Barberville,FL — February 7, 2010 – Austin Dillon has been one of the toughest DIRTcar UMP Modified competitors at Volusia Speedway Park during the past two years of the DIRTcar Nationals by University of Northwestern Ohio events.
The teenager from Welcome, N.C., lived up to his reputation on Sunday night, capturing the division’s second 20-lap qualifying feature for Monday’s big ‘The Gator Championship’ event.
“It was awesome tonight,” Dillon said after steering his black No. 3 DIRTcar UMP Modified to a $700 triumph that was his first of the 39th annual DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. “Shane (McDowell, his crew chief) did a great job putting our final adjustments in the car. It drove so much better tonight than the other night.”
The grandson of legendary NASCAR owner Richard Childress, Dillon’s expertise on dirt guided him to the checkered flag over a field that also featured NASCAR stars Clint Bowyer, Kenny Wallace and Ken Schrader, ageless veteran Buzzie Reutimann, former DIRTcar UMP Modified national champion Denny Schwartz and Dillon’s younger brother, Ty.
“I think we have a good as shot as anybody,” Dillon said of his chances of winning the $5,000 top prize up for grabs in Monday night’s ‘The Gator Championship’ event. “I think we want to win it just as much as anybody too.”
Dillon started outside the front row and quickly put distance between himself and Ashmore, Ill.’s Schwartz. Dillon withstood multiple restarts, including the final one in which he caught the field sleeping, putting nearly five car-lengths between himself and Schwartz entering turn one.
Schwartz finished second after withstanding early pressure from Dillon’s younger brother Ty, while Kenny Wallace of Arnold, Mo., placed third. Jason Schill of Centuria, Wis., wound up fourth and last-place starter Jacob Hawkins of Fairmont, W.Va., rallied to round out the top five.
Jason Hughes of Westville, Okla., paced the 37-car field around the half-mile Volusia oval with a quick lap of 18.680 seconds, a lap that was the quickest qualifying effort in the first four nights of DIRTcar UMP Modified action.
The top 10 finishers in Sunday night’s feature joined the top 10 drivers in Saturday night’s preliminary A-Main in transferring directly to Monday’s ‘The Gator Championship’ event.
J.E. Stalder of Martins Ferry, Ohio, Austin Dillon, Schwartz and Bowyer all claimed heat races.
UNOH drivers Jeff Babcock of Wayne, Ohio, and Stephen Schnapf of Newburgh Ind., transferred out of B-Main 1, while Dave Wietholder of Liberty, Ill., and Jacob Hawkins claimed transfer spots in B-Main 2.
DIRTcar Nationals By University of Northwestern Ohio; DIRTcar UMP Modifieds; Volusia Speedway Park; Feb. 7, 2010
Qualifying: 1. Jason Hughes, 2. Ty Dillon, 3. Clint Bowyer, 4. Terry Hull, 5. Jacob Hawkins, 6. Jon Henry, 7. Kenny Schrader, 8. Bob Broking, 9. Schuyler Nahre, 10. Buzzie Reutimann, 11. Jason Schill, 12. Denny Schwartz, 13. Austin Dillon, 14. Shawn Holliday, 15. Tommy Seets, 16. Jesse Stovall, 17. Kenny Wallace, 18. Scotty Kincaid, 19. Duane Dale, 20. J.E. Stalder, 21. Todd Neiheiser, 22. Peyton Taylor, 23. Paul DeGoey, 24. Stephen Schnapf, 25. Dave Wietholder, 26. Jeff Babcock, 27. Michael Davis, 28. Garrett Stewart, 29. Rob Penny, 30. Jason Gross, 31. Tony Anderson, 32. Todd Sherman, 33. Bob Gierke, 34. Randle Sweeney, 35. Tom Hagberg, 36. Rick Cannata, 37. Ben Ledgerwood.
Heat 1: 1. J.E. Stalder, 2. Buzzie Reutimann, 3. Jason Schill, 4. Jesse Stovall, 5. Todd Neiheiser, 6. Jeff Babcock, 7. Rob Penny, 8. Garrett Stewart, 9. Stephen Schnapf, 10. Tony Anderson
Heat 2: 1. Austin Dillon, 2. Scotty Kincaid, 3. Kenny Wallace, 4. Peyton Taylor, 5. Randle Sweeney, 6. Todd Sherman, 7. Bob Gierke, 8. Tom Hagberg, 9. Ben Ledgerwood
Heat 3: 1. Denny Schwartz, 2. Bob Broking, 3. Jon Henry, 4. Tommy Seets, 5. Shawn Holliday, 6. Dave Wietholder, 7. Michael Davis, 8. Rick Cannata, 9. Paul DeGoey
Heat 4: 1. Clint Bowyer, 2. Ty Dillon, 3. Kenny Schrader, 4. Jason Hughes, 5. Schuyler Nahre, 6. Terry Hull, 7. Jason Gross, 8. Duane Dale, 9. Jacob Hawkins
B-main 1: 1. Jeff Babcock, 2. Stephen Schnapf, 3. Tony Anderson, 4. Todd Sherman, 5. Bob Gierke, 6. Garrett Stewart, 7. Tom Hagberg, 8. Ben Ledgerwood, 9. Rob Penny
B-main 2: 1. Dave Wietholder, 2. Jacob Hawkins, 3. Jason Gross, 4. Terry Hull, 5. Michael Davis, 6. Duane Dale, DNS. Rick Cannata, DNS. Paul DeGoey
A-main( 20 Laps – Top 10 Lock Into Gator Championship): 1. Austin Dillon, 2. Denny Schwartz, 3. Kenny Wallace, 4. Jason Schill, 5. Jacob Hawkins, 6. Stephen Schnapf, 7. Bob Broking, 8. Kenny Schrader, 9. Jesse Stovall, 10. Jeff Babcock, 11. Clint Bowyer, 12. J.E. Stalder, 13. Dave Wietholder, 14. Buzzie Reutimann, 15. Scotty Kincaid, 16. Todd Neiheiser, 17. Jason Hughes, 18. Ty Dillon, 19. Tommy Seets, 20. Jon Henry, 21. Randle Sweeney, 22. Peyton Taylor, 23. Shawn Holliday, 24. Schuyler Nahre.
The 39th Annual DIRTcar Nationals is brought to fans by the University of Northwestern Ohio. The University of Northwestern Ohio is the Official Education Provider of DIRTcar Racing. UNOH can deliver strong progressive academics, with flexible scheduling at an affordable price. The choice of a university at which to study is a major decision. Your future as a productive professional and a responsible citizen can be greatly enhanced by that decision. Students at UHOH will become critical thinkers, will become communicators, will have the most current technology and will experience small class sizes taught by knowledgeable faculty with real working experience. For more information visit UNOH at www.unoh.edu.