Speedway Digest Staff
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Night #2 of the inaugural DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals was a very telling tale of who the Saturday night finale contenders will be, with two repeat winners, almost a third, on Friday night at Volusia Speedway Park.
Kyle Bronson was one of two drivers to double-up on Friday night, making a big move for the lead underneath Jadon Frame on a restart to get the edge, which he carried all the way back to the checkered flag for his second consecutive DIRTcar Pro Late Model win at Volusia. Likewise, David Showers Jr. went back-to-back in the Florida Late Model division, just one night after scoring his very first win in a Late Model, and Bud Chancey took advantage of an engine malfunction out front to claim his first 602 Late Model win at The World’s Fastest Half Mile.
DIRTcar PRO LATE MODELS – KYLE BRONSON
It was a case of déjà vu on the podium of the Pro Late Model Feature on Friday night, as Bronson led the final 20 laps and beat out fellow Super Late Model stars Randy Weaver and Max Blair. However, Bronson had to work for it a bit, compared to Thursday night.
Killer jetted out to the runner-up spot within two laps of the race, giving chase to leader Jadon Frame. A restart on lap five put Bronson’s #40B on Frame’s rear bumper as they dove into turn one, Bronson with a big run to Frame’s inside. The two made contact that ended with Frame in the wall and Bronson racing off, unharmed.
“I kept getting under the guy, and he kept turning left on me, but I really didn’t have position to finish him off with the way these Crate motors run around here,” Bronson said. “When I finally got position on him, I felt like I was about a half-car ahead of him. I went to do a slide-job on him and, I don’t really know if he just stayed in the gas or hit a slick spot and hit the fence or whatever happened.”
Frame left the track on the hook as Bronson stayed out and led the rest of the way to collect $2,000 for the win. Bronson admitted he and Frame touched as they battled for the lead out of Turn 2, but also said what followed was just the product of the drive to win.
“I hate what happened, but in my shoes, if I had to do anything over again, I wouldn’t change nothing I did. I wish the outcome would have been a little bit different, but that’s the way it goes. We come to win these races; I’m driving my butt off to win these races. [My team] are giving me a damn good car, so I’ve just got to do my job,” Bronson said.
“There definitely was contact, 100 percent. It wasn’t anything crazy, just a deal that I feel like on these Crate cars, when someone gets their quarter-panel to your left-front, it’s time to check. Or, stay out there and wreck yourself – kinda what [Frame] did,” Bronson added.
Randy Weaver had another solid drive to a runner-up finish, this time from much further back, starting 9th and dropping back to 12th on the first lap. He made patient moves through the field and used the well-timed yellows to catch the leaders within 15 laps to score his second podium finish of the weekend.
Max Blair held his car inside the top-five for most of the race, dropping back to seventh after the lap five restart, but was able to rebound for another third-place finish. For a short time, the Titusville, PA-native held the runner-up spot before Weaver tracked him down and passed him with what could have been the fastest car on the track, next to Bronson.
Douglasville, GA’s Super Late Model guru Michael Page finally brought out his #18X on day two of competition and joined the field as one of the favorites on the roster. His first night on track, however, did not go as he had planned, as his race ended by stopping at the topside of turn two with a mechanical failure.
