EAST MANATEE -- Danny Sullivan perfected the art of spinning and winning on his way to Victory Lane at the 1985 Indianapolis 500.
On a smaller scale during Saturday night's Take Aim Gun Range Sportsman 50-lap main event, Sarasota's Greg Krom duplicated Sullivan's feat not once, but twice on his way to a win.
Brandon Morris started on the pole and quickly started checking out on the rest of the field. While Morris was opening up a lead of nearly a straightaway, George Gorham was working his way up from his sixth starting position. He and Krom battled for the second spot for several laps before Gorham finally got by coming out of Turn 2 on Lap 17.
The caution flew on Lap 20 for Collin Allman's spin in Turn 4. Krom got by Gorham for second on the restart, but lost control of his car and spun into the infield two laps later. He was sent to the rear of the field.
Morris continued to lead after the restart with Gorham on his tail for several laps. On Lap 40, the two cars got together going down the back stretch, ripping the side sheet metal off the driver's side and causing heavy damage to the right side of Gorham's. Both cars had to go to the pits for repairs and would rejoin the field in seventh and eighth place.
Allman found himself leading the race after the incident. On the ensuing restart, Krom went from fourth to second in just two laps and spent the next several laps right on Allman's bumper. After the caution flew again for Gorham's spin on Lap 47, Krom took the lead from Allman on the outside on the restart and appeared to be on his way to a comfortable win when the yellow flew with just half a lap remaining for a crash involving Bobby Mobley in Turn 3.
Allman tried to make the outside line work on the final restart and stayed right on Krom's door nearly the entire way around the 3/8-mile oval. Allman made one last-ditch effort to make the pass on the outside coming to the checkers, but Krom held on for the win in a photo finish at the stripe.
"That might be the most embarrassing race I've ever won after spinning twice on my own," Krom said in Victory Lane.
Allman, Michael Cherry, Shawn Harper and Morris rounded out the top five.
The Pro Late Models then took to the track for a 50-lap feature race. Outside pole-sitter Anthony Cataldi led the first four laps before being passed by Morris, who was making his first start in a Pro Late Model, on Lap 5.
Michael Atwell got by Cataldi for second and quickly closed to Morris' rear bumper. After several laps, Atwell made the pass for the lead as he was starting to stretch his lead when the yellow flew for L.B. Skaggs' spin on Lap 20.
Atwell, Morris and Australian driver Will Carroll ran nose-to-tail until the caution flew again for debris on Lap 36. On the restart, Morris made slight contact with Atwell, forcing the Naples driver to spin in front of the field. Morris was sent to the rear for avoidable contact while Atwell continued in the lead.
Carroll took the lead from Atwell on the ensuing restart. Atwell spun a lap later to bring out the caution and was sent to the rear of the field. On the final restart, Carroll appeared to spin his tires coming to the flag, allowing Morris to retake the lead. Morris pulled away over the final dozen laps to take the win.
In other action Saturday night, Jimmie Best won his third consecutive Rookie 4 feature; Rob Haygood led all 35 laps on his way to a win in the J.D. Byrider Open Wheel Modified feature; J.D. Cordon won the Dwarf Car feature; Danny Burchfield was awarded the Bomber feature win after initial winner Carl Thompson failed post-race inspection; and Ronnie Robinson won the Mini Stock feature.
The Safety-Kleen TBARA Winged Sprints headline next week's racing action at Desoto Speedway. Street Stocks will also be on hand for a 50-lap feature event. Pure Stocks, Mini Stocks, Modified Minis and the Southeast Champ Karts will also be in action.