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Volusia Speedway Park

Home-tracker grabs first DIRTcar Nationals win

February 17, 2014, 4:59 pm
From series and staff reports
Ivedent Lloyd Jr. heads for his first Speedweeks victory. (thesportswire.net)
Ivedent Lloyd Jr. heads for his first Speedweeks victory. (thesportswire.net)

BARBERVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 17) — Ivedent Lloyd Jr. did his home state proud on Monday night at Volusia Speedway Park.

The 47-year-old veteran from Ocala, Fla., authored one of the drives of his career, turning back a field filled with national stars to win the 30-lap UMP DIRTcar feature that opened the full-fender portion of the 43rd DIRTcar Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment. | Complete Speedweeks coverage

An accomplished Sunshine State racer who has won often in local and regional competition at the half-mile oval, Lloyd became the first driver from Florida to capture a Dirt Late Model feature during the DIRTcar Nationals by Summit since Jacksonville’s Earl Pearson Jr. topped a DIRTcar-sanctioned event on Feb. 10, 2009. He earned $7,000 for his efforts.

“This is the biggest win,” said Lloyd, who has driven Late Models on both dirt and asphalt for three decades. “There’s races that pay more money, but this is by far the career-topper, to win this. To have all these guys here and race these guys, it’s neat.”

Lloyd started from the outside pole and led every circuit but was chased throughout the distance by Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., who drew within a couple of lengths of the leader several times in the closing laps before settling for second place.

Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., finished third after starting from the pole position, giving him a career-best performance at Volusia. Fifth-starter John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., slid into fourth place on lap 14 and finished there and Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., slipped backward from the third starting spot to finish fifth.

Lloyd’s victory was his first-ever during the Super Late Model portion Florida Speedweeks.

“We usually shy away from here during Speedweeks strictly because I can race for two months on the abuse you put on a motor here in a week,” said Lloyd, who operates a machine shop in his hometown of Ocala, about 50 miles west of Volusia. “But with the new motor (his partner, J.B. Harris, obtained a Race Engine Design powerplant for the 2014 season) we wanted to come over here and race some.”

The decision to make an assault on Volusia paid off — after Lloyd stuck to his guns on tire choice, of course.

Lloyd’s strategy for the A-Main? “Just not get beat on tires like I have been all weekend,” he said, referring to his runs the previous three nights in World of Outlaws Late Model Series events at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. “We made our decision after the heat race was over based on what happened to us the last three nights. We decided to stay with (the tires) we were on and just go at it and live or die by it.”

Perching his Snow Brothers-built car on the outside of the fast D-shaped track, Lloyd kept the field at bay from start to finish. Smith was well within striking distance over the final 10 laps, but Lloyd didn’t flinch.

“We know this track well as far as where to drive around the track,” said Lloyd. “J.B. was giving me signals, so I knew I had a little bit of room and just tried to make good laps. That’s all you could do – make good laps and not hit a hole wrong and get yourself up in the cushion.”

Smith, 36, was satisfied to continue his stretch of strong Speedweeks results, adding a runner-up finish to his first-, second- and third-place runs over the previous three nights at Bubba Raceway Park.

“We certainly didn’t change much, but we made our car just a little bit too tight,” Smith, who started fourth, said of his Rocket machine. “I didn’t expect the conditions to stay this fast either, so maybe we misjudged the racetrack too.

“I could see (Lloyd) was getting tighter down (in turns three and four) and I thought that’s where I might be able to make my move. But the time when he made the biggest mistake I also made a mistake, so we had to settle for second.”

Just one caution flag slowed the event, on lap seven when Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., stopped in turn four when he got a hole in his car’s radiator.

DIRTcar Nationals action continues Tuesday at Volusia with another UMP DIRTcar event paying $7,000-to-win. Wednesday’s race pays $10,000-to-win before the World of Outlaws Late Model Series takes over with three straight $10,000-to-win events Thursday-Saturday.

43rd annual DIRTcar Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment: (1) Ivedent Lloyd Jr., (2) Brady Smith, (3) Eric Wells, (4) John Blankenship, (5) Shane Clanton, (6) Scott Bloomquist, (7) Darrell Lanigan, (8) Gregg Satterlee, (9) Brandon Sheppard, (10) Morgan Bagley, (11) Brian Shirley, (12) Frank Heckenast Jr., (13) Rick Eckert, (14) Bobby Pierce, (15) Kenny Pettyjohn, (16) Eric Jacobsen, (17) Tim McCreadie, (18) Billy Moyer, (19) Jack Sullivan, (20) Casey Roberts, (21) Mike Marlar, (22) Chase Junghans, (23) Dan Stone, (24) John Garvin Jr. Fast qualifier (among 40 cars): 15.352 seconds. Heat race winners: Wells, Lloyd, Clanton, Smith. Consolation winners: Eckert Sullivan.

Preliminary finishes:

Pre-feature notes

The Late Model feature should roll by 10:15 p.m. ... A wreck with three laps remaining in the modified feature caused a delay of nearly a half hour after Nick Hoffman lost a left-rear wheel in front of most of the field in turn four. Kenny Wallace's car got upside down at the flagstand, but no one was injured. Ty Dillon won the $5,000 event. ... Front-row starters Eric Wells and Ivedent Lloyd Jr. are both gunning for their first DIRTcar Nationals victory. … Wells finished second to Josh Richards in last year’s Tuesday night show while Lloyd has won dozens of weekly and regional tour events at Volusia. … Tommy Hicks, crew chief for Wells, isn’t crazy about his driver starting on the pole. “If you start up there, there’s only one place you can go,” Hicks said. … Lloyd had a couple of solid runs at his hometown Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala over the weekend, but he was beaten by drivers on softer tires. He and long-time supporter J.B. Harris have decided that’s not going to happen with plans to use the softer tires allowed, Hoosier LM-10s. “We’re just going to die on soft tires and see how it goes,” Harris said. Lloyd’s confident the track will continue to be easy on softer rubber and retain the moisture it has throughout the night. “That brown on the top (of the track) is there,” he said. “I think it’s going to stay there.” … Dennis Erb Jr. scratched from his consolation race after breaking his engine at the conclusion of his heat race. … Stacy Boles, who held the second spot early in his consolation race, exited after the axle slid out the right side of the car. The crew was making repairs and expected to be ready for Tuesday’s action.

Consolation races

First consolation finish: Rick Eckert, Kenny Pettyjohn, Billy Moyer, Chase Junghans, Vic Coffey, Chad Hollenbeck, Jason Fitzgerald, Jeff Beyers, Chad White. Scratched: Kyle Bronson, Boom Briggs, Chuck Julien.

Second consolation race: Jack Sullivan, John Garvin Jr., Frank Heckenast Jr., Tim McCreadie, Tyler Bruening, Jeff Babcock, Stacy Boles, David Gibson II, John Winge. Scratched: Chub Frank, Dennis Erb Jr, Chuck Julien.

Consolation lineups

(10 laps; top four transfer)
First consolation
Row 1: Kenny Pettyjohn, Rick Eckert
Row 2: Kyle Bronson, Billy Moyer
Row 3: Chase Junghans, Boom Briggs
Row 4: Jason Fitzgerald, Vic Coffey
Row 5: Jeff Beyers, Chad Hollenbeck
Row 6: Chad White, Chuck Julien
Second consolation
Row 1: Jack Sullivan, Tyler Bruening
Row 2: Stacy Boles, Frank Heckenast Jr.
Row 3: Jeff Babcock, Chub Frank
Row 4: Tim McCreadie, John Garvin Jr.
Row 5: John Winge, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 6: David Gibson II, Mike Hammerle

Fourth heat

Brady Smith slammed the door on fellow front-row starter Casey Roberts outside turn two on the first lap and raced to a straightaway victory in the final heat. Roberts lost the second spot to Morgan Bagley on the fourth lap and ended up third while Eric Jacobsen got the fourth and final transfer spot as Volusia wrapped up a session of caution-free heats. Dennis Erb Jr. slowed on the white-flag and pulled to the infield near the race's conclusion.

