He’s back, boys and girls.
Nick Hoffman picked up right where he left off in his history-making 2021 season with a win in the 2022 DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals season opener at Kankakee County Speedway Tuesday night.
The four-time and defending champion started third on the grid, got to the lead on Lap 3 and never looked back, leading the rest of the way unchallenged for his 58th career tour victory – most by any driver all-time.
“I knew I had to get to the lead as soon as I could possibly do it and just try to control the race from there,” Hoffman, of Mooresville, NC, said.
Forced to go to the outside of polesitter Trevor Neville for the lead, Hoffman saw the big vision from within the cockpit of his NOS Energy Drink/Elite Chassis #2.
“I knew the outside lane in Turns 1-2 was there to be able to roll speed as fast as I could,” Hoffman said. “Then, I knew I had to get back down in 3-4. I had to charge 1-2 as hard as I could to be able to beat [Neville] down the back-straightway and get back into his lane in 3-4.”
Even the internal issues he found early in the program could not stop him from getting to Victory Lane.
“We were smoking earlier… Dad had just change the valve cover gaskets on both sides, so we had a mess back there with oil and stuff,” Hoffman said. “Had some issues with my transmission too. It’s just wear-and-tear on parts.”
“This deal’s grueling; we’re only one night in.”
The DIRTcar Summit Modifieds continue Illinois-Iowa Week action Wednesday evening at Peoria Speedway in Peoria, IL. If you can’t be at the track, stream all the action live on DIRTVision.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
Feature (25 Laps) – 1. 2-Nick Hoffman; 2. 36L-Jamie Lomax; 3. 777-Trevor Neville; 4. 8-Kyle Steffens; 5. 36-Kenny Wallace; 6. 25- Tyler Nicely; 7. 79D-John Demoss; 8. 37L-Michael Ledford; 9. 21L-Derek Losh; 10. 65-Todd Sherman; 11. 8A-Austin Holcombe; 12. 130-Chase Allen; 13. 6M-Carl McKinney; 14. 6B-Dave Baldwin; 15. 0-Travis Kohler; 16. 82-Darren Wireman; 17. 4-Mike Learman; 18. 7-Drake Troutman; 19. 35-Jason Hastings; 20. 19C-Carter Sinkhorn; 21. 8K-Levi Kissinger; 22. 5CS-Curt Spalding