As the sunset graced the high banks of Auburndale Speedway (FL) on the eve of Mother’s day, the Sunoco Super Late Model Series took to the track one more time. In this installment, the fifth of eight races in 2015, in front of a packed grandstand, Jesse Dutilly took home the checkered flag once again.
Dutilly, also the pole winner, started sixth on the field after an invert and wasted no time, restarting third after the first caution of the day on lap nine. Eight laps later he would pass Brandon Morris for the lead and never looked back.
Indeed, in a race filled with non-stop action from the drop of the green flag, the only constant was the green and white No. 30 up front.
“Our Carbone Motorsports Chevrolet was awesome, and I can’t thank Mr. Carbone enough for letting me drive his car,” Dutilly told the crowd in victory lane.
In front of hundreds of fans chanting and cheering for him, Dutilly earned the checkered flag for the second time this season at Auburndale.
Though the story starts with the victor, much of the action took place behind him.
Side-by-side racing took place throughout the rest of the field as a result of preparations by the track crew earlier in the week. Several cautions slowed the 100-lap feature, including two major incidents coming off of turn four.
Brandon Hester and Dave Pletcher got into a frightening wreck on the front stretch, resulting in the entire left side of Hester’s No. 177 being ripped off. Then a few laps later, local favorites Brandon Morris and Steve Dorer got into a scuffle after Morris didn’t take lightly to some hard racing from Dorer and the No. 7 of Dylan Martin.
The scuffle on the race track continued after the race when the two met in the pit area.
“We had a fast racecar, Steve Dorer just knocked me up the racetrack and I didn’t appreciate it,” said Morris, as he looked over the damage to his No. 56 in the pit area. “Then I returned the favor and I went over to talk to him and he grabbed my helmet, and I got upset. I apologize to everybody, I shouldn’t have hit him, but I don’t take kindly to someone grabbing my helmet.”
Dorer, in typical short track fashion, saw things differently, suggesting that it may have been Martin who hit Morris, and stating that he felt that he raced Moris clean the entire evening.
In the end, though it was Dutilly with the checkered, it was the fans that won. The race produced great side-by-side battles, intense rivalries, and non-stop action, leaving the fans wanting more. Though they will have to wait as the Super Late Models won’t return to the track until June 27.
-By Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @AJorgensen24
-Photo credit: Speed51.com