PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — John Inman picked up his first Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series victory of the season Saturday night in a slugfest that was run with no fans in the stands at Showtime Speedway.
Inman, the 2017 SSSS series champion, started from the pole and set the pace early on. Troy DeCaire dropped in behind Inman at the start and never lost sight of Inman despite multiple challenges by Dylan Reynolds, Joey Aguilar and Sport Allen.
Inman was able to protect his lead throughout several double-file restarts.
DeCaire began to lure Inman in with about five laps remaining in typical Troy DeCaire fashion. DeCaire dove under Iman entering turn one on lap 41 to temporarily take the lead. Inman was having none of it and took the lead back from DeCaire.
With two laps to go, DeCaire tried another slide job entering turn one once again with unsuccessful results. Inman held on for the win in thrilling fashion to claim the 44-lap event.
“I kind of burned the stuff up late in the race staying out front,” Inman explained. “It was a 44-lap feature and we usually only run 40 laps. I knew Troy (DeCaire) would have an awesome car. I was trying to park it on the bottom and hit my marks. He went to the outside one time and I kind of moved up and he shot to the bottom. We crossed over two or three times. I thought it was great racing. The race was great. I hope the fans that tuned in to the broadcast felt the same way. They saw an awesome five laps with me and Trot swapping the lead.”
In a usual set of circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the race was run without any fans in attendance due to Florida state regulations. It was available as a pay-view only through Low Budget TV, a member of the SPEED SPORT Network.
“We kind of stay to ourselves anyway,” Inman said “We don’t really have a bunch of fans that I partake. Some people said good job and maybe they were a fan. Some of the bigger teams always have a lot of fans and a bunch of people there. I like winning with nobody here because it’s kind of my style anyway. We’re just a small knit team and my family. That’s how we like to do it.”
DeCaire finished second, with Dylan Reynolds, Sport Allen and L.J. Grimm rounding out the top five.
Stephen Nasse won the super late model feature.
John Inman, Troy DeCaire, Dylan Reynolds, Sport Allen, L.J. Grimm, Scotty Adema, Johnny Gilbertson, Cody Karl, Travis Bliemeister, Michael Tharp, Garry Wiggins, Carlie Yent, Ryan Adema, Garrett Green, Joey Aguilar, Tommy Nichols, Daniel Miller, Willie Henson.