RPW Column: Confidence Growing With Each DIRTcar Nationals Lap For Olden Dwyer; Rocky Warner Excited To Race For Jason Simmons

Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – BARBERSVILLE, FL – After Monday night’s practice session at Volusia Speedway Park, Vermont’s Olden Dwyer is optimistic for a good showing during his first career DIRTcar Nationals.

Dwyer, the Lebanon Valley Speedway standout who made his freshman campaign on the Super DIRTcar Series in 2021, was hopeful after the three different practice sessions on Monday. Each time he was on track, he gained speed.

“Practice went really well tonight,” Dwyer said. “Volusia is a very different race track for me. I struggled a bit wit my entry into the corners buy we weren’t bad at all.”

From the first time on track until the final set, Dwyer continued to gain experience. That’s all Monday night was about…experience.

“It was definitely fun being out there,” he said. “I really felt good by the third set. We picked up like three tenths from the second set and the entire team is real happy with where we are.”

Does the driver from Pownal, VT feel good about the opener on Tuesday evening?

“I sure hope so,” he said. “Time trials aren’t my strong point but I’m hoping we can lay down a good lap to start the night and by the end of the night, be in the show.”

Dwyer’s Bicknell, carrying primary sponsorship from his newest business venture, OD Auto Sales & Service, is again on the coil rear suspension that has become popular in the Dirt Modified world over the last few seasons. Was he hopeful for getting a handle on how the car drives?

“It actually wasn’t as bad as I anticipated,” he said. “I hope that it is better tomorrow (Tuesday), though. With more cars and more laps, in traffic it would be tough. However, the coils are great. I absolutely love them.”

 

Rocky Warner Is Enjoying His Time Racing For Jason Simmons

Over the last few seasons, Rocky Warner has dabbled into racing with good friend Jason Simmons.

The two have had success, but in 2021, really kicked it into high gear, racing weekly at Utica-Rome Speedway on Friday nights and chasing several big money events such as Super DIRT Week and the World Finals in Charlotte.

This year, to kick off the new season, the duo is tackling the DIRTcar Nationals and enjoyed some mixed results during practice on Monday night.

“Practice didn’t go the greatest for us,” Warner said. “We definitely have some work to do before we get going tomorrow (for Tuesday night’s opener).”

Heading into the week, Warner was excited to get back to racing, but also a little apprehensive heading into the five-race DIRTcar Nationals meet.

“I’m definitely excited but also kind of nervous,” he said with a laugh. “It’s hard to drive all of this way with no laps under your belt this year.”

However, even though it’s a long way to the Sunshine State to compete, there’s also no pressure other than to get the best finishes possible. No points for the season are on the line.

When the season really gets cranking up north, how much will fans see the 98JS on track?

“Both Jason and myself like to race so as much as we can,” he said. “Our main focus will be our weekly stuff, but we want to get to as many traveling shows as we can.”

This year, Warner will call Utica-Rome home again on Friday nights driving for Simmons while racing for Tadd Parks in a new operation on Saturday nights at Fonda. However, the Parks ride is just for the Track of Champions. Any other time he races, Warner will be in Simmons’ equipment.

It sure seems like Jason has a lot of confidence in Rocky. Does Rocky have fun racing with him?

“Yes sir,” he said. “We have become very good friends. We definitely gel well together.”

Does the JSR team have an agenda for the DIRTcar Nationals, or is this all about having a good time in Florida?

“We want to have fun, but our goal is to qualify for all of the events,” he said. “I think if we do that, the results will come.”

 

Drellos Quickest In Practice Monday

Queensbury, NY native Demetrios Drellos was quickest in practice on Monday night at Volusia. He led all drivers in overall lap time by six-hundredths of a second, touring around the half-mile at a time of 17.290.

Second was Canadian Steve Bernard with a time of 17.340. Jim Britt, Peter Britten and Darren Smith completed the top five overall fast times.

Opening night of the 2022 season for the Super DIRTcar Series is Tuesday with the first of five non-point features during the 51st DIRTcar Nationals.

 
 
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