OCALA, Fla. — Nick Hoffman drove the Hatcher’s Auto Sales Rocket into the record books Friday night with his first Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series victory in the 40-lap Winter Shootout race at Bubba Raceway Park.
It was the final tune-up for the $10,000-to-win 15th Annual Chevrolet Performance World Championship Race on Saturday night.
Hoffman had a spirited battle with Devin Dixon early in the race, and held off Jake Knowles during the second half of the race. The Bubba Raceway Park clay surface gave the competitors multiple grooves and provided the fans with plenty of two and three-wide racing.
“We were really tight in the A-Main hot laps, and we really didn’t make many changes,” Hoffman said. “The track just came to me, and this kind of track just fits my driving style. They say my right-rear tire is still in pretty good shape. I was trying to baby it those first 15 to 20 laps and make sure I had some left at the end.”
Knowles finished second in the Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Longhorn, and made a bold move on a lap-seven restart to come from eighth to third riding the high side of the race track.
Dixon led five laps of the race and ended up third in the CURS Rocket, while Thursday night’s winner Kyle Bronson took the fourth spot in the Brandon Ford Rocket. Bronson is the defending and two-time Chevrolet Performance World Championship Race winner and will be going for his unprecedented third straight win on Saturday night.
Tyler Clem finished fifth in the M&W Transport Rocket.
Nick Hoffman, Jake Knowles, Devin Dixon, Kyle Bronson, Tyler Clem, Jeff Mathews, Drew Kennedy, Clay Harris, Derrick Shaw, Wil Herrington, Logan Roberson, Todd Cooney, Ben Bowie, Ivedent Lloyd Jr., Jimmy Elliott, Todd Hurst, Trevor Taylor, Chuck Bowie, Ashton Winger, Megan Rae, Corey Almond, Jody Knowles, Scott Gray, Walker Arthur.