MANATEE COUNTY -- On a night when the Safety-Kleen TBARA Sprint Car series was honoring one of their pioneering drivers, Joey Aguilar made sure that he was honoring his mentor in a proper way with a pass coming to the white flag that allowed him to take his second consecutive win to open the season.
Aguilar - whose last visit to the speedway ended with a helicopter ride to a local hospital after he received burns from an oil line fire - started ninth in the inaugural Larry Brazil Memorial 30-lap event. As pole sitter Tommy Nichols paced the field for the first 15 laps of the race, Aguilar, Shane Butler and Ben Fritz were making quick work of the rest of the field on their way to the front of the field. Fritz, who started sixth, was already up to second by the end of lap one.
Butler made his way past Fritz for second at the end of lap 10 and quickly ran Nichols down to battle for the lead. Butler used a diamond maneuver where he went high in the middle of turns three and four and shot to the bottom of the race track coming off the corner. Butler won a drag race with Nichols into the first turn. It looked as if Butler was firmly in control of the closing stages of the race, but Aguilar got by Fritz on lap 18 and started running down the leader. Aguilar closed to Butler's tail with five to go, but couldn't complete the pass.
With a lap and a half to go, Aguilar got a run coming off turn two and dove under Butler coming into turn three. With the white flag in the air, Aguilar completed the pass just before the start finish line. As he crossed under the checker flag, Aguilar said he was thinking of Brazil, a man he described as both a friend and mentor. "This win is for Larry and his family...and that's all," an excited Aguilar said in victory Lane. Butler finished second while Fritz finished third. Earlier in the evening, Aguilar took the win in the K&N Heat Race 1 and Fritz won the Auto Meter Heat Race 2.
In other action Saturday night, Randy Johnson passed Ronnie Robinson in the final turn to win the 20-lap Pro 4 feature; Josh Widner won the Rookie 4 feature race; Kris Bridges was awarded the win in the Cowboy Cadillac feature event after race winner Richard Nelson and runner-up James Wright were disqualified after failing post-race inspection; Jeff Firestine was the winner of the Modified Mini main event; Dennis Wilson, Jr won a crash-filled Street Stock feature - his second consecutive win in that class; and Ren Wright Jr. won the Mini Stock feature.
Next week 3-29, Desoto Speedway plays host to a Crash And Bash night that will feature School Bus Figure 8's in addition to regular racing.
DESOTO SPEEDWAY RACE RESULTS
1. 11 Joey Aguilar
2. 18 Shane Butler
3. 16 Ben Fritz
4. 88 Sport Allen
5. 55 Tommy Nichols
6. 67 Scotty Adema
7. 0 Dude Teale
8. 9 Matt Alfonso
9. 85 Rex Hollinger
10. 92 David Rotzlaff
11.23 Chris Gimmler
12. 4 Jason Bradford
13. J1 Mike Tharp
14. 58 Stan Butler
15. 68 Garrett Green
16. 15 Geoff Styner
1. 42 Dennis Wilson Bradenton
2. 80 Richard Nelson Port Charlotte
3. 50 David Blanchard Bradenton
4. 7 Blaine Baer Port Charlotte
5. 91 Ander Jackson Punta Gorda
6. 8w Tim Wilson Floral City
7. 10 Tim Miller Bradenton
8. 97 Chris Scott Nokomis
9. 26 Brian Hillyer North Port
10. 18 Shane Leonard Cape Coral
11. 64 Dave Bowman Bradenton D.N.S.
12. 5 Jay Praysner St. Marie Canada D.Q. in tech
13. 57 Jim Brenner Sarasota D.Q.in tech
14. 8b Mike Bialacki Arcadia D.Q. in tech
1. 32 Jeff Firestiene Venice
2. 6 Dave Davis Bradenton
3. 17 Jimmy Wood Bradenton
4. 45 Mike Kerrivan Myakka
5. 88 Anthony La Point Zephyrhills
1. 73 Randy Johnson
2. 05 Ronald Robinson Bradenton
3. 91 Jessica Ostrovskis St. Pete
4. 99 Johnny Marra Cape Coral
5. 3 Sherry Best Parrish
6. 008 Ren Wright Jr. St. Pete
7. 98 Chris Larson Zephyrhills
8. 18 Fred Wilson Mulberry
1. 008 Ren Wright Jr. St. Pete
2. 98 Chris Larson Zephyrhills
3. 3 Duane Best Parrish
4. 48 Jason Weiss Zephyrhills
5. 18 Fred Wilson Mulberry
1. 6 Kris Bridges Venice
2. 5 Ed Snyder North Port
3. 80 Richard Nelson Port Charlotte D.Q. in tech
4. 63 James Wright Naples D.Q. in tech
1. 8 Joshua Widner Myakka
2. 67 Jimmy Best Sarasota
3. 13 Bryan Ferguson Ft. Myers
No comments on this item
Only paid subscribers can comment
Please log in to comment by clicking here.