Home | Events | DIRTcar Nationals | GATOR DUELS: Hoffman Gets DIRTcar Nationals Win No. 20, Arpin Bags First Win at Volusia Since ’07

GATOR DUELS: Hoffman Gets DIRTcar Nationals Win No. 20, Arpin Bags First Win at Volusia Since ’07

Both winners now with a chance to start on the pole of Monday’s Gator Championship

Two of the biggest names in DIRTcar UMP Modified chassis building were shining bright on Gator Qualifier night.

Nick Hoffman, representing his own Elite Chassis, stood tall in Volusia Speedway Park Victory Lane with his 20th career DIRTcar Nationals Feature win Sunday night in Gator Qualifier #2.

The first Gator Qualifier from the rained-out portion of Saturday night was contested immediately following the Sunday Qualifier and saw the return of a former DIRTcar Nationals champion to Victory Lane for the first time in 14 years. Steve Arpin, representing Longhorn Modifieds by Loenbro Motorsports, was presented with his first Gator trophy as a DIRTcar Nationals Feature winner after leading flag-to-flag in Gator Qualifier #2.

The top-10 finishers from each of the Qualifiers have now been locked into Monday’s $5,000-to-win Gator Championship Feature; the top-five will redraw for their starting spots before the Feature Monday. Everyone else will be placed into a Last Chance Showdown event to try and get one of eight remaining spots on the grid of the big show.

Gator Qualifier #2 (Sunday’s program) – Nick Hoffman

Nearly nine years ago, Nick Hoffman captured his first Gator trophy at Volusia with a Feature win, then an up-and-coming UMP Modified driver with no national championships, Summit Modified titles or Big Gators. Sunday afternoon, he stood in Volusia Victory Lane after his third victory of the week in the 50th DIRTcar Nationals, now a favorite to win the Big Gator a sixth time.

On the track, it was another giant helping of Elite Chassis dominance, not only by Hoffman who led all 20 laps nearly unchallenged, but by many of Hoffman’s Elite customers. Four of the top-five drivers in the official finishing order are Elite pilots, including Hoffman himself, Garret Stewart, Matt Crafton and Justin Allgaier.

Hoffman now has a shot for the pole on Monday as he’ll be one of ten drivers in the redraw before the $5,000-to-win Gator Championship Feature. Sunday’s Qualifier redraw could be a sign of things to come for the five-time and defending event champion.

“Tonight, I was on my game on the redraw to draw the one, and I think that was crucial just to get out and set the pace and control the race myself,” Hoffman said. “My stuff’s just really good when it cleans up like that.”

Regardless of where he starts, there’s plenty of time in the 30-lap Feature to get it done from almost anywhere on the grid. He’s got the car, confidence in the seat and success in the history books on his side as he chases another coveted trophy that he comes to Florida every year in search of.

“[The Big Gator] is one of the most prestigious trophies in all of motorsports, and I’m lucky enough to have a bunch of them,” Hoffman said.

Josh James Photo

 

Feature (20 Laps) 1. 2-Nick Hoffman [1]; 2. 25-Tyler Nicely [2]; 3. 67-Garret Stewart [11]; 4. 88-Matt Crafton [5]; 5. 7-Justin Allgaier [4]; 6. 11H-Spencer Hughes [3]; 7. 25W-Allen Weisser [13]; 8. 12H-Jason Hughes [8]; 9. 17X-Richard Michael [27]; 10. 6A-Ryan Ayers [9]; 11. 9-Ken Schrader [15]; 12. 8S-Kyle Strickler [12]; 13. OOD-David Reutimann [24]; 14. 51-Brandon Green [6]; 15. 21D-Danny Schwartz [29]; 16. 4T-Zeke McKenzie [20]; 17. 7D-Brad DeYoung [22]; 18. OO-Buzzie Reutimann [25]; 19. 77-Ray Bollinger [7]; 20. 11J-Justin Haley [10]; 21. 49-Brian Ruhlman [21]; 22. 22T-Tony Anderson [28]; 23. 2A-Matt Altiers [30]; 24. 6-Ryan Fowler [26]; 25. 24-Travis Dickson [17]; 26. T9-Ryan Thomas [16]; 27. 47-Collin Thirlby [23]; 28. 8A-Austin Holcombe [14]; 29. 80-Rich Dawson [19]; 30. 99-Hunt Gossum [18]

Gator Qualifier #1 (from Saturday’s program) – Steve Arpin

The last time Steve Arpin was in Volusia Speedway Park Victory Lane, he was a 23-year-old Modified ace who had just claimed his first DIRTcar Nationals championship on the back of five-consecutive Feature wins. On Sunday night, he made a big trip down memory lane with a dominant victory in the second of two Gator Qualifiers.

