Short track teams from all over the country made the trek to The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway to make history at this weekend’s second annual OneDirt World Short Track Championship.
The largest event for small race teams across the country, with a purse totaling in excess of over $100,000, puts the best grassroots dirt racing driver in one place to prove who has what it takes to receive the ultimate in clay track crowns.
Fox Shox DIRTcar/SECA Pro Late Models
After making a last-minute decision on Thursday morning to make the four-hour trek from Blairsville, GA to The Dirt Track at Charlotte, late model driver Jonathan Davenport joined the Fox Shox Pro Late Model division wheeling the No. 6 Revolution Racing-owned crate car in Saturday’s OneDirt World Fox Shox DIRTcar/SECA Pro Late Model race.
Despite starting outside of the top-five, Davenport was able to take the lead from pole sitter Matt Long after his No. 55 slowed on the track during the final laps of this feature race. Although the No. 40B of Kyle Bronson worked tirelessly to try reel in Davenport’s No. 6 late model, the Brandon, FL native would be unable to take the win from the spontaneous driver.
“I have to thank Blake Spencer and Letti Bozard for giving me this opportunity,” said Davenport. “I think Matt was the class of the field there. He was pretty good, and I don’t know if I could have got him in the traffic, but it is what it is. His misfortune was my fortune.”
With his win, Davenport pulled out of the Dirt Track at Charlotte $4,000 richer and with a new RACEQUIP helmet courtesy of COMP Cams and DRIVEN Racing Oil. Additionally, Thomas Robinson was awarded with the Hard Charger award and one pair of Fox Racing Shox after charging from a 26th position start to finish 10th.
Summit Racing Equipment DIRTCar UMP Modifieds
A return to the famed Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway would prove to be the perfect move for the winner of Saturday’s Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modified racing feature. Kyle ‘The High Side Tickler’ Strickler, who won this race last year, returned to the second annual OneDirt World Short Track Championship as a $4,000 payday winner.
Despite starting this feature race behind UMP Modified Sportsman of the Year Award winner Johnathan Taylor, Strickler beat Taylor to the first corner to take the early lead. A couple more cautions slowed things down before lap five, but once the green flag flew again, Strickler maintained the lead as David Stremme, who started third, and Taylor Cook, who started fourth, assumed second and third, getting by Taylor while the rest of the field finally settled in. Cook slipped past Stremme for second and set his sights on Strickler. Slowly but surely, Strickler inched away from Cook and pulled out to a five-second lead before the night’s final caution flew with five to go.
This set up a last five-lap shootout between Strickler and Cook with Stremme and Brian Ruhlman, who started sixth. One more restart with two to go gave the trio behind Strickler one last chance, but the 34-year-old Strickler would fend off all challengers and go on to win his second straight Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modified OneDirt World Short Track Championship.
“This race means so much to me,” said the driver of the #8 Longhorn Chassis ride, after his second OneDirt World Short Track Championship Feature win in two years. “This Longhorn Chassis, we’ve been working on it all year long. We started off a little slow in Florida, but we worked on it all through the season, and I’ve had a lot of good race cars over the years, but this one is just awesome. Even when we went into conserve mode, we were still pulling away from everyone. We’re still undefeated here, so I guess that is pretty good.”
Hoosier Racing Tire DIRTcar/SECA Pro Modified
Although the top qualifier didn’t pull off the win in Saturday’s late model feature, things would be very different in the Hoosier Racing Tire DIRTcar/SECA Pro Modified division race. Union Grove native Jeff Parsons, driving for Ron Hornaday, completed the Hat Trick by winning both the Fast Qualifier award, his Qualifier Heat Race and the 25-lap Feature.
Chris Steele and Buck Stevens led a stellar 26-car field to the green flag for the Hoosier Racing Tire Pro Modified 25-lap Feature, and Stevens took the early lead. That was short-lived as Parsons, from his third starting spot, drove around both front row starters to take over the top spot. Parsons was on a mission throughout the weekend in his bid to sweep every race entered, and the Tar Heel State native from just north of Charlotte would go on to complete the clean sweep of the weekend.
“Man, this Ron Hornaday Race Car was hooked up,” said Parsons. “I can’t thank everyone enough. Everybody comes to the shop every week to help me get this thing ready. I’m so appreciative to everyone who put this on for us small town guys to be able to get up here and be seen on the big stage.”
After taking the lead on the second lap, Parsons never looked back en route to the biggest win of his career and the $1,000 payday for his efforts.
Northeast Sportsman Modifieds
NE Sportsman Modified driver Dave Marcuccilli also completed a dominant season by scoring the OneDirt World Short Track Championship VP Racing Fuels Sportsman Modified Victory at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The driver, who was victorious twice during NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week, started fifth in this weekend’s 30-lap feature.
Eric Giguere paced the field to Green and led lap one. Defending race winner Ronnie Davis utilized the top side of the 4/10th-mile dirt oval to grab the lead from Giguere on the third circuit. Marcuccilli made his way by Giguere for second on lap eight and begun chasing down Davis for the lead. As lapped traffic became a factor, Marcuccilli and Davis went three-wide for the lead. After completing a textbook slide job for the lead in turn two with three to go, Marcuccilli went on to score his 20th triumph of the season.
