Talladega Short Track9/30/2023CRUSA Dirt Late Models
Full Results
Talladega Short Track9/29/2023CRUSA Dirt Late Models
Full Results
East Alabama Motor Speedway9/24/2023CRUSA Dirt Late Models
Full Results
North Alabama Speedway8/26/2023CRUSA Dirt Late Models
Full Results
Senoia Raceway8/19/2023CRUSA Dirt Late Models
Full Results

Current Points

CRUSA Dirt Late Modelsas of 2/18/2023
Full Points
CRUSA Dirt Late Modelsas of 9/24/2023
Full Points
CRUSA Dirt Late Modelsas of 9/30/2023
Full Points


Knowles Bests Welshan for Winter Shootout Series Title

Knowles Bests Welshan for Winter Shootout Series Title

MODOC, S.C. (March 20) — At one end of Modoc Speedway’s darkened pit area, Dylan Knowles of Lanett, Ala., was holding his newly-acquired trophy and celebrating a championship sealed down just a few minutes prior at the conclusion of a $10,000-to-win Crate Racin’ USA Winter Shootout Series event held March 20 at the semibanked oval. Way down at the other end of the pit area, Jason Welshan of Maryville, Tenn., was standing silently, lamenting the fact that he didn’t win the prestigious title for the nine-race miniseries that ended up at seven total races due to a pair of rainouts.

“I’ve run three of these touring-type series now and raced for a championship three times and run second every single time,” said a disappointed Welshan. “I just called my wife and told her that I guess we’re always going to be second best on these championship deals. We tried years ago with the Southern Regional Racing Series, we ran the Ultimate Series a couple years ago and came close but didn’t quite win it, and here we are second best on this Winter Shootout Series. I guess I probably need to get used to being second best.”

The Final Race Unfolds at Modoc
Welshan and Knowles entered the 75-lap portion of the Modoc 100 separated by just eight points in a knock-down, drag-out duel for the $2,500 title that has become a sought-after crown in the sport, and when all was over—the points separation was a mere four markers. Through the night, the two drivers kept an eye on each other, and that wasn’t difficult because they were definitely close enough to do so as the race gradually unfolded at the Jim and Ann Cushman-owned facility.

Knowles and Welshan started side by side in the third row (how’s that for championship drama?), and Welshan got the early jump on his fellow title contender. The track’s groove had narrowed gradually through the night, giving Welshan a clear-cut advantage during the opening stages as he held the third spot over Knowles’ fifth-place standing. The points difference narrowed to a mere two markers when Knowles dropped another spot on a restart.

Through most of the latter stages of the event when multiple-groove maneuverability became a difficult issue for most competitors, Knowles took just enough chances to make sure he held a points advantage over Welshan in the title fight. When Charlotte, N.C. driver Corey Gordon took advantage of a corner entry mistake by Welshan and steered past him into third spot in the latter stages, that dropped Welshan to fourth vs. Knowles’ eventual sixth-place finish, and the final difference between the pair stretched only slightly to a mere four markers.

A tense night perhaps, but Knowles had his championship. He accomplished it in a Steve Hendren Racing Engines-powered Rocket XR-1, with sponsorship from Extreme Auto & Truck Repair, K-Line Logistics, CP Diesel Performance, Sweet Victory Apparel, Wrap Tech Signz and Pro Fabrication Inc.

“When I saw how it unfolded from the green flag and I knew track conditions were probably going to become difficult, we basically did a little points racing tonight,” Knowles said. “I knew where he [Welshan] was most of the night, and I knew the points difference between us, so I concentrated on making sure we’d keep that inside lane, and always get back in line when we needed to get there on restarts.”

Chasing a Championship
It was the first high-profile title earned in the sport for the son of the late driver Scotty Knowles, and it wasn’t exactly planned from the start of the season, but soon evolved into an important quest that meant a lot to Knowles.

“We didn’t know we were gonna run for the title until we finished second at the Ice Bowl in early January at Talladega Short Track [Eastaboga, Ala.],” Knowles said. “After running so well there, we decided to travel a little, try to gain a little more knowledge, take some notes and run for a championship. We’ve never done nothing like this before, at least not racing for national points. We’ve raced for a couple miniseries titles around home and a track championship here and there, but nothing on this level where they were averaging 60 cars a night.”
Based on the high level of competition which turned out on a regular basis during the seven events, Knowles admitted a small case of nerves as the important final weekend approached.

“We felt a little pressure,” Knowles said. “I’ve raced for 12 years and don’t usually get super nervous, but I guess you can say I was aware all week leading up to the race. I knew we had a good piece, and I knew he [Welshan] is a good guy with really good cars and equipment. He actually helped us with a header problem we had down there at East Bay Raceway Park in Florida, which was a cool deal on his part. We both knew all about the points and it was a close battle the whole way, but he was still willing to help us out and that’s a big part of why we had a great time running this deal. It was a lot of fun, the series has grown a lot and carries some prestige, and through the seven races we completed, there were two chances to race for $10,000 to win that were also part of the E-Z-GO $100,000+ Challenge. That’s pretty hard to beat, and to be the champion means a lot to us.

Welshan’s Championship Still a Win
While Welshan’s words might have outlined his disappointment, the Maryville, Tenn., resident has a bulldog reputation for grabbing hold and never giving up, and has his steadily-growing Savage Chassis business moving along nicely. He knows there’s a bigger picture at stake, and it certainly didn’t hurt to see two of the top five in the final series standings [including himself and fourth-place points finisher Jake Knowles], wheeling cars that rolled out of Welshan’s shops.

“I’m definitely proud to see the results for our cars, and I think our company managed to come out of the series with some strong positives,” Welshan said. “This is a Jerry Hux-owned car that we treat like a house car, and I’m glad for him. Sure it’s a little disappointing to be second in points, but you also gotta give him [Knowles] and his team a lot of credit for what they accomplished. This was a tough series with huge car counts, and no matter who won it, I can tell you it wasn’t easy to win this championship. We hadn’t gotten to run with this series in a long time, it fits our schedule at a time of year when we can travel to race, and our team truly had a great time. Dylan [Knowles] and his team put in a very strong effort. They worked hard, and they earned it.”


Newsome Raceway Parts Network

Email Newsletter

Featured Drivers

Willy's Carburetor & Dyno Shop
Knowles Race Parts & Bodies
KRC Power Steering
Cruise With The Champions
Advanced Lasers