LASCUOLA CRUISES TO FEATURE WIN AND CHAMPIONSHIP
Nick Lascuola had the Legends Division championship in hand coming into the evening’s races; he decided not to rest on his laurels and gathered in another feature win to add to his list of 2013 victories. Were it not for a caution with four laps remaining, he might have won by the distance of a straightaway in a show of the type of dominance he has had over the field for much of the season.
He came from a seventh place start to the front in six laps, eclipsing a brief run at the front by Chris Robbins, who leapt off the outside pole past Matthew Carpenter and flew to a substantial lead before John O’Sullivan and Carpenter were able to break from the pack down the frontstretch. But by lap two, Lascuola was already in second and running hard to chase down Robbins, ten cars ahead. Newcomer Stephen Kopcik was working under O’Sullivan behind Lascuola; Kopcik claimed third out of turn two.
By lap three, the very fast Lascuola had narrowed Robbins’ lead to four cars, with Kopci and O’Sullivan still very much in the hunt. He worked alongside Robbins in turn four on the ensuing lap and had the lead at the stripe going into lap six.
As he began to pull away, Joey Parker moved into fifth with new arrival Dennis Pantani on his coattails. Matt Carpenter, Jesse Melberg and last week’s winner Al Wisialko followed. Melberg was making his second appearance in a Legends and leaving his Pure Stock at home to focus on the new seat.
By lap 12, Lascuola had gone out to a half-straightaway lead over Robbins and Kopcik, who were running wheel-to-wheel. On the next lap, Kopcik claimed second out of turn two. By lap 15, the field stood as Lascuola, Kopcik, Robbins, O’Sullivan and Parker. Parker was closing on O’Sullivan for fourth two laps later.
O’Sullivan retained a three-car lead over Parer into lap twenty-one, but got loose in turn four and came out sideways. Parker was unable to avoid and they spun together toward the end of the straight. The incident sent O’Sullivan to the pits for the evening, ending his night.
On the restart, Kopcik found himself outside Lascuola on the front row. Robbins and Pantani made up row two, with Wisialko and Matt Carpenter behind them. Lascuola pulled away from Kopcik, who would not go away and chased him to the checkers, finishing just a half second off the champion’s winning pace. Robbins, Wisialko and Pantani rounded out the top five. Six through tenth went to Carpenter, Parer, Melberg, Jesse Jaubajtys and Curt Snow.