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Daily Dirt 08/15/2022 13:59:45

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February 16
Volusia Speedway Park,
Barberville, FL
Sanction: World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series (DIRTcar Nationals) - $10,000
Information provided by: Kevin Kovac (last updated February 17, 11:38 am)
Overton hangs on for $10,000 Volusia victory
DIRTcar Nationals
  1. Brandon Overton
  2. Devin Moran
  3. Brandon Sheppard
  4. Hudson O'Neal
  5. Darrell Lanigan
  6. Chris Madden
  7. Frank Heckenast Jr.
  8. Josh Richards
  9. Tanner English
  10. Dennis Erb Jr.
  11. Tyler Erb
  12. Colten Burdette
  13. Max Blair
  14. Tyler Bruening
  15. Brent Larson
  16. Blake Spencer
  17. Gordy Gundaker
  18. Boom Briggs
  19. Morgan Bagley
  20. Tim McCreadie
  21. Dale McDowell
  22. Garrett Smith
  23. Kyle Hammer
  24. Ashton Winger
  25. Brian Shirley
  26. Kyle Strickler
  27. Shane Clanton
  28. Mike Marlar
  29. Cade Dillard
  30. Ryan Gustin
presented by
Josh James/joshjamesartwork.com
Brandon Overton's winning car was coated with oil after his late-race engine problems.
What won the race: Going from third to first on a lap-15 restart, eighth-starting Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., raced to a $10,000 World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series victory Wednesday at Volusia Speedway Park's 51st annual DIRTcar Nationals. Surviving apparent engine problems in the final laps, Overton held off a last-ditch charge from Devin Moran for a $10,000 payday.
Key notes: Three contenders fell from contention, including pole-starting Kyle Strickler of Mooresville, N.C., who led the first 15 laps but lost power and was pushed to the pits during the caution period. ... Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., was running second when a lap-six flat tire ended his running and Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., was third when he spun in turn two after contact with Chris Madden. ... Monday's DIRTcar Nationals winner Ricky Thornton Jr. was leading a heat race when a broken engine ended his night. ... WoO action continues Thursday-Saturday. ... Watch live streaming of the week's action at DIRTVision.com.
On the move: Provisional starter Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., who went to a backup car after his heat race, started 25th and finished third.
Winner's sponsors: Overton’s Wells Motorsports Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Race Engine and sponsored by CrossFit Overton, Allstar Concrete, E-Z-Go, Big Dog Stump & Tree, R.W. Powell Construction, Convenient Lube, Allstar Performance and Topnotch Kustom Koncepts.
Points chase: After Volusia Wednesday: 1. Chris Madden (424); 2. Hudson O'Neal (422); 3. Brandon Sheppard (414); 4. Dennis Erb Jr. (408); 5. Dale McDowell (404); 6. Devin Moran (394); 7. Max Blair (384). 8. Tyler Bruening (378); 9. Josh Richards (376); 10. Tanner English (374).
Current weather: Scattered Clouds, 68°F
Car count: 58
Fast qualifier: Chris Madden
Time: 15.911 seconds
Polesitter: Kyle Strickler
Heat race winners: Chris Madden, Mike Marlar, Dale McDowell, Dennis Erb Jr., Kyle Strickler, Darrell Lanigan
Consolation race winners: Cade Dillard, Max Blair, Tyler Bruening
Provisional starters: Brandon Sheppard, Ryan Gustin, Josh Richards, Boom Briggs, Morgan Bagley, Kyle Hammer
Next series race: February 17, Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL) $10,000
Editor's note: Corrects Overton's position before taking lead.
From staff reports

BARBERVILLE, Fla. — First Brandon Overton smoked the field with a third-to-first move on a lap-15 restart. Then he survived a smoking engine to hang on for a $10,000 victory.

The 30-year-old Evans, Ga., driver barely turned back a late charge from Devin Moran on Wednesday at Volusia Speedway Park for a World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series triumph in the third round of the 51st annual DIRTcar Nationals.

"It won't run no more, that's for sure," the eighth-starting Overton said after his No. 76 Wells Motorsports machine was pushed to victory lane. "I could see it smoking and I kept looking, and I was like, 'Damn, I know it's gonna be over pretty soon.' "

Overton took the checkers eight-tenths of a second ahead of Dresden, Ohio's Moran while 25th-starting Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., the four-time and reigning WoO champion who went to a backup car after his heat race, rallied to finish third. Hudson O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., and Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., rounded out the top five in the first of two WoO features scheduled for the night. (Another 40-lapper was scheduled for later in a program, a makeup from a Jan. 22 rainout at Volusia's Sunshine Nationals.)

Three contenders departed after drawing cautions, including pole-starting Kyle Strickler of Mooresville, N.C., who led the first 15 laps but broke a lower jackshaft and was pushed to the pits during the caution period.

Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., was running second when a lap-six flat tire ended his race and Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., was third when he spun in turn two after contact with Chris Madden and retired.

Strickler appeared to have the car to beat early, but his demise handed the point to McDowell for the ensuing restart. But McDowell never officially led a lap as Overton's high-side charge carried him into the lead on the backstretch and he led comfortably through the caution-plagued event until his late-race engine woes.

"I was just holding (the accelerator) on the floor and I could tell it was dying ... Hell, there ain't nothing you can do. It's already done its damage," Overton said. "But man, it just feels so good to be back up here. I was starting to wonder, 'Hell, am I gonna win another race before we leave Florida?' At least we got one done."

Overton notched his third Georgia-Florida Speedweeks victory — but first since Jan. 29 — as he tries to continue his success from last year's 31-victory campaign that paid him nearly $1 million in earnings.

"We've changed everything on this thing every single night, every feature we've ran," Overton said. "The new body rules and all that stuff just kind of got us, got us in a little box and we've just got to figure it out. I had a pretty good package (last season) with the way everything was, and it's kind of changed it a little bit, but we'll just keep working. That's what makes this deal fun. You gotta keep after so we're looking forward to it."

Moran knew Overton was having issues in the final laps, but he never got close enough to take a serious stab at the lead.

"I felt like I was catching him before that. I don't have it was because the motor was getting worse or worse, but obviously (it) started smoking in the last couple laps," Moran said. "I wasn't going to try to slide him in (turns) three and four, because I knew I was too far back. But I wanted to at least run a different line if he did blow up or whatever happened."

After Tuesday's runner-up finish, "I'm just tired of running second," Moran added, "so we just got to work on this thing and maybe we can get it done."

Sheppard's Rocket Chassis house car team elected to go with a provisional starting spot after struggling with the primary car in heat race action.

"Man, my team just comes through in tough times like we had today," said Sheppard, adding the decision to switch cars paid off. "This car's really good and all of our cars are good. We're just missing something on that other one and we got this one out and it's really good right out of the box. So I'm pretty amped up for the rest of the week."

Besides the yellows for Strickler, Marlar and McDowell, four other cautions slowed the action. A Josh Richards spin in turn four that forced a complete restart and a second-lap yellow when Cade Dillard slowed and headed pitside.

Kyle Hammer spun inside turns one and two for a lap-20 caution and Garrett Smith drew a quick yellow on the ensuing restart with a broken driveshaft.

WoO action continues with $10,000-to-win programs Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Volusia to wrap up Georgia-Florida Speedweeks for Super Late Models.

Notes: Overton has 19 career WoO victories. ... Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., briefly edged ahead of Strickler on the lap-six restart, but slipped back to third a lap later and ended up sixth. ... Tuesday's DIRTcar Nationals winner Ryan Gustin was the first retiree. ... Ricky Thornton Jr. was leading the fourth heat when he slowed with a puff of white smoke and headed pitside; the broken motor ended his night. ... Daulton Wilson led early in the second heat but had problems the rest of the way, first hitting the outside wall and then spinning into the inside wall. ... WoO series director Casey Shuman said the series would no longer exceed 28 starters for main events after some unwieldy fields in recent seasons, but emergency provisionals grew Wednesday's starting field to 30.

Feature lineup

(40 laps)

Row 1: Kyle Strickler, Chris Madden
Row 2: Mike Marlar, Darrell Lanigan
Row 3: Dale McDowell, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 4: Hudson O'Neal, Brandon Overton
Row 5: Devin Moran, Garrett Smith
Row 6: Tim McCreadie, Brent Larson
Row 7: Frank Heckenast Jr., Gordy Gundaker
Row 8: Colten Burdette, Ashton Winger
Row 9: Brian Shirley, Tanner English
Row 10: Cade Dillard, Max Blair
Row 11: Tyler Bruening, Blake Spencer
Row 12: Tyler Erb, Shane Clanton
Row 13: Brandon Sheppard, Ryan Gustin
Row 14: Josh Richards, Boom Briggs
Row 15: Morgan Bagley, Kyle Hammer

Consolation race results

(10 laps; top two transfer)

First consolation: Cade Dillard, Blake Spencer, Boom Briggs, Cody Overton, Logan Martin, Nick Hoffman, Deshawn Gingerich, Spencer Hughes, Stacy Boles, Daulton Wilson, Chase Osterhoff, Todd Cooney, Reid Millard, Dan Stone.

Second consolation: Max Blair, Tyler Erb, Chase Junghans, Blair Nothdurft, Morgan Bagley, Kyle Hammer, Donny Schatz, Ross Robinson, Garrett Mosely, Kaeden Cornell, Brandon Sheppard. Scratched: Ricky Thornton Jr., Mike Benedum.

Third consolation: Tyler Bruening, Shane Clanton, Josh Richards, Kyle Bronson, Tyler Millwood, Chris Simpson, Ryan Gustin, Trey Mills. Scratched: Jason Miller, Jacob Ulrich, Mark Whitener, Jeff Mathews, Earl Pearson Jr.

Heat race results

(Eight laps; top three transfer)

First heat: Chris Madden, Hudson O'Neal, Frank Heckenast Jr., Cade Dillard, Boom Briggs, Logan Martin, Todd Cooney, Stacy Boles, Nick Hoffman, Reid Millard.

Second heat: Mike Marlar, Devin Moran, Colten Burdette, Blake Spencer, Cody Overton, Deshawn Gingerich, Spencer Hughes, Dan Stone, Chase Osterhoff, Daulton Wilson.

Third heat: Dale McDowell, Tim McCreadie, Brian Shirley, Max Blair, Morgan Bagley, Brandon Sheppard, Chase Junghans, Garrett Mosley, Ross Robinson.

Fourth heat: Dennis Erb Jr., Brandon Overton, Gordy Gundaker, Tyler Erb, Blair Nothdurft, Kyle Hammer, Donny Schatz, Kaeden Cornell, Ricky Thornton Jr. Scratched: Mike Benedum.

Fifth heat: Kyle Strickler, Garrett Smith, Ashton Winger, Tyler Bruening, Shane Clanton, Chris Simpson, Ryan Gustin, Jacob Ulrich, Jeff Mathews, Earl Pearson Jr.

Sixth heat: Darrell Lanigan, Brent Larson, Tanner English, Josh Richards, Tyler Millwood, Kyle Bronson, Jason Miller, Mark Whitener, Trey Mills.

Pre-race notes

After Tuesday’s three-division, rain-delayed program ran until the wee hours — final checkered flag: 2:08 a.m. — Wednesday’s schedule includes the first full World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series card of the week, DIRTcar big-block action and a second WoO feature held over from last month’s Sunshine Nationals. … A short period of rain hit Volusia Wednesday morning and lasted until shortly after noon, but skies had largely cleared by the start of hot laps. Wednesday’s high temperature hit 70. … Fifty-eight cars are signed in for Wednesday’s regularly-scheduled WoO card. … Making their first starts of the 2022 DIRTcar Nationals are Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., and Kaeden Cornell of Willard, Mo. … Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., has pulled out his second car after the engine in the machine he entered on Tuesday broke during heat action. … Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., swapped motors in his Skyline Motorsports car after discovering trouble following his victory in at Tuesday B-main. He started the feature but retired after a handful of laps. … Ashton Winger of Hampton, Ga., has two G.R. Smith-owned Longhorn cars unloaded for Wednesday’s racing. He’s running the car he drove on Monday in the full WoO program while reserving the No. 89 he piloted to a fourth-place finish on Tuesday for the held-over A-main, which he is scheduled to start from the outside pole. … Hall of Famer Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., isn’t competing in any Speedweeks events this year, but he’s in the Volusia pit area assisting Team Zero customer Mike Benedum of Salem, W.Va. Bloomquist made arrangements for Benedum to move his hauler, which was parked in the far reaches of the lower Gator Pond pit area, to the upper pits alongside Team Zero campaigner Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., who starts from the pole in this evening’s held-over feature. … Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., has a familiar face in his pit area this evening: Matt Barnes, who spent several years at Richards’s head wrench with the Rocket Chassis house car team. Barnes, who lives in Baltimore, Md., and provides mechanical assistance to regional racer Kyle Lee at selected events, is helping Richards’s Boom Briggs-owned effort.

