Hometown favorite Jesse Dutilly captured his first Bright House Challenge Series Super Late Model win Saturday night at Desoto Speedway (FL) to become the fifth driver to be crowned champion in the series’ nine-year history.
Dutilly, who started his racing career at the 3/8th mile, high banked oval, has been dominant at the track all year. He claimed multiple fast-time awards and feature wins in the track’s 75-lap SLM series. He was winless in the two-track Bright House Challenge Series, which expanded this year from its home track of New Smyrna Speedway (FL) to include three races at the Bradenton, Florida track.
Dutilly’s zero in the win column was replaced by a one when he took Saturday’s victory.
“We’ve had a good year being able to qualify up front and win a couple races here, but I really wanted to get a Bright House win.” Dutilly said in victory lane. “I’ve really got to thank New Smyrna for bringing the Series down here.”
Dutilly’s Carbone Motorsports machine was fast throughout the afternoon and topped time trials. When it came time for the top-10 qualifiers to redraw, it seemed Dutilly had everything on his side as he pulled the “1” pill to be able to start the 100 lap race from the pole.
It would not however be quite so cut and dry, as he had to hold off championship points leader Joe Boyd, who started the race from the outside of the front row. Boyd, who started the season off with a win in the opening race at Desoto, had to finish ninth or better to clinch the championship. He led the opening 22 laps before Dutilly took the spot on a restart.
The pair swapped the lead one more time before something broke on Boyd’s car. The Riverview, Florida driver was unable to get up to speed on a lap-77 restart and would be knocked around and back to fifth before finally retiring from the event and watching the championship slip away.
For Dutilly, Boyd’s early threat was not all that unexpected.
“Joe Boyd is always real fast,” said Dutilly. “He’s a good, clean racer though. We race a lot together. We had set our car up for a long run so it was tight the first half of the race.”
Dutilly would then hold off Jeff Scofield through several late-race cautions to take the win.
“When you’re racing for the win and racing against (Jeff) Scofield, well, it can get exciting,” added Dutilly. “I was a little nervous about that when the yellow kept coming out.”
Scofield had a strong run, climbing all the way to second after starting back in the eighth spot. The Plant City, Florida driver had problems on the final restart, allowing Anthony Sergi to get by and claim the runner up spot in a green-white-checker finish.
“I knew that Scofield was having some transmission issues so when I saw that he missed it I was able to just follow Joe (Boyd) on the inside and take second.” said Sergi. “Now that the series is finished we can focus on the Governor’s Cup.” he added.
Scofield rounded out the top three, while Boyd would settle for 14th.
Along with being the fifth different series champion, Dutilly was the fifth different driver to visit Victory Lane in the series for 2014.
-By Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Correspondent.
-Feature Photo Credit: Speed51.com.
Bright House Challenge Series
Desoto Speedway (FL)
- #30 Jesse Dutilly
- #20 Anthony Segi
- #6 Jeff Scofield
- #10 George Gorham
- #9 Rich Clouser
- #128 Dylan Bigley
- #17 Nick Neri
- #07 Tyler Scofield
- #47 Chris Fontaine
- #5a Jerry Artuso
- #16 Tim Sozio
- #28d TJ Duke
- #77 Scott Walters
- #5 Joe Boyd
- #5x Steve Gill
- #42 Troy McNabb
- #32 Harold Crooms
- #4 Dennis Colletti
- #14 Mario Maresca