DeCaire Pounds Florida Pavement

Eventual winner Troy DeCaire (36) battles Mike Tharp (J1) at 417 Speedway. (David Sink photo)
Eventual winner Troy DeCaire (36) battles Mike Tharp (J1) at 417 Speedway. (David Sink photo)

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — The state of Florida has been busy with sprint car activity the past two weeks. Virtually every form of the open-wheel sport has been on display during the annual Speedweeks.

Saturday’s Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series event at 417 Speedway was the only winged pavement sprint car variation contested during 2020 Florida Speedweeks.

Defending SSSS champion Troy DeCaire continued his hot streak dating back to the 2019 season. He emerged victorious for the second time in 2020 with the Florida based winged asphalt 360 series.

A huge crowd greeted the series for their second event of the new year.

DeCaire wasted no time getting to the front of the field, when he made a three-wide assault on the leaders when the green flagged dropped. He slid quickly int o the second position by lap four and immediately contested Mike Tharp for the lead.

Tharp wouldn’t relinquish the lead very easily. The duo battled hard for several laps until DeCaire finally wrestled the lead by lap 7. DeCaire would go the rest of the way uncontested to claim his second SSSS victory in as many events in 2020.

Following DeCaire to the strip were John Inman, Scotty Adema, Tommy Nichols, and Clayton Donaldson rounding out the top five.

“We were low on cars tonight” DeCaire explained. “The track was pretty much wide open, and I could do what I wanted. When you can minimize traffic, that’s nice. I was really just trying to pace myself and keep myself in a clean racetrack and not do anything too risky.”

DeCaire was quick to appreciate the importance of running in front of a packed house and claim a win during Speedweeks.

“There were quite a few people here tonight and a few from up north that stopped in. Its good because everybody down here is paying attention to racing right now. Anytime you can add your name to the win list and check one off while everybody is looking is good” concluded DeCaire.

The finish:

Troy DeCaire, John Inman, Scotty Adema, Tommy Nichols, Clayton Donaldson, Ryan Adema, Joey Aguilar, Kenny Gibson, Michael Tharp, Travis Bliemeister.