TICKETS PUNCHED: Krup, Hoffman Lead Field of Drivers Locked into Saturday’s Gator Championship

BARBERVILLE, FL – Of the 107 DIRTcar UMP Modified drivers in attendance for the 51st DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park, 20 are now locked into Saturday’s Gator Championship.

The top-10 finishers from the two Gator Qualifier Features have locked themselves into the grand finale, which will pay $5,000-to-win and award the iconic Big Gator trophy. The top-5 from each Qualifier have been locked into the redraw on Saturday, which will randomize the top-10 starting positions before the start of the 30-lap main event.

The five makeup Features added to Friday’s program, scheduled to race after the Gator Qualifiers, were canceled and will not be made up. The purse money for those five races has been added into the 10 makeup Features from Thursday night, which will kick off the Saturday program, beginning at noon Eastern.

GATOR QUALIFIER #1

Will Krup has been a DIRTcar Nationals regular for the past several years, but hadn’t been to Victory Lane in the event since 2017. That all changed Friday night, as he steered his Longhorn by Loenbro Modified #K9 to victory, thanks to a brilliant move on the bottom lane.




Krup trailed race leader Tyler Nicely in the opening laps but kept pace with him, waiting for the right moment to pounce and make the move. Krup had a great run going down low and powered around Nicely down the backstretch to take the lead on Lap 4.

Several caution flags were thrown from that point forward, including one for Nicely himself. He spun out in Turns 3-4 and was forced to go to the tail, but wouldn’t stay long as he retired early to the pit area. A few more caution flags in the proceeding laps forced the race past its time limit, making the race official with 11 laps completed.

“The racetrack is definitely a lot better than it was yesterday,” Krup said. “I’ve got to thank everyone who is a part of this deal. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do this. The car was good. Sucks they cut it short, but we’ll take a win. It’s been a while since I won one of these gators, so it feels good to take one home.”

TOP 10 LOCKED-IN: Will Krup, Justin Allgaier, Mike Harrison, Garret Stewart, Zeke McKenzie, Hunt Gossum, Steve Stevenson, Austin Holcombe, Danny Schwartz and Matt Crafton.

GATOR QUALIFIER #2

When two of the winningest drivers in DIRTcar Nationals UMP Modified history square-off in a main event, it becomes a must-see show. Nick Hoffman and Kyle Strickler didn’t disappoint in the nightcap to Friday’s program.

Hoffman went from fourth to the lead on the opening lap and began to set the pace right away. The only driver that could keep up with him was his DIRTcar Nationals nemesis – Kyle Strickler.

Strickler caught Hoffman at the right time as they reached lapped traffic, cashing-in on a big run through Turns 3-4 and sliding up in front of him to take the lead at the flag stand. A caution came out just after they crossed the stripe, meaning Hoffman had to restart second.

But the six-time and defending Big Gator points champion hit the gas at the drop of the green and did what he does best, sailing past Strickler with a power move to the inside down the backstretch to regain the lead.

Another caution was thrown one circuit later, forcing the race past its time limit, making the running order official and Hoffman a Gator trophy winner for the 21st time in his career.

“I just had to get my elbows up,” Hoffman said. “Kyle drove by me and was pretty good out there. I just had to get back on the horse and ride on that restart to get back by him in Turns 1-2.

“He’s super-aggressive. We’ve raced against each other for almost 15 years now, and I love racing with him.”

TOP 10 LOCKED-IN: Nick Hoffman, Kyle Strickler, Kenny Wallace, Matt Long, Clay Harris, Nick Allen, David Stremme, Rick Eckert, Brian Shaw and Michael McGee.

The DIRTcar UMP Modified action wraps-up on Saturday, starting with the 10 makeup Features from Thursday at noon, followed by the regularly scheduled Gator Championship program. Buy a ticket to see it in person or stream every lap live on DIRTVision.

RESULTS

Gator Feature Group A (20 Laps): 1. K9-Will Krup[2]; 2. 7-Justin Allgaier[6]; 3. 24H-Mike Harrison[17]; 4. 67-Garret Stewart[3]; 5. 24-Zeke McKenzie[9]; 6. 99G-Hunt Gossum[12]; 7. 8A-Austin Holcombe[7]; 8. 21D-Danny Schwartz[14]; 9. 88C-Matt Crafton[19]; 10. 81-Steve Axtell Jr[10]; 11. 97-Mitch Thomas[13]; 12. 5CS-Curt Spalding[22]; 13. 463-Daniel Sanchez[24]; 14. 00D-David Reutimann[16]; 15. 90-Jason Beaulieu[25]; 16. 1R-Ryan Rackley[21]; 17. 242-Brandon Bollinger[27]; 18. 18-Eric Moon[23]; 19. 242X-Dawson Cook[26]; 20. 49-Billy Green[18]; 21. 0-Glenn Styres[28]; 22. 33M-Steve Stevenson[15]; 23. 72-Todd Neiheiser[20]; 24. 51-Brandon Green[5]; 25. 25-Tyler Nicely[1]; 26. 00EH-Steve Arpin[4]; 27. C8-Cole Perine[8]; 28. 77-Ray Bollinger[11]

Gator Feature Group B (20 Laps): 1. 2H-Nick Hoffman[1]; 2. 8-Kyle Strickler[7]; 3. 36-Kenny Wallace[5]; 4. 18L-Michael Long[2]; 5. 21J-Clay Harris[4]; 6. 21A-Nick Allen[6]; 7. 35-David Stremme[13]; 8. 5E-Rick Eckert[8]; 9. 1S-Brian Shaw[9]; 10. 11M-Michael McGee[16]; 11. 27G-Jason Garver[25]; 12. 6-Ryan Ayers[22]; 13. 24D-Jesse Dill[19]; 14. 7T-Evan Taylor[23]; 15. 95-Michael Altobelli[17]; 16. Z1-Zac Oedewaldt[11]; 17. 14C-Rick Conoyer[26]; 18. 5-Jonathan Taylor[20]; 19. 9PG-Percy Gendreau[28]; 20. 22B-Austen Becerra[3]; 21. 22J-John Baker[24]; 22. 99-Justin Haley[12]; 23. 12L-Lucas Lee[18]; 24. 32-Chad Roush[27]; 25. 96M-Mike McKinney[21]; 26. 65-Dylan Woodling[10]; 27. M20-Mike Potosky[15]; 28. 96P-Slade Parsons[14]