Jacob Hawkins Soars to DIRTcar Nationals Opening Night Victory

By CLAYTON JOHNS

BARBERVILLE, FL – Jacob Hawkins of Fairmont, WV led all 20 laps of the DIRTcar UMP Modified feature to earn his first career Gator trophy and win at Volusia Speedway Park on night one of the DIRTcar Nationals.

Hawkins led the opening lap after starting on the outside of the front row and held off Clarklake, MI-native Brian Ruhlman over the final 10 laps to earn his spot in Victory Lane. Hawkins attributed his success to car owner Junior Nolan who has accompanied him there to Florida Florida in search of a Gator over the last 12 years.

“It hasn’t been from lack of effort,” said Hawkins. “Junior’s given me good equipment every time. It takes a lot of luck down here. There’s so many good cars, you get to run with guys like Ken Schrader, Kenny Wallace and the top talent in the Modifieds. It’s a great feeling [to win],” Hawkins said.

Hawkins overcame a lap 12 restart but had to deal with Ruhlman until the final corner. Ruhlman had the advantage in turn two, but Hawkins had an answer for the driver of the No.49 off turn four.




“I had something for him down in [turn] one and two, but I couldn’t figure out what to do with them down [in three and four]. I was hoping I could make him make a mistake, but I think he knows I’ll always leave him a lane,” Ruhlman said following his runner-up finish.

Arnold, MO driver Kenny Wallace raced his way to a podium finish after starting ninth and was content to finish third behind Hawkins and Ruhlman, he said.

“It was a great job by my team. This is a brand new car. We just unloaded it today,” Wallace said. “We learned some adjustments to make tonight, but when you have Jacob Hawkins and Brian Ruhlman, these are two of the best the United States has to offer. They’re fast.”

Earlier in the night, Ruhlman set fast time in qualifying time trials with a lap of 18.747 seconds around the half-mile Volusia oval. He was also a heat race winner along with Hawkins, Will Krup, Jeff Leka, Ray Bollinger and Scott Kincaid.

Reigning DIRTcar UMP Modified DIRTcar Nationals champion Nick Hoffman raced his way into the 20-lap feature from the first Last Chance Showdown. Contact in Hoffman’s heat race forced him to battle his way in to the show through the back door, but did so in convincing fashion as he advanced from 13th to win. Billy Workman Jr. of Canbury, OH and Kyle Strickler of Mooresville, NC both won Last Chance Showdowns from the pole starting position.

The UMP Modifieds return to action on Wednesday alongside the Arctic Cat All-Star Circuit of Champions for night two of the DIRTcar Nationals.

DIRTcar National Night One Highlights
DIRTcar National Night One Highlights

DIRTcar UMP Modifieds A-Feature – [20 Laps]: 1. Jacob Hawkins [2]; 2. Brian Ruhlman [3]; 3. Kenny Wallace [9]; 4. Will Krup [5]; 5. Todd Neiheiser [7]; 6. David Stremme [35]; 7. Ray Bollinger [6]; 8. Justin Allgaier [24]; 9. Jason Beaulieu [12]; 10. Trent Young [8]; 11. Jeff Leka [4]; 12. Nick Hoffman [19]; 13. Tyler Evans [11]; 14. Kyle Strickler [21]; 15. Johnny Broking [17]; 16. Scotty Kincaid [1]; 17. Jonathon Taylor [22]; 18. Tony Anderson [18]; 19. Hunter Gustafson [16]; 20. Billy Workman Jr [20]; 21. Larry Burkins [54]; 22. Austin Holcombe [23]; 23. Jason Brookover [14]; 24. Kyle Schmidt [10].

