EAST MANATEE -- Chad Chastain came out of a side-by-side battle for the lead and would lead the final 33 laps of Saturday night's inaugural race of the Joey Coulter Fellows Truck Brokers Florida Pro Truck Series at Desoto Speedway.
A nine-truck inversion put fast qualifiers Brent Huber and Michael Burns ninth and eighth, respectively, in the 20-truck starting field.
Gerald Campbell jumped into the lead when the green flag flew and paced the field for the first 16 laps.
Chastain and Campbell ran side-by-side all the way around the three-eighths-mile oval for three laps before Chastain cleared Campbell on Lap 17. Chastain would begin pulling away while Campbell and Burns staged a side-by-side battle for second for several laps.
Campbell would eventually slow in Turn 2 with a mechanical failure, ending his race with 20 laps to go.
Chastain fought off a challenge from Burns on the restart and began stretching his lead over the next 10 laps. In the final stages of the race, Burns closed the gap a little on Chastain as he weaved his way through lapped traffic, but it wasn't enough as Chastain cruised to the win.
"We were good, but we started falling off toward the end," Chastain said in victory lane. "I guess everybody else fell off like we did."
Burns said the brakes wore out in his truck over the final laps, preventing him from making a final run at Chastain. Cody McDuffie finished third.The J.D. Byrider Open Wheel Modifieds took to the track for a 40-lap feature event.Dalton Nelson grabbed the lead at the start of the race, but his advantage was short lived as Josh Todd, who started fourth, took away the lead three laps into the race.
Halfway through the race, Todd faced a stiff challenge from Steve Arnold and Doug Moff. On a Lap 24 restart, Moff elected to start on the outside but was passed immediately by Arnold for the lead.
Moff got into the back of Todd's car heading into Turn 3, sending him into a spin. Todd was hit by another car and retired from the race with a broken right front suspension. Arnold would go unchallenged the rest of the way on his way to the win.
"We came up here and practiced Friday morning, and we haven't done that for awhile," Arnold said. "Our homework really paid off."
Dalton Nelson finished second, while Moff would rally back to finish third.
In other action Saturday, Duane Best grabbed the lead from Troy Theim at the halfway point of the 30-lap Pure Stock feature event and went on to his second feature win for the young season. Darren Bass won his second consecutive Dwarf Car feature; Ronnie Robinson took the win in the Mini-Stock feature; Dakota Baggette won the Legends feature; Mike Endee won the Outlaw Modified feature event; and Rick Sirmans won the Modified Mini feature.
On Saturday night, Desoto Speedway will host the Larry Brazil Memorial event for the Safety-Kleen TBARA Sprint Car Series. Pro 4s, Street Stocks, Cowboy Cadillacs, Rookie 4s, Modified Minis and Mini Stocks also will be in action.