First Time Winners, Close Finishes, Endless Excitement Highlight Saturday Finale at World Short Track Championship

The eighth annual World Short Track Championship at The Dirt Track at Charlotte concluded with its largest fan attendance, its largest car count – over 500 cars – its youngest ever winner and a Saturday of endless excitement from 10 divisions of race cars.

Here’s how each Feature played out:

Chevrolet Mid-East 602 Late Models: Eleven Year Old Beckham Malone Scores 602 Late Model Win At World Short Track Championship

Before this weekend’s World Short Track Championship, 11-year-old Beckham Malone had never driven a dirt Late Model.

But on Saturday night, he drove with the skills of a veteran, leading the final 23 laps to earn the Chevrolet Mid-East 602 Late Model Feature win at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.

Steven Thompkins, the pole-sitter, won the race off Turn 2 to take the lead in the 25-lap Feature. However, it was short-lived after a Lap 2 yellow flag for Craig Overby and Carl Currin in Turn 3.

On the next restart, Dylan Beaver got the advantage over Thompkins while Malone dove underneath Thompkins to wrestle second away. Another caution came out on Lap 3, pivotal in the race’s outcome.

When the green came back out, Malone nosed ahead of Beaver in Turn 2, taking the lead as the field thundered down the backstretch. Behind Malone, Dalton Jacobs moved into second on Lap 10, hoping to steal the win away as the race neared its halfway point.

Jacobs had his best shot on a restart with 15 laps remaining, pulling even with Malone in Turns 1 and 2 before Malone pulled away.

From there, Malone held on to score his first World Short Track Championship victory.

After the race, many family and friends stormed Victory Lane to celebrate with Malone, who described his triumph with one word.

“It was insane,” Malone said. “It proves you don’t have to even be 14 to run here. If you’re good enough to race really good, you can come out here and be on the podium just like I did.

“It was all just focus and what I should do at the right timing. I don’t even know what to say right now.”

Fox Factory Pro Late Models: Trent Ivey Edges Dennis Franklin On Final Lap for Second Consecutive Pro Late Model Victory

Trent Ivey cut his teeth on red clay tracks in the Southeast. And that experience paid off Saturday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.

After chasing Dennis Franklin for nine laps, Ivey snuck by Franklin in the final corner to win his second consecutive Fox Factory Pro Late Model Feature at the World Short Track Championship.

Franklin grabbed the early lead off Turn 2, pacing the opening two circuits before the yellow came out on Lap 3.

“Rambo” continued to stay out front in the race’s first half, holding off a three-wide challenge between himself, John Ruggiero and Benji Hicks on Lap 13.

As Franklin stayed in command at the front, Ivey was in fifth, needing a caution to break his way for a chance at victory. That break came on Lap 20, as Franklin held off another three-wide challenge. But this time, Ivey passed both Ruggiero and Steele to take over second.

Ivey chased Franklin’s #2 car for nine laps as both cars hugged the bottom of the track’s red-clay surface. But in Turns 3 and 4 on the final lap, Franklin went into Turn 4 too high, allowing Ivey to slide sneak underneath him with the checkered flag in sight. It was all Ivey needed to win, earning back-to-back victories at the World Short Track Championship.

He joins Michael Brown as the only other driver to win the event twice.

“Everybody here has given me the best race car in the country right now,” Ivey said. “Special thanks to Gary, Wyatt, my family, Randall, my fiancé, my mom and dad, and Noah. I’m just happy to be back here.”

Hoosier Racing Tire Mid-East Pro Modifieds: Holcombe Dominates Pro Modifieds, Wins Second Career World Short Track Championship

For the second time in his career, Austin Holcombe is a World Short Track Champion.

The Elm City, NC-racer had climbed out of his open-engine DIRTcar UMP Modified – following a third-place run in the Feature – only minutes before buckling into his Chevrolet Performance Crate-engine Pro Modified in preparation to take to The Dirt Track at Charlotte once more from fifth on the starting grid.

After an incident on the initial start, Holcombe moved up to third for the ensuing restart and made the most of it, zooming past Austin Self and Garrett Killman on the bottom to take the lead on the opening lap.

From there, Holcombe reigned supreme. Multiple restarts gave his opponents their shot at the lead, but none were able to get close enough for a serious challenge.

In the end, Holcombe led all 25 laps on his way to a second career victory in the Hoosier Racing Tire Mid-East Pro/Crate Modified division – his first since 2021.

“To even have it up here once; To win at Charlotte – it doesn’t matter if you’re in a four-cylinder or a Late Model, it’s just nice to win here,” Holcombe said.

Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modifieds: Taylor Cook Conserves Tires, Wins Second-Straight UMP Modified World Short Track Championship

The flagman showed the one-to-go signal. Coming back to a green-white-checkered finish, leading one of the biggest DIRTcar UMP Modified races of the year, Taylor Cook was worried.

Worried about the pack of drivers still behind him. Worried about getting the jump on the restart. But mostly worried about the unknown with his tires as his competition had issues in the laps before.

“I was worried I was gonna be the next one,” he said.

But his rubber still had some tread to spare – enough for him to hold off the field behind him two more times around The Dirt Track at Charlotte and bring the Scott Rod Fabricators, Elite Chassis #21 to the checkers and collect his second-straight World Short Track Championship title in the Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modified division.

“It’s awesome because all of our family is here,” Cook said. “It’s always more special when you work for it, and it’s always more special when there’s family and friends around to enjoy it with you.”

MSD DIRTcar Pro Stocks: Pete Stefanski scores again with DIRTcar Pro Stock Feature win at World Short Track Championship

The MSD Performance DIRTcar Pro Stocks rolled out onto the Dirt Track at Charlotte Saturday night for their second and final Feature of the eighth annual World Short Track Championship.

The competition level was high with several accomplished veterans competing for the $3,000 payday in the 25-lap showcase – reigning DIRTcar Sportsman Series champion and night one Feature winner Luke Horning, 2022 World Short Track Championship All-Star Feature winner Pete Stefanski, and 2022 DIRTcar Pro Stock Series champion Bruno Richard.

The racing was immediately hampered with challenges, with pole sitter Kim Duell being forced to exit on Lap 4 after a multi-car collision around Turn 4 that drew a red flag. The momentum of the race continued to be staggered as a steady flow of cautions followed in the 31-car field.

Upon Duell’s exit, outside pole-sitter Stefanski assumed the lead with Denis Gauvreau joining him on the front row. The Wheatfield, NY driver navigated the 4/10-mile oval, finding his stride as best he could in the middle of a steady stream of cautions.

He remained as steadfast as he could, avoiding contact with other competitors in lapped traffic to not jeopardize his position. Due to the events’ time constraints for each division, the checkered flag was waved at Lap 12 with Stefanski still at the helm. It was his second career Feature win at the event.

“It’s amazing,” Stefanski said. “We were hoping for a top-five…we knew draw was important here so in the beginning, when the yellows started coming out, I knew I had to get out front for the time frame in the race. After (Duell) left, it was just hitting our marks every corner and just making sure we weren’t spinning out on our own… we’ve had a shock problem all year, but the guys down at the shock trailer helped me out yesterday… we just put the good shocks on that they got for us and the car was just absolutely perfect.”

VP Racing Fuels DIRTcar Sportsman: Canadian Cedric Gauvreau captures first DIRTcar Sportsman win at World Short Track Championship

The VP Racing Fuels DIRTcar Sportsmans took to the Dirt Track at Charlotte Saturday night for the second Feature of the eighth annual World Short Track Championship. The divisions’ heavy hitters battled it out in the 30-lap, $4,000-to-win, showcase for a trip to Victory Lane.

DIRTcar Sportsman Series and Hoosier Tire champion Andrew Buff started the evening on the pole, joined by Salisbury, NC driver David Richer to his outside.  Michael Wright and Chelsea, QC driver Cedric Gauvreau followed behind.

Buff took the lead at the drop of the green flag, with Richer following close behind. The Latham, NY driver stayed steady out in front, navigating the clear air as he has many times before. He approached lapped traffic on Lap 10, creating the need for some quick decision making in the 32-car field.

He wisely used all sides of the track to maneuver his way through the heavy traffic, once passing through the middle in between two cars. After eight laps of withstanding the obstacles, Buff’s luck ran out on Lap 18. His #92 machine collided with another car, bringing him to a full stop. Buff’s car sustained enough damage to force him to the sideline.

Richer moved into the lead position upon Buff’s exit with just 12 laps remaining, with Gauvreau joining him on the front row. Richer shot out in front on the following restart, inching closer and closer to his first event win.

But the bad luck was not to be relegated just to Buff. With five laps left, Richer came speeding down the backstretch, only to have his #318 machine come to almost a complete stop around Turn 3 with a blown motor. He exited the track with assistance, leaving the door open for another leader.