Feature (25 Laps) 1. 40B-Kyle Bronson ; 2. 116-Randy Weaver ; 3. 111-Max Blair ; 4. 66-Jake Knowles ; 5. 17-Nevin Gainey ; 6. 7T-Trever Taylor ; 7. 7A-Corey Almond ; 8. 95-Brandon Williams ; 9. 2-Trynt Lloyd ; 10. 313-Devin Dixon ; 11. 30-Todd Cooney ; 12. 5W-David Whitener ; 13. 38-Jamie Carter ; 14. 14B-John Baker ; 15. 11-Cruz Skinner ; 16. 33-Jeff Mathews ; 17. 7-Jason Fitzgerald ; 18. 87-Walker Arthur ; 19. 38P-Trey Pearson ; 20. 71-Pierce McCarter ; 21. 84-Sam Halstead ; 22. 5-Mark Whitener ; 23. 6-Dillon Brown ; 24. 18X-Michael Page ; 25. 6H-Clay Harris ; 26. J8-Jadon Frame  Hard Charger: 30-Todd Cooney[+13]
Qualifying Flight-A 1. 40B-Kyle Bronson, 17.058; 2. 2-Trynt Lloyd, 17.553; 3. 116-Randy Weaver, 17.566; 4. 95-Brandon Williams, 17.581; 5. 38P-Trey Pearson, 17.597; 6. 84-Sam Halstead, 17.618; 7. J8-Jadon Frame, 17.638; 8. 5-Mark Whitener, 17.674; 9. 38-Jamie Carter, 17.693; 10. 14B-John Baker, 17.837; 11. 71-Pierce McCarter, 17.901; 12. 10RT-Cody Overton, 17.97; 13. 44-John Ruggerio, 17.991; 14. 33-Jeff Mathews, 18.066; 15. K37-Drew Kennedy, 18.073; 16. 1-Grant Garrison, 18.106; 17. 74-Mike Franklin, 18.269; 18. 9-Jimmy Waldrop, 18.328; 19. 17M-David Markham, 18.351; 20. 16-Tom Egner, 19.076; 21. 39-Troy Dixon, 19.614; DQ. 14-Howard Stalls, 18.52
Qualifying Flight-B 1. 18X-Michael Page, 17.322; 2. 111-Max Blair, 17.336; 3. 7A-Corey Almond, 17.385; 4. 6-Dillon Brown, 17.471; 5. 7T-Trever Taylor, 17.479; 6. 5W-David Whitener, 17.485; 7. 66-Jake Knowles, 17.494; 8. 87-Walker Arthur, 17.513; 9. 7-Jason Fitzgerald, 17.522; 10. 27-Joe Denby, 17.572; 11. 6H-Clay Harris, 17.714; 12. 17-Nevin Gainey, 17.715; 13. 30-Todd Cooney, 17.745; 14. 721-Joe Kump, 17.778; 15. 313-Devin Dixon, 17.786; 16. 4-Justin Litchford, 17.822; 17. 20-Owen Osteen, 17.881; 18. 66K-Jody Knowles, 17.963; 19. 32-Curtis Glover, 18.087; 20. C71-Cody Courtney, 18.204; 21. 11-Cruz Skinner, 22.268
Heat #1 - Flight (A) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer 1. 40B-Kyle Bronson ; 2. J8-Jadon Frame ; 3. 116-Randy Weaver ; 4. 38-Jamie Carter ; 5. 71-Pierce McCarter ; 6. K37-Drew Kennedy ; 7. 38P-Trey Pearson ; 8. 17M-David Markham ; 9. 44-John Ruggerio ; 10. 74-Mike Franklin ; 11. 39-Troy Dixon 
Heat #2 - Flight (A) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer 1. 5-Mark Whitener ; 2. 95-Brandon Williams ; 3. 2-Trynt Lloyd ; 4. 84-Sam Halstead ; 5. 14B-John Baker ; 6. 33-Jeff Mathews ; 7. 10RT-Cody Overton ; 8. 1-Grant Garrison ; 9. 14-Howard Stalls ; 10. 9-Jimmy Waldrop ; 11. 16-Tom Egner 
Heat #3 - Flight (B) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer 1. 66-Jake Knowles ; 2. 18X-Michael Page ; 3. 7A-Corey Almond ; 4. 7T-Trever Taylor ; 5. 6H-Clay Harris ; 6. 30-Todd Cooney ; 7. 313-Devin Dixon ; 8. 11-Cruz Skinner ; 9. 32-Curtis Glover ; 10. 20-Owen Osteen ; 11. 7-Jason Fitzgerald 
Heat #4 - Flight (B) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer 1. 87-Walker Arthur ; 2. 111-Max Blair ; 3. 17-Nevin Gainey ; 4. 5W-David Whitener ; 5. 6-Dillon Brown ; 6. 4-Justin Litchford ; 7. 66K-Jody Knowles ; 8. 721-Joe Kump ; 9. C71-Cody Courtney ; 10. 27-Joe Denby 
Last Chance Showdown 1 (10 Laps) - Top 2 Transfer 1. 33-Jeff Mathews ; 2. 38P-Trey Pearson ; 3. K37-Drew Kennedy ; 4. 10RT-Cody Overton ; 5. 17M-David Markham ; 6. 44-John Ruggerio ; 7. 1-Grant Garrison ; 8. 14-Howard Stalls ; 9. 74-Mike Franklin ; 10. 16-Tom Egner ; 11. 39-Troy Dixon ; 12. 9-Jimmy Waldrop 
Last Chance Showdown 2 (10 Laps) - Top 2 Transfer 1. 313-Devin Dixon ; 2. 30-Todd Cooney ; 3. 4-Justin Litchford ; 4. 721-Joe Kump ; 5. 11-Cruz Skinner ; 6. 20-Owen Osteen ; 7. 32-Curtis Glover ; 8. C71-Cody Courtney ; 9. 66K-Jody Knowles ; 10. 27-Joe Denby ; 11. 7-Jason Fitzgerald 
FLORIDA LATE MODELS – DAVID SHOWERS JR.
