In Pro Truck racing around the state of Florida, Tommy Kelly has been the man to beat so far in the 2017 season.
Kelly looked like he would keep his impressive winning streak going in Saturday night's Q Auto and Injury Attorneys Pro Truck 50 at Desoto Speedway. Kelly paced the field for 48 laps, but it was Cody McDuffie who used a dramatic pass coming to the final lap and driving on to the victory that capped a wild night of racing action.
Kelly took the lead away from Jeff Guilbault on lap two and pulled away from the second place battle of James Armas, Cody Martell and Cody McDuffie. Martell and McDuffie cleared Armas for second place on lap 14 and set their sights on Kelly over the course of the next several laps.
Martell and McDuffie staged a frantic battle for the runner-up spot just behind Kelly for several laps. The pair made contact several times before McDuffie finally got the spot with 17 laps to go. McDuffie got to Kelly's bumper with about five laps to go and made several attempts to get by on the outside.
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With less than two laps to go, Kelly left the door open for McDuffie to get by on the inside. McDuffie dove underneath and cleared Kelly as the leaders took the white flag. He would go on to the win over Kelly and Martell.
“I felt like I was running out of time to get by him, but I gave it all I had and drove the wheels off this thing,” McDuffie said in victory lane. “The more laps I ran, the better it got. It's been a rough last few races, so to pick this one up means everything.”
Matt McCrary grabbed the lead at the green flag of the 25-lap Pure Stock feature. Darrin Ellis was closing in for the top spot when a red flag came out for a hard crash between Gerald Fossa and Joe Pace on lap three. Neither driver was injured.
Ellis capitalized on the high line and rocketed by McCrary to the lead on the restart. The pair spent the rest of the race running nose-to-tail around the 3/8-mile oval and Ellis held off a last lap challenge by McCrary to take the victory. Kenny Gibson, who along with McCrary won the night's Pure Stock heat races, rallied from an early spin to finish third, then DQed in tech, handing third over to Shane Leonard.
Tom Zimmerman got the jump on polesitter Brooke Storer when the green flag flew for the 50-lap Sportsman feature. Devin McLeod charged from his fourth starting spot and got by Zimmerman for the lead on lap four. As McLeod checked out from the rest of the field Zimmerman, Aaron Williamson and Storer slugged it out for second place.
Zimmerman used the high line to hang onto the second spot until Williamson slid by coming out of turn two on lap 14. Williamson began closing in on McLeod and caught the leader at the halfway point of the race. Two laps later Williamson used the lapped car of Tyler Lau as a pick and took the lead as the field entered the backstretch.
Williamson set sail from McLeod and the rest of the field when the caution flew for Austin Carr's spin on lap 33. Williamson held off challenges from McLeod on three different restarts in the final 15 laps for the win. Storer, Roger Welch and Zimmerman rounded out the top five.
In the 25-lap Street Stock feature, heat race winners Jason Bartram and Travis Barfield battled it out for the lead early. As Bartram set the pace early Donnie Powers worked his way up to third while the leaders started lapping the back of the field.
Bartram, Barfield and Powers spent the final 10 laps running nose-to-tail until coming up on the lapped car of Lee Hobbs on the white flag lap. Bartram slipped trying to get by Hobbs going out of turn two on the final lap, which allowed Barfield to get a run getting into turn three. Bartram slammed the door on Barfield to take the victory. Barfield held off Powers by a matter of inches for second. Bartram was disqualified in postrace technical inspection, which gave the win to Barfield.
Jeff Firestine was in third at the start of the 25-lap Modified Mini Stock feature, but was in the lead by the time the field hit the backstretch on the opening lap. He and Fred Paravicini were in firm command of the race when a caution flew for a fire in Anthony LaPoint's car on lap four.
Firestine pulled away from Paravicini on the restart and went unchallenged the rest of the way for the win. Paravicini and Dave Davis, who won a heat race earlier in the evening, rounded out the top three.
Desoto Speedway will host the American Drilling Paulie Milum Memorial for the Wingless Sprint Cars next Saturday night. Modified Minis, TQ Midgets, Strictly Stocks and Outlaw Modifieds will also be in action.
DESOTO SPEEDWAY RESULTS
Sportsman: 1. 67 Aaron Williamson, 2. 5. Devin McLeod, 3. 9 Brooke Storer, 4. 98 Roger Welch, 5. 01 Tom Zimmerman, 6. 73 Mark Peterson, 7. 25 Tyler Lau, 8. 4 Rick Reed, 9. 8 Austin Carr
Desoto Trucks: 1. 25 Cody McDuffyie, 2. 15 Tommy Kelly, 3. 99M Cody Martell, 4. 17 James Armas, 5. 50 Danny Anderson, 6. 92 Jeff Guilbault, 7. 99H Dakota Hunt, 8. 8 James Dixson, 9. 3 Duane Best
Street Stock: 1. 11 Travis Barfield, 2. 4p Donnie Powers, 3. 52 Mike Rowland, 4. 46 Jimmy Jackson, 5. 23 Todd Brown, 6. 124 Lee Hobbs, 7. 40 Scott Finch, 8. 67 Jimmy Best, 9. 93 Jeff Firestine, 10. 73 Jason Bartrum D.Q., 11. 63 Kyle Best D.N.S.
Pure Stock: 1. 71 Darrin Ellis, 2. 5 Matt McCrary, 3. 8 Shane Leonard, 4. 27p Terry Price, 5. 43 Dennis Coselak, 6. 12 Doug Radley, 7. 57 Brannon Holmes, 8. 2 Joe Pace, 9. 27F Gerald Fossa, 10. 00 Kenny Gibson D.Q.
Modified Mini: 1. 89 Jeff Firestine, 2. 86 Fred Paravicini, 3. 6 Dave Davis, 4. 2 Jimmie Wood, 5. 77R Rachelle Rudolph, 6. 9 Scott Bomgarner, 7, 45 Mike Karavan, 8. 58 Cody Coffman, 9. 24 Anthony Lapoint, 10. 77D David Myers Jr. D.N.S.