Vinnie Arrenegado put a real stamp on the early season by hauling down the first stop on the Late Models’ Phil’s Propane Triple Crown with a fifty-lap sortie at the front of the field. Arrenegado came off the outside pole, escaped polesitter Tyler Tomassi – and everybody else in the 19-car field for the entire race. It was a tour-de-force for the Late Model veteran, but not the easiest as he had revelations in his mirror that others were coming to try to steal his lead. Paul Newcomb was there until lap 17, then Tom-the-Bomb Adams replaced him. One more lap around and Derek Gluchacki arrived in third, prompting memories of the recent past when he and Adams had spent the latter part of the race swapping the lead.
But Vinnie charged on unheaded, firing home with a half-second lead over Adams; Gluchacki notched third, and Ryan Lineham and Mark Jenison came in to round out the top five.
Arrenegado set a torrid pace, such that five laps in, the field was stretched out single-file. Newcomb pursued, but Arrenegado continued to add to his lead, and Gerry DeGasparre, Jr. was working over Newcomb’s bumper and in turn had Jenison and Nick Uhrig looking to unseat him. Mark Hudson powered past Tomassi onto Uhrig’s tail with Chase Belcher stepping up to duel Tomassi for position.
Ten laps in, the order was still the same. On the next circuit, Lineham got under Belcher and into eighth. While Belcher and Dan Johnson filibustered for position, Stephen Potter brought out the first caution on lap 16 with a solo spin on the backstretch.
Vinnie took a nose on Newcomb at the strip and was solidly in the lead by turn four. DeGasparre got under Newcomb and behind them, Uhrig was engaged alongside Jenison. Two laps down the line and Arrenegado was building another lead, two cars ahead of DeGasparre. Uhrig and Jenison were still working each other over for fourth behind Newcomb. Adams had arrived in sixth while Hudson and Lineham brawled behind him. Gluchacki got past Lineham and Dan Johnson arrived to trade some paint with Lineham. Lap 21 again saw the field running single file.
Adams spun and continued but Bobby Tripp was forced into the grass calling a caution. Dane Saritelli headed pitside. It had started when Uhrig banged into Newcomb and they both ended at the back for the restart. Since Adams had continued after the spin, he was not considered an accident car and resumed his place. With Newcomb and Uhrig going to the rear, he found himself in the second row behind Arrenegado and DeGasparre.
It was dead even across the stripe on the lap 22 restart. Vinnie nosed ahead and Adams pushed under DeGasparre, then took second. Jenison took a shot at Gerry and then Hudson ducked in underneath. Gluchacki came into third behind Adams on the caution and Lineham ran fourth, just ahead of Jenison and Hudson. Again, the field quickly strung out. Jenison and Lineham fought over fourth place while Hudson awaited their results, looking for an opportunity.
Vinny got a couple lengths of breathing room and Adams had the same over Gluchacki while the firefight between Lineham and Jenison continued. DeGasparre had moved back up to wrestle with Hudson. Keith Caruso, Tomassi and Mike Duarte followed. Spaces stayed even between the top three, but they had a ten-car breakaway over Lineham, who led the rest of the field. Tomassi passed Caruso and then Duarte with fifteen laps remaining.
From there, the finishing positions had been decided. All that remained was a punishing, high-speed tour all the way to the checkered flag with Arrenegado coming down with the big win.
Adams grabbed second, followed by Gluchacki. Lineham was fourth and Jenison fifth. DeGasparre, Hudson, Tomassi, Duarte and Belcher completed the top ten. Newcomb was just outside of that in eleventh.