He may have had the win handed to him on Thursday night when leader Bubba Whitener wrecked while leading, but make no mistake, David Showers Jr. had to work for his second-ever win in a Late Model on Friday night.
Taking the lead on lap one, Showers nearly ran away with the show in the early going, but Whitener tracked him down and put the pressure on in the final laps to make it an exciting chase for the finish line. Leading all 25 laps, Showers collected $3,000 for his victorious efforts.
Feature (25 Laps) 1. 18-David Showers ; 2. 5-Bubba Whitener ; 3. 1A-Richard Pratt ; 4. 18A-Jared Allison ; 5. OO7-Dusty Sparkman ; 6. 27-Bruce Harvey ; 7. 26B-Adam Bedenbaugh ; 8. 5MC-Robert Gast ; 9. 98-Johnny Allen ; 10. 29-Cameron Saunders ; 11. 10S-Steve Shead ; 12. 15-John Bledsoe ; 13. 33-TJ Evans ; 14. 11K-Josh Kunstbeck ; 15. 68-Ken Ellefson ; 16. 54-Terry Bronson ; 17. 45-Chuck Jackson ; 18. 17-Richard Ferry  Hard Charger: 27-Bruce Harvey[+6]
Qualifying 1. 17-Richard Ferry, 17.695; 2. 18A-Jared Allison, 18.274; 3. 18-David Showers, 18.331; 4. 27-Bruce Harvey, 18.403; 5. 29-Cameron Saunders, 18.415; 6. 5-Bubba Whitener, 18.448; 7. 1A-Richard Pratt, 18.667; 8. OO7-Dusty Sparkman, 18.712; 9. 98-Johnny Allen, 18.933; 10. 54-Terry Bronson, 19.032; 11. 5MC-Robert Gast, 19.055; 12. 15-John Bledsoe, 19.077; 13. 33-TJ Evans, 19.488; 14. 10S-Steve Shead, 19.551; 15. 11K-Josh Kunstbeck, 20.078; 16. 68-Ken Ellefson, 20.147; 17. 45-Chuck Jackson, 20.53; DQ. 26B-Adam Bedenbaugh, 19.012
Heat #1 (8 Laps) - Top 12 Transfer 1. 18-David Showers ; 2. 1A-Richard Pratt ; 3. 29-Cameron Saunders ; 4. 98-Johnny Allen ; 5. 33-TJ Evans ; 6. 5MC-Robert Gast ; 7. 11K-Josh Kunstbeck ; 8. 45-Chuck Jackson ; 9. 17-Richard Ferry 
Heat #2 (8 Laps) - Top 12 Transfer 1. 5-Bubba Whitener ; 2. OO7-Dusty Sparkman ; 3. 18A-Jared Allison ; 4. 54-Terry Bronson ; 5. 26B-Adam Bedenbaugh ; 6. 27-Bruce Harvey ; 7. 15-John Bledsoe ; 8. 10S-Steve Shead ; 9. 68-Ken Ellefson 
602 LATE MODELS – BUD CHANCEY
In what originally looked to be Cody Overton’s second consecutive win in the Sunshine Nationals 602 Late Model Feature, Thursday night’s runner-up Bud Chancey took advantage of a poorly timed engine failure on Overton’s part to scoop-up the win – his first victory at Volusia.
Overton started on the front row and jetted out to a commanding lead early on before going up in a puff of smoke on lap 12, handing over the lead, and the win, to Chancey. Chancey took no prisoners after getting the lead, out in front by a 5-second margin at the checkers.
