Weisser charges from 17th-to-second on the bottom
Nick Hoffman has had one incredible weekend at FALS.
Just days after getting the phone call to drive Dirt Late Model Hall-of-Famer Scott Bloomquist’s Drydene Team Zero Race Cars #0 in the 31st Prairie Dirt Classic, the three-time DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals champion went out and dominated the Modified competition Saturday night at Fairbury Speedway for his 19th tour victory of the season and second Modified PDC title of his career.
“It’s just really cool to win here,” Hoffman, of Mooresville, NC, said. “It really shows – this deal is 63 of the best guys in the country, as far as UMP Modifieds go, and to come out on top just shows how good our racecar is and how good of a season we’ve been having.”
Just as he did back in June, Hoffman sailed his Elite Chassis #2 around the quarter-mile high banks with ease, leading all 40 laps en route to the $5,000 payday and his 57th career Summit Modified triumph.
Hoffman set quick time in Qualifying on Friday night and won his Showdown Feature from the pole, setting him up for an outside-pole redraw result for Saturday’s Feature. He wasted zero time in getting out front at the drop of the green, muscling the lead away from polesitter Frank Marshall on Lap 1.
Hoffman was never seriously challenged for the lead until the closing stages, when a 17th-starting Allen Weisser made his presence known by zooming through the top-five on the very bottom of the racetrack.
With the laps winding down and Hoffman several car-lengths ahead, Weisser’s comeback was running out of time to mount a charge for the lead. But then, a real shakeup. A caution flew for a slow car on the front stretch.
Weisser lined up right behind Hoffman for the restart and gave it one last-ditch effort. Hoffman got the jump, but Weisser stayed within striking distance as he motored even harder around the bottom.
Hoffman knew Weisser was behind him, waiting to strike at the slightest mistake. So, he moved down a groove to protect the inside line and secure the victory.
“I think I might’ve had something for him, but he just got such a good restart on that last run that he pulled me a little bit and it took me a lap or two to get going again,” Weisser, of Peoria, IL, said. “If we could’ve got a better restart, I think we would’ve had something for him.”
“Allen was really good around the bottom, which he always is here, if there’s just a little bit of grip down there. So, I moved down a little bit and ran the bottom in Turns 1-2 and the [top-middle] in 3-4,” Hoffman said.
Further on back, Tyler Nicely was in the thick of a battle for the final podium spot between he, Mike McKinney, Bobby Stremme and Kyle Steffens.
Nicely had worked his way up to second, at one point, from seventh and looked to be competitive for the runner-up spot. However, he got hung out on the outside, a place he’s not often found racing, and drifted back a few positions.
“We tried a few things this weekend, and I don’t think I was a big fan of it,” Nicely said. “We’re all out here trying a bunch of stuff, trying to catch Nick.”
“At the end, I just had to get up on the wheel on the top and see what I could do. That usually isn’t my cup of tea, but sometimes you’ve got to do it.”
Nicely was able to get the third spot back before the checkers with a steady line on the middle-top groove, beating out Stremme and Steffens, who each rolled the bottom.
After putting in 40 laps worth of work in the Modified Feature, Hoffman strapped into the famed Drydene, Scott Bloomquist Racing, Team Zero Race Cars #0 for another grueling 100-laps around the high banks. He was victorious in Last Chance Showdown #2, punching his ticket into the big show and making him the only driver in the pit area to start both Features.
Despite his split-attention throughout the event, Hoffman made it very clear where his focus was this weekend.
“This was the opportunity of a lifetime to drive that #0 car, so the #2 car here was kind of on a stand-still,” Hoffman said. “Throughout the weekend, I probably spent 5-10 minutes on [the Modified]. I didn’t spend much time at all.”
The Summit Modifieds will now get their break period and come back for race #24 on the schedule next Friday night, Aug. 13, at Highland Speedway, followed by another reschedule date at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 the next night. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
Summit Racing Equipment Feature (40 Laps) 1. 2-Nick Hoffman; 2. 25W-Allen Weisser; 3. 25-Tyler Nicely; 4. 53S-Bobby Stremme; 5. 8-Kyle Steffens; 6. 96M-Mike McKinney; 7. 99-Hunt Gossum; 8. 7A-Justin Allgaier; 9. 8K-Levi Kissinger; 10. 3L-Jeff Leka; 11. 28M-Frank Marshall; 12. 1S-Brian Shaw; 13. 757-Bradley Jameson; 14. 5CS-Curt Spalding; 15. T6-Tommy Sheppard Jr; 16. 59R-Jacob Rexing; 17. 77-Ray Bollinger; 18. 4-Victor Lee; 19. 24H-Mike Harrison; 20. 242-Brandon Bollinger; 21. 1W-Bob Pohlman; 22. 37-Michael Ledford; 23. 22C-Nick Clubb; 24. 9H-John Demoss