by Dana Rowe
Tyler Almeida completed a trick he has been threatening to pull off all year: winning the Sport Four feature. He leaped off the outside pole, leaving polesitter Glen Leduc in second and then had nothing but clear air ahead of him for the entire twenty laps. Those twenty laps went caution-free the entire distance, saving Almeida the angst of having to face any restarts.
Jordan Lopes rushed up outside Leduc to debate second place while Almeida charged out to a five-car lead. Lopes escaped Leduc and Samantha Mattera ducked underneath to challenge for third. Tough Tim Bolger and Arthur Meack followed, side-by-side as Richie Murray rambled up to Tim’s bumper.
Five Laps in and Almeida had pushed out to an eight car lead. Lopes, Mattera and Leduc followed, just ahead of a door-to-door battle between Meack and Bolger, immediately preceded by another between David Westgate and Murray. Westgate dodged ahead to make a three-wide with Bolger stuck on the outside, who ducked back in, forcing Murray off his game and into dodging competitors.
Lopes’ persistence was paying off by lap twelve as he had whittled Almeida’s lead down to four cars. Westgate was trying to go wide on Mattera as Bolger came wide around Cliff Avila after falling back during the chaos.
Mattera held off Westgate, then Meack came in to get underneath him. Bolger attached himself to Westgate’s bumper, followed by Avila, Murray and Mike Lefort, who ran up on Murray’s outside. At the front, Almeida continued to hang onto his four-car lead over Lopes. Mattera again had Westgate at her shoulder and Bolger at her back.
With four to go, Lopes had trimmed the lead down to three cars and behind Mattera and Westgate, Meack was cutting under Bolger. Now Westgate looked underneath Mattera but was denied. Bolger took the moment to go to Westgate’s high side and then took a very wide berth around Mattera. Samantha held him off and they went wheel-to-wheel for two laps, whipsawing the lead until three laps remaining when Bolger put his nose ahead down the front stretch and grabbed third for himself in turn two.
For the final three laps, the field maintained pace to the finish line with Almeida jetting home just under a second ahead of Lopes. Bolger was in third and Mattera held off Westgate for fourth. Meack was sixth, behind Westgate followed by Murray, David Gargaro, Alexander Manuel, Avila, Karin Levesque and LeFort.