B-Main 1 (10 Laps – Top 2 finishers transfer to the A-feature):
1. Nick Hoffman (Mooresville, NC), 2. Jonathon Taylor (Saltsburg, PA), 3. J.E. Stalder (Martins Ferry, OH), 4. Shon Flanary (Surgoinsville, TN), 5. Chase Collins (Jacksonville, FL), 6. Robbie Eilers (Highland, IL), 7. Will Norris (Lima, OH), 8. Blake Spaulding (Lima, OH), 9. Matt Johnson (Jenson Beach, FL), 10. Matt Crafton (Mooresville, NC), 11. William Moores (Ostern, FL), 12. Robbie Evans (Mineral Wells, WV), 13. Tyler Nicely (Owensboro, KY), 14. Josh Rice (Verona, KY),

B-Main 2 (10 Laps – Top 2 finishers transfer to the A-feature):
1. Billy Workman Jr (Mooresville, NC), 2. Austin Holcombe (Elm City, NC), 3. Ryan Cripe (North Manchester, IN), 4. Jared Spaulding (Ima, OH), 5. Slater McCray (Mooresville, NC), 6. David Mitchell (Robards, KY), 7. Dugan Thye (Burlington, IA), 8. Ray Ciccrelli (Reistertown, MD), 9. Shayne Meadows (Lima, OH), 10. Rick Weitekamp (Springfield, IL), 11. Dave Jamison (Peebles, OH), 12. Jessie Hoskins (Longdale, OK), 13. David Wietholder (Liberty, IL), 14. Bob Broking (Grand Rapids, MN),

B-Main 3 (10 Laps – Top 2 finishers transfer to the A-feature):
1. Kyle Strickler (Mooresville, NC), 2. Justin Allgaier (Springfield, IL), 3. A.J. Fike (Galesburg, IL), 4. Garrett Stewart (Leesburg, FL), 5. Zeke McKenzie (Claypool, IN), 6. Mike Learman (Woodstock, IL), 7. Ken Schrader (Concord, NC), 8. Troy Johnson (Sugargrove, PA), 9. Dave Baldwin (Perrysville, IN), 10. Gene Nicholas (Lowell, AR), 11. Paul Shead (Deland, FL), 12. Larry Mott (Leesburg, FL), 13. Ernie Gingerich (Bunker Hill, IN), 14. Jeff Thomas (Petaluma, CA),

Heat Race 1(8 Laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to the A-Feature; Winner redraws):
1. Will Krup (Mt Carmel, IL), 2. Todd Neiheiser (Panama City, FL), 3. David Stremme (Mooresville, NC), 4. Will Norris (Lima, OH), 5. J.E. Stalder (Martins Ferry, OH), 6. Shon Flanary (Surgoinsville, TN), 7. William Moores (Ostern, FL), 8. Matt Johnson (Jenson Beach, FL), 9. Josh Rice (Verona, KY), 10. Nick Hoffman (Mooresville, NC),

Heat Race 2 (8 Laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to the A-Feature; Winner redraws) :
1. Jeff Leka (Buffalo, IL), 2. Trent Young (Crofton, KY), 3. Jason Brookover (Washington, WV), 4. Jonathon Taylor (Saltsburg, PA), 5. Chase Collins (Jacksonville, FL), 6. Robbie Eilers (Highland, IL), 7. Robbie Evans (Mineral Wells, WV), 8. Matt Crafton (Mooresville, NC), 9. Blake Spaulding (Lima, OH), 10. Tyler Nicely (Owensboro, KY),

Heat Race 3 (8 Laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to the A-Feature; Winner redraws):
1. Jacob Hawkins (Fairmont, WV), 2. Kenny Wallace (Imperial, MO), 3. Larry Burkins (St. Augustine, FL), 4. Billy Workman Jr (Mooresville, NC), 5. Jared Spaulding (Ima, OH), 6. Slater McCray (Mooresville, NC), 7. David Mitchell (Robards, KY), 8. Jessie Hoskins (Longdale, OK), 9. David Wietholder (Liberty, IL), 10. Dave Jamison (Peebles, OH),

Heat Race 4 (8 Laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to the A-Feature; Winner redraws) :
1. Brian Ruhlman (Clarklake, MI), 2. Kyle Schmidt (Farmington, AR), 3. Hunter Gustafson (Howey, FL), 4. Ryan Cripe (North Manchester, IN), 5. Austin Holcombe (Elm City, NC), 6. Dugan Thye (Burlington, IA), 7. Shayne Meadows (Lima, OH), 8. Rick Weitekamp (Springfield, IL), 9. Ray Ciccrelli (Reistertown, MD), 10. Bob Broking (Grand Rapids, MN),

