and Toledo, the number #18 Direct Detail, Hutter Racing Engines, Senneker Performance hot rod will definitely be a force to reckon with in 2021. In fact, Brandon Short was ranked fifth among active Outlaw Super Late Model drivers according to speed51.com.
“We had plans to travel quite a bit in 2020,” noted Brandon Short. “Then things changed, and we were only mostly at Midvale. I really believe we will see Outlaw car counts grow thanks to all the buzz the Reveal The Hammers group is getting and I look forward to getting back on the track with the best Outlaw Super Late Model racers in the country.”
Look for Brandon and all the stars of Reveal The Hammer Outlaw Super Late Models to begin their quest for the championship in early May at New Paris Speedway in New Paris, Indiana.
Brandon Short Racing: Facebook @brandonshortracing
2021 Reveal the Hammer Outlaw Super Late Model Schedule
May 8 New Paris Speedway – New Paris, IN
May 15 Anderson Speedway – Anderson, IN
June 9 Berlin Raceway & Entertainment Center – Marne, MI
June 11 Birch Run Speedway & Event Center – Birch Run, MI
Aug 7 Berlin Raceway & Entertainment Center – Marne, MI
Aug 28 Auto City Speedway – Clio, MI
Sept 11 Birch Run Speedway & Event Center – Birch Run, MI
For more information about the Reveal The Hammer Series, visit Facebook @RevealTheHammer or email: [email protected]
-Reveal The Hammer Press Release
-Photo Credit: Brandon Short Facebook
Barberville, FL — The dread that flowed through Brandon Overton’s veins like snake venom was extracted Friday night with the help of a golden gator.
Overton, who historically hadn’t run well at Volusia Speedway Park and had bad luck throughout the first few races of the 2021 50th DIRTcar Nationals – breaking a motor and wrecking a car – found his anti-venom and dominated the 40-lap World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Feature. The event was round three for the Series during the DIRTcar Nationals and round five for the Late Model Big Gator championship.
He drew the fourth-place starting position but got to move up to the outside pole when Bobby Pierce – initially supposed to start second – had motor issues and moved to the rear in Reid Millard’s #14 car.
Once Overton saw the green flag, he never saw his closest competitors again. He didn’t even feel their pressure as he had a half-a-track lead for most of the race with his #76 car. Overton led from green to checkered, picking up his 14th career World of Outlaws victory and first at Volusia Speedway Park.
“Hell, man, I’m excited. I’ve been wanting one of these gators (trophies) for a long time,” said Overton, commonly known as Big Sexy. “I finally got me one.
“I’ve had the lowest of lows here driving other people’s cars and my own stuff. I’ve never been really good here. So, to finally get it is a relief, I’m telling you. I dread every time I look at that schedule and see Volusia. I’m like, ‘God, I suck there.’ I don’t want to go there. But we keep working on it and working on it and we finally got it.”
While Overton dominated, Devin Moran began dusting the Big Gator championship throne for himself to sit on. He had another impressive run, charging from eighth to second, powering around the outside of those in front of him. With that run, he’s nearly clinched the Big Gator championship as Pierce – his closest competitor – didn’t finish the race.
Moran initially wasn’t even sure he was going to come to Volusia for the DIRTcar Nationals. His decision to come and play earned him his first Volusia Speedway Park win on Thursday and a strong chance of securing his first Big Gator trophy.
“It really sucks for Bobby,” Moran said. “He was a lot better than me in that Heat Race. He was probably going to have something for Brandon there in the Feature. We just missed it a little bit. Got in the wall there a little bit halfway through and took me out of contention there… All in all it was still a good night.”
Florida-native Kyle Bronson ran second for the majority of the event with Brent Larson having a career run in third behind him – looking to claim his first podium finish. The two began to cut into Overton’s four-second lead while the leader was stuck in traffic. But with five laps to go, hearts broke around the half-mile speedway when Larson’s left rear tire blew. He was able to finish but had to settle for a 16th-place finish.
While Larson had to bear the weight of disappointment once again, he was still able to end the night with his head held high. Especially having won his second career Drydene Heat Race and beating current Series points leader Kyle Strickler to get it.
“Strickler is leading point and undoubtedly the star here the past couple of weeks,” Larson said. “To be able to beat him going into (turn) one and beat him in that Heat Race is a big confidence builder.”
Bronson, who won the Series’ season-opening race at Volusia during the Sunshine Nationals ended up settling for third. However, his run moved him up to second in Series points – currently 68 points behind Strickler, who finished sixth – his worst finish in the first five races of the season.
“Our car has been good all week,” Bronson said. “We’ve just had stupid stuff happen. Broke a distributor cap. Should’ve ran in the top-five the other day and a tire blew out. Things just haven’t gone our way. We had a pretty fast car all week. Things just haven’t been great. Overall, these guys have been working hard and his Longhorn car has been good all week. We just have to be a little bit better.”
While Overton was able to find his anti-venom at Volusia, three-time defending champion Brandon Sheppard is still looking for his. He finished 11th and fell to sixth in points – 80 points behind Strickler. He’s yet to secure a top-five finish this season. His championship rival last year, Ricky Weiss, was involved in a crash on the front stretch with six laps to go. It dropped him to a 22nd-place finish.
All of them will have one more chance to claim a gator trophy on Saturday when the two-week-long DIRTcar Nationals comes to an epic conclusion.
The World of Outlaws Morton Building Late Model Series, on Saturday, Feb. 13, will run the final night of the 50th DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park and crown a new Big Gator Champion. For tickets, click HERE.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision.
Morton Buildings Feature (40 Laps) – 1. 76-Brandon Overton [$10,000]; 2. 9-Devin Moran [$6,000]; 3. 40B-Kyle Bronson [$3,500]; 4. 44-Chris Madden [$2,800]; 5. OE-Rick Eckert [$2,500]; 6. 8-Kyle Strickler [$2,300]; 7. 28-Dennis Erb [$2,200]; 8. 16-Tyler Bruening [$2,100]; 9. 29V-Darrell Lanigan [$2,050]; 10. 14-Josh Richards [$2,000]; 11. 1-Brandon Sheppard [$1,600]; 12. 97-Cade Dillard [$1,400]; 13. 72-Mike Norris [$1,200]; 14. 17M-Dale McDowell [$1,100]; 15. 58-Ross Bailes [$1,050]; 16. B1-Brent Larson [$1,000]; 17. 18-Chase Junghans [$110]; 18. 385-Mark Whitener [$1,000]; 19. 56-Tony Jackson [$1,000]; 20. 99B-Boom Briggs [$1,000]; 21. O-Scott Bloomquist [$1,000]; 22. 7-Ricky Weiss [$1,000]; 23. 19R-Ryan Gustin [$1,000]; 24. 25-Shane Clanton [$1,000]; 25. 6-Blake Spencer [$110]; 26. 54-David Breazeale [$110]; 27. OS-Ryan Scott [$110]; 28. 32-Bobby Pierce [$1,000]; Hard Charger Award: 18-Chase Junghans[+9]
Qualifying Flight-A – 1. 40B-Kyle Bronson, 16.152; 2. 76-Brandon Overton, 16.165; 3. O-Scott Bloomquist, 16.313; 4. 56-Tony Jackson, 16.376; 5. OE-Rick Eckert, 16.405; 6. 16-Tyler Bruening, 16.415; 7. 1-Brandon Sheppard, 16.442; 8. 17M-Dale McDowell, 16.447; 9. 3S-Brian Shirley, 16.519; 10. 97-Cade Dillard, 16.521; 11. 72-Mike Norris, 16.552; 12. 54-David Breazeale, 16.596; 13. 33-Jeff Mathews, 16.619; 14. 58-Ross Bailes, 16.654; 15. 385-Mark Whitener, 16.755; 16. 1st-Johnny Scott, 16.772; 17. 14G-Joe Godsey, 16.901; 18. 6-Blake Spencer, 17.023; 19. 14B-John Baker, 18.482
Qualifying Flight-B – 1. 32-Bobby Pierce, 16.138; 2. 8-Kyle Strickler, 16.148; 3. 9-Devin Moran, 16.43; 4. B1-Brent Larson, 16.546; 5. 28-Dennis Erb, 16.546; 6. 44-Chris Madden, 16.554; 7. 7R-Ross Robinson, 16.659; 8. 76N-Blair Nothdurft, 16.684; 9. 14-Josh Richards, 16.773; 10. 19R-Ryan Gustin, 16.807; 11. 29V-Darrell Lanigan, 16.811; 12. 18-Chase Junghans, 16.834; 13. 7-Ricky Weiss, 16.849; 14. 25-Shane Clanton, 16.85; 15. 31-Tyler Millwood, 16.983; 16. 99B-Boom Briggs, 17.216; 17. 14M-Reid Millard, 17.273; 18. 89-G.R. Smith, 17.464; 19. OS-Ryan Scott, 17.516
-World of Outlaws Press Release
-Photo Credit: Jacy Norgaard
Barberville, FL — Michael Maresca stomped his throttle at the drop of the green flag and drove wheel-to-wheel with seven-time Volusia Speedway Park winner and three-time Big Gator champion Matt Sheppard to capture his first career Super DIRTcar Series Feature win.
