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PERFECT 8: Strickler Leads Flag-to-Flag at Charlotte, Claims Third Career WSTC UMP Modified Feature Win

Michael Boggs Photo

Hoffman Charges from 23rd to 3rd after LCS nail biter, Arnold runner-up in Charlotte debut, Stremme wins All-Star Invitational

CONCORD, NC – Oct. 31, 2020 – Kyle Strickler has had himself a weekend.

After setting Fast Time in Qualifying and running away with the Heat Race victory on Friday, The Highside Tickler pulled the outside pole position in the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modified redraw on Saturday and went to work as the green flag dropped, snatching the lead from polesitter David Stremme and leading flag-to-flag for the $4,000 Drydene World Short Track Championship victory at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.

Truth be told, Strickler was downright untouchable in the Feature. Even with multiple restarts throughout the 30-lap event, nobody else in the field seemed to have anything for him. Except one man, who had to come from the Last Chance Showdown to make the show.

Nick Hoffman, the only other UMP Modified Feature winner in World Short Track history, broke a fuel pump valve in his Heat Race on Friday, forcing him to start last on the grid of the final Last Chance race on Saturday. By the skin of his teeth, Hoffman grabbed the final transfer spot into the Feature with a pass in Turn 2 on the final lap.

He dropped the hammer in the opening laps of the Feature and began his climb to the front of the field.

By Lap 5, Hoffman was up to 17th (+6). On the Lap 9 restart, he had passed seven cars in one lap to advance to eighth. From there, he began just picking cars off, one-by-one – something he rarely has to do as a two-time DIRTcar national points champion.

“Dirty air is huge. You get in behind them guys and either push or lose the right side and get loose. It’s just hard to pick a lane and figure out which way them guys are gonna go,” Hoffman said.

But in the end, Hoffman was only able to reach third. Impressive as his drive was, Strickler just had the field covered, and was the man to beat all weekend.

“I’ve got to thank Drydene for putting this deal on. It means so much to the local short track racers, and it’s so great for me to be able to come back in a Modified in this Longhorn [chassis], on the first night out with it and be able to be the first three-time winner,” Strickler said.

Michael Boggs Photo

Having raced DIRTcar Late Models for most of the season, Strickler had to re-adjust for the weekend. But he’s had so many laps around Charlotte now, and it certainly showed as he got the jump on the initial start.

“A lot of times here at Charlotte, if you can arc-in the corner, it’s actually way better. I just got in the banking there and got a run and drive around [Stremme] on the start, put it out in clean air and just let ‘er eat,” Strickler said.

Virginia’s Chris Arnold was the meat in Strickler and Hoffman’s podium sandwich, coming home second after a hard-fought battle with Stremme throughout the race. Arnold was looking for room on the high side in the closing laps and was finally able to make the pass with just three to go. Not a bad run for his first time at The Dirt Track.

“The battle with Stremme was fun,” Arnold said. “He kinda pinched me a couple of times, so that last time I went to go around him, I was just gonna go for it. If we got into each other, we got into each other, but I knew I had to move up if I wanted to catch Strickler.”

Michael Boggs Photo

Stremme came home in the fourth spot, getting passed by Hoffman for third with just two-to-go. He did, however, get the job done in the 20-lap All-Star Invitational Feature after initial leader Drake Troutman dropped out while leading on Lap 5. Stremme started fifth and passed up to second with ease before Troutman slowed in Turn 4 to bring out the caution.

Stremme led the final 15 laps unchallenged for the $600 victory, and was met with a special edition of Victory Lane after the checkers, with interview questions coming from wife Ashley on the DIRTVision cameras.

Feature (30 Laps) 1. 8-Kyle Strickler [2]; 2. 99W-Chris Arnold [4]; 3. 2H-Nick Hoffman [23]; 4. 35-David Stremme [1]; 5. 71D-Dan Davies [7]; 6. 5S-Curt Spalding [6]; 7. 3W-Dylan Woodling [5]; 8. 8A-Austin Holcombe [18]; 9. 74-Mike Franklin [14]; 10. 6-Ryan Ayers [24]; 11. 95J-Justin Cullum [8]; 12. 463-Daniel Sanchez [9]; 13. 5T-Jonathan Taylor [11]; 14. 43-RJ Otto [22]; 15. 21J-Clay Harris [17]; 16. 537-Jesse Rockett [13]; 17. 79-Cody Brightwell [20]; 18. 5-Jerry Foster [16]; 19. 11-Troy Loomis [26]; 20. 84-Ryan Toole [15]; 21. 45-William Long [19]; 22. 7-Robert Poole [25]; 23. 7T-Drake Troutman [10]; 24. 18-Brandon Kinzer [12]; 25. 12R-Ty Rhoades [3]; 26. 96-Slade Parsons [21] Hard Charger: 2H-Nick Hoffman[+20]

