A lot of eyes in the Super Late Model ranks throughout Florida were focused on last Saturday’s Super Late Model event at Auburndale Speedway.
With the dissolution of the Florida United Promoters Late Model Series earlier this season, Auburndale Speedway owner and promoter Rex Guy took a huge step forward to ensure Super Late Model racing at his track stayed active. Guy brought in renowned tech director Ricky Brooks as a race director.
Pre-race advertisements called Brooks the “New Sherriff in Town.”
Brooks, known for his “Room of Doom” during Snowball Derby weekend at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida as well as being the lead tech inspector for the Southern Super Series, the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing and many other Super Late Model events around the Southeast.
Saturday’s 100-lap event, won by Jesse Dutilly, was the first under the Brooks/Guy direction at Auburndale. Thirteen cars took the green flag. Some drivers chose to sit on the sidelines and see how the first race under Brooks’ direction would play out. Following the demise of the FUPS Late Model Series in April that came with a controversial race ending at Auburndale, Rex Guy knew he had to make a statement.
“People like to talk and say this and that,” said Guy as he looked over the 13-car field at Auburndale on June 21. “I brought Ricky (Brooks) in to take myself out of the equation. Everyone knows his reputation and that he treats everyone the same, so now they won’t be able to cry foul when something doesn’t go their way. A lot of guys said they were coming then changed their minds for whatever reason.”
While some promoters would have been understandably disappointed with a 13-car Super Late Model field, Guy was optimistic that Saturday’s race was the first step towards rebuilding Super Late Model racing at his track.
“I’m not upset about it, look at the cars we have here,” said Guy before the race. “This is gonna be a good race and they’ll be sorry they missed it.”
After the race, Guy was even more optimistic for the future.
“Everyone raced clean, I think we had two cautions. It was some good racing. We’ll have more cars next time.”
The next time for the Super Late Models at Auburndale Speedway will be Saturday August 16th.
– By Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Correspondent – Twitter: @MarkKeeler975