The UMP DIRTcar Modified championship is one of the most interesting title races, each season, across dirt track racing. Weekend Warriors and full-time racers come together, to both have a shot at taking home a prestigious national championship triumph, along with multiple regional title opportunities, across many areas in the United States. This presents fans with the chance to seem some of the most competitive racing in the country, at weekly race tracks in the mid-west and some southern states. In states like Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, you can find countless tracks each weekend with thirty or more quality cars, racing for $1,000-to-win, and in most cases, even more.
All of those factors have driven the popularity of dirt modified racing across the country to an all-time high, with many drivers making their home in the division and becoming instant legends over the course of the last number of decades. With a unique points structure that allows drivers to have their worst finishes replaced by better results, after meeting a certain amount of starts, along with counting only a number of their overall races in the final points, awarding bonuses for car counts and wins, among other aspects for events, you can stay in your own area, close to your home or shop, and compete for the national championship.
Through the past decade, drivers Mike Harrison and Devin Gilpin have dominated the UMP DIRTcar National Championship category, taking home every title since the turn of the decade in 2010, with Harrison capturing six ('10, '11, '15, '16, '17 & '18) and Gilpin winning three-in-a-row ('12-'14), before focusing on late model racing on a full-time basis starting in 2015. Mike Harrison has easily won the most titles in UMP Modified history, with a 2004 championship, to go along with his six this decade, giving him seven overall and three more than Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series star, Jimmy Owens, who sits second all-time with four UMPDCM triumphs.
Even with that success, the torch may have been passed from Harrison in 2019, as Elite Chassis owned and builder, Nick Hoffman, came up and snatched the UMP DIRTcar National Championship away from him, as Mike finished the season fourth in points, behind Hoffman, Tyler Nicely and Allen Weisser. With over twenty race wins and forty-plus top-five finishes, Hoffman put together one of the most successful UMP DIRTcar Modified seasons in recent memory, highlighted by an extremely dominate Summer Nationals Hell Tour run.
If Nick chooses to continue competing in UMP DIRTcar Modified events on a regular basis, and tally up the starts and wins needed to compete for the title each season, as the North Carolina native also races on a regular basis in the late model ranks, he could be the next star to take over the division and go on a streak of championships. There is no doubt that his company has become one of the top chassis choices, if not the singular front-runner, in all of UMPDCM racing, with Elite Chassis taking a number of the final top ten points positions, which could lead to even more resources and opportunities to dominate in the years to come for Hoffman and team.
With all of that being said, do you believe that the torch has been passed from Mike Harrison to Nick Hoffman as the best UMP DIRTcar Modified driver in the sport?
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