WORLD HORNET CHAMPIONS: Presnell sweeps weekend, Sarratt finds redemption

The stage at The Dirt Track at Charlotte held a special power for grassroots racers. One step upon it, turned them from a weekly racer to a world champion – more precisely a Drydene World Short Track Champion. And on Saturday night, it waited to grant that honor to two more DIRTVision Hornet competitors.

Two 10-lap Features were on tap Saturday for the 50 DIRTVision Hornet entries. Of those drivers, Jonathan Sarratt joined Newman Presnell – winning back-to-back – Dave Lanely and Chase Hopper as this year’s champions, collecting the unique Drydene oil barrel trophy and $500 check that comes with the title.

Hot Laps in the afternoon gave drivers a feel for the primed, smooth surface of the 4/10-mile track, and built the anticipation for the frenzy of four-cylinder action to come.

Here’s how the two Features played out:

NEW Day, Same MAN
Newman Presnell presented himself as the new standout DIRTVision Hornet driver Friday night by leading from green to checkered in his Feature to claim the prestigious win. Then, on Saturday, he kept the throttle to the floorboard.

He was the fastest driver in Hot Laps and the first Hornet driver of the weekend to enter the 20-second barrier. When the green flag dropped on the first DIRTVision Hornet Feature of the night, Presnell made a solid homage to the movie Groundhog Day by rocketing ahead of the field in his white #48 on the initial start and never letting the thought of being caught enter he or his competitors’ minds.

Beacham ran a comfortable second, not gaining ground on Presnell and not fading to the wild pack behind him. Friday night winner Chase Hopper ran third for most of the race until he and Shawn Peche made contact late in the race, sending Peche into the infield and damaging Hopper’s car enough to fall off the pace. That handed the final spot on the podium to Daniel Wright.

The incident caused a green-white-checkered finish, but Presnell continued his flex on the field and cruised to back-to-back Drydene World Short Track Championship wins.

“Man, I have no words,” Presnell said during his Victory Lane interview. “This has just been crazy. This is the best weekend I’ve had racing in a long time. Good vibes at the track. Just having a blast, man.

“This is awesome. It’s great to be up here talking with you again. Let’s come back next October and do it again.”

REDEMPTION, FINALLY
Jonathan Sarratt made winning the Drydene World Short Track Championship look easy in 2018 by sweeping the week. However, since then, bad luck and bad timing plagued his chances at claiming another win each year.

Friday night was a prime example as Sarratt had the lead off Turn 4 with the checkered flag in the air, but his car had begun to slow through the turn, allowing Dave Lanely to gain grown and edge him for the win by 0.025 seconds. On Saturday, fortunes finally turned in his favor.

Shannon Barnhill powered around the high side of the track to take the lead on the first lap with Sarratt close behind. They looked to be the top two contenders until Kris Bobo entered the picture with a head of steam.

Bobo made quick work of Sarratt, whose left front axle broke early in the race, and powered his way underneath Barnhill. The two new front runners put on a couple of show-stopping laps, running side-by-side with neither driver gaining an advantage on the other. Then, Barnhill went spinning down the backstretch off the nose of Bobo’s car. Officials penalized Bobo for the contact, and he pulled off that.

With the parting of the seas, Sarratt was handed the lead for the final four laps. He held off Justin Harris and Zachary Slone and finally made his return to the Drydene World Short Track Championship stage.

“It feels good,” Sarratt said about his Saturday night win. “We’ve been working on this car all weekend. Every time we turn around something happens to it. I didn’t know if we were going to get it there in the beginning because when I took off it broke the left front axle in it and was pulling off the right front. I thought, well, we’ll ride and see where we end up. Then, they got taken out on the backstretch.”

RESULTS
Feature 1 (10 Laps)
: 1. 48-Newman Presnell[1]; 2. 221-Donavan Beacham[10]; 3. 4R9-Daniel Wright[13]; 4. C4-CJ LaVair[16]; 5. 21X-Mark White[5]; 6. 5H-Tyler Hopkins[17]; 7. A53-Austin Haskin[9]; 8. 1W-Bradley Williams[7]; 9. 64G-Rusty Garlock[11]; 10. 35-Josh Gibson[26]; 11. 89-Matthew Taylor[18]; 12. 15-Kenneth Colf[24]; 13. 7L-Marcus Locklear[12]; 14. 58-Ronnie Hall[15]; 15. 23-Eric Grant[21]; 16. 18E-William Estep[19]; 17. 21-Chase Hopper[3]; 18. 38-Rodney Grant[20]; 19. 0-Shawn Peche[6]; 20. 88-Joey Kelly[4]; 21. 00-Anthony Varner[8]; 22. 21W-Ricky Weaver Jr[2]; 23. 1X-Hunter Wallace[14]; 24. 2T-Tanner Tate[22]; 25. 12C-Chris Canterbury[23]; 26. H11-Wayne Heatherly[25]

Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 311-Jonathan Sarratt[3]; 2. 1H-Justin Harris[1]; 3. 91Z-Zachary Slone[5]; 4. 2L-Kylee Laws[12]; 5. 25J-Josh Whitfield[13]; 6. 2D-Daniel Tate[10]; 7. D2-Danny Tate[14]; 8. 88X-Shannon Barnhill[2]; 9. 2-Robert Cutshall[15]; 10. 18-Kala Varner[20]; 11. 13B-Brandon Collins[16]; 12. 9C-Jay Tate[23]; 13. 64-Mike Budka[19]; 14. 1B-Kayli Wallace[22]; 15. 63-Scotty Coffey[18]; 16. 21B-Drew Banks[9]; 17. 32B-Kris Bobo[7]; 18. 12X-David Laney[4]; 19. 5-Reggie Twing[17]; 20. 2C-Tyler Capps[6]; 21. 8-TJ Slack[8]; 22. 3-Blake Hedrick[11]; 23. B59-Billy Whitfield[21]; 24. 24-Tyler Fister[24]; 25. A23-Andrew Rich[25]

Qualifying (2 Laps): 1. 48-Newman Presnell, 00:21.748[48]; 2. 1H-Justin Harris, 00:21.758[21]; 3. 21W-Ricky Weaver Jr, 00:21.849[28]; 4. 88X-Shannon Barnhill, 00:21.886[38]; 5. 21-Chase Hopper, 00:21.902[49]; 6. 311-Jonathan Sarratt, 00:21.976[2]; 7. 88-Joey Kelly, 00:21.987[40]; 8. 12X-David Laney, 00:22.023[5]; 9. 21X-Mark White, 00:22.188[27]; 10. 91Z-Zachary Slone, 00:22.211[17]; 11. 0-Shawn Peche, 00:22.373[15]; 12. 2C-Tyler Capps, 00:22.449[10]; 13. 1W-Bradley Williams, 00:22.635[22]; 14. 32B-Kris Bobo, 00:22.649[26]; 15. 00-Anthony Varner, 00:22.677[31]; 16. 8-TJ Slack, 00:22.766[14]; 17. A53-Austin Haskin, 00:22.829[43]; 18. 21B-Drew Banks, 00:22.832[46]; 19. 221-Donavan Beacham, 00:22.843[41]; 20. 2D-Daniel Tate, 00:22.867[19]; 21. 64G-Rusty Garlock, 00:22.901[13]; 22. 3-Blake Hedrick, 00:22.914[47]; 23. 7L-Marcus Locklear, 00:22.960[18]; 24. 2L-Kylee Laws, 00:22.975[33]; 25. 4R9-Daniel Wright, 00:23.046[50]; 26. 25J-Josh Whitfield, 00:23.265[34]; 27. 1X-Hunter Wallace, 00:23.454[29]; 28. D2-Danny Tate, 00:23.601[11]; 29. 58-Ronnie Hall, 00:23.683[4]; 30. 2-Robert Cutshall, 00:23.738[37]; 31. C4-CJ LaVair, 00:23.757[1]; 32. 13B-Brandon Collins, 00:23.816[20]; 33. 5H-Tyler Hopkins, 00:23.853[7]; 34. 5-Reggie Twing, 00:24.022[44]; 35. 89-Matthew Taylor, 00:24.108[6]; 36. 63-Scotty Coffey, 00:24.245[8]; 37. 18E-William Estep, 00:24.260[9]; 38. 64-Mike Budka, 00:24.351[39]; 39. 38-Rodney Grant, 00:24.372[25]; 40. 18-Kala Varner, 00:24.856[16]; 41. 23-Eric Grant, 00:24.945[12]; 42. B59-Billy Whitfield, 00:25.142[45]; 43. 2T-Tanner Tate, 00:25.160[24]; 44. 1B-Kayli Wallace, 00:26.253[42]; 45. 12C-Chris Canterbury, 00:34.221[35]; 46. 9C-Jay Tate, 00:40.905[23]; 47. (DNF) 15-Kenneth Colf, 00:59.000[32]; 48. (DNS) 24-Tyler Fister; 49. (DNS) H11-Wayne Heatherly; 50. (DNS) A23-Andrew Rich