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Daily Dirt 04/17/2021 21:49:15

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January 14
Volusia Speedway Park,
Barberville, FL
Sanction: World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series (DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals) - $10,000
Information provided by: Joshua Joiner (last updated January 15, 7:42 am)
Bronson rebounds, wins WoO opener at Volusia
DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals
  1. Kyle Bronson
  2. Cade Dillard
  3. Kyle Strickler
  4. Rick Eckert
  5. David Breazeale
  6. Dennis Erb Jr.
  7. Ricky Weiss
  8. Ryan Gustin
  9. Brandon Sheppard
  10. Tyler Bruening
  11. Ashton Winger
  12. Ross Robinson
  13. Chris Madden
  14. Earl Pearson Jr.
  15. Boom Briggs
  16. Darrell Lanigan
  17. Scott Bloomquist
  18. Chase Junghans
  19. Brent Larson
  20. John Baker
  21. Tony Jackson Jr.
  22. Dale McDowell
  23. Blake Spencer
  24. Parker Martin
  25. Tim McCreadie
  26. Ross Bailes
  27. Jimmy Owens
  28. Ryan Scott
presented by
Jacy Norgaard/jacynorgaardphotography.com
Kyle Bronson celebrates atop his car at Volusia Speedway Park.
What won the race: Rebounding after a lap-22 miscue handed the lead to Cade Dillard, Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., led the final three laps at Volusia Speedway Park on Thursday to capture the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series opener. He earned $10,000 for his second career series victory (both at Volusia).
Key notes: Bronson had given up the lead to Cade Dillard on the 22nd lap when he jumped the turn-three cushion after leading 21 laps. ... Dillard dominated thereafter and appeared to have the race in hand until a lap-35 restart when Darrell Lanigan made contact with the leader in turn two; Lanigan spun and Dillard's left-front damage cost him the rest of the way. ... Tim McCreadie ran second the first 12 laps but retired three laps later running third. ... Thursday's event was the first of three straight nights of Sunshine Nationals racing. ... Mark Whitener lost a starting spot in WoO's main event Thursday when he failed postrace tech after a second-place heat race run. ... The Sunshine Nationals included four Late Model-type divisions including Crate Racin' USA cars (604 engine), 602 Crates (winner Clay Harris) and local Late Models.
On the move: Rick Eckert of York, Pa., started 12th and finished fourth.
Winner's sponsors: Bronson’s Rocket Chassis is powered by an Andy Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by Brandon Ford, Brandon Collision, All Florida Real Estate Group, Racecar Engineering and Lucas Oil.
Points chase: Three-time and defending WoO champion Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., kicked off his chase for a record-tying fourth series title at a track where he’s won seven times since 2018.
Current weather: Clear, 45°F
Car count: 38
Fast qualifier: Kyle Bronson
Time: 15.839 seconds
Polesitter: Dale McDowell
Heat race winners: Kyle Bronson, Dale McDowell, Tim McCreadie, Darrell Lanigan
Consolation race winners: Ross Robinson, Boom Briggs
Provisional starters: Ricky Weiss, Ashton Winger
Next series race: January 15, Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL) $10,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff and series reports

BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Kyle Bronson's miscue on the 22nd lap handed the lead to Cade Dillard and appeared to doom his chances to capture Thursday's World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series opener at Volusia Speedway Park.

But Dillard's scrape with second-running Darrell Lanigan on a lap-35 restart moved Bronson back into second, just behind Dillard's now-damaged car. Getting an unexpected second crack at winning, Bronson pulled off a turn-two slide job on Dillard with three laps remaining and led the rest of the 40-lapper for a $10,000 victory.

The 30-year-old Brandon Fla., driver's success in a brand new Rocket Chassis came at the same track where he captured his only other WoO victory in 2014 as the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series regular celebrated a victorious start to his national touring season.

"I had a damn good time racing," the second-starting Bronson said in victory lane after climbing atop his car and waving the checkers amid a confetti shower.

