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King Krup: Illinois Native Earns First Career Gator

Will Krup

Story by World Racing Group – BARBERVILLE, FL – February 20, 2017 – Will Krup was the man of the hour as he found a way to Victory Lane despite the strong field of UMP Modified contenders who were hungry for sweet victory during the second Gator Championship qualifying race during the 46th DIRTcar Nationals Sunday night. During the 20-lap feature, the top-five positions were juggled between Krup, polesitter Derek Fisher, Jacob Hawkins, Brian Ruhlman, Jeff Leka and Kenny Wallace.

Krup raced from third to take the lead late in the race and earn his first win of the 2017 DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park. The victory was the second of the day for the Elite Chassis team after Krup’s teammate, Nick Hoffman, won the first qualifying race of the day.

“I’ve got this car going really good,” said Krup “Nick [Hoffman] he’s got his car going and he’s going to be a tough competitor to go against. We’ll have to see what happens [tomorrow].”

Wallace battled fought his way from the ninth starting spot to finish third. He was outdone as the hard charger of the evening as Todd Neiheiser passed 19 cars on route from 26th to seventh.

“I’m really happy,” said Wallace. “We started ninth. The bottom was slimy and I think I was the first one to find the middle.”

“The thing about dirt racing is you can’t ever slow up because you know people are coming behind you. You’re just looking to fill every hole. You just have to keep digging. I’m happy with a third.”

Hawkins, of Fairmont, WV, earned the runner-up spot after starting fourth. It added to his strong week, that includes a win on Tuesday night.

“The car was good,” Hawkins said. “The 98 [of Fisher] and the 9 [of Krup] were battling hard middle to bottom, so I figured [the top] was my only shot to make my own lane. We fought hard. Congratulations to Will Krup, he deserves it.”

Prior to Krup’s A-Main triumph, Ruhlman set quick time in group time trials with a lap of 18.121 seconds, the fastest qualifying time of the week.

Krup, Hawkins, Fisher of Olympia, Ky, and Jeff Leka of Buffalo, Ill., earned heat race victories. All drivers qualified for the main event.

The top ten finishers of the feature will be in the running for the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds event at Volusia Speedway Park on Monday for their biggest race of the week, the 30-lap and $5,000-to-win Gator Championship along with a 30-lap main event for the DIRTcar Late Models.

46th Annual DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park
DIRTcar UMP Modified Notebook – February 19, 2017

A-Main – (20 Laps) (Top 10 will head to Gator Championship)– 1. K9- Will Krup, [3]; 2. 13- Jacob Hawkins, [4]; 3. 36- Kenny Wallace, [9]; 4. 49- Brian Ruhlman, [5]; 5. 98F- Derek Fisher, [1]; 6. 9-Ken Schrader, [8]; 7. 72- Todd Neiheiser, [26]; 8. 28BX- Robert Garnes, [12]; 9. 3L- Jeff Leka, [2]; 10. 10Y- Trent Young, [11]; 11. 8A- Austin Holcombe, [19]; 12. 64JR- Billy Workman Jr., [14]; 13. 65- Josh Rice, [29]. 14. 4- Mike Learman, [16]; 15. 17T- Tyler Evans, [21]; 16. 71T- Brent Thompson, [10]. 17. 1- Blake Spalding, [13]; 18. 07- Jeff Thomas, [17]; 19. 11N- Gene Nicholas, [25]; 20. 69- A.J. Fike, [27]; 21. 01- Jared Spalding, [20]; 22. 15- Hunter Gustafson, [18]; 23. 67- Garrett Stewart, [15]. 24. 9G- Ernie Gingerich, [28]; 25. 71M- Shayne Meadows, [22]. 26. 12K- Scotty Kincaid, [6]; 27. 00- Will Norris, [23]; 28. 71- Jessie Hoskins, [24]; 29. 7- Justin Allgaier, [7]

Qualifying Group 1 – 1. 49-Brian Ruhlman, 18.121; 2. 36-Kenny Wallace, 18.229; 3. 13-Jacob Hawkins, 18.241; 4. 65-Josh Rice,18.904; 5. 11N-Gene Nicholas, 19.010; 6. 1-Blake Spalding,19.189; 7. 17T-Tyler Evans,19.216; 8. 07-Jeff Thomas,19.273.

Qualifying Group 2 – 1. 72-Todd Neiheiser, 18.668; 2. 3L-Jeff Leka,18.766; 3. K12-Scotty Kincaid, 19.188; 4. 64JR-Billy Workman Jr., 19.229; 5. 71T-Brent Thompson, 19.490; 6. 15-Hunter Gustafson,19.655; 7. 71M-Shayne Meadows,19.756.

Qualifying Group 3 – 1. 7-Justin Allgaier, 18.578; 2. 10Y-Trent Young, 18.799; 3. 98F-Derek Fisher,19.044; 4. 67-Garrett Stewart, 19.126; 5. 69-AJ Fike,19.281; 6. 8A-Austin Holcombe, 19.322; 7. 00-Will Norris, 19.912.

Qualifying Group 4 – 1. K9-Will Krup, 18.548; 2. 9-Ken Schrader, 19.020; 3. 29BX-Robert Garnes, 19.175; 4. 4-Mike Learman,19.219; 5. 01-Jared Spalding,19.469; 6. 71-Jessie Hoskins, 20.457; 7. 9G-Ernie Gingerich, No Time.

Heat 1 (8 Laps) – 1. 13-Jacob Hawkins, [2]; 2. 49-Brian Ruhlman, [4]; 3. 36-Kenny Wallace, [3]; 4. 1-Blake Spalding, [6]; 5. 07-Jeff Thomas, [8]; 6. 17T-Tyler Evans, [7]; 7. 11N-Gene Nicholas [5]; 8. 65-Josh Rice, [1]

Heat 2 (8 Laps)- 1. 3L-Jeff Leka, [3];2. K12-Scotty Kincaid, [2]; 3. 71T-Brent Thompson, [5]; 4. 64JR-Billy Workman Jr., [1]; 5. 15-Hunter Gustafson, [6]; 6. 71M-Shayne Meadows, [7]; 7. 72-Todd Neiheiser, [4]

Heat 3 (8 Laps) – 1. 1. 98F-Derek Fisher, [2]; 2. 7-Justin Allgaier, [4]; 3. 10Y-Trent Young, [3]; 4. 67-Garrett Stewart, [1]; 5. 8A-Austin Holcombe, [6]; 6. 00-Will Norris, [7]; 7. 69-AJ Fike, [5]

Heat 4 (8 Laps – Top 3 finishers transfer to A-Feature, Winner Redraws) – 1. K9-Will Krup, [4]; 2. 9-Ken Schrader, [3]; 3. 29BX-Robert Garnes, [2]; 4. 4-Mike Learman, [1]; 5. 01-Jared Spalding, [5]; 6. 71-Jessie Hoskins, [6]; 7. 9G-Ernie Gingerich [DNS].

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