Heat Race 5 (8 Laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to the A-Feature; Winner redraws) :
1. Ray Bollinger (Kewanee, IL), 2. Tyler Evans (Mineral Wells, WV), 3. Johnny Broking (Grand Rapids, MN), 4. Kyle Strickler (Mooresville, NC), 5. Justin Allgaier (Springfield, IL), 6. Mike Learman (Woodstock, IL), 7. Troy Johnson (Sugargrove, PA), 8. Gene Nicholas (Lowell, AR), 9. Ernie Gingerich (Bunker Hill, IN), 10. Ken Schrader (Concord, NC),

Heat Race 6 (8 Laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to the A-Feature; Winner redraws) :
1. Scotty Kincaid (Rising Sun, IN), 2. Jason Beaulieu (Campbell River, BC), 3. Tony Anderson (Lima, OH), 4. Garrett Stewart (Leesburg, FL), 5. A.J. Fike (Galesburg, IL), 6. Zeke McKenzie (Claypool, IN), 7. Dave Baldwin (Perrysville, IN), 8. Larry Mott (Leesburg, FL), 9. Paul Shead (Deland, FL), 10. Jeff Thomas (Petaluma, CA),

Qualifying Group No. 1:
1. Nick Hoffman [19.450]; 2. Todd Neiheiser [19.632]; 3. Will Krup [19.743]; 4. David Stremme [20.227]; 5. Josh Rice [20.271]; 6. J.E. Stalder [20.353]; 7. Will Norris [20.408]; 8. Shon Flanary [20.461]; 9. William Moores [20.757]; 10. Matt Johnson [22.822].

Qualifying Group No. 2:
1. Jonathon Taylor [19.385]; 2. Tyler Nicely [19.535]; 3. Trent Young [19.909]; 4. Jeff Leka [19.957]; 5. Jason Brookover [19.968]; 6. Robbie Eilers [20.124]; 7. Matt Crafton [20.199]; 8. Robbie Evans [20.237]; 9. Blake Spaulding [20.354]; 10. Chase Collins [20.511].

Qualifying Group No. 3:
1. Kenny Wallace [19.084]; 2. Jacob Hawkins 19.194]; 3. David Wietholder [19.702]; 4. Dave Jamison [19.839]; 5. Billy Workman Jr [19.921]; 6. Larry Burkins [20.141]; 7. Slater McCray [20.286]; 8. Jessie Hoskins [20.350]; 9. Jared Spaulding [20.423]; 10. David Mitchell [20.879].

Qualifying Group No. 4:
1. Brian Ruhlman [18.747], 2. Bob Broking [19.390], 3. Kyle Schmidt [19.836], 4. Hunter Gustafson [20.151], 5. Ryan Cripe [20.220], 6. Austin Holcombe [20.231], 7. Shayne Meadows [20.258], 8. Dugan Thye [20.710], 9. Ray Ciccrelli [20.769], 10. Rick Weitekamp [21.293]

Qualifying Group No. 5:
1. Kyle Strickler [18.817], 2. Tyler Evans [18.921], 3. Johnny Broking [18.990], 4. Ray Bollinger [19.211], 5. Mike Learman [19.258], 6. Ken Schrader [19.485], 7. Troy Johnson [19.604], 8. Justin Allgaier [19.612], 9. Gene Nicholas [20.394], 10. Ernie Gingerich [20.415]

Qualifying Group No. 6:
1. Jason Beaulieu [18.791], 2. Zeke McKenzie [18.864], 3. Tony Anderson [19.259], 4. Scotty Kincaid [19.309], 5. A.J. Fike [19.311], 6. Paul Shead [19.337], 7. Dave Baldwin [19.490], 8. Garrett Stewart [19.558], 9. Larry Mott [20.113], 10. Jeff Thomas [DNF]

Article posted at: http://www.dirtcarump.com/2017/02/14/jacob-hawkins-soars-to-dirtcar-nationals-opening-night-victory/