Champions Crowned; 104 entries for Championship Night; Randy Smyser streaks ends with a flat tire; Sparks fly after Hornet feature--

Champions Crowned; 104 entries for Championship Night; Randy Smyser streaks ends with a flat tire; Sparks fly after Hornet feature--
Champions Crowned; 104 entries for Championship Night; Randy Smyser streaks ends with a flat tire; Sparks fly after Hornet feature--
Champions Crowned; 104 entries for Championship Night; Randy Smyser streaks ends with a flat tire; Sparks fly after Hornet feature--

Champions Crowned; 104 entries for Championship Night; Randy Smyser streaks ends with a flat tire; Sparks fly after Hornet feature--


Championship Night at The Races was the final night of points racing for the 2023 season. The night where a years’ worth of hard work, perseverance and effort is recognized. Seven of the 104 teams signed in, hoping that at the end of the night, their effort would be good enough for their driver to be crowned the 2023 Charleston Speedway Track Champion. The other 97 teams and drivers had plans of upset, with hopes they could catch a break that would move themselves into that coveted top spot! But, as fate would have it, despite the wins and efforts of those 97 teams, the top 7, stayed on top!

Spoiler ALERT- Here is the list of your 2023 Charleston Speedway Track Champions:
#83 Kasey Schrock: DIRTcar Modified
#121 Deece Schwartz: DIRTcar Pro Modified
#42 Jesse Simmons: DIRTcar Street Stock
#55 Anthony Tucker: DIRTcar Pro Late Model
#X Randy Smyser: DIRTcar Factory Stock
#DA28 Jimmy Dutlinger: DIRTcar Hornet
#3X Keatin Lyons: DIRTcar KidModz

DIRTcar Modified entries had some first timers to the Speedway, and while Mike McKinney hasn’t visited since 2017; he has not forgotten his was around the high banked oval! McKinney would qualify 0.365 seconds faster than 3rd place Danny Schwartz and 0.237 faster than 2nd place Ed Roley. McKinney’s fast time of 14.412 would start him off on the right foot. McKinney would take his fast time, sit on the pole of Heat 1, and go on to win! Deece Schwartz would have to fight from his 2nd starting position in Heat 2 to pass Kasey Schrock and Ed Roley to win Heat 2. Heat 3 would have Danny Schwartz starting P1, and even though Roger Mills was able to go 5 to 3, it was not enough to keep Danny out of victory lane in Heat 3. With 25 DIRTcar Modifieds signed in, Heat races in the books, it was B-main time. Don Kiger would start in the coveted P1 position, but due to an ill handling race car, he found himself finishing 7th. Chris Grigg on the other hand, started P4, had his #819 machine dialed in and headed to the front. Grigg would manage to navigate to the lead on lap 1, and never let go leading all 12 laps to win the B-main. Time for the big show.
Due to unfavorable track conditions, there was a significant amount of track work performed during the 20min intermission. Heavy rain fall on Thursday at the Speedway was deceitful and proved to be a major issue. Normally, midweek rain fall is a non-issue by race time, however, the 1.5” received failed to properly run off or be absorbed so it just sort of “sat there” just under the surface. As soon as sun set hit, that moisture became everyone’s enemy. Creating a rough surface that was hated by everyone forced to deal with it. Brad and his crew went to work, doing their best to manage a bad situation, but as we all know; we are racing on dirt, and everyone has the same track to race on. We are not happy or proud of what the track surface was, and we have already begun extensive efforts to mitigate that in the future. None the less, the track reworked, DIRTcar Modifieds in staging, it was GO time. These drivers know how to make lemonade out of lemons and were able to give the fans the show they paid to see. Mike McKinney started from P1, led every lap, and claimed the victory. That’s what the stats say, but if you were there in person, you would have seen Caden McWhorter rocket ship disguised as a DIRTcar Modified, rip through the field from his 7th starting position to give Kinney all he wanted in the closing laps. McWhorter’s hard charging efforts would be 1 short of the Hard Charger Award as Tyler Blankenship’s 16 to 10 was one position more than McWhorter. There were a plethora of comers and goers making the entire 20-lap feature extremely exciting. Not to mention the fact that the caution free, Green to Checkered 20 lap race, took 5min & 17sec to complete. It was fast and furious. Kasey Schrock was able to finish within 2 spots of Deece Schwartz, thus Crowning himself the 2023 Charleston Speedway DIRTcar Modified Track Champion. If you were anywhere else on the planet and missed the excitement, Thanks to Zack Carter, you can watch it here:

The question on everyone’s mind would be answered, “How many features will Randy Smyser win in a row?” Nathan Arterberry started the night off setting fast time with a time of 17.113, followed by Randy Smyser and Steve Nolen. Steve entered the event 16 points behind Smyser, he would need something big to go his way. Nolen did all he could do in Heat 1 by winning it from his 2nd starting position; however, Smyser matched those efforts by winning Heat 2 leaving Nolen 16 points back. When the green flag dropped on the Feature, Nolen who started P1 jumped to an early lead, however on lap 5, Gary Walker took over the top spot. Walker would lead from lap 5 to lap 10. First time winner John Strawser took the lead from Walker on lap 10 and was able to hold Walker off, winning the DIRTcar Factory Stock Feature. On lap 13, Smyser suffered a flat tire from some on track contact, relegating him to an 11th place finish. We award 1 point per position, so Steve Nolen’s 3rd place finish left him 8 points out of winning the Championship. So, with Smyser’s #X on the back of a tow truck, he was hauled to Victory Lane with Feature winner John Strawser, in order to be declared the Official 2023 Charleston Speedway DIRTcar Factory Stock Track Champion. Watch the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat in the DIRTcar Factory Stock division by clicking here:

DIRTcar Pro Modified has seen its fair share of battles, close races, upsets, and excitement; why would we expect anything different on the final night of points. Second place in the points, Brayden Doyle would need a significant event to fall his way in order to unseat the reigning track champ, Deece Schwartz. Deece Schwartz knew that going into the event and was not about to make life easy on anyone. Schwartz set the bar pretty high with his fast time qualifying effort of 15.361 seconds. Brayden Doyle was 2nd with a 15.385, while Scott Dunlap rounded out the top 3 with a time of 15.400, leaving just 0.039 seconds difference in the top 3. To say these cars are evenly matched is an understatement, from the fastest qualifier to the 10th place qualifier, a narrow separation of only 0.388! Deece Schwartz would start P1 in Heat 1 and win it. If Doyle were to even think of having a shot at the title, he would have to match those efforts in his heat, which he did from his P1 starting spot. Feature lineup was set, the youngsters that are battling it out, not only for the Charleston Speedway title, but the DIRTcar Pro Modified title would line up side-by-side on the front row. Doyle was able to muscle past Schwartz to lead lap 1, however Schwartz wrestled the lead back from Doyle on lap 2 and never lost it again. Dunlap who started 3rd, was able to get by Doyle and attempt a challenge for the lead, but Schwartz proved to have the speed no one could match, finishing 7.227 seconds ahead of Dunlap in 2nd and 8.244 seconds ahead of 3rd place Gabe Menser. Deece Schwartz won the feature as well as the title, 2023 Charleston Speedway DIRTcar Pro Modified Track Champion! If you missed this exciting event in person; be sure and check it out here:

One Special Note to add to the DIRTcar Pro Modified event. Noah Manship along with his wife Shelby, operate Amazing GRace Ministries and have been so kind to be Track Chaplain for the 2023 season at The Charleston Speedway. In honor of Championship night, they worked through a pile of nominees from fellow competitors across all divisions and we are proud to announce that due to his kindness, and generosity off the track, Bryce Farr is the winner of this seasons “The Champion of Grace” award. Click here to see the presentation. Video credit: Misty Manning

DIRTcar Street Stock Track Championship was locked up and in the bag before the night even began for the #42 of Jesse Simmons, aka “Goat”. Simmons entered the night with a point lead of over 80 points and his feature race effort showed why he is the champ. Braiden Keller would make his presence known by qualifying fast time with a time of 15.585. Second was Jerrad Krick with a time of 15.618, while 3rd quick was Megan Erwin with a time of 15.902. Both heats were won by the P1 starters, Braiden Keller in Heat 1, and Jerrad Krick in Heat 2. The 15-lap feature would provide some exciting racing as many competitors were working on their set-ups for this coming weeks DIRTcar Fall Nationals. Keller started P1 in the Feature and regardless of the efforts of his fellow competitors, never let go of the lead! Jesse Simmons would struggle in his heat race and find himself starting the feature in P5, but when the checkered flag fell, he was 2nd to Keller. Jerrad Krick, having won 8 Features this season, would struggle with the less than desirable track conditions and manage to finish 3rd in the feature which would give him 3rd place in the season championship, 9 points ahead of 4th place Dalton Mannin. Nick Miller would hold his P6 starting position to finish P6 and lock himself into 2nd place in the season championship, just 1 point ahead of Krick. Very close racing, very tight competition, very competitive drivers/teams; are all descriptions of this seasons DIRTcar Street Stock. We expect nothing less this coming Saturday, September 30, 2023, as Charleston Speedway will host the 10th Annual DIRTcar Street Stock Fall Nationals. If you missed the DIRTcar Street Stock this past week, or if you just want a glimpse of what to expect this week, click to watch the action from 9.23.23 right here:

With Anthony Tucker’s challenger in the DIRTcar Pro Late Model division MIA, when driver sign-in closed; Tucker was confirmed as your 2023 Charleston Speedway DIRTcar Pro Late Model Track Champion! The Championship may have been decided, but there was still a LOT of racing left to do. New track record holder and Nashville, TN. native, Gary Schalmo, set fast time and broke the former track record of Josh Boller with his qualifying time of 14.183! 2022 Reigning track champ, Morgan Staggs was 2nd quick with a time of 14.268 and 3rd was Billy Knippenberg with a time of 14.455. Shalmo’s quick time gave him P1 in Heat 1, but last week’s winner, Dane Arvin was looking for the top spot and took it on lap 4 to win Heat 1. Even though the Championship was locked up, Anthony Tucker had no intentions of taking it easy. Morgan Staggs started P1 in Heat 2, but on lap 2 Tucker took over and never looked back winning Heat 2. The 18 DIRTcar Pro Late Model competitors were set for their Feature event. Tucker would not have the dominance in the Feature that he had in his Heat, struggling and falling back to finish 10th. None the less, his season long consistency is what eventually gave him the Championship. Dane Arvin would start P1 and lead every lap and every corner, except for the one that mattered. Chase Osterhoff in the #130 stopped by for the first time this season and had his eyes set on victory lane. On lap 1 Osterhoff moved from his P4 starting position to P3, then on lap 3 he moved to P2 only 0.234 seconds behind the leader Arvin. As the two battled it out, fighting through lapped traffic, Arvin would struggle to pass a lapped car on the final lap, Osterhoff better positioned, was able to get around those 2 and beat Arvin to the line by the same narrow margin of 0.245 seconds that Osterhoff had been from him. It was quite an exciting race from beginning to end. Shane Kelly in the S1K would receive the Hard Charger Award with his P17 to P9 effort. The winningest driver this season in the DIRTcar Pro Late Model division, with 4 wins, Jammie Wilson, would only be able to work his way from P8 to P5. The racing throughout the field has been exciting and special, if you missed the action, or just want to relive it, click here:

The DIRTcar Hornet division has been a very special season for our 2023 Charleston Speedway DIRTcar Hornet Track Champion, Jimmy Dutlinger. He has competed in 15 events, amassed 9 Feature wins, The Charleston Speedway DIRTcar Hornet Track Championship, as well as The DIRTcar Hornet National Championship and DIRTcar Hornet North Region Championship. He has had quite a season and we are excited to have been a part of it. However, your 2022 reigning track Champion, Dee Friar, was in the field and made his presence known. The night started off with Jimmy Dutlinger starting P1 in Heat 1 and winning by leading every lap over 2nd place Matt Miller and 3rd place Michael Brewer. Heat 2 would have a major upset with 4th place starting Dusten Galbreath taking the victory, while Dee Friar, who started 10th, finished 2nd and 3rd place finisher Josh Callahan came from his 5th place starting spot. Feature line-up set, so we were ready to go! Dutlinger started P1 alongside Galbreath. Dutlinger jumped out to an early lead until Dee Friar caught and passed him on lap 7. Dee Friar would take the lead and never give it back, giving him his 2nd Feature win of the 2023 season. Jimmy Dutlinger would finish 2nd while Matt Miller finished 3rd. Team Members from the #19 of Dee Friar and the #DA28 of Jimmy Dutlinger met in the infield and apparently had some words to exchange with one another. The season long grind can be exhaustive and bring people to a breaking point. Infield staff were immediately on hand to ensure only words were exchanged, but the situation was intense and impossible to not see. Even during the post-race interview for Friar being the Feature winner and Dutlinger winning the championship, the two continued to exchange words in their interviews on the front stretch. The atmosphere was intense, and we expect it will overflow into the future. The Hard Charger Award went to Joseph Musillami with his 16th starting position to 4th finishing position run. The DIRTcar Hornets will have their inaugural DIRTcar Fall Nationals this coming Saturday, September 30, 2023, and we expect to see the same type of excitement as the DIRTcar Hornets have given us every week. If you missed it this week, here’s your 2nd chance to see some great racing! Click the link below:

Our DIRTcar KidModz are the future of our sport. These youngsters put the same amount of work and effort as the people in the higher classes that they look up to. Keatin Lyons is your 2023 Charleston Speedway DIRTcar KidModz Track Champion. Lyons also won the feature event, while Liam Gray won their Heat race. While some might not enjoy their performance on track, everyone must appreciate what their performance means to the future of the sport. We love the DIRTcar KidModz division and will do what we can to continue supporting the division in the future. If you want to see what you’re missing, here’s a link to watch their Feature race from 9.23.23:

Fast time qualifiers for 9.23.23
DIRTcar Modified: #96M Mike McKinney 14.412
DIRTcar Pro Modified: #121 Deece Schwartz 15.361
DIRTcar Street Stock: #K67JR Braiden Keller 15.585
DIRTcar Pro Late Model: #05 Gary Schalmo 14.183
NEW TRACK RECORD for DIRTcar Pro Late Model
DIRTcar Factory Stock: #22 Nathan Arterberry 17.113

Heat Race Winners from 9.23.23
DIRTcar Modified: #96M Mike McKinney & #121 Deece Schwartz & #21D Danny Schwartz
DIRTcar Pro Modified: #121 Deece Schwartz & #2 Brayden Doyle
DIRTcar Street Stock: #K67JR Braiden Keller & #99K Jerrad Krick
DIRTcar Pro Late Model: #09 Dane Arvin & #55 Anthony Tucker
DIRTcar Factory Stock: #66JR Steve Nolen & #X Randy Smyser
DIRTcar Hornet: #DA28 Jimmy Dutlinger & #38DD Dusten Galbreath
DIRTcar KidModz: #3X Keatin Lyons

Feature Winners from 9.23.23:
DIRTcar Modified: #96M Mike McKinney
DIRTcar Pro Modified: #121 Deece Schwartz
DIRTcar Street Stock: #K67JR Braiden Keller
DIRTcar Pro Late Model: #130 Chase Osterhoff
DIRTcar Factory Stock: #11S John Strawser
DIRTcar Hornet: #19 Dee Friar
DIRTcar KidModz: #3X Keatin Lyons

Be sure to check out, and purchase a few of the MANY photos that were taken at the Speedway right here:
ALL Photo credits to SRL Designs.

Feature video credits go to Zack Carter.

Time is running out to catch the excitement so; WE HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON…………..AT THE CHARLESTON SPEEDWAY!!!

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