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Underdog busts bucket list: Jesse Dutilly wins Deep South Cranes 150

Jesse Dutilly wins at Five Flags as an underdog.

Cassie Fambro | STS

Jesse Dutilly has to rework his bucket list after the Deep South Cranes 150 at 5 Flags Speedway Saturday night.

Dutilly, a Florida native, has three children, works a regular job and still makes time to compete in short track racing at a dominant level.

“We only run 12-15 races a year,” said Dutilly. “These guys are in the car all the time, testing, racing, racing pro cars, we are just behind in the seat time and the knowledge.”

Dutilly says keeping up with the evolution of Super Late Model racing is challenging, but the 40-year-old isn’t scared to try and compete with the likes of Bubba Pollard, Stephen Nasse and Blizzard Series champion Giovanni Bromante — all of whom he bested at 5 Flags on Saturday..

“This is the hardest race track I have ever raced on, and I have raced on quite a few; I’ve been racing longer than I care to admit.”

Dutilly and his team have been hammering away at adjusting their setup to tackle the tricky south Florida half-mile…. and they hit the sweet spot just in time for September.

“This one is special, I can’t even believe I am standing here,” Dutilly said, smiling and looking at the stands following the win.

Clearly emotional, we asked Dutilly what’s next on his bucket list.

“This was it,” he said. “This was the bucket list, to prove that we could be here.”

He looked over at Bromante, who finished second, and the man next to him, Anthony Campi.

“I see my friend Anthony here, who does racing for a living, a few miles away from our shop… I know how hard he pushed, I used to race with Anthony. Just knowing the effort that individual puts in, never mind what everyone else does, you have to put the same amount of effort.”

Dutilly has a tough balance, not satisfied with just running races and hanging out in the back… instead only wanting to race as a contender to win.

“Working 60-70 hours a week requires the same amount of effort. Racing every day. You have to make time every day,” he said, noting he and his team work until midnight on the weekends to keep up.

While feeling like an underdog, he doesn’t think the label extends beyond himself.

“We are certainly not in underdog equipment, our car owner gives us everything we need,” he said. “I have the best people around me helping me, and this is pretty cool,” Dutilly said with a smile.

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