Tag Archives: Volusia Speedway

Hearn Hustles from 21st to Win in DIRTcar Nationals Finale

Sheppard captures the Big Gator for his second career DIRTcar Nationals title

By Mike Mallett

BARBERVILLE, Fla. – Feb 20, 2016 – Brett Hearn did the improbable on Saturday night. The veteran driver from Sussex, N.J., raced his way from the 21st starting position in the 50-lap DIRTcar Nationals Super DIRTcar Series finale to take his 23rd career win at the Volusia Speedway Park.

“We got a huge favor tonight that we didn’t really expect in that we had to run the consi,” said Hearn. “We got some laps out there after the track dried out. After we ran the consi we made some really great decisions. Hats off to my crew. We really struggled this week. We changed everything we could think of including stuff today, unbelievable stuff. These guys were up early working their butts off and so this is meaningful for all the guys that came down with me this year. We persevered.”

Hearn won the battle but it was Sheppard who won the war as he captured his second career DIRTcar Nationals title. Throughout the four days of Big Block action, Sheppard never finished outside the top five. He finished fifth on opening night and then took home a win before a second and a third to conclude the week.

Stewart Friesen started on the pole of Saturday’s finale and quickly darted to the front of the field with Tim Fuller taking over second on the first lap. Before a second lap could be completed a multi-car incident occurred in turns one and two. Nearly everyone was able to continue with the exception of Tim Kerr who was towed back to the pit area.


Friesen lined up on the outside as the leader with Fuller next to him. Fuller stayed with Friesen when the race got back underway. Fuller attempted to dive underneath him through turns one and two. Friesen was too strong and immediately dispatched Fuller.

Over the next several laps Friesen and Fuller battled one another on a number of restarts. Each time Friesen proved to be up to the task. The race’s final caution came on lap 18 for Erick Rudolph. Rudolph blew a right rear tire and slowed dramatically on the speedway. Friesen was the leader while Hearn had just moved his way into the top ten.

From this point forward Hearn put on a show. Electing for a different compound than other competitors Hearn began his march forward. He picked off a nearly a car per lap allowing him to work inside the top five by the midway point. Once there, Friesen had a large lead on Hearn, but he never gave up hope of gaining more spots.

“Once we got consecutive laps and I broke into third I could feel myself reeling those guys in,” Hearn said. “They were getting looser and looser and I was getting better and better. When I got to third I was happy to be on the podium. Then I realized I was reeling them in pretty quick.”

It took Hearn only ten more laps to track down the second place running Sheppard on lap 34, then four laps later he was able to muscle the lead away from Friesen. Friesen moved up a lane in hopes of slowing Hearn but it wasn’t enough. Hearn dove low and drove right on by as they exited turn two.

“I had enough side bite to cut left and get down low in the corner if I needed too,” Hearn said. “I could also lay it out there and use the momentum if I needed to as well. I was able to get under him (Friesen) and take the lead.”

After taking the top spot, Hearn set the cruise control and pulled away from the rest of the field. He was flawless over the final few laps in traffic as he finally got the handling dialed in on his Teo Pro Car. He was able to maneuver around the speedway so well that he went on to win by nearly seven seconds at the checkered flag.

Friesen, of Sprakers, N.Y., nipped a hard charging Sheppard at the line. For Friesen it was his best run of the 2016 DIRTcar Nationals as he struggled earlier in the week.

“We were great all week,” Friesen said. “We made some big swings at it this week and learned some things that will apply for all season long. This trip is always worthwhile so we can iron out some things and learn. That is what we did. We went with the safe bet on tires and Uncle Brett (Hearn) just came out of nowhere. Hats off to them guys. We’ll take it, learn from it and move on.”

Friesen was good on the shorter runs but once the race stayed green he was a sitting duck out in front as he lost the tires on his Teo Pro Car.

“We were good, good, good, but on that long green flag run we just over heated the right rear,” he said. “Brett had a hard (tire) on there and we were just hanging on there at the end. We burned it up.”

Sheppard’s third place finish was enough for him to claim the championship. He battle Friesen for the final five laps and nearly pulled off the last lap pass for second. Although he was denied the position he enjoyed his second career DIRTcar Nationals title. His last came back in 2010.

“We had an awesome race car all week,” said Sheppard. “We had another good car tonight. Brett snookered us on tires a little bit. We were really coming on Stewie there at the end. I couldn’t be prouder of all those guys standing over there that stepped up to help out. To come down here out of the box to have a first, second, third and a fifth is pretty good, pretty consistent. Hopefully we can keep it going all season.”

