As the rest of the country thawed out over the weekend, things got hot in South Florida. Jesse Dutilly took control of the Randy Fox – Frank Welch Memorial Super Late Model 104 at 417 Southern Speedway in a statement win for the Carbone Motorsports team.
Driving from 11th to the lead over the course of the evening, Dutilly passed George Gorham Jr. on Lap 62 and dominated the remainder of the race to pull into victory lane at America’s most southern short track.
Dutilly, who started the day in Pensacola, FL after running the Blizzard Series race, ultimately succumbing to a broken driveshaft, burned the midnight oil with his race team to drive across the state and run the Memorial 104.
“We got out of there about midnight. The hotel was closed. We probably didn’t get to sleep until 1:30. We left at five in the morning. I slept in the truck as my car owner Bruce Carbone drove the first leg,” Dutilly told Speed51.com in victory lane. “We stopped at Integrity Transmissions in Sarasota, Florida on the way here and we all thrashed for two hours to turn this car around.”
Through all the hard work and effort, the win felt like two for the local short track ace.
“We learned a lot in Pensacola. Brannon Earnest helped us a lot and we really had top five speed,” Dutilly stated. “It was awesome to finally maintain speed with the best in the country, which is hard to do. Then to come here today and to do what we did today, it was just an abnormal weekend, and I don’t think I could be any happier. I don’t think I’ll sleep tonight either.”
George Gorham Jr. wasn’t upset finishing second to Dutilly on the evening, admitting after the race that Dutilly is tough to beat.
“He’s been racing Late Models for a long time. We just keep on coming up short,” Gorham said. “We’re eventually going to get there. We’re getting closer and closer. I’ve finished second to him I can’t tell you how many times, but you can’t complain about that either. We’re pretty much the second-place car in Florida, in our side of racing. We just got to get a little bit better.”
Safe to say Gorham and the rest of the field will be working long into the night over the next few weeks to develop their cars to rival Dutilly’s . They have until the green flag flies at the next race on the schedule for the Sunoco Top Gun Super Six Super Late Models; Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 417 Southern Speedway.
Race fans can watch the full on-demand Trackside Now coverage from Punta Gorda on Speed51.com by clicking here.
-Story by Allick Jorgensen, Florida State Editor – Twitter: @AJorgensen24
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Sunoco Top Gun Super Six Series Unofficial Results
417 Southern Speedway – Punta Gorda, Florida – April 28, 2018
|2||03||George Gorham Jr.|