Santos wins King of Wing Sprints; Tutchtone takes Outlaws, Barnhill & Moody win too!admin
Santos Makes Good on Promise, Captures King of the Wing Feature in Dominant Fashion
By Chuck Corder
It wasn’t like Bobby Santos III played his cards close to his fire suit.
Earlier this week, the King of the Wing Series driver had let everybody know that he was coming to Five Flags Speedway to snatch some hardware.
Setting a track record would be a nice palate cleanser, but the sizzle wasn’t as important to him as the steak.
Santos’ No. 22 winged sprints machine took the lead on Lap 2 of the 30-lap feature, withstood some lengthy cautions, and a constant onslaught from KOTW defending champion Eric Humphries to accomplish his stated goal.
“I really enjoy racing sprint cars here,” Santos said. “I love racing at places like this.”
Humphries finished runner-up and Shane Butler rounded out the podium.
The field of 11 cars represented seven states — as far west as California (Humphries) and as far east as Massachusetts (Santos).
Despite not breaking Brian Gerster’s track record of 13.046 seconds (2014), Santos did set the fast time in qualifying. In fact, the only two drives to crack the 13s were Santos (13.812) and Humphries (13.990).
Santos thought his early move to the front and his tire preservation were the deciding factors Friday.
“You just never know with these things,” he said. “We don’t have spotters, so it’s all on you out there. Tonight kinda went my way because I was able to get out front and save some tires, which this place can be tough on. I was able to save enough to make a big push at end.”
There was a lengthy red flag round Lap 8 because Indiana driver Tom Paterson laid down so much oil around the famed half-mile asphalt oval.
Once, the race resumed, the last 22 laps finished in less time than it took to speedy-dry the track.
“I hope they don’t charge me for all the oil dry,” Paterson joked.
Santos and Humphries put on a show down the stretch, as the two cagey veterans battled for the lead.
Humphries struggled to time his move, and watched, helplessly, as Santos claimed the checkered flag.
“I was good early on, but I just got tight with 10 to go,” Humphries confessed. “I’ll take a second after a day like today.”
Faith Chapel Outlaws
Bill Tutchtone had been out of racing for nearly a decade, and full-time racing even longer.
On Friday night at Five Flags Speedway, it looked like he had never walked away from the sport.
The seasoned Pensacola driver, who got a huge congratulations in Victory Lane from Logan Boyett, deftly passed defending Outlaws Snowball Derby champion Jeremy Pate on Lap 24 en route to winning the Faith Chapel Outlaws 35-lap feature.
Tutchtone, who was a successful Modifieds driver in the early 2000s, notched his first career Outlaws victory.
“These guys worked with me. Three weeks ago, I tore the sucker almost all the way a part,” Toutchtone said. “They worked with me, and we did it.”
Pate finished second and Jason Furrow came away with third.
Jason Welch’s night was a rollercoaster. He blistered the track record in qualifying, setting a new time to beat (17.662 seconds) after topping Bubba Winslow’s old mark (17.689). But, on the drop of the opening green flag, Welch’s No. 21 machine quit on him. He lost power on a shift and caused a big mess. Welch collected Donald Crocker, a three-time winner in 2018, and Connor Sutton, a talented up-and-coming driver, in the wreck.
“When I shifted, the transmission broke,” a disheartened Welch said. “I feel bad for everybody else. I screwed up.”
After big mess cleaned up, Jeremy Pate assumes lead, Furrow second.
The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen
Just when you it appeared as if BJ Leytham would end his winless drought, the champ delivered a knockout blow.
Mark Barnhill, the 2018 The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen track champion, and Leytham had been running door-to-door for most of the 25-lap feature.
But with 13 laps complete, Barnhill created the separation he needed when the pair swapped paint as they dove into Turn No. 1. Barnhill rubbed against Leytham’s right tail and the unintentional nudge nearly sent Leytham into the inside wall before he delivered a miraculous save.
Barnhill quickly distanced himself from Leytham and won for the second time in as many races at Pensacola’s high banks.
“That (No.) 8 car (Leytham) is giving me fits this year,” Barnhill sheepishly admitted. “We got together on the restart. All-in-all, though, I think it was a good, safe race.”
And to his credit, Leytham said as much. The runner-up had no issues with Barnhill’s brand of racing.
“That was fun racing,” Leytham said. “There’s no big deal. Congrats to Mark. He got me again.”
Jimbo Walker finished third.
Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks
Blood, sweat, and tears.
That’s Michael Moody’s recipe for success. The Mobile-area driver works on his car every day, saying you “have to work on it. It’s a never-ending deal, always.”
Well, all that hard work and dedication continues to pay off. Moody, who won the season opener on March 9, took his second trip to Victory Lane by winning the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks 20-lap feature on Friday at Five Flags Speedway.
Once again, he topped Robert Balkum. The two came into the night tie in points after each driver had a win and a second in the only two Pure Stocks features of the season.
“This is such a fun racetrack to drive,” Moody said. “Over here, you gotta have a little bit of patience.”
Finishing third was young driver, Dylan Courtney from Citronelle, AL.
“We’ve got a hot rod this year,” Courtney said.