Jesse Dutilly has maintained his status as one of Central Florida’s top drivers while expanding his racing schedule to the Florida Panhandle and Five Flags Speedway in recent years. He has the chance to continue his reign atop the area Super Late Model scene Saturday with the rescheduled Full Throttle 100 at Citrus County Speedway.
The Bradenton, Florida standout enters Saturday’s $10,000-to-win show as the defending winner of the event, leading the final 21 laps to score the win over Stephen Nasse. Nearly 30 cars showed up to Citrus County Speedway last year, with more big stars expected to be in attendance for the fourth running of the event.
“We’re looking forward to getting back there. I feel like we have a pretty good setup for there. The competition’s going to be very stout, there’s a lot of cars that are going to be there this weekend,” Dutilly told Speed51’s “The Bullring.”
“We’re going to get our car ready hopefully, we just ran a race here Saturday and we’re going to have to get busy on the other car in the next couple days to get it ready.”
He will go into Saturday’s race with a new weapon, a Gen-6 body Super Late Model. Dutilly debuted it at Five Flags Speedway during the Rowdy Energy Twin 100s at Five Flags Speedway, and he has spent the rest of the summer dialing it in for the bigger races coming up at the end of the year.
“We built a Gen-6 car and we’ve ran it three or four times. It’s been a little different for us with the setup, so we’ve been trying to get it dialed in down here before we take it to bigger events. We took it to the first Blizzard race and had good speed with the car, but we missed it a little bit with the handling.
“I’ve been trying to get to a couple of these local races here to work on that and we’re gaining on it. We’re going to be bringing the car we won with last year at Citrus. We have a lot of confidence in that car and hopefully we can repeat like we did last year.”
In just three years, the Full Throttle 100 has become one of the premier Super Late Model events in Central Florida. The race has seen its entry list grow since the inaugural running held back in 2017 and is expected to see an increase of star power from outside the state with Bubba Pollard and Jake Garcia having filed entries.
It has since become a race Dutilly checks off on his calendar on an annual basis.
“Camron Ray (Citrus County Speedway Promoter) puts this race on, I like the fact that he’s stuck with it. This year, Bubba was supposed to come down, I don’t know if he will come with the rainout and whatnot. Stephen Nasse’s been there the last two years, we’ve been there the last two years. It’s really turning into a major event here in Florida.
“Citrus always has a large car count for any of their Late Model races that they do throughout the year, and this race has particularly had cars where they were sending them home,” he added. “For a quarter-mile racetrack, starting 24 or 26 cars puts on a heck of a race. There’s two good racing lanes at Citrus so you really can’t get away from anybody. Usually there’s a lot of excitement there, it’s fast for a quarter-mile track.”
The quarter-mile has historically put on exciting show after exciting show with the Super Late Models over the years. Citrus County presents a unique challenge to racers like Dutilly with around 25 other drivers vying for the same goal.
“Citrus has grip and puts on a really good show with the Late Models. The track is really quick for its size, so you really have to pay attention to your brakes. The cars run hot because they get no air with the cars on the racetrack. You’re running into a lot of problems you typically won’t with just running the race with how many cars are on the track.
“They have two lanes and it doesn’t really single-file out there with people just cutting laps, there’s racing throughout the field and there’s never a short amount of excitement.”
The Full Throttle 100 also presents another challenge to racers. With just 100 laps to decide the winner of $10,000, drivers will not have the extended distance they are normally accustomed to with big paydays.
“You really have to get with it. It makes it tough, you have to manage the car and the equipment, keep the fenders and the brakes on it. It’s a short race so there’s no time to waste, you’ve got to get where you need to go and be in position to win.”
Fans unable to make it to Citrus County can watch the Full Throttle 100 live on Speed51.TV. Click here to subscribe today.
Click here to watch a replay of Monday’s episode of “The Bullring.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo