BRADENTON, FL - RIS - Rain may well have proved to be the ally of the Southern Pro Truck Series drivers at DeSoto Speedway in Bradenton, FL as crews were able to use the extra time provided by a one hour delay to better prepare their trucks for ...
BRADENTON, FL - RIS - Rain may well have proved to be the ally of the Southern Pro Truck Series drivers at DeSoto Speedway in Bradenton, FL as crews were able to use the extra time provided by a one hour delay to better prepare their trucks for qualifying. The green race track may have helped too as Ron McCreary set a new Track Record of 15.46 seconds around the 3/8 mile high-banked asphalt oval and then came from the eighth starting spot to win the race.
With the old track record sitting at 16.63 seconds, as set by Dan Perez earlier this year, practice showed that almost every truck on the track was quicker than that time and in time trials the entire top ten beat the old track record. With just over a second separating the top ten times it promised to be a tight battle in the race. Perez was second quick in qualifying with Wayne Metcalf and Todd Blevins rounding out the top four. The top eight trucks would be inverted according to series rules and that would place Jimmy Carter on the pole.
When the green flag flew Carter took advantage of his inside position to put the Tasker Motorsports entry into the lead with outside front row starter John Jackson in the Fix-A-Tire/Scots Corner Chevy right on his tailgate. Carter was unable to hold the lead for long as his handling began to go away and Jackson slipped into the lead. Jackson was able to get some breathing room and then had the engine let go ending his day prematurely. Carter found himself back on the point but behind him was a snarling pack of trucks all closing fast on the ill handling leader.
McCreary had spent the early part of the race working up through traffic as he showed the experience gained from his Late Model days, and soon he was hounding Carter for the lead. It did not take long for him to slip by and take the point and then begin to open up a gap. McCreary was not to have an easy time of it as once Carter lost the lead, he began to slip back in the field with a wicked push in the truck. Wayne Metcalf in the Wayne's Automotive/Wynn's Products/Crazy Soap/Herbie Cope's Racing Decals Chevrolet was quickly into second place and closing the gap to McCreary. Although he was able to catch McCreary, passing him was another thing and when Perez joined the battle late in the race to make it a three way contest for the lead, Metcalf was as intent on holding second as he was on getting first. The front three trucks took the checkered flag nose to tail with Fred Wagner in the Marine Surplus S-10 taking the fourth spot and Mark Manfredi brought the Certified Maintenance Dodge home in fifth.
SPTS NOTES: The "Look" of the SPTS pit area is becoming more professional as the brightly painted and carefully detailed trucks are now being joined by team members in matching "Team" shirts. Two points per race for the best appearing team can make a difference. SPTS Die Cast Collectibles will be on the market soon and you can find them at your local K-Mart, Target or Woolworth store. More new trucks are being built and it is hoped that by the end of the season there will be at least 20 on the series on a regular basis.
TOP TEN QUALIFYING RESULTS 1. #12 Ron McCreary 15.46 2. #2 Dan Perez 15.73 3. #3 Wayne Metcalf 15.83 4. #95 Todd Blevins 15.85 5. #22 Fred Wagner 15.92 6. #4 Sonny Hughes 16.15 7. #88 John Jackson 16.18 8. #25 Jimmy Carter 16.20 9. #20 Mark Manfredi 16.21 10.#1 Brain Teeters 16.29
TOP FIVE FINISHERS 1. #12 Ron McCreary 2. #3 Wayne Metcalf 3. #2 Dan Perez 4. #22 Fred Wagner 5. #20 Mark Manfredi
1997 SPTS POINTS STANDINGS 1. Dan Perez 162 2. Wayne Metcalf 145 3. Mark Manfredi 132 4. Brian Teeters 108 5. Jimmy Carter 104 6. Fred Wagner 96 7. Todd Blevins 90 8. Ron McCreary 85 9. John Jackson 73 10. Randy Smathers 70
John Kaiser, Racing Information Systems