AUBURNDALE, Fla. — Troy DeCaire won the inaugural Dave Westerman Memorial Saturday night at Auburndale Speedway to give him his fourth consecutive BG Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series victory and fifth win of the season.
Unlike his four previous victories, his most recent win was anything but a cake walk and sent DeCaire on a roller-coaster ride beginning early in the day.
While running third in his heat race, his car come to an abrupt stop exiting turn four on lap seven. DeCaire quickly bailed out of his mount grimacing in pain. An apparent u-joint broke, and-in-the process smashed his right foot. A few short minutes later DeCaire could be found in his pit area walking with a limp and an ice bag over his foot. He was helping his crew thrash to get the repairs done in time for the feature.
As the final car pushed off for the 40-lap feature, it did not appear DeCaire would present himself in time for the feature. But DeCaire miraculously appeared at the entrance to the track just as the filed paraded around the speedway.
When the green flag waved, Travis Bliemeister lead the first three circuits before surrendering the lead to Sport Allen. Meanwhile, DeCaire had quickly worked himself into the fourth position by lap ten and set sail for the leaders.
By lap 18n DeCaire had caught race leader Allen in lapped traffic. Over the next ten laps the duo would weave in and out of lapped traffic while trading the lead multiple times. At times, the battle for the lead would include three and four-wide racing. By lap 34, DeCaire had sealed his claim on the point and raced the rest of the way to victory.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve had a u-joint explode” explained DeCaire.” Thank God it wasn’t at a big track but a little one like this. It came apart and slapped me on the foot. My big toes purple and I lost a toenail. I’m proud of my guys for getting this thing back together. We had to borrow parts off a few other teams. I love running with Sport (Allen). We were in there throwing hay makers at each other and that was a lot of fun.”
Troy DeCaire, Sport Allen, Joey Aguilar, Mickey Kempgens, L.J. Grimm, Gary Wiggins, Travis Bliemeister, Bruce Brantley, Bo Hartley, Francis Crowder, Bill Pettijohn, Daniel Miller, Dude Teate, Tommy Nichols.