Showtime Speedway in Pinellas Park, Florida brought in the best racers from around the state to put on one heck of a show Saturday night with the $5,000-to-win Florida State Super Late Model Championship 100.
With big names such as Florida short track ace Jesse Dutilly, young gun Michael Atwell and super team Mike Cope Racing in town, it was Aaron Williamson in only his third ever start in a Super Late Model who took the win.
Williamson, who had gotten the call up to substitute for the injured Colin Allman on Thursday night, had been driving for owner Chad Allman for most of the year in the team’s Sportsman car.
“It was incredible. I can’t thank everyone who supports us enough. Jesse, of course, has a dominant car wherever he goes. It’s unbelievable to beat him, let alone pass him on the outside. I cannot believe how the season has come with the Sportsman car and now the Super Late Model here for a race. I’m shaking I’m so excited. It’s great.”
When pressed to find out how he got around Dutilly on the outside for the win with only a handful of laps to go, Williamson simply said, “I had a good coach on the radio”.
The one on the other end of the radio was none other that Colin Allman himself.
“Colin supported me for my decision to step to the outside of him from the first turn and told me to keep digging, keep digging, that we were going to get him, and sure enough we did.”
Jesse Dutilly chalks up his second-place finish to handling issues his team had been struggling with all weekend.
“I needed to be on the top, but I couldn’t get off turn four. I thought I would just be a sitting duck, so I tried the bottom and the car just wouldn’t run the top,” Dutilly explained. “I practiced the bottom for three weeks, committed to the bottom when the grove was in the top so we could pass cars. Low and behold at the end of the race I couldn’t get off the top of the race track.”
Devon McLeod came in third with a car that more resembled a Florida Modified than a Super Late Model in the closing laps.
“The car was great. It was awesome, and then I just got caught up in someone else’s mess,” he said. “It was tough keeping these things down in the bumps. It’s such a small track you don’t think downforce means much, but when you have to hit the gas and the brake so much to get the car to roll through the center, I think if we had a nose on the car it would have been a good three-car race or they would have been chasing us. The car was that good.”
More information, highlights, and interviews from Saturday night’s race at Showtime Speedway can be seen by visiting 51’s Trackside Now.
Next on the schedule at Showtime Speedway is the Racecar Engineering Wheel Man Sportsman Series 50 with support from the Pro Trucks, Mod Minis, Mini Stocks, Strictly Stocks and Street Stock divisions on July 15.
-By Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @AJorgensen24
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Florida State Super Late Model Championship Official Results
Showtime Speedway (FL) – July 8, 2017
|15||32||Harold Crooms II|
|24||5K||Daniel Keene Jr.|