BRADENTON - Usually, starting from 14th place in a 100-lap feature race on a 3/8-mile oval makes winning an extremely difficult task.
But for Riverview's Joe Boyd, that didn't slow him down as he picked his way through the field on his way to win Saturday night's crash-filled Icebreaker 100 for the Bright House Challenge Series in front a capacity crowd at Desoto Speedway.
A 12-car inversion put Canadian driver Jerry Artuso on the pole and sent the night's fastest qualifier, Jesse Dutilly, to 12th in the 26-car field. Artuso took the lead on the start and was inching away from second-place Michael Atwell of Naples before the caution flew for the slowed car Sarasota Anthony Campi. Campi, winner of two of the last four Super Late Model races at Desoto, saw his night end after just six laps.
Artuso and Atwell would battle for the lead for the next several laps before another caution for a spin involving Bradenton's Dennis Colletti bunched up the field. On the restart, Atwell got by Artuso while some of the faster cars that were inverted were making their way toward the front. This included Dutilly, who had made his way up to sixth.
Nine laps later, the caution flew again as Atwell and Jeff Scofield crashed while battling for the lead. This put Lakeland's Chris Fontaine in the lead and Dutilly up to second. Dutilly was still running second on a lap 37 restart when he started slowing with a tire issue and caught a break when a caution flew a few laps later, allowing him to pit without losing a lap.
Just prior to the halfway point, Fontaine and Wildwood's Wayne Anderson, who was making his first appearance at the track in three years, touched going into turn three battling for the lead. Fontaine got the worst of it, spinning in front of the entire field and collecting Scofield. That ended the night for Fontaine and Scofield.
Anderson and Boyd, who weaved his way through the carnage to find himself in second, would battle for the next 20 laps for the lead. Boyd got under Anderson at the line for the lead on lap 68 and quickly began pulling away from the field.
Boyd survived several restarts over the closing stages of the race and pulled away for his first Icebreaker win. He led a race-high 33 laps and collected the night's Hard Charger award for gaining the most starts from his starting position.
"I didn't think I could come back from 14th tonight but man I had a great car," Boyd said in victory lane. "It's been awhile and man...this feels good.
Anderson held off a surging Dutilly over the final laps to take second. Dutilly wound up third after falling as far back as 20th after his tire issue.
"I think we had a car that could win and I wish we could have got back up there," Dutilly said. "I'm happy to be here - especially after what happened with the tire and getting to race with some of the best people in the state of Florida. I'm happy to be a part of that."
Scott Walters finished fourth and Jake Perkins took fifth. Anthony Sergi, George Gorham, Nick Neri, Dennis Colletti and Chad Allman rounded out the top ten.
In other action Saturday night, Port Charlotte's Richard Nelson won the 25-lap Street Stock feature; Bradenton's Ronnie Robinson won the 25-lap Pro-4 feature; Myakka's Josh Widner won the Rookie-4 feature and Mike Bialacki of Arcadia won the Cowboy Cadillac feature that saw him beat teammate Chris Bridges, who spun across the line in second place.
Desoto's regular season kicks off March 1. Pro 4's, Pure Stocks, Late Model Sportsman, Open Wheel Modifieds, Rookie 4's and Mini Stocks will highlight that night's racing.
2-1-2014 DESOTO SPEEDWAY RACE RESULTS
1. 80 Richard Nelson Port charlotte
2. 5 Jason Praysner Ontaria Canada
3. 71 Darrin Ellis Myakka
4. 50 David Blanchard Brandon
5. 8 Tim Wilson Tarpon Springs
Super Late Model
1. 5 Joe Boyd Riverview
2. 84 Wayne Anderson Wildwood
3. 30 Jesse Dutilly Bradenton Fast time
4. 77 Scott Walters Naples
5. 59 Jake Perkins Ocala
6. 20 Anthony Sergi Geneva
7. 10g George Gorham Lakeland
8. 151 Nick Neri Palmetto
9. 4 Dennis Colletti Bradenton
10. 67 Chad Allman Plant City
11. 94 Donnie Varcoe Sault Ste. Marie
12. 36m Travis Miller Punta Gorda
13. 10 Steve Dorer Lakeland
14. 9 Rich Clouser Deland
15. 7 Daryl Shellnut Lake city
16. 56 Brian Richardson Cape Coral
17. 51 Michael Atwell Naples
18. 11 David Rogers Orlando
19. 5A Jerry Artuso Sault Ste Marie
20. 47 Chris Fontaine Lakeland
21. 6 Jeff Scofield Plant City
22. 36 Chad Chastain Alva
23. 7E Doug Elliott Port Orange
24. 06 Mike Finn Jupiter
25. 81 Anthony Campi Sarasota
26. 5x Steve Gill Sarasota D.Q.
1. 05 Ronnie Robinson Bradenton
2. 91 Jessica Ostrovskis St. Pete
3. 171 Dalton Ellis Myakka
4. 66 Ethan Baisen Auburndale
5. 56 Danny Burchfield Auburndale
6. 70 T.J. Tanner Auburndale
7. 71 Robert Fellows Auburndale
8. 99 Johnny Marra Punta Gorda
9. 77 Laura Mammina North Port
10. 6 Josh Widner Myakka
11. 3 Sherry Best Parrish
12. 73 Randy Johnson Bradenton D.Q.
1. 8 Mike Bialacki Arcadia
2. 6 Kris Bridges Venice
1. 8 Josh Widner Myakka
2. 11 Zach Rogers Clearwater
3. 67 Jimmy Best Sarasota