Jacy Norgaard Photo

CLEAN SWEEP: Hoffman Wins Both UMP Modified Features in World Short Track Finale at Charlotte

Strickler drives 22nd-8th, Hoffman re-ties Strickler for most event wins in division

After falling two spots short of victory last year, Nick Hoffman came to the 2021 Drydene World Short Track Championship with one thing on his mind – redemption.

A 23rd-to-third charge in the Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modified Championship Feature last year was special, but not exactly what he wanted. He wanted the big Drydene oil barrel trophy – one which rival Kyle Strickler took home for the third time in his career.

On Saturday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, he got what he came for. The three-time and defending DIRTcar national champion led all but the first two laps and cruised to his third career World Short Track victory in dominating fashion for the $4,000 grand prize.

“Last year, I got set back in that Heat Race, had to battle my way through and ran third,” Hoffman, of Mooresville, NC, said. “This year, I wanted redemption.”

Hoffman won his Heat Race on Friday night, which put him in the redraw Saturday afternoon. While he pulled only the fifth-best number out of six, that didn’t seem to matter. He shot out of a cannon on the start, passing Ethan Dotson on Lap 2 before overtaking polesitter Hunt Gossum the very next lap.

His lead stretched to over four seconds by the time the first caution flew with 10-to-go. While Dotson, Gossum, Chris Madden and David Stremme were all right on his tail for the restart, the FOX Racing Shox #2 was simply too quick.

A few additional restarts were made in the final 10 laps, but nobody was able to touch the 2018-2019 winner as he led the field back around to the checkers.

(from left) Chris Madden, Nick Hoffman and Hunt Gossum in Victory Lane (Jacy Norgaard Photo)

“To do it again is pretty cool,” Hoffman said. “On this stage, it gives us a lot of momentum going into next week for World Finals.”

Hoffman is scheduled to compete in next weekend’s NGK NTK World of Outlaws World Finals with the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series, piloting the Scott Bloomquist Racing ride he’s been in since late July.

Hoffman is never shy about expressing his appreciation for a big, fast, slick racetrack. The Dirt Track at Charlotte is just that when it gets run-in like it did with 339 different cars on it Saturday night, which helped propel him to such a big lead early on.

“Once it slows down and I can momentum [around], this is my forte,” Hoffman said. “I love coming here. Hopefully, we can have a good week next week.”

Defending race winner Kyle Strickler did not have the qualifying process he had hoped for this weekend, being forced to make the show via Last Chance Showdown. He grabbed the final transfer spot in the first LCS, which put him 22nd on the starting grid.

He proceeded to put on a passing clinic, moving up 14 positions in 30 laps to finish eighth. With Hoffman’s win in the event, he and Strickler are still the only two drivers to win in the division – three wins apiece.

Madden came from fourth to finish second (Jacy Norgaard Photo)

Chris Madden, making his World Short Track debut in a car owned by Pennsylvanian Dan Davies, was impressive for his first time driving a UMP Modified, coming home second after a late pass on Gossum.

To cap-off the weekend, Hoffman also won the All-Star Invitational Feature, coming from 11th to the lead in seven laps and leading the rest of the way for an additional $600 victory.

Feature (30 Laps): 1. 2H-Nick Hoffman[5]; 2. 71D-Chris Madden[4]; 3. 99-Hunt Gossum[1]; 4. 5CS-Curt Spalding[7]; 5. 6-Ryan Ayers[17]; 6. 09-Ethan Dotson[2]; 7. 35-David Stremme[3]; 8. 8-Kyle Strickler[22]; 9. 8A-Austin Holcombe[10]; 10. 7T-Drake Troutman[16]; 11. 99W-Chris Arnold[12]; 12. K19-Will Krup[9]; 13. 11H-Keith Jackson[18]; 14. 21-Taylor Cook[11]; 15. 51-Brandon Green[6]; 16. 1S-Brian Shaw[21]; 17. 81-Steve Axtell Jr[19]; 18. 5K-Tyler Kaeter[20]; 19. 17X-Richard Michael Jr[24]; 20. 74-Mike Franklin[27]; 21. 00EH-Steve Arpin[25]; 22. 80-Rich Dawson[13]; 23. 97-Mitch Thomas[15]; 24. 60-Brandon Householder[28]; 25. T9-Ryan Thomas[23]; 26. 25-Michael Corbin[14]; 27. 2J-Troy Johnson[8]; 28. 84-Ryan Toole[26]

Last Chance Showdown 1 (8 Laps): 1. 81-Steve Axtell Jr[2]; 2. 8-Kyle Strickler[1]; 3. B75-Brayden Berry[4]; 4. 51P-Joey Polevoy[8]; 5. 74-Mike Franklin[9]; 6. 2-Shawn Martin[6]; 7. 1K-Kyle Peterson[3]; 8. 7-Evan Taylor[11]; 9. 1126-Chad Tanquary[13]; 10. 4-Doug Penny[10]; 11. (DNS) 42-Bo LeMastus; 12. (DNS) 88-Matt Crafton; 13. (DNS) 18-Brandon Kinzer

Last Chance Showdown 2 (8 Laps): 1. 5K-Tyler Kaeter[2]; 2. T9-Ryan Thomas[1]; 3. 15-Richard Gibson[9]; 4. 25A-Andy Anderson[7]; 5. 96-Slade Parsons[4]; 6. 43-Josh Harris[6]; 7. 25P-Robert Poole[11]; 8. 4M-Tim Monroe[5]; 9. 14D-David Taylor[3]; 10. 14-Samuel Lamborgini[13]; 11. 463-Daniel Sanchez[8]; 12. P3-Jeff Leeke[10]; 13. 00EH-Steve Arpin[12]

Last Chance Showdown 3 (8 Laps): 1. 1S-Brian Shaw[2]; 2. 17X-Richard Michael Jr[4]; 3. 21S-Kenny Shaw[6]; 4. 11-Troy Loomis[1]; 5. 14J-Jordan Taylor[10]; 6. 12R-Ty Rhoades[3]; 7. 60-Brandon Householder[5]; 8. 17-Case Daniels[8]; 9. 84-Ryan Toole[7]; 10. 0-Haley Kaiser[11]; 11. T2-Greg Hauger[9]; 12. 9T-Mason Canter[13]; 13. 5F-Jerry Foster[12]

All Star Feature (20 Laps): 1. 2H-Nick Hoffman[11]; 2. 5CS-Curt Spalding[2]; 3. 71D-Chris Madden[14]; 4. 8-Kyle Strickler[3]; 5. 09-Ethan Dotson[6]; 6. 35-David Stremme[15]; 7. 7T-Drake Troutman[8]; 8. 51-Brandon Green[7]; 9. T9-Ryan Thomas[9]; 10. 21-Taylor Cook[20]; 11. K19-Will Krup[18]; 12. 74-Mike Franklin[4]; 13. 97-Mitch Thomas[5]; 14. 1S-Brian Shaw[17]; 15. 11-Troy Loomis[12]; 16. 4-Doug Penny[19]; 17. 42-Bo LeMastus; 18. 84-Ryan Toole[16]; 19. T2-Greg Hauger[21]; 20. 81-Steve Axtell Jr[1]; 21. 463-Daniel Sanchez[10]; 22. 8A-Austin Holcombe[13]