Barberville,FL — Jan. 20, 2009 — The 2008 Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH were an emotional whirlwind for World of Outlaws Late Model Series star Clint Smith.
After spending the early portion of the mid-winter racing meet shuttling between Volusia Speedway Park and his Peach State home following the death of his step-father Clint Roberts, Smith capped the extravaganza of speed in the best way possible — with a victory in the UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model finale on Feb. 15, 2008.
Adding even more luster to Smith’s shining moment during the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, the $10,000 triumph came on his daughter Jenna’s 15th birthday, and was his first-ever in the state of Florida.
Smith was already in the Sunshine State on Sun., Feb. 10, when he learned that his step-father had passed away. He found a vehicle and drove back to his home outside of Atlanta that morning to be with his family, then hitched a ride back to Florida with a friend on Monday to reunite with his team and compete in the week’s opening UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model event. Smith flew home on Tuesday morning for Roberts’s viewing — he didn’t miss any action at Volusia because that night’s UMP DIRTcar action was rained out — and planned a return to Florida on a Wednesday flight, but a full plane forced him to jump in a car at 1 p.m. and make a banzai six-hour drive down to Volusia; he arrived just in time to take his time-trial lap during that evening’s UMP DIRTcar program.
All the air and highway miles paid off when the driver known as ‘Cat Daddy’ stormed to a convincing victory in Friday night’s 50-lap UMP DIRTcar special. In an ultra-competitive race that featured six lead changes among five drivers, Smith charged forward from the 15th starting spot in his GRT No. 44 to grab the lead with a lap-39 pass of Newport, Tenn.’s Jimmy Owens and never looked back.
Smith crossed the finish line several car lengths ahead of Batesville, Ark.’s Billy Moyer, sending him to a joyous Victory Lane celebration.
“My dad (former Southeast star Roscoe Smith) won here and at Lake City (Fla.),” said Smith during the post-race ceremonies. “Back in 1977 he won the Florida State Championship — he won here on Friday night, and then he went up and won at Lake City on Saturday night.
“I’m glad to win down here where he’s won at. It means a lot — and now I’d like to win a World of Outlaws race in Florida.”
Smith didn’t back up his ’08 UMP DIRTcar checkered flag with a win in the following night’s WoO LMS event, but he’ll get his chance to add an Outlaws score at Volusia to his resume during the Feb. 3-14 38th annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. Two WoO LMS programs are scheduled — $10,000-to-win shows on Feb. 12 and Feb. 14 — in addition to the four UMP DIRTcar-sanctioned Super Late Model events (Feb. 9, 10, 11 and 13).
To see if the 43-year-old Smith or other Dirt Late Model standouts emerge as stars during the 38th running of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, make sure to reserve your favorite seats in advance. With infield trailer heights limited to 9 feet, 6 inches, there are no bad seats in the grandstands at Volusia Speedway Park, merely 15 miles inland from Ormond Beach on State Road 40.
Take advantage of special ‘Super Ticket’ deals that offer seats for all the events contested by each headline division, including six Sprint Car events (All-Star Circuit of Champions on Feb. 3-5, World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Feb. 6-8); eight nights of UMP DIRTcar Modified action (Feb. 3-10); six-nights of Dirt Late Model racing (Feb. 9-14); the and four Advance Auto Parts DIRTcar big-block Modified dates (Feb. 11-14).