Robeline, La.'s Dillard, who led laps 22-37 and appeared to have the race in hand before tangling with Lanigan, finished 0.957 seconds behind as the runner-up while Kyle Strickler of Mooresville, N.C., made a late charge to finish third in an opener where pre-race favorites weren't factors and other contenders fell by the wayside.

Rick Eckert of York, Pa., advanced eight positions to finish fourth and 2018 WoO Rookie of the Year David Breazeale of Four Corners, Miss., rounded out the top five.

Bronson got the jump on pole-starting Dale McDowell and controlled the first half of the race, but the handling of his orange No. 40B was a handful as Dillard began to apply pressure.

"I was extremely, extremely tight there, and the more I tried to slow down and pace myself, the tighter I got," Bronson said. "I feel terrible for Cade there. Him and Darrell had a good car. I thought he was going to win it because of my mistakes."

But Bronson made the most of his second chance by diving under Dillard in the closing laps to open the tour's 55-race season.

"There at the end I got it done," Bronson said. "Hopefully I cleared (Dillard) when I slid him for the lead there."

Lanigan, who ran in the top five for the first 35 laps, was apologetic to Dillard after the race, but the contact between the frontrunners in turn two not only sent Lanigan spinning, but it ripped off the left-front plastic over Dillard's wheelwell.

"Man, we had a really good car. I knew we had a lead there, so I was just hoping (during) the caution for somebody not to do something stupid," said the sixth-starting Dillard, who was looking for his third career WoO victory. "When we lost that left front, the whole car just (handled) terrible. These things are so aero-dependent. (sighs) I don't know. It's just disappointing. We had a really good car and have been working really hard.

"I'm not going to get on here and badmouth nobody, I know stuff happens, but it's just unfortunate. We had a really good car and I just hate to lose a race like that. Once that got tore up, we were just kind of hanging on there. But congrats to Kyle, he did what he had to do to win the race and ran my clean — I really appreciate him doing that."

Strickler, who started ninth but ran mid-pack the first half of the race, made a late rush to grab a third place finish in his own Longhorn Chassis against some drivers familiar to him from his open-wheel modified days.

"It's pretty awesome to have three modified guys standing here on the frontstretch," Strickler said. "That was some of the sketchiest racing and driving I've done in my entire life. It would not steer at all, and I felt like I was all over the place and out of control. I think all three of us wrecked about 20 times in that race there.

"The new dirt, I don't know, it's just so different. It's so polished up and so slick on corner entry, and then you've got all that grip up there against that cushion."

Pre-race favorites Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill. (ninth), the reigning WoO champion, and Jimmy Owens of Newport, Ill. (27th), a three-time winner in WoO action at Volusia last winter, were never factors.

Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., held the second spot for a dozen laps but retired with engines woes while running third three laps later. Series rookie Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo., gave up the fifth spot when his engine let go on lap 35 and McDowell, who immediately fell back to fourth and never recovered, retired on lap 33.

The 40-lapper was slowed by five cautions, none for serious incidents. A Boom Briggs-Chris Madden scrape brought out a lap-three yellow and a lap-16 caution appeared for a slowing Ross Bailes.

Three cautions appeared on lap 35, first for Jackson and again when John Baker ran into trouble on the ensuing restart. The last yellow flew for Lanigan's spin.

