News

CONCORD, N.C. - February 6, 2017 -The Super DIRTcar Series season will kick off with the DIRTcar Nationals, Feb. 22-25 at Volusia Speedway Park, with more than 35 Big-Block beasts soaring on the famed half-mile, battling side-by-side for four straight nights, all competing for the famed "Big Gator" trophy.

The best wheelmen in the business will meet to compete for bragging rights and take home the DIRTcar Nationals title. Two potent drivers in particular look ahead as they will face off once again for one of the Big-Block Modifieds' most coveted trophies.

Series veteran Billy Pauch, hailing from Frenchtown, N.J., was the fastest car at Volusia Speedway Park in time trials every night in 2016. But it was Quakertown, Pa.'s own Rick Laubach who held off the Series regulars, capturing the gator during last year's DIRTcar Nationals.

Some may see the DIRTcar Nationals as an 'invaders vs. regulars'race, where outsiders come to take the Super DIRTcar Series regulars' money. Laubach and Pauch, who are not Series regulars, feel otherwise.

"Down there I feel like I am kind of a regular," Laubach said. "We don't go there all the time. It's not like going to Brewerton or Canandaigua; it's Volusia. I go there just as much as they do. I remember talking to Tim Fuller, and he said it took him ten years to win down there. I put my time into Volusia with them, so it's sort of like a home track in a way. I feel like it's more equal."

Pauch is on the same page with Laubach, as he strongly feels that Volusia is neutral ground for everyone because it is not a weekly track.

"We go down there once a year," Pauch said. "It's a matter of how many years you've been there to have the most experience. If you put that down in years [Brett] Hearn has the most. So he probably has the most advantage of anyone because he's run there the most."

To win at Volusia is a triumph to all. Pauch has five Big-Block victories at Volusia Speedway, over 720 career wins overall and still believes taking home a gator would be special to him.

"It's tough," Pauch said. "You usually have a pretty good field down there. A lot of good guys go down. Normal racers don't take a vacation, so that's what they consider a vacation - going to Florida to race. It would be real special to get a gator."

Laubach, who has three Volusia victories under his belt, feels that the competition is what makes winning Volusia so notable. "It's the best," said Laubach. "It's [Matt] Sheppard, Hearn and the DIRT guys, so it is the best feeling to win down there."

To Laubach and Pauch, Florida in February is much more than just your typical night of racing.

"It's SPEEDWEEKS, and it is special in Daytona during that time of the year," Pauch stated. "You get to see a lot of people from the big track that you wouldn't normally get to see come over at night, so it's usually a good time."

Like Pauch and several other drivers, Laubach treats his trip like a vacation.

"We don't really go anywhere else on vacation," Laubach said. "We get up early, get the car done, and go to the beach until about four o'clock, get in the truck and go to the track like a regular night."

DIRTcar Nationals is well known for the number of drivers who take the trek south during the winter to cure their winter blues and get a little dirt under their belt. To name a few of the dauntless invaders who competed against the notorious Super DIRTcar Series regulars in 2016: Laubach, Pauch, Erick Rudolph, Tyler Dippel, Billy Dunn, Alan Johnson, Jamie Mills, H.J. Bunting, Vic Coffey, Billy VanInwegen, and Jessey Mueller.

This 12-night event brings some of the biggest names in motorsports to the famously fast, half-mile. Some believe it's a place for drivers to settle a rivalry; but most agree it's neutral territory where those who make the trip south can get away from the winter weather and compete for the coveted Big Gator trophy.

The biggest event in DIRTcar Racing kicks off the 2017 season on Feb. 14-25th as the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series, World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series, All Star Circuit of Champions, Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds, DIRTcar Late Models and DIRTcar UMP Modifieds take on the world's fastest half-mile at Volusia Speedway Park. Start 2017 with Florida in February! For tickets, click or call 844-DIRT-TIX! Or by visiting www.DIRTcarNationals.com.

ABOUT THE TRACK Volusia Speedway Park is a half-mile, high-banked, clay oval located in Barberville, Florida. The track opened as a ¼-mile oval in 1968, which then expanded to a 3/8-mile in 1969 and then once again expanded to a half-mile in 1972. The clay oval was paved in 1989 and was then converted back to dirt in 1997 and has been dirt ever since.

