10th Annual Fall Nationals Crowns National Champion; DIRTcar Hornet Track Record Destroyed; Gary Walker Repeats 2022--

10th Annual Fall Nationals Crowns National Champion; DIRTcar Hornet Track Record Destroyed; Gary Walker Repeats 2022--
10th Annual Fall Nationals Crowns National Champion; DIRTcar Hornet Track Record Destroyed; Gary Walker Repeats 2022--
10th Annual Fall Nationals Crowns National Champion; DIRTcar Hornet Track Record Destroyed; Gary Walker Repeats 2022--


The 10th Annual DIRTcar Fall Nationals for DIRTcar Street Stock is in the books, and WOW, What A Night It Was!
First and foremost, we want to send the biggest THANK-YOU to each and every partner, fan, driver, car owner, and race team that chose to be a part of the success of the 10th Annual DIRTcar Fall Nationals at The Charleston Speedway. Without YOU, none of this would even be possible, so THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support!

DIRTcar Street Stock saw 25 entries, each one looking to etch their name in the history books, while claiming their portion of the more than $10,000 that was up for grabs! Entering into the 10th Annual Fall Nationals, no driver has been able to win more than once, and at the drop of the final checkered flag, that tradition remains unchanged! Bobby Beiler in the #17 entered the event locked in an extremely tight points battle for the title of 2023 DIRTcar National Champion with the #99k of Jerrad Krick. Both competitors knew it would come down to the final checkered flag to determine who would be the 2023 National Champion, and who would be 2nd. The pressure to perform and the intensity of the moment was palpable. Time to get the show started, first thing to do is qualify. The 2022 DIRTcar National Champion, and the 2022 Fall Nationals winner, Zane Reitz would set the pace, and collected $100 from JSR Chassis and Bodies for setting a fast time of 15.031 seconds. The second fast qualifier was not really a surprise as the #99k of Jerrad Krick laid down a time of 15.284. Third quick, while it may have surprised some, those that have watched the efforts and growth of the #14D team were not surprised, as Dalton Mannin posted a time of 15.286 a mere 0.002 (2 THOUSANDTHS of a single SECOND) behind 2nd quick! Jerrad Krick's National Champion challenger, Bobby Beiler, failed to start his night strong with a qualifying time of 15.646, relegating him to 9th quick. Only one entry failed to make a qualifying effort, the #5D of Jordan Smith suffered an ignition failure on his first qualifying lap which relegated him to 0.000 qualifying time, certainly not what that team was looking for. With qualifying in the books, it was time for heat race action. Zane Reitz would continue to set the pace by winning heat 1 from P1, followed by Braiden Keller in 2nd and Jeff Hartzell in 3rd. Heat 2 would see Jerrad Krick proving he was ready to meet the challenge in front of him by winning over 2nd place Josh Griffith and 3rd place Brad Peters. Heat 3 would be won by two time Charleston Speedway Track Champion, Jesse Simmons, followed by Dalton Mannin in 2nd and Bobby Beiler in 3rd. With heat races in the books, the top 15 were locked into the Feature event; leaving the final 7 to come from the B-main and 2 provisional starters. Jordan Smith, after his dismal qualifying effort, started 9th in heat 1 and when the checkered flag fell, he found himself 1 spot out of a lock in position behind Nick Miller. That effort would give Jordan Smith the coveted P1 starting position where he would easily transfer onto the Feature event by winning with a 1.773 second lead over 2nd place Devin Hoskins, followed by 3rd place Dylon Holycross, 4th place Alex Troxtell and the final transfer spot went to the #XXX of Greg Osman. The top 20 were locked in through their heat or the B-main, leaving the 2 provisional positions of Bill Figgins and Brixton Downey. Now the 22-car field was set for the 40-lap feature. As the field paced behind the Jax Mobile Detailing Pace truck, they went 4-wide to salute the fans, while fireworks provided by Chris Roe were set off! It was electrifying, as well as exciting, as the atmosphere made the hair on your neck stand up as your senses knew you were in for a real treat! The green flag flew, and the race was on. Braiden Keller would set the pace early as he would lead laps 1-6; Jerrad Krick was there to challenge as he led lap 7, but Keller was not giving up and took the lead back on lap 8. Braiden Keller would lead the most laps of the event with 23, but gave up the lead on lap 27, never able to regain the top spot, eventually finishing the event in 12th. While the stats will show there were only 2 competitors that led laps, the racing from the front of the pack to the back of the pack was fierce and intense. Jordan Smith, after failing to qualify, failing to transfer through his heat race and finally winning the B-main to make his way into the feature, would find himself starting 16th, seemingly a world away from the top spot. However, when the green flag flew, Smith was determined to show he had a fast hot rod, on lap 1 he moved from 16th to 12th, as he continued his forward charge, by lap 10 he had moved from 16th to 4th and well within firing range of the top 3 contenders. Kyle Anderson, who started 11th, at one point fell back to 13th, made his way to the front as well, finding himself in 4th by the halfway mark as the fight for the lead intensified. Zane Reitz, after starting 3rd, and running in the top 3, was involved in an altercation on lap 16 that would send him to the tail where he would restart 15th. Zane Reitz, a Champion of the sport, would show the crowd the caliber of driver he is by driving back up through the field and finish a respectable 4th. Jordan Smith continued his efforts toward the front and found himself riding in the tire tracks of Jerrad Krick, who had taken the lead from Keller on lap 28. As Krick took the lead from Keller, Smith also took advantage of Keller being out of position and moved himself into 2nd. Although there would be a caution or two before the end of the event, the lap 28 exchange would eventually prove to be the deciding factor as Jerrad Krick, while his crew jumped up and down in the infield with extreme excitement, took his #99K across the finish line first making him the 10th different winner of the DIRTcar Fall Nationals! The 16th to 2nd effort of Jordan Smith was by far the hard charger winner as he gained 14 spots. Kyle Anderson would gain 8 spots and round out the podium with his 3rd place finish. Zane Reitz rallied back to finish 4th and Bobby Beiler would only be able to advance 4 spots from his 9th starting position to finish 5th. Beiler’s 5th place finish would fall short of what he needed to clinch the National Title so as Jerrad Krick and his team were celebrating the Fall National Victory, they were informed by DIRTcar officials that they were the 2023 DIRTcar Street Stock National Champion! The team, overwhelmed with joy, were hugging, crying, cheering, and celebrating all at the same time. Victory lane was one for the record books!

But the night was not over; let’s catch up on the Factory Stock division. This would be the 4th Annual DIRTcar Fall Nationals for Factory Stock. Previous winners were Wally Kerst in 2020 and 2021, while Gary Walker claimed victory in 2022. Wally Kerst was unable to make the event, so the only repeat winner possibility rested on the shoulders of Walker. Factory Stock qualifying would result in Trevor Bittering setting a fast time of 16.486 thus giving him the $100 bonus from JSR Chassis and Bodies, while Mike Reitz was 2nd with his time of 16.548 and 3rd was Nathan Arterberry with a time of 16.554. A major letdown to the event was realized when the current Charleston Speedway track champion, Randy Smyser, was unable to enter the event as his engine expired on Friday night during the open test & tune. On a bright note, Randy Smyser was our guest singer of the National Anthem and even though he was unable to compete, he did his part to contribute. If you were not able to see his performance in person, there is a LIVE video on our Facebook page. We applaud his willingness to contribute and encourage you to go check it out! Qualifying in the books, it was heat race time. 2022 Winner Gary Walker would start P4 in Heat one, but 8 laps later would lead the field across the line, winning heat 1 over 2nd place Jacob Kolwyck and 3rd place Trevor Bittering. Heat 2 was won by Landon Metcalf followed by John Strawser in 2nd and Mike Reitz in 3rd. The field was set and ready for their 30 laps of excitement. As they paced behind the JAX Mobile Detailing pace truck 4 wide to salute the fans, another fireworks display broke out, electrifying the fans and setting the stage. As the green flag fell, Gary Walker would will his way from his 3rd starting position to lead lap 1. Landon Metcalf who started P1 would bounce around the top 5, at one point being as far back as 4th, but he would stay up front and find his way back to 2nd at the halfway point on lap 15. Josh Bonewitz, who started 8th, worked his way up through the field and was as high as 2nd by lap 3, fell back to 3rd, but regained and held on to 2nd for laps 5-15. John Strawser started P2, fell back as far as 9th at one point, but was able to rally back to 4th on lap 25, made a lap 29 pass on 3rd place Josh Bonewitz and held on to finish 3rd. All of the competition, challenges, and action that took place behind him, Gary Walker was not distracted as he led lap 1, the 28 laps in the middle and the most important lap 30 to become only the second winner of the DIRTcar Fall Nationals for Factory Stock. Gary Walker parked his #98JR on the front stretch in victory lane. He climbed out and with a great deal of emotion, expressed his gratitude to his family, friends, fans and sponsors. Landon Metcalf would be forced to settle for 2nd, while John Strawser would finish 3rd, in front of 4th place Josh Bonewitz and 5th place Mike Reitz. Nathan Arterberry in his #22 would be the Hard Charger winner with his 13th to 6th effort. The 30-lap Factory Stock event was everything we hoped it might have been plus more, but the night was still early. As the trophies were awarded, victory lane pictures taken, it was time for the highly anticipated Inaugural DIRTcar Hornet Fall Nationals Feature Event.