Notes: Bronson's first WoO victory came in the 2014 Speedweeks finale with a daring, high-flying run at Volusia that marked his first career Super Late Model victory. ... WoO competitors go back into action Friday for another $10,000-to-win event, the centerpiece of the three-race weekend. ... Sixteen drivers completed 40 laps with Lanigan the last driver on the lead lap. ... Mark Whitener of Middleburg, Fla., earned an apparent feature berth with a runner-up finish in his heat race, but he failed postrace tech and couldn't transfer through a consolation race. ... The feature started just after midnight.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Dale McDowell, Kyle Bronson
Row 2: Darrell Lanigan, Tim McCreadie
Row 3: Tyler Bruening, Cade Dillard
Row 4: Tony Jackson Jr., David Breazeale
Row 5: Kyle Strickler, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 6: Parker Martin, Rick Eckert
Row 7: Brandon Sheppard, Chris Madden
Row 8: John Baker, Scott Bloomquist
Row 9: Ross Robinson, Boom Briggs
Row 10: Earl Pearson Jr., Ryan Gustin
Row 11: Chase Junghans, Jimmy Owens
Row 12: Ricky Weiss, Ashton Winger

Consolation race results

(10 laps; top three transfer)

First consolation: Ross Robinson, Earl Pearson Jr., Chase Junghans, Ricky Weiss, Mark Whitener, Ross Bailes, Blake Spencer, Jeff Roth, DeShawn Gingerich, Ryan Scott. Scratched: Mike Collins.

Second consolation: Boom Briggs, Ryan Gustin, Jimmy Owens, Dan Stone, Tyler Millwood, Ryan Crane, Donnie Chappell, Brent Larson, Joe Godsey, Jeff Mathews, Ashton Winger.

Heat race results

(Eight laps; top four transfer)

First heat: Kyle Bronson, Tyler Bruening, Kyle Strickler, Brandon Sheppard, Ross Robinson, Chase Junghans, Ricky Weiss, Blake Spencer, Ryan Scott. Scratched: Mike Collins.

Second heat: Dale McDowell, Cade Dillard, Parker Martin, John Baker, Earl Pearson Jr., DeShawn Gingerich, Jeff Roth, Ross Bailes. Disqualified from second position: Mark Whitener (illegal part).

Third heat: Tim McCreadie, David Breazeale, Dennis Erb Jr., Chris Madden, Boom Briggs, Ryan Gustin, Tyler Millwood, Ashton Winger, Brent Larson, Donnie Chappell.

Fourth heat: Darrell Lanigan, Tony Jackson Jr., Rick Eckert, Scott Bloomquist, Dan Stone, Jimmy Owens, Joe Godsey, Jeff Mathews, Ryan Crane.

Pre-qualifying notes

Ashton Winger’s sophomore WoO season got off to a rough start when he blew an engine in hot laps. Without a backup car, he’s going to run Mike Collins’s No. 3 machine for the reminder of the night and will replace the motor in his car for Friday and Saturday. ... The majority of the WoO regulars from 2020 are back for another year in 2020 with the addition of at least five Rookie of the Year candidates in Ross Bailes of Clover, S.C., Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Ga., Ryan Scott of Garland, Pa., and Parker Martin of Milledgeville, Ga. … Martin, the 16-year-old son of Cochran Motor Speedway promoter Chris Martin announced his intentions to follow the tour on Thursday. … While he isn’t committing to the tour just yet, Tyler Bruening of Decorah, Iowa, said he has been told by WoO officials that he would be eligible to compete for the tour’s rookie honors if he follows the series. Bruening, 34, competed as a rookie on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series in 2020, finishing second to Tanner English of Benton, Ky., in the tour’s rookie points with one top five and six top 10s while making 41 of 47 feature lineups. Bruening doesn’t intend to finalize his full 2020 plans until after Speedweeks. … Bruening is racing without Skyline Motorsports teammate Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., who is delaying his start to the season while recovering from a battle with Covid-19 that left him hospitalized for a week. Clanton, the former WoO champion who followed the Lucas tour for the first time in 2020, had planned to compete in both national tour’s full Speedweeks slate to keep his options open for both series this season. … Veteran racer David Breazeale of Four Corners, Miss., is debuting a new Barry Wright Race Car at Volusia that he owns himself. The longtime Henderson Motorsports driver plans to field his new car in both Volusia stretches during Speedweeks and may follow the full tour if things go well in Florida. He’ll also continue driving the Henderson entry in select events this year starting with the Lucas Oil-sanctioned Winternationals at East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, Fla., Jan. 25-30.