“It’s been an amazing year,” said Marcuccilli. “We had a little lull where we struggled for a bit, but these last two months have been incredible. Although the season is over for us. It was great to come down here and be competitive and grab the win.”
Another big winner of the evening was Nichols, New York native Kinser Hill. Hill won the raffle of all the drivers entered into the OneDirt World Short Track Championships and scored a brand new 602 Chevrolet Performance Crate Motor. Hill suffered bad luck in the Last Chance Showdown, ultimately resulting in his not being able to qualify for the Feature.
Chevy Performance DIRTCar Pro Sprints
The Pro Sprints feature got off to a rocky start after third-place starter Zane Devault and pole sitter Michael Summers tangled. Although officials gave Summers his first place start back, disaster struck on for this driver on Lap 12. As he slowed on the track, Summers would relinquish the lead to fourth place starter Ryan Hunsinger.
That was not the end of the excitement as Devault pulled even with Hunsinger for the lead with five to go. As the laps wound down, Devault would eventually pull off the win by 1.390 seconds ahead of Hunsinger.
“This is a huge win for my guys. It’s awesome to win on such a big stage here at Charlotte,” said Devault.
Devault’s charge forward was also good enough to get the Hard Charger Award, earning himself a $150 Fox Racing Shox Certificate for the accomplishment. Hunsinger and Shantz completed the podium with Eli Lakin and Tyler Fitzpatrick completing the top five.
DRIVEN Racing Oil SECA Crate Sportsman
The 20-Lap Sportsman feature would be a caution-filled tribute event to a very successful dirt racer who passed away just over a month ago. Early in this race it was looking like Ben Watkins would take the win in the No. 71, but second-place Marty Reid made a run on Watkins in Turn 4 and the two hooked bumpers and went into a spin cycle. Reid was able to continue on and inherited the lead. With Reid now out front, Britt Dover started to make a charge towards him.
As the lights flipped on to illuminate the 4/10th-mile oval Mitchell Duvall, whose paint scheme was a tribute to his late father Mike Duvall, made his bid for the lead. With two laps to go in this race, Duvall was able to pull to the lead and pick up the win for the second year in a row in the DRIVEN Racing Oil Crate Sportsman Series.
“I know my Daddy was with us tonight,” said an emotional Mitchell Duvall in Victory Lane. “I can’t believe we won it for him. We had his paint scheme. I can’t describe how good it feels. Daddy taught me everything I know and I love him, and I hope he’s up there watching.”
Ricky Greene, who transferred in from the Last Chance Showdown, picked up 17 positions to take home the Fox Shox Hard Charger award and an extra $150 paycheck. Dover rounded out the top-three finishing positions.
COMP Cams MMSA Mini Stocks
The COMP Cams MMSA Mini Stock Feature was fueled by a fun family rivalry between Justin Mintz and his brother Austin Mintz, who finished first and second in the OneDirt World Short Track Championship for the second year in a row.
Justin did everything in his power to hold off multiple charges from his younger brother to secure the $2,500 payday and a new RACEQUIP helmet. While the first and second positions on the track were controlled mainly by the Mintz brothers, multiple drivers fought for the final podium position, including Travis Mosley, Nick Walker, Tack Brown and Jammie Mattison, who often went three-wide on the hunt for third. It was ultimately Walker in third once the checkers fell.
“This race means a lot more to me this year having him finish behind me,” said Justin Mintz. “My brother has held last year’s race over my head for the past year. Now he is going to hear it until next year. We race out of the same shop, but we rub like we don’t even know each other. We both try to win, so racing against him makes me better for sure.”
Despite a lackluster finish, Greg Brew won the division Sportsman of the Year Award earlier in the day.
QuarterMaster FWD/ Hornets
Looking for his second Feature win in two days, Eric Boozel in the No. 151 started from the Pole in the first QuarterMaster Hornet Feature. Showing the way for the first 12 laps, Boozel was challenged by Andrew Smith for the lead with under three laps to go. Diving down into Turn 3, Smith made a slide job stick and got by Boozel for the lead. As the field was coming to the white flag, the fourth place running car of Jacob Bright blew up a motor, causing a smoke screen for the 24-car field.
That didn’t slow down Smith as he coached his No. 62 QuarterMaster Hornet around the 4/10th-mile oval en route to picking up the OneDirt World Short Track Championship victory.
“Man, what a weekend,” said Smith. “This has been a hard battle for us, and no better way to do it than to race with my buddy Boozel. I’ve got to thank World Racing Group and OneDirt for putting this event on. It’s an awesome event to come to.”
Marc White and Daniel Wright picked up the $50 Summit Racing gift card as the hard chargers in the QuarterMaster Hornets Features.
Stay tuned to RacingJunk.com as we bring you the latest from dirt slingers across the nation far into the future.