Fuller faded back to bring his No. 19 home in the fourth position and Danny Johnson came from 12th to complete the top five.

Billy Pauch was again the fastest car at the speedway in time trials with a lap of 17.125. Once again that was the fastest lap of the week. Dippel, Sheppard, Pauch and Friesen each earn heat wins while Hearn and Billy Dunn split the consolations.

With the conclusion of the 2016 DIRTcar Nationals the Super DIRTcar Series now shifts north to New York. The next event is scheduled for Saturday, April 30, at the Fulton Speedway in Fulton, N.Y.

Follow the series on Twitter @SuperDIRTcar, or click www.SuperDIRTcarSeries.com.

DIRTcar Nationals Statistical Report; Feb. 20, 2016; Volusia Speedway Park; Barberville, Fla.

A-Main (30 Laps) – 1. 20-Brett Hearn [$5,000], 2. 44-Stewart Freisen, 3. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 4. 19-Tim Fuller, 5. 27J-Danny Johnson, 6. 49-Billy Dunn, 7. 21a-Pete Britten, 8. 99L-Larry Wight, 9. 54-Steve Bernard, 10. 7-Rick Laubach, 11. 14J-Alan Johnson, 12. 1T-Tyler Dippel, 13. 25R-Erick Rudolph, 14. 1-Billy Pauch, 15. 1G-Darwin Green, 16. 30-Jamie Mills, 17. 32c-Vic Coffey, 18. 5-Billy VanInwegen, 19. 48T-Dave Rauscher, 20. 83-Brian Swartzlander, 21. 74-J.R Heffner, 22. 85-H.J. Bunting, 23. 5*-Tyler Siri, 24. 28p-Eldon Payne, 25. 323-Neal Williams, 26. 19m-Jessey Mueller, 27. 7-Tim Kerr, 28. 8-Rich Scagliotta

Last Chance Showdown 1 (10-laps – Top 3 Finishers Transfer) – 1. 20-Brett Hearn, 2. 19m-Jessey Mueller, 3. 5-Billy VanInwegen, 4. 83-Brian Swartzlander, 5. 29J-Chris Ostrowsky, 6. 21k-Randy Chrysler, 7. 29e-Erik Martin

Last Chance Showdown 2 (10-laps – Top 3 Finishers Transfer) – 1. 49-Billy Dunn, 2. 85-H.J. Bunting, 3. 54-Steve Bernard, 4. 1G-Darwin Green, 5. OBs-Jeremy Markle

Heat 1 (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 1T-Tyler Dippel, 2. 5*-Tyler Siri, 3. 14J-Alan Johnson, 4. 8-Rich Scagliotta, 5. 48T-Dave Rauscher, 6. 20-Brett Hearn, 7. 29J-Chris Ostrowsky, 8. 19m-Jessey Mueller

Heat 2 (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 2. 25R-Erick Rudolph, 3. 32c-Vic Coffey, 4. 30-Jamie Mills, 5. 28p-Eldon Payne, 6. 5-Billy VanInwegen, 7. 83-Brian Swartzlander, 8. 21k-Randy Chrysler, 9. 1G-Darwin Green

Heat 3 (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 1-Billy Pauch, 2. 7-Rick Laubach, 3. 99L-Larry Wight, 4. 7-Tim Kerr, 5. 323-Neal Williams, 6. OBs-Jeremy Markle, 7. 14-C.G. Morey, 8. 64-Daniel Nadeau

Heat 4 (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature) – 1. 44-Stewart Freisen, 2. 19-Tim Fuller, 3. 27J-Danny Johnson, 4. 21a-Pete Britten, 5. 74-J.R Heffner, 6. 49-Billy Dunn, 7. 85-H.J. Bunting, 8. 54-Steve Bernard

Qualifying Group 1 – 1. 1T-Tyler Dippel, 17.589; 2. 5*-Tyler Siri, 17.675; 3. 14J-Alan Johnson, 17.793; 4. 8-Rich Scagliotta, 18.3; 5. 48T-Dave Rauscher, 18.348; 6. 29J-Chris Ostrowsky, 18.51; 7. 19m-Jessey Mueller, 18.528; 8. 29e-Erik Martin, 18.86; 9. 20-Brett Hearn, 19.523

Qualifying Group 2 – 1. 30-Jamie Mills, 17.644; 2. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 17.737; 3. 28p-Eldon Payne, 17.758; 4. 25R-Erick Rudolph, 17.807; 5. 32C-Vic Coffey, 17.845; 6. 5-Billy VanInwegen, 17.916; 7. 83-Brian Swartzlander, 18.002; 8. 1G-Darwin Green, 18.127; 9. 21k-Randy Chrysler, 18.18