The Pierrepont, NY driver of the #7MM is the pride of the North Country back in New York after topping a DIRTcar Nationals podium crowded with Series championships and Gator trophy winners. Seven-time Series champion Matt Sheppard, from Waterloo, NY, finished second while three-time champ and Gypsum Racing driver Billy Decker finished third.
That’s the definition of a stout crowd.
“Everyone’s dream, when they start racing in the Northeast, is to win a Super DIRTcar Series race and I finally won one,” Maresca said. “It’s cool to start the year off with a win and to get a Big Block win is especially awesome. It means a lot. I don’t think it’s set in yet. I try to go with the mindset that each race is the same but I’m sure tonight, when I’m lying in bed, I’ll think about all the struggles in the past and realize how awesome this is.”
Maresca, who raced a DIRTcar Late Model earlier in the week, has found speed in his Big Block around The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.
“Our car had been consistent the last two nights,” he said. “We’ve made little tweaks here or there. We did some testing and the track really suited my style for those first 10 laps when it was really racy.
“We’ve been close the last couple of nights. Our first night was rough but we completely regrouped and went back after it.”
He’s found success with his setup using a new shock package on the #7MM.
“I want to thank the guys at Penske Racing Shocks,” Maresca said. “They gave us a package to get around this place that’s working really good. There are only two of us here running them. My whole team just kept working and we got it done. I’m really happy to get this car in Victory Lane for those guys.”
When the green flag flew to start the 30-lap Feature, there was an immediate battle between the #9S of Sheppard and Maresca. Sheppard threw his Big Block to the outside but couldn’t execute the pass.
“We had a really good race there,” Maresca said. “I figured Sheppard would be on the bottom but he came around the outside and I was able to clear him and move up. I think we had a really stout race car.”
Despite falling short of the win, Sheppard was pleased with his result.
“It was a good night for us,” Sheppard said. “We gave Michael [Maresca] a run on the high side for a while but I just couldn’t get by him once he cleared down to the bottom. I think he was a little better than me anyway.”
Billy Decker has been wracking up podiums all week but, once again, needed a little more out of his Bicknell to get in a winning position.
“We like parking on the front stretch but obviously we’d like to park down there,” said Decker, of Unadilla, NY. “The Gypsum Wholesaler car has been good. These guys work really hard. We’ve been consistent. We’ve had a rocket since we unloaded it. We didn’t always Time Trial well some nights but we raced really good every night which is important because we normally run really long races. We’re looking forward to it.”
Max McLaughlin still leads the 50th DIRTcar Nationals Big Gator championship going into Saturday’s finale. Billy Decker rides in second while Maresca climbed into third. Both McLaughlin and Maresca have a chance to win their first Big Gator the same year as their first Little Gators.
Billy VanInwegen picked up a strong fourth-place finish. He will be eager to come back for the 50-lap Feature while Peter Britten grabbed another top-five finish.
Next up, on Saturday, Feb. 13, the final night of the 50th DIRTcar Nationals is set to pit the stars of the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds against each other for 50 laps and a $5,000-to-win prize. If you can’t make it to the track, watch live on DIRTVision. Hot Laps begin at 5:30pm (ET).
Full results here.
Feature (30 Laps)
1. 7MM-Michael Maresca [$4,000]; 2. 9S-Matt Sheppard [$2,000]; 3. 91-Billy Decker [$1,000]; 4. 4-Billy VanInwegen [$800]; 5. 21A-Peter Britten [$700]; 6. 30-Ryan Godown [$650]; 7. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [$600]; 8. 88-Mat Williamson [$550]; 9. 32C-Max McLaughlin [$500]; 10. 7F-Tim Fuller [$450]; 11. 19M-Jessey Mueller [$400]; 12. 25-Erick Rudolph [$375]; 13. 2-Jack Lehner [$350]; 14. 6-Matt Stangle [$325]; 15. 118-Jim Britt [$300]; 16. 8-Rich Scagliotta [$300]; 17. 14-CG Morey [$300]; 18. 16X-Dan Creeden [$300]; 19. 20-Brett Hearn [$300]; 20. 26-Derrick McGrew [$300]; 21. 48T-Dave Rauscher [$300]; 22. 1-Darwin Greene [$300]; 23. 46-Jeremy Smith [$300]; 24. 17D-Marcus Dinkins [$300]; 25. 1D-Tyler Dippel [$300]; 26. 23-Kyle Coffey [$300]; 27. B52-Brandon Hightower [$300] Hard Charger Award: 48T-Dave Rauscher[+6]
-Super DIRTcar Series Press Release
-Photo Credit: Jacy Norgaard
Ocala, FL — New engines, new cars, new crew guys and a new shop. That is among the inventory Justin Grant has had to adapt to for the start of the 2021 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car season.
But what isn’t new for the Ione, Calif. driver is finding victory lane early and often with the series, which he did once again Friday night in the second round for the Sprint Cars during Winter Dirt Games XII at Bubba Raceway Park, chasing down fellow Californian Jake Swanson for the lead just eight laps from the finish.
Like clockwork, Grant has now won each of his three USAC National Sprint Car features at the Ocala, Florida 3/8-mile dirt track on a Friday night in an odd-numbered year, previously doing so in both 2017 and 2019.
The latest triumph gave Grant his 21st career USAC National Sprint Car feature victory, equaling him with 1967 series champion Greg Weld for 31st all-time.
After leading the standings for most of the first half of 2020, Grant hopes that this victory is an omen of sorts, one that will carry on the tradition of successive drivers who’ve won at Ocala, then parlayed that achievement into a USAC National Sprint Car championship six times overall in the past 11 years, and in each of the last three years with Tyler Courtney (2018), C.J. Leary (2019) and Brady Bacon (2020) all doing the deed.
“Getting through Florida with some confidence is huge,” Grant stated. “With a month off, there’s almost like another offseason after this weekend, so just being able to go home and feel good is awesome leading into the year. If you run good down here, your car owners are excited, and are wanting to spend money. The crew guys are excited, and they’re wanting to go the extra mile. Good success early just really snowballs, and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the year.”
Grant is grateful for the faith that team owner Kevin Birchmeier has put in him, allowing Grant to take the reins of the team and move it to his own shop on Gasoline Alley in Indianapolis, Ind. Two new Maxims were constructed, and two new Kistler engines were installed. Now a couple chaotic, busy and productive late January/early February days and nights have led to a spectacular start to the new season, which sees Grant and the team in first place in the standings.
With a dedicated crew on his TOPP Motorsports/NOS Energy Drink – MPV Express – TOPP Industries/Maxim/Kistler Chevy, it’s an entire atmosphere, situation and climate that Grant embraces, and he wouldn’t have any other way.
“I’m having so much fun,” Grant said. “We’ve been going to the car wash every night afterwards, hanging out, laughing, pressure washing cars, cleaning things up, and then going out for dinner afterwards, then getting up in the morning, doing maintenance; we’re sprint car racing and it’s just a ton of fun.”