“Honestly, I have never in my life had such a proud moment in my racing career,” Arpin told DIRTVision pit reporter Chase Raudman after the race.

Arpin, the Rallycross racer and Longhorn by Loenbro pilot, started on the pole after a Heat Race win and cleaned-up in the Feature, leading all 20 laps for his first Gator trophy and first Volusia win since his event championship year in 2007.

Three of the top-six drivers in the Feature finishing order were Longhorn by Loenbro cars, including Nick Allen and Mike McKinney who have been fast all week.

“To have these Longhorn by Loenbro cars just so consistently fast for our first time out, honestly, the only thing I’m more excited about than standing here is coming back next year,” Arpin said.

McKinney did try and swipe the lead from Arpin on one corner after a restart, attempting a big slide job as they dove into Turn 1. He was unsuccessful and later faded back to sixth, one spot out of the redraw, but gave those watching on DIRTVision a bit of mid-race excitement.

Josh James Photo

The Longhorn by Loenbro bunch has been fast all week, notching several podiums, top-fives and top-10s. Arpin has been taking notice and expressed his gratitude for each of their new customers on the property.

“I remember when my dad was out here watching me in 2007, and I could just see it in his eyes how proud he was of me,” Arpin said. “I feel like that now watching Tyler Nicely, Brandon Green, all these guys coming out here.”

Feature (20 Laps) 1. OOEH-Steve Arpin [1]; 2. 95-Michael Altobelli [7]; 3. 21A-Nick Allen [3]; 4. 45H-Kyle Hammer [8]; 5. 12L-Lucas Lee [5]; 6. 96M-Mike McKinney [2]; 7. 44-KC Burdette [18]; 8. 18L-Michael Long [10]; 9. 3L-Jeff Leka [24]; 10. K19-Will Krup [14]; 11. 45-Johnny Broking [30]; 12. O5-Dave Wietholder [6]; 13. 36-Kenny Wallace [13]; 14. 17T-Tyler Evans [21]; 15. 15B-Dave Baker [26]; 16. 15L-Joey Logano [20]; 17. 11N-Gene Nicholas [11]; 18. 5S-Curt Spalding [4]; 19. 6B-Dave Baldwin [28]; 20. 463-Daniel Sanchez [17]; 21. 97-Mitch Thomas [15]; 22. 12-John McClure [25]; 23. 88B-Chris Bolyard [19]; 24. 32-Chad Roush [22]; 25. 22K-Dale Kelley [16]; 26. 60-Shannon Fisk [29]; 27. 7T-Drake Troutman [9]; 28. 72-Todd Neiheiser [12]; 29. M41-Steve Maisel [34]; 30. 21J-Clay Harris [32]; 31. 35-David Stremme [23]; 32. O1-Earnie Woodard [27]; 33. O2-Chris Cook [31]; 34. 21-Taylor Cook [33]; 35. 27C-Billy Cevaal [35]

UP NEXT

The seventh and final round of racing for the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds at Volusia Speedway Park goes down Monday night in the 30-lap, $5,000-to-win Gator Championship. Last Chance Showdown races will kick things off before the redraw; catch all the action live on DIRTVision!

Gator Qualifier #1 Prelim Event Results:

Qualifying Flight-A 1. 2-Nick Hoffman, 19.102; 2. 25-Tyler Nicely, 19.404; 3. 88-Matt Crafton, 19.484; 4. 67-Garret Stewart, 19.506; 5. 6A-Ryan Ayers, 19.549; 6. 77-Ray Bollinger, 19.592; 7. 24-Travis Dickson, 19.614; 8. 80-Rich Dawson, 19.699; 9. 25W-Allen Weisser, 19.817; 10. 17X-Richard Michael, 19.829; 11. 49-Brian Ruhlman, 19.871; 12. 9-Ken Schrader, 19.972; 13. 47-Collin Thirlby, 20.116; 14. 176-Scotty Owens, 20.502; 15. 2J-Troy Johnson, 20.634; 16. 21D-Danny Schwartz, 20.646; 17. 83-Brianna Robinson, 20.647; 18. 9PG-Percy Gendreau, 20.694; 19. 57-Mark Grosvenor, 20.706; 20. 22J-John Baker, 20.728; 21. OO-Buzzie Reutimann, 20.753; 22. 11M-Tyler Morehouse, 20.837; 23. 7+7-Jeff Solinger, 21.185

