While Darrell Hughes has spent the past few seasons proving to be a serious contender wherever he raced, the Manteca native took it to a whole new level in 2018. The 3rd generation talent stayed closer to home this past season, dominating most of the season at Merced Speedway en route to his first track title.
To say Hughes had the competition covered all season at his home track may be an understatement. Aside from one DNF early in the season, Hughes never finished outside the Top 5 at Merced all season. Hughes made his big push to take the track championship late in the season, winning five of the last seven races, including both the Timmy Post Memorial and the Tribute to Ed Parker, to amass an insurmountable point lead over the last 2 months of the season.
Though it wasn’t as successful of a trip as the team would have liked, Hughes credits the long haul to Arizona for the Arizona Modified Tour in Mid-February as big reason for the team’s jump in performance. The differences showed the few times Hughes travelled in 2018. Hughes excelled at one track in particular in his 2018 travels, Southern Oregon Speedway. After a Top 5 run at the track’s speedweek race in late June, Hughes returned in September for the 2nd annual R Charles Snyder Salute. The team looked like a contender all weekend, eventually falling just short to Bobby Hogge IV and earning a nice $2,500 payday for his effort.
Like many modified drivers in the region, Hughes capped off his season at the annual Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas. This year’s Duel was Hughes’s finest showing yet. Hughes made the preliminary features on both of the first 2 nights, highlighted by a heat race win and Top 10 on night 1. On the final day, Hughes would have to win his LCQ to make the big show, but would ultimately miss the transfer by just two spots, ending his weekend and season.
When asked about 2018 and his plans for 2019, Darrell said: “Hopefully we can get some help with tires and fuel so we can make it to the Arizona mod tour next month. I think a lot of our success in 2018 can be accredited to some stuff that we learned last February at Cocopah speedway.”
Top 5’s: 15
Top 10’s: 17
Best Finish: 1st (5 times)
Worst Finish: 25th
February 16th: 11th in B Main
February 17th: 19th
April 14th (Tribute to Bill Egleston) : 3rd
April 28th: 16th
May 5th (Ted Stofle Classic): 2nd
May 19th: 5th
June 6th: 3rd
June 30th (Timmy Post Memorial) : 1st
July 7th: 2nd
July 21st: 4th
August 18th (Tribute to Ed Parker) : 1st
August 25th: 1st
September 15th: 1st
September 22nd (Championship Night) : 1st
October 5th: 5th
Southern Oregon Speedway:
June 23rd (Wild West Speedweek) : 4th
September 2nd (R Charles Snyder Salute) : 2nd
Siskiyou Motor Speedway:
June 22nd (Wild West Speedweek) : 12th
Coos Bay Speedway:
June 24th (Wild West Speedweek) : 18th
August 4th (Cecil Memorial) : DNF
Seotember 28th (Pat and Jim Pettit Shootout) : 5th
September 29th (Pat and Jim Pettit Shootout) : 10th
Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track:
Night 1: Won heat, finished 9th in the feature.
Night 2: Came from the B main and finished 25th after starting 28th
Night 3: Finished 3rd in LCQ, missing transfer by two spots
Darrell would like to thank all of his sponsors and supporters, including:
Wife and Kids
California Materials,Aggregates and Trucking
HRT shock service
All Pro Coatings
Victory Circle Chassis
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