Defending winner Hoffman breaks in Heat, will start Last Chance race on Saturday
CONCORD, NC – Oct. 30, 2020 – The field is strong and the champs are here. Thirty-five DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modifieds took to The Dirt Track at Charlotte for a night of qualifying event action, which made some very interesting storylines heading into Saturday’s Drydene World Short Track Championship Feature.
Two-time World Short Track champion Kyle Strickler put away his DIRTcar Late Model for the weekend to come out and battle his old UMP Modified rivals, and for not having driven a Modified for the better part of the 2020 season, it looked as if he never left.
Right to the top of the charts Strickler went in Qualifying with a lap of 17.149, a whole .200 faster than the second-fastest car, setting him on the pole for Heat Race #3. That second-fastest car was none other than the two-time and defending World Short Track winner and arguably Strickler’s biggest competition in this event, Nick Hoffman.
Hoffman opened up the Heat Racing action from the pole of Heat #1 and handed the UMP Modified crowd their most shocking and interesting storyline yet. Coming back to the stripe to complete Lap 1, Hoffman slowed dramatically and pulled down into the infield, out of harm’s way.
Dan Davies was there to pick up the pieces in the caution-free race and took the checkered flag in convincing fashion over Maryland’s Justin Cullum, who joins Davies in Saturday’s redraw, Daniel Sanchez, Jesse Rocket and Clay Harris.
A broken fuel pump valve was the culprit in Hoffman’s misfortune, which will now send the two-time DIRTcar national points champion into a Last Chance Showdown event on Saturday. An odd place to find the Mooresville, NC-driver at any race around the country.
David Stremme came out on top of Heat Race #2, leading every lap on his way to a spot in Saturday’s redraw. Coming into this year’s event as the driver with the most top-fives without a win, Stremme’s chances to finally get it done in the Feature look pretty solid. Ty Rhoades, Jonathan Taylor, Ryan Toole and William Long also transferred into the Feature.
Strickler gassed it up for Heat Race #3 and put a whooping on the field, opening an enormous gap – almost a full straightaway – between he and the others before the yellow erased it with just two circuits remaining. It was no problem for The Highside Tickler claiming his spot in the redraw, taking the win over Curt Spalding (redraw), Drake Troutman, Mike Franklin and Austin Holcombe.
At the end of the night, Strickler took some time to express his own appreciation for the event, the track and its prestige in the motorsports community.
“I always look forward to coming to Charlotte,” Strickler said. “It’s home for me and Nick [Hoffman] and a lot of the guys. I’m excited to get back into the Modified, and what a perfect place, here in Charlotte.”
Even with the potential to start eighth after the redraw, Strickler said he’s confident the car has the potential to be a winner on Saturday.
“This is the car I won both times with. It has a new clip on it, and [the crew] went through and re-did everything, but it’s still the same from the cage back, and the chassis. Hopefully, it has the same results. Right now, we feel really good about it.”
The fourth and final Heat Race saw Indianan Dylan Woodling grab the checkers in a very competitive bout around the 4/10-mile, with Chris Arnold joining him in the redraw, followed by transfer cars Brandon Kinzer, Jerry Foster and Cody Brightwell.
The top-two from each Heat Race move into Sautrday’s redraw, while the rest of the top-five transferred directly into the Feature. Saturday’s program will begin with Last Chance Showdowns for all non-transfers at 3 p.m, then head right into Features.
The All-Star Invitational Feature will now be placed at the tail of Saturday’s program, due to time constraints on Friday.
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Qualifying Flight-A 1. 2H-Nick Hoffman, 17.384; 2. 35-David Stremme, 17.689; 3. 71D-Dan Davies, 17.849; 4. 5T-Jonathan Taylor, 17.945; 5. 21J-Clay Harris, 17.971; 6. 7H-Josh Hughes, 18.065; 7. 95J-Justin Cullum, 18.098; 8. 84-Ryan Toole, 18.236; 9. 463-Daniel Sanchez, 18.254; 10. 12R-Ty Rhoades, 18.313; 11. 537-Jesse Rockett, 18.357; 12. 45-William Long, 18.445; 13. 96-Slade Parsons, 18.702; 14. 2-Derek Radford, 18.851; 15. O-Haley Kaiser, 18.977; 16. 15-Rick Potter, 19.426; DQ. 7-Robert Poole, 18.358
Qualifying Flight-B 1. 8-Kyle Strickler, 17.149; 2. 3W-Dylan Woodling, 17.513; 3. 5S-Curt Spalding, 17.516; 4. 99W-Chris Arnold, 17.687; 5. 7T-Drake Troutman, 17.699; 6. 6-Ryan Ayers, 17.756; 7. 11-Troy Loomis, 17.849; 8. 18-Brandon Kinzer, 17.883; 9. 8A-Austin Holcombe, 17.894; 10. 5-Jerry Foster, 17.973; 11. 25-Mike Corbin, 17.978; 12. 79-Cody Brightwell, 18.067; 13. 74-Mike Franklin, 18.182; 14. 43-RJ Otto, 18.316; 15. 83-Brian Clegg, 18.346; 16. 31G-Stephen Pedulla, 18.348; 17. 34-Cody Williams, 18.45; 18. 27R-Steve Rex, 18.743
Drydene Heat #1 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 71D-Dan Davies ; 2. 95J-Justin Cullum ; 3. 463-Daniel Sanchez ; 4. 537-Jesse Rockett ; 5. 21J-Clay Harris ; 6. 96-Slade Parsons ; 7. 7-Robert Poole ; 8. O-Haley Kaiser ; 9. 2H-Nick Hoffman 
Drydene Heat #2 – Flight (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 35-David Stremme ; 2. 12R-Ty Rhoades ; 3. 5T-Jonathan Taylor ; 4. 84-Ryan Toole ; 5. 45-William Long ; 6. 15-Rick Potter ; 7. 2-Derek Radford ; 8. 7H-Josh Hughes 
Drydene Heat #3 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 8-Kyle Strickler ; 2. 5S-Curt Spalding ; 3. 7T-Drake Troutman ; 4. 74-Mike Franklin ; 5. 8A-Austin Holcombe ; 6. 11-Troy Loomis ; 7. 25-Mike Corbin ; 8. 34-Cody Williams ; 9. 83-Brian Clegg 
Drydene Heat #4 – Flight (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer 1. 3W-Dylan Woodling ; 2. 99W-Chris Arnold ; 3. 18-Brandon Kinzer ; 4. 5-Jerry Foster ; 5. 79-Cody Brightwell ; 6. 43-RJ Otto ; 7. 6-Ryan Ayers ; 8. 27R-Steve Rex ; 9. 31G-Stephen Pedulla