Grant started all the way back in the eighth position while, up front, Kyle Cummins controlled the pace on the opening lap from the pole position, same as he did in Thursday night’s opener. However, Cummins slid just a tad wide off the moistrous bottom in turn three on the second lap and third-starting Swanson was there to pounce, slipping underneath Cummins off four, and pulling a wheel stand as he crossed the start/finish line with the race lead.
Swanson built up a 1.5 second lead in the ensuing laps, but following a lap 11 caution for debris, the now third-running Grant began to surge, racing under Tanner Thorson for second on the 12th lap, then raced by Swanson for the lead in much the same manner one lap later.
However, over in turn three, 8th running Tyler Courtney banged the outside concrete, flattening his right rear tire and sending him to the work area. Repairs were made and Courtney returned to the field, racing from the tail of the field to a respectable 8th place finish at the checkered.
The stoppage placed Swanson back in front of Grant for the restart, and Swanson proceeded to command the mid-section of the 30-lapper, including another restart after series Rookie Paul Nienhiser’s collision with the turn four wall on lap 14.
Like déjà vu, on the 23rd lap, Grant found a lane underneath Swanson for the lead exiting turn four. The two drag raced side-by-side to the bottom of turn one with the pair banging wheels, Grant’s right rear and Swanson’s left front. In a close quarters race, there’s maybe only one chance you get to see for the race lead. Grant saw that opportunity knock and went after it.
“(Swanson) left the door open off of four and he was beat down the front stretch and into one,” Grant explained. “He tried to dog me down in there and just wasn’t in a position to be able to do it. We made contact, but I was far enough up under him that he knew what was coming; he knows the game. He’s a good friend of mine, he’s at my house all the time and he’s a good dude. We’ll be fine but I’m sure he might be mad tonight.”
“You hate to do that to a guy leading his first race,” Grant continued. “They’re all awesome people, but I’m here to do a job. I’m here to put racecars in victory lane for everybody that supports this effort as well as (team owner) Kevin Birchmeier. That’s what he hired me to do, and when I show up to the racetrack, that’s what I’m here to do. Jake’s one of my best friends, but when I signed in at the pit gate, I’m not getting paid to be Jake’s friend. You’ve got to do your job as much as it pains you sometimes to do it.”
As Swanson regathered himself to stay in front of Thorson for the runner-up spot, Buddy Kofoid stepped up to the topside to race around both Swanson and Thorson, then immediately began to threaten Grant’s supremacy at the head of the pack with six laps remaining.
“Buddy was up there,” Grant remembered. “We got to Davey Ray to lap him, and I’m idling the bottom, so the motor’s really quiet, but I hear this motor just screaming down the front stretch, pretty close. I’m like ‘Ooh, that guy ain’t coming off the bottom. He’s blazing the top.’ I cleared Davey into one, then in the middle of two, I thought to myself, ‘Do I bail off the bottom, do I go to the top,” and then the yellow lights came on. I remember thinking, ‘Whew, thank god. Now I’ve got a few laps to roll around and think about that decision.'”
“Clinton Boyles, who’s down here helping us out this week, leaned out through the pit gates pointing to the top of three and four and I said, ‘Got it, got it.’ That gave me confidence in that decision and I’m really glad he did that. I don’t know if I would’ve had the nerve to do that after leading everything on the bottom. It’s hard to make that move.”
On the restart, Grant had no qualms establishing a presence at the topside of turns three and four and began to distance himself from the field while the battle raged for second with Brady Bacon racing around the outside of Kofoid for second just three laps from the finish.
After finishing 2nd the night prior, Grant did one better on Friday, wrapping up the victory by a 1.164 second margin with Bacon, Kofoid, Thorson and C.J. Leary rounding out the top-five.
Brady Bacon’s 2nd place result in his Dynamics, Inc./Fatheadz Eyewear – Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts – TelStar/Triple X/Rider Chevy was unique in the manner that it was achieved. It was the three-time series’ champion’s fourth consecutive Hughes Racing / Indiana Mafia / Flamingo Sandy / KSE Racing Products Hard Charger award at Bubba Raceway Park since 2020, all advancements of exactly eight positions. No more, no less. Last year, the Broken Arrow, Okla. native raced from 9th to 1st twice, and on Thursday of this year, he went 12th to 4th, and on Friday, went 10th to 2nd.
Buddy Kofoid (Penngrove, Calif.) made his fourth career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature start his best thus far, challenging for the race lead late and finishing 3rd in his Chris Dyson Racing/Thetford – Lelands.com – JVI Group – Norcold/Maxim/Ott Chevy. All four of his series starts have resulted in top-ten finishes thus far.
Five drivers are locked into Saturday’s $10,000-to-win Winter Dirt Games XII finale, having secured the first five starting births after earning the most combined points throughout Thursday’s and Friday’s activities: high point man Justin Grant, as well as Thursday’s winner Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.), Brady Bacon, Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.) and Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.).
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 12, 2021 – Bubba Raceway Park – Ocala, Florida – Winter Dirt Games XII – 3/8-Mile Dirt Track
FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING FIRST FLIGHT: 1. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall/Newman-13.988; 2. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9K, KT-14.127; 3. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-14.225; 4. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-14.277; 5. Paul Nienhiser, 5N, KO-14.393; 6. Tanner Thorson, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-14.449; 7. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-14.507; 8. Chase Johnson, 22, Goodnight-14.517; 9. Dave Darland, 5, Baldwin/Fox/Curb-Agajanian-14.535; 10. Noah Gass, 20G, Gass-14.756; 11. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-14.791; 12. Jadon Rogers, 61m, Edwards-14.809; 13. Chayse Hayhurst, 20, Hayhurst-14.857; 14. Dustin Clark, 75, Clark-14.942; 15. Stevie Sussex, 77, Wingo-14.967; 16. Mario Clouser, 6, EZR-14.998; 17. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-15.130; 18. Drew Rader, 74, Heitmeyer-15.458; 19. Cam Schafer, 97, Roach-15.469; 20. Jesse Vermillion, 5v, Vermillion-15.661; 21. Blake Vermillion, 73, Vermillion-15.696; 22. Craig Pellegrini, 27, Pellegrini-16.143; 23. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-16.649.
FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING SECOND FLIGHT: 1. Timmy Buckwalter, 7, Lotier-13.884; 2. Jake Swanson, 21AZ, Team AZ-13.906; 3. Buddy Kofoid, 20K, Dyson-13.968; 4. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-14.026; 5. Chris Windom, 19, Hayward-14.069; 6. C.J. Leary, 77m, Michael-14.082; 7. Chase Stockon, 5s, KO-14.138; 8. Briggs Danner, 5G, Gallagher-14.365; 9. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-14.388; 10. Sterling Cling, 34, Cling-14.391; 11. Davey Ray, 14AJ, FattFro/RayPro-14.417; 12. Cole Bodine, 57, DCT-14.463; 13. Carson Garrett, 15, KO-14.587; 14. Kade Morton, 8m, Morton-14.635; 15. Kory Schudy, 28K, Sawyer-14.712; 16. Ryan Thomas, 77FR, Wingo-14.712; 17. Max Adams, 17GP, Dutcher-14.751; 18. Shane Butler, 18, Butler-14.993; 19. Brent Beauchamp, 2E, Epperson-15.059; 20. Dickie Gaines, 44, Soudrette-15.118; 21. Riley Kreisel, 91, DKR-15.134; 22. Scott Evans, 118, Evans-15.426.
