WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Joey Doiron nudged past Florida hotshoe Joe Boyd with eight laps to go to win the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Model National season opener Saturday night at Auburndale Speedway.
Doiron’s win in the Florida Winter Meltdown 200 and was his second-straight season opening win after capturing the PASS North opener last year at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Maine.
“This is such a big deal, last year’s win at Beech Ridge gave us a big boost and I can’t wait to get to Hickory and Oxford,” said Doiron in victory lane. “We’ve always had a decent car when we come down South, but we’ve had terrible luck. I got into the 5 (Boyd) in turn two and he had a chance to get back to me, but we were just a little bit better there at the end.”
After qualifying fastest and leading the most laps, Boyd was happy with a strong effort and glad to come home in second.
“This is a brand new Port City race car and I can’t wait to get it to Dillon now,” said Boyd referring to the PASS South season opener coming up in March. “I’m happy, I wanted to win in front of the hometown fans, but we just didn’t quite have enough.”
Luck appeared to be on Boyd’s side after pulling the number one pill during the redraw and led the field to green. The first caution of the night waved on lap 15 after a spin by Dale Shaw in turn four. After starting sixth, Doiron was on the move passing Anthony Sergi on lap 23 for third.
Seven laps later, Jeff Scofield would fall victim to Doiron as he relinquished the second position to the Maine native. Following the second caution of the night on lap 36 for a spin by Spencer Davis, Doiron raced around Boyd for the lead on the ensuing restart. Doiron’s lead would be short-lived, however, as Boyd charged back around to regain the top spot just two laps later.
The most serious accident of the night occurred on lap 60 when Eddie King and D.J. Shaw tangled in turn two battling for seventh. The contact resulted in Shaw going up and over King’s left front quarter panel and hood. Shaw was able to continue, but King was done for the night.
Two-time PASS National Champion Ben Rowe looked strong early, but dropped back after contact from Dale Shaw and spun a few laps later.
At lap 100, a competition caution waved to allow teams the option to change two tires. Boyd and Doiron were up front as the teams headed to the pits with Jeff Scofield, Jonathan Guy, and Alexander Gringas rounding out the top five.
As the second half of the Winter Meltdown got under way, Doiron got the better of Boyd on the double file restart and took the lead for the second time in the race. After a spin by Chad Pierce on lap 121, the Meltdown would enter its longest green flag stretch.
The race would go caution free for over 50 laps with Doiron stretching to nearly a straightaway advantage over Boyd. During this stretch of the race, several cars fell out due to brake problems including Rowe, Gingras, and Dale Shaw, whose brakes caught on fire briefly to bring out the race’s final caution of the night.
With 21 laps to go, Boyd was able to get a better restart than Doiron to charge back into the lead. But, Doiron would hound Boyd over the final laps, making slight contact in turn two to retake the lead for the final time.
Doiron held on for his second career PASS Super Late Model win over Boyd, Scofield, Jay Fogleman, and Jonathan Guy.
Joey Doiron, Joe Boyd, Jeff Scofield, Jay Fogleman, Jonathan Guy, Anthony Cataldi, Tate Fogleman, Jean Francois Dery, D.J. Shaw, Chad Pierce, Kyle Desousza, Alexandre Gingras, Dale Shaw, Ben Rowe, Spencer Davis, Eddie King, Steve Legendre, Anthony Sergi.