Gauvreau found himself in the hot seat of the lead, with two-time World Short Track Championship Feature winner Kevin Ridley in second, with a handful of laps between him and his first win. He fired hard on the restart, creating space between him and his competitors. He raced the final laps error free and cruised to his first World Short Track Championship win.

“(In the last several laps), I said I’m going to give my best to get to first,” Gauvreau said. “But (Richer) blew his motor…I was keeping some power for the end, but I was closing the gap. Unfortunately, he blew his motor. But it feels amazing (to win). We finally got a win at (The Dirt Track at) Charlotte and I think it’s the biggest win of our career. I’m really proud of it.”

COMP Cams Monster Mini Stocks: Cooper Cruises to World Short Track Championship Victory with Monster Mini Stocks

One year ago, Kevin Cooper made a statement with the COMP Cams Monster Mini Stocks. He drove all the way from 23rd to fourth for his career best finish in the division at the World Short Track Championship.

A year later and equipped with a much better starting position, there would be no denying Cooper. The Travelers Rest, SC native started on the pole of Saturday’s 25-lap finale and held off multiple challengers on his way to a $2,000 payday at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.

A win in his Friday Heat Race helped earn Cooper the front row starting spot. And he quickly took advantage of owning the best view in the house when the green flag waved as he darted ahead.

In the early stages, Cooper was forced to face a bevy of restarts as multiple incidents interrupted the flow of the race by bringing out the caution flag. The jockeying behind him was heated as Travis Mosley and 2022 Mini Stock winner – Matt Gilbert – battled for runner-up. On the fifth circuit, Gilbert snuck around Mosley to take over the second spot.

Gilbert couldn’t manage to close in on Cooper and found himself having to battle a hard-charging Daniel Coffey who had driven into the top three from 14th. As the clock neared the race’s time limit, Coffey passed Gilbert for second on Lap 13 before Gilbert returned the favor the next lap.

On the 16th circuit, Coffey roared back around Gilbert and set his sights on Cooper as the white flag waved. Coffey got a strong run exiting the final corner but couldn’t find enough momentum to move ahead as Cooper took the checkered flag with less than two tenths of a second between himself and Coffey.

“This feels great,” Cooper said. “Man, what a weekend. We’ve been good all weekend. We’ve been fast all weekend. I’ve just got to think the good Lord up above for letting us do what we do. And thanks to Charlotte for having us here and the Monster Mini Series for the great Series we run. We did it, baby.”

RaceQuip Mid-East Street Stocks: Ricky Greene Wins First World Short Track Championship Feature With Mid-East Street Stocks

After quietly having a fast weekend with the RaceQuip Mid-East Street Stocks, Ricky Greene had his pace on full display as the winner during the eighth annual World Short Track Championship.

Greene, of Newton, NC, grabbed the lead early after a massive 13-car pileup on lap one gave him great track position on the restart – making his way up to the lead by lap six.

With clean air and a smooth racing line, Greene had nothing to pressure him, winning the Feature by over two seconds.

For Greene, he let the competition come to him, with the slick track surface being the ideal conditions for him to score the Feature win.

“Yeah, I knew they were coming but I knew I had to wait,” Greene said. “I had to be patient to use the bottom line and then get by for the lead. I had to go where they weren’t because I knew the track was super slick and that favors me a lot. I knew I had to get down to the bottom, get the grip, keep my car straight and we were gonna be good.”

SRI Performance Monster Thunder Bombers: Luke Doggett Wins First World Short Track Feature With Monster Thunder Bombers

As the temperatures began to drop at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Luke Doggett only began to heat up in the SRI Performance Monster Thunder Bombers Feature race.

After a competitive 20-lap Feature, the Forest City, NC driver scored his first career World Short Track Championship Feature win in his #97 machine.

Doggett began the Feature in sixth place – but quickly climbed up the field to the leaders by the third lap.

Doggett had to earn the lead, racing side-by-side with Boiling Springs, NC’s Luke Clements for the top spot. Using the high lane to his advantage, Doggett cleared the #51 to claim the lead.

Doggett never relinquished the lead but had to fend off a field of fast Thunder Bombers – including last year’s champion Rod Tucker. Though Tucker got close, he could never outpace the fast car the Doggett had to wheel.

For Doggett, this is what he explains is the biggest and best win he has had in his racing career.

“This is a pretty crazy (win)”, Doggett said. “I’ve won some big races as far as these cars are concerned, but this is the best win I’ve ever had. Me and (Luke) were racing pretty hard there and I tried to run him as clean as I could. I got into him a couple of times trying to cut underneath him, but I think (he and I) will be alright. Me, Rod, Luke, and Tyler all raced pretty clean and I don’t know how to explain the feelings of winning at Charlotte.”

