When race leader Vinny Pangelinan spun out of turn four on lap 7, Stephen Potter inherited the front . . . but he already knew he was in trouble. Though Pangelinan saved it and kept going, keeping the race under green, Potter was saddled with Streets champion Paul Lallier scratching and biting at his rear bumper. Lallier had vaulted past Craig Pianka in the smoke and confusion of Pangelinan’s spin and now only Potter stood between him and his first win of the season. And he set to work. Like a surgeon.
Lallier harried the flying Potter, looking high and low, giving “bumper reminders” to keep him aware of the threat. The pressure stayed on for nine laps, until Lallier could seize on Potter’s drift up the track and ply his way through underneath. Half the 30-lap Triple Crown event remained, and Potter stayed in pursuit of the car which stole his lead through the finish, but Lallier pulled steadily away to a 2.5-second margin of victory. Ray Lovelace was just .3 seconds off Potter’s rear deck, and climbed back into the divisional lead. Pianka had gotten loose and sideways on the backstretch to afford Lovelace the position and Gerard Berthelette also squeezed past to nab fourth, just a quarter of a second ahead of Pianka.
Pangelinan, who had won his heat race, started on the pole, with Potter on his shoulder. Lallier was outside Austin Blais behind them and Lovelace and Berthelette made up row three. As the race went green, Pangelinan pulled away from Potter, but Austin Blais spun in turn three, taking cars with him as the field scattered. Crystal Serydynski went immediately to the pits for repairs. AJ Solomon went deep into the infield and had to be pushed off. He and Blais did not return. The complete race restart saw Crystal lose her eighth starting spot to fifteenth on the field thanks to the trip to the pits. She became enmired there trying to work her way out. Also caught up was Ray Negley who moved from sixth to fourteenth.
Lovelace sensed the advantage and ran hard at the front, working from seventh to third and reclaiming the points lead Crystal had wrested from him via a third place finish in the previous encounter.
The restart saw Pangelinan unable to take advantage of Potter as he had initially. Potter hung grimly on the outside for six laps, taking the lead on the pylon on laps three and four by virtue of a nose ahead. Meanwhile, Lallier was working to steal third from Pianka, and did so when Pangelinan spun on lap six. Potter claimed the lead, Lallier leapt in behind him and Pianka, who had been directly behind the spin, recovered to claim third. Lovelace claimed fourth while Chris DeMoura finished up the top five.
The Champ, hungry for a victory on the season, went to work on Potter as Pianka battled Lallier and Pianka worked him over. Lallier’s ministrations finally bore fruit on lap fifteen as Potter drifted up. Pianka held on for third and Lovelace was followed by Berthelette, Demoura, Scott Bruneau and Bobby Bettencourt. Crystal and Negley followed Manny Dias, looking for a way around. It was a fast top ten group and upward movement was difficult for all.
Lap 26 saw the hard-charging Pianka get loose and sideways on the backstretch, allowing Lovelace to slide under with Berthelette on his tail. Pianka dropped in just ahead of DeMoura as Crystal finally solved Dias to slide into ninth behind Bettencourt. Negley deprived Dias of tenth on the final circuit to complete the race.
SCOTT DION HOLDS OFF MARTIN FOR TRUCKS WIN
The Senior Set took to the top of the order in Sport Trucks as Scott Dion and Rick Martin slashed away at each other in a deadly duel for glory over the final six laps. This followed a battle of the Dions as Scott had slid in behind son Branden to spar for the lead at the midpoint of the race on a lap 12 restart. Father overcame son on lap 20 after running side-by side for several laps. Martin nosed in under the duo for a three wide then backed out, but the turbulence of the move gave Scott the advantage to get to the front from the outside. Branden fell back, took a bump from Martin on lap eighteen, then was forced to allow him underneath on lap 20 and set up the duel for the win.
Lenny Guy jumped off the outside pole at the start, past Darryl Church, who bogged the start. Anna Gregoire and Nick Uhrig were wheel-to-wheel behind them, with Rob Murphy outside Branden in pursuit. Church locked onto Guy’s bumper before Mike Duarte’s solo loop in turn four brought out the caution.
It took two attempts to restart, but finally, Guy was away again, leading Uhrig and Church as Branden looked underneath for third. But Murphy jammed through under Branden and took third with Martin on his bumper. They played bumper tag and Murphy executed a 360 spin on the frontstretch, continued and then did a 180 on the backstretch, coming to a halt facing against the flow and bringing out caution. Both retired to the rear for the restart. Read More
When race leader Vinny Pangelinan spun out of turn four on lap 7, Stephen Potter inherited the front . . . but he already knew he was in trouble. Though Pangelinan saved it and kept going, keeping the race under green, Potter was saddled with Streets champion Paul Lallier scratching and biting at his rear […]Read More