All eyes were fixed on Bobby Tripp and Vinny Arrenegado over the final laps of Late Model action, as Arrenegado broke away from Tyler Tomassi and set his sights on Tripp, fifteen car lengths ahead. Vinny had seemed to find a little extra in the closing laps while Tripp, who had led since the green had fallen, seemed to have a touch less in his car than he had begun with.
Arrenegado madly pressed on and the distance between them began to evaporate.They brawled under the white flag in Starter Tim Bolduc’s hands, brawling door-to-door. They hacksawed the lead through turns one and two and down the backstretch, then Vinny pushed halfway past in turn three. It was a virtual firefight from there to the finish line and Arrenegado won it by a mere 93 thousandths of a second. It was that close. The mad dash through the final laps had transfixed the crowd and now Arrenegado took the checkered flag and showed them a victory lap. Tripp was in at second for a podium finish and Tyler Tomassi was there as well with a well-earned third. Rounding out the top five were multichamp Gerry DeGasparre, Jr. and Paul Newcomb.
It looked like Trip’s race from the getgo as he came off the pole fast and smooth, escaping outside polesitter Mark Hudson, who dropped in front of Tomassi. Ryan Souliere grabbed third, but took plenty of argument from Ryan Lineham. The duo swapped position four times over the following laps.
Tripp had a ten-car lead by lap five, Hudson and Tomassi still followed with Lineham and Souliere still fighting it out. Lineham got past on lap eight and Newcomb got under Souliere. Lap nine saw Souliere spin in turn three.
On the restart, Tripp again pulled away from Hudson. Tomassi then got underneath as Arrenegado dug in under Lineham. As Tomassi cleared, Newcomb set in under Hudson. Midway through the feature, Newcomb was running third behind Tomassi and Arrenegado was wheel-to-wheel with Hudson.
Tripp now had a six-car lead with 15 laps to go. Tomassi followed and was pursued by Newcomb and Arrenegado. The field was single-file now. Arrenegado moved in and went door-to-door with Newcomb over third and pushed through, resetting his sights on Tomassi. But the rookie ws uo to the challenge and held him off. With eleven laps remaining, he was all over Tomassi’s bumper and kept up the pressure. By lap seven, Tomassi had refuted Vinny’s advances for for five laps, but the pressure continued.
Arrenegado chose to take the outside and they were side-by-side in turn four on lap 22. He finally had the pass on lap seven, relegating Tomassi to third. Behind them, DeGasparre was getting under Newcomb, looking for fourth.
As Arrenegado completed his pursuit of Tripp, DeGasparre took over fourth. Behind them, a battle between Tom Adams and Lineham concluded with Lineham taking over eighth.
At the finish, Arrenegado had spoiled Tripp’s 29 laps at the front with a lap three pass.
Sixth on the event went to Mike Duarte, followed by Hudson, Lineham, Adams and Mark Jenison.