ARSENAULT CAPTURES FIRST WIN IN PURE STOCKS
Amy Arsenault broke from the pole and into the lead at the start of the Pure Stock feature . . . twenty-five laps later she had held off a charging Jesse Melberg for her first win after six years of competing in the division. It was a gritty win as Melberg had worked his way from the rear of the pack, owing to last week’s victory and threatened to make it two in a row, but Arsenault hung tough through lapped traffic with Jesse on her tail to nail down the victory. Melberg was rocketing along on the outside with his left front corner even with her right rear as they flew across the stripe and under the checkers. Ed Flanagan, Bill Doyle and Earl Curtin chased them over the stripe.
Melberg put on a driving show as Arsenault rolled out to a long lead. She had Flanagan and Doyle bumper to bumper behind her. A short space back to John Robidoux, Curtin and Melberg grinding at each others’ bumpers was eating up the laps.
Melberg went around Curtin for fith and started in on Robidoux down the backstretch on lap six. He was on his own going into lap seven. He set out after Doyle, holding third behind Flanagan. By lap eleven he was coming around Doyle for third and setting up on Flanagan, who himself was trailing Arsenault by two cars. Two laps later, he was alongside, but fell back momentarily then charged up Soyle’s outside again. He gained third out of turn two and set off after Flanagan.
He was alongside Flanagan into lap sixteen as Arsenault began to navigate lapped traffic. The battle for second continued five cars back. The pair squeezed under a lapped vehicle setting up a three wide momentarily, but they moved on into clear air. Melberg had second the next time across the stripe and into lap 19.
With five remaining, Melberg was closing on Arsenault, three cars ahead. The gap was a single carlength on lap 21, and Jesse moved to the outside for the pass. But Arsenault toughened up and they dueled past another lapped car which moved up in the nick of time. Melberg’s progress was slowed in the pass, and he had to ramp it back up. They were now into the last circuit, and Melberg put the hammer down. He closed to Arsenaults rear, but the checkered flag intervened and She had the feature win sealed.
Rounding out the top ten were: Robidoux, Daniel Massa, Jr., Ed Gould, Jamie Salley and Mark Murphy.