Stremme and Stickler to the Rear as Long Outlasts Hoffman to Kick Off DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia


BARBERVILLE, FL — Feb. 5, 2019 — A huge field of 91 DIRTcar UMP Modifieds highlighted by stars like Kenny Wallace, Ken Schrader, Justin Allgaier, Matt Crafton and so many more kicked off the 48th DIRTcar Nationals Tuesday night at Volusia Speedway Park with Michael Long riding the top side to edge three-time champion Nick Hoffman for the first gator trophy of the 12-day event and the first one of his career.


“We were off a little bit, but that cushion saved me,” said Long, 37, of Fowler, Ill. “We’ve been coming down here for years and never picked up a win. Nick is hard to beat so it was kind of cool passing him. I knew if I got in front of him I should have been pretty good as long as I didn’t mess up. The track is beautiful for the first night.”


The night wasn't without controversy, though, when superstars Kyle Stricker and David Stremme made slight contact on an early restart while battling for position in the top three, with Strickler spinning to a stop. Officials sent both cars to the rear.


NASCAR Xfinity racer Justin Haley powered to a third-place finish, with Tyler Nicely and pole-sitter David Reutimann rounding out the top five.


“It was pretty fun, last year we could barely make a show,” said Haley, 19, of Winamac, Ind. “I tell everyone, winning one of these features is probably harder than winning an Xfinity race. It keeps me sharp and it’s fun, it brings me back to my roots. I don’t know how you can’t have fun, that was an awesome feature.”


However, fun wasn’t exactly what Stremme and Strickler were having. The two drivers renewed a rivalry that sparked two years ago in a heated exchange at the DRIVEN World Short Track Championship at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Officials will no doubt keep a close eye on the duo the rest of the week.


World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars, including drivers like Kyle Larson, three-time Chili Bowl champion Christopher Bell and Kasey Kahne, rolled onto the half-mile dirt oval for a final tune-up session before those high-powered, winged sprint cars tackle Volusia over the next five nights.



DIRTcar Nationals Race Report; Volusia Speedway Park; Feb. 5, 2019

DIRTcar UMP Modifieds (20 laps): 1. Michael Long ($1,000), 2. Nick Hoffman, 3. Justin Haley, 4. Tyler Nicely, 5. David Reutimann, 6. Tyler Evans, 7. Trey Harris, 8. Allen Weisser, 9. Curt Spalding, 10. Michael Altobelli Jr., 11. Justin Allgaier, 12. Kyle Strickler, 13. Johnny Broking, 14. David Stremme, 15. Ryan Cripe, 16. Ken Schrader, 17. Ray Bollinger, 18. Brian Ruhlman, 19. Jason Garver, 20. Brad Goff, 21. Larry Burkins, 22. Paul Miles, 23. Jason Beaulieu, 24. Zeke McKenzie, 25. Lucas Lee, 26. Ryan Thomas, 27. Will Krup, 28. Austin Holcombe.