Qualifying Flight-B 1. 7-Justin Allgaier, 19.143; 2. 11H-Spencer Hughes, 19.537; 3. 11J-Justin Haley, 19.61; 4. 12H-Jason Hughes, 19.7; 5. 99-Hunt Gossum, 19.707; 6. A1-Gary Bentley, 19.719; 7. 51-Brandon Green, 19.74; 8. T9-Ryan Thomas, 19.753; 9. 8A-Austin Holcombe, 19.773; 10. 8S-Kyle Strickler, 19.874; 11. 7D-Brad DeYoung, 20.112; 12. 4T-Zeke McKenzie, 20.159; 13. 114-Clayton Bryant, 20.231; 14. 22T-Tony Anderson, 20.254; 15. 2A-Matt Altiers, 20.296; 16. 31G-Stephen Pedulla, 20.322; 17. 6-Ryan Fowler, 20.369; 18. 15-Joey Miller, 20.378; 19. OOD-David Reutimann, 20.549; 20. 11-Jesse Rupe, 20.736; 21. 62E-Kim Edington, 20.782; 22. 74-Mike Franklin, 20.931; 23. 27-Tom Wakefield, 21.163

Heat #1 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 2-Nick Hoffman [1]; 2. 88-Matt Crafton [2]; 3. 6A-Ryan Ayers [3]; 4. 25W-Allen Weisser [5]; 5. 24-Travis Dickson [4]; 6. 49-Brian Ruhlman [6]; 7. 47-Collin Thirlby [7]; 8. OO-Buzzie Reutimann [11]; 9. 2J-Troy Johnson [8]; 10. 83-Brianna Robinson [9]; 11. 7+7-Jeff Solinger [12]; 12. 57-Mark Grosvenor [10]

Heat #2 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 25-Tyler Nicely [1]; 2. 77-Ray Bollinger [3]; 3. 67-Garret Stewart [2]; 4. 9-Ken Schrader [6]; 5. 80-Rich Dawson [4]; 6. 176-Scotty Owens [7]; 7. 21D-Danny Schwartz [8]; 8. 22J-John Baker [10]; 9. 9PG-Percy Gendreau [9]; 10. 17X-Richard Michael [5]; 11. 11M-Tyler Morehouse [11]

Heat #3 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 7-Justin Allgaier [1]; 2. 51-Brandon Green [4]; 3. 11J-Justin Haley [2]; 4. 8A-Austin Holcombe [5]; 5. 99-Hunt Gossum [3]; 6. 7D-Brad DeYoung [6]; 7. 6-Ryan Fowler [9]; 8. OOD-David Reutimann [10]; 9. 114-Clayton Bryant [7]; 10. 2A-Matt Altiers [8]; 11. 62E-Kim Edington [11]; 12. 27-Tom Wakefield [12]

Heat #4 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 11H-Spencer Hughes [1]; 2. 12H-Jason Hughes [2]; 3. 8S-Kyle Strickler [5]; 4. T9-Ryan Thomas [4]; 5. 4T-Zeke McKenzie [6]; 6. 22T-Tony Anderson [7]; 7. 31G-Stephen Pedulla [8]; 8. 15-Joey Miller [9]; 9. 11-Jesse Rupe [10]; 10. 74-Mike Franklin [11]; 11. A1-Gary Bentley [3]

Last Chance Showdown 1 (10 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 49-Brian Ruhlman [1]; 2. 47-Collin Thirlby [3]; 3. OO-Buzzie Reutimann [5]; 4. 17X-Richard Michael [10]; 5. 21D-Danny Schwartz [4]; 6. 176-Scotty Owens [2]; 7. 9PG-Percy Gendreau [8]; 8. 83-Brianna Robinson [9]; 9. 2J-Troy Johnson [7]; 10. 7+7-Jeff Solinger [11]; 11. 57-Mark Grosvenor [13]; 12. 22J-John Baker [6]

