Over the last couple of seasons, Todd Brown has always had a fast car in Desoto Speedway's Street Stock class but always seemed to be on the wrong side of Lady Luck.
For Saturday night's 50-lap main event for the Take Aim Gun Range Street Stocks, it looked like Travis Barfield was going to take the win despite a car that was visibly slowing and smoking in the last third of the race. Barfield led 49 of the 50 laps, but it was Brown at the right place at the right time when Barfield's car couldn't go anymore less than a football field from the checkered flag.
An accident involving Travis Rowland, Duane Best and Donnie Powers on the opening lap feature moved fast qualifier Kenny Gibson up from eighth to fourth by the time the field took the green flag. Travis Barfield, Todd Brown and Gibson separated themselves from the rest of the field before a caution flew for Wade Evett's spin on lap 13.
Barfield pulled out to a bit of a lead on the restart. Brown got back by Gibson for second and reeled in Barfield at around the halfway point of the race. The caution came out again on lap 29 when Lee Hobbs spun directly in front of the leaders in turn one.
Smoke began to fly from Barfield's car with about 15 laps to go, allowing the second and third place cars of Todd Brown and John Brown to close the gap. Todd Brown and Hobbs got together with three laps to go to bring out the final caution flag.
Barfield cleared Todd Brown on the final restart and appeared to be on his way to the victory. On the final lap, Barfield's car dramatically slowed entering the third turn. Barfield attempted to block the rest of the field, but Todd Brown got by – shearing off his right front fender in the process – for the lead less than 100 yards from the finish line and took the victory.
“That was wild,” Brown said. “This is the second time out in this brand new car and we've got some issues. I needed the long run. The cautions hurt me and I couldn't get going for a few laps. It is what it is and I'm really happy.”
Gibson and John Brown finished second and third. Barfield eventually fell to fourth in the final turn. Jason Bartram rounded out the top five.
A week after winning his first Pure Stock feature of the season, Darrin Ellis began this week's 25-lap feature on the pole. He wasted no time rocketing away from the rest of the field and was comfortably in front when the caution flew for a spin by Sherry Best on lap 3. Ellis and Brandon Duchscherer were battling for the top spot when the red flag came out for a hard crash between Best and Brey Holmes on lap 5. Ellis and Duchscherer continued their battle at the front of the field after the restart until Duchscherer passed Ellis for the top spot as the field crossed the halfway point of the race.
Ellis refused to give up and stayed on Duchscherer's tail for the next 10 laps. Duchscherer was able to put a little space on Ellis in the final couple of laps and drove on to the victory. Carl Thompson held off Blaine Baer for third. Duchscherer was looking to complete the sweep on the night with a victory in the 25-lap Bomber feature. He charged from his sixth starting spot to second in the opening couple of laps and quickly ran down early leader Randy Spicer. Spicer, Duchscherer and Zach Briggs were all in a fight for the top spot when Pat Martin spun to bring out the caution on lap 6.
Duchscherer and Briggs got by Spicer on the restart and spent the remainder of the event running nose-to-tail around the 3/8-mile over. Briggs made a couple of attempts to get by but Duchscherer held him off and went on to the victory. Spicer finished third.
Donny Duchesne grabbed the lead at the start of the 35-lap JD Byrider Open Wheel Modified feature. Bobby Baldwin quickly joined him at the front of the field and made the pass for the top spot in the 5-lap mark. Baldwin drove away from Duchesne and the rest of the pack over the final 30 laps on his way to the win. John Coffman rounded out the podium.
In other action Saturday night, Michael Meeks and Austin Lykins won the Trophy Dash races.
Desoto Speedway will host the Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series next Saturday night. Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, TQ Midgets and Mini Stocks will also be in action.
1. 78 Brandon Duchscherer Auburndale, 2. 71 Darrin Ellis Myakka, 3. 75 Carl Thompson Auburndale, 4. 7 Blane Baer Port Charlotte, 5. 00 Dan Lautner Arcadia, 6. 14 Bobby Diestler, 7. 57 Brennon Holmes Auburndale, 8. 3 Sherry Best Myakka, 9. 12 Doug Radley Bradenton
TROPHY DASH 4cyl
1. 14 Michael Meeks Bradenton, 2. 68 Steve James Lake Wales, 3. 37 James Volk Bradenton, 4. 27 Austin Lykins Parrish, 5. 42 Anne Osborne Bradenton
TROPHY DASH V8
1. 27 Austin Lykins Parrish, 2. 71 Charles Butterfield, 3. 51 Troy Smith
1.42 Brandon Duchscherer Auburndale, 2. 75 Zach Briggs Lakeland, 3. 22 Randy Spicer New Port Richey, 4. K9 Jody Gill Bartow, 5. 14 Adam Briggs Lakeland, 6. 98 Rick Norman, 7. 10 Pat Martin Venice, 8. 12 Todd Wozniak Parrish, 9. 57 Brey Holmes Auburndale
1. 4 Bobby Baldwin Oldsmar, 2. 73 Donny Duchesne Lithia, 3. 58C John Coffman Live Oak, 4. 58F John Ford Live Oak
1. 23 Todd Brown Bushnell, 2. 51 Kenny Gibson Venice, 3. 57 John Brown Bushnell, 4. 11 Travis Barfield Myakka, 5. 73 Jason Bartram Lakeland, 6. 124 Lee Hobbs Bradenton, 7. 40 Scott Finch Bradenton, 8. 67 Jimmie Best Sarasota, 9. 76 Wade Evett Port Charlotte, 10. 4 Donnie Powers Myakka, 11. 63 Duane Best Myakka, 12. 52 Mike Rowland Polk City