Super event to draw dirt racing’s biggest names – and more!

CONCORD, N.C. – January 11, 2017 – In just a little more than 30 days, the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series will embark on a new season and renew the stakes at one of dirt racing’s biggest shows. The 46th annual DIRTcar Nationals, from February 14-25, offers 12 action-packed days of racing featuring multiple series.

The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, accompanied by the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions, will compete for the coveted Big Gator trophy through five days of sprint car racing. The World of Outlaws, succeeding the All Stars with three days of racing from February 17-19, will make its 34th appearance in 14 years at Volusia Speedway Park. The Outlaw sprint cars debuted there in 1981.

In the 34 races at the semi-banked half-mile course, eight-time series champion Donny Schatz has claimed eight victories. Notably, Schatz has earned one of the three nights consecutively since 2014; fellow series top-runner Brad Sweet shares his feat, capturing four of the last nine races since then.

Last season Sweet doubled his successes at the track, being the first to win multiple nights since all-time wins holder Steve Kinser in 2011. Though the Outlaws share the spotlight in the 410 division, another series driver has solidified his prowess in the series’ annual grand introduction. Paul McMahan established the track record of 12.569 seconds the year Kinser doubled-down.

The historic DIRTcar Nationals is the most accessible motorsports event during the Florida in February jaunt. Every ticket is a hot pass, so fans can get up close and personal to all the action. Fans will be able to meet their favorite drivers from each of the competing series below.

Tickets for DIRTcar Nationals start at just $20 and are on sale now by calling 844-DIRT-TIX (347-8849), or by visiting http://www.DIRTcarNationals.com.

Visit http://www.DIRTcarNationals.com for the latest news and information from the event. Follow DIRTcar Nationals on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/DIRTcarNats.

DIRTcar Nationals will lay foundation for 2017 season

CONCORD, N.C. – January 26, 2017 – This time next month a new season will be underway for the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series. For the third year in a row the series will kick off at Screven Motorsports Complex on February 17-18 before the real madness begins at the 46th annual DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.

Coming off of a three-month break from the series, the first two weeks of racing is one of the toughest tests of the year. The start of the season will be a vital test of mental and physical strength and stability as the drivers will face nearly 250 laps of feature races between the first drop of the green flag at Screven Motorsports Complex and the last wave of the checkered flag at DIRTcar Nationals. Some drivers may break under the pressure resulting in backing out of running full-time; while some drivers may succeed and decide to join the series for the rest of the season. There are a lot of unknowns heading into the first two weeks of the season, but that’s what makes the trip to Florida in February that much more exciting.

For the last two seasons the driver that took home the Big Gator trophy at DIRTcar Nationals also claimed the championship title when World Finals rolled around at the end of the year. In 2015, that person was Shane Clanton, a full-time series driver since 2005.

“If you come out of Florida on top then it’s easy to stay on top, if you come up behind then it’s hard to dig yourself out of that hole. It’s important to have a good run because it will boost the whole season and [at this point] who knows who will be running good. Hopefully I am still as good as I was last year and the year before. That way everyone will be chasing after me instead of me chasing them,” said Clanton.

The 2016 season was dominated by Josh Richards in the Rocket Chassis House Car. He claimed the Big Gator and the championship title last year along with 18 series wins over the course of 40 races. For 2017, the Rocket1 will be sporting a new driver, Brandon Sheppard. The series has also added some other crucial late model drivers to the mix, including Chris Madden, Devin Moran and Donald Bradsher.

“I’ve run SpeedWeeks for three or four years now and I’ve entered every race every year I’ve been here. As a driver I’m pretty focused and ready to go and as a team we are more prepared than I have ever been. It’s the first point you get to start off the season right. You can come back from a deficit if you have to but it’s a lot easier if you start off running really well and start gaining a lot of points at the start off the year,” said Sheppard.