Qualifying Group 3 – 1. 1-Billy Pauch, 17.125; 2. 7-Rick Laubach, 17.422; 3. 99L-Larry Wight, 17.446; 4. 7-Tim Kerr, 17.718; 5. 64-Daniel Nadeau, 17.8; 6. 323-Neal Williams, 17.957; 7. 14-C.G. Morey, 17.961; 8. OBs-Jeremy Markle, 18.103

Qualifying Group 4 – 1. 44-Stewart Freisen, 17.289; 2. 19-Tim Fuller, 17.345; 3. 21a-Pete Britten, 17.462; 4. 49-Billy Dunn, 17.761; 5. 74-J.R Heffner, 17.78; 6. 54-Steve Bernard, 18.024; 7. 85-H.J. Bunting, 18.1; 8. 27J-Danny Johnson, 18.154

Fuller Flies High in DIRTcar Nationals Opener for Big-Block Modifieds

Scores his first win in Modified action at Volusia since 2007

By Mike Mallett

BARBERVILLE, Fla. – Feb. 17, 2016 – For the first time since 2007, Tim Fuller parked his Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified on the front stretch at the Volusia Speedway Park as a feature winner. The Edwards, N.Y., driver drove his familiar No. 19 to the win in the opening 30-lap feature for the Modifieds as part of the 45th Annual DIRTcar Nationals.

Fuller started on the inside of the second row and wasted little time in moving to the front. Fuller grabbed second early before using a restart in the first third of the race to drive around opening lap leader Tyler Dippel. From there, Fuller survived numerous restarts and challenges from long-time friend Billy Dunn to earn his sixth career win at the speedway.

“It’s been a lot of years since I’ve been here,” Fuller said in victory lane. “First and foremost I have to thank my car owners (Rauschers). To be able to come down here and to be able to do this for four days in the dead of winter is unbelievable. I dragged a crew man down from Scranton, Pa., Brett Tonkin, because I had no one coming down with me and this is all for them.”

Tyler Siri and Dippel shared the front row of the start of the 2016 Big-Block Modified season with Dippel charging by Siri for the lead at the exit of turn two on the bottom of the opening circuit. Siri looked for a way back by the Wallkill, N.Y., teenager but as he looked for an advantage Fuller found the fast line and drove into the runner-up spot.

Once he got to second, Fuller moved up to the top groove with his Enders powered Bicknell while Dippel continued to try and make laps on the bottom. This allowed Fuller to work his way by Dippel for the lead on lap six. Before another lap could be completed, Siri brought out the first caution of the night as he slowed with a flat tire.

“I went to the top and started winging it,” Fuller said about his move for the lead. “If you can get to that top and your car is good enough that you don’t push it is the predominant groove here.”

Fuller elected to use the outside of the front row for the restart and he blasted into the cushion to hold off Dippel. Dippel meanwhile had his hands full with Dunn. Dunn drove by Dippel on the top, securing the second spot as they came off of turn four.

As Fuller paced the field, the action behind him and Dunn picked up with Dippel, Billy Pauch and Larry Wight all battling for the third position. Pauch was able to fend them off each time to hold onto third.

By the time the race reached the midway point, Fuller had extended his lead over Dunn and began to work slower traffic. He stayed on the upper portion of the speedway with Dunn in tow. Pauch remained third with Dippel and Wight getting together. This caused Dippel to catch the wall off of turn two. Dippel stopped with a damaged race car necessitating a second caution.

Dunn gave Fuller all he could handle on the restart as he looked down low and slid up the speedway to pull alongside of Fuller as they exited the second turn. They remained that way all the way down the backstretch before Fuller barley cleared him on the top of turn three with Dunn trying to keep pace off of four.

“Billy Dunn got up inside me and it really scared me,” Fuller said. “I started to turn it up a little bit. If you watched Race-Monitor I probably picked it up two or three tenths because I started trying a little bit harder. I was just out there in cruise mode and when he blasted up there inside of me on that restart I picked it up and was determined not to lose it.”

Fuller pulled away from that point. He blasted the cushion harder and harder each lap increasing his lead over the Dunn. That lead was negated one final time on lap 23 as Eldon Payne’s car blew a right rear tire which caused him to slow in turn three.

Dunn and everyone else had one more shot at Fuller on the restart. Fuller made sure that he wasn’t going to be denied as he drove into one and caught the cushion perfectly running away from the rest of the competition. Dunn remained in second by himself while Pauch and Wight renewed their battle for the final spot on the podium.

