Story By: JORDAN DELUCIA / DIRTCAR – CONCORD, NC – The seventh annual World Short Track Championship at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Oct. 27-29, is set to be one of the biggest yet.
With a record 10 divisions this year, more than 400 drivers from the across the country are expected to compete in the three-day event – more than half from North Carolina and South Carolina.
It’s a chance for short track stars to win on the biggest stage of their career and for some to compete against superstars of the sport like NASCAR Cup Series winner Justin Haley and World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Series winner Chris Madden.
The divisions competing in the event this year, include:
- FOX Factory Pro (604) Late Models
- Chevrolet Performance 602 Late Models
- Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modifieds
- Hoosier Racing Tire Pro Modifieds
- COMP Cams Monster Mini-Stocks
- DIRTVision Hornets
- VP Racing Fuels Sportsman Modifieds
- SRI Performance Thunder Bombers
- MSD Pro Stocks
- ARP Street Stocks
Here are the top storylines to follow this weekend:
NORTHEAST COMES SOUTH: A couple weeks after the Northeast’s biggest race, Super DIRT Week, the stars of the DIRTcar Sportsman and DIRTcar Pro Stock series will make their way south for a final shot at winning on a national stage this year.
Last year’s podium finishers in the DIRTcar Sportsman Series – David Rogers, Andrew Buff and Mike Fowler – are set to return and battle for the $4,000 top prize again. Rogers, of LaFargeville, NY, claimed his first World Short Track Championship win last year. And Fowler earned his first podium finish in the event, having finished 13th the two years prior.
The Pro Stock division will also see the return of its reigning champion, along with the return of several Canadian competitors. With the border between the United States and Canada, several drivers from Ontario and Quebec will make their return to North Carolina.
Last year’s Pro Stock winner Sheldon Martin, of Mooresville, NC, will try to claim the $3,000 top prize again. His victory in 2021 was his first ever win on dirt.
NASCAR POWER: NASCAR Cup Series winner and current full-time Cup driver for Kaulig Racing, Justin Haley, will make his World Short Track Championship debut this year. He will compete in the Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modified field, looking to claim the $4,000 top prize.
While this will be his first time racing at the 4/10-mile Dirt Track at Charlotte, Haley is no stranger to UMP Modified racing. He won a gator trophy during DIRTcar Nationals in 2019 at Volusia Speedway Park in his own DIRTcar UMP Modified.
Haley will pilot a brand-new Leaf Filter/Elite Chassis No. 99, built by three-time World Short Track Championship UMP Modified champion Nick Hoffman.
MADDEN IN A MOD: For the second time in two years, national dirt Late Model star Chris Madden will get behind the wheel of a UMP Modified and compete for the $4,000 grand prize.
The Grey Court, SC-racer will once again pilot Pennsylvanian Dan Davies’ Lethal Chassis No. 71 this weekend, following a head-turning debut in the event last year where Madden wheeled it to a runner-up finish to three-time national champion Nick Hoffman in the championship Feature and third in the All-Star Feature.
It will be Madden’s second-ever competitive start in the division; one week before he gets back in his Super Late Model and takes on the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series in the World of Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Nov. 2-5.
DOUBLE DUTY DRIVERS: Several pre-entered drivers are doubling-up and increasing their chances of taking home World Short Track Championship gold this year by entering in two divisions. More will likely follow suit as registration continues at the track this weekend.
Ryan Ayers (Newton, NC) – Ayers will pilot both a Summit Racing Equipment UMP Modified and a Hoosier Racing Tire Pro Modified in this year’s event, one year after his fifth-place finish with the UMP Modifieds in 2021.
Austin Holcombe (Elm City, NC) – The reigning Pro Modified World Short Track Champion returns to The Dirt Track this weekend, piloting both a Pro Modified and his more regularly raced UMP Modified. It’s been a career year for Holcombe, one in which he finished 15th in national DIRTcar points with 11 Feature wins in 46 starts.
Brian Carter (Concord, NC) – A World Short Track and Super DIRT Week regular for the past several seasons with his MSD Pro Stock, the World of Outlaws and DIRTcar Racing CEO has his new Chevy Performance 602 crate engine Late Model suited up and ready to go for this year’s event – his first time pulling double duty at the World Short Track Championship.
Steve Greene (Bostic, NC) – Green, a familiar face around the South Carolina/Georgia tracks of Cherokee Speedway, Harris Speedway and Lavonia Speedway, will pilot both an ARP Street Stock and an SRI Performance Thunder Bomber, going for his first event Feature win.
