MELBERG DOMINANT IN PURE STOCK WIN
Reigning Pure Stock Champ, Jesse Melberg was the only driver to post a lap under 16 seconds with a 15.991 enroute to a brilliant win in Pure Stock competition. Melberg started low in the fifth row, thanks to a second place finish one week earlier. On his right shoulder was teammate and last week’s winner, Chris Lima. Melberg surged through the field and was troubling leader Amy Arsenault by lap 12. They raced door-to-door for the next eight laps with Melberg charging determinedly on the outside as Arsenault held him off. She was loose coming out of turn four on lap 19 and spun to the infield grass. She elected to keep going and powered back out onto the track. Melberg now held the lead but the journey to the stripe was still six laps away and John Robidoux wanted to get there first. Lima and Earl Curtin were five cars back.
Robidoux unloaded his bag of tricks, but was unable to conquer Melberg, who crossed for the win. Robidox and Lima followed. Ed Flanagan was able to nose past Curtin for fourth, just .122 seconds ahead.
Arsenault had led from the pole and glommed onto the lead with Robidoux jumping from fourth to second on the first circuit. He troubled her over the spot throughout the race. Flanagan, Ed Gould, Bill Doyle, Melberg and Ian Savard gave pursuit until Gould spun off turn two on lap three.
Arsenault and Robidoux lined up for the restart with Flanagan and Savard behind them. Melberg was now seventh. The front four went door-to-door out of the box but Arsenault managed to edge forward about a half car with Robidoux still fighting alongside. She gained the lead downt he backstretch as Doyle came up alongside Flanagan to challenge for third.
Melberg was haunting Doyle by lap six as Arsenault had managed to put a carlength between herself and Robidoux. She began to seem a little tight coming out of turn four on the ninth time around. On the following lap, Melberg moved past Flanagan for third. Curtin was fifth.
Robidoux began looking underneath Arsenault, but she kept the door closed but with Melberg on his bumper he had to take care. Melberg sized up the situation and decided to go around Robidoux and set up on the outside.
The blue move-over flag flew as the lead trio approached lapped traffic. Arsenault was through problem-free but it was tight for Robidoux and especially Melberg. As they dived through turn three, Melberg threaded his way past the lapped vehicle with just inches to spare, but was able to hold his position alongside and sweeup under Melissa Charette and Kerri-Lynn Manfredo.
Lap 19 saw Arsenault spin to the infield and Melberg was able to come through with the lead without a pause in the race. Curtin, Flanagan and Lima moved up. Then Flanagan took over third. Lima got by Curtin for fourth on lap 21 and troubled Flanagan until lap 23, when he wrested third away to set the finishing order with two laps remaining.
Robidoux , Lima, Flanagan and Curtin rounded out the top five. Doyle crossed sixth followed by Jamie Salley, Gould, Savard and Daniel Johnson.