Three Win Features, But Schrader’s Champ
BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Ken Schrader made another bit of history Tuesday night during the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment at Volusia Speedway Park.
Schrader, who won the Gator Championship on Monday night, returned to Volusia to finish fifth in the final DIRTcar UMP Modified Triple 20 and become the first driver to win the overall UNOH DIRTcar Nationals points championship and the Gator Championship in the same year.
“Yeah, it feels pretty good and it’s the second time we’ve won the championship down here,” said Schrader. “I feel like I’ve worked pretty hard at it. It feels awesome because I was going to be happy leaving with a little Gator trophy. I don’t know which one feels the best the Championship or the Gator Championship. The Gator Championship paid a little better.”
Ty Dillon won the final Triple 20 race of the evening by besting Kenny Wallace and Brian Ruhlman. Dillon made a mid-race charge on Ruhlman to take over the lead before distancing himself from Wallace over the final 10 laps. Wallace got by Ruhlman with three laps remaining to finish second. With the win Dillon helped Team Dillon Racing avoid a winless UNOH DIRTcar Nationals.
“It feels really good, especially for Team Dillon Racing,” Dillon said. “We were a little off all week but we worked, and worked, and finally hit it the last couple nights. Austin got a good finish in the Gator Championship and I was going to have a good finish too until I ended up getting into the wall, but I’m glad we could end up good and get finally get one of these Gator trophies.
“I’m happy for all the hard work everyone has put in. That’s what we come down here for is to win these Gators so to get a win it was a good note to end on.”
The win also gave the younger Ty family bragging rights for the year.
“I love beating Austin, especially since I got a win this year and he didn’t. Now I’ll get to talk junk until next year.”
Wallace wouldn’t leave empty handed on the night as he claimed the Six-Pack Challenge Dash. Wallace had earned a starting spot in the event based on a fan vote which he also won three weeks prior to the start of the event.
“It was good to run second in the big A-Main tonight but I look at it as the whole three weeks. The whole time we’ve been here we’ve made every A-Main,” Wallace said. “It’s a humbling sport and just because I won 3 of 7 A-Main’s last year didn’t mean I would come down here and do that again. I took the Six Pack Challenge very seriously because the fans put a lot of effort into it and I have to thank the fans because they put me in it.”
Jacob Poel claimed his second feature win of the DIRTcar Nationals in second Triple 20. Poel was the only driver of the 92 DIRTcar UMP Modifieds that participated to win more than one feature event over the course of the eight days they were in competition.
“I think the momentum is going to be awesome,” said Poel. “I really feel like we got to work all the bugs out of the car early in the year. We get to go back to Michigan with two wins before we normally start racing.”
Former DIRTcar UMP Stock Car National Champion turned DIRTcar UMP Modified pilot Nate Zimmer won the evening’s first Triple 20 event. The win was Zimmer’s first main event win since moving into the modified division.
“Yeah, we were just talking about how different it was but I think I might finally have this figured out,” said Zimmer. “I just didn’t lift going into turn three and I just snuck in there. I just want to thank everyone who’s helped me out this week. There are just so many people that helped get me here.”
First feature: Nate Zimmer, Wayne Hammond, Dwight Niehoff, Joey Galloway, Dave Baldwin, Kevin Gummere, Joe Carr, Nick Kurtz, Scott Mooers, Tony Anderson, Jason Gross, Trey Bryant, James Smith, Shaun Daugharty.
Second feature: Jacob Poel, Joel Ortberg, Collin Thirlby, Brendan Gaughan, Corey Daugherty, Todd Sherman, Jonathan Taylor, Jeff Thomas, Mitchell Opatik, Tyler Carpenter, Jake Griffin, Troy Giralmo, David Mielke, J.E. Stalder.
Third feature: Ty Dillon, Kenny Wallace, Brian Ruhlman, Kyle Bronson, Ken Schrader, Kelly Shryock, Justin Allgaier, Nick Hoffman, Jeff Babcock, Matt Westfall, Jason Beaulieu, Richard Michael Jr., Dave Wietholder, Kody Weisner.