Time trials (unofficial)

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

  1. Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 15.839
  2. Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., 15.868
  3. Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 16.083
  4. Mark Whitener (385), Middleburg, Fla., 16.118
  5. Kyle Strickler (8), Mooresville, N.C., 16.180
  6. Parker Martin (6jr), Milledgeville, Ga., 16.206
  7. Ross Robinson (7), Georgetown, Del., 16.340
  8. Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La., 16.361
  9. Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 16.369
  10. Ross Bailes (58), Clover, S.C., 16.421
  11. Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 16.554
  12. Earl Pearson Jr. (1), Jacksonville, Fla., 16.692
  13. Blake Spencer (6s), St. Augustine, Fla., 16.760
  14. John Baker (14jr), Norman Park, Ga., 16.819
  15. Ricky Weiss (7W), Headingley, Manitoba, 16.922
  16. Jeff Roth (14R), Bentonville, Ark., 17.037
  17. Ryan Scott (0), Garland, Pa., 17.171
  18. DeShawn Gingerich (0), Dover, Pa., 17.288
  19. Mike Collins (3), Council Bluffs, Iowa, no time

Group B

  1. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 16.075
  2. Darrell Lanigan (29v), Union, Ky., 16.116
  3. David Breazeale (54), Four Corners, Miss., 16.150
  4. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 16.193
  5. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 16.250
  6. Tony Jackson Jr. (56), Lebanon, Mo., 16.293
  7. Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 16.301
  8. Ryan Crane (10), Panama City, Fla., 16.367
  9. Ashton Winger (12), Hampton, Ga., 16.414
  10. Rick Eckert (0), York, Pa., 16.426
  11. Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 16.456
  12. Dan Stone (2), Thompson, Pa., 16.463
  13. Donnie Chappell (25), Jacksonville, Fla., 16.483
  14. Jeff Mathews (33), Apollo Beach, Fla., 16.525
  15. Ryan Gustin (19r), Marshalltown, Iowa, 16.646
  16. Joe Godsey (14G), Edinburgh, Ind., 16.884
  17. Brent Larson (B1), Lake Elmo, Minn., 17.024
  18. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 17.345
  19. Tyler Millwood (31), Kingston, Ga., 17.617

Thursday’s schedule

4:30 p.m. - Drivers meeting
5 p.m. - General admission gates open
5:30 p.m. - Hot laps
602 Late Models (4 Laps)
Florida Late Models (4 Laps)
604 Late Models (4 Laps)
WoO Late Models
6:20 p.m. - Time trials
602 Late Models (3 laps)
WoO Late Models - (2 laps)
Florida Late Models (3 Laps)
604 Late Models (3 Laps)
6:50 p.m. Opening Ceremonies
602 Late Model heat races (6 Laps)
WoO Late Model heat races (8 Laps)
Florida Late Model heat races (8 Laps)
604 Late Model heat races (8 Laps)
WoO Late Model redraw
WoO consolation races (10 Laps)
Florida Late Model consolation races (10 Laps)
604 Late Model consolation races (10 Laps)
602 Late Model feature (15 Laps)
WoO Late Model feature (40 Laps)
Florida Late Model feature (20 Laps)
604 Late Model feature (25 Laps)

Feature lineup

Row 1: McDowell, Bronson
Row 2: Lanigan, McCreadie
Row 3: Bruening, Dillard
Row 4: Jackson, Breazeale
Row 5: Strickler, Erb
Row 6: Martin, Eckert
Row 7: Sheppard, Madden
Row 8: Baker, Bloomquist
Row 9: Robinson, Briggs
Row 10: Pearson, Gustin
Row 11: Junghans, Owens
Row 12: Weiss, Winger
Row 13: Larson, Spencer
Row 14: Bailes, Scott

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