Jesse Dutilly confidently predicted, “We’re gonna win” to Speed51.com prior to the start of Saturday’s Super Late Model event at Florida’s Auburndale Speedway. At the fall of the checkered flag 95 laps later, he had backed up his admitted smack-talk.
Dutilly inherited the lead early and never looked back for the victory over the 13-car field that was under the watchful eye of new track Super Late Model race director Ricky Brooks.
“We’re never good in practice, but when it comes to the race we’re good. I talked some smack before the race so I’m glad we got to back it up.”
Dutilly held off some challenges from his nemesis Daniel Webster en route to his second straight Auburndale win.
“The car drove awesome, the best it’s ever driven here,” added Dutilly. “(Daniel) Webster is hard to outrun. We’ve worked really hard to get speed in the car here to be able to stay with him on the long runs. I couldn’t be happier.”
Rain bookended the Super Late Model 100 at Auburndale. After a more than two hour delay before the event, Jesse Dutilly held off late race pressure from Daniel Webster to take the checkered flag when the rains settled back in for good at lap 95.
The rain delay knocked out qualifying setting the field by pill draw . South Florida’s Jesse Dutilly drew the fourth spot but wasted little time flexing some muscle. Dutilly shot to second before the completion of the first lap putting himself in position to capitalize.
Just a handful of laps in, pole sitter and leader Jake Perkins’ car shut off bringing out the caution and turning the lead over to Dutilly, who held off Daniel Webster for the victory.
For Webster, starting back in 11th did not prove to be too much of a hindrance given the restart lineup procedures. With all drivers having choice of inside or outside for restarts, the outside starters are able to advance as far up as is clear. Webster gained two spots on the outside after the first caution before the race went back green. From then on, the driver of the No. 33, touted by many only driver of late to consistently and successfully use the high groove at the tight quarter-mile, went to work.
He steadily moved up and positioned himself to take over the runner up spot on a lap 23 restart. Webster’s was the only car that could stay within a few car lengths of Dutilly, but his choice of restarting alongside Dutilly later in the race proved costly.
“We’re here to win,” said Webster. “There’s no points here so you just have to go for it. I was able to get (Dutilly) twice last year on the outside for the lead. I think we’re two and two now out there. He was just better than us tonight.”
Another driver who seemed to take well the higher lanes was veteran Mike Garvey who was seeing Auburndale Speedway for the first time. Before the race Garvey stated that he wasn’t quite sure if passing on the outside was even possible, but once the race went green, he used the outside lane to advance in to a battle for the podium early from his eighth starting spot.
Two incidents involving Garvey’s front bumper and the rear of two other competitors relegated him to the back of the field on two different occasions, the latter of which was while battling Jonathan Guy for the third spot with just five laps remaining. The ensuing caution saw the return of mother nature as she would ultimately drop her own “checkered flag,” forcing officials to call the race complete at lap 95. Garvey would have to settle for a seventh-place finish.
Speed51.com will have more on this race, including track owner Rex Guy’s thoughts about the “new sheriff in town,” Ricky Brooks, later in the week.
– By Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Correspondent. Photo credits: Speed51.com