Big Gator Belongs To Spencer Hughes

Nick Hoffman wins another title

Spencer Hughes in victory lane. (Jim Denhamer Photo)
Spencer Hughes in victory lane. (Jim Denhamer Photo)

BARBERVILLE, Fla. — The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds concluded their week-long battle at the 49th DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford with the $5,000-to-win Big Gator Championship, before crowning the DIRTcar Nationals champion.

A thrilling last-lap pass for the win by Spencer Hughes, scored the 19-year-old his first Big Gator, while Nick Hoffman took home his fifth straight DIRTcar Nationals championship.

In his No. 11 B&K Racing / Lethal Chassis machine, Hughes traded the lead with Jason Hughes over the final three laps before making the winning final-lap pass around the outside lane to take home the biggest win of his career and first victory in the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia.

“I thought that last caution might’ve messed me up. I felt like I had a really good run on him (J. Hughes), and I guess we had just enough. I got by him in lapped traffic and darn near knocked the fence down,” Spencer Hughes said.

“I knew we were fast, but I didn’t think we’d have enough time to get him on that last restart. He got a little better start than we did, but we were able to get up beside him. I might’ve pinched down a little bit, but I’m pretty sure he would’ve done the same to me,” Hughes continued. “We came here a year ago and we’ve always wanted a Gator ever since. Now we’re going to strap it to the hood of the Peterbilt on the way home.”

Nick Hoffman (Jim DenHamer photo)
Nick Hoffman (Jim DenHamer photo)

Finishing fifth, Nick Hoffman added an unprecedented fifth DIRTcar Nationals Championship to his already staggering resume.

“We had a really good week,” Hoffman said. “I think I jinxed myself today as we hadn’t used our spare nose all week, and then we whipped it out on the last lap of the whole week. It was very eventful tonight though. Definitely not the way we wanted it to go. Starting 10th, I probably had the best car to win the race but wasn’t able to show it. Then we bit the front end early running into Kyle (Strickler), and then it wasn’t steering like I needed it to, so we just tried to stay out of trouble.”

Spencer Hughes claimed the $5,000 payday ahead of Jason Hughes, with Michael Altobelli, Ryan Cripe and Hoffman filling the top five.

The finish:

Feature (30 Laps) – 1. 11H-Spencer Hughes [2][$5,000]; 2. 12H-Jason Hughes [1][$2,000]; 3. 95-Michael Altobelli [14][$1,250]; 4. 23-Ryan Cripe [8][$1,000]; 5. 2-Nick Hoffman [10][$800]; 6. 18L-Michael Long [17][$700]; 7. 35-David Stremme [5][$600]; 8. 96M-Mike McKinney [12][$575]; 9. 7JA-Justin Allgaier [3][$550]; 10. K19-Will Krup [25][$525]; 11. 77-Ray Bollinger [16][$500]; 12. 36-Kenny Wallace [13][$500]; 13. 5-Curt Spalding [21][$500]; 14. 3L-Jeff Leka [6][$500]; 15. 75-Terry Phillips [22][$450]; 16. OOD-David Reutimann [23][$425]; 17. 7-Drake Troutman [18][$400]; 18. 7CT-Christian Thomas [20][$375]; 19. 99M-Mike Mullen [28][$350]; 20. 99-Hunt Gossum [11][$300]; 21. 67-Garret Stewart [19][$300]; 22. 7A-Shane Sabraski [26][$300]; 23. 52-Colin Green [24][$300]; 24. 90-Jason Beaulieu [29][$300]; 25. 88-Matt Crafton [30][$300]; 26. 12L-Lucas Lee [15][$300]; 27. 22-Dale Kelley [31][$300]; 28. 8KS-Kyle Strickler [9][$300]; 29. 25-Tyler Nicely [4][]; 30. 45J-Johnny Broking [27][]; 31. 49-Brian Ruhlman [7][-]; 32. 65-Todd Sherman [32][-]; KSE Hard Charger Award: K19-Will Krup[+15]