Feature (20 Laps) 1. 32-Bud Chauncey ; 2. 78-Arthur Conquest ; 3. 33-Colton Leyendecker ; 4. M51-Mark Steube ; 5. 5-Dustin Carter ; 6. 25-Wiley McDaniel ; 7. 388-Jackson Hise ; 8. 3-Raymond Folwell ; 9. 31-Donnie Birdwell ; 10. 28-Brandon Elwood ; 11. O7-Landon Lungren ; 12. OO-Louis Ledlow ; 13. 98-Cody Allen ; 14. 5B-Colby Boyett ; 15. 9X-Chad Evans ; 16. 97-Cody Overton ; 17. 14JR-Trey Mills ; 18. 64-Craig Montesi ; 19. 22-Jonah Bozeman ; 20. 58-Tyler Clem ; 21. 27K-Timmie King ; 22. O2-Sean Babcock ; 23. 97B-Garrett Bullington ; 24. 17S-Brenden Smith ; 25. 18-Jared Allison  Hard Charger: 31-Donnie Birdwell[+16]
Qualifying 1. 14JR-Trey Mills, 18.924; 2. 3-Raymond Folwell, 19.106; 3. 97-Cody Overton, 19.274; 4. 5B-Colby Boyett, 19.359; 5. 5-Dustin Carter, 19.415; 6. O7-Landon Lungren, 19.421; 7. 22-Jonah Bozeman, 19.556; 8. 25-Wiley McDaniel, 19.573; 9. 78-Arthur Conquest, 19.771; 10. 32-Bud Chauncey, 19.838; 11. 388-Jackson Hise, 19.844; 12. M51-Mark Steube, 19.901; 13. 98-Cody Allen, 19.976; 14. 33-Colton Leyendecker, 20.158; 15. 97B-Garrett Bullington, 20.217; 16. 18-Jared Allison, 20.257; 17. 64-Craig Montesi, 20.262; 18. 58-Tyler Clem, 20.296; 19. 31-Donnie Birdwell, 20.363; 20. 27K-Timmie King, 20.378; 21. OO-Louis Ledlow, 20.704; 22. 28-Brandon Elwood, 20.938; 23. O2-Sean Babcock, 22.137; 24. 17S-Brenden Smith, 23.354; 25. 9X-Chad Evans, NT
Heat #1 (6 Laps) - Top 9 Transfer 1. 14JR-Trey Mills ; 2. 32-Bud Chauncey ; 3. 22-Jonah Bozeman ; 4. 5B-Colby Boyett ; 5. 98-Cody Allen ; 6. 28-Brandon Elwood ; 7. 18-Jared Allison ; 8. 9X-Chad Evans ; 9. 31-Donnie Birdwell 
Heat #2 (6 Laps) - Top 9 Transfer 1. 388-Jackson Hise ; 2. 5-Dustin Carter ; 3. 25-Wiley McDaniel ; 4. 33-Colton Leyendecker ; 5. 3-Raymond Folwell ; 6. 64-Craig Montesi ; 7. O2-Sean Babcock ; 8. 27K-Timmie King 
Heat #3 (6 Laps) - Top 9 Transfer 1. 97-Cody Overton ; 2. M51-Mark Steube ; 3. 78-Arthur Conquest ; 4. 58-Tyler Clem ; 5. O7-Landon Lungren ; 6. 97B-Garrett Bullington ; 7. OO-Louis Ledlow ; 8. 17S-Brenden Smith 
The DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals action continues on Saturday night with the 30-lap, $10,000-to-win finale for the Pro Late Models and 20 laps and $1,500-to-win for Florida Late Models and 602 Late Models. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision!
Tulsa Expo Raceway - Tulsa, Okla.
Friday, January 17, 2020
Vacuworx Qualifying Night
Event Count: 343
Hard Charger: Chad Boespflug +14
Sheppard siminar popular; Mahaney wins celebrity Kart Race; Dale Jarrett, Kyle Petty and MS Motorsports pagent on Saturday17 Jan 2020
Matt Sheppard and Mike Mahaney made headlines in different ways on Friday, Day One, of the PPB 2020 Motorsports Race Car & Trade Show in the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.
Sheppard, winner of 35 Dirt Modified features in 2019, shared trade secrets and offered advice on buying used race cars for the more than 80 racers who attended his Q&A seminar.
“I learn more about setups when things go wrong than when things go right,” Sheppard shared. “You remember what not to do.”
Mahaney was the winner of a Celebrity Go Kart race run Friday night. To win, he executed a last turn, last lap pass against Ryan Watt to register the top prize. Eric Kormann was third.
“It was a lot of fun,” Mahaney shared. “The track was pretty slippery and it made for some good racing.”
Day Two of the Motorsports Show will feature guest appearances by NASCAR fan favorites Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett.
Petty, a third generation NASCAR Cup driver prior to retirement, is now one of the top NASCAR TV commentators. He will sign autographs and meet and greet Motorsports attendees from 1:00 to 3:00 PM.
Second generation Cup driver Jarrett is a three-time Daytona 500 winner and one time NASCAR Cup season champion plus being a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and a TV personality. Jarrett will sign autographs from 4:00 to 6:00 PM Saturday afternoon.
Following the autograph signing sessions by Petty and Jarrett, the stage will be set for the 35th annual Ms. Motorsports Competition, sponsored by Aqua Duck Water Transport. Fifteen contestants have entered the competition in advance with more expected. At stake is a $1,500 top prize, a poster deal and the opportunity to travel the nation’s speedways as the official representative of the Motorsports Show.
