Race Weekend Central

Daytona to Dirt: Justin Haley Flies 3,000 Miles to Win $600 Mod Race at Volusia

Say hello to our newest feature for 2023, which will keep tabs on NASCAR’s past and present regulars and their dirt racing exploits.

Justin Allgaier

The Xfinity Series regular will spend the week at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. contesting the UMP modified division.

Monday night (Feb. 6), Allgaier started the second feature of the evening on the pole. Though he lost the lead from the drop of the green to eventual race winner Kyle Strickler, Allgaier finished second in the feature, coming within inches of taking the race lead inside of five laps to go when Strickler had multiple issues with lapped traffic.

Steve Arpin

The former ARCA Racing Series regular contested the second modified feature at Volusia Speedway Park on Monday, starting and finishing towards the back of the top 10 without incident. 

Christopher Bell

The Cup Series regular did not contest any races over the past week, but boy was he in the news. First, Bell made real waves with an appearance on World of Outlaws regular David Gravel’s Youtube show, referencing an apparent hatred that his Cup owner Joe Gibbs has towards dirt racing. The exchange went viral almost immediately.

Bell has since dialed back the comments that he made amid a groundswell of social media clamoring for Bell to seek another Cup ride to allow him to resume his dirt racing exploits.

This one is tricky. On the one hand, Bell is a dirt racer by trade, and the paradigm shift at Hendrick Motorsports to allow its drivers to race where they want, when they want while not in their Cup cars has paid obvious dividends for Kyle Larson and, to a certain extent, Alex Bowman.

But, Bell’s exploits are different. Unlike Larson and Bowman, Bell spends more time running in wingless car classes, which by their very nature are more prone to causing driver injury; when wingless cars flip, they land directly on the rollcage surrounding the driver as opposed to having a wing absorb much of the impact. And given the history Joe Gibbs Racing has endured with its Cup drivers being hurt (not to mention Toyota corporate teammate Kurt Busch last year), risk mitigation isn’t an unfounded idea.

A Silly Season nugget to keep in the back of everyone’s mind.

Alex Bowman

The Cup Series regular didn’t contest a race this week, though he made quite the trip Monday to be present for World of Outlaws open practice at Volusia on Monday night.

Matt Crafton

The Truck Series regular had his strongest modified showing of 2023 by a country mile at Volusia Monday night, finishing second in the third feature after running in the top five all race long. 

Justin Haley

Joining Bowman in making the cross-country trek back to Florida, the Cup Series regular made the most of long-distance travel with a comfortable win in the fourth modified feature at Volusia Monday night. Haley started from the pole and lost the lead early, but retook it by lap 6 of the feature and was never again challenged. Haley pocketed $600 for the win.

Travis Pastrana

The Daytona 500 entrant had a rough opening night of modified competition at Volusia Monday night, spinning around on lap 12 of his 20-lap feature and taking a hard hit from Kenny Shaw in turn 4. Pastrana failed to finish the feature.

Ken Schrader

The former Cup Series regular has been in strong form since returning from Arizona, scoring three consecutive top-finishes in modified competition this week. Schrader finished second in the A-main at Screven Motor Speedway’s Winter Freeze in Sylvania, Ga. on Friday night, then scored a top-five finish in the second modified feature at Volusia on Monday night.

The missing piece? Saturday night, Schrader returned to victory lane with a $2,000 win at Screven. The race was vintage Schrader, with the wily veteran finding out an entry/exit line through turn 4 that none of his competitors could neutralize in trying to overtake him for the win.

David Stremme

The former Cup Series regular (who now owns Lethal Chassis) led all 20 laps of the sixth and final modified feature at Volusia on Monday, winning from the pole. 

About the author

Richmond, Virginia native. Wake Forest University class of 2008. Affiliated with Frontstretch since 2008, as of today the site's first dirt racing commentator. Emphasis on commentary. Big race fan, bigger First Amendment advocate.

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