Preston Blalock (Clemmons, NC) – It’s an all-crate assault for Blalock this year, who takes on two divisions for the first time in this event (Pro Modified, 602 Late Model). He’s appeared in every Pro Modified championship Feature in event history, dating back to 2016, with a best finish of fourth in 2019.
NEW ADDITION: A new storm of V8 engine power is brewing over The Dirt Track at Charlotte this weekend as the SRI Performance Mid-East Racing Thunder Bomber division makes its event debut.
These Street Stock/Stock Car-type machines, commonly found racing around the weekly venues of the Southeast, offer a competitive roster of drivers that will be just as eager to get to Victory Lane as any other.
Leading the way with five Feature victories in local competition this year is former World Short Track Champion from Greenville, SC – Rod Tucker. Tucker proved his worth around the 4/10-mile of Charlotte in 2018, winning the COMP Cams Mini Stock Championship Feature for his first event title. He now has a shot to become the first driver in event history to win a Feature in multiple divisions but will have to defend against fellow heavy hitters Benji Knight (3 wins), Mark Towell (2 wins) and Hunter Funderburke (3 wins).
HORNET SWARM: Consistently one of the most entertaining classes of the World Short Track Championship, the Hornet division (also known as FWD/Sport Compacts) has currently has more than 50 entries – the highest car count of all divisions.
With the field split into multiple 15-lap Features throughout the week, multiple Hornet drivers will a chance to win the biggest race of their careers – one many of them call their Daytona 500.
Last year saw Dave Laney, Newman Presnell, Chase Hopper and Jonathan Sarratt pick up the victories.
2021 – David Rogers / Zach Payne (All-Star Race)
2019 – Jackon Gill / Kevin Ridley (All-Star Race)
2018 – Jackson Gill / Tyler Thompson (All-Star Race)
2017 – Dave Marcuccilli / Tyler Thompson (All-Star Race)
2016 – Ronnie Davis III / Danny Gagne (All-Star Race)
2021 – Sheldon Martin / Sean Corr (All-Star Race)
2019 – Luke Horning / Scott Towslee (All-Star Race)
2018 – Nick Stone / Rick Duzlak (All-Star Race)
Pro Late Models
2021 – Dillon Brown / Tyler Nicely (All-Star Race)
2020 – John Ruggerio Jr. / Wil Herrington (All-Star Race)
2019 – Michael Brown / Matt Long (All-Star Race)
2018 – Michael Brown / Timbo Mangum (All-Star Race)
2017 – Jonathan Davenport
2016 – Corey Gordon / Dylan Brown (All-Star Race)
602 Late Models
2021 – John Ruggiero
2020 – Bryan Mullis
2019 – Billy Rushton
2018 – Dale Timms
2021 – Nick Hoffman / Nick Hoffman (All-Star Race)
2020 – Kyle Strickler / David Stremme (All-Star Race)
2019 – Nick Hoffman / Kyle Strickler (All-Star Race)
2018 – Nick Hoffman / Nick Hoffman (All-Star Race)
2017 – Kyle Strickler / Taylor Cook (All-Star Race)
2016 – Kyle Strickler / Evan Taylor (All-Star Race)
2021 – Austin Holcombe
2020 – Jeff Parsons
2019 – Jeff Parsons
2018 – Jesse Rockett
2017 – Jeff Parsons
2016 – Slade Parson / Buck Stevens
2021 – Ricky Greene
2020 – Calob McLaughlin
2019 – Mitchell Duvall
2018 – Mitchell Duvall
2017 – Mitchell Duvall
2016 – Mitchell Duvall
2021 – Johnny Raines
2020 – Brayden Pruitt
2019 – Brayden Pruitt
2018 – Rod Tucker
2017 – Justin Mintz
2016 – Austin Mintz
2021 – Dave Laney / Newman Presnell / Chase Hopper / Newman Presnell / Jonathan Sarratt
2020 – John Windham / Walker Windham / Joey Kelly / John Windham / Joey Kelly / Chase Hopper
2019 – Paul Clayton / Eddie McGrew / Chase Webb / Joey Kelly / Payne Pickles
2018 – Jonathan Sarratt / Eddie McGrew / Robert Arch / Jonathan Sarratt
2017 – Eric Boozel / Chris Anderson / Andrew Smith / Adam Reseigh
2016 – Eric Boozel / Andrew Smith