Photo from Stephanie Chappell
Article from track staff
7-16-2016) Barberville ,Fl The United Dirt Late Model Challenge Series made its return to the Volusia County Speedway this past Saturday night and the action was from start to finish as expected.
The first feature of the night saw Donnie Ashford take another win in the Allen Plumbing Hobby Stock feature, but not without pressure from Bubba Christen in the closing laps as his #04 made a hard charge to the front and was looking under Ashford for the lead at the stripe. Trevor Gamble, who let most of the first half of the race was third followed by Robert Sirmons and Grady Christen rounded out the top five.
The main event of the night saw a wild one with the United Dirt Late Model Challenge Series. Jason Fitzgerald would jump out to the early lead over fellow front row starer Blake Spencer and lead most of the first half of the race as it wasn't until the races half way point the first caution flag would come out. at the half way point, the man on the move was fast qualifier Mark Whitener was on a charge from the back of the pack as he needed to switch to a Blake Spencer back up car due to mechanical failure in his #5. When the green came back out the battle was back on for the lead as Whitener would apply heavy pressure so Fitzgerald with only 20 laps to go until the lapped car of Carter Stokes would get into race leader Fitzgerald and Whitner. Fitzgerald was able to continue, but whitener was forced pit side with heavy damage to the right front ending his night. When the green came back out it looked like no one could touch Fitzgerald until the Jacksonville native lost his power plant setting up a dash for the win between Donnie Chappell and Joe Kump. The two would do battle until the end, but it was Chappell picking up the win in his newly acquired Bloomquist Chassis #44. Kump was second followed by David Clegg, Shan Smith and Jeremy Knoll.
The fireworks did not stop there on the night as the Integrity Painting V8 Thunderstocks also put on a show for the fans from start to finish. Mike Tovet would lead the first several laps once the race got going after several caution flags. David Showers Jr. would be on the move and Dalton Strehle, who was driving for Bobby McCormick, would also be on the march forward challenging for the top spot. The race was red flagged in a scary incident just before half way as Alan Peacock and Chad Scranton go together on the front stretch sending Scranton on a wild ride flipping over Peacock. Both drivers were un injured. When the race resumed the action did as well with Tovet holding off every charge from Strehle and Showers Jr. With only two laps to go Showers Jr. made his winning pass on the 1Shot and went on to score "unofficially**" another win on the 2016 season. Tovet was second followed by Strehle, Bubba Durbin, and Harden McCormick
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** Following the race, Mike Tovet would protest the Showers Jr. machine per the rule book. Showers Jr. also protested the Tovet machine as well and both cars were taken to the tech shed for further inspection. As of Monday, the cars were legal, but the engines were sent to a certified GM Crate Engine Technion for inspection.
The final event of the night saw the Gary Yeomans Performance Parts Gladiator division put on a great show for the fans. Integrity Painting and Allen Plumbing put up addition money to make the winners take home $400 for the special event. The starting grid featured 18 cars take the green flag and the action was two, three, and four wide to start. Billy Barrington would jump from fourth to second on the initial start as Charlie King Jr. would jump out to the lead. Dustin Carter would also joint the group for the lead as he utilized the low line to get into third. King Jr. would slip up some allowing Charlie King Sr., Charlie's father, to slip into the runner up spot with Carter still in third. Lap nine saw Carter make a bold pass of the lead getting around King Sr. and Barrington, but a caution would fly putting the running order back to the previous lap. Barrington would still lead on the next restart with Carter doing battle with King Sr., King Jr., Steve Ramos and Josh Walker. Heartbreak struck the #5 of Carter around lap 13 as his engine would expire while running in the top three, but no caution would fly. From then on Barrington would go un touched for his second win of the season as Steve Ramos would finish second followed by Charlie King Jr., Dewayne Yeomans, Ashley Eng, and Shane Suttons.
** Following the race, Barrington was found to have been illegal per the rule book and the win was then handed over to Steve Ramos. This was Steve's first win of 2016 as well as his first start in the Eng Motorsports #9.
Racing will resume once again at the World's Fastest Half Mile this coming Saturday night as the Eagle Jet Top Gun Sprint Car Series takes to the track. Also running on Saturday night will be the Allen Plumbing Hobby Stocks, running for $1000 to win, the Gary Yeomans Performance Parts Mini Stocks running for $500 to win, the Integrity Painting V8 Thunderstocks and Mercedes Benz of Daytona Limited Late Models.
The Pit Gate will open up at 4:00pm as well as the Drive Thru. Main gate will open up at 5:00pm with racing starting at 7:30 pm. Saturday is also 80's Night. If you are born in the 80's and have the proper proof (i.e. Drivers License) your admission will be $5.00. Regular admission is $15.00.
We hope to see you all Saturday Night!
United Dirt Late Model Challenge Series - (14 Cars)
(Fast Qualifier) Mark Whitener - 16.931
(Feature/30 Laps/$3000 To Win) Donnie Chappell, Joe Kump, David Clegg, Shan Smith, Jeremy Knoll, Blake Spencer, Jason Fitzgerald (DNF), Mark Whitener (DNF), Carter Stokes (DNF), Megan Rae (DNF), Tyler Clem (DNF), Shawn Taylor (DNF), Kyle Chappell (DNS), Bill Howard (DNS)
Allen Plumbing Hobby Stocks - (10 Cars)
(Feature/20 Laps) Donnie Ashford, Bubba Christian, Trevor Gamble, Robert Sirmons, Grady Christian, Michael Whipple, Jordan McMillon, Joseph Yakaboski, Tommy Bassett, James McCague
Integrity Painting V8 Thunderstocks - (24 Cars) UNOFFICIAL!
(Feature/20 Laps) David Showers Jr., Mike Tovet, Dalton Strehle, Dubba Durbin, Hayden McCormick, Donnie Birdwell, Jonathan Croson, Ben Hutto, Kent Corbin, David Cloer, Matt Schloss, Paul Schloss, James Strehle, Randy Bennett, Gerald Hailey, Tim Hughes, David Showers Sr (DNF)., Dustin Turnage Jr. (DNF), Chad Scranton (DNF), Alan Peacock (DNF), Samuel Barstow (DNF), Dustin Turnage Sr. (DNF), Javen Wells (DNF), Aaron Cryer (DNS)
Gary Yeomans Performance Parts Gladiators | Presented by Integrity Painting & Allen Plumbing- (19 Cars)
(Feature/20 Laps/$400 to Win) Steve Ramos, Charlie King Jr., Dewayne Yeomans, Ashley Eng, Shane Suttons, Brad Blanton, Dustin Childers, Erik Mantz, Josh Walker, Jason Tovet, Matt Bonner, Jamie Sullivan, Dustin Higdon, Casey Feaster, Dustin Carter, Travis Lewis, Charlie King Sr., Rickey Lowe (DNS), Billy Barrington (DQ'ed