Several classes of racing at Desoto Speedway saved some of their best action for their final night of their 2015 season Saturday night – including one that came down to a photo finish.
Greg Krom jumped into the lead at the start of the 50-lap J.D. Byrider Open Wheel Modified feature. Doug Moff was quick to join him at the front of the field, but brought out the caution when a tire went flat and nearly sent him into the turn one wall on lap 6.
Brad Bowman got by Krom on the restart and started pulling away while Bobby Blake, Cameron Ray and Moff fought for the second spot. Blake and Ray started chewing into Bowman’s big lead and were brought back to the front of the field thanks to Eric Rudd’s spin on lap 29.
Ray and Moff got by Blake on the restart and set their sights on Bowman. The three drivers were starting to fight for the top spot when the caution flew again with nine laps to go.
Bowman and Ray made contact on the restart, and Ray would spin to bring out another caution before the completion of lap 41. Moff made one last attempt at getting by Bowman on the restart, but the Clearwater driver would pull away for the victory.
“Cameron and Doug have been fast here for years and being able to beat them is an honor,” Bowman said. “We usually race up at Showtime (Speedway in Pinellas County), but I think I’m really starting to like this place.”
Moff, who won three straight races to open the 2015 season, finished second and was crowned series champion. Krom, Ray and L.B. Skaggs rounded out the top five.
Chastain looked to close out his championship season with his fifth straight feature win in the Q Auto & Injury Attoneys Desoto Pro Trucks. Chastain led the first lap, but lost the top spot to Scott McKay a lap later.
A handful of laps later, Chastain used the lapped truck of Tom Carlough as a pick to reassume the top spot. Chastain fought off McKay – and several lapped cars – to claim his sixth win of the season.
“I never thought I’d be able to be this competitive and consistent,” said Chastain, who said he never had a finish of lower than third over the course of the season. “This is awesome.”
McKay, Jimmie Best, Duane Best and Robert St. John rounded out the top five.
The Take Aim Gun Range Street Stocks brought their 2015 season to a conclusion in dramatic fashion. Ander Jackson came from deep in the field to take the lead from Ronnie Brock Jr. 10 laps into the race. A rash of yellows for mechanical failures brought Danny Caylor and James Nanney to the front of the field.
Jackson and Caylor traded the lead several times over the last 10 laps, running side-by-side most of the way around the 3/8-mile oval. Caylor nosed ahead of Jackson at the white flag and was leading when his car broke loose entering turn four on the final lap.
Despite the slip, Caylor kept his momentum on the bottom of the track as Jackson tried to make one final move on the high side. Caylor held off Jackson in a photo finish, with the margin of victory being less than 12 inches. Nanney finished third.
Mike Kerrivan, who won three feature races during the season, claimed the 2015 track championship for the street stocks.
In the 25-lap Mini Stock feature, Ren Wright Jr. grabbed the early lead and was joined at the front of the field by Ronnie Robinson and Johnny Marra. The trio pulled away from the rest of the field before Robinson spun trying to go for the lead with two laps to go.
Wright got the jump on Marra on the restart and went on to the win. With his second place finish, Marra built a nearly-inusrmountable lead over Jimmie Best for the 2015 series championship. Laura Mammina finished third.
In other action Saturday night, Fred Paravicini held off Darrin Ellis to win the 25-lap Pep Boys Modified Mini Stock feature. Lee Davis, who suffered a mechanical failure while leading in the early stages of the race, locked up the division’s 2015 track championship; and Kenny Gibson won the 15-lap Bomber feature. Randy Spicer clinched the Bomber championship with a second place finish.
Next week Desoto’s regular season concludes with Winged Sprint Cars, Sportsman, Mini Stocks, Bombers, Pure Stocks along with the Outlaw Modifieds’ Merle Caswell Memorial race.
-Desoto Speedway Press Release & Photo
DESOTO SPEEDWAY RACE RESULTS
1. 36 Chad Chastain Alva
2. 99 Scott McKay Bradenton
3. 67 Jimmy Best Sarasota
4. 3 Duane Best Myakka
5. 75 Robert St. John Arcadia
6. 17 Dan Lautner Cedar Michigan
7. 20 Tom Carlough Venice
8. 12 Scott Hogan Naples
9. 43 Marina Petty Venice
10. 5 Richard Griffis West Palm
11. 33 Bubba Thompson Bradenton
Open Wheel Modified
1. 2 Brad Bowman Clearwater
2. 46 Doug Moff Ft Myers
3. 45 Greg Krom Sarasota
4. 9 Camron Ray Homosassa
5. 71 L. B. Skaggs Ft. Myers
6. 12 Eric Rudd Naples
7. V1 Terry Vaughn
8. 75 Bobby Blake Grand Isles
1. 7 Danny Caylor Lehigh
2. 91 Ander Jackson Punta Gorda
3. 6 James Nanny Bradenton
4. 93 Jeff Firestine Venice
5. 1 Ronnie Brock Jr. Sebring
6. 45 Mike Karravan Bradenton
7. 20 Claudio Reyes Sarasota
8. 9 Dave Blanchard Bradenton
9. 72 Roger Dufrense Bradenton
10. 11 Travis Barfield Myakka City
11. 57 Jim Brinner Sarasota
12. 88 Jimmy Castleberry Auburndale
13. 40 Scott Finch Bradenton
14 63 Kyle Best Parrish
1. 86 Fred Paravicini Bradenton
2. 72 Darrin Ellis Myakka
3. 4 Donnie Powers Myakka City
4. 67 Bo Davis Lakeland
5. 6F Jimmy Frazier Avon Park
6. 77 Lee Davis Lakeland
7. 6 Dave Davis Bradenton
1. 23 Kenny Gibson Venice
2, 22 Randy Spicer New Port Richey
3. 19 Greg Krom Sarasota
4. 88 Jimmy Castleberry Bartow
5. 39 Jeff Firestine Venice
6. 9 Garrett Thompson Bradenton
1. 008 Ren Wright Jr. St. Pete
2. 99 Johnny Marra Cape Coral
3. 77 Laura Mammina North Port
4. 3 Sherry Best Myakka
5. 05 Ronnie Robinson Bradenton
6. 67 Jimmy Best Myakka
7. 37 Jerry Groves