The full-time series drivers can be nearly split down the middle. On one hand you have the hotshots, the drivers who have years-and-years of experience; including Clanton, Chub Frank and Rick Eckert. On the other hand you have the young guns, the guys that are chasing their dreams and in the midst making a name for themselves in the sport; these drivers include Billy Moyer Jr., Tyler Erb, and Eric Wells. Unlike many other sports, however, at the end of any given night, both ends of this spectrum have a chance at taking the checkers.

“I definitely want to win close to five races and stay in the top-five or the top-three every night [of SpeedWeeks]. My dad always told me, you can be two types of people, you can be the type of guy that doesn’t set high expectations for yourself and just settle for whatever happens or you can set high expectations and work your ass off to get there,” said Sheppard.

The historic DIRTcar Nationals is the most accessible motorsports event during the Florida in February jaunt featuring 12 action-packed days of racing among multiple series. Every ticket is a pit pass, so fans can get up close and personal to all the action and meet their favorite drivers from each of the competing series below.

Tickets for DIRTcar Nationals start at $20 and are on sale now. Save your spot at Volusia Speedway Park by calling 844-DIRT-TIX (347-8849), or by visiting http://www.DIRTcarNationals.com.

Visit http://www.DIRTcarNationals.com for the latest news and information from the event. Follow DIRTcar Nationals on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/DIRTcarNats.

Volusia Speedway Park Suspends Weekly Racing 
 
CONCORD, N.C. - Oct. 3, 2016 - While Volusia Speedway Park announced today that they have suspended weekly racing, DIRTcar Nationals will continue as planned at the 1/2-mile Florida dirt oval February 14-25, 2017. 

"We hate to see this happen to Dirt Life Racing and all the Volusia regulars," said DIRTcar CEO Brian Carter, "but we assure you DIRTcar Nationals will go on as always, and we're excited about another great year at the fast 1/2-mile." 

"With circumstances beyond our control. VSP would like to announce with a heavy heart that we have closed the doors," reads a note from Wendi Underwood on the speedway website. "I want to say how thankful I am for the past 4 wonderful years."

Underwood has been leasing the track each year immediately following DIRTcar Nationals in order to run weekly, Saturday night racing from March through December. 

DIRTcar Nationals will remain at Volusia Speedway Park, in Volusia County, Florida, for two weeks from February 14 to 25, 2017, featuring DIRTcar Modifieds, DIRTcar Late Models, and DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds.

 

Relive all the highlights from the 2016 DIRTcar Nationals held at the Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida, February 9 through 20th!

Brett Hearn has improbable come from behind win in the Super DIRTcar Series as Sheppard and Richards take home the 'Big Gators'

BARBERVILLE, Fla. - Feb. 20, 2016 - It was a close call but Shane Clanton scored his second World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series victory of the 2016 season on Saturday night during the DIRTcar Nationals finale at Volusia Speedway Park.

It was the winner of the previous two nights, Josh Richards, who was the class of the field early, leading 45 laps of the 50 lap feature. Clanton charged through the field as Jonathan Davenport tried to get around Richards. As the feature reached its mid-point Davenport began to fade as Clanton and Scott Bloomquist hit their stride. Clanton took over second on lap 34 and ten laps later battled past Richards in lapped traffic for the lead.

As the feature drew to a close, Bloomquist found a way around Richards and in the final turn of the final lap, Bloomquist drag-raced Clanton to the finish. It was Clanton by a fender.

"It's a testament to our work," Clanton said. "We just put our heads down and worked as hard as we could to get where we're at."

"On the outside with the lapped cars I didn't know if I could clear them and get to the bottom or run where I've been running. I didn't know Scott was that close to me - I almost celebrated too early. But man, it feels good to outrun Scott and Josh. They've been the cars to beat this week and to beat the both of them feels pretty special."

After a stellar DIRTcar Nationals that saw him pick up three wins, Richards won the Late Model Week title and the coveted 'Big Gator' trophy.

"It's cool - this is our second one," Richards said of the 'Big Gator.' "It's pretty cool to have another one in our collection. We've had a great Speed Weeks. We've been in contention - it's been a lot of fun."

In the Super DIRTcar Series finale at DIRTcar Nationals, Stewart Friesen led early and worked to hold off a Matt Sheppard through Saturday night's 50-lap feature but it was Brett Hearn who scored the come from behind win.