Last Chance Showdown 2 (10 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 7D-Brad DeYoung [1]; 2. OOD-David Reutimann [5]; 3. 6-Ryan Fowler [3]; 4. 22T-Tony Anderson [2]; 5. 2A-Matt Altiers [9]; 6. 11M-Tyler Morehouse [14]; 7. 15-Joey Miller [6]; 8. 74-Mike Franklin [10]; 9. 114-Clayton Bryant [7]; 10. 27-Tom Wakefield [13]; 11. 62E-Kim Edington [11]; 12. 11-Jesse Rupe [8]; 13. 31G-Stephen Pedulla [4]; 14. A1-Gary Bentley [12]

Gator Qualifier #2 Prelim Event Results:

Qualifying Flight-A 1. 12L-Lucas Lee, 18.283; 2. 35-David Stremme, 18.745; 3. 17T-Tyler Evans, 18.883; 4. 97-Mitch Thomas, 18.967; 5. OOEH-Steve Arpin, 18.997; 6. 5S-Curt Spalding, 19.027; 7. 36-Kenny Wallace, 19.174; 8. 95-Michael Altobelli, 19.2; 9. 12-John McClure, 19.252; 10. O1-Earnie Woodard, 19.408; 11. 7T-Drake Troutman, 19.585; 12. O2-Chris Cook, 19.745; 13. 463-Daniel Sanchez, 19.793; 14. 11N-Gene Nicholas, 19.854; 15. 21-Taylor Cook, 19.883; 16. 88B-Chris Bolyard, 20.137; 17. 60-Shannon Fisk, 20.179; 18. 27C-Billy Cevaal, 21.304

Qualifying Flight-B 1. 96M-Mike McKinney, 18.894; 2. 21A-Nick Allen, 19.028; 3. K19-Will Krup, 19.091; 4. 21J-Clay Harris, 19.226; 5. 18L-Michael Long, 19.273; 6. 22K-Dale Kelley, 19.28; 7. O5-Dave Wietholder, 19.331; 8. 45H-Kyle Hammer, 19.362; 9. 32-Chad Roush, 19.365; 10. 72-Todd Neiheiser, 19.431; 11. 44-KC Burdette, 19.438; 12. 15L-Joey Logano, 19.58; 13. 45-Johnny Broking, 19.629; 14. 3L-Jeff Leka, 19.677; 15. 15B-Dave Baker, 19.735; 16. 6B-Dave Baldwin, 19.982; 17. M41-Steve Maisel, 20.119

Heat #1 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 10 Transfer 1. OOEH-Steve Arpin [3]; 2. 12L-Lucas Lee [1]; 3. 7T-Drake Troutman [6]; 4. 36-Kenny Wallace [4]; 5. 463-Daniel Sanchez [7]; 6. 17T-Tyler Evans [2]; 7. 12-John McClure [5]; 8. 60-Shannon Fisk [9]; 9. 21-Taylor Cook [8]

Heat #2 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 10 Transfer 1. 5S-Curt Spalding [3]; 2. 95-Michael Altobelli [4]; 3. 11N-Gene Nicholas [7]; 4. 97-Mitch Thomas [2]; 5. 88B-Chris Bolyard [8]; 6. 35-David Stremme [1]; 7. O1-Earnie Woodard [5]; 8. O2-Chris Cook [6]; 9. 27C-Billy Cevaal [9]

Heat #3 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 10 Transfer 1. 96M-Mike McKinney [1]; 2. O5-Dave Wietholder [4]; 3. 18L-Michael Long [3]; 4. K19-Will Krup [2]; 5. 44-KC Burdette [6]; 6. 32-Chad Roush [5]; 7. 15B-Dave Baker [8]; 8. 45-Johnny Broking [7]; 9. M41-Steve Maisel [9]

Heat #4 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 10 Transfer 1. 21A-Nick Allen [1]; 2. 45H-Kyle Hammer [4]; 3. 72-Todd Neiheiser [5]; 4. 22K-Dale Kelley [3]; 5. 15L-Joey Logano [6]; 6. 3L-Jeff Leka [7]; 7. 6B-Dave Baldwin [8]; 8. 21J-Clay Harris [2]