Fuller took the checkered flag nearly three seconds in front of Dunn. For Dunn, of Watertown, N.Y., it was a good night considering he had never turned a lap at the track prior to Tuesday night’s practice session.

“This is a new track and a new car,” Dunn said about his Bicknell. “Bob Slack and I tried some strange stuff on the car and it’s got a lot of promise but it needs a lot of work. It just got too tight there the last 10 laps. The harder I drove it the worse I was.”

Dunn had one chance where he could have thrown the slide job on Fuller and it may have been possible for him to take the lead and keep it. He did not pull it off forcing him to settle in for second.

“I got a good run on the bottom on the one restart and if I could have slid up in front him I probably could have held him off, but the best car won tonight,” he said. “We are close we just need to do a little bit of work.”

Pauch, of Frenchtown, N.J., finished in the third positon after starting the main from the outside of the second row. Pauch tried to get in the mix early for the lead but settled in to the third position as the race became a battle for the preferred line on the cushion. It was his ninth career third place finish at Volusia.

“It’s nice to make the podium and come up here,” Pauch said. “I have to congratulate Tim Fuller. He deserves a win down here. He runs hard. I was trying to beat him to the front there and I thought I had him before he got me back. It was wild there when we were running three-wide.”

Wight, the 2015 DIRTcar Nationals Big-Block Modified champion, finished in the fourth position while defending Super DIRTcar Series champion Matt Sheppard completed the top five.

Heat race wins went to Siri, Dippel, Fuller and Pauch with Jamie Mills and Danny Johnson each earning a pair of victories in the consolation events.

Racing returns Thursday night at Volusia Speedway Park for the 10th day of the DIRTcar Nationals. Gates open at 5 p.m. and racing begins at 7:30 p.m.

Follow the series on Twitter @SuperDIRTcar, or click www.SuperDIRTcarSeries.com.

DIRTcar Nationals Statistical Report; Feb. 16, 2016; Volusia Speedway Park; Barberville, Fla.

Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds A-Feature (30 Laps) – 1. 19-Tim Fuller [$2,000], 2. 49-Billy Dunn, 3. 1-Billy Pauch, 4. 99L-Larry Wight, 5. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 6. 44-Stewart Freisen, 7. 32c-Vic Coffey, 8. 20-Brett Hearn, 9. 25R-Erick Rudolph, 10. 21a-Pete Britten, 11. 74-J.R Heffner, 12. 27J-Danny Johnson , 13. 54-Steve Bernard, 14. 7-Rick Laubach, 15. 14J-Alan Johnson, 16. 83-Brian Swartzlander, 17. 7-Tim Kerr, 18. 6m-Mat Williamson, 19. 323-Neal Williams, 20. 1G-Darwin Green, 21. 85-H.J. Bunting, 22. 30-Jamie Mills, 23. 5-Billy VanInwegen, 24. 5*-Tyler Siri, 25. 28p-Eldon Payne, 26. 1T-Tyler Dippel

The Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing in the Northeast is brought to fans by many important sponsors and partners, including: Hoosier Racing Tire (Official Tire), VP Racing Fuels (Official Racing Fuel), Chevy Performance Parts and NAPA Auto Parts; in addition to contingency sponsors, including: ASI Race Wear, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, Fox Shocks, Intercomp, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, KSE Racing Products, Mike’s Racing Heads, Motorsports Safety Systems, MSD, Mobil 1, Superflow Dynos and Wrisco Aluminum; along with manufacturer sponsors, including: Beyea Headers, Racing Electronics and TNT Rescue.

Nick Hoffman Wins Gator Championship at DIRTcar Nationals

Billy Moyer Jr. wins DIRTcar Late Models opener

BARBERVILLE, Fla. – Feb. 15, 2016 – Nick Hoffman continued his DIRTcar Nationals dominance Monday night as he held off Austin Dillon to score the Gator Championship and the coveted ‘Big Gator’ trophy.

Hoffman drew the number one starting pill in the night’s redraw but faced stiff competition from NASCAR stars Austin and Ty Dillon, and Jason Beaulieu as the green flag flew on the night’s 30-lap feature at Volusia Speedway Park.

Hoffman jumped out to a nearly two second lead early as the Dillon brothers worked to run him down. By lap 13, Ty Dillon caught Hoffman and began a multi-lap battle for the lead. With lapped traffic in play, Hoffman was able to again extend out his lead.

As Hoffman maintained a consistent one-and-a-half-second lead over Ty Dillon, Beaulieu began battling Austin Dillon for the third position. Billy Workman Jr. slowed to a stop on the front straight on lap 27 and bunched the field back up as the yellow flag flew.

