Demello wins Race, Miranda wins Championship
It was warfare in the middle of the pack . . . three wides and four wides and two drivers intent on the championship slashing their way through toward the front. Shawn DeMello went to the outside while Devin Miranda powered through the traffic. They came forward apace and it was dizzying time watching their progress as they matched pace, each in his own way. Miranda made it to third first and fresh air at his grille. Then to second and first as Miranda leapt out of the pack and followed him through. They passed leader Glen Leduc and it was a hard run, five cars between them, over the final seven laps to the checkers in a race that ran caution free.
DeMello’s win the previous week had him starting sixteenth on the 18-car field while Miranda opened from tenth. But choices made big differences in their style. While Leduc left the pole like a howitzer shot, Miranda dodged his way through the crowded field. DeMello, who ran the outside much of the season chose the high rode and fought around a number of three wides riding up close to the tracks “fourth groove” among the marbles.
Focus was on the two contenders for the crown, with Miranda having several points’ advantage over DeMello. By lap four, DeMello had moved up six spots and could be seen coming up fast. Miranda, among the crowd down lower, was just ahead of him.
Leduc was stretching his lead over Kim Bickford to six cars while David Gargaro, Jr. was working the outside on her. Bob Henry, Nicholas Mattera, Mitchell Bombard and Tyler Boudreau. While DeMello was coming around the outside, Miranda squirted under a three-wide into fifth; DeMello snagged sixth.
Miranda looked underneath Henry. DeMello stayed wide and made it another three-wide, leaping ahead into third as Miranda got caught behind Gargaro. In the transition from lap ten to lap eleven, DeMello went to second. The field had moved back up on Leduc and was just about two cars back. Nurabda was springing up on Gargaro as DeMello sped around the outside, past Leduc into the lead. Mianda followed suit, working around Leduc a lap later.
But DeMello had sprung into a 7-car advantage. Miranda, now in clear air, began to close the gap, but with just four laps remaining, the chore looked too big. With three to go, it was down to a four-car lead, but Demello’s lead was enough to continue him through to the checkers. Miranda, across in second, clinched the championship with DeMello the runnerup, a reverse on the race finale.
Eric Pelletier followed in third. Tyler Boudreau was fourth, followed by Bombard, Leduc, Henry Lavallee, Michael Glad, Bickford and Gargaro to round out the top ten.