DIRTVision Hornets: Benson, Slone Repeat While Bennett Scores First World Short Track Win on Final Night

The final night of DIRTVision Hornet racing at the eighth annual World Short Track Championship Saturday night continued the theme of wild action, first time winners, big thrills and emotional celebrations.

Dan Benson and Zachary Slone swept the weekend, both winning their Friday and Saturday Features – extending their World Short Track title count to three – while Dale Bennett picked up his first win at The Dirt Track at Charlotte after a 15-lap brawl.

With more than 60 cars returning for the weekend finale, the field was again split into three 15-lap Features.

FEATURE #1: After finishing 11th on during the first night of DIRTVision Hornet action, Dale Bennett was given a chance for redemption Saturday night by drawing the pole for the 15-lap Feature.

He made the most of that chance on the start, launching ahead of the 20-car field. He held a comfortable lead over second-place Kylee Laws before a caution came out on Lap 2. When the race resumed, Willie Fowler had a video game like start, rocketing from seventh to the lead by Turn 2.

Fowler and Bennett made contact on the exit of the turn, allowing Laws to sneak under them both and make a three-wide pass for the lead. But before she could try and pull away, another caution slowed the race.

When the race resumed, Bennett would not let her get away. He lurked and lurked, lap after lap. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting to make the right move. Then, on Lap 7, he powered ahead of Laws to reclaim the lead. She tried to cross back underneath him, but Bennett was too strong up top.

While he held control of the race after that, Daniel Wright tried to make him worry toward the end. The #4 had charged his way up through the field from 12th, making his way to second on Lap 9. He closed within a couple tenths of Bennett with three laps to go, close enough to send the high pitch of his motor through Bennett’s eardrums.

But Bennett didn’t falter. Maintaining his line around the 4/10-mile track, the Taylors, SC driver cruised to his first World Short Track Championship triumph.

“It means a lot,” Bennett said about his win. “Tonight, the track was smooth. We were able to keep the tire on the rim tonight. I learned a lot from yesterday. It means a lot to me.”

FEATURE #2: When the green flag dropped for the second 15-lap DIRTVision Hornet Feature of the night, you would have thought Kevin Weaver had 50 more horsepower than the rest of the field. Timing his start perfect, the #21 car was like a stealth fighter against crop dusters, flying around the outside of the track to go from sixth to first by the exit of Turn 2.

Friday’s winner Zachary Slone, of Fort Mill, SC, was on the same flight path, going from 12th to second on the first lap. While Weaver had a heroes start, Slone had no interest in letting him wear the cap for long.

Hovering behind Weaver for the first few laps, Slone saw a chance to strike on Lap 3 and returned to where he left off on Friday.

While he led, second became hotly contested, going to Travis Lankford for a bit before being handed back to Weaver. Then, with five laps to go, Steve Herring moved his way into the runner-up spot after having started 19th.

Herring was on the hunt to not finished second two nights in a row and try to score his first World Short Track victory. However. Slone was too strong and pulled away with his third World Short Track win at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.

“The track was a little different than last night,” Slone said. “We had to throw the kitchen sink at it to try and make it turn. We ended up making it work. I was happy to pull it off and win again.”

FEATURE #3: Dan Benson was Mr. World Short Track Championship this week. He was the fastest car in practice Thursday night. He won Friday night’s Feature. And then capped off the weekend by also dominating Saturday nights Feature – his third straight World Short Track Championship win.

“It feels great,” Benson said about his impressive weekend. “I’ve been coming here for four or five years now. I went from finishing fifth, which was my first time here and I was hooked ever since, and when I came back, I did another fifth, a third, a third. Then, a first, a first, and a first. Coming here, studying it, knowing the track and knowing how it is going to end up at the end of the night, it is always super smooth and perfect. But it is slick, and it pushes. Being set up for that is a big key to keep your speed, especially through the corners here.”

Benson, of Lancaster, SC, started on the outside pole but took the lead on the first lap and never looked back.

Behind him, Seth Smith made a quick march forward, going from 16th to fourth in the first lap and then jumped to second on Lap 3. However, his hopes of moving up another spot stopped there. Benson maintained a second lead on him the whole race.

At the end of the 15-lap adventure, Benson crossed the line 1.1 seconds ahead of Smith in second. Tyler Hopkins finished third, Reggie Twing was fourth and Andrew Rich rounded out the top five.

For full results of each division, CLICK HERE.

DIRTcar Series PR