Category Archives: UNOH Dirtcar Nationals

NASCAR Veteran Bags $5,000 and Short Track Dirt Racing’s Most Unique Trophy

NASCAR Veteran Bags $5,000 and Short Track Dirt Racing’s Most Unique Trophy
BARBERVILLE, Fla. – Feb. 18, 2013 – Ken Schrader charged from 10th to victory in the Gator Championship, denying Austin Dillon by a nose at the checkered flag Monday night during the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment at Volusia Speedway Park.

Schrader swept into the lead midway through the 30-lap, $5,000-to-win showcase for DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, but had his hands full with Dillon charging off the final corner to the finish.

“Austin was right there at the end and I kind of started babying it the last three or four laps there because I didn’t want to pop the front end on the cushion,” said Schrader, of Concord, N.C. “He (Dillon) said his motor went sour and that allowed him to run the bottom a little better, but yeah we’ll take it.”

Justin Allgaier, who grew up racing on dirt before moving into the NASCAR Nationwide Series, led the first 12 laps of the main event, relinquishing the lead to Dale Mathison of Clearwater, Minn., on lap 13 and 14. Allgaier reclaimed the lead on the 15th circuit before Schrader made his move one lap later and held on over the remaining 14 laps for the victory.

“I was pretty concerned there when we drew a 10 to start, especially with that quality field of cars out there,” said Schrader, who finished second in his qualifying race on Sunday night. “The pass (Sunday) night was only going to be worth so much and the win tonight was going to be worth quite a bit more!”

Schrader was challenged throughout those final 14 laps. Dillon charged from his 14-place starting spot to pull even with Schrader exiting turn four on the final lap, prompting fans in the packed grandstand to rise, only to see Dillon fall just shy of the wily NASCAR veteran at the line.

“We started off a little rough out here,” said Dillon, who competes in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. “So many cars, the invert, it makes it tough. The guys have been working all week to get us the speed we needed and we knew we had the fastest car, just needed to get up front and have that starting position. The track was great tonight, it was really racy. We love to be out here doing this but man that was close! If I had to lose to anybody I’d want it to be Kenny Schrader because he’s one of my heroes out here. I just hope next year we can come back and get that gator.”

Dillon and Allgaier, who will both compete at Daytona International Speedway later in the week claimed podium spots with Schrader.

“Anytime you can come to Volusia and see the amount of cars that come here, all the competition, just to be able to make the feature was our goal here this week,” Allgaier said. “All my guys we had one goal in mind and that was to finish every race and do the best we could. This was only my sixth time in a modified so I guess that’s pretty good. We’ve had a blast all week and this was a good way for me to come down here and get re-focused. I knew early we had a good car but we needed a little more drive. I can’t thank Bob Pierce enough though because we had a great race car, we just missed it a little bit and when you have 80 great race cars and the best in the country you better be right on.”

Defending Gator Champion Nick Hoffman of Mooresville, N.C., started on the pole and fell to as low as seventh before rebounding to finish fourth. Sunday night winner Matt Westfall of Pleasant Hill, Ohio, started seventh and rounded out the top five.

David Mielke of Gladwin, Mich., Dave Wietholder of Liberty, Ill., and Kelly Shryock of Fertile, Iowa claimed Last Chance Showdown victories. Jonathon Taylor of Saltsburg, Penn., claimed the Bulrush Dash victory.

Tuesday night’s racing program will feature the second night of DIRTcar Late Model action as well as Triple 20-lap DIRTcar UMP Modified features allowing each of the participants in the DIRTcar UMP Modified division the opportunity to run a feature event.

Newly-crowned Gator Champion Schrader currently leads UNOH DIRTcar Nationals by Summit points entering the final night of competiton. Home state driver Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., is 13 markers behind Schrader in the overall standings.

Schrader First Gator and Points Champion Winner at UNOH DIRTcar Nationals

Schrader First Gator and Points Champion Winner at UNOH DIRTcar Nationals

Fan vote winner Wallace takes Six-Pack; Zimmer, Poel, Dillon capture Triple 20s
BARBERVILLE, Fla. – Feb. 19, 2013 – Ken Schrader made another bit of history Tuesday night during the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment at Volusia Speedway Park.

Schrader, who won the Gator Championship on Monday night, returned to Volusia to finish fifth in the final DIRTcar UMP Modified Triple 20 and become the first driver to win the overall UNOH DIRTcar Nationals points championship and the Gator Championship in the same year.

