EAST MANATEE -- After a series of rain delays, mechanical failures and hard crashes, it was Carl Thompson who found himself standing in the winner's circle after the 30-lap Bomber feature event at Desoto Speedway on Saturday night.
Outside polesitter Jeff Firestine got the jump on the start and paced the field over the opening laps. Thompson and Kenny Gibson needed just a handful of laps to get to second and third, but Firestine built a straightaway-length lead before the caution flew for Aaron Holmes' spin on lap 11.
Rain fell during the caution, sending the field to the pits while crews worked to dry the track surface. On the restart Firestine slowed and pulled into the infield, handing the lead to Thompson with Gibson directly in tow. At the 20-lap mark Gibson suddenly slowed in turn two, giving Thompson what was nearly a half-lap lead over Greg Krom and Randy Spicer.
As Thompson was pulling away from the rest of the field the caution flew for a hard crash by Gerald Fossa, who hit the second turn wall head-on. As Fossa's wounded car was sitting against the wall it was struck in the rear by David Myers. Neither driver was injured in the accident that destroyed Fossa's car and left Myers with heavy damage.
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Thompson held off a challenge from Krom on the restart and cruised to the win. Spicer, Bubba Thompson and Jody Gill rounded out the top five.
Desoto's new enduro-style class was also on the card for several races, including a 25-lap enduro where the cars raced counterclockwise for the first 10 laps before being stopped and turned the other direction for the final 15 laps.
Richard Campbell grabbed the lead at the start of the race and paced the first six laps before being overtaken by Jason Soko. Soko would pull out to an easy lead before the field was stopped and inverted for the final 15 laps.
Soko needed just a lap to get back to the front of the field but was quickly joined by Matt Carpenter. Carpenter passed Soko for the lead on lap 12 and was pulling away when Soko's car snapped left and hit the wall hard in a driver's side impact. Soko was awake and alert after the crash.
Carpenter survived a four-wide restart to keep the lead. Over the final few laps Campbell came from the back of the field to challenge for the lead. With two laps to go Campbell dove to the inside of Carpenter to take the lead, but immediately slowed as the cars went down the backstretch.
Carpenter went on to win, followed by Joe Lombardi and Duane Campbell.
In other action Saturday night, the team of Justin Arrigoni and Ashley Suggs won the switch-off race; Lombardi won a rain-soaked road course race; Mike Gamache won the school bus figure 8; Joe Lombardi won the flag pole race; Amy Gamache won the powder puff race; and Lombardi finished the night by picking up $1,000 with a victory in the demolition derby.
The Q Auto and Injury Attorneys Pro Trucks, Street Stocks, J. D. Byrider Open Wheel Modifieds, Modified Minis, Mini Stocks and Bombers highlight next week's racing action at Desoto Speedway.