Jesse Dutilly continued his Super Late Model dominance in the State of Florida by taking home the checkered flag in the Sunoco Challenge Series 100 at Desoto Speedway in Bradenton, Florida on Saturday night.
Taking the lead on lap 10, Dutilly held off countless challengers on multiple restarts late in the race. Legendary Florida drivers Joe Winchell and Chris Fontaine, along with up and comers George Gorham Jr. and Devon McLeod each took turns knocking on Dutilly’s rear bumper, but none could get alongside him after the restart.
In victory lane Dutilly was asked what it took to win and he answered with one word, “perseverance”.
Later Dutilly explained, “We missed it qualifying. This is my home track, so I get around here pretty good. I know all the little bumps and everything, but I qualified fifth. Everyone is working on their cars and they’re all getting faster. We threw four or five things at it and we were spot on for the race and I couldn’t be happier about that.”
Chris Fontaine took advantage of a mid-race tangle between George Gorham, Jr. and Joe Winchell, the second and third most dominant cars in the race, to come home second.
“We didn’t get a lot of practice so the car got tight there at the beginning of the race. The red flag helped me a little bit. We just got some more work to do. We just got two more chances to figure it out before we can go ahead and compete with the 30 (Dutilly).”
Devon McCloud, in only his second start in a Super Late Model at Desoto Speedway, brought it home third.
“Restarts were key tonight. I had to use all I could. The car was stuck in fourth gear the whole race, so I was really struggling on restarts. I figure that’s where my inexperience in these cars would come in (only in his second race), but it seemed to work out for me. I’m thrilled man, I’m pumped.”
Anthony Sergi returned to Sunoco Challenge Series action and finished fourth, while Billy Bigley rounded out the top five.
-By Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @AJorgensen24
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com