“Yeah, it feels pretty good and it’s the second time we’ve won the championship down here,” said Schrader, of Concord, N.C. “I feel like I’ve worked pretty hard at it. It feels awesome because I was going to be happy leaving with a little Gator trophy. I don’t know which one feels the best the Championship or the Gator Championship. The Gator Championship paid a little better!”

Ty Dillon of Welcome, N.C., won the final Triple 20 race of the evening by besting Kenny Wallace of Fenton, Mo., and Brian Ruhlman of Clark Lake, Mich. Dillon made a mid-race charge on Ruhlman to take over the lead before distancing himself from Wallace over the final 10 laps. Wallace got by Ruhlman with three laps remaining to finish second. With the win Dillon helped Team Dillon Racing avoid a winless UNOH DIRTcar Nationals.

“It feels really good, especially for Team Dillon Racing,” Dillon said. “We were a little off all week but we worked, and worked, and finally hit it the last couple nights. Austin got a good finish in the Gator Championship and I was going to have a good finish too until I ended up getting into the wall, but I’m glad we could end up good and get finally get one of these Gator trophies.

“I’m happy for all the hard work everyone has put in. That’s what we come down here for is to win these Gators so to get a win it was a good note to end on.”

The win also gave the younger Ty family bragging rights for the year.

“I love beating Austin, especially since I got a win this year and he didn’t. Now I’ll get to talk junk until next year!”

Wallace wouldn’t leave empty handed on the night as he claimed the Six-Pack Challenge Dash. Wallace had earned a starting spot in the event based on a fan vote which he also won three weeks prior to the start of the event.

“It was good to run second in the big A-Main tonight but I look at it as the whole three weeks. The whole time we’ve been here we’ve made every A-Main,” Wallace said. “It’s a humbling sport and just because I won 3 of 7 A-Main’s last year didn’t mean I would come down here and do that again. I took the Six Pack Challenge very seriously because the fans put a lot of effort into it and I have to thank the Fans because they put me in it.”

Jacob Poel of Spring Lake, Mich., claimed his second feature win of the DIRTcar Nationals in second Triple 20. Poel was the only driver of the 92 DIRTcar UMP Modifieds that participated to win more than one feature event over the course of the eight days they were in competition.

“I think the momentum is going to be awesome,” said Poel. “I really feel like we got to work all the bugs out of the car early in the year. We get to go back to Michigan with two wins before we normally start racing.”

Former DIRTcar UMP Stock Car National Champion turned DIRTcar UMP Modified pilot Nate Zimmer won the evening’s first Triple 20 event. The win was Zimmer’s first main event win since moving into the modified division.

“Yeah, we were just talking about how different it was but I think I might finally have this figured out, said Zimmer. “I just didn’t lift going into turn 3 and I just snuck in there. I just want to thank everyone who’s helped me out this week. There are just so many people that helped get me here.”

Wednesday night’s racing program will feature the DIRTcar Late Models in their final night of competition as well as the beginning of the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds four day stint at the Volusia county half mile.

Lasoski Logs Record 20th Victory at Volusia Speedway Park

Lasoski Logs Record 20th Victory at Volusia Speedway Park
Pittman earns overall title at UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit
BARBERVILLE, Fla. – Feb. 17, 2013 – There was at least one happy dude parked in the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Victory Lane on a frigid Sunday night.
It was the winningest dude in Volusia Speedway Park history, ‘The Dude’ – Danny Lasoski – who picked up his first win of the season and 20th career at the half mile to conclude the sprint car week at the 42nd annual UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment.

“I really like this place,” he said wearing a big grin.

Lasoski shared the spotlight with Daryn Pittman, who was crowned the overall champion of the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit and received a unique three-foot, bronzed gator trophy. His win, runner-up and fifth-place finish during the three-day event – which combined qualifying, heat races and feature points – earned enough points to edge Paul McMahan by 18.

“We had a conversation on our way down here between me and the whole crew on what our goals were for the year and the No. 1 goal was to come here and win that gator,” Pittman said. “I’m just having a lot of fun. Just a great way to start the year off accomplishing one of our goals that we had set out.”

As impressive as Pittman’s weekend was, including a late rally from ninth to fifth in the final three laps on Sunday, Lasoski stole the show to win a wild feature. With the temperature at 35 degrees when the cars were pushed onto the track for the main event, it sure heated up quickly.

