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FUELING THE THUNDER: Nick Hoffman Wins Third World of Outlaws Feature of 2024 at Mississippi Thunder

Nick Hoffman by Emily Schwanke

Hoffman leads the final 45 laps to score his fourth career Feature with the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models

 

Nick Hoffman has continued to show that he is a threat for the 2024 World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Models championship with his performance on Friday night at Mississippi Thunder Speedway.

The Mooresville, NC driver began the night by going fastest in his group of Sea Foam Qualifying, then followed up by winning his Heat race by over four seconds.

Hoffman started the Feature on the outside of the front row alongside Bilstein Pole Winner Brian Shirley for the 50-lap battle – sliding into second from the drop of the green flag.

On lap five, Hoffman powered his NOS Energy Drink #9 down the bottom of the front stretch to power by Shirley for the lead into Turn 1.

During the stretch of green flag racing, Hoffman had to navigate the continuous packs of lap traffic while fighting to stay at the front of a revolving door of contenders for the win that included Oakwood, IL driver Bobby Pierce, New Berlin, IL driver Brandon Sheppard and Robeline, LA driver Cade Dillard.

The sole caution of the Feature for a flat tire on Rochester, MN driver Dustin Sorensen’s machine on lap 35 gave the field their only sniff at competing against Hoffman for the win.

On the ensuing restart, Hoffman got the jump on the restart on the field into Turn 1 – leaving Pierce and Sheppard to fight for second place while new faces in Marshalltown, IA driver Ryan Gustin and Gray Court, SC’s Chris Madden fought their way inside the top five in the closing stages of the Feature.

With a clear track and twin checkered flags flying high in the air – Hoffman crossed the finish line with his fist high in the air to celebrate winning the largest purse of his racing career.

Nick Hoffman raises his arm as he crosses the finish line in Friday’s Feature at Mississippi Thunder Speedway. (Emily Schwanke Photo)

“This is the biggest money win I’ve ever had in my career,” Hoffman said. “Right now, we need every dollar we can get in building a new shop and everything. This is more of my style of racing right there and what I’ve made a living doing in my Modified by running through the middle of the race track when it’s slick and slow. So, I’m super pumped to race for another $25,000 tomorrow night. 

“I can’t thank everyone enough. Darien and Zach have done a great job for me, along with NOS Energy Drink, C&W Trucking, Peteroff Towing, Bilstein, Longhorn, and Clements Racing Engines. To get our third win of the year and fourth Outlaw win is special and we gotta keep it rolling because these guys are gonna be hot on our tail all year and I fully believe this points battle will go all the way down to Charlotte.”

Pierce finished second after starting the Feature in eighth place. The reigning Series champion is happy with the result – accepting that he used up the tires on his #32 machine in his quest towards the Hoffman.

“This track moves around a lot,” Pierce said. “In the beginning stages, everyone was running the middle to bottom, and then once the top got clean enough, everyone jumped up there. But, with the new dirt, it had some spots that were flatter than it used to be, so it made it tough to enter the corner and get a good run on the top side because it felt like as flat as can be.

“Nick had a really good car, he could pace himself in that middle line and I know I was hurting my tires in the charge to the front – especially the runs I had on Dillard and Sheppard, I knew I abused the tires getting around them. Once I got to second (place), I knew I didn’t have much left for Nick because he had it dialed. I’m pretty happy with second, but we’ll see what we can do to work on it and I know they’re gonna make the track more tacky tomorrow because it rubbered up down the back. You gotta stay on your toes at this place.”

Sheppard crossed the line to finish third and cap off a night that saw improvements from the Longhorn Factory Team #B5 – winning his Heat race and sitting inside the top-five for all 50 laps.

“It was definitely different than the last few years,” Sheppard said. “They did a good job prepping the track all night and it was definitely slick all night long. It was drier than what I anticipated. The car had good balance and we were able to drive nicely all night long and came up a little short tonight. I probably could’ve been more aggressive at the start, but Nick’s been rolling really good so we just gotta keep working and catch up to him.”

Gustin finished just short of the podium to take a fourth-place while Madden followed suit to finish out Friday’s top-five finishers.

Climbing 11 spots to earn the Feature’s Fox Factory Hard Charger Award was won by Lake Elmo, MN driver Brent Larson.

Dillard won his first Simpson Quick Time Award of 2024 with a 13.596 lap time around the 3/8-mile facility.

Heat race winners from Friday night included Dillard in Heat 1, Shirley in Heat 2, Hoffman in Heat 3, and Sheppard in Heat 4.

Jake Timm and Jordan Yaggy claimed the wins in two Last Chance Showdown races.

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws CASE Late Models cap off the weekend at Mississippi Thunder Speedway with racing on Saturday night, May 4. Like Friday, the Feature will go for 50 laps with $25,000 on the line for the winner. For more information about the event, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch every World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model race live on DIRTVision.

Feature Results:

CASE Late Model Feature (50 Laps): 1. 9-Nick Hoffman[2]; 2. 32-Bobby Pierce[8]; 3. B5-Brandon Sheppard[4]; 4. 19R-Ryan Gustin[5]; 5. 44-Chris Madden[9]; 6. 16-Tyler Bruening[7]; 7. 97-Cade Dillard[3]; 8. 40B-Kyle Bronson[10]; 9. 3S-Brian Shirley[1]; 10. 1-Tyler Erb[11]; 11. 97C-Cody Overton[14]; 12. B1-Brent Larson[23]; 13. 19-Dustin Sorensen[13]; 14. 22*-Max McLaughlin[6]; 15. 49-Jake Timm[17]; 16. 22P-Nick Panitzke[21]; 17. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[16]; 18. 11H-Lance Hofer[12]; 19. 77-Jordan Yaggy[18]; 20. 88-Chad Mahder[22]; 21. 20TC-Tristan Chamberlain[26]; 22. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck[19]; 23. 14W-Dustin Walker[25]; 24. 30-Todd Cooney[24]; 25. 18-Shannon Babb[15]; 26. 90-Lance Matthees[20]

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