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Daily Dirt 04/15/2024 20:01:24

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December 14
The Dome at America's Center,
St. Louis, MO
Sanction: Unsanctioned Supers (Castrol Gateway Dirt Nationals first preliminary) - $5,000
Information provided by: Kevin Kovac, Kyle McFadden, series and track reports (last updated December 15, 3:59 pm)
Hoffman rules Gateway, collects $5,000 opener
Castrol Gateway Dirt Nationals first preliminary
  1. Nick Hoffman
  2. Jason Welshan
  3. Jadon Frame
  4. Freddie Carpenter
  5. Mike Harrison
  6. Gordy Gundaker
  7. Bobby Pierce
  8. Kyle Hardy
  9. Bob Gardner
  10. Rusty Schlenk
  11. Josh Boller
  12. Chad Zobrist
  13. Shannon Babb
  14. Jason Zobrist
  15. Ryan Wilson
  16. Luke Bennett
  17. Alan Westling
  18. Jack Riggs
presented by
Todd Boyd/photosbyboyd.smugmug.com
Nick Hoffman led all 25 laps to win Thursday's $5,000 Gateway opener.
What won the race: Pole-starting Nick Hoffman of Mooresville, N.C., led all 25 laps unchallenged to win Thursday's $5,000 Castrol Gateway Dirt Nationals opening semifeature at The Dome at America's Center. The Belleville, Ill., native from just across the Mississippi River scored his first career Super Late Model victory at the indoor oval.
Quotable: “It’s one step out of the way, ya know, Saturday night is the big one; it’s the one we’re going after,” Hoffman said. “It just feels so good to just run the top-three, make sure you’re locked in (for Saturday’s finale). To be able to do a driver intro on Saturday and man, it’s just so awesome. Obviously this is home for me, so this is badass; all my family is here, friends and so many fans in the crowd.”
Key notes: Third-starting Jason Welshan took the runner-up spot on a lap-12 restart and trailed Hoffman the rest of the way, finishing 2.959 seconds back. ... Jadon Frame pursued Hoffman for the opening 11 laps before giving way to Welshan and completing the podium; Welshan and Frame join Hoffman in securing a starting spot in Saturday's $30,000-to-win finale. ... Sixth-starting Freddie Carpenter battled Mike Harrison for several laps, prevailing to finish fourth while Harrison settled for fifth. ... Gordy Gundaker improved two positions and finished sixth near his hometown. ... Jack Riggs slowed to draw the race's only caution on lap 11 before pulling off and calling it a night. ... Thursday's feature lasted eight minutes, with 15 competitors completing 25 laps and 17 running at the finish. ... Saturday's qualifiers (top two transfer) and a last-chance consolation (winner transfers) will be held prior to Saturday’s main event. ... Watch live on FloRacing.
On the move: Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., started 12th and finished seventh.
Winner's sponsors: Hoffman’s Tye Twarog Racing Longhorn Chassis is powered by Clements Racing Engines and carries sponsorship from NOS Energy Drink, C&W Trucking, Petroff Towing, Bilstein Shocks, and Allgaier Performance Parts.
Car count: 63
Fast qualifier: Nick Hoffman
Time: 12.778 seconds
Polesitter: Nick Hoffman
Heat race winners: Nick Hoffman, Jason Welshan, Rusty Schlenk, Freddie Carpenter, Mike Harrison, Jadon Frame
Consolation race winners: Chad Zobrist, Luke Bennett
Next series race: Dec. 15, The Dome at America's Center, second preliminary ($5,000)
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff reports

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Dec. 14) — Updates from Thursday’s opening round of the seventh annual Gateway Dirt Nationals at The Dome at America's Center, which hosts a $5,000-to-win semifeature for Super Late Models (results unofficial):


Pole-starting Nick Hoffman of Mooresville, N.C., led all 25 laps unchallenged to win Thursday's $5,000 Castrol Gateway Dirt Nationals opening semifeature at The Dome at America's Center. Originally hailing from Belleville, Ill., and racing near home, Hoffman scored his first career Super Late Model victory at The Dome. Third-starting Jason Welshan took the runner-up spot on a lap-12 restart and trailed Hoffman the rest of the way, finishing 2.959 seconds back.