Lasoski, who started on the pole of the 30-lap feature, was three wide with Chad Kemenah and Cody Darrah exiting turn two on the opening lap. Lasoski was able to secure the lead as the cars slid through turn four and he remained the leader for the first five laps before Kemenah drove under him entering turn one on lap six.

Kemenah got into traffic on the ensuing lap and Darrah passed Lasoski for the runner-up position in turn two on the eighth lap. The trio battled within a handful of car lengths amid traffic for several laps before Brooke Tatnell brought out the first caution of the race when he stopped in turn three on lap 13.

Kemenah, Darrah and Lasoski continued to put on a show after the restart and after reaching traffic on lap 17, Darrah made his best bid for the lead and pulled next to Kemenah around lap 20. However, Kemenah maintained the lead and pulled to a sizeable advantage until Craig Dollansky, who was running fifth, broke in turn two with three laps remaining for another caution.

Darrah appeared to get into the inside wall entering turn one on the restart and he got sideways, corrected himself and continued on in the top five. However, Terry McCarl – Saturday night’s winner – came to a stop in turn two for a caution. The field reverted to the previous restarting order, but Darrah’s left front tire was damaged.

He tried to nurse it on the next restart and would have caught a huge break as Kemenah drove beneath the cone on the frontstretch, bringing out another caution and penalizing him two positions.

“I thought I was out of tear offs and the tear offs ear was broke off and it’s just like being out of tear offs,” Kemenah said. “I couldn’t see. I come by there and I thought, ‘Well, why didn’t they put the cone out?’ But they did and I was completely underneath of it they said. It was just a mistake on my behalf.”

Darrah would have inherited the lead, but was forced to pit with the tire starting to come off the wheel. That moved Lasoski back to the front with Kemenah in tow.

The duo were neck and neck on the restart, but fifth-place running Steve Kinser spun in turn one. Brad Sweet, who was in ninth, flipped after making contact and Jac Haudenschild also slid into Kinser.

Since contact caused a caution on a restart, the race went back to green with the drivers running in single file. Lasoski committed to the bottom groove and Kemenah rode the cushion. The shorter distance around the inside allowed Lasoski to come up just in front of Kemenah on every straightaway and Lasoski edged Kemenah by a car length at the finish line.

“You had to keep your nose clean; everything was happening so fast,” Lasoski said. “The race track actually widened out where you can run top, bottom and middle, and that’s all we can ask for.”

A dejected Kemenah blamed himself for not ending in Victory Lane.

“I’m just really mad,” Kemenah said. “I thought we were going to drive back around him on that last lap going into (turns) three and four, but it just wasn’t there and I came home second.”

Meanwhile, Justin Henderson was thrilled after earning his first podium of the season by surviving the attrition.

“We had a really good car,” he said. “I was watching them battle and nobody was really pressuring me.”

Donny Schatz drove from 14th to fourth and Pittman rounded out the top five.

Sammy Swindell was sixth, McMahan placed seventh and Kerry Madsen earned the KSE Hard Charger Award after driving from 22nd to eighth. Darrah finished ninth and Jason Sides ended 10th.

McCarl Celebrates World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Win in Style

McCarl Celebrates World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Win in Style
Pittman charges to second place at UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit
BARBERVILLE, Fla. – Feb. 16, 2013 – Terry McCarl sure loves to celebrate.
Heck, he’d probably run down the frontstretch in his underwear like Ricky Bobby if given the time. The weather might have had something to do with it on Saturday night, when McCarl did his best in Victory Lane to pump up the nearly sold out crowd amid 25 mile per hour wind gusts and temperatures dipping into the 40s at Volusia Speedway Park.

McCarl even managed to plant one on World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series announcer Johnny Gibson to conclude the postrace interview after McCarl’s win at the 42nd annual UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment.

“Anyone who knows me knows when I win, I’m happy,” McCarl said. “The day I win and I’m not happy is the day I’m going to quit.

“When you win any feature it’s great. When you win an Outlaws show it’s even better and to win an event like this, there’s so many tough competitors, it’s even better.”

It snapped a winless streak dating back to July 17, 2009, for McCarl, whose last World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series victory came at Eldora Speedway during the Knight Before the Kings Royal.

Battling broken bones and building his own team since then, McCarl had only recorded four top-five finishes since that last win. On Saturday, it all went to plan.

