Bobby Santos III Survives Steele 125 Tune-Up

Bobby Santos (22) leads Kyle O'Gara Wednesday night at Showtime Speedway. (David Sink Photo)
Bobby Santos (22) leads Kyle O'Gara Wednesday night at Showtime Speedway. (David Sink Photo)

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. – Bobby Santos III survived slippery track conditions and several restarts to capture Wednesday night’s Dave Steele World Non-Wing Championship 125 tune-up event at Showtime Speedway.

Santos III led wire-to wire for his first win of the year.

Wednesday’s nights 30-lap event was a prelude to Thursday nights $5,000-to-win, 125-lap event as part of the annual Ice Crusher Week that will also see a $15,000-to-win Figure 8 race and a $10,000 to win super late model event. It was also the first time 410 non-winged asphalt sprint cars have competed in the state of Florida in more than a decade.

When the green flag waved Joe Liguori dove under polesitter Kyle O’Gara and Santos and a three car drag race ensued immediately for the lead. Santos took command of the event and lead the entire distance despite multiple double-file restarts. Santos hung on for the win over a close finishing O’Gara who came on strong at the finish. Joe Liguori came home third followed by John Inman and Tommy Nichols.

Santos eluded to the fact the track was slippery and presented challenges during the feature event.

”The track was slick and tough to get hooked up on,” explained Santos III in victory lane. ”We kinda fought it all day. We got it better, but we benefited from a good starting spot. We just gotta keep working on it to get better for tomorrow.

“I think we were pretty good, but we weren’t great. John Inman passed cars based off what I saw from the score board so that tells me its doable to pass cars here. So, I don’t see why I couldn’t have if I needed to,” Santos added.

The only serious incident of the night occurred on lap eight when Dylan Reynolds rode up over John Inman in turn one. The contact launched Reynolds hard into the wall and he rode the top of the wall for several feet before coming to a halt in turn two. Reynolds was unharmed during the incident.

Teams will be back in action early for Thursday night’s Dave Steele World Non-Wing Championship 125 event, with practice beginning at noon followed by a two hour qualifying window, that will see four-lap qualifying format, similar to that used at the Little 500 in Anderson, Ind.

SPEED SPORT Network affiliate Low Budget TV will broadcast Thursday’s Dave Steele World Non-Wing Championship from Showtime Speedway live online. Click here for more information.

The finish:

Bobby Santos III, Kyle O’Gara, Joe Ligouri, John Inman, Tommy Nichols, Brandon Blenden, Travis Bliemeister, Kody Karl, Phil Haddad, Kody Swanson, Aaron Pierce, Dylan Reynolds.