“I was kind of hoping that thing was just going to go straight to the checkered but I just didn’t want to do what Ty did the other night and screwed up in lapped traffic or miss my marks in the last two laps,” Hoffman said. “It was nail-biting coming to that green with two to go. I knew if I could make three perfect laps that that was all it was going to take.”

When the feature returned to green with three laps remaining, Hoffman held off Ty Dillon as Beaulieu battled to the third position. It was the third win of DIRTcar Nationals for Hoffman.

“I knew all of my fate relied on that redraw but man this thing was so good I think we could have won that thing from 10th,” Hoffman said. “I knew Ty would be really tough and I just held onto it and those lappers were a little scary.

Billy Moyer Jr. held off Dennis Erb Jr. and Shane Clanton to win the 30-lap DIRTcar Late Models opener.

Moyer battled past the pole-sitter early as Erb and Clanton traded the second position for much of the feature. As the laps dwindled down, Erb and Clanton pulled within striking distance of the leader who struggled to navigate lapped traffic. With 10 laps to go, the top three were separated by less than a second. As Clanton faded, Erb stayed close to Moyer but was not able to get around.

“I’ve never ran good in a feature here,” Moyer said. “I’m really excited, we finally got a Gator and that means a lot to me. The car was phenomenal, I tend to overtighten myself a lot, so it was great having my dad here to help me on the adjustments. We’ll go to work tomorrow and hopefully get another one.”

Nightly doubleheaders at Volusia run through Saturday, Feb. 20. The DIRTcar Late Models return Tuesday night as the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds takes on its final night at Volusia Speedway Park with the Triple-20s.

For more information and updates on the DIRTcar Nationals, clickDIRTcarNationals.com or follow on Twitter at @DIRTcarNats.

DIRTcar Nationals Statistical Report; Feb. 15, 2016; Volusia Speedway Park; Barberville, Fla.

DIRTcar UMP Modified Gator Championship A Feature (30 Laps) – 1. 2-Nick Hoffman [$5,000], 2. 41-Ty Dillon, 3. 90-Jason Beaulieu, 4. 3-Austin Dillon, 5. 49-Brian Ruhlman, 6. Z8-Max McLaughlin, 7. 35-David Stremme, 8. 13-Jacob Hawkins, 9. 16C-Josh Harris, 10. 10Y-Trent Young, 11. 36-Kenny Wallace, 12. K9-Will Krup, 13. 91-Derrick Ramey, 14. 54-Larry Burkins, 15. D4B-Jackie Boggs, 16. 13M-Dale McDowell, 17. 7-Justin Allgaier, 18. 01L-Patrick Lyon, 19. 1S-Brian Shaw, 20. 77-Ray Bollinger, 21. 51-Brandon Green, 22. 67-Garrett Stewart, 23. 9-Ken Schrader, 24. 72X-Brian Papiez, 25. 32Z-Nate Zimmer, 26. 33-Jeff Matthews, 27. 64-Billy Workman Jr, 28. 22T-Tony Anderson, 29. 0J-Bryce Jewell, 30. 56-Tyler Nicely

DIRTcar Late Models A Feature (30 Laps) – 1. 21-Billy Moyer Jr. [$7,000], 2. 28E-Dennis Erb Jr, 3. 99-Frank Heckenast Jr., 4. 25-Shane Clanton, 5. 777-Jared Landers, 6. 25F-Jason Feger, 7. 1-Josh Richards, 8. 15s-Donny Schatz, 9. 99B-Boom Briggs, 10. 20-Rodney Sanders, 11. B5-Brandon Sheppard, 12. 15-Steve Francis, 13. 3s-Brian Shirley, 14. 7-Rick Eckert, 15. 39-Tim McCreadie, 16. 38-Kenny Pettyjohn, 17. 14M-Morgan Bagley, 18. 22-Gregg Satterlee, 19. 16T-Tyler Bruening, 20. 7W-Ricky Weiss, 21. 201-Billy Ogle Jr., 22. 1*-Chub Frank, 23. 5-Mark Whitener, 24. 40B-Kyle Bronson

DIRTcar Nationals Day-by-Day Schedule (Grandstands open at 5 p.m.)

Tuesday, Feb. 16 – DIRTcar Late Models & UMP Modified Triple 20’s
Wednesday, Feb. 17 – DIRTcar Late Models Swamp King Champ & Super DIRTcar Series
Thursday, Feb. 18 – World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series & Super DIRTcar Series
Friday, Feb. 19 – World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series & Super DIRTcar Series
Saturday, Feb. 20 – World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series & Super DIRTcar Series