Qualifying Flight-A 1. 2H-Nick Hoffman, 17.384; 2. 35-David Stremme, 17.689; 3. 71D-Dan Davies, 17.849; 4. 5T-Jonathan Taylor, 17.945; 5. 21J-Clay Harris, 17.971; 6. 7H-Josh Hughes, 18.065; 7. 95J-Justin Cullum, 18.098; 8. 84-Ryan Toole, 18.236; 9. 463-Daniel Sanchez, 18.254; 10. 12R-Ty Rhoades, 18.313; 11. 537-Jesse Rockett, 18.357; 12. 45-William Long, 18.445; 13. 96-Slade Parsons, 18.702; 14. 2-Derek Radford, 18.851; 15. O-Haley Kaiser, 18.977; 16. 15-Rick Potter, 19.426; DQ. 7-Robert Poole, 18.358

Qualifying Flight-B 1. 8-Kyle Strickler, 17.149; 2. 3W-Dylan Woodling, 17.513; 3. 5S-Curt Spalding, 17.516; 4. 99W-Chris Arnold, 17.687; 5. 7T-Drake Troutman, 17.699; 6. 6-Ryan Ayers, 17.756; 7. 11-Troy Loomis, 17.849; 8. 18-Brandon Kinzer, 17.883; 9. 8A-Austin Holcombe, 17.894; 10. 5-Jerry Foster, 17.973; 11. 25-Mike Corbin, 17.978; 12. 79-Cody Brightwell, 18.067; 13. 74-Mike Franklin, 18.182; 14. 43-RJ Otto, 18.316; 15. 83-Brian Clegg, 18.346; 16. 31G-Stephen Pedulla, 18.348; 17. 34-Cody Williams, 18.45; 18. 27R-Steve Rex, 18.743

Drydene Heat #1 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 71D-Dan Davies [2]; 2. 95J-Justin Cullum [4]; 3. 463-Daniel Sanchez [5]; 4. 537-Jesse Rockett [6]; 5. 21J-Clay Harris [3]; 6. 96-Slade Parsons [7]; 7. 7-Robert Poole [9]; 8. O-Haley Kaiser [8]; 9. 2H-Nick Hoffman [1]

Drydene Heat #2 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 35-David Stremme [1]; 2. 12R-Ty Rhoades [5]; 3. 5T-Jonathan Taylor [2]; 4. 84-Ryan Toole [4]; 5. 45-William Long [6]; 6. 15-Rick Potter [8]; 7. 2-Derek Radford [7]; 8. 7H-Josh Hughes [3]

Drydene Heat #3 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 8-Kyle Strickler [1]; 2. 5S-Curt Spalding [2]; 3. 7T-Drake Troutman [3]; 4. 74-Mike Franklin [7]; 5. 8A-Austin Holcombe [5]; 6. 11-Troy Loomis [4]; 7. 25-Mike Corbin [6]; 8. 34-Cody Williams [9]; 9. 83-Brian Clegg [8]

Drydene Heat #4 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 3W-Dylan Woodling [1]; 2. 99W-Chris Arnold [2]; 3. 18-Brandon Kinzer [4]; 4. 5-Jerry Foster [5]; 5. 79-Cody Brightwell [6]; 6. 43-RJ Otto [7]; 7. 6-Ryan Ayers [3]; 8. 27R-Steve Rex [9]; 9. 31G-Stephen Pedulla [8]

Last Chance Showdown 1 (8 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer
1. 96-Slade Parsons [1]; 2. 2H-Nick Hoffman [7]; 3. 7-Robert Poole [3]; 4. 15-Rick Potter [2]; 5. O-Haley Kaiser [5]; 6. 2-Derek Radford [4]; 7. 7H-Josh Hughes [6]

Last Chance Showdown 2 (8 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer
1. 43-RJ Otto [2]; 2. 6-Ryan Ayers [4]; 3. 11-Troy Loomis [1]; 4. 83-Brian Clegg [7]; 5. 34-Cody Williams [5]; 6. 27R-Steve Rex [6]; 7. 25-Mike Corbin [3]; 8. 31G-Stephen Pedulla [8]

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