Ryan Arieta outran points leader Devin Deshaies for a win in Bandolero Bandit competiton in a contest which saw a wild wreck which ended the night for Deshaies’ challenger for the points lead, RJ Marcotte. It was Arieta’s third win on the season, tying him with Nickolas Hovey for wins on the season at 3 each.
Isaiah Newcomb and Nathan Smith faced off from the green with Smith poking his nose ahead but seeing Necomb steal it back as they went wheel-to-wheel through turn two. Newcomb grabbed the front for himself in turn 1 on lap two and smith settled behind him with Arieta on his tail. Marcotte, Deshaies and Riley Caron followed.
Arieta passed Smith into second on lap three but Marcotte went to third then stuck his nose in under Arieta. Deshaies was on their tails with Smith behind him. But there was contact in turn one, spinning Newcomb, Marcotte and Deshaies.
Arieta and Smith lined up and Ryan outran Nathan for the front right out of the starting box. Smith came back alongside in turn one. Arieta grabbed a lead in the next turn but Smith came back up in turn four. Arieta pulled ahead again and this time went to a three-car lead over Smith. Caron was on Smith’s bumper and Marcotte had come back up to chase Caron. He nosed under and got into third on lap 7.
By lap 9, Arieta’s lead was seven carlengths as Smith and Marcotte dueled behind him. But Smith came loose in turn four. He corrected, slid again, corrected, got sideways and went into Marcotte. Smith shed his nose just into the frontstretch but Marcotte was launched skyward, flipping end-for-end and barrel-rolling at the same time. He landed hard on his roof, shedding body parts across the tarmac and came to rest on his wheels.
Red flags flew immediately as safety crews scrambled and the crowd went to a sudden hush. However, after some checking, RJ was able to exit his vehicle and walk unassisted to the ambulance for his obligatory ride to the pits for a checkup. Marcotte was well above the racing surface in his brief flight: “I looked out and saw the bottom of his car go flying by,” said starter Kyle Niederberger, as Marcotte’s apogee in flight was nearly the height of the starters’ stand.
On the lap nine restart Arieta had Riley on his shoulder and dodged away at the green. Newcomb went past into second, while Deshaies was third and went outside Newcomb on lap 12. But Arieta had already generated a half-straight lead over the field.
Deshaies was still outside as the white flag blossomed over them. He quickly secured second place and the field charged toward the checkers. Arieta scored the win with Deshaies claiming second and Newcomb ran third. Caron was good for fourth, followed by Giovanni Reggiero, PJ Evans, Joel Newcomb and Hailey Vallerand.