ROLANDO BACK IN VICTORY LANE
Curtis Rolando returned to his winning ways but still had to hold of a sprinting Taylor Bowser as the field in SYRA 750’s pared itself down to three cars by the finish. Still, it was hold-your-breath competition as Bowser, relegated to the rear of the field by a lap-one caution, sprinted out of the pit chute as the rest of the field took the green and began to chase down the leaders. She was able to close up to the sprinting Rolando but could not get past before the checkers, finishing just .858 back. Last week’s winner, David Lougee finished third.
Bowser juped for the lead from her spot low on the second row, as polesitter Ashley Kuhn let an opening. Lougee followed on her bumper and coming down the frontstretch they went four wide into turn one for the second circuit. But even in mini-cups, four-wides seldom hold on the old bullring, and The Fates chose Lougee to spin to the infield, taking out Shelby Donovan and Bowser. Rolando cut and dodged to make a fantastic avoidance to the conflict.
Donovan and Kuhn retreated to the pits; Bowser was hand-pushed up the pit ramp. Kuhn was able to return for the restart while Donovan was lost for the remainder of the feature.
Rolando now had the pole with Christine Cavallaro on his shoulder. Lougee and Kuhn were behind them. Rolando went to the front with Lougee following. Kuhn and Cavallaro grabbed their bumpers and Bowser came out of the pits like a shot from a howitzer. Her speed was obvious through the next few laps, and the crowd held its breath.
The rest of the field formed up in a pace line: Rolando, Lougee (six cars back) Kuhn another four cars and Cavallaro. Bowser was a third of a lap behind, but rapidly closing.
On lap five, Kuhn suddenly fell off the pace and limped to the pits with mechanical failure.
Lap ten saw Bowser on Cavallaro’s bumper. She went underneath and to the front out of turn four with half the race remaining. But Lougee was a quarter lap ahead. Lap twelve saw Rolando ahead of Lougee by a straightaway when Cavallaro suddenly lost all power and coasted to a stop in turn three, unable to make it to the pits. \
This closed up the field for the restart on lap 16 with a four-lap shootuout. Rolando on the pole, Lougee on his shoulder and Bowser on his bumper.
Bowser powered under Lougee out of the box and into second. But Rolando had the horses and pulled ahead to a five car lead. Bowser pushed and closed in but could not overcome the advantage, settling or the runnerup’s spot with Lougee following. Cavallaro was fourth, two laps down; Kuhn fifth, minus five and Donovan, having only survived one lap, was sixth.