Finish: Brady Smith, Morgan Bagley, Casey Roberts, Eric Jacobsen, Tyler Bruening, Frank Heckenast Jr., Chub Frank, John Garvin Jr., Dennis Erb Jr., Mike Hammerle.

Third heat

Fourth-starting Shane Clanton went under polesitter Brian Shirley on the fifth lap in turn two and led the rest of the way. Mike Marlar finished just behind in second while Brandon Sheppard, who slipped high exiting turn two on the first lap, recovered to finish third. Just after losing the lead, Shirley got way too high in turns three and four and slipped back to fourth, where he finished in the final transfer spot.

Finish: Shane Clanton, Mike Marlar, Brandon Sheppard, Brian Shirley, Jack Sullivan, Stacy Boles, Jeff Babcock, Tim McCreadie, John Winge, David Gibson II.

Second heat

With fast qualifier Billy Moyer slipping back to sixth at the outset, outside front-row starter Ivedent Lloyd Jr. cruised to victory in the second prelim. He took the checkers a half-straight ahead of polesitter Gregg Satterlee while Scott Bloomquist and Dan Stone got the other two transfer spots. The fourth-starting Moyer never recovered from slipping high in turn two and finished sixth. Chuck Julien's engine went up in smoke as he completed his first lap.

Finish: Ivedent Lloyd Jr., Gregg Satterlee, Scott Bloomquist, Dan Stone, Rick Eckert, Billy Moyer, Boom Briggs, Vic Coffey, Chad Hollenbeck, Chuck Julien.

First heat

Polesitter Eric Wells led all the way in the first eight-lap heat, easily outrunning John Blankenship. Darrell Lanigan and Bobby Pierce got the other two transfer spots.

Finish: Eric Wells, John Blankenship, Darrell Lanigan, Bobby Pierce, Kenny Pettyjohn, Kyle Bronson, Chase Junghans, Jason Fitzgerald, Jeff Beyers, Chad White.

Qualifying

Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., was fastest among 40 qualifiers Monday at Volusia Speedway Park on the first Late Model night of the 43rd annual DIRTcar Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment.

Moyer tripped the clock at 15.352 seconds at the half-mile D-shaped track. With a four-car inversion, heat race polesitters are unofficially Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., Gregg Satterlee of Indiana, Pa., Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., and Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis.

Four drivers from each of four heat races transfer to the 30-lap main event along with four cars apiece from each of two consolation races. The main event pays $7,000-to-win.

UMP DIRTcar Late Model action continues Tuesday and Wednesday with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series taking over Thursday-Sunday for three straight $10,000-to-win events.

Pre-race notes

Billy Moyer is the winningest DIRTcar Nationals driver with 19 career Volusia victories. Other multiple-race winners are Scott Bloomquist (eight victories) of Mooresburg, Tenn., Rick Eckert (seven) of York, Pa., and Tim McCreadie (five) or Watertown, N.Y. … The car count is down somewhat after Volusia averaged 50 Late Models per night last year. … Four drivers are entered who haven’t competed at any other Georgia-Florida Speedweeks track: Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., Jeff Beyers of Pana, Ill., Stacy Boles of Clinton, Tenn., and Tyler Bruening of Decorah, Iowa. … Beyers is racing for the first time in 2014 after just four outings last season. … Among drivers in the pits who aren’t racing tonight include Don O’Neal, Steve Francis, Jimmy Owens, Tim Fuller and Dale McDowell. … The team of John Winge of Sioux Falls, S.D., had a scare this afternoon when a faulty generator in his hauler burned a portion of insulation. The pits were cleared, but a track worker used a fire extinguisher before the track safety crew and later a Volusia County fire truck came to make sure all was well. “They took their heat sensor and made sure everything was cooled down,” crew chief Brad Baum. The exterior of the hauler didn’t look too bad, but a portion of the flooring and wall in the living quarters were ripped out. … UMP modifieds are also in action on their second-to-last night at Volusia for the $5,000-to-win Gator Championship. … The UMP modifieds wrap up with Triple 20s on Tuesday while big-block-modifieds compete Wednesday-Saturday.

