Keene Begins Title Defense Saturday at Citrus County

The 2020 Season is set to kick off at Citrus County Speedway this weekend with a 75 lap showdown around the famous bullring. More than 20 of Florida’s best Super Late Models have entered, including 2019 track champion Daniel Keene, Jr.


Keene won last year’s title on the strength of consistency, but hopes to make more visits to victory lane in 2020 while defending his championship.


“That was my original home track when I started racing, so I’ve probably got more laps around there than anywhere else, and that’s just a track that I adapted to really quick,” Keene told Speed51. “I always got around there really good. Last year we ended up winning the championship, but didn’t end up winning any races, just had really good finishes.


“The year before we won three or four, but we had missed two races because we weren’t running for points,” Keene continued. “The year before that we won a couple, but this year we’re looking to back up the championship and also get some wins under our belt.”


With more competition than ever headed to Citrus County, Keene has a few new tricks up his sleeve as he hopes to make his way to victory lane.


“We’re coming with a new car now.  I’ve always ran Grand American racing chassis and I switched over to FURY, so this will be the first race with the FURY car.  So I’ve really got high expectations for this weekend.”


With the new car in hand, Keene plans on making his way to the Rattler and more races at Crisp Motorsports Park as well. But there’s something about Citrus County Speedway that keeps bringing him back.


“It’s really a nice facility for a little short track the way it is,” said Keene. “The fans are just awesome fans, they just pack out the stands. For a small track it has two really good grooves, you have the bottom groove and you have the outside. A lot of times at small tracks like that you don’t really have a good outside groove, but this track does and it has a lot of grip.”


Though, there’s one driver Keene will be keeping his eye on this weekend to make sure he can measure up.


“I’ve heard a lot of people coming there this weekend, but I’m going to have to say that Jesse Dutilly is going to be the one to beat.”


What will it take to beat Dutilly and the rest of the racers coming to Citrus County this weekend?


“We just got to get our car rolling through the middle good and rolling off good,” said Keene.  “In the past I know [Dutilly] always has gotten off the corner good, but not so much in the middle.  So if we can at least beat him there and be at least equal with him off, get to the front before him, or get up there with him and pressure him into making a mistake.  He don’t make many mistakes but we all do.”


Fans can watch all the action from Citrus County Speedway this weekend on the Speed51 Network. Click here to join, and gain access to the live broadcast along with over 100 other live races throughout 2020 and hundereds of on-demand videos, including highlights, recaps, interviews, on-board videos and more from the biggest short track racing events in the country.


-Story by: Allick Jorgensen, National Correspondent – Twitter: @AJorgensen24

-Photo credit: Tyler Sontag

Keene Begins Title Defense Saturday at Citrus County