McCarl won his heat race from the pole and fast qualifier Craig Dollansky pulled the No. 8 during the dash draw, putting McCarl on the pole for the six-lap dash that determines the starting lineup for the first five rows of the feature.

Steve Kinser, who started on the outside of the front row, got the jump and outlasted McCarl to win the dash. However, that gave Kinser the bottom line for the start of the feature and McCarl the top groove.

“Actually that was a Godsend,” McCarl said. “I think the top was a little better run on the start.”

McCarl cleared Kinser for the lead on the backstretch of the feature’s first lap, but he never held a comfortable lead. Once the leaders entered traffic on lap five, Kinser was within a couple of car lengths of the lead.

Meanwhile, defending World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz drove from eighth to fifth in the first two laps and was up to third by lap nine. McCarl, Kinser and Schatz battled within a handful of car lengths through traffic for several laps before the only caution took out the two strongest contenders to McCarl.

On lap 15, Kinser jumped the cushion in turn two. When he drove back down into the groove, he collided with Schatz. Kinser spun down the track and Schatz ended up stopping in turn three with damage to the front. Neither car was able to restart with Kinser finishing 21st and Schatz 22nd.

Daryn Pittman, who won the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series season opener on Friday, rocketed around Kraig Kinser in turns one and two on the restart for the runner-up position. The momentum allowed Pittman to pull next to McCarl, who had the preferred line around the cushion entering turn three.

McCarl pushed his lead to several car lengths until Pittman began to close in the final five laps. With two laps remaining Pittman was within striking distance and he finished less than two car lengths behind McCarl at the finish line.

“Our car just seemed like it was getting a little better and I think he was getting a little tighter,” Pittman said. “I would have liked to have had a shot at trying to slide him. I don’t know if I could have pulled it off or not. It just was really tricky. The curb was big and treacherous.”

Kraig Kinser finished third to record his first podium of the season.

“Definitely I feel really positive with the way our team is going,” he said.

Tim Shaffer placed fourth and Brad Sweet charged from 12th to fifth.

Jason Sides finished sixth, Dollansky was seventh and David Gravel earned the KSE Hard Charger Award for driving from 22nd to eighth. Brian Paulus ended ninth and 18th-starter Jac Haudenschild rounded out the top 10.

The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series wraps up its three-day event at the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented Summit on Sunday. The front gate opens at 5 p.m. with hot laps around 6 p.m. and Opening Ceremonies at 7:20 p.m.

Hoffman Wheels to UNOH DIRTcar Nationals by Summit Victory Friday Night

Hoffman Wheels to UNOH DIRTcar Nationals by Summit Victory Friday Night

Defending Gator Champion Holds off Charging Florida Native Kyle Bronson to Claim Modified Money
BARBERVILLE, Fla. – Feb. 15, 2013 – Nick Hoffman inherited the lead after Matt Cooper of McKenzie, Tenn., had mechanical issues on lap 11, and drove to his first win of the 2013 UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment on Friday night at Volusia Speedway Park.

“I got a pretty good draw and I’m not usually good at the draw deal, said Hoffman, of Mooresville, N.C. “Cooper got the jump on me and he was running right through the middle, but once I found the cushion I knew we’d be in pretty good shape. It was just hard to keep control of it and hit your marks every lap.”

Hoffman, who drew the pole position for the 20-lap main event, battled side-by-side with Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., for the victory with Bronson finishing second. Bronson started 10th and charged to third in only four laps. Bronson also finished as the runner-up to Rodney Sanders on Tuesday’s opening night of the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals.

“We got pretty lucky he showed me the top,” Hoffman said. “The next restart I just went up top and blazed the cushion and I felt like it was pretty much game over after that.”

Dale Mathison of Clearwater, Minn., finished third for the second consecutive time during his 2013 UNOH DIRTcar Nationals. NASCAR Nationwide driver Justin Allgaier of Springfield, Ill., finished fourth and Kelly Shryock of Fertile, Iowa, rounded out the top five.

Austin Dillon of Welcome, N.C., Tyler Nicely of Owensboro, Ky., Dave Wietholder of Liberty, Ill., and Bart Hartman of Zanesville, Ohio claimed B-Main victories.

There were 82 DIRTcar UMP Modifieds on hand for the first of eight nights of competition. Saturday night’s racing program will feature the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series as well as the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds.