BARBERVILLE, Fla. — In battling a couple of smooth driving veterans Wednesday at Volusia Speedway Park, Ashton Winger was appreciative his elders cut him some slack in the 40-lap World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series event.
"I know I was all over the place there. I had to aim for them holes for traction," the 22-year-old Hampton, Ga., driver said. "When I tried to back my corner up, I'd push, then I'd have to use the brake pedal to turn and then I just go hopping down here."
While Winger's efforts weren't particularly pretty, they were plenty effective in carrying him to a $10,000 payday, the first of his career at Volusia and first-ever in Georgia-Florida Speedweeks Super Late Model action.
The pole-starting Winger lost the lead to Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., on a lap-six restart but quickly regained it, then kept Hall of Fame driver and fellow front-row starter Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., in check late for a victory in a makeup of Jan. 22 rainout. Winger's nightcap victory followed Brandon Overton's $10,000 WoO payday in the night's regularly-scheduled action.
McDowell, who slipped back to fourth on the first lap but recovered well, finished two seconds behind at the checkers with Madden in third. Devin Moran of Dresden, Ohio, finished fourth, one spot ahead of Hudson O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind.
Winger got the jump at the outset, but his fourth career World of Outlaws victory was in doubt when Madden went past on a lap-six restart. The winner was grateful Madden left him room to regain the point a lap later.
"I need to thank Chris there," Winger said. "He had me all about passed and he left me the entire racetrack. I really appreciate him racing me clean, and Dale and all them guys."
Out of breath in victory lane after fogging up his helmet in the final laps, Winger was glad to hang on.
"This is awesome," he said, adding that "I felt like I got into a pretty good rhythm there was about 15 (laps) or so to go. And then with about seven or eight (laps) to go, I felt that I probably killed my tire and I couldn't quite get by them lapped cars like I wanted to."
What does the victory say about how G.R. Smith's Team 22 Inc. operation and Winger are gelling after several months together?
"Actually it says my team itself is pretty good. I'm not very good though. I struggle here really bad. I don't know what it is," Winger said. "I feel like if I could ever just start on the pole of every race, I'd be all right."
The other podium finishers found themselves talking more about the night's previous 40-lapper — Madden and McDowell got together midway through the race in turn two while battling in the top five, sending McDowell for a spin.
While McDowell finished second to Winger, his opportunity for a second podium finish "was out of our control and wasn't meant to be, I guess," he said. "I got turned around there, you know, so I wasn't overly thrilled about that, because you're racing with, you feel like, good guys that you would race that way. So anyway, something happened there.
"But for us to have a top-three on this event, it definitely helps. The car's still a little tight, so we've got a little bit of work to do, but so it's OK."
Madden admitted that "we're kind of out of control down (in turns) one and two. I got into Dale that (previous) race, but he come across and I was there and it just happened you know?
"We just need to get the corner fixed down there where we can race on it a little better than what we're doing. But a great car tonight and overall. I think we've had a great week so far. We just need to get us a couple Gators."
Four cautions slowed the action, including three lap-six yellows. After Chris Simpson slowed to draw the race's first yellow, Ryan Gustin and Tanner English tangled on the ensuing restart in turn one. Shane Clanton slowed on the next restart for the third quick yellow on the same lap.
The fourth and final caution appeared on the 22nd lap when Daulton Wilson spun at the top side of turn four.
WoO competitors return to Volusia for $10,000-to-win programs Thursday-Saturday.
Notes: Winger's previous WoO victories have come at his home track of Senoia (Ga.) Raceway and twice at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis., all in the previous two seasons. ... Fifteen of 27 starters completed 40 laps. ... All but two drivers (NASCAR Cup champ Kyle Larson and four-time Lucas Oil Series champ Jimmy Owens) returned from the January event for the makeup. ... While Winger's victory came during the 51st annual DIRTcar Nationals, his victory technically goes down as a Sunshine Nationals victory.
Jan. 22 postponement
In a weekend plagued by rugged track conditions and weather, Saturday's action at Volusia Speedway Park's Sunshine Nationals has been wiped out ahead of forecasts for cool, wet weather on what was to be a doubleheader schedule. Saturday's regularly schedule event was cancelled while Friday's postponed event, rescheduled for Saturday afternoon, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 16, during Volusia's DIRTcar Nationals. The postponed Crate Racin' USA event has been rescheduled for Feb. 7 while the 602 Crate Late Model feature will be made up on a date to be announced.
Jan. 21 postponement
Misty conditions that evolved into rain forced the postponement of Friday evening's World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series. The $10,000-to-win WoO feature, along with features for two undercard divisions, were rescheduled for 1:30 p.m. Saturday with gates opening at noon. The makeup features will be followed by Saturday's regularly scheduled Sunshine Nationals finale.
Consolation race results
(10 laps; top three transfer)
First consolation: Logan Martin, Cade Dillard, Tyler Bruening, Tanner English, Ryan Gustin, Garrett Smith, Dan Stone, Justin Hammett. Scratched: Chris Simpson, Trey Mills, Kyle Hammer, Jimmy Mars, Tyler Clem, Deshawn Gingerich, Cody Overton.
Second consolation: Max Blair, Dennis Erb Jr., Morgan Bagley, Boom Briggs, Mark Whitener, Gordy Gundaker, Blake Spencer, Blair Nothdurft, Brent Larson. Scratched: Ricky Thornton Jr., Stacy Boles, Jeff Mathews, Chase Junghans, David Breazeale.
Heat race results
(Eight laps; top four transfer)
First heat: Dale McDowell, Hudson O'Neal, Brian Shirley, Shane Clanton, Cade Dillard, Ryan Gustin, Tyler Bruening, Chris Simpson, Dan Stone. Scratched: Kyle Hammer, Tyler Clem, Cody Overton.
Second heat: Ross Robinson, Brandon Sheppard, Josh Richards, Daulton Wilson, Tanner English, Logan Martin, Garrett Smith, Justin Hammett, Trey Mills Jimmy Mars. Scratched: Deshawn Gingerich.
Third heat: Ashton Winger, Darrell Lanigan, Kyle Larson, Jimmy Owens, Max Blair, Ricky Thornton Jr., Boom Briggs, Blake Spencer, Stacy Boles, Gordy Gundaker. Scratched: Mark Whitener.
Fourth heat: Chris Madden, Devin Moran, Kyle Strickler, Kyle Bronson, Dennis Erb Jr., Morgan Bagley, Brent Larson, Blair Nothdurft, Jeff Mathews. Scratched: Chase Junghans, David Breazeale.
Driver (car no.), hometown
- Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., 17.298
- Ross Robinson (7), Georgetown, Del., 17.747
- Hudson O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 17.763
- Daulton Wilson (18D), Fayetteville, N.C., 18.083
- Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., 18.103
- Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 18.141
- Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 18.235
- Tanner English (81E), Benton, Ky., 18.300
- Ryan Gustin (19r), Marshalltown, Iowa, 18.472
- Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis., 18.478
- Josh Richards (1R), Shinnston, W.Va., 18.482
- Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La., 18.546
- Trey Mills (14jr), St. Augustine, Fla., 18.632
- Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 18.685
- Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 18.795
- Logan Martin (36), West Plains, Mo., 18.846
- Kyle Hammer (45), Clinton, Ill., 18.996
- Justin Hammett (17), Zebulon, Ga., 19.403
- Dan Stone (2), Thompson, Pa., 19.413
- Deshawn Gingerich (0), Dover, Pa., no time
- Tyler Clem (1A), St. Petersburg, Fla., no time
- Garrett Smith (10), Eatonton, Ga., no time
- Cody Overton (97), Evans, Ga., 18.856 (disqualified; light at scales)
- Ashton Winger (89), Hampton, Ga., 17.575
- Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 17.707
- Darrell Lanigan (29), Union, Ky., 17.876
- Devin Moran (9), Dresden, Ohio, 17.880
- Ricky Thornton Jr. (20rt), Chandler, Ariz., 17.891
- Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 17.922
- Max Blair (111), Centerville, Pa., 18.115
- Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 18.126
- Gordy Gundaker (11), St. Charles, Mo., 18.167
- Jeff Mathews (33), Apollo Beach, Fla., 18.193
- Kyle Larson (6), Elk Grove, Calif., 18.425
- Morgan Bagley (14m), Longview, Texas, 18.540
- Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 18.545
- Kyle Strickler (8), Mooresville, N.C., 18.553
- Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 18.584
- Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 18.654
- Blake Spencer (6s), St. Augustine, Fla., 18.963
- Brent Larson (B1), Lake Elmo, Minn., 19.255
- Stacy Boles (11B), Clinton, Tenn., 19.505
- Blair Nothdurft (76), Renner, S.D., 19.860
- Billy Franklin (17), Calera, Ala., no time
- Mark Whitener (58), Middleburg, Fla., no time
- David Breazeale (54), Four Corners, Miss., no time
2:30 p.m.: Grandstands open
3 p.m.: Thursday's makeup features
- Crate Racin' USA Winter Shootout
- World of Outlaws Late Models
- 602 Crate Late Models
4:30 p.m.: Friday's regularly scheduled program
- Crate Racin' USA hot laps/time trials
- World of Outlaws Late Models hot laps
- 602 Crate Late Models hot laps/time trials
- World of Outlaws Late Models time trials
6:50 p.m.: Opening ceremonies
- Crate Racin' USA heats (8 laps)
- World of Outlaws Late Models heats (8 laps)
- 602 Crate Late Models (6 laps)
- Crate Racin' USA consolation races (10 laps)
- World of Outlaws Late Models redraw
- World of Outlaws Late Models consolations (10 laps)
- 602 Crate Late Model consolations (8 laps)
- Crate Racin' USA (25 laps)
- World of Outlaws Late Models (40 laps)
- 602 Crate Late Models (20 laps)