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Tyler Courtney, 3. Dave Darland, 4. Robert Ballou, 5. Paul Nienhiser, 6. Stevie Sussex, 7. Brandon Mattox, 8. Matt Goodnight, 9. Chayse Hayhurst, 10. Blake Vermillion, 11. Cam Schafer, 12. Robert Bell. 2:01.830
COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Tanner Thorson, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Noah Gass, 4. Kevin Thomas Jr., 5. Jadon Rogers, 6. Chase Johnson, 7. Mario Clouser, 8. Dustin Clark, 9. Drew Rader, 10. Jesse Vermillion, 11. Craig Pellegrini. 2:03.013
INDY METAL FINISHING THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Davey Ray, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Buddy Kofoid, 4. Matt Westfall, 5. Timmy Buckwalter, 6. Chase Stockon, 7. Brent Beauchamp, 8. Kory Schudy, 9. Riley Kreisel, 10. Max Adams, 11. Carson Garrett. NT
INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Kyle Cummins, 2. C.J. Leary, 3. Cole Bodine, 4. Jake Swanson, 5. Briggs Danner, 6. Sterling Cling, 7. Dickie Gaines, 8. Ryan Thomas, 9. Kade Morton, 10. Scott Evans, 11. Shane Butler. 2:05.141
C-MAIN: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the semi) 1. Mario Clouser, 2. Brandon Mattox, 3. Brent Beauchamp, 4. Ryan Thomas, 5. Scott Evans, 6. Riley Kreisel, 7. Blake Vermillion, 8. Cam Schafer, 9. Craig Pellegrini, 10. Dickie Gaines, 11. Shane Butler, 12. Max Adams, 13. Drew Rader, 14. Jesse Vermillion. NT
SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Paul Nienhiser, 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Kory Schudy, 4. Chase Johnson, 5. Jadon Rogers, 6. Timmy Buckwalter, 7. Matt Goodnight, 8. Mario Clouser, 9. Carson Garrett, 10. Briggs Danner, 11. Brandon Mattox, 12. Dustin Clark, 13. Sterling Cling, 14. Chayse Hayhurst, 15. Ryan Thomas, 16. Kade Morton, 17. Stevie Sussex, 18. Brent Beauchamp. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Justin Grant (8), 2. Brady Bacon (10), 3. Buddy Kofoid (3), 4. Tanner Thorson (7), 5. C.J. Leary (13), 6. Kevin Thomas Jr. (4), 7. Jake Swanson (5), 8. Tyler Courtney (6), 9. Chris Windom (11), 10. Robert Ballou (2), 11. Chase Stockon (15), 12. Chase Johnson (16), 13. Jadon Rogers (21), 14. Kory Schudy (22), 15. Matt Westfall (17), 16. Noah Gass (19), 17. Timmy Buckwalter (14), 18. Mario Clouser (24), 19. Kyle Cummins (1), 20. Davey Ray (9), 21. Paul Nienhiser (12), 22. Cole Bodine (20), 23. Dave Darland (18), 24. Stevie Sussex (23). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Kyle Cummins, Laps 2-22 Jake Swanson, Laps 23-30 Justin Grant.
**Brent Beauchamp flipped during the semi.
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Justin Grant-153, 2-Kevin Thomas Jr.-142, 3-Brady Bacon-142, 4-Tanner Thorson-135, 5-C.J. Leary-122, 6-Kyle Cummins-109, 7-Jake Swanson-108, 8-Chris Windom-107, 9-Timmy Buckwalter-91, 10-Robert Ballou-91.
WINTER DIRT GAMES XII SPRINT POINTS: (Top-5 locked into Saturday’s feature) 1-Justin Grant-689, 2-Kevin Thomas Jr.-675, 3-Brady Bacon-675, 4-Tanner Thorson-656, 5-Tyler Courtney-654, 6-C.J. Leary-639, 7-Kyle Cummins-635, 8-Buddy Kofoid-627, 9-Chris Windom-623, 10-Jake Swanson-615.
OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-16, 2-C.J. Leary-12, 3-Chase Stockon-12, 4-Tanner Carrick-9, 5-Bryant Wiedeman-9, 6-Cannon McIntosh-9, 7-Noah Gass-9, 8-Chris Windom-8, 9-Jadon Rogers-8, 10-Kory Schudy-8.
PROSOURCE WINTER DIRT GAMES XII SPRINT CAR PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-18, 2-Kory Schudy-18, 3-Chase Stockon-17, 4-Justin Grant-14, 5-Jadon Rogers-13, 6-Paul Nienhiser-12, 7-Riley Kreisel-10, 8-Chris Windom-8, 9-C.J. Leary-8, 10-Tyler Courtney-8.
NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: February 13, 2021 – Bubba Raceway Park – Ocala, Florida – Winter Dirt Games XII – 3/8-Mile Dirt Track
CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:
Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier: Timmy Buckwalter
Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Justin Grant
Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Tanner Thorson
Indy Metal Finishing Third Heat Winner: Davey Ray
Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner: Kyle Cummins
Hughes Racing / Indiana Mafia / Flamingo Sandy / KSE Racing Products Hard Charger:
Brady Bacon (10th to 2nd)
Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Jadon Rogers
Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer: Matt Goodnight
ProSource Hard Work Award: Kory Schudy
-USAC Press Release
-Photo Credit: DB3 Inc
Barberville, FL — It was all Tim McCreadie on Monday night when the DIRTcar Late Models rolled into Volusia Speedway Park for the 50th DIRTcar Nationals.
T-Mac’s Monday masterclass gave him his 13th career DIRTcar Nationals feature victory in his third different series, extending his honor of being one of the most diverse drivers of his generation. He’s now got six DIRTcar Late Model wins, five Super DIRTcar Series wins, and two World of Outlaws Late Model wins at the #FLinFeb staple.
Starting from the pole position aboard his Longhorn Chassis #39, the Watertown, NY native immediately scooted to the race lead and never let it go. He encountered one close call through lap traffic and had to survive a hungry Mark Whitener in the closing stages, but there was nothing to stop the former World of Outlaws champion from clinching the wire-to-wire win.
“I know of knew what to do, I just had to lay into the cushion until somebody drove by me somewhere else,” McCreadie noted. “I kept seeing Phil and he gave me some great hand signals. It’s always nice to get a win down here during speedweeks.”
Even with all of his success at the Barberville, FL half-mile, McCreadie has yet to score a DIRTcar Nationals Big Gator Championship. That’s a stat he could change this week, especially considering his strong start with a W.
“I’m just lucky to do this, and I just appreciate what everyone does for me,” McCreadie said. “I don’t do as much as I used to, these guys they pick up all the slack if I need to take a nap because I’m getting old. It’s not easy. Every one of us is trying as hard as we can out here, but sometimes it’s not your night, so we’ll take this. We know we’ve got another day tomorrow.”
Chasing McCreadie to the line and making it interesting down the stretch was Mark Whitener, who gave it his all in the #5. After starting fourth, Whitener went searching and slid by Devin Moran then Kyle Bronson to get to the runner-up spot. He kept his run alive by tracking down McCreadie, but the clock ran out and the 30-lapper went checkered before he could make a move.
“I had to hunt something down to pass him, I found something when I got to second,” Whitener thought. “I started losing the ass end of the car getting into the corner though, and I just couldn’t hang with him on the top. I never could pull up to his bumper to get a slidejob on him. All in all, a really good finish for us against these guys.
Rounding out the podium on night one of the DIRTcar Nationals was Devin Moran of Dresden, OH.
“I wish we could’ve started on the front row to see what we could’ve given Timmy,” Moran said. “Mark moved around more than I did in the middle part and he just got up there sooner than me.”
Closing out the top ten in Monday’s program, which included a 51-car field, was Kyle Bronson, Bobby Pierce, Brandon Sheppard, Brandon Overton, Josh Richards, Rick Eckert and Tyler Bruening.
The action resumes at Volusia Speedway Park on Tuesday, Feb. 9 with the second night of Late Model Week at the 50th DIRTcar Nationals. The DIRTcar Late Models are again on the docket, this time alongside the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds making their first appearance of the event.
If you can’t be here in person, you can watch all the action LIVE on DIRTVision.
Feature (30 Laps): 1. 39-Tim McCreadie; 2. 5-Mark Whitener; 3. 9-Devin Moran; 4. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 5. 32-Bobby Pierce; 6. 1-Brandon Sheppard; 7. 76-Brandon Overton; 8. 14-Josh Richards; 9. 0E-Rick Eckert; 10. 16-Tyler Bruening; 11. 3S-Brian Shirley; 12. 58-Ross Bailes; 13. 29V-Darrell Lanigan; 14. 19-Chase Junghans; 15. 97-Cade Dillard; 16. 20-Jimmy Owens; 17. 72-Mike Norris; 18. 2-Dan Stone; 19. 99B-Boom Briggs; 20. 7MM-Michael Maresca; 21. 6JR-Parker Martin; 22. 54-David Breazeale; 23. 21-Billy Moyer Jr; 24. 17M-Dale McDowell.