Heat race lineups

(Eight laps; top four transfer)
First heat
Row 1: Eric Wells, Bobby Pierce
Row 2: Darrell Lanigan, Kyle Bronson
Row 3: John Blankenship, Kenny Pettyjohn
Row 4: Chase Junghans, Jason Fitzgerald
Row 5: Jeff Beyers, Chad White
Second heat
Row 1: Gregg Satterlee, Ivedent Lloyd Jr.
Row 2: Scott Bloomquist, Billy Moyer
Row 3: Dan Stone, Rick Eckert
Row 4: Vic Coffey, Boom Briggs
Row 5: Chad Hollenbeck, Chuck Julien
Third heat
Row 1: Brian Shirley, Brandon Sheppard
Row 2: Mike Marlar, Shane Clanton
Row 3: Jeff Babcock, Stacy Boles
Row 4: Tim McCreadie, Jack Sullivan
Row 5: John Winge, David Gibson II
Fourth heat
Row 1: Brady Smith, Casey Roberts
Row 2: Morgan Bagley, Tyler Bruening
Row 3: Frank Heckenast Jr., Eric Jacobsen
Row 4: Chub Frank, John Garvin Jr.
Row 5: Dennis Erb Jr., Mike Hammerle

Time trials (unofficial)

First group
Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 15.597
Darrell Lanigan (29), Union, Ky., 15.817
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 15.907
Eric Wells (18), Hazard, Ky., 15.964
John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va., 16.020
Kenny Pettyjohn (38), Millsboro, Del., 16.052
Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 16.074
Jason Fitzgerald (1), Middleburg, Fla., 16.625
Jeff Beyers (27), Pana, Ill., 16.848
Chad White (20), Benton Harbor, Mich., 17.061
Second group
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 15.352
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 15.500
Ivedent Lloyd Jr. (21), Ocala, Fla., 15.613
Gregg Satterlee (22), Indiana, Pa., 15.901
Dan Stone (2), Thompson, Pa., 15.985
Rick Eckert (24), York, Pa., 16.000
Vic Coffey (32c), Caledonia, N.Y., 16.048
Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 16.178
Chad Hollenbeck (4DS), Kingsley, Pa., 16.298
Chuck Julien (57), Apopka, Fla., 17.894
Third group
Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 15.517
Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 15.617
Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 15.766
Brian Shirley (81), Chatham, Ill., 15.891
Jeff Babcock (1B), Wayne, Ohio, 15.933
Stacy Boles (11B), Clinton, Tenn., 15.975
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 15.980
Jack Sullivan (12m), Greenbrier, Ark., 16.028
John Winge (17J), Sioux Falls S.D., 16.664
David Gibson II (32G), Savannah, Ga., 17.748
Fourth group
Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 15.819
Morgan Bagley (14m), Longview, Texas, 15.850
Casey Roberts (101), Toccoa, Ga., 15.855
Brady Smith (2), Solon Springs, Wis., 15.872
Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Orland Park, Ill., 15.971
Eric Jacobsen (5), Santa Cruz, Calif., 16.037
Chub Frank (1*), Bear Lake, Pa., 16.120
John Garvin Jr. (J4), Sarver, Pa., 16.122
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 16.152
Mike Hammerle (16H), St. Charles, Mo., 18.403

Feature lineup

Row 1: Wells, Lloyd
Row 2: Clanton, Smith
Row 3: Blankenship, Satterlee
Row 4: Marlar, Bagley
Row 5: Lanigan, Bloomquist
Row 6: Sheppard, Roberts
Row 7: Pierce, Stone
Row 8: Shirley, Jacobsen
Row 9: Eckert, Sullivan
Row 10: Pettyjohn, Garvin
Row 11: Moyer, Heckenast
Row 12: Junghans, McCreadie

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