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North Carolina’s Stephen Pedulla Opens World Short Track Championship with Pro Late Model Championship Feature Win
CONCORD, NC – Oct. 27, 2022 – Stephen Pedulla will never forget The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
After a year of frustration, the Kannapolis, NC driver finally had everything go his way, leading all 20 laps to win the Fox Factory Pro Late Model Championship Feature Thursday night at the seventh annual World Short Track Championship.
Pedulla grabbed the lead from the pole position while trying to pull away from challengers Ricky Greene and Jeremy Steele.
Greene hounded Pedulla for the first 14 laps until a yellow flag flew on Lap 15 for Timmie Harrelson, who slowed in Turns 3 and 4.
From there, Pedulla held off a final stand from Steele on the restart to earn the 20-lap triumph—the first Late Model win of his career.
“Man, I’ll tell you what, we’ve struggled so much this year, and to get it up here, I can’t say enough,” Pedulla said. “I’m thankful to my parents. Fox shocks, they support me, DEI, they support me, everyone that supports me. I can’t say enough.
“To get this up here is just phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal. The best of the best are up here. We were junk the other day, and we threw the kitchen sink at it, and here we stand.”
Despite leading the entire race, Pedulla knew a challenge was coming on the restart. However, he scouted his opponents well and stated he knew what to do to keep the field behind him.
“Jeremy Steele’s been tough all year,” Pedulla said. “I saw Jeremy go to the high side, and Jeremy is usually really good on the high side. So, I knew I had to go up high since we got a Dover, Delaware, start. I knew I had to get up high and block his start because I was scared he was going to get around me on the top side.
“But they told me he wasn’t as good as I was anyway, so I knew if I beat Jeremy, I had it won.”
Steele settled for second, while Greene finished third. Cody Cubbage crossed the line fourth, and Dillon Brown rounded out the top five.
UP NEXT: The Fox Factory Pro Late Models return to action on Friday, Oct. 28, for day two of the World Short Track Championship at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
RESULTS: Championship Feature- 20 Laps- 1. 31G-Stephen Pedulla; 2. 22-Jeremy Steele; 3. 18-Ricky Greene; 4. 12C-Cody Cubbage; 5. 6-Dillon Brown; 6. 114-Jordan Koehler; 7. 55H-Benji Hicks; 8. 00-Kendal Tucker; 9. G4-Trent Ivey; 10. 615-Colton Trouille; 11. 27H-Justin Hudspeth; 12. 66-Jody Knowles; 13. 74-Mike Franklin; 14. 5Q-Colby Quick; 15. 08-Layton Sullivan; 16. 20G-Chub Gunter; 17. 29-Dale Moore; 18. 89-Timmie Harrelson; 19. 55-Matt Long; 20. 215-Jamison McBride
David Rogers clinches Sportsman win on opening night of World Short Track Championship
Rogers picked up where he left off at the World Short Track Championship last year, winning another VP Racing Fuels DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Feature
David Rogers kicked off the seventh annual World Short Track Championship with another VP Racing Fuels DIRTcar Sportsman Modified victory Thursday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
The southern trip for the New York native still saw him face off against several of his DIRTcar Northeast Series regulars, such as Andrew Buff and Mike Fowler, for the victory.
Rogers started eighth on the grid but quickly made his way through the field, finding his way to fourth in the opening lap.
Andrew Buff held the lead until Rogers passed him on Lap 9. He battled to stay within striking distance of Rogers, but it was the LaFargeville, NY native’s night to shine, steadily pulling away from the pack.
“The car was good,” Rogers said. “We were a little bit tight. Every restart and on the initial start it felt tight, but once I got some heat in the tires I was really good. The car freed up and I could turn. Man, this thing was incredible.”
Rogers is no stranger to the event, winning the second Sportsman Modified Feature last year.
“I won the big one last year,” Rogers said. “So, to come back and do this, it’s incredible. We just gotta take the next one.”
Waterloo, NY driver Kevin Ridley wanted a piece of the action as well, steadily charging forward from a 10th place starting position. With a consistent pace, he made his way to fifth by the halfway point of the race and eventually worked his by by Ayden Cipriano on Lap 18 to secure a podium finish.
Cipriano finished fourth and Dylan Madsen finished fifth.
