LOVELACE NABS STREETERS’ OPENER WIN

Rey Lovelace and Streets champ Scott Bruneau were never out of each other’s sights as they started on the second row, battled through the 25 laps in the top five, then finished the last four laps in a dogfight for first. Lovelace hauled down opening day honors with a narrow victory over Bruneau, and they were chased over the line by Chris DeMoura, Paul Lallier and Vinnie Pangelinan.

Street Stocks had a tough act to follow, however, as the 44 of Craig Pianka rolled onto the track early and set itself before the wall between turns three and four. Pianka hopped out, climbed the wall, grabbed a microphone and in front of the collected fans at the Speedway proposed mightily to his girl friend. He lost the girl but gained a fiancée. Then he went to give ‘em hell in the divisional opner.

The dominant car through the first 20 laps, however, was a new Mustang at the hands of Stephen Potter . . . a car which handled the track and had a few horses to spare down the stretch. Potter came off the outside of the front row with Ed Gannon taking the lead from the pole. But Potter hung tough,

A heavy layer of modified rubber laid down in the previous feature made the early going slippery for the Streeters, and Gannon slid up the track into Potter, Gerard Berthelette, Tony Oliviera and Ray Negley banged together sending Oliveira around and out of turn two. One lap after the restart, Paul Lallier spun out of two. Another restart saw Potter get by Gannon for the lead but on lap 7, Bob Bettencourt and Berthelette got together in turn four, sending the latter around and both of them to the end of the starting grid.

Potter and Gannon seesawed the lead on the green while Bruneau was looking to get under Gannon. Bruneau surged to the lead at the stripe into lap 8 but Potter had it back by lap ten. Lovelace was third, Negley fourth, DeMoura and Gannon followed.

Lap 12 saw the slipping again as Tyler Lallier and Austin Blaise got together coming out of turn 3 and spun into four. Bruneau got a nose by on the restart, but Potter grabbed the lead back and the chase was on again. Potter had a carlength on lap 15, but caution flew again as Berthelette saw his back end snap out and Doug Rioux had nowhere to go, slicing in for a T-bone wreck that sent Berthelette off on the hook.

Potter nosed out and then took the lead down the backstretch. He had a half car lead on Lovelace on lap 19. Coming down the back, Lovelace got into Potter’s bumper and he came loose. He worked at saving it all the way down the backstretch but turn 3 was his undoing.

The lap 21 restart had a new leader: Rey Lovelace with Bruneau on his shoulder. Negley and Pangelinan held the second row, followed by DeMoura and Gannon. As the green dropped, Bruneau edged out but Lovelace fired back while Negley hung on behind, seeking any opportunity. They were door-to-door next time over the stripe, but Robert Gay spun on turn three.

Again, Bruneau and Lovelace duked it out down the front stretch but Lovelace won the battle out of turn two. Negley went to work on Bruneau and they wound into the white flag lap. Coming out of turn four, with Negley looking under Bruneau, he suddenly spun to the infield. With the white flying, Ray kept it going and pulled it back onto the track to keep the race running. Lovelace flew under the checkers with Bruneau hot on his heels.

Rounding out the top ten came Sparky Arsenault, Gannon, Pianka, Bettencourt and Blais..

Author: speedwayweb

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