On Sunday, the closing day of the show, three competitions, each centered on the sport’s youth, will be held. The Little Ms. Motorsports pageant and Tiny Ms. Motorsports competition transpire followed by Kids Big Wheel Races, featuring youngsters racing in various age groups with trophies presented to all winners.
The Best In Show awards will be presented to deserving exhibitors on Sunday afternoon as well.
Dates on or about the second weekend in January, 2021 are anticipated to be released in the near future.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers continued their challenge of a deep and experienced midget racing field as the 34th Lucas Oil Chili Bowl raced toward Saturday's finals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
One night after Santino Ferrucci finished fifth in a C-Main qualifying race, James Davison was 10th in a similar race Thursday at Tulsa Expo Raceway. Davison was poised to finish higher but was bumped from behind in the last corner of the final lap.
Conor Daly is scheduled to race Friday night. All of the record 360 entered drivers will be slotted into stepladder races Saturday.
Ferrucci, coming off a successful 2019 rookie campaign with Dale Coyne Racing, and Davison, a five-time Indianapolis 500 starter, are making their dirt-track racing debuts this week. They were given only a handful of practice laps on this quarter-mile indoor track before their first heat races.
Ferrucci started his heat race on the front row alongside five-time Chili Bowl champion and dirt-track legend, Sammy Swindell. Davison was one of 73 drivers competing Thursday, and the night was won by NASCAR Cup Series rookie Christopher Bell, the three-time-reigning champion of this prestigious event.
The driver contingent competing in this event encompass 40 states and six countries. Among them are seven former Chili Bowl champions, plus NASCAR Cup standouts Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Alex Bowman. Larson, Bell and Rico Abreu won their respective nights this week.
"For Santino and I, this is Day 1 in a midget and racing on dirt, and we only got (a few) minutes of practice prior to our heat races," said Davison, a native of Melbourne, Australia who plans to compete in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 this season. "We're having to figure everything out at the Super Bowl of dirt racing, and it's obviously not an ideal, textbook situation.
"But we've at least had the (guts) to sign up and do this and not care if we look bad."
Daly, who will compete on INDYCAR's road and street circuits this year in the No. 20 Chevrolet of Ed Carpenter Racing and in a third team entry in the Indianapolis 500, is competing in the Chili Bowl for the second time. Ferrucci and Davison have seen the draw to competing in Tulsa.
"It's a blast and I want to get good at it, and the only way that's going to happen is by doing it more," Davison said. "I'm up for any challenge, and I want to get good at this."
Added Ferrucci: "I don't really care how I do; I came here to have fun, stay clean and have a blast. I want to come back and do it again next year."
Ferrucci, Daly and Davison are driving with help from David Byrd, whose inspiration for supporting talented open-wheel drivers comes from his father, Jonathan, who helped Rich Vogler and Stan Fox compete in Indianapolis 500s. David Byrd also helped Bryan Clauson compete in the 500 in 2015 and '16.
Weeknight action of the Chili Bowl can be viewed online by pay-per-view at racinboys.com. Saturday's final feature races will air on the MAVTV Motorsports Network. Results can be found at chilibowl.com.
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES season begins March 13-15 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida.
NTT IndyCar Series PR
Deegan To Make Official Ford Debut In Mustang GT4 Featuring Throwback Paint Scheme Honoring Lyn St. James’ Breakout 1985 IMSA Campaign17 Jan 2020
When Hailie Deegan makes her official Ford Performance competition debut next week in the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge race at Daytona International Speedway, she’ll be doing it in a throwback paint scheme of a Ford IMSA star that helped pave the way for women in racing.
Ford Performance unveiled the paint scheme today for the No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 that will be driven by Deegan and co-driver Chase Briscoe in the four-hour event Friday, Jan. 24. The red, white and blue paint scheme is a modern throwback to the Roush Racing Mustang IMSA GTO car driven by Lyn St. James in her breakout season of 1985, when she captured three victories, including the first IMSA GT win by a woman driving solo.
“We’re certainly excited to have Hailie officially kick off her competition career with Ford,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance. “She had a great test a couple weeks ago and the pairing with Chase is ideal since he was in her shoes as a sports car rookie just a couple of years back and the experience has made him a more complete racer.
“To have the two of them in a Mustang GT4 with a Lyn St. James throwback scheme is very appropriate. Lyn was a pioneer for women in racing, a winner on the track and a great Ford spokesperson for many years, so this is a bit of a tribute to her and her contributions to our Ford sports car programs in the past.”
