david steeleBradenton, FL – On a night that the Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series presented by BG Products and TrueFuel honored one of Florida’s late sprint car racing legends, it seemed fitting that another legend would finish the night on top of the podium. Dave Steele, a two-time Little 500 champion who has several championships on his resume, rocketed from the back of the field and crushed the competition on his way to a victory in Saturday night’s Larry Brazil Memorial at Desoto Speedway.

After winning the first heat race of the evening, Steele took the BG Challenge and started at the rear of the 17-car field. He passed 11 cars in the first three laps, passed Johnny Gilbertson for third on the sixth lap and just passed Troy DeCaire for the second spot when the red flag flew for a hard crash by Jeff Firestine just prior to the halfway point. Steele blasted by Jason Kimball on the restart and immediately set sail from the rest of the field. Not even the lapped traffic would slow down Steele, who was clocking laps in the 108 MPH range in the final half of the race. He would beat DeCaire by nearly half a lap at the checkered flag.

“This is a great honor,” Steele said in victory lane. “Larry Brazil was definitely a hero of mine on the local scene growing up here. It’s tough outrunning these guys.”

Kimball, Gilbertson and Sport Allen rounded out the top five. DeCaire won the night’s other heat race.

Cody Stickler has made Desoto Speedway his personal playground in the JD Byrider Open Wheel Modified division. In Saturday’s 35-lap feature, Stickler passed Chad Rutherford for lead lap on 7 and checked out from the rest of the field. L.B. Skaggs got by Rutherford for second on lap 18 but found himself with a distant gap to the leader. Stickler was ahead of Skaggs by nearly half a lap when the caution flew for Rutherford’s spin with 11 laps to go. Skaggs didn’t have anything for Stickler on the restart, and the Pinellas Park driver drove on to another victory. Skaggs and Troy Robinson finished second and third, respectively.

The Take Aim Gun Range Street Stocks took to the track for a 25-lap feature. Kenny Gibson took the lead early and held the top spot for most of the race with Donnie Powers and James Nanney directly in tow. Gibson was fighting a loose condition for most of the race and nearly spun a couple of times coming out of turn four. With four laps to go, Powers got a run on Gibson and took the lead going down the backstretch. He would go on to his second straight feature win, with Gibson and Nanney rounding out the podium.

In other action Saturday night, Darrin Ellis completed a double on the evening by winning both the 25-lap LKQ Pick Your Part Pure Stock feature and the 25-lap Pep Boys Speed Shop Modified Mini Sock feature; Carl Thompson won the 25-lap Bomber feature; and Devin McLeod won the 20-lap Legends feature.

Desoto Speedway will host the 200-lap Fall Bawl Invitational Sportsman feature, which figures to draw at least 40 of the state’s top drivers on August 20. Desoto Pro Trucks, Pure Street Stocks, Mini Stocks and Bombers will also be in action that night.


Sprint Cars

1. 33 Dave Steele

2. 91 Troy Decaire

3. 79 Jason Kimbal

4. 22 Johnny Gilbert

5. 88 Sport Allen

6. 16 Dude Teate

7. 68 Garrett Green

8. 15 Troy Thompson

9. 63 Carlie Yent

10. 59xJohn Inman

11. 11 Mike Tharp

12. 22x Travis Bliemeister

13. 44 Gary Wiggins

14. 3. Jeff Firestine

15. 39 Clayton Donaldson

16. 18 Shane Butler

17. 15jr Geoff Styner D.N.S.

Street Stock

1 4 Donnie Powers

2. 23 Kenny Gibson

3. 6 James Nanny

4. 11 Travis Barfield

5. 51c Jarrett Cornell

6. 51t Garrett Thompson

7. 73 Jason Bartram

8. 10 Jeff Firestine

9. 17 Mark Pickelsimer

10. 5b Dave Blanchard

Pure Stock

1. 71 Darrin Ellis

2. 7 Blaine Baer

3. 3 Sherry Best

4. 72 Roger Dufrense

5. 27 Gerald Fossa

6. 67 Jimmy Best

7. 7t Travis Todd



1. 75 Carl Thompson

2. 7 Josh Todd

3. 38z Zach Briggs

4. 12 Doug Radley

5. 81 Mark Gill

6. 21 Aaron Holmes

7. 22 Ann Marie Ricardi

8. 23 Kenny Gibson

Open Wheel Modified

1. 99 Cody Stickler

2. 71 L. B. Skaggs

3 0 Troy Robinson

4. 5 Chad Rutherford

5. 75 Buddy Ryan

6. 23 Todd Brown

Modified Mini

1. 71 Darrin Ellis

2. 45 Mike Karrivan

3. 86 Fred Paravicini

4. 59 Frank Pelusio

5. 6 Jimmy Frazier

6. 17 Brad Blanton

7. 77 Rachelle Rudolph

8. 81 Travis Kirby


1. 21 Delvin McLeod

2. 15 L. J. Grimm

3. 9 Mitch Verhaagh

4. 5 Stan Butler

5. 7 John Inman