Feature lineup

(25 laps)

Row 1: Nick Hoffman, Jadon Frame
Row 2: Jason Welshan, Mike Harrison
Row 3: Rusty Schlenk, Freddie Carpenter
Row 4: Jason Zobrist, Gordy Gundaker
Row 5: Kyle Hardy, Bob Gardner
Row 6: Shannon Babb, Bobby Pierce
Row 7: Chad Zobrist, Luke Bennett
Row 8: Alan Westling, Ryan Wilson
Row 9: Josh Boller, Jack Riggs

Consolation race results

(10 laps; top three transfer)

First consolation: Chad Zobrist, Alan Westling, Josh Boller, Rusty Giffaw, David Seibers, Mike Spatola, Mike Epplett, Scott Cimfl, Layne Bellm, Greg Kimmons, Robbie Bostic, Kyle Mixon, David Marlow, Zach Wohlers, Tyler Erb.

Second consolation: Luke Bennett, Ryan Wilson, Jack Riggs, Quentin White, Jonathan Lee, Bill Wagner, Michael King Jr., Kip Hughes, Lindsey Hansen, Dakota Dellinger, Joe Bellm, Jordan Barbee, Dustin Rollins, Chris Fetter, Megan Sanders.

Heat race recap

Nick Hoffman led all eight laps and narrowly held off apparent runner-up Tyler Erb to win the first heat race; Erb was docked three positions after it was discovered his transponder was mounted in an unapproved location, during postrace technical inspection. Fifth-starting Jason Zobrist was elevated to finish second and claimed the final transfer spot into Thursday’s feature. The lone caution waived on lap two when Erb and Myles Moos made contact while battling for second, sending Moos spinning and relegating him to finish eighth. … Jason Welshan led green-to-checkered and beat Kyle Hardy to the line by 1.233 seconds to win heat two. The eight-lap race was slowed by six cautions and lasted 13 minutes; Austin Tettaton made heavy contact with the track entrance wall opening and Dustin Dixon suffered a flat left-rear tire, ending both of their nights on the second lap. … Rusty Schlenk led the entire distance to win heat three over Shannon Babb. The lone caution flew on lap four when Jason Wagner made heavy contact with the wall, ending his night. … Freddie Carpenter led all the way to win heat four over Gordy Gundaker, with both punching their ticket into the main event. The lone caution flew when Gundaker spun from second following contact with Luke Bennett on the opening lap, collecting several other cars; Bennett transferred through a consolation. … Mike Harrison inherited the point on the third lap and paced the final six circuits to win heat five over Bob Gardner. The eight-lap heat was slowed by four incidents and lasted 11 minutes, the largest coming on a lap-three restart attempt when leader Jason Feger received contact from Carson Hocevar, giving him a flat left-rear. Feger exacted revenge and hit Hocevar’s car under yellow, ripping his door off and giving him a flat tire as well; neither driver was able to continue, ending both of their nights. … Jadon Frame narrowly repelled Bobby Pierce for all eight laps, winning the sixth and final heat race. The race was slowed by four cautions, including three multicar incidents.

Heat race results

(Eight laps; top two transfer)

First heat: Nick Hoffman, Jason Zobrist, Scott Cimfl, Josh Boller, Tyler Erb, David Seibers, Layne Bellm, Myles Moos, William Stile, Matthew Norman. Scratched: Hudson O'Neal

Second heat: Jason Welshan, Kyle Hardy, Chad Zobrist, Rusty Griffaw, Kyle Mixon, Mike Epplett, David Marlow, Erik Thorne, Justin Carter, Austin Tettaton, Dustin Dixon.

Third heat: Rusty Schlenk, Shannon Babb, Alan Westling, Zach Wohlers, Mike Spatola, Greg Kimmons, Robbie Bostic, Sterling Freeman, Chandler Moenning, Jason Wagner.

Fourth heat: Freddie Carpenter, Gordy Gundaker, Luke Bennett, Ryan Wilson, Quentin White, Jonathan Lee, Michael King Jr., Lance Brasington, Glen Powell, Rachel Carpenter, Matt Koch.

Fifth heat: Mike Harrison, Bob Gardner, Jordan Barbee, Dakota Dellinger, Lindsey Hansen, Bill Wagner, Megan Sanders, Jason Feger, Carson Hocevar, Ronnie Yanacsek.