Hearn had trouble early in the night and after advancing through the Last Chance Showdown started the feature in 21st. The New Jersey-native made quick work of the field, dispatching a car per lap as he entered the top-five by the midway point in the feature.

On lap 34 Hearn muscled the lead away from Friesen and cruised to his first series victory of the season.

"We got a huge favor tonight that we didn't really expect in that we had to run the consi," Hear said. "We got some laps out there after the track dried out. After we ran the consi we made some really great decisions. Hats off to my crew. We really struggled this week. We changed everything we could think of including stuff today, unbelievable stuff. These guys were up early working their butts off and so this is meaningful for all the guys that came down with me this year. We persevered."

Sheppard, the reigning series champion who finished the night in third, scored the Big-Block Week championship and took home the coveted 'Big Gator' trophy.

"We had an awesome race car all week," Sheppard said. "We had another good car tonight. Brett snookered us on tires a little bit. We were really coming on Stewie there at the end. I couldn't be prouder of all those guys standing over there that stepped up to help out. To come down here out of the box to have a first, second, third and a fifth is pretty good, pretty consistent. Hopefully we can keep it going all season."

The 2017 DIRTcar Nationals will return to Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 7 to 18, 2017. Ticket renewals are available now through March 31. Ticket sales open to the general public on April 1. For more information, visit http://www.WorldofOutlaws.com/Tickets or call 844-DIRT-TIX (347-8849).

For more information and updates on the DIRTcar Nationals, click DIRTcarNationals.com or follow on Twitter at @DIRTcarNats.

DIRTcar Nationals Statistical Report; Feb. 20, 2016; Volusia Speedway Park; Barberville, Fla.

World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series A-Feature (50 Laps) - 1. 25-Shane Clanton, 2. 0-Scott Bloomquist, 3. 1-Josh Richards, 4. 76-Brandon Overton, 5. 6-Jonathan Davenport, 6. 3s-Brian Shirley, 7. 25z-Mason Zeigler, 8. 15-Steve Francis, 9. 28E-Dennis Erb Jr, 10. 16-Justin Rattliff, 11. 5-Don O'Neal, 12. 22s-Gregg Satterlee, 13. 99j-Frank Heckenast Jr, 14. 20-Jimmy Owens, 15. 99B-Boom Briggs, 16. 17M-Dale McDowell, 17. 15s-Donny Schatz, 18. C9-Steve Casebolt, 19. 1*-Chub Frank, 20. 14M-Morgan Bagley, 21. 39-Tim McCreadie, 22. 7-Rick Eckert, 23. 18-Eric Wells, 24. 18c-Chase Junghans, 25. 21J-Billy Moyer Jr, 26. 2F-Dennis Franklin, 27. 38s-Kenny Pettyjohn, 28. 2c-Joey Coulter, 29. 77-Jordan Yaggy, 30. 1W-Dillon Wood

Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds A-Feature (50 Laps) - 1. 20-Brett Hearn [$5,000], 2. 44-Stewart Freisen, 3. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 4. 19-Tim Fuller, 5. 27J-Danny Johnson, 6. 49-Billy Dunn, 7. 21a-Pete Britten, 8. 99L-Larry Wight, 9. 54-Steve Bernard, 10. 7-Rick Laubach, 11. 14J-Alan Johnson, 12. 1T-Tyler Dippel, 13. 25R-Erick Rudolph, 14. 1-Billy Pauch, 15. 1G-Darwin Green, 16. 30-Jamie Mills, 17. 32c-Vic Coffey, 18. 5-Billy VanInwegen, 19. 48T-Dave Rauscher, 20. 83-Brian Swartzlander, 21. 74-J.R Heffner, 22. 85-H.J. Bunting, 23. 5*-Tyler Siri, 24. 28p-Eldon Payne, 25. 323-Neal Williams, 26. 19m-Jessey Mueller, 27. 7-Tim Kerr, 28. 8-Rich Scagliotta

