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Meet the drivers: UMP Modifieds

46 UMP Modifieds took to the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the inaugural OneDirt World Short Track Championship on Oct.20-22.

David Stremme

Name: David Stremme
Class: UMP Modified
Hometown: South Bend, Indiana – Mooresville, NC
Age: 39
Home Track: I don’t have one, I travel everywhere.

David Stremme is no stranger to racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway but this time around he will be on The Dirt.

The former NASCAR driver now builds dirt cars for his company, Lethal Chassis. Stremme will be driving one of his own at the OneDirt World Short Track Championship with the UMP Modified series.

“Obviously we want to win but I also want to have fun and if we are competitive and have fun at the race then I’m happy,” said Stremme. “[Dirt track racing] is not as stressful as the NASCAR side of things. I like to compare dirt track racing to a golf game. You just get out there and have fun. I also have a lot of customers that will be racing too so I want them to do just as good.”

Another main difference for Stremme between NASCAR and dirt track racing is the pace of the race.

“You really have to pace yourself during a NASCAR race. Dirt racing is right from the start. You have to make the little time you have on the track count,” said Stremme. “During your heat races you have to finish really well to make the race and since the races are so much shorter there’s a lot more action with it. The coolest thing about [racing on] dirt is that the track conditions change so much and there are so many changes you can make to your car to adjust to that.”

Keeping his eyes on the dirt for next season, Stremme hopes to continue to rebuild his love for the sport after feeling burnt out from many years on the asphalt. His main goal is to continue to enjoy racing while having fun. He also looks forward to visiting new towns and tracks around the nation.

 

Josh McDaniel

Name: Josh McDaniel
Class: UMP Modified
Hometown: Terre Haute, IN
Age: 24
Home Track: Lincoln Park Speedway

From Terrehaute, IN, UMP Modified driver Josh McDaniel is wrapping up his fifth year of racing at the OneDirt World Short Track Championship. McDaniel normally races at Lincoln Park Speedway located in Greencastle, IN.

“My goal for this race is to just go out, have strong finishes and try not to tear anything up. I just do this as a hobby for fun. I like to show up and have a good time,” said McDaniel.

 

Billy Workman Jr

Name: Billy Workman Jr.
Class: UMP Modifieds
Hometown:  Mooresville, NC
Age: 25
Home Track: Dublin Speedway

Billy Workman Jr. is an Oregon native and Mooresville, NC resident. Sitting at 25-years-old Workman began racing at a young age.

“I’ve been racing since I was 9 but I started racing Super Late Models when I was 13. I went to Las Vegas for a race and they wouldn’t let me drive my own car into the pit area because I didn’t have a [drivers] permit yet,” said Workman Jr. “They would let me race on the track without a problem but they wouldn’t let me drive it anywhere else.”

Workman travels all over with his Team Hornaday race car but claims Dublin Motor Speedway in Dublin, NC as his home track.

“I’ve always loved the Dirt Track at Charlotte,” said Workman Jr. “It’s a once in a lifetime deal. It’s close to home which makes it convenient but it’s also one of my favorite tracks and we don’t get to race there very often. The track is really fast.”

Workman Jr. said his key heading into the UMP Modified race at the OneDirt World Short Track Championship is to focus on getting into the show, keeping your nose cleaning and staying out of trouble.

Taylor Cook

Name: Taylor Cook
Class:
UMP Modified
Hometown: Huntersville, NC
Age: 22
Home Track: Countyline Raceway

Taylor Cook of Huntersville, NC was born into the racing industry and started driving when he was 12. Now at 22-years-old, Cook has 10-years of driving under his belt.

“My parents have been the biggest influence on my racing career,” said Cook. “My dad raced for a long time and he taught me everything I know. My mom has never missed one of my races and has supported me since I began racing.”

Cook is looking forward to racing under the lights at The OneDirt World Short Track Championship at The Dirt at Charlotte.

“It’s a lot more professional than a lot of the tracks we go to and the atmosphere is going to be a lot cooler too,” said Cook.

WSTC- RJ Otto

Name: RJ Otto
Class:
UMP Modified
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio – Mooresville, NC
Age: 24
Home Track: Midway Speedway

If there was an award for someone who eat, sleeps and breathes the racing industry RJ Otto would definitely be a contender.

Otto juggles four different types of racing in a typical week including Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA), NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, being a crew chief for a Super Late Model and driving his own UMP Modified.

“It’s honestly difficult to balance it all,” said Otto. “There’s some similarities throughout each racecar but the numbers as far as weights and what-not is the hardest part to remember and figure out. I keep a good notebook for each racecar and having confidence and knowing what you got and surrounding yourself with good people throughout the day really gives you a lot of success.”

Another element of balance for Otto is between racing on both asphalt and dirt. Growing up in a family who only knew asphalt, Otto would often visit his father at work in the RCR garage during the summer and on his days off from school to help work on the cars.

“When I was younger I wanted to be a driver but at the end of the day I still work on race cars and making them go fast,” said Otto. “My grandpa and father both raced on asphalt but we all enjoy the dirt track side a lot more. Working fulltime for NASCAR teams we all enjoy being [involved in] a different type of racing. There’s so much more excitement as well as more mechanical adjustments and variations on a dirt car than an asphalt car.”

At the OneDirt World Short Track Championship Otto will be driving Austin Dillion’s car from the 2016 Speedweek in Volusia.

“Having a race at Charlotte is huge for all of the guys who live around [the charlotte] area,” said Otto. “We don’t have big modified races around here. I’ve had a lot of good runs at The Dirt at Charlotte but I’ve never walked away with a win. The drivers are going to be really tough but I’m looking forward to racing with the best from all over.”

Looking forward to next season Otto is hoping to dedicate more time to racing on dirt in hopes of becoming better.

“I’ve only ran 10 races in the dirt car this year but overall I’ve been to 40 different races in other cars. We’ve gotten to the point where we contend almost every weekend now and we run against the best guys in the country so I want to run a lot more and a lot better next year,” said Otto.

All of the drivers:

Ryan Ayers
Jason Beaulieu
Dennis Brewer
Gary Brooks
Greg Brown
KC Burdette
Taylor Cook
Matt Emmerling
Tyler Evans
Shon Flanary
Chris Fletcher
Brent Glasstetter
Michael Grantham
Derek Groomer
Matt Guerri
Nick Guerri
Jacob Hawkins
Nick Hoffman
Austin Holcombe
Rick Hulson
Jimmy Jesmer
Mike Leerman
Tyler Loughmiller
Shawn Martin
Max McLaughlin
Ethan Mitchell
Gene Nicolas
RJ Otto
Brian Plyes
Joey Polevoy
Brody Pompe
Derrick Ramey
David Reutiman
Brian Rhulman
Alyssa Rowe
Jeff Sollinger
David Stremme
Kyle Strickler
Nick Stroupe
Evan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor
Kurt Thorpe
Ryan Toole
Ryan Toole
Kenny Wallace
Terry Witherspoon
Billy Workman, Jr.