Barberville,FL — It didn’t take long for Dave Hess Jr. to find his way back to Victory Lane during the 39th annual DIRTcar Nationals by University of Northwestern Ohio at Volusia Speedway Park.
The Waterford, Pa., driver battled early with friend and competitor Stormy Scott of Las Cruces, N.M., as the two broke away from the rest of the field. After many attempts using multiple grooves, Hess settled into the low lane behind Scott until finding an opening on lap 14 to grab the lead and march on to victory in Saturday night’s 20-lap DIRTcar UMP Modified ‘The Gator Championship’ preliminary feature.
The triumph locked Hess and the remainder of Saturday’s top-10 finishers directly into the $5,000-to-win ‘Gator’ A-Main scheduled for Monday night (Feb. 8). Ten more drivers will transfer to the ‘Gator’ championship event through Sunday night’s second preliminary feature.
“Stormy is a real good kid. I’ve gotten to hang out with him all week,” said Hess. “It kind of sucked to have to get under him like that, but this is business.”
Business was good for Hess, a regular at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., where he competes in the DIRTcar Late Model ranks, and, occasionally, a DIRTcar UMP Modified.
“My car was really good and I knew I was going to have to make my move on the bottom,” commented Hess, who earned $700 for his second win of the 2010 DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. “He was missing it every once in awhile, plus my car is just really working well and my crew guys are doing a great job every night.”
Hess was followed to the line by Scott, 2008 DIRTcar UMP Modified national champion Jeff Leka of Buffalo, Ill., Jared Hawkins of Fairmont, W.Va., and Steven Pfeifer of Minot, N.D.
Pfeifer set fast time during the evening’s qualifying session, pacing the field of 37 DIRTcar UMP Modified competitors around the half-mile oval.
Heat winners were Heass, Scott, Hawkins and Leka. Jim Ransom of Williamsport, Ind., captured the win in B-Main 1 after battling with Curt Myers of Cameron, Wis., during the opening laps, while Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark., topped the second B-Main over 2009 DIRTcar UMP Modified national runner-up Devin Gilpin of Columbus, Ind.
The second half of the DIRTcar UMP Modified field will compete on Sunday night (Feb. 7) in another ‘Gator’ preliminary program, setting the stage for Monday’s big event for the open-wheel division.
For more information on the DIRTcar Nationals and DIRTcar Racing, visit www.dirtcarnationals.com and www.dirtcar.com.
Qualifying Results: 1. Steven Pfeifer, 2. Ben Adkins, 3. Wayne Hammond, 4. Jared Hawkins, 5. Jeremy Kerzman, 6. Larry Burkins, 7. Dale Mathison, 8. Justin Houston, 9. Mike Spatola, 10. Jammie Wilson, 11. Jeff Leka, 12. Dave Hess Jr, 13. Jared Landers, 14. Scott Green, 15. Stormy Scott, 16. Paul Miles, 17. Scott Martin, 18. Jamie Lomax, 19. Curt Myers, 20. David McWilliams, 21. Shane Sabraski, 22. Matt Goulden, 23. Devin Gilpin, 24. Rob Underwood, 25. Derek Groomer, 26. Jason Wheatley, 27. Nick Hoffman, 28. Jeff Thomas, 29. Jim Ransom, 30. Scotty Owens, 31. Jeremy Newberry, 32. Kent Corbin, 33. Joe Carr, 34. Darrell George, 35. Chad Evans, 36. Charlie Phillips, 37. Kyle Bronson.
Heat 1: 1. Dave Hess Jr, 2. Paul Miles, 3. Matt Goulden, 4. Mike Spatola, 5. Scott Green, 6. Curt Myers, 7. Jim Ransom, 8. Jason Wheatley, 9. Joe Carr, 10. Chad Evans.
Heat 2: 1. Stormy Scott, 2. Jamie Lomax, 3. Scott Martin, 4. Larry Burkins, 5. David McWilliams, 6. Jeremy Newberry, 7. Jeff Thomas, 8. Kent Corbin, 9. Charlie Phillips
Heat 3: 1. Jared Hawkins, 2. Justin Houston, 3. Steven Pfeifer, 4. Wayne Hammond, 5. Jammie Wilson, 6. Jared Landers, 7. Devin Gilpin, 8. Shane Sabraski, 9. Darrell George.
Heat 4: 1. Jeff Leka, 2. Dale Mathison, 3. Ben Adkins, 4. Jeremy Kerzman, 5. Kyle Bronson, 6. Nick Hoffman, 7. Derek Groomer, 8. Scotty Owens, 9. Rob Underwood.
B-Main 1: 1. Jim Ransom, 2. Curt Myers, 3. Jason Wheatley, 4. Joe Carr, 5. Jeff Thomas, 6. Kent Corbin, 7. Jeremy Newberry, 8. Charlie Phillips, DNS. Chad Evans.
B-Main 2: 1. Jared Landers, 2. Devin Gilpin, 3. Nick Hoffman, 4. Shane Sabraski, 5. Derek Groomer, 6. Rob Underwood, 7. Scotty Owens, 8. Darrell George
A-Main (20-Laps Top 10 Locked into Gator Championship): 1. Dave Hess Jr, 2. Stormy Scott, 3. Jeff Leka, 4. Jared Hawkins, 5. Steven Pfeifer, 6. Jared Landers, 7. David McWilliams, 8. Paul Miles, 9. Jammie Wilson, 10. Mike Spatola, 11. Scott Martin, 12. Curt Myers, 13. Jim Ransom, 14. Scott Green, 15. Jeremy Kerzman, 16. Ben Adkins, 17. Kyle Bronson, 18. Dale Mathison, 19. Jamie Lomax, 20. Larry Burkins, 21. Matt Goulden, 22. Justin Houston, 23. Wayne Hammond, 24. Devin Gilpin (DNS).
The 39th Annual DIRTcar Nationals is brought to fans by the University of Northwestern Ohio. The University of Northwestern Ohio is the Official Education Provider of DIRTcar Racing. UNOH can deliver strong progressive academics, with flexible scheduling at an affordable price. The choice of a university at which to study is a major decision. Your future as a productive professional and a responsible citizen can be greatly enhanced by that decision. Students at UHOH will become critical thinkers, will become communicators, will have the most current technology and will experience small class sizes taught by knowledgeable faculty with real working experience. For more information visit UNOH at www.unoh.edu.