The 2016 DIRTcar Nationals is supported by Budweiser, Daytona Harley-Davidson, Hampton Inn-Palm Coast, Integrity Painting with Valspar, Ring Power CAT, and Safety-Kleen. The World of Outlaws are brought to fans by official partners: Bad Boy Buggies (Official Side-by-Side Vehicle), The Kenny Wallace Dirt Racing Experience (Official Racing Experience), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Morton Buildings (Official Building), and VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel). Additional support is provided by Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company of WoO Late Model), DirtonDirt.com (WoO Late Model Hard Charger Award), and Chevrolet Performance. Contingency sponsors include: ASI, Beyea Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, Fox Shocks, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, KSE Racing Products, Mobil 1, MSD Performance, Penske Racing Shocks, Ohlins Shocks, QA1, QuarterMaster, Sweet Manufacturing, Superflow Dynos and Wrisco Aluminum Manufacturer sponsors include: Capital Race Cars, Impact Racing Products, Intercomp, Motorsports Safety Systems, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, S&S Volvo, and TNT Rescue.

Laubach holds off Sheppard to score Super DIRTcar Series win

BARBERVILLE, Fla. - Feb. 19, 2016 - Josh Richards scored a wild second straight World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series victory Friday night during DIRTcar Nationals as he battled through the field from a 12th place starting position and held off Jonathan Davenport.

Davenport led through the early portion of the 50-lap feature as Richards worked his way through the field. Ocala-native Ivedent Lloyd Jr. battled with Davenport through the middle portion of the feature and helped open the door for the charging Richards. Through the closing laps, Richards and Davenport fought through traffic and engaged in a side-by-side, lap-by-lap battle for the lead. Ultimately, it was Richards on top, scoring his second straight series win and third win of DIRTcar Nationals.

"It's been unbelievable," Richards said. "We got put behind early. I ran out of tear offs and I ran the last four laps with my shield up. I knew we had a good car … I didn't know how lapped traffic was going to play out. I just tried to keep my speed up and get up through there. This track's been awesome. I can't thank the fans enough - this has been an unbelievable speed weeks."

The win was the one of the deepest come from behind victories in recent DIRTcar Nationals history, and gave the 27-year-old driver his 60th career win.

One night after losing the Super DIRTcar Series feature to Matt Sheppard as he battled his way through lapped traffic, Rick Laubach was redeemed as he held off Sheppard by .117 seconds to score a win.

Laubach started the feature on the pole but Sheppard battled forward from a sixth place starting position. Through several cautions and challenges Laubach maintained his lead but again, lapped traffic came into play. As he worked his way through in the final three laps, Sheppard closed the gap. As the two drivers turned the final lap, they crossed the finish side-by-side. It was Laubach by a nose.

"My crew guy said I had a lead and I'm like, alright - I didn't feel pressure again like last night. Son of a gun, he was right there again," Laubach said. "I know those yellows were helping a little bit. Track conditions were mixing up. I kind of just stroked it that last lap and held it down into turn one and he was going to go by me. I've got to get my lapped traffic skills down a little better. We had a good run last night, maybe almost a win, tonight we got the win. My little boy, he loves these trophies, he said, 'we'll take another trophy back to grammy's house."

The World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series and Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds lead the way into the final night of the 2016 DIRTcar Nationals on Saturday.
For more information and updates on the DIRTcar Nationals, click DIRTcarNationals.com or follow on Twitter at @DIRTcarNats.

DIRTcar Nationals Statistical Report; Feb. 19, 2016; Volusia Speedway Park; Barberville, Fla.

World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series A-Feature (50 Laps) - 1. 1-Josh Richards, 2. 6-Jonathan Davenport, 3. 21-Ivedent Lloyd Jr, 4. 39-Tim McCreadie, 5. 9-Steve Casebolt, 6. 3s-Brian Shirley, 7. 0-Scott Bloomquist, 8. 17M-Dale McDowell, 9. 1*-Chub Frank, 10. 21J-Billy Moyer Jr, 11. 22s-Gregg Satterlee, 12. 5-Don O'Neal, 13. 7-Rick Eckert, 14. 99j-Frank Heckenast Jr, 15. 40B-Kyle Bronson, 16. 20-Jimmy Owens, 17. 38s-Kenny Pettyjohn, 18. 14M-Morgan Bagley, 19. 18c-Chase Junghans, 20. 2F-Dennis Franklin, 21. 16-Justin Rattliff, 22. 76-Brandon Overton, 23. 5w-Mark Whitener, 24. 77-Jordan Yaggy, 25. 25z-Mason Zeigler, 26. 15s-Donny Schatz, 27. 99B-Boom Briggs, 28. 18-Eric Wells, 29. 25-Shane Clanton, 30. 72-Mike Norris, 31. 777-Jared Landers

Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds A-Feature (30 Laps) - 1. 7-Rick Laubach [$2,000], 2. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 3. 14J-Alan Johnson, 4. 25R-Erick Rudolph, 5. 44-Stewart Freisen, 6. 1-Billy Pauch, 7. 1T-Tyler Dippel, 8. 27J-Danny Johnson, 9. 54-Steve Bernard, 10. 74-J.R Heffner, 11. 49-Billy Dunn, 12. 32c-Vic Coffey, 13. 99L-Larry Wight, 14. 21a-Pete Britten, 15. 30-Jamie Mills, 16. 1G-Darwin Green, 17. 19m-Jessey Mueller, 18. OBs-Jeremy Markle, 19. 323-Neal Williams, 20. 20-Brett Hearn, 21. 6m-Mat Williamson, 22. 5*-Tyler Siri, 23. 28p-Eldon Payne, 24. 19-Tim Fuller, 25. 7-Tim Kerr, 26. 83-Brian Swartzlander

DIRTcar Nationals Day-by-Day Schedule (Grandstands open at 5 p.m.)
Saturday, Feb. 20 - World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series & Super DIRTcar Series

The 2016 DIRTcar Nationals is supported by Budweiser, Daytona Harley-Davidson, Hampton Inn-Palm Coast, Integrity Painting with Valspar, Ring Power CAT, and Safety-Kleen. The World of Outlaws are brought to fans by official partners: Bad Boy Buggies (Official Side-by-Side Vehicle), The Kenny Wallace Dirt Racing Experience (Official Racing Experience), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Morton Buildings (Official Building), and VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel). Additional support is provided by Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company of WoO Late Model), DirtonDirt.com (WoO Late Model Hard Charger Award), and Chevrolet Performance. Contingency sponsors include: ASI, Beyea Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, Fox Shocks, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, KSE Racing Products, Mobil 1, MSD Performance, Penske Racing Shocks, Ohlins Shocks, QA1, QuarterMaster, Sweet Manufacturing, Superflow Dynos and Wrisco Aluminum Manufacturer sponsors include: Capital Race Cars, Impact Racing Products, Intercomp, Motorsports Safety Systems, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, S&S Volvo, and TNT Rescue.

Matt Sheppard wins thrilling Super DIRTcar Series victory

BARBERVILLE, Fla. - Feb. 18, 2016 - Josh Richards dominated the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series DIRTcar Nationals opener on Thursday night at Volusia Speedway Park.

Richards, a three-time series champion, took the top position in his qualifying group earlier in the night and then battled through lapped traffic and held off Dale McDowell in the 50-lap feature to score his first series win of the season. The 27-year-old Richards entered DIRTcar Nationals with a string of wins and top-five runs, and built momentum into the series opener.

"It has been a lot of fun," Richards said. "We gambled a little bit on tires, so I was kind of nervous and didn't know how it was going to hold up. We got stuck in lapped traffic and actually moved up [the race track] and gained speed.

"The guys have been giving me great cars every night, it's been a dream to drive them, and it has been a fun speed weeks."

Matt Sheppard, the reigning Super DIRTcar Series champion, entered DIRTcar Nationals after an off-season of flux saw him start his own team. The driver proved Thursday night that in spite of the challenges, he is still one to beat.

Larry Wight, last year's DIRTcar Nationals Big-Block Week champion, started on the feature pole but lost the lead after a short battle with Rick Laubach. Laubach led the field for 22 laps, holding off the previous night's winner Tim Fuller. As Laubach tried to work his way through traffic, Sheppard closed with Wight close behind. Sheppard and Wight got the run on Laubach and quickly drove around.

