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Dillon captures the Gator Championship

Ty DillonBARBERVILLE, Fla. – Feb. 14, 2011 – Ty Dillon had seen his brother win in the 40th DIRTcar Nationals by University of Northwestern Ohio at Volusia Speedway Park. He had seen his Richard Childress Racing teammate Clint Bowyer win, too. But on Monday night, they were chasing him to the checkered flag in The Gator Championship for DIRTcar UMP Modifieds.

Dillon, 18, jumped out to an early lead in the 30-lap showcase event and then fought off Ryan Gustin through lapped traffic before finally holding back Bowyer to win for the first time in his career at Volusia Speedway Park.

“This is really cool,” said Dillon, one of Richard Childress’ grandsons from Welcome, N.C. “I’ve been coming down here for a long time and I’ve watched my brother win a lot of races here as well as Clint Bowyer. To finally get my first win here, and have it on The Gator Championship night with an awesome trophy, just to be with these guys and have UNOH on the car, these students work so hard it’s just cool to see.”

Gustin, of Marshalltown, Iowa, gave Dillon everything he could handle. Dillon raced high and low to fight off Gustin for the first 25 laps before Dillon started to pull away. Dillon wound up leading all 30 laps in the $5,000-to-win event.

“It was real slick and the lapped traffic was really tough,” Dillon said. “It was almost déjà vu to me. Last year I was leading with two to go and got passed in lapped traffic. I knew this year I wasn’t going to let that happen again. Gustin rolled me on the outside, once I saw that I tried to take his line. I blocked that off and was still able to pass come cars.”

Bowyer, of Emporia, Kan., and a NASCAR Chase to the Cup contender last season, was second with Gustin finishing third. Bowyer, a winner three times earlier in the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH worked under Gustin in lapped traffic with two circuits remaining to get the position. A couple of drivers from Batesville, Ark., completed the top five with Peyton Taylor fourth and defending Gator Championship winner Jared Landers in fifth.

Tuesday night competition will wrap up the DIRTcar UMP Modified portion of the 40th DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH as the DIRTcar Late Models, World of Outlaws Late Model Series and the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds round out the 12 day event.

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DIRTcar Nationals by University of Northwestern Ohio; Volusia Speedway Park; Feb. 13, 2011

DIRTcar UMP Late Model 30-Lap A-Main Finish (Finish Pos./Start Pos./Driver) – 1. Billy Moyer (5); 2. Earl Pearson Jr. (2); 3. Chris Madden (1); 4. Vic Coffey (8); 5. Jimmy Mars (11); 6. Tim Fuller (3); 7. Austin Hubbard (4); 8. Josh Richards (7); 9. Brady Smith (20); 10. Don O’Neal (6); 11. Steve Francis (15); 12. Tim McCreadie (13); 13. Rick Eckert (17); 14. Billy Ogle Jr. (12); 15. Frankie Heckenast Jr. (9); 16. Clint Smith (19); 17. Ryan Unzicker (25); 18. Tyler Bruening (10); 19. Will Vaught (22); 20. Jason Feger (23); 21. Dan Stone (14); 22. Casey Roberts (24); 23. John Blankenship (16); 24. Eddie Carrier Jr. (18); 25. Wendell Wallace (21).

B-Main 1 – 1. Ken Schrader; 2. Corey Conley; 3. Stormy Scott; 4. Andy Strait; 5. Michael Long; 6. Todd Sherman; 7. Dave Wietholder; 8. Bobby Regot; 9. David McWilliams; 10. Brandon Smith; 11. Jeremy Kerzman; 12. Jason Beaulieu; 13. Lawrence Oconnor; 14. Larry Burkins; 15. Dave Jamison; 16. Justin Coulter; 17. Kelby Simmons.

B-Main 2 – 1. Scotty Orr; 2. Dave Hess Jr; 3. Mike Spatola; 4. Kyle Bronson; 5. Ryan  Gifford; 6. Duane Dale; 7. Chad Kinder; 8. Nate Carruth; 9. Tony Anderson; 10. Dave Baldwin; 11. Terry Hull; 12. Weasel Rhodes; 13. Garrett Stewart; 14. Dale Murray; 15. Kent Corbin; 16. Justin Matson; 17. Terry Hansen; DNS. Chris Puskas.

B-Main 3 – 1. Austin Dillon; 2. Jason Miller; 3. Bob Broking; 4. Gary  Cook Jr; 5. Jeff Matthews; 6. Dale Mathison; 7. Kody Weisner; 8. Kevin  Davis; 9. Mark Grosvenor; 10. Bob Gierke; 11. Gavin  Landers; 12. Jeff Thomas; 13. Brett Korves; 14. Keith Smith; 15. Gary Brooks; 16. Evan Taylor; 17. Devin Gilpin.