Steele by a Wing in DeSoto Thriller
By Rick Anges--Advertisement--
Bradenton, Fl. - Twenty cars lined up for the fourth race of the season for the new regime of the TBARA Winged Sprints. The club is the most recognized touring series in all of Florida.
This race would wrap up the Speedweeks challenge of 2008. Drivers who have crossed the finish line first were the last three years champions, 2005 Champion Superman Dave Steele winner of the opener at Citrus County Speedway, 2007 Champ Troy DeCaire in the first night of the dual races at New Smyrna followed by 2006 Champ Bo Hartley on the second night.
The huge crowd on hand was on their feet as the field spread out for the four wide salute to the fans. The excitement they felt as the sprinters went by the front stretch stands would be just half of what they would see in the thirty-lap feature event.
Sonny Hartley in the 27 would start from the point with the 1b of Brian Maddux on the outside. Steele would start on the inside of row five and DeCaire outside row six.
Hartley lead the field from the point on the drop of the green. Jimmy Alvis piloted the 21 past Maddux to take the second spot.
The first yellow came out for the 55 Tommy Nichols who sat stalled in turn four. The top five lined up for the re-start with Hartley leading, Alvis in the second spot, third was Maddux, fourth was former DeSoto TQ Midget Champion Mark Gimmler and fifth Larry J. Brazil.
When the field went back to green Gimmler was able to get around Maddux for the third with DeCaire also getting around for the fourth sliding Maddux back to the fifth position.
Frank Neill brought out the second yellow of the evening losing a rear wheel and going around in turn number two. Neill was able to climb out of his wounded ride and was done for the evening.
Hartley spun the tires on the drop of the green and had to burp the throttle. This miscue was all that was needed as Alvis and Gimmler made the pass on the backstretch and Hartley slid back to third.
Alvis pulled away to a comfortable lead but there was plenty of slicing and dicing from second back. DeCaire had made his way to the third spot but all eyes were on Steele who restarted in the eighth position. The Superman showed the crowd how he had earned the nickname as he used every inch of the racetrack to power his way to the front.
DeCaire had no sooner made his way to the second spot when Steele was right there to take it away. He then began tracking down the leader and with three to go began looking for away around.
The fans in the stands were on their feet as Alvis used everything he had to keep Steele behind him. As they came to the white flag and dove down into turn one it looked like Steele had used it up and was going
to settle for the second spot but just like Clark Kent coming out of the phone booth coming out turn four the “SUPERMAN” slung the 91 on the outside of Alvis and by the front wing at the stripe took the win.
Dave Steele in Winners Circle..click to listen!
In the winners circle Steele said ”There wasn’t nothing about that that was easy, we had to scratch and claw”, “That was a little sweeter then some of them right there”.
David Steele was interviewed on Monday follwing the DeSoto win on Inside Florida Racing..click to listen.
Troy DeCaire with his third place finish gave himself and car owner George Rudolph the “SPEEDWEEKS CHALLENGE” win.
Results Feature 1. 91 Dave Steele; 2. 21 Jim Alvis; 3.
68 Troy DeCaire; 4. 51 Mark Gimmler; 5. 5 Blaze
Martin; 6. 21B LarryJay Brazil, Jr. 7. 27 Sonny
Hartley; 8. 0 Dude Teate; 9. 0z Joe Liguori; 10. 1B
Brian Maddox; 11. 39 Charlie Ladner; 12. 16 Ben Fritz;
13. 3X Bo Hartley; 14. 47 Richard Waddell; 15. 41
Steve Heisler; 16. 44 Bill Pettijohn; 17. 21R Richard
Pessinger; 18. 88 Frank Neill; 19. 55 Tommy Nichols;
20. 21T Johnny Gilbertson; 11 Billy Riddle and 56D
Jeff Van Duesen did not start.
Heat races 1st. 1. S. Hartley; 2. Brazil 3. B.
Hartley 4. 0 Dude Teate 5. Waddell
6. Pessinger 7. Pettijohn 8. Riddle. 2nd 1. Maddox 2.
Liguori 3. Gimmler 4. Martin
5. Ladner 6. Neill 7. Nichols 3rd 1. Steele 2. Alvis
3. DeCaire 4. Fritz 5. Van Duesen
6. Riddle 7. Gilbertson ‘
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