BUSTI, NY – May 23, 2023 – Nick Hoffman’s first trip to Stateline Speedway will always be memorable.
The Mooresville, NC driver led all but one lap Tuesday night to score his first career World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series win.
Hoffman and Gordy Gundaker brought the 24-car field to the green flag as both drivers fought for the top spot on Lap 1.
Gundaker had the early advantage on the inside, nosing ahead of Hoffman on the backstretch and holding that momentum as they finished the first lap.
But on Lap 2, it was a different story.
The “Thrill from Mooresville” kept his Tye Twarog Racing #9 car rolling on the outside, this time his momentum pushing him ahead of Gundaker off of Turn 2.
That burst of speed allowed Hoffman to clear Gundaker as they entered Turn 3, pulling ahead to lead Lap 2.
“I knew he had to take off first, but I knew if I could just roll speed through the middle of the racetrack and keep him pinched down where he couldn’t circle, I knew I could maybe clear him after a lap or so,” Hoffman said.
“That’s kind of what happened there. I was able to stay to his outside, and obviously, we’re buddies, so he isn’t going to run me into the fence. I was able to roll speed fast enough to get all the way alongside him coming to the first lap and then clear him off of [Turn] 2.”
It was a lead Hoffman wouldn’t relinquish. And despite a late charge from Max Blair, it was enough to put his name in the history books as the 101st different winner in World of Outlaws CASE Late Models history.
“It’s just really unbelievable to do it at a place I’ve never been before,” Hoffman said. “Obviously Max [Blair] was going to be the heaviest hitter here. I feel like everyone was looking at him as the guy to beat.
“Our racecar is so good right now. We just have to keep it rolling.”
Hoffman’s $10,000 victory vaulted him to fourth in the points standings—34 points behind Chris Madden.
Blair settled for second, hoping to grab a second World of Outlaws win at Stateline.
The Centerville, PA driver moved past Gundaker for second on Lap 12 before he made a last-ditch effort to get by Hoffman in the final five laps.
As Hoffman caught the back of the field, Blair swung his Rocket Chassis to the top of the racetrack but couldn’t get enough grip to make the pass.
Blair said he thought if the race stayed green, he might’ve had a shot at passing Hoffman.
“I gave it one last effort with a couple of laps to go, there just wasn’t enough left,” Blair said. “I think if it would’ve stayed green earlier in the race when there was lap traffic when you could still move around a little bit, maybe we had a shot at it, maybe we didn’t.”
“We’ll take second and roll on down the road.”
Bobby Pierce took advantage of a Lap 25 restart to move from fifth to third, grabbing his second podium finish of the 2023 World of Outlaws season.
Pierce quickly moved to the top when the green came out, getting around Madden.
After he cleared the Series points leader, he only needed a few more laps to get around Gundaker, thundering his Longhorn Chassis into third on Lap 29.
It’s the Oakwood, IL driver’s second straight top five finish, enough to move him into fifth in points, 52 behind Madden.
“Fortunately enough, those guys got kind of bottled on the bottom,” Pierce said. “I hit my marks pretty good, but not great. But it was enough to get around Madden. Then I got next to Gordy, and on the next lap, I passed him.
“It was a really good run for falling back to fifth.”
Gundaker crossed the line fourth, and original Dirty Dozen member Chub Frank rounded out the top five.
Madden finished sixth, extending his points lead over Ryan Gustin to 22 points.