Dave Darling made it six on the season with yet another Pro Stock win. The wins seem almost redundant with their frequency, but it was not an easy win. Tom Scully commandeered the front from Daryl Stampfl on lap two and ran hard, fighting off Mighty Mike Brightman in the early going, then had to contend with The Rocket, Ryan Vanesse with his quick, new ride.
While everyone was trading shots at the front, Darling calmly worked his way up from tenth. He was at Scully’s bumper 25 laps in and religiously pursued him for six laps before breaking into the lead. He then led the parade of cars to the finish at lap 45.
Kevin Casper had been scheduled on the outside pole, but he elected to start in the back, elevating Scully to the spot. Stampfl and Tom, Jr. went door to door to turn four before Stampfl nosed ahead crossing the stripe. Tom settled in and Radical Rick Martin jumped onto his tail. But two laps in, Scully shot by on the backstretch and dropped in. Brightman came up on Stampfl’s high side, looking for second and began nosing ahead. There was contact, Brightman wiggled a bit but nevertheless took over second. Vanasse followed into fourth behind Martin. Fred Astle, Jr. and Everett’s teammate Dylan Estrella came up to run fifth and sixth.
There was contact in turn four on lap eleven. Stampfl got sideways and gathered up Estrella bringing caution. Casper ran for the pits. Estrella, Dick Benoit and Angelo Belsito (driving the Rollie Lindblad 48) headed pitside as well.
Scully and Brightman lined up with Vanasse and Astle behind them. Darling was already in fifth with Nick Johnson sitting on his shoulder. Scully grabbed the lead on the green and Vanasse dived in under Brightman. Darling was under Astle. But Estrella was suddenly around in turn two. He pitted again.
Scully and Brightman went at it again and Scully grabbed a nose. Brightman fired back and they were door-to-door through turns three, four and across the stripe. It continued into turn two
Vanasse got his nose under Brightman but Austin Blais spun in turn four. Martin caught something which deflated his tire and he did a double-260. Belsito and Danny Cabral visited the pits.
Scully escaped from Brightman and Vanasse went underneath for second. They dueled with Astle on their bumpers and Darling behind Fast Freddy. Then came Johnson, followed by Casper and Cabral. Another circuit and the field was single file. Vanasse got past Brightman, who dropped into third/ Astle then got under Brightman.
Vanasse was at Scully’s bumper, now and it was ten cars back to where Darling was now working under Astle. Brightman was fifth ahead of Johnson.
Darling broke away in turn two and there was an eight-car space to Vanasse running second.
Fifteen laps in and darling was just two cars behind Vanasse. Another circuit and the defecit was only a half-car. With 23 to go, Darling was on The Rocket’s bumper. He looked underneath, but Vanasse was guarding his low side. Two more laps, however, and Darling was underneath and then into second. Astle, Brightman and Johnson followed Vanasse.
With a dozen laps to go, Darling had generated a three-car lead on Scully. The field was single file and the entire field was in its finishing order. Over the final four miles, it was a rapid unwinding of laps with no positions changing hands. At the finish, Darling had his fifth win on the season and adding to his championship points lead. Scully had a well-earned second with Vanasse a solid third. Astle and Brightman rounded out the top five.
Sixth through tenth went to Johnson, Estrella, Martin, Kevin Casper and Kyle Casper