"I can't wait to get behind the wheel of this Mustang,” said Deegan. "My anticipation and excitement level was already sky high, making my debut for Ford in my first ever road race in IMSA, but now we add this cool throwback scheme honoring the only woman to win a major IMSA race solo and it is just that much cooler. I have a ton of respect and admiration for what Lyn St. James did to pave the road for racers like me. It will be really cool to drive a car inspired by her 1985 IMSA GTO Ford Mustang."
"I think it is a really cool way that Ford Performance has chosen to honor its racing legacy," said Chase Briscoe. "There have been a series of throwback schemes in different racing series by Ford and I just love the look of this one and the way it ties into Hailie being in the car with me and the success that Lyn had in this series with Mustang. I am excited to be a part of it."
"I'm delighted that Ford is doing this throwback scheme," said St. James. "The whole goal of every race driver is to win races, and going into that 1985 season I was on the cusp of winning, and to get my first three IMSA wins that year really meant so much to me because they say that once you win once, the others follow, and that was true for me.
"I am certain Hailie and Chase felt the same way after winning their first stock car races. You just want to win more. Sports car racing may be different than what they normally do, but the mindset is the same. I am excited to see them race and get to the winner’s circle.”
St. James captured six IMSA GTO wins in her career, all with Ford, including two GTO class wins in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. She also competed in Indy car, including seven starts at the Indianapolis 500. She was a consumer advisor for Ford Motor Company from 1981-96, and has been a tireless ambassador for women in sports, especially auto racing.
The four-hour, multiclass MICHELIN Pilot Challenge race at Daytona starts at 1:00 pm ET on Friday, January 24. The event can be viewed in its entirety via live streaming – TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold domestically and at IMSA.tv globally.
Ford Performance PR
The first race night of the inaugural DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals was jam-packed with the Late Model racing everyone had been craving since the 2019 regular season wound down just a few months ago.
Twenty-four 602 Late Models, 16 Florida Late Models and 41 Pro Late Models lined the Volusia Speedway Park pit areas on Thursday night for their first look of the year at the track under racing conditions. The three Features capped off what was a very entertaining night of racing at The World’s Fastest Half Mile, in which Kyle Bronson came out on top of the DIRTcar Pro Late Models, Cody Overton won the 602 Late Model Feature and David Showers Jr. was victorious in the final event of the evening, the Florida Late Model Feature.
DIRTcar PRO LATE MODELS – KYLE BRONSON
It seems as though it pays to be an ace of the Super Late Model ranks when jumping into a Pro Late Model at Volusia. Brandon, FL-native Kyle Bronson put on a dominant display of speed and car control over 25 laps as he beat out fellow Super Late Model big names Randy Weaver and Max Blair en route to his $1,500 victory.
Leading every lap, Killer put on a show out front as he grabbed the top spot on lap one and never looked back to collect the win, holding off a deep field of talent in the process.
“We’ve got a really great car, and I feel like as long as we keep the fenders on our car, we’ll have a chance to win these next couple,” Bronson said. “I’ve just got to do my job, and the car’s pretty damn good.”
The race was spotted with cautions, which meant Bronson was forced to deal with the pressure restacking behind him for each restart. But he handled those perfectly; it was a close call on lap nine that gave him his biggest challenge.
Middleburg, FL-driver Mark Whitener had a good run going to Bronson’s inside as they dove into Turn 1. The two ended up making slight contact, which sent Whitener around right in front of the oncoming field of cars. Somehow, everyone avoided him, and Whitener rejoined the field at the tail under the ensuing caution flag. Bronson escaped unharmed and went on to win the race, while Whitener made up a ton of ground in the final 16 laps to come back and finish eighth and pick up the Hard Charger honors.
“[Whitener] said he was going to go in and try to slide me there, but I was already turned down the racetrack and he hit me in the left-rear and turned himself around, I guess,” Bronson said. “We always race hard and rub a little bit, unfortunately. But that’s the way racing goes.”
Despite redrawing fifth, Randy Weaver found himself with a little bit of work to do in the early going of the 25-lap Feature, as he slipped back on the opening circuit and crossed the line in ninth on lap two. But with some patience and a great car, he and his newly wrapped #116 made it all the way back up front to collect the runner-up spot.
He’s traveled a long way from Titusville, PA, and there was no way Max Blair was leaving Volusia without at least one podium finish this weekend. He didn’t have to wait long, as he kept his car solidly inside the top 5 through all 25 laps to complete the podium.
