Sport Allen has accomplished a lot during his sprint car racing career, which has included wins on both dirt and asphalt.
But one thing Allen had never done before was come from the back of the field twice for a victory. He can now add that particular accomplishment to his list of accolades after recovering from two early spins and taking Saturday night’s 40-lap Winged Sprint Car feature at Desoto Speedway.
Outside polesitter Johnny Gilbertson grabbed the lead at the start and was joined by Dude Teate, who climbed to second from his starting spot of eighth in just three laps. As the pair were racing for the lead on lap 6, Teate got into the back of Gilbertson heading into turn three causing the leader to spin in front of the field.
Allen and Larry J. Brazil were also collected in the spin. Gilbertson’s night would come to an end as a result of damage.
Teate assumed the lead on the restart. Joey Aguilar cleared polesitter Dave Retzlaff for second on the seventh lap and was starting to close on Teate for the lead when the yellow flew again for Allen’s spin coming out of turn four on lap 9.
Allen went to the rear for the second time as a result of the spin and wasted no time knifing his way through the field. In 10 laps Allen worked his way to fifth and continued his march to the lead after getting by Retzlaff and Adema.
On lap 32 Allen made his move, first getting by Aguilar for second coming out of turn two and passing Teate for the lead before coming out of turn four on the same lap.
“I was probably driving like a maniac and hopefully I didn’t put anyone in danger,” Allen said of his charges through the field. “When I get mad, I turn into a different driver.”
From that point on there was no doubt that Allen would be denied. he pulled out to a straightaway lead in less than three laps and cruised to the victory.
“I was extremely, extremely jealous when I saw Troy DeCaire come from last to first here last year,” Allen said, referring to Decaire’s drive from 27th to first in a TBARA race at Desoto last fall. “I saw him running up the top and keeping it in the gas and make three lanes around the track. I think I had a little of his skill with me tonight.”
Teate finished second, with Adema, Retzlaff and Ernie Teed rounding out the top five. Aguilar’s car fell off the pace with two laps to go, resulting in a sixth place finish.
In the LKQ Pick Your Part Pure Stocks 25-lap feature, a fiery accident took place involving the cars of Brad Tindal, Kyle Best and James Widner. Fire engulfed Tindal’s and Best’s cars, but all three drivers were able to escape the inferno without serious injury.
When racing resumed Jimmie Best would lead Brian Hillyer and Dean Butum for the next several laps. Donny Funk, who was sent to the rear after tapping Tindal’s car and triggering the lap 7 accident, quickly worked his way up through the field and passed Hillyer for second with six laps to go.
Funk quickly closed in on Best and the two ran nose-to-tail for the final five laps. On the white flag lap Funk got a run coming off turn two and dove underneath Best heading into turn three. The two cars made contact coming through the final corner, but it was Funk who edged Best in a photo finish. Hillyer finished third. The 29 of Funk was DQed in tech giving the win to Best, Hillyer 2nd and Dean Butrum 3rd.
Bobby Mobley went from seventh to first in the first 13 laps of the 25-lap Take Aim Gun Range Street Stock feature. Mobley had built a huge lead when the caution flew for early leader Jimmy Castleberry’s spin in turn four on lap 24.
Mobley survived a challenge from Jonathan Heidenthal and Mike Karrivan on the restart and cruised to the victory. Karrivan finished second after a battle with Heidenthal over the final laps.
In other action Saturday night, Aaron Williamson kicked off the Sportsmen season by leading from green-to-checker in the 40-lap feature event; Lee Davis survived a last-lap battle with Travis Barfield to win the 25-lap Modified Mini feature; and Dean Butrum won the 25-lap Bomber feature.
Pro Late Models, Pure Stocks, Street Stocks, Rookie 4’s, Mini Stocks, and the new 4-cylinder/V6 Strictly Stock class will be in action next Saturday night at Desoto Speedway.
-Desoto Speedway Press Release & Photo
DESOTO SPEEDWAY RACE RESULTS
1.88 Sport Allen Pinellas Park…
2. 31 Dude Teate Leesburgh
3. 67 Scott Adema Ft. Myers
4. 92 Dave Retzlaff Brooksville
5. 33 Ernie Teed Sarasota
6. 11 Joey Aguilar Tampa
7. 15 Troy Thompson Brooksville
8. 66 Larry Taylor Dunedin
9. 3 Travis Bleimeister Venice
10. 85 Rex Hollinger Titusville
11. 63 Carlie Yent Tampa
12. 39 Alan Randasi Port Charlotte
13. 22 Johnny Gilbertson Dover
14. 2 Larry Brazil Tampa
15. 3x Garrett Greene Valrico
16. 99 Matthew Hall Apollo Beach D.N.S.
1. 13 Aaron Williamson Lakeland
2. 79x Steve Darvalics Venice
3. 12 David Williamson Lakeland
4. 35 Greg Krom Sarasota
5. 29 Bobby Mobley Eagle Lake
6. 51 Roger Blevins Eagle Lake
7. 07 Scott Garrity Port Richey
8. 4 Rick Reed Punta Gorda
9. 9 Brooke Storer Zephyerhills
10. 29x James Dellea Port Charlotte
11. 45 Chris Zimmerman Pinnellas Park
1. 29 Bobby Mobley Eagle Lake
2. 45 Mike Karrivan Bradenton
3. 27 Johnathan Heidenthal
4. 93 Jeff Firestine Venice
5. 88 Jimmy Castleberry Bartow
6. 1 Travis Barfield Myakka
7. 26 Brian Hillyer North Port
8. 8 David Myers Bartow
9. 12 Roger Dufrense Bradenton
1. 32 Dean Butrum Venice
2. 22v Randy Spicer New Port Richey
3. 29x Bobby Mobley Eagle Lake
4. 93 Jeff Firestine Venice
5. 39 Jerry Tetting
6. 10 Tristan Collins North Port
7. 77 James Dellea Port Charlotte
8. 0 Jimmy Castleberry Bartow
9. 23 Kenny Gibson Venice
1. 67 Jimmy Best Sarasota
2.. 26 Brian Hillyer North Port
3. 93 Dean Butrum Venice
4. 29s James Dellea
5. 44 Rick Hess Englewood
6. 77 James Dellea 3rd. Port Charlotte
7. 72 Roger Dufrense Bradenton
8. 29t Brad Tindall Sarasota
9. 63 Kyle Best Myakka City
10. 36xJames Widner Bradenton
11. 32 Jeff Firestine Venice
12. 29x Donny Funk Orlando D.Q.
1. 77 Lee Davis Lakeland
2. 07 Travis Barfield Myakka
3. 6 Dave Davis Sarasota
4. 81 Travis Kirby Myakka City
5. 17 Jimmy Wood Bradenton
6. 4 Jerold Thompson Sarasota
7. 72 Derrick Powers Myakka
8. 96 Ronnie Brock Sebring
9. 55 Chris Zimmerman Pineallas Park