It was a wild night under the lights at Citrus County Speedway as 21 Super Late Models kicked off the 2020 season at the Central Florida bullring. Anthony Sergi ended up picking up the victory at the end of the night, but it didn’t come without a little bit of drama.
Nick Neri and Michael Atwell dominated the early laps before coming to blows on a restart with 32 laps to go, with on-track theatrics occurring during the ensuing caution.
“Oh, you know we had a great race going there for a while until a little past halfway,” Neri told Speed51. “It felt like we had a really good car to win and then we just started getting used up a little bit more than we should have. I got tired of taking it and just gave it back finally and that’s the end of it. He doored us coming to the restart. Then halfway down the straightaway he tried to pinch us into the fence. Then we got down to one he moved me out of the way. If you want to wreck me under caution I’ll wreck, go home and come back to do it again.”
“I mean we’re racing for a position there to win the race,” Atwell stated. “We clearly had the car to win it. You’re racing with a mental midget and an intelligent person in Nick Manfield and Nick Neri. You kind of expect if they can’t win the race they’re going to wreck you to try and win the race, and clearly that didn’t work out. We have a tail piece missing and a front end missing, so maybe next time they’ll come out and compete, but until then we will be back and we will be winning more races.”
After the race, eventual winner Anthony Sergi recounted the incident from his vantage point.
“It just looked like there on the restart Atwell just got on the gas a little bit early coming off of four and brought Neri to the wall,” Sergi said. “Neri stayed in it right there and it was just a wreck after that. Both of them have some hot tempers and kinda went at each other, and the track’s ruling was a black flag for both. So we kinda lucked it. We had a good car. It wasn’t the best, but we had a good car and ran a smart race, kept the fenders on it, and I definitely thought it was a good race.”
When it was all said and done, Jesse Dutilly finished second after struggling with an ill-handling race car early.
“Well we missed it tonight in our Senneker Performance race car,” Dutilly admitted. “We were fading there badly. There was a lot of carnage tonight, so under a red we decided to come in. We changed all kinds of parts. I think we made five or six different kinds of adjustments to try and free the car up, and just kind of made wholesale changes to try and salvage the day. Low and behold we had enough time to get back out to the front with a little bit of luck. The car was a lot better. We’ve really been trying to develop some new stuff and it just didn’t work out for us today. Last week we broke a track record and this week we had to go back to what we were doing last year, so we’ll keep working on it and get it better.”
A full on-demand video replay of Saturday’s Super Late Model 75 at Citrus County Speedway can be viewed now on the Speed51 Network by clicking here.
-Story by: Allick Jorgensen, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @AJorgensen24
– Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Super Late Model 75 Unofficial Results:
Citrus County Speedway (FL) – February 1, 2020
|12||5K||Daniel Keene Jr.|