UP NEXT: The DIRTcar Northeast Sportsman Modifieds will return Friday night for eight-lap Heat Races and 10-lap Last Chance Showdowns before Saturday’s 30-lap Feature.
RESULTS: Championship Feature – 20 laps
1. 44-David Rogers; 2. 92-Andrew Buff; 3. 20X-Kevin Ridley; 4. 5C-Ayden Cipriano; 5. 89-Dylan Madsen; 6. 01-Zachary Buff; 7. 26-Derrick McGrew; 8. 410-Mike Fowler; 9. 78-Michael Wright; 10. 52-Jessica Power; 11. 99-Jordan Millard; 12. 18-Blayden Arquette; 13. 7X-Chuck Miller; 14. 1R-Ricky Thompson; 15. 49-Chris Jakubiak; 16. 29-Tanner Forbes; 17. 44C-Dave Conant; 18. 73G-Gordon Hermanson Jr; 19. 23-Cole Perry; 20. 23C-Tommy D’Angelo; 21. 47-Walter Cook
CALIFORNIA KID: Dotson Wins UMP Modified All-Star Invitational at Charlotte
Thirty-five division entrants checked-in for seventh annual World Short Track Championship
In a stacked field of 35 Summit Racing Equipment DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, Ethan Dotson was first to strike on the weekend, dominating the All-Star Invitational Feature Thursday night and claiming the division’s first race win of the seventh annual World Short Track Championship.
Dotson, the 23-year-old UMP Modified breakout star from Bakersfield, CA, led all 20 trips around The Dirt Track at Charlotte, picking up a $600 preliminary event check and his first career victory at the famed 4/10-mile oval.
“It’s probably the best we’ve been so far,” Dotson said. “We could move anywhere, and it just was really, really good.”
Dotson was introduced to The Dirt Track one year ago in his World Short Track debut, piloting a second Longhorn Chassis entry for team owner/driver Steve Arpin. He turned some heads that weekend, consistently running up front and finishing sixth in the Championship Feature.
He’s back for more again this year with an even bigger bat to swing as the hand-picked driver for Longhorn’s UMP Modified house car program. So far, he’s rarely been flat, scoring multiple high-profile wins at various tracks since the start of the season. Now, he’s focused his attention on The Dirt Track, and has already shown his prowess with the nearly uncontested victory to kick off the weekend.
“I got to come here last year, and I really like this place,” Dotson said. “The track kinda fits my driving style. It’s a lot of fun.
“I’m loving the UMP stuff. The big motor and the better tires – it’s just a lot of fun to be able to do that. I come from Crate racing, so it’s really cool to be able to do this stuff.”
After timing fastest in his Qualifying group, Dotson redrew second-best of all 21 Feature starters, setting him outside the front row for the drop of the green. He jumped out to the lead immediately and hit the jets, blasting around the high side and stretching his lead out to over four seconds at one point before cruising to the checkers.
Dotson gave kudos to top Longhorn engineer Kevin Rumley for his assistance in the team’s recent testing sessions at the track. He said the team’s urge to win the division Championship Feature on Saturday is huge with the company’s headquarters being only a short drive away from The Dirt Track in China Grove, NC.
“We got to spend a lot of time with Kevin Rumley this week; he really helped us out,” Dotson said. “We played with stuff, and he spent a whole day going through this thing and really helped us get a lot of speed.”
He and the Longhorn team will face the deep field of competitors again in Friday’s Heat Races and Saturday’s lower mains and Championship Feature as they shoot for the $4,000 grand prize and their fourth title in event history.
Don’t miss a moment of the action as the seventh annual World Short Track Championship continues Friday and Saturday at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Buy a ticket at the gate, or stream every lap from all 10 divisions live on DIRTVision.
