DeGASPARRE TAKES LATE MODELS AND LEAD IN POINTS STANDINGS
Gerry DeGasparre, Jr. took over from Charlie Rose on lap 18 and ran at the lead of the field through the finish line for both a win and closing the gap with Bill Bernard for the points lead. It wasn’t an easy path from their to the checkers as Rose pursued him tenaciously, then was eased back when Bobby Pelland III took over second and onto DeGasparre’s bumper through to the finish. Pelland, Dylan Estrella, Rose and Bernard completed the initial five finishers.
While Charlie Rose put on a show of speed throughout, DeGasparre worked his way up from fifth in a race which wound down with just two cautions. Rose, starting outside polesitter Tyler Thompson, saw the latter pull ahead. Adamant, he continued to charge around the outside as Jeramee Lillie pursued. DeGasparre was coming around Mark Hudson for fourth while Bernard held sixth.
Bernard had his back end snap out on the hot pavement, coming out of turn four. His luck was good, as the entire field was able to avoid him. He went to the pits along with Ryan Lineham and Roland Wheeler.
The Lap 3 restart saw DeGasparre and Lillie behind Thompson and Rose. On the start, Thompson rushed out of the starting box and Lillie fit in under Rose, holding him on the outside. Rose bore down and ran up alongside Thompson again to begin a ferocious door-to-door.
DeGasparre drove in under Lillie and as Thompson pulled ahead of Rose, Lillie made contact with him. Thompson went around and Dave Hutchins, Jr. running sixth, came in with nowhere to go. The two cars’ impact eliminated both drivers from the event after seven laps, while Joe Kohler and Bernard were able to avoid the wreck. Hutch, with a collapsed nose, was taken to the pits on the hook. Lillie, assessed with the assist, went to the rear.
Rose and DeGasparre lined up with Hudson and Pelland behind them. Rose leapt away as the field chased in. DeGasparre pursued Rose as pelland and Hudson dueled door-to-door. Estrella, Marfeo, Lineham and Kohler followed.
Lap ten and Rose slid up out of the groove and DeGasparre jumped in underneath him for a wheel-to-wheel, but Marfeo looped and Bernard scrubbed his right side down the frontstretch wall in attempt to avoid a head-on crash. Lineham was charged with the assist.
Rose got away from DeGasparre out of turn two on the restart. Pellqand went under DeGasparre and Estrella got beneath Hudson. Pelland began looking under Rose and on lap 13, Charlie again drifted up and Pelland grabbed the spot, looking for the lead. They ground around dead even for three laps, before Rose could again gain ground. They whipsawed the lead, but Pelland wedged ahead and Rose dropped suddenly in front of DeGasparre who had to brake hard.
Lineham spun at that moment – lap 19 – and the order reverted to the previous lap. Rose set up on the pole with Pelland on his shoulder. DeGasparre and Estrella followed with Hudson and Lillie in the third row. Rose now had DeGasparry trying to worm his way underneath but Marfeo came to a halt in turn two, bringing out the caution.
DeGasparre and Rose were the front and Gerry went TO the front on the lap 19 restart. Pelland worked under Rose to second and Estrella followed to third on lap 26. Pelland was five cars behind hunting DeGasparre down when Wheeler spun, bringing a caution and a lap 27 restart.