Sunshineshakedown Jacynorgaardphoto
Will Roland topped the speed charts at Volusia Speedway Park. (Jacy Norgaard photo)

Roland Tops Practice For WoO Sunshine Nationals

BARBERVILLE, Fla. — After a night of World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series practice at Volusia Speedway Park, an unexpected name found himself at the top of the speed charts.

Will Roland had never raced at “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile” before Sunshine Nationals practice Wednesday night. Despite his inexperience, he was quickest out of 43 cars with a 15.322 second lap — unofficially breaking Tim McCreadie’s track record of 15.645 that was set in February of 2018. 

Roland was one of 10 drivers to beat the 2006 World of Outlaws Late Models champion’s time.

However, it doesn’t officially go into the record books as a new track record. Official times are only taken during Low-E Insulation Qualifying.

The Jasper, Ga., driver said he’s more confident about the weekend, but knows a good practice time only takes him so far.

“It’ll definitely boost our confidence for [Thursday],” Roland said. “The car was great. Too bad it don’t pay nothing. But, if we just work on it a little bit more tomorrow and stay up front, my goal is just to come out and make a name for myself.”

Two-time Volusia Speedway Park winner Kyle Strickler was second fastest with a 15.453-second lap. 

Like Roland, he’s also built confidence for the weekend.

“I love coming to this place,” Strickler said. “We’ve been working really hard this offseason and built a brand new car. It always feels good to unload good on the first day of the season on practice night and to be quick.”

Chris Madden, who found victory lane the last time the series raced at Volusia during DIRTcar Nationals, was third fastest overall. The Gray Court, S.C., competitor, who ran a 15.466 second lap, said he’s looking forward to the weekend as he aims for his third Volusia victory.

“We were extremely good tonight,” Madden said. “We got to play around with a few things, and I think we’re really good, and we’re looking forward to the weekend here.”

Jordan Koehler was fourth quick with a 15.525-second lap, and Brian Shirley rounded out the top five with a 15.602-second lap.

World of Outlaws CASE Late Models Rookie of the Year contender Todd Cooney was the sixth fastest overall.

Cooney, from Des Moines, Iowa, clocked in a 15.607 second lap — one he’s excited about.

“It feels really, really good for sure,” Cooney said. “We ran a couple of times last year, and we were pretty horrible. This year it was much different. We have cars by Eric Wells, and he has them dialed in for me.”