RESULTS: All-Star Feature 20 Laps – 1. 00-Ethan Dotson; 2. 7-Evan Taylor; 3. 8-Austin Holcombe; 4. 8S-Kyle Strickler; 5. 5-Jonathan Taylor; 6. 99W-Chris Arnold; 7. -Kenny Shaw; 8. 21S-Kenny Shaw; 9. 25-Jason Altiers; 10. 77-George Dixon; 11. 79D-John DeMoss; 12. 21-Taylor Cook; 13. 52-Colin Green; 14. 95J-Justin Cullum; 15. 71D-Chris Madden; 16. 35-David Stremme; 17. 55-Alyssa Rowe; 18. 96M-Mike McKinney; 19. 99H-Justin Haley; 20. 6-Ryan Ayers; 21. 72-Todd Neiheiser; 22. T2-Greg Hauger
Pete Stefanski wins first World Short Track Championship Pro Stock Feature
Wheatfield, NY’s Pete Stefanski won Thursday’s MSD DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Feature at The Dirt Track at Charlotte
When Pete Stefanski took the green flag in Thursday night’s World Short Track Championship MSD DIRTcar Pro Stock Feature, it commenced only his fifth race in 2022 with his new car.
However, in the opening stage of the 20-lap race, it looked as though he had a full season with it under his belt. Stefanski went from fifth to third in the opening lap. Third to second by Lap 4, and then took the lead on Lap 9.
From there, he ran away with the victory – his first at the World Short Track Championship in his fifth Feature start.
While he was confident in his car, he didn’t expect to move forward at that rate.
“I thought if I was patient enough, we would be able to get there and run with those guys,” Stefanski said. “I kept getting my nose underneath [Shawn Perez Sr.] there and I didn’t think I was going to clear him and he just kind of bobbled the corner and I said, ‘I just have to drive it in all the way and do a little bit of a slide job on him.’ And it worked through (Turns) three and four.”
Shawn Perez Sr. started on the pole for the Feature, after the entire field drew for their starting positions. From there, he jumped ahead of the field on the initial start, leaving a three-way battle for second behind him.
Johnny Rivers Jr. found himself under attack from Stefanski and Denis Gauvreau in the opening laps and eventually lost the battle to both drivers by Lap 7, falling to fourth – and eventually fading further until he landed in eighth at the end of the race.
Once Stefanski and Gauvreau found their way into the top-three, it became a three-way battle for the lead. Running low, Stefanski worked his way under Perez, creating a side-by-side race for the lead, which allowed Gauvreau join the duel.
When Perez bobbled through Turns 3 and 4, Stefanski had a clean run around the bottom and launched to the lead down the front stretch. Gauvreau also worked his way by Perez for second.
“It was nice to be three-wide, no contact, because the track is just great top to bottom,” Stefanski said. “That’s what made the racing so good.”
The race looked to be in Stefanski’s control until a caution on Lap 14 for a car stopped in Turn 2. When the race resumed, Gauvreau kept the pressure on the New Yorker, staying close enough for Stefanski to hear he was within striking distance.
However, that wasn’t enough to rattle the four-time DIRTcar Pro Stock champion. Stefanski maintained a car-length lead and capped off the opening night of the seventh annual World Short Track Championship with his first event win – which now locks him into Saturday’s main show.
“It’s huge for me,” Stefanski said. “I’ve only been in the car five times this year with the new setup and coils and everything. So, to be as close as we’ve been in the four races we’ve been in and to come here and win against the guys that we ran against here, I’m pretty proud of myself.”
Gauvreau settled for second and along with Stefanski’s impressive drive, Marc Lalonde had the best climb of the race, charging from 20th to finish third.
UP NEXT: The MSD DIRTcar Pro Stocks will run their Heat Races and Last Chance Showdowns Friday (Oct. 28) at The Dirt Track at Charlotte for the second night of the seventh annual World Short Track Championship before Saturday’s main event.
RESULTS: Championship Feature – 20 laps
1. 2-Pete Stefanski; 2. 72G-Denis Gauvreau; 3. 8-Marc Lalonde; 4. 09-Shawn Perez Sr; 5. 00X-Josh Coonradt; 6. 11-Stéphane Larivière; 7. 8C-Sean Corr; 8. 14J-Johnny Rivers Jr; 9. 32-Jonathan Levesque; 10. 35-Jonathan Lemay; 11. 33-Bruno Cyr; 12. 17-Nick Hilt; 13. 92-Sheldon Martin; 14. 9S-Luke Horning; 15. 6-Stephane Lebrun; 16. 09J-Shawn Perez Jr; 17. 4M-Jordan Modiano; 18. 9-Eric Jean Louis; 19. 38JR-Justin Chaput; 20. 6C-Brian Carter; 21. 63-Ryan Crellin; 22. 58-Roxanne Roy