Sixth heat: Jadon Frame, Bobby Pierce, Jack Riggs, Dustin Rollins, Chris Fetter, Kip Hughes, Joe Bellm, Matthew Ratzlaff, Morgan Alexander, Glen Hounshell.

Pre-race notes

The Castrol Gateway Dirt Nationals kicks off Thursday with 63 Late Models and 28 modifieds competing in the first of two preliminary programs. Friday’s card, meanwhile, has 64 Late Models and 30 modifieds registered; 13 of the 140 pre-entered Late Model drivers have not signed in. … The preliminary shows will have six 8-lap heat races with the top two finishers transferring and 3-7 going on to the twin 15-lap B-mains, which will send three drivers from each to the 25-lap, $5,000-to-win feature. … Event promoter Cody Sommer began Thursday afternoon’s drivers’ meeting with a succinct comment on the indoor race he launched in 2016: “I know this is the most expensive event of the year for all of you. It’s also unique, and it’s beautiful, and that’s why we all love it.” … Sommer also addressed one notable incident from last year that produced extracurricular activity — the Hudson O’Neal-Tyler Carpenter tangle — by saying he’s fine with competitors showing emotion in front of the crowd. But he also warned racers to not “put my officials in danger” or “include your mommies, daddies, brothers and sisters” in altercations that spill over into the pit area. … The big change in the fifth-mile indoor oval’s layout for 2023: the exit opening off the track has been moved from turn two to turn three in hopes of reducing the number of accidents that have annually occurred off the second corner. With the alteration, cars will now cut across the infield from turn two to turn four and drive the opposite direction on the track to exit the racing surface. … When a driver asked toward the end of the meeting if there would be time for everyone to walk the track before the start of the program, Sommer said that wouldn’t be possible with teams needing to start firing engines in just 20 minutes. “It’s a dirt oval, and it’s in a circle,” Sommer quipped with a smile. … Sommer noted that there remains no hot-pit area option for teams to make tire changes and other repairs during racing action. “I wish we could have one,” he said, “but we’d be here until Christmas if we did.” … Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., is making his first start in his Rocket Chassis since last year’s Gateway Dirt Nationals. He has the machine carrying a white, black and blue scheme accented by some yellow; he said his longtime sponsor, Petroff Towing, uses the color combination so he’s racing with it to begin celebrating the St. Louis-area company’s 75th anniversary. … Dirt Late Model stars Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz., and Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., both run their full-fender mounts Friday, but they’re competing in Thursday’s supporting modified action. Thornton is driving the same modified he ran at the Dome last year while Owens is piloting a brand-new modified fielded by his team owner Bobby Koehler. … Owens is making his first modified start since Aug. 4, 2021, when he finished fourth in an IMCA modified event at 300 Raceway in Farley, Iowa. He’s also taking his first stab at the Gateway Dirt Nationals, a fact that was evident when he needed to ask directions in order to find the room where Thursday’s drivers’ meeting was held. ... Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., had his weekend come to an abrupt end after he slapped the turn-one wall upon completing his second lap of practice. He said his motor locked up as he hit the brakes, causing him to slide into the concrete and catch fence and inflicting significant damage to his Briggs Transport machine’s rear clip.

