Victor Lee Makes Late Race Pass Count for Winternationals Win

The second night of the DIRTCar UMP portion of the 2022 Winternationals saw an increase in car count as well as the addition of the season opener for the Top Gun Sprints series. The pit area saw 63 Modifieds and 26 Sprints for a Thursday night racing.

Two-time 2021 Winternationals Modified winner Drake Troutman topped the field in qualifying and drew a 1 to set the fields for the six heats. Preliminary events went to Lucas Lee, Tyler Nicely, Victor Lee, Troutman, Steve Stevenson and Travis Varnadore. The top three in each of the preliminary events moved to the A main while three B mains set the rest of the field. The B features were won by Dawson Cook, Bradley Jameson and Allen Weisser.

Stevenson took the early lead in the 30-lap DIRTCar UMP Modified main in his first start in a newly acquired race car. The field was slowed for a caution on lap 5. On the restart, trouble hit as the field was approaching the green flag. Stevenson drove deep into the restart zone without picking up the pace, causing a chain reaction collision that involved a dozen cars. Lucas Lee’s ride climbed over Stevenson’s wheel and safety crews had to separate the cars. Race officials charged the caution to Stevenson, giving the lead to Lucas Lee. The new leader committed to the low line as the field shuffled behind in position battles. Kevin Adams and Troutman committed to the top line and tried to advance on the lower line. Tyler Nicely put on the best attempt to get past Lee, but found himself running out of racing room off the second turn with six laps to go. The new challenger would be Victor Lee, who last competed at East Bay 21 years ago. Victor Lee swept past Lucas Lee with three laps to go and roared to an exciting win. In victory lane, Lee dedicated the win to the late C.J. Rayburn, who had been an integral part of Lee’s racing operation.

The Top Gun Sprints held four heat events with A.J. Maddox, Luke Hill, Danny Martin Jr. and Garrett Green winning their heat races. In the 25-lap main event, Maddox held the lead for the first lap until Green moved out for the lead on the next lap. On the next lap, Martin slipped into second, as the fast cars moved to the top to make their way around the back of the field. Martin made his move for the lead on lap 7, sweeping low in an open area to complete the pass. The first caution waved on lap 10, but Martin was strong on restarts. Green was chasing and averted disaster late in the race when Danny Jones spun in front of the challenger. With his win, Martin picked up the Lee and Jeff Barfield Memorial Clean Sweep bonus of $300.

The action continues Friday night with 25 laps offered for Top Gun Sprints and 30 laps for the DIRTCar UMP Modifieds.

DIRTCar UMP Modifieds

Feature: Victor Lee (4), Lucas Lee (12L), Allen Weisser (1W), Drake Troutman (7), Jeff Parsons (44), Kevin Adams (40), Brian Skaggs (20), Travis Varnadore (205), Tyler Clem (14), Jimmy Lennex Jr. (8), Chris Wilson (17), Ray Bollinger (77), Steve Stevenson (33), David Pollen Jr. (88), Devin McLeod (21), Seth Daniels (21s), Dawson Cook (242x), Mike Potosky (M20), Jake Hartung (05), Tyler Nicely (25), Pat Hoffman (308), Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Bradley Jameson (757), Cole Perine (C8)


Feature: Danny Martin Jr. (24), A.J. Maddox (3A), Garrett Green (82), Tyler Clem (6s), Brandon Grubaugh (G6), Joe Zuczek (50), Shane  Butler (18), Luke Hill (41), Justin Clark (78), Billy Bridges (1), Danny Jones (14), Andrew Griffin (32), Kristina Pratt-McVay (83k), Brad Shanks (4J), Larry McVay (83), Owen Dimm (17), Nathan Barouch (13), Josh Bricker (1X), Tommy Denton (X), Tyler Orzechowski (38), Scott Baldwin (4), Troy Thompson (T15), Frank Carlsson (20), Frank Beck (89).