UNION, Ky. — Devin Gilpin became just the third multi-race winner of the 2014 DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals on Tuesday night as he claimed the $1,000 checkered flag at Florence Speedway in dominating fashion.
Gilpin, who was last victorious on June 12 at Kankakee County Speedway, started the 25-lap feature event on the outside of row one with Kenny Wallace drawing the pole. Wallace failed to lead the first lap as Gilpin shot around him using the faster outside line.
As Gilpin pulled out to an early lead, Wallace’s car faded as mechanical problems plagued his car, eventually forcing him to retire on lap 10. With Wallace retiring early in the feature event, the door was opened for Josh Rice to challenge for the lead.
Rice proved to be the biggest challenge to Gilpin, as he used the highline to catch the leader and at one point even claiming the top spot before a caution put Gilpin back out front. With only five laps to go, Rice would also be plagued by mechanical issues, ending his bid for the win.
With Rice out of the race, Jeff Babcock, who started the race fifth and charged his way to front late in the race, assumed the second position. After the restart with four laps to go, Gilpin pulled away from Babcock, who dove into every corner trying to rattle the leader. Babcock fell just short of passing the leader, as Gilpin led flag-to-flag en route to capturing the well-deserved victory at Florence Speedway.
“I was starting to get tight as the run went on,” said Gilpin in victory lane. “Luckily the caution saved me, cause that Rice boy got by me. He’s just a natural talent – at 14 years old and wheeling a race car like he can. Give him two or three years and he will be dominating.”
Pete Holt, Tyler Nicely and David McWilliams rounded out the top five.
Heat race winners were Nicely, Gilpin and Wallace.
Devin Gilpin; Jeff Babcock; Pete Holt; Tyler Nicely; David McWilliams; Scotty Kincaid; Shawn Brown; Jimmy Lennex; Kevin Hess; Josh Rice; Billy Vaughan; Jason Hollon; Brandon Ramsey; Chris Kruetzkamp; Kenny Wallace; Larry Pickelheimer; Larry Moreland Jr; John Holt Jr; Trent Green; Kelly Craddock.