McDowell begins DIRTcar Nationals at VSP
February 12, 2021 - On Monday afternoon, Dale McDowell returned to Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, Fla.) to compete in the 50th annual DIRTcar Nationals. In a stout field of 51 Late Models, McDowell edged his way into the opening night feature with the third and final transfer spot in his heat race. Rolling off 18th, Dale experienced issues with a tire early in the 30-lapper that saw him pull off early to save equipment for the remainder of the six-night program.

The following night, Dale laid down the 10th fastest time in his qualifying group before placing second in his heat behind Devin Moran. Starting the $7,000-to-win A-Main in eighth, McDowell was challenging for a Top-5 spot when he was pinched into the wall by another competitor that brought an immediate end to his night.

After scratching from Wednesday night’s program due to damage sustained in Tuesday night’s tangle, McDowell followed up the sixth fastest lap in his time trial group on Thursday with an eight-lap heat race victory. Earning the pole position for the A-Main via the redraw, Dale led the first three circuits until Chris Madden snuck by to grab the lead. After fading back to fifth, McDowell battled back to finish third when the checkered flag flew, trailing Devin Moran and Bobby Pierce across the line with Kyle Strickler and Dennis Erb Jr. rounding out the Top-5. (Michael Boggs Photography)

With the field reduced to 38 cars on Friday evening, Dale came one spot short of a transfer position in his heat with a fifth place finish, sending him into the B-Main. Scoring a second place spot behind Michael Norris, McDowell locked into the 19th-starting position for the $10,000-to-win A-Main. Clawing forward five spots in the 40-lap affair, Dale recorded a 14th-place outing.

Persistent rain overnight wiped out Saturday night’s finale.

Complete results from these events are available at and