"This is unreal," Sheppard said of his victory. "It was such a crazy off-season for us; building this team in such a short period of time. We can say I'm going out on my own but not really. I got a ton of great people that have stepped up to help out. Everything really came together. The crew has been busting their butt all night on this car. We had trouble in qualifying, we had trouble in the heat race and they never gave up. Man two races in and we are sitting in Victory Lane already that is awesome."

Nightly doubleheaders at Volusia run through Saturday, Feb. 20. The World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series return for night two at DIRTcar Nationals as the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds takes on its night three.

For more information and updates on the DIRTcar Nationals, clickDIRTcarNationals.com or follow on Twitter at @DIRTcarNats.

DIRTcar Nationals Statistical Report; Feb. 18, 2016; Volusia Speedway Park; Barberville, Fla.

World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series A-Feature (50 Laps) - 1. 1-Josh Richards, 2. 17M-Dale McDowell, 3. 6-Jonathan Davenport, 4. 0-Scott Bloomquist, 5. 7-Rick Eckert, 6. 22s-Gregg Satterlee, 7. 5-Don O'Neal, 8. 25F-Jason Feger, 9. 14M-Morgan Bagley, 10. 25-Shane Clanton, 11. C9-Steve Casebolt, 12. 99B-Boom Briggs, 13. 18-Eric Wells, 14. 15-Steve Francis, 15. 1*-Chub Frank, 16. 3s-Brian Shirley, 17. 18c-Chase Junghans, 18. 38s-Kenny Pettyjohn, 19. 2F-Dennis Franklin, 20. 77-Jordan Yaggy, 21. 99j-Frank Heckenast Jr, 22. 76-Brandon Overton, 23. 20-Jimmy Owens, 24. 39-Tim McCreadie, 25. 21-Ivedent Lloyd Jr, 26. 11-Austin Smith, 27. 28E-Dennis Erb Jr, 28. 1W-Dillon Wood, 29. 16-Justin Rattliff

Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds A-Feature (30 Laps) - 1. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 2. 99L-Larry Wight, 3. 7-Rick Laubach, 4. 44-Stewart Freisen, 5. 25R-Erick Rudolph, 6. 49-Billy Dunn, 7. 19-Tim Fuller, 8. 1-Billy Pauch, 9. 20-Brett Hearn, 10. 1T-Tyler Dippel, 11. 07-Tim Kerr, 12. 32c-Vic Coffey, 13. 21a-Pete Britten, 14. 54-Steve Bernard, 15. 14J-Alan Johnson, 16. 74-J.R Heffner, 17. 27J-Danny Johnson, 18. 5*-Tyler Siri, 19. 83-Brian Swartzlander, 20. 1G-Darwin Green, 21. 6m-Mat Williamson, 22. 323-Neal Williams, 23. 85-H.J. Bunting, 24. 48T-Dave Rauscher, 25. 28p-Eldon Payne, 26. 5-Billy VanInwegen

DIRTcar Nationals Day-by-Day Schedule (Grandstands open at 5 p.m.)
Friday, Feb. 19 - World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series & Super DIRTcar Series
Saturday, Feb. 20 - World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series & Super DIRTcar Series

The 2016 DIRTcar Nationals is supported by Budweiser, Daytona Harley-Davidson, Hampton Inn-Palm Coast, Integrity Painting with Valspar, Ring Power CAT, and Safety-Kleen. The World of Outlaws are brought to fans by official partners: Bad Boy Buggies (Official Side-by-Side Vehicle), The Kenny Wallace Dirt Racing Experience (Official Racing Experience), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Morton Buildings (Official Building), and VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel). Additional support is provided by Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company of WoO Late Model), DirtonDirt.com (WoO Late Model Hard Charger Award), and Chevrolet Performance. Contingency sponsors include: ASI, Beyea Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, Fox Shocks, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, KSE Racing Products, Mobil 1, MSD Performance, Penske Racing Shocks, Ohlins Shocks, QA1, QuarterMaster, Sweet Manufacturing, Superflow Dynos and Wrisco Aluminum Manufacturer sponsors include: Capital Race Cars, Impact Racing Products, Intercomp, Motorsports Safety Systems, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, S&S Volvo, and TNT Rescue.