For most of the 2015 season, Pro Truck races at Desoto Speedway have been a battle between Chad Chastain and Danny Anderson.
Saturday night’s 50-lap Q Auto & Injury Attorneys Pro Truck feature was no different, with Chastain getting the best of Anderson on a late restart and taking the victory.
Outside polesitter Becca Monopoli grabbed the lead at the start with Chastain directly in tow. The pair battled side-by-side for the top spot for the first few laps before Chastain finally gaining the advantage at the completion of the sixth lap.
As Chastain began pulling away from Monopoli, a three-way battle for third between fast-qualifier Sean LeMaster, Danny Anderson and Cody McDuffie. McDuffie and Anderson were running side-by-side for the fourth spot when Darin Coker’s engine blew and left oil down the front straightaway, bringing out the yellow.
Anderson used a pair of restarts to get to second behind Chastain. Shortly thereafter Anderson began losing the handle on his truck and nearly spun several times coming out of turn four. That allowed Chastain to pull away and Monopoli to get back to second near the halfway point of the race.
Anderson and Monopoli swapped positions again with about 10 laps to go, leaving Anderson nearly a straightaway behind Chastain when the yellow flew for Marina Petty’s blown engine.
Chastain and Anderson lined up side-by-side on the restart, with Chastain getting the jump as the field came out of the second turn. Anderson’s truck broke loose with about three laps to go, allowing Chastain to drive on to the win.
“Our truck was hooked up really well tonight and any time you can beat Danny Anderson like that it makes you feel good,” Chastain. “Last time I lost a race to Danny on a restart…and I didn’t want that to happen again.”
Anderson said he bounced off the wall three different times on his way to a runner-up finish. “The tires were really doing some weird things tonight and that’s probably the most I’ve ever had to drive this truck here,” Anderson said.
Monopoli, McDuffie and LeMaster rounded out the top five.
The largest field of Mini Stocks this season was also on hand for a 25-lap feature event. Ren Wright Jr. got the jump on the 18-car field at the start and had already built a big lead over Jordan Miller when the caution flew for a nasty accident involving Zac Graham, who was hit directly in the driver’s door by Amy Gamache. Both drivers were uninjured and Graham was actually able to continue in the event.
Roger Wright went from deep in the field to second on the restart and began closing in on Ren Wright Jr. Roger Wright had closed to within a couple of car lengths on his teammate when the caution flew again for Kristen Milthaler’s spin on the fifth lap.
Randy Johnson, who started shotgun on the field, worked his way up to fourth behind the two Wrights and Michael Hart. Johnson got by Hart for third on lap 11 and followed Roger Wright to second when he passed Ren Wright Jr. for the lead two laps later.
Johnson pulled alongside Roger Wright for the lead and eventually grabbed the top spot with five laps to go. Wright stayed right on Johnson’s tail as the leaders threaded through traffic in the closing laps, but Johnson went on to his second straight victory.
Roger Wright, Ren Wright Jr., Eric Daniels and Hart initially rounded out the top five. However, Johnson, Wright, and Wright Jr. failed post-race technical inspection due to a ride height violation, giving the win to Daniels.
In the Take Aim Gun Range Street Stocks, Jeff Firestine paced the field for nearly half of the 30-lap feature event. Tyler Lau patiently picked his way through the traffic and into the second spot in the opening stages and then quickly ate away Firestine’s lead.
Lau made quick work of Firestine and took the lead on lap 13. He was pulling away from Firestine and Danny Caylor when a caution flag came out for Keith Kneff’s spin on lap 19.
Two laps after the restart Lau suddenly slowed, handing the lead back to Firestine. As Firestine and Jim Brenner appeared ready to stage a battle for the victory, Firestine’s car began to slow with five laps to go. As Firestine motored around with a sick race car, Brenner pulled away and went on to his first win of the 2015 season.
Later in the evening Brenner’s car failed post-race technical inspection, handing the win to Firestine, who said he drove the last 10 laps with no brakes in the car. He was followed by Travis Barfield, Darrin Ellis and Chad Cummings.
In other action Saturday night, Firestine won the 15-lap bomber feature; and Mike Gamache took the win in the School Bus Figure 8 feature.
Desoto Speedway will be closed for its summer break beginning next week. Racing will return on July 25 with Winged Sprint Cars highlighting the action.
-Desoto Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Shockwave Photos
DESOTO SPEEDWAY RACE RESULTS
1. 36 Chad Chastain Alva
2. 50 Danny Anderson Bradenton
3. 59x Becca Monopoli Lakeland
4. 25 Cody McDuffie Lakeland
5. 8 Sean Lemaster Naples
6. 99 Cody Matell Arcadia
7. 32 Jeff Firestine Venice
8. 09 Tommy Caveney Mulberry
9. 10 Todd Foote Spring Hill
10. 26 Brian Hillyer North Port
11. 75 Robert St. John Arcadia
12. 43 Marina Petty Venice
13. 67 Jimmie Best Sarasota
14. 5 Darin Coker West Palm Beach
15.17 Matt Moore Tennesse
16. 28 DNS
1. 93 Jeff Firestine Venice
2. 11 Travis Barfield Myakka City
3. 71 Darrin Ellis Myakka
4. 80x Chad Cummings Palmetto
5. 69 Keith Neff Bradenton
6. 20 Claudia
7. 40 Scott Finch Bradenton
8. 27 Tyler Lau Bradenton
9. 45 Mike Karrivan Bradenton
10. 7 Danny Caylor Lehigh
11. 11w Michael Watson Auburndale
12. 88 Jimmy Castleberry
13. 8 Jamie Castleberry
14. 52 Mike Rowland Polk City
15. 57 Jim Brennner Sarasota D.Q..
1. 32 Jeff Firestine Venice
2. 93 Bubba Thompson Sarasota
3. 15 Clint Snyder North Port
4. 39 Jerry Tetting Nokiomis
5. 88 Jimmy Castleberry
1. 28 Eric Daniels Bradenton
2. 99h Michel Hart St. Pete
3. 07 Ryan Walters Clearwater
4. 98 Chris Larson Plant City
5. 15 Jordan Miller Bradenton
6. 131 George Ingram Clearwater
7. 44 Shanna Clark Clearwater
8. 27 Frank Pelusio Clearwater
9. 9 Robbie Beverage Port Charlotte
10. 4 Zac Graham Seminole
11.77 Laura Mammina North Port
12. 3 Sherry Best Myakka
13. 10 Kristen Milthaler North Port
14. 85 Amy Gamache Tarpon Springs
15. 73 Randy Johnson Bradenton D.Q.
16. 48 Roger Wright Pinellas Park D.Q.
17. 008 Ren Wright Jr. St. Pete D.Q.
18. 99 Johnny Marra Cape Coral D.N.S.
19. 01 Christopher Milthaler North Port D.N.S.
20. 67 Jimmie Best Myakka D.N.S.
1. 0 Mike Gamache
2. 67 Wally Smith
3. 69 Steve McCuster
4. 31 Jeff Firestine
5. 25 Jeremy Bates
6. 76 Amy Jones
7. 14 Gator Volk
8. 4 James Volk
9. 01 Tracy Webb
10. 90 Kyle Brink D.N.S.