The Inaugural DIRTcar Hornet Fall Nationals presented by Chris Roe and Gail Swango of JAX Mobile Detailing saw 27 entries. Qualifying is usually something the DIRTcar Hornet division does not get to participate in, but due to the magnitude of this event, qualifying was in order for all divisions, including Hornets. We were in for a treat and were not prepared for what was about to transpire. The 1st qualifier, Spencer Coats, broke the Charleston Speedway DIRTcar Hornet track record, with his time of 16.844. Coats would simply prove to be the first of MANY that night to break the track record! Coats would hold on to fast time until 13th qualifier, Cole Martz would post a time of 16.727, knocking Coats off the top of the chart and taking the track record at the same time. However, 4 qualifiers later, the 54C of Mason Lynch would post the time that would prove to be fast time of the event and become the current Track Record of The Charleston Speedway DIRTcar Hornet division! Mason Lynch’s time of 16.550 is 0.901 seconds faster than the previous record set by Dalton Shafer in Cole Martz #37 car on August 12, 2023. When it was all said and done, 16 competitors would post times better than the previous track record set by Shafer, making it a truly special and unique situation. We expect Mason Lynch’s track record will stand for quite some time. Heat race action would see Jimmy Dutlinger winning Heat 1, over 2nd place Danny White Jr. And 3rd place Devon Webb. Heat 2 would be won by Matt Mackey over 2nd place Dee Friar and 3rd place Bradley Stanfill. Heat 3 was won by Joshua Hawkins over 2nd place Spencer Coats and 3rd place James Trivitt. With 27 entries and only 21 starting positions, it was time for the B-main Feature. Airn McRill would start front row outside alongside Chris Grigg. McRill would get the jump on lap 1, leading it and the remaining 10 laps to pick up the win in the B-main Feature. Dawson Magos would start 3rd and get to 2nd on lap 1 where he would eventually finish. Clayton Stanfill, who started 9th would round out the podium with his 3rd place finish. The final 2 transfer positions would go to Craig Gibson in 4th and Chris Grigg in 5th. The top 20 were locked in, that left 1 provisional starting position that was awarded to Lynn Lash. 21 cars, 20 laps the distance, $500 on the line for 1st; it was go time! Something we have done this season for the special shows for Hornets has been starting them 3-wide. Some questioned it, some expressed concerns, others simply complained, but I am here to tell you; 3-wide DIRTcar Hornet starts are AWESOME! As the field paced 3-wide behind the JAX Mobile Detailing pace truck, the final 2 boxes of fireworks filled the skies and the stage was set. As the green flag dropped, NOONE could’ve predicted what happened next. 21 cars, 3-wide, 20 laps, over $2,300 on the line, NOONE thought the DIRTcar Hornets would go from green flag to checkered flag without a single incident. Amazing side-by-side racing, bumper to bumper, door to door, and not 1 single caution. It was truly special! The 20-lap Feature event would see 4 different leaders, with Joshua Hawkins leading the most laps at 9, until he suffered engine trouble while leading on lap 15. That would hand the lead over the Spencer Coats. Jimmy Dutlinger would find the front and lead 5 laps from lap 1 to lap 5 where Hawkins would take over and lead to lap 14, Coats looked poised to win, leading laps 15-17; until Matt Mackey took the lead on lap 18 and never looked back. The checkered flag was not the end of the Hornet Feature. Post-race tech revealed that Matt Mackey’s rear tires were not the same size, this is a violation of rule 6.12, letter D: “Wheels and tires must be of the same series. Size and offset on the LR as the RR.” So unfortunately, the win was taken from Matt Mackey and given to 2nd place finisher, Spencer Coats. Spencer Coats was officially declared the winner, in front of 2nd place Jimmy Dutlinger and 3rd place James Trivitt. The Hard Charger Award was a 3-way tie that was broken by the highest finishing driver, DIRTcar Pro Late Model driver, Kyle McMahon with his 14th starting position to 6th place finishing position effort tied with Airn McRill with his 16th to 8th place effort and with Clayton Stanfill with his 18th to 10th place effort.