Time trials

First group   

  1. Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 15.911
  2. Devin Moran (9), Dresden, Ohio, 16.202
  3. Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., 16.205
  4. Hudson O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 16.323
  5. Daulton Wilson (18D), Fayetteville, N.C., 16.336
  6. Brian Shirley (3S), Chatham, Ill., 16.344
  7. Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill., 16.360
  8. Colten Burdette (44), Parkersburg, W.Va., 16.377
  9. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 16.395
  10. Logan Martin (36), West Plains, Mo., 16.428
  11. Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 16.471
  12. Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 16.487
  13. Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 16.615
  14. Cody Overton (97), Evans, Ga., 16.619
  15. Garrett Mosley (38), Lawley, Fla., 16.623
  16. Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La., 16.635
  17. Blake Spencer (6S), St. Augustine, Fla., 16.666
  18. Max Blair (111V), Centerville, Pa., 16.666
  19. Nick Hoffman (6), Mooresville, N.C., 16.681
  20. Spencer Hughes (11H), Meridian, Miss., 16.689
  21. Ross Robinson (7R), Georgetown, Del., 16.698
  22. Todd Cooney (30), Des Moines, Iowa, 16.877
  23. Deshawn Gingerich (0g), Dover, Pa., 16.926
  24. Morgan Bagley (14m), Longview, Texas, 16.980
  25. Stacy Boles (11B), Clinton, Tenn., 17.103
  26. Chase Osterhoff (130), Kankakee, Ill., 17.483
  27. Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 17.568
  28. Reid Millard (14R), Jefferson City, Mo., 17.633
  29. Dan Stone (2D), Thompson, Pa., 17.845

Second group   

  1. Ricky Thornton Jr. (20rt), Chandler, Ariz., 16.170
  2. Kyle Strickler (8), Mooresville, N.C., 16.190
  3. Darrell Lanigan (29), Union, Ky., 16.240
  4. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 16.265
  5. Ashton Winger (89), Hampton, Ga., 16.269
  6. Tanner English (81E), Benton, Ky., 16.309
  7. Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga., 16.426
  8. Garrett Smith (10), Eatonton, Ga., 16.440
  9. Tyler Millwood (31), Kingston, Ga., 16.466
  10. Blair Nothdurft (76), Sioux Falls, S.D., 16.475
  11. Earl Pearson Jr. (46), Jacksonville, Fla., 16.494
  12. Brent Larson (B1), Lake Elmo, Minn., 16.505
  13. Mike Benedum (25), Salem, W.Va., 16.553
  14. Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 16.557
  15. Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 16.576
  16. Gordy Gundaker (11G), St. Charles, Mo., 16.602
  17. Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 16.615
  18. Jason Miller (94), Winchester, Va., 16.665
  19. Kyle Hammer (45), Clinton, Ill., 16.702
  20. Jeff Mathews (33), Brandon, Fla., 16.706
  21. Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va., 16.725
  22. Tyler Erb (1), New Waverly, Texas, 16.747
  23. Ryan Gustin (19R), Marshalltown, Iowa, 16.766
  24. Mark Whitener (58), Middleburg, Fla., 16.788
  25. Donny Schatz (15), Fargo, N.D., 16.789
  26. Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 16.856
  27. Trey Mills (14), St. Augustine, Fla., 17.330
  28. Kaeden Cornell (50x), Willard, Mo., 18.090
  29. Jacob Ulrich (22AD), Sand Springs, Okla., 18.717

Wednesday's schedule

(All times Eastern)

10 a.m. - Pit gates open
1 p.m. - Pit pass sales begin
3 p.m. - Pit areas secured
4:45 p.m. - Late Model drivers' meeting
5 p.m. - Grandstands open
5:30 p.m. - On-track activity
- Super Late Models hot laps
- Big-block modifieds hot laps
- Super Late Models time trials
- Big-block modifieds time trials
6:50 p.m. - Opening ceremonies
- Super Late Model heats (8 laps)
- Big-block modified heats (8 laps)
- Super Late Model consolations (10 laps)
- Big-block modified consolations (10 laps)
- Super Late Model main event (40 laps)
- Big-block modified main event (30 laps)
- Jan. 22 makeup Super Late Model feature (40 laps)

Feature lineup

Row 1: Strickler, Madden
Row 2: Marlar, Lanigan
Row 3: McDowell, D. Erb
Row 4: O'Neal, B. Overton
Row 5: Moran, G. Smith
Row 6: McCreadie, B. Larson
Row 7: Heckenast, Gundaker
Row 8: Burdette, Winger
Row 9: Shirley, English
Row 10: Dillard, Blair
Row 11: Bruening, Spencer
Row 12: T. Erb, Clanton
Row 13: Sheppard, Gustin
Row 14: Richards, Briggs
Row 15: Bagley, Hammer

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