Winner of the race run prior to the Pro Late Models Feature, Evans, GA-native Cody Overton, was looking to climb from the back to the front over 25 laps to put the cherry atop his Thursday night. Unfortunately, his night ended on the hook, as he was on the receiving end of a nasty pile-up wreck on the initial start that forced him to retire without a single lap completed.
602 LATE MODELS - CODY OVERTON
Overton did, however, take home a nice check in the first Feature of the evening for his efforts behind the wheel of his #97 602 Late Model – race he won by over three seconds ahead of runner-up Bud Chauncey and podium finisher Colton Leyendecker.
Using the low line to his advantage, Lil Sexy made a great move to the inside of Bud Chauncey on lap eight to take the lead, and the win, to kick off his 2020 season in Florida.
FLORIDA LATE MODELS – DAVID SHOWERS JR.
For most of the 20-lap Feature race, teenage pilot Bubba Whitener seemed to have had the Thursday night Feature locked up. Until he reached lap 13.
Trying to get around slower traffic on the high-side, Whitener came up on a car just before the flag stand and made heavy contact, sending the lapped car into the inside wall and severely damaging his own. Whitener went off on the hook, which handed the lead over to David Showers Jr., who took it and led the rest of the way for his first-ever Late Model victory.
The Sunshine Nationals action continues from Volusia on Friday night with round two of racing. Hot Laps begin at 5:15pm ET on DIRTVision!
DIRTcar Racing PR
Just as the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season is set to kick off, Kaulig Racing is excited to announce its 2020 crew chief line-up. With two, full-time entries for the 2020 season, Kaulig Racing is looking to compete for the NXS Championship with drivers Ross Chastain and Justin Haley in its stable.
Bruce Schlicker, former race engineer for Stewart-Haas racing, will head up the No. 10 Chevrolet entry with driver, Ross Chastain. Schlicker boasts a stout resume including race engineer at Richard Childress Racing from 2012-2016, and most recently, Stewart-Haas Racing.
“I’m excited for the opportunity at Kaulig Racing,” said Schlicker. “It’s a great team with great resources and even better drivers. We’ve got some great support from Nutrien Ag Solutions, who will be on the No. 10 car for the majority of the races in 2020. I’m looking forward to running a full season in the Xfinity Series with Ross Chastain, winning races and chasing after the championship.”
Alex Yontz will continue in his role of crew chief for Justin Haley and the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevy in 2020. Yontz transitioned from shock specialist to interim crew chief in July of the 2019 NXS season.
“I’m excited to be back with Justin Haley this season full time,” said Yontz. “We have a few races under our belts together from the end of last season, and we built a really good relationship. I’m looking forward to winning races with him in 2020.”
In 2019, Kaulig Racing secured 29 Top-10 finishes and nine Top-5 finishes, including two wins with Ross Chastain and AJ Allmendinger, securing its best season to-date.
“We are really excited to have Alex Yontz and Bruce Schlicker as crew chiefs,” said team President, Chris Rice. “As we continue to grow, we are stepping up our game immensely. I have confidence that we have the right people in the right positions, and we will have success this season.”
The season opener for the NXS will take place on Saturday, February 15 at 2:30pm EST on FS1 at Daytona International Speedway, where Kaulig Racing is the defending NXS race winner.
Kaulig Racing PR
Tulsa Expo Raceway - Tulsa, Okla.
Wednesday, January 16, 2020
John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night
Event Count: 273
Hard Charger: Spencer Bayston +9
Christopher Bell dominated John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night, winning his heat race, qualifier and feature to advance directly to Saturday’s A Main feature at the 34th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals at the Tulsa Expo Center. Thomas Meseraull finished second and Buddy Kofoid was third as Toyota drivers swept the podium.
Bell earned the fourth consecutive preliminary night feature for Toyota in capturing the Thursday night preliminary feature for the fifth straight year. It was his 56th national midget feature win, the most by any Toyota-powered driver.
Pole-sitter Shane Golobic took the early lead, with Meseraull in second and and Kofoid running fourth. On lap three, Meseraull would go high and then dive underneath Golobic to take over the top spot. Bell was on the move behind him, entering into the top-five and by lap eight, he had climbed to second.
Running the high side, the Norman, Oklahoma-native, would close on Meseraull and then take the lead on lap 12 and immediately start to distance himself, with Kofoid taking over third. With a long stretch of green flag racing, Bell began to encounter heavy lapped traffic in the final 10 laps of the 30-lap feature as the action heated up behind him. Kofoid was right on Meseraull’s tail for second and a pass directly to Saturday’s A Main, but passing both ‘T-Mez’ and the lapped traffic would prove to be difficult. At the finish line, it was Bell, Meseraull and Kofoid.