Time trials

Group A
Driver (car no.), hometown, time

Nick Hoffman (9), Mooresville, N.C., 12.778
Kyle Hardy (00), Stephens City, Va., 12.857
Rusty Schlenk (91), McClure, Ohio, 12.867
Myles Moos (84), Lincoln, Ill., 13.075
Jason Welshan (29), Maryville, Tenn., 13.194
Zach Wohlers (71w), Cohassett, Minn., 13.218
Tyler Erb (1), New Waverly, Texas, 13.229
Justin Carter (2), Huntington, W.Va., 13.306
Greg Kimmons (27k), Pleasant Plains, Ill.., 13.369
Scott Cimfl (77c), Westminster, Colo., 13.381
Chad Zobrist (78), Highland, Ill., 13.388
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 13.410
Jason Zobrist (87), Highland, Ill., 13.458
Kyle Mixon (27e), Alton, Ill., 13.498
Alan Westling (20w), Fulton, Mo., 13.571
Layne Bellm (73), Broomfield, Colo., 13.598
David Marlow (M14), Deer Creek, Ill., 13.639
Chandler Moenning (29M), Willard, Mo., 13.650
Josh Boller (05B), Greencastle, Ind., 13.681
Rusty Griffaw (16), Festus, Mo., 13.696
Robbie Bostic (24R), Mineral Wells, W.Va., 13.703
David Seibers (18), Chapel Hill, Tenn., 13.772
Austin Tettaton (31J), Collinsville, Ill., 13.819
Mike Spatola (89), Manhattan, Ill., 13.843
Matthew Norman (2BN), Richmond, Ky., 13.845
Erik Thorne (260), Baytown, Texas, 13.894
Jason Wagner (J12), Morton, Ill., 13.962
William Stile (51sr), Muse, Pa., 14.076
Dustin Dixon (6D), Bartlesville, Okla., 14.089
Sterling Freeman (52), Pell City, Ala., 14.172
Hudson O’Neal (1), Martinsville, Ind., no time
Mike Epplett (88e), Muskegon, Mich., no time
Group B
Freddie Carpenter (c4), Parkersburg, W.Va., 12.851
Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 13.010
Jadon Frame (J8), Decherd, Tenn., 13.013
Gordy Gundaker (11), St. Charles, Mo., 13.089
Mike Harrison (24H), Highland, Ill., 13.167
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 13.175
Jon Lee (5L), Mahaffey, Pa., 13.227
Bob Gardner (4G), Washington, Ill., 13.246
Jack Riggs (81J), Nolensville, Tenn., 13.306
Quentin White (14), Greenwood, Ind., 13.308
Carson Hocevar (42), Portage, Mich., 13.385
Chris Fetter (15F), Troy, Mo., 13.416
Luke Bennett (3), Ethel, La., 13.500
Lindsey Hansen (32H), Fargo, N.D., 13.531
Dustin Rollins (88), Princeton, Ky., 13.538
Ryan Wilson (4w), Margaret, Ala., 13.556
Megan Sanders (8), Lexington, Ky., 13.592
Glen Hounshell (20H), Paint Lick, Ky., 13.673
Michael King Jr. (14jr), El Dorado, Ark., 13.711
Ronnie Yanacsek (77y), Amarillo, Texas, 13.734
James Nash (82), Lula, Ga., 13.740
Matt Koch (96), Aviston, Ill., 13.786
Jordan Barbee (2B), Tulsa, Okla., 13.808
Kip Hughes (229), Enid, Okla., 13.878
Rachel Carpenter (11c), Lancaster, S.C., 13.900
Dakota Dellinger (9xx), Hutchinson, Kan., 14.029
Joe Bellm (21), Broomfield, Colo., 14.078
Lance Brasington (11B), Lexington, S.C., 14.184
Bill Wagner (28w), Versailles, Ind., 14.231
Matthew Ratzlaff (16R), Monte Vista, Colo., 14.293
Glen Powell (26), Nixa, Mo., no time

Thursday's schedule

(All times local)

8 a.m. - Competitor parking
10 a.m. - Registration and credentials office opens
10:30 a.m. - Permitted early access (credential required)
11 a.m. - Pits open; technical inspection begins
1 p.m. - Driver’s meeting; fuel storage and fueling lane opens
2 p.m. - Dome spectator gates open
3 p.m. - On-track activity
- Super Late Model hot laps
- Super Late Model time trials
- Modified hot laps/time trials
5 p.m. - Opening ceremonies
- Super Late Model heat races (8 laps)
- Modified heat races (8 laps)
Consolation races
- Super Late Models (10 laps)
- Modifieds (8 laps)
- Super Late Models (25 laps)
- Modifieds (20 laps)
(Pits cleared and closed one hour after final checkered flag)

Feature lineup

Row 1: Hoffman, Frame
Row 2: Welshan, Harrison
Row 3: Schlenk, F. Carpenter
Row 4: J. Zobrist, G. Gundaker
Row 5: Hardy, Gardner
Row 6: Babb, Pierce
Row 7: C. Zobrist, Bennett
Row 8: Westling, Wilson
Row 9: Boller, Riggs

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