Tuesday March 27, 2018 (Volusia Speedway Park) - The local kid Dylan Houser of Ocala, FL held off a frenzied pack of series veterans tonight at Volusia for his first career win in the X.CELERATED Dirt Late Model Series presented by VLR.
Houser quickly jumped to the lead from his second place starting spot over Darren Litteral and went on to lead 44 of the races 50 laps for the win. It may sound like a dominating victory but it was anything but as defending VLR champion Howard Weaver was breathing down the back bumper of Houser all race long waiting for a mistake.
Weaver started 10th and quickly worked his way to battle Houser for the lead as the trio of Houser, Weaver, and Virgil Graham (Vinny Fingers) were all entrenched in a three way battle for the top spot that had fans on the edge of their seat.
After trading slidejobs for the lead, Houser finally made the pass on Weaver for good with 12 laps to go and held the Tennessee driver off by just less than a car length in an exhilarating finish to an action packed race. A late caution with two to go set up the intense battle to the end.
"I've lost races many times like that with those late restarts with two to go," said a relieved and excited Houser in the winners circle. "Weaver had a nose under me every time going into the corner and it was about to get real there. I've been doing this stuff solo myself for the last month so it's good to beat all these guys."
Brandon, FL driver, Austin Carr was another driver who showed that the local talent was as good as any by racing his way from 17th to 3rd after passing Virgil Graham late. Graham ended his solid run in 4th, while the series points leader Jacob Leverstein rebounded from an early penalty to finish 5th, after running as low as 22nd.
Last weeks feature winner John Fidler completed the Alphabet Soup by going from setting Fast Time in qualifying to getting wrecked in his heat race and then powering through the C Main, B Main, and then into the A Main. In the process, the Ohio driver earned the WRT Speedwerx Professional Motorsports Photography Hard Charger award for his efforts by advancing from dead-last (26th) to bring home a 9th place result after the dust settled.
Shane James was the unfortunate earner of the Dee Hindman's Wrecker Service Hard Luck award after coming from the back of the B Main to finish 2nd, and then marching up into the top ten in the A Main before hard contact with the turn one wall ended his night.
Jacob Leverstein and Virgil Graham both tied for the Team Friday Fast Lap Award on the night with blazing quick 16.144 lap times around the half-mile D shaped oval.
Next Tuesday the stars of the Team VLR Late Model Series head to the short track and high banks of the Lanier Speedway for 60 laps of side by side racing action!
Race Winner: Dylan Houser (started 2nd)
Hard Charger: John Fidler (started 26th; finished 9th)
Fast Lap Award: Jacob Leverstein & Virgil Graham (16.144)
Fast Qualifier Award: John Fidler (16.379)