Devin Moran in victory lane Friday night at Volusia Speedway Park. (Photo by Jesse Norgaard)
BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Devin Moran made history Friday night at Volusia Speedway Park.
Dresden, Ohio, became the first driver to win two Sunshine Nationals with the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Series, sweeping the first two nights of the season-opening event.
“I said we couldn’t get off from here until last night, but the ship hasn’t sunk yet,” said Moran. “My guys work their butts off, they work hard, they do everything they can to get me a good race car.”
“The Mailman” started third with 25 laps to go as Ricky Thornton Jr. and Nick Hoffman traded the lead ahead of him.
However, a caution on lap eight to Mark Wittner gave Moran a chance to fight for the lead.
Moran resumed his run on the outside lane, ahead of Thornton down the front stretch and then closed in on Hoffman.
Using a similar move that earned him the win over Tim McCready on Thursday night, Moran landed under Huffman in turn four, slid his wing across the Mooresville, NC driver’s nose and used that momentum to lead the lap eight inches.
Those inches were all he needed, as a caution from Jimmy Owens slowed the field for a second on lap nine, giving Moran a lead he wouldn’t relinquish.
Moran said the caution was crucial to his 11th career series win—an $8,000 win.
“I didn’t really know if we had completed a course,” Moran said. “I was praying that we would do that. I saw [scoreboard] It says 99, then 9, so we kind of assumed we did. I knew [Hoffman] We wouldn’t make a mistake twice on a reboot, so I’m glad we took advantage of it when we did.”
McCready crossed the line behind Moran, to take second place from his seventh pole position.
“I thought being outside during the restart was the way to go,” McCready said. “Getting out of [turn four] (Kyle) shoved Strickler and locked him in, and he stopped me and (Chris) Madden pulled back right next to me. We all went into the first turn, we all kind of made mistakes, and (Max Blair) we all got it, and I got a little dry.
“Then the yellow came out, and it’s just kind of a race deal. But that whole row back for the next start one lap later, it took me a while to get to the guys. I thought maybe I could take a restart.”
Thornton clinched his last podium and his second top five of the weekend.
“You never want to start first and run third,” said Thornton. “Overall we had a really good night, we won it [Heat Race]and well qualified. I was good at [Feature]. I was just too tight to run outside like I needed to.”
Hoffman, a rookie in the race, finished fourth—his career best in the World of Outlaws.
Despite being down a few points, he said he feels closer to his first win in the series.
“I’m one or two adjustments away from now from a fourth-place car to a winning car,” Hoffman said. “I’m just building a notebook, and it feels like we’re really close. I was able to build up kind of momentum while I was in the lead. Then that pillow reached so far I was getting too narrow to reach, and I was really afraid I was going to end up blowing into it.
“I was a little conservative, but maybe I should have started doing that sliding line alternating first and second a little earlier, and maybe that would have helped.”
Chris Madden rounded out the top five—his third consecutive fifth-place finish at Volusia Speedway Park.
The advantage (25 laps): 1.99 Devin Moran; 2. 39 – Tim McCready; 3. 20 RT Ricky Thornton Jr; 4. 9-Nick Hoffman; 5. 44- Chris Madden; 6.8 – Brian Shirley; 7. B5- Brandon Sheppard; 8. 40B- Kyle Bronson; 9. 19R- Ryan Justin; 10. 8S- Kyle Strickler; 11. 28- Dennis Earp, Jr; 12. 16- Tyler Bruning; 13. 111 – Max Blair; 14. 11- Jordy Gundacker; 15. 1st- Johnny Scott; 16. 96V- Tanner English; 17. 32 Bobby Pierce; 18. 18- Chase Jonghans; 19. 25 Shane Clanton; 20. 22* – Payton Freeman; 21. 97 – Kidd Dillard; 22. 99B- Boom Briggs; 23. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr; 24. B1 – Brent Larson; 25. 18D Daulton Wilson; 26. 20- Jimmy Owens; 27. 5- Mark Moubayed; 28. 10. Garrett Smith Fixed Fox Factory Charger: Ryan Justin [+11]