“It was a heck of a race,” said Bell. “The first five laps everybody was running up there together. It was nice to get a green flag run in. We definitely learned a lot tonight. Hopefully, it will translate to Saturday. (Team owner) Chad Boat and I have become really great friends. It’s been a lot of fun to watch the transition at Tucker-Boat. I’m very proud of them. It’s been an outstanding week so far and hopefully we can keep the ball rolling.”
While falling just short of the transfer position, Kofoid certainly made his presence felt in his first Chili Bowl qualifying night.
“I felt like I was closing on Thomas, but the lapped traffic was so thick,” said the 18-year-old Californian. “It was just so crazy when the lapped cars were racing each other side-by-side as well. For my first Chili Bowl, a third-place tonight is pretty cool. It’s not a lock-in position, but we’re in a good spot for Saturday. I feel like I came a long way from my heat race and I’m feeling comfortable in the car. Toyota and Keith Kunz have given me a great opportunity. I’m excited for this year.”
Overall, seven Toyota drivers advanced to Thursday night’s A Main, with each finishing in the top-13. Behind the top three were Jason McDougal in eighth, Jerry Coons Jr. in ninth, Tanner Berryhill in 11th and Joe B. Miller in the 13th position. While Bell and Meseraull transfer to Saturday’s A Main, Kofoid and McDougal will begin in the B Main; and Coons, Berryhill, and Miller from the C.
This year’s Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals feature more than 350 entries – each fighting for one of the 24 openings in Saturday night’s “A Main” feature event. After four nights of competition, five Toyota drivers from four different teams have earned their way into Saturday’s final.
Qualifying concludes on Friday night with six more Toyota-powered drivers still to qualify.
The preparations necessary to transform the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center into the Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports Race Car & Trade Show 2020 were continuing in earnest through 8:00 PM Thursday evening. The 36th annual rendition of the event under the direction of Len Sammons Motorsports Productions opens to the public at 2:00 PM Friday, January 17 and continues Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 18-19.
“This year’s show is shaping up to be one of the best,” said event organizer Sammons. “Move in day was very smooth and we expect big crowds for all three days with all that we have going on at the 2020 Show.”
Much of the work centered around the Orange County Fair Speedway Display, which will feature the track’s past, present, and future. The speedway celebrated the 100th anniversary of the running of its first automobile race this past August. A never-before-seen restoration of the Statewide Hi-Way Safety No. 3 Gremlin, built by Kenny Weld, driven by Jimmy Horton, owned by Halmar International’s Chris Larsen, and restored by Eric Mack is among the features in the display and of the entire Motorsports 2020 Show.
Another vintage car, this one owned and restored by Bruce Bowen, in the entrance lobby of the Motorsports Show, is a restoration of the No. 29 Weikert’s Livestock Sprint driven by Doug Wolfgang in 1987. The car is unique in that it ran the season with a 410 Steel Block motor. The car has been displayed by Bowen only once before.
“It has been a lot of work but I’m very happy with the way it turned out,” Bowen, who hand-lettered the car, said.
Two big displays near the main entrance of the show are certain to command attention. At the Pioneer Pole Buildings display, the Modifieds of Billy Pauch and Craig VonDohren as well as the 410 Sprint of Freddie Rahmer are to be seen while the Sunoco display has cars spanning the spectrum of motorsports including a stunning Funny Car and an equally attention-grabbing Sports Car Prototype.
A new livery for Matt Sheppard’s Modified can be seen at the American Racer Tire exhibit and Joe Toth’s Crate Sportsman, displayed at the Georgetown Speedway booth, is also a dramatic contrast from Toth’s previous cars.
An oddity in this year’s show features two of Mike Gular’s Modifieds, one in the Bicknell Race Cars display and a second in the Sunoco booth.
Once doors open Friday and throughout the three-day run of the show a series of valuable Seminars will be conducted on a wide range of topics of interest to car builders, track operators, and fans alike.
On Saturday, personal appearances by Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett will highlight the three-day event. Petty will sign autographs from 1:00 to 3:00 PM with Jarrett putting pen to paper from 4:00 to 6:00 PM.
At 7:00, the festivities will begin that culminate in the crowning of Ms. Motorsports 2020.
Sunday is Kid’s Day at PPB Motorsports 2020 with Little Ms. Motorsports and Tiny Ms. Motorsports competitions as well as Big Wheel Racing competitions.
For more information about the 2020 PPB Motorsports Race Car & Trade Show, visit motorsportstradeshow.com