-DIRTcar Racing Press Release and Photo
Ocala, FL — Thomas Meseraull has made a habit of winning USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget races of late.
A 21-year journey to his first series victory late last year has now led the San Jose, Calif. native to winning three of his last eight starts, including round two of the series’ season at Ocala, Florida’s Bubba Raceway Park, a race that was postponed to a rare Monday night start after being rained out on Saturday.
Meseraull led from start to finish in his RMS Racing/EnviroFab – Response Management Services – Engler Machine/Spike/Speedway Toyota, wiring all 30 laps at the 3/8-mile D-shaped dirt track, but required having to fight off repeated challenges from reigning champ Chris Windom and Saturday’s winner, Buddy Kofoid, down the stretch.
In doing so, Meseraull became just the third driver to win both a USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget and USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature at Bubba Raceway Park (Tyler Courtney and Chris Windom). Meseraull previously won the sprint finale at the track in 2016.
In on the ground floor of the formation of RMS Racing in its initial season of competition in 2018, Meseraull quickly hit his stride, the best of which he’s enjoyed since his 1999 USAC debut. It’s a stride that has seen both the team and driver prosper and grow together into one of the elite powers on the trail.
“I feel like I’ve always been able to win, but I wasn’t in equipment that was capable of winning,” Meseraull said. “Tonight, we ended up on the front row and that was really the key to the night because the track was so fast. There are always six to eight guys who can win these races, and if you start in front of those guys, you have as good, if not a better, opportunity to win. I’m just excited to be a part of high-profile team like RMS Racing.”
Spectators see the on-track performance that results in wins, but ultimately, Meseraull feels that it all starts in the shop. From top-to-bottom, it’s every individual who helps makes this team go, which in turn, helps them prepare for track and atmospheric conditions such as the one presented Monday night.
“As always, all the work is done in the shop,” Meseraull said. “We’ve really put forth the effort at the shop. We bring top notch equipment, and we have a guy for everything. We have a tire guy; we have a car chief; we have a crew chief; we have an engine guy. Dave (Estep), who owns the cars, is the engine guy and he was spot on tonight. The track was in pretty optimal condition. This air is so different (in Florida); you really have to stay on top of the fuel settings because these cars are not electrical injection, so they don’t tune themselves. You have to keep up with the air as you go.”
RMS and Meseraull certainly kept up with that aspect all night, and there were formidable foes in Windom and Kofoid who kept pace with Meseraull all throughout but were unable to mount enough of a charge to get by. Meseraull felt that if he routinely hit his marks for all 30 laps, regardless of what move his opponents made, he’d be in good shape if he didn’t commit an error.
“It’s tough when you’re leading,” Meseraull admitted. “You don’t know who’s behind you or how close they are, or if they’re gaining, but this is the best this RMS Racing No. 7x has felt all week. I was pretty confident I had the car to beat.”
Throughout the duration, Windom remained a couple car lengths behind Meseraull, and routinely presented a challenge to Meseraull by poking the nose of his car underneath at the exit of turn four, with Meseraull able to withstand any and all threats. However, with eight laps remaining, a new hurdle lie ahead with the tail end of the lead lap cars in sight.
“Lappers are always tough because, anymore, everybody’s so fast,” Meseraull explained. “We barely caught the lappers, and when we caught them, we were only a tenth or two faster than them. It’s kind of hard to know where to go. At this place, turns three and four are so tricky, and you really have to get off (turn) four correctly or you lose two to five tenths in a lap if you just mess up that corner. That was crucial.”
As first heat race winner Taylor Reimer was perched high up in turn four, Meseraull responded by diving low into turn one. As Meseraull slid up, Windom ducked under when exiting turn two, pulling completely alongside Meseraull with Kofoid just a single car length behind as the top-three diced through traffic.
“I actually was getting ready to drive around the outside of (Reimer) and saw her toss the nose and come across the track,” detailed Meseraull. “I ended up having to turn and go underneath her. It worked out, but at the same time, I about crashed the car doing it. But that’s how you win races; you’ve got to hang it out every single lap of every single race.”
Meseraull kept Windom at bay to score a 0.515 second margin over Chris Windom, Buddy Kofoid, Justin Grant and Daison Pursley.
Tanner Thorson, who was running 5th on the final lap, had an engine issue on the final corner of the final lap that resulted in a brief ball of fire, and forced him to coast across the finish line in the 8th position in the final rundown. His 11 total positions advanced throughout the weekend, however, did net him Winter Dirt Games XII ProSource Midget Passing Master honors.
Windom (Canton, Ill.) began his title defense with a pair of podium finishes in Ocala, a 3rd on Saturday and a runner-up finish to round out the weekend in the CB Industries/NOS Energy Drink – PristineAuction.com – K & C Drywall/Spike/Speedway Toyota. A second is nice, but the champ wanted more.
“It’s disappointing because you want to win these races,” Windom said. “It was wide open the whole time, and the only shot I had to get him was in lapped traffic. We just didn’t make the right moves there. I felt like we were better than him, but we just couldn’t get by him and he ran a smart race and didn’t make any mistakes. When the track is that fast, that’s about all you can do there.”
Kofoid (Penngrove, Calif.) followed up Saturday’s triumph with a 3rd place result on Monday aboard his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Mobil 1 – Toyota – TRD – IWX/Bullet By Spike/Speedway Toyota.
“Two wins would’ve felt even better, but two podiums is nothing to hang your head about,” Kofoid said. “All of us were really fast, and we were stacking the same times on top of each other. I think my car got better in the end, but I made one mistake and got really tight in turns one and two but was able to pull right back up to their bumpers and drag race Chris to the line.”
Chase Elliott, the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion, in his first weekend of USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget competition, finished a career best 14th in Monday’s feature event, but earlier in the night, raced to victory in the Indy Metal Finishing Third Heat Race.
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 8, 2021 – Bubba Raceway Park – Ocala, Florida – Winter Dirt Games XII – 3/8-Mile Dirt Track
FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING RESULTS: 1. Tanner Thorson, 88, Dave Mac-14.325; 2. Jason McDougal, 4, Dalby-14.432; 3. Justin Grant, 2J, RMS-14.532; 4. Emerson Axsom, 15, Petry-14.540; 5. Buddy Kofoid, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.545; 6. Daison Pursley, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.551; 7. Chris Windom, 89, CB-14.577; 8. Thomas Meseraull, 7x, RMS-14.578; 9. Kevin Thomas Jr., 5, Petry-14.666; 10. Tanner Carrick, 98K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.758; 11. Logan Seavey, 25, Malloy-14.800; 12. Cannon McIntosh, 08, Dave Mac-14.916; 13. Taylor Reimer, 25K, Dave Mac-14.977; 14. Max McLaughlin, z8, Bundy Built-15.003; 15. Chase Elliott, 84, CB-15.008; 16. Trey Gropp, 21KS, Ripper-15.044; 17. Bryant Wiedeman, 01, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-15.107; 18. Chase Randall, 19A, Reinbold/Underwood-15.139; 19. Kaylee Bryson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-15.252; 20. Brenham Crouch, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-15.299; 21. Daniel Robinson, 57A, RAB-15.354; 22. Ethan Mitchell, 19m, Bundy Built-15.382; 23. Emilio Hoover, 21K, Ripper-15.527; 24. Kade Morton, 8m, Morton-15.556; 25. Hayden Reinbold, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-15.788; 26. Oliver Akard, 41, OMR-16.236.
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Taylor Reimer, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Tanner Thorson, 4. Tanner Carrick, 5. Trey Gropp, 6. Emerson Axsom, 7. Kaylee Bryson, 8. Ethan Mitchell, 9. Hayden Reinbold. 2:00.957
COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Thomas Meseraull, 2. Jason McDougal, 3. Bryant Wiedeman, 4. Logan Seavey, 5. Buddy Kofoid, 6. Brenham Crouch, 7. Emilio Hoover, 8. Oliver Akard. 1:57.122
INDY METAL FINISHING THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Chase Elliott, 2. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3. Chase Randall, 4. Cannon McIntosh, 5. Justin Grant, 6. Daison Pursley, 7. Kade Morton, 8. Daniel Robinson. 1:55.858
INDY RACE PARTS SEMI: (10 laps, top-7 transfer to the feature) 1. Emerson Axsom, 2. Daison Pursley, 3. Brenham Crouch, 4. Kaylee Bryson, 5. Daniel Robinson, 6. Ethan Mitchell, 7. Kade Morton, 8. Emilio Hoover, 9. Hayden Reinbold, 10. Oliver Akard. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Thomas Meseraull (1), 2. Chris Windom (2), 3. Buddy Kofoid (3), 4. Justin Grant (4), 5. Daison Pursley (10), 6. Jason McDougal (5), 7. Emerson Axsom (9), 8. Tanner Thorson (6), 9. Tanner Carrick (12), 10. Kevin Thomas Jr. (11), 11. Cannon McIntosh (14), 12. Bryant Wiedeman (16), 13. Logan Seavey (13), 14. Chase Elliott (8), 15. Chase Randall (17), 16. Brenham Crouch (19), 17. Kaylee Bryson (18), 18. Taylor Reimer (7), 19. Trey Gropp (15), 20. Daniel Robinson (20), 21. Kade Morton (22), 22. Ethan Mitchell (21). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Thomas Meseraull.
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Buddy Kofoid-161, 2-Chris Windom-161, 3-Tanner Thorson-155, 4-Thomas Meseraull-150, 5-Daison Pursley-141, 6-Justin Grant-137, 7-Emerson Axsom-133, 8-Tanner Carrick-111, 9-Bryant Wiedeman-99, 10-Cannon McIntosh-97.
OVERALL PROSOURCE MIDGET PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Tanner Carrick-9, 2-Bryant Wiedeman-9, 3-Cannon McIntosh-9, 4-Emerson Axsom-7, 5-Jake Neuman-6, 6-Daison Pursley-5, 7-Steve Buckwalter-5, 8-Tanner Thorson-4, 9-Brenham Crouch-3, 10-Chris Windom-2.
FINAL WINTER DIRT GAMES PROSOURCE MIDGET PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Tanner Thorson-11, 2-Tanner Carrick-11, 3-Cannon McIntosh-9, 4-Bryant Wiedeman-9, 5-Daison Pursley-8, 6-Emerson Axsom-8, 7-Trey Gropp-8, 8-Chris Windom-7, 9-Jake Neuman-6, 10-Steve Buckwalter-5.
NEXT USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: April 9-10, 2021 – Port City Raceway – Tulsa, Oklahoma – T-Town Midget Showdown – 1/8-Mile Dirt Track
CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:
Winter Dirt Games ProSource Midget Passing Master: Tanner Thorson
Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier: Tanner Thorson
Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Taylor Reimer
Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Thomas Meseraull
Indy Metal Finishing Third Heat Winner: Chase Elliott
Indy Race Parts Semi Winner: Emerson Axsom
KSE Racing Products / Irvin King Hard Charger: Daison Pursley (10th to 5th)
Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Logan Seavey
Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer: Emilio Hoover
ProSource Hard Work Award: Kade Morton
-USAC Press Release
-Photo Credit: Chad Warner
Two of the biggest names in DIRTcar UMP Modified chassis building were shining bright on Gator Qualifier night.
Nick Hoffman, representing his own Elite Chassis, stood tall in Volusia Speedway Park Victory Lane with his 20th career DIRTcar Nationals Feature win Sunday night in Gator Qualifier #2.
The first Gator Qualifier from the rained-out portion of Saturday night was contested immediately following the Sunday Qualifier and saw the return of a former DIRTcar Nationals champion to Victory Lane for the first time in 14 years. Steve Arpin, representing Longhorn Modifieds by Loenbro Motorsports, was presented with his first Gator trophy as a DIRTcar Nationals Feature winner after leading flag-to-flag in Gator Qualifier #2.
The top-10 finishers from each of the Qualifiers have now been locked into Monday’s $5,000-to-win Gator Championship Feature; the top-five will redraw for their starting spots before the Feature Monday. Everyone else will be placed into a Last Chance Showdown event to try and get one of eight remaining spots on the grid of the big show.
Gator Qualifier #2 (Sunday’s program) – Nick Hoffman
Nearly nine years ago, Nick Hoffman captured his first Gator trophy at Volusia with a Feature win, then an up-and-coming UMP Modified driver with no national championships, Summit Modified titles or Big Gators. Sunday afternoon, he stood in Volusia Victory Lane after his third victory of the week in the 50th DIRTcar Nationals, now a favorite to win the Big Gator a sixth time.
On the track, it was another giant helping of Elite Chassis dominance, not only by Hoffman who led all 20 laps nearly unchallenged, but by many of Hoffman’s Elite customers. Four of the top-five drivers in the official finishing order are Elite pilots, including Hoffman himself, Garret Stewart, Matt Crafton and Justin Allgaier.
Hoffman now has a shot for the pole on Monday as he’ll be one of ten drivers in the redraw before the $5,000-to-win Gator Championship Feature. Sunday’s Qualifier redraw could be a sign of things to come for the five-time and defending event champion.
“Tonight, I was on my game on the redraw to draw the one, and I think that was crucial just to get out and set the pace and control the race myself,” Hoffman said. “My stuff’s just really good when it cleans up like that.”
Regardless of where he starts, there’s plenty of time in the 30-lap Feature to get it done from almost anywhere on the grid. He’s got the car, confidence in the seat and success in the history books on his side as he chases another coveted trophy that he comes to Florida every year in search of.
“[The Big Gator] is one of the most prestigious trophies in all of motorsports, and I’m lucky enough to have a bunch of them,” Hoffman said.
Feature (20 Laps) 1. 2-Nick Hoffman ; 2. 25-Tyler Nicely ; 3. 67-Garret Stewart ; 4. 88-Matt Crafton ; 5. 7-Justin Allgaier ; 6. 11H-Spencer Hughes ; 7. 25W-Allen Weisser ; 8. 12H-Jason Hughes ; 9. 17X-Richard Michael ; 10. 6A-Ryan Ayers ; 11. 9-Ken Schrader ; 12. 8S-Kyle Strickler ; 13. OOD-David Reutimann ; 14. 51-Brandon Green ; 15. 21D-Danny Schwartz ; 16. 4T-Zeke McKenzie ; 17. 7D-Brad DeYoung ; 18. OO-Buzzie Reutimann ; 19. 77-Ray Bollinger ; 20. 11J-Justin Haley ; 21. 49-Brian Ruhlman ; 22. 22T-Tony Anderson ; 23. 2A-Matt Altiers ; 24. 6-Ryan Fowler ; 25. 24-Travis Dickson ; 26. T9-Ryan Thomas ; 27. 47-Collin Thirlby ; 28. 8A-Austin Holcombe ; 29. 80-Rich Dawson ; 30. 99-Hunt Gossum 
Gator Qualifier #1 (from Saturday’s program) – Steve Arpin
The last time Steve Arpin was in Volusia Speedway Park Victory Lane, he was a 23-year-old Modified ace who had just claimed his first DIRTcar Nationals championship on the back of five-consecutive Feature wins. On Sunday night, he made a big trip down memory lane with a dominant victory in the second of two Gator Qualifiers.
“Honestly, I have never in my life had such a proud moment in my racing career,” Arpin told DIRTVision pit reporter Chase Raudman after the race.
Arpin, the Rallycross racer and Longhorn by Loenbro pilot, started on the pole after a Heat Race win and cleaned-up in the Feature, leading all 20 laps for his first Gator trophy and first Volusia win since his event championship year in 2007.
Three of the top-six drivers in the Feature finishing order were Longhorn by Loenbro cars, including Nick Allen and Mike McKinney who have been fast all week.
“To have these Longhorn by Loenbro cars just so consistently fast for our first time out, honestly, the only thing I’m more excited about than standing here is coming back next year,” Arpin said.
McKinney did try and swipe the lead from Arpin on one corner after a restart, attempting a big slide job as they dove into Turn 1. He was unsuccessful and later faded back to sixth, one spot out of the redraw, but gave those watching on DIRTVision a bit of mid-race excitement.
The Longhorn by Loenbro bunch has been fast all week, notching several podiums, top-fives and top-10s. Arpin has been taking notice and expressed his gratitude for each of their new customers on the property.
“I remember when my dad was out here watching me in 2007, and I could just see it in his eyes how proud he was of me,” Arpin said. “I feel like that now watching Tyler Nicely, Brandon Green, all these guys coming out here.”
Feature (20 Laps) 1. OOEH-Steve Arpin ; 2. 95-Michael Altobelli ; 3. 21A-Nick Allen ; 4. 45H-Kyle Hammer ; 5. 12L-Lucas Lee ; 6. 96M-Mike McKinney ; 7. 44-KC Burdette ; 8. 18L-Michael Long ; 9. 3L-Jeff Leka ; 10. K19-Will Krup ; 11. 45-Johnny Broking ; 12. O5-Dave Wietholder ; 13. 36-Kenny Wallace ; 14. 17T-Tyler Evans ; 15. 15B-Dave Baker ; 16. 15L-Joey Logano ; 17. 11N-Gene Nicholas ; 18. 5S-Curt Spalding ; 19. 6B-Dave Baldwin ; 20. 463-Daniel Sanchez ; 21. 97-Mitch Thomas ; 22. 12-John McClure ; 23. 88B-Chris Bolyard ; 24. 32-Chad Roush ; 25. 22K-Dale Kelley ; 26. 60-Shannon Fisk ; 27. 7T-Drake Troutman ; 28. 72-Todd Neiheiser ; 29. M41-Steve Maisel ; 30. 21J-Clay Harris ; 31. 35-David Stremme ; 32. O1-Earnie Woodard ; 33. O2-Chris Cook ; 34. 21-Taylor Cook ; 35. 27C-Billy Cevaal 
The seventh and final round of racing for the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds at Volusia Speedway Park goes down Monday night in the 30-lap, $5,000-to-win Gator Championship. Last Chance Showdown races will kick things off before the redraw; catch all the action live on DIRTVision!
Gator Qualifier #1 Prelim Event Results:
Qualifying Flight-A 1. 2-Nick Hoffman, 19.102; 2. 25-Tyler Nicely, 19.404; 3. 88-Matt Crafton, 19.484; 4. 67-Garret Stewart, 19.506; 5. 6A-Ryan Ayers, 19.549; 6. 77-Ray Bollinger, 19.592; 7. 24-Travis Dickson, 19.614; 8. 80-Rich Dawson, 19.699; 9. 25W-Allen Weisser, 19.817; 10. 17X-Richard Michael, 19.829; 11. 49-Brian Ruhlman, 19.871; 12. 9-Ken Schrader, 19.972; 13. 47-Collin Thirlby, 20.116; 14. 176-Scotty Owens, 20.502; 15. 2J-Troy Johnson, 20.634; 16. 21D-Danny Schwartz, 20.646; 17. 83-Brianna Robinson, 20.647; 18. 9PG-Percy Gendreau, 20.694; 19. 57-Mark Grosvenor, 20.706; 20. 22J-John Baker, 20.728; 21. OO-Buzzie Reutimann, 20.753; 22. 11M-Tyler Morehouse, 20.837; 23. 7+7-Jeff Solinger, 21.185
Qualifying Flight-B 1. 7-Justin Allgaier, 19.143; 2. 11H-Spencer Hughes, 19.537; 3. 11J-Justin Haley, 19.61; 4. 12H-Jason Hughes, 19.7; 5. 99-Hunt Gossum, 19.707; 6. A1-Gary Bentley, 19.719; 7. 51-Brandon Green, 19.74; 8. T9-Ryan Thomas, 19.753; 9. 8A-Austin Holcombe, 19.773; 10. 8S-Kyle Strickler, 19.874; 11. 7D-Brad DeYoung, 20.112; 12. 4T-Zeke McKenzie, 20.159; 13. 114-Clayton Bryant, 20.231; 14. 22T-Tony Anderson, 20.254; 15. 2A-Matt Altiers, 20.296; 16. 31G-Stephen Pedulla, 20.322; 17. 6-Ryan Fowler, 20.369; 18. 15-Joey Miller, 20.378; 19. OOD-David Reutimann, 20.549; 20. 11-Jesse Rupe, 20.736; 21. 62E-Kim Edington, 20.782; 22. 74-Mike Franklin, 20.931; 23. 27-Tom Wakefield, 21.163
Heat #1 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 2-Nick Hoffman ; 2. 88-Matt Crafton ; 3. 6A-Ryan Ayers ; 4. 25W-Allen Weisser ; 5. 24-Travis Dickson ; 6. 49-Brian Ruhlman ; 7. 47-Collin Thirlby ; 8. OO-Buzzie Reutimann ; 9. 2J-Troy Johnson ; 10. 83-Brianna Robinson ; 11. 7+7-Jeff Solinger ; 12. 57-Mark Grosvenor 
Heat #2 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 25-Tyler Nicely ; 2. 77-Ray Bollinger ; 3. 67-Garret Stewart ; 4. 9-Ken Schrader ; 5. 80-Rich Dawson ; 6. 176-Scotty Owens ; 7. 21D-Danny Schwartz ; 8. 22J-John Baker ; 9. 9PG-Percy Gendreau ; 10. 17X-Richard Michael ; 11. 11M-Tyler Morehouse 
Heat #3 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 7-Justin Allgaier ; 2. 51-Brandon Green ; 3. 11J-Justin Haley ; 4. 8A-Austin Holcombe ; 5. 99-Hunt Gossum ; 6. 7D-Brad DeYoung ; 7. 6-Ryan Fowler ; 8. OOD-David Reutimann ; 9. 114-Clayton Bryant ; 10. 2A-Matt Altiers ; 11. 62E-Kim Edington ; 12. 27-Tom Wakefield 
Heat #4 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 11H-Spencer Hughes ; 2. 12H-Jason Hughes ; 3. 8S-Kyle Strickler ; 4. T9-Ryan Thomas ; 5. 4T-Zeke McKenzie ; 6. 22T-Tony Anderson ; 7. 31G-Stephen Pedulla ; 8. 15-Joey Miller ; 9. 11-Jesse Rupe ; 10. 74-Mike Franklin ; 11. A1-Gary Bentley 
Last Chance Showdown 1 (10 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 49-Brian Ruhlman ; 2. 47-Collin Thirlby ; 3. OO-Buzzie Reutimann ; 4. 17X-Richard Michael ; 5. 21D-Danny Schwartz ; 6. 176-Scotty Owens ; 7. 9PG-Percy Gendreau ; 8. 83-Brianna Robinson ; 9. 2J-Troy Johnson ; 10. 7+7-Jeff Solinger ; 11. 57-Mark Grosvenor ; 12. 22J-John Baker 
Last Chance Showdown 2 (10 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 7D-Brad DeYoung ; 2. OOD-David Reutimann ; 3. 6-Ryan Fowler ; 4. 22T-Tony Anderson ; 5. 2A-Matt Altiers ; 6. 11M-Tyler Morehouse ; 7. 15-Joey Miller ; 8. 74-Mike Franklin ; 9. 114-Clayton Bryant ; 10. 27-Tom Wakefield ; 11. 62E-Kim Edington ; 12. 11-Jesse Rupe ; 13. 31G-Stephen Pedulla ; 14. A1-Gary Bentley 
Gator Qualifier #2 Prelim Event Results:
Qualifying Flight-A 1. 12L-Lucas Lee, 18.283; 2. 35-David Stremme, 18.745; 3. 17T-Tyler Evans, 18.883; 4. 97-Mitch Thomas, 18.967; 5. OOEH-Steve Arpin, 18.997; 6. 5S-Curt Spalding, 19.027; 7. 36-Kenny Wallace, 19.174; 8. 95-Michael Altobelli, 19.2; 9. 12-John McClure, 19.252; 10. O1-Earnie Woodard, 19.408; 11. 7T-Drake Troutman, 19.585; 12. O2-Chris Cook, 19.745; 13. 463-Daniel Sanchez, 19.793; 14. 11N-Gene Nicholas, 19.854; 15. 21-Taylor Cook, 19.883; 16. 88B-Chris Bolyard, 20.137; 17. 60-Shannon Fisk, 20.179; 18. 27C-Billy Cevaal, 21.304
Qualifying Flight-B 1. 96M-Mike McKinney, 18.894; 2. 21A-Nick Allen, 19.028; 3. K19-Will Krup, 19.091; 4. 21J-Clay Harris, 19.226; 5. 18L-Michael Long, 19.273; 6. 22K-Dale Kelley, 19.28; 7. O5-Dave Wietholder, 19.331; 8. 45H-Kyle Hammer, 19.362; 9. 32-Chad Roush, 19.365; 10. 72-Todd Neiheiser, 19.431; 11. 44-KC Burdette, 19.438; 12. 15L-Joey Logano, 19.58; 13. 45-Johnny Broking, 19.629; 14. 3L-Jeff Leka, 19.677; 15. 15B-Dave Baker, 19.735; 16. 6B-Dave Baldwin, 19.982; 17. M41-Steve Maisel, 20.119
Heat #1 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 10 Transfer 1. OOEH-Steve Arpin ; 2. 12L-Lucas Lee ; 3. 7T-Drake Troutman ; 4. 36-Kenny Wallace ; 5. 463-Daniel Sanchez ; 6. 17T-Tyler Evans ; 7. 12-John McClure ; 8. 60-Shannon Fisk ; 9. 21-Taylor Cook 