The 3-way tie in the Hard Charger Award in DIRTcar Hornets, along with Jordan Smith’s 16th to 2nd in DIRTcar Street stock, is just a couple of examples of the hard work and determination that Brad Agney and his crew put into the track surface. The undesirable racing surface of 9/23/23 was a distant memory compared to the surface prepared for the DIRTcar Fall Nationals. Dirt can sometimes seem like it has a mind of its own, but Brad remains determined and vigilant to provide the absolute best surface he can for the competitors and fans of The Charleston Speedway.

The DIRTcar KidModz Fall Nationals would see 3 competitors, with the Charleston Speedway Track Champion, Keatin Lyons in the 3X setting fast time of 17.132. Unfortunately, the 2022 Charleston Speedway DIRTcar KidModz Track Champion, Brenden Heizer, left some internal engine components on the racing surface during his qualifying effort, that would park his #4 car for the remainder of the event. Keatin Lyons would take his #3X to victory lane in both the heat race, as well as the Feature. Finishing 2nd was the #3 of Brody Unzicker. If that last name rings a bell, it should, Brody is the son of Super Late Model driver, Ryan Unzicker, who was in the pits coaching his son all night long. Like many others, we expect the roles might be reversed sooner than dad Ryan may want! Keatin and Brody did a great job on the track, and even though his engine expired, Brenden was in the infield helping with race control, showing his Championship attitude! DIRTcar KidModz are a great addition to The Charleston Speedway, and we look forward to these young stars’ future!

If you missed the excitement of the 10th Annual DIRTcar Street Stock Fall Nationals, Thanks to Zack Carter, you can watch it here:

Watch Gary Walker go flag to flag in the 4th Annual DIRTcar Factory Stock Fall Nationals by clicking here:

If you missed the Inaugural DIRTcar Hornet Fall Nationals presented by Chris Roe and Gail Swango of JAX Mobile Detailing, be sure to click the link here and see what you missed:

We love the DIRTcar KidModz and if you missed their feature race, or just want to relive it, click here:

Fast time qualifiers for 9.30.23
DIRTcar Street Stock: #55 Zane Reitz 15.031
DIRTcar Factory Stock: #X225 Trevor Bittering 16.486
DIRTcar Hornet: #54C Mason Lynch 16.550
DIRTcar KidModz: #3X Keatin Lyons 17.132

Heat Race Winners from 9.30.23
DIRTcar Street Stock: #55 Zane Reitz & #99K Jerrad Krick & #42 Jesse Simmons
DIRTcar Factory Stock: #98JR Gary Walker & #9M Landon Metcalf
DIRTcar Hornet: #DA28 Jimmy Dutlinger & #01 Matt Mackey & #32H Joshua Hawkins
DIRTcar KidModz: #3X Keatin Lyons

Feature Winners from 9.30.23:
DIRTcar Street Stock: #99K Jerrad Krick
DIRTcar Factory Stock: #98JR Gary Walker
DIRTcar Hornet: #7C Spencer Coats
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.

There is ONLY ONE MORE CHANCE to catch the Excitement; this coming weekend, October 7th, 2023.

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