Heat #2 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 10 Transfer 1. 5S-Curt Spalding ; 2. 95-Michael Altobelli ; 3. 11N-Gene Nicholas ; 4. 97-Mitch Thomas ; 5. 88B-Chris Bolyard ; 6. 35-David Stremme ; 7. O1-Earnie Woodard ; 8. O2-Chris Cook ; 9. 27C-Billy Cevaal 
Heat #3 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 10 Transfer 1. 96M-Mike McKinney ; 2. O5-Dave Wietholder ; 3. 18L-Michael Long ; 4. K19-Will Krup ; 5. 44-KC Burdette ; 6. 32-Chad Roush ; 7. 15B-Dave Baker ; 8. 45-Johnny Broking ; 9. M41-Steve Maisel 
Heat #4 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 10 Transfer 1. 21A-Nick Allen ; 2. 45H-Kyle Hammer ; 3. 72-Todd Neiheiser ; 4. 22K-Dale Kelley ; 5. 15L-Joey Logano ; 6. 3L-Jeff Leka ; 7. 6B-Dave Baldwin ; 8. 21J-Clay Harris 
-DIRTcar Racing Press Release and Photo
Two laps, one mile. That’s all that stood between Donny Schatz and his 300th career World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series win on Sunday night.
It had been eight races since his 299th career triumph on October 3, 2020 at Williams Grove, and he was all but destined to finally reach the landmark accomplishment. The Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing #15 was cruising through traffic, he had led since the drop of the green flag, and second was nowhere to be found. Of course, then the unexpected happened.
His Ford Performance engine lost power and slowed to a stop with the white flag waiting for him on the other side. The Volusia Speedway Park crowd was shocked. A trip to the work area quickly solved the issue, but it didn’t take away the dramatics of Schatz’s continued pursuit of 300, which will have to continue next week at Dixie (GA) Speedway on Fri, Feb. 12 and Talladega (AL) Short Track on Sat, Feb. 13.
“It was just a defective ignition box, that thing was brand new on this engine tonight,” Schatz noted afterwards. “I actually thought we cut a fuel line for a minute, because I was getting wet, but it was the MSD. It is what it is.”
Schatz’s suffering came to the benefit of Logan Schuchart, who inherited the race lead coming to a green-white-checkered finish. His winning move actually came three laps prior on the 25th circuit, when Schuchart finally cleared Cory Eliason for the second spot after a race-long battle.
“It took me forever to get by Cory after that long green flag run,” Schuchart said. “I glanced forward to look for Donny once I got to second and I couldn’t see him. He was really fast, but I still felt like we had a car to beat there at the end, especially if we could’ve got some traffic. It’s not something you want to see happen, you want to win the right away. It’s also part of the game, though. For years, they’ve set the bar as far as handling issues, limiting DNF’s, and stuff that saves you championships. It’s something we all strive for nowadays because of them.”
With only two laps remaining and the lead thrown in his lap, the Shark Racing #1S pilot still had one final challenge to complete. Perfecting his launch off turn four to the SeaFoam Restart Zone, Schuchart instantly gapped the field and drove away to a 1.447-second victory over fellow Pennsylvanian Danny Dietrich.
Logan’s victory put the finishing touches on a near impeccable performance by the Drydene Performance Products crew at DIRTcar Nationals. In four events on the daunting Barberville, FL half-mile this week, the 28-year old ace recorded runs of 1st-2nd-2nd-1st. He secured his first career Big Gator Championship over title contender Brad Sweet, who he also overtook in the early-season standings for the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars.
“We had confidence coming down here, but when it pays off like it means a lot,” Schuchart mentioned. “When your confidence is high, your team feels good, and you perform better. It definitely feels good doing this against the quality of cars we had here. The Outlaws are so stacked this year and we’ve got a lot of good invaders joining us. My grandfather’s dream is looking awesome, though. I’m really proud of this Shark Racing team.”
Following Schuchart to the stripe on Sunday night was Danny Dietrich, who set Slick Woody’s Cornhole Company Quick Time at 13.919 seconds. Cory Eliason of Visalia, CA rounded out the podium aboard his Rudeen Racing #26 after starting on the outside pole.
David Gravel recorded his fourth consecutive fourth-place finish of the week by chasing that trio to the line in his Big Game Motorsports #2. Friday’s season opening winners, Brad Sweet, closed out the top five with another consistent run for his Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49.
California’s Carson Macedo, Australia’s Kerry Madsen, Pennsylvania’s Jacob Allen, Indiana’s Tyler Courtney, and Texas’ Aaron Reutzel, who also earned KSE Racing Hard Charger honors (+15), finished out the top ten in the DIRTcar Nationals finale to Sprint Week.
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will resume a 90+ race championship chase next weekend when the Dirty South Swing begins. It all starts on Friday, February 12 at Georgia’s Dixie Speedway and rolls through Saturday, February 13 at Alabama’s Talladega Short Track. Fans can BUY TICKETS HERE for next weekend’s action.
NOS Energy Drink Feature (30 Laps): 1. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$10,000]; 2. 48-Danny Dietrich [$6,000]; 3. 26-Cory Eliason [$3,500]; 4. 2-David Gravel [$2,800]; 5. 49-Brad Sweet [$2,500]; 6. 41-Carson Macedo [$2,300]; 7. 101-Kerry Madsen [$2,200]; 8. 1A-Jacob Allen [$2,100]; 9. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [$2,050]; 10. 83-Aaron Reutzel [$1,000]; 11. 15H-Sam Hafertepe [$1,600]; 12. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$1,400]; 13. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [$1,200]; 14. 7S-Jason Sides [$1,100]; 15. 15-Donny Schatz [$1,050]; 16. 5-Brent Marks [$1,000]; 17. 13-Justin Peck [$1,000]; 18. 2C-Wayne Johnson [$1,000]; 19. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$1,000]; 20. 21-Brian Brown [$1,000]; 21. 19-Parker Price-Miller [$1,000]; 22. 9-Kasey Kahne [$1,000]; 23. 18-Gio Scelzi [$1,000]; 24. 33M-Mason Daniel [$]; 25. 12N-Joey Saldana [$1,000]; 26. 72-Tim Shaffer [$1,000]. Lap Leaders: Donny Schatz 1-28, Logan Schuchart 29-30. KSE Hard Charger Award: 83-Aaron Reutzel[+15].
-World of Outlaws Press Release
-Photo credit: Trent Gower