Former division champ Sparky Arsenault was back in victory lane again after wrestling the lead away from Ant Kohler ten laps into the 25-lap feature, then leading the final fifteen circuits to the checkers. Arsenault got his nose by crossing the stripe before caution was called, then he and Kohler had to battle each other again as caution came out after Porkchop Ericksson and Paul Williams got together and spun in turn one with Williams ending up driving across Erickson’s nose.
They had to do it again on lap 12 – three times, in fact, as they had to restart that lap three times to get the race going again.
But Arsenault won the challenge, then drove on to capture the evening with a win.
Kohler sat on the pole with Craig Pianka for company, while Arsenault and Austin Erickson filled the second row. Scott Bruneau and Chad Baxter made up row three.
Ant nosed ahead on the green; Pianka came back but Ant charged ahead once again. They stayed in this position into the ext lap. Pianka held on into lap three, when Arsenault was able to get under. But Pianka came back once more and Bruneau followed him up on Arsenault’s outside. Erickson followed with Steve Axon on his tail, followed by Williams, Tyler Lallier, Baxter and the side-by-side duo of Adam Pettey and Kyle Casper.
Five laps in and Kohler led Arsenault with Bruneau running third. Pianka was still outside with Erickson underneath, but Pianka had the length of a fender for an advantage. Captain Fun then dropped in between between Bruneau and Erickson.
Lallier took a look under Williams but couldn’t find the room. The field had now stretched out single file. They came around again in the same order and then Axon dropped under Erickson, took a nose and then was into fifth place on lap nine. Williams now looked under Erickson. They went through another lap and tangled with Williams getting sideways and going over Porkchop’s bumper.
The restart with fifteen to go had Kohler and Arsenault at the front, Pianka and Bruneau, then Axon and Lallier. Erickson was alongside Baxter behind them.
Kohler got the jump out of the box, but Arsenault ran back alongside and they were door-to-door around to the stripe again where Sparky pulled into the lead. Baxter spun in turn one, bringing a lap 12 restart.
Lit took three tries to get going with the first called back for debris, then contact and a spin involving Williams and Jesse Melberg which saw both head pitside for the evening. Third try’s the charm and Arsenault and Pianka came out of the box side-by-side with Kohler and Erickson doing the same dance behind them.
Arsenault grabbed the lead going down the backstretch, Kohler went under Pianka into second and Axon drove in under Capt. Fun. Lallier waited while they settled the score.
With eight to go, Arsenault’s lead was five cars and Kohler was four up on Axon. Lallier and Pianka were wheel-to-wheel and Pettey followed up.
Next lap, Lallier was under Pianka for fourth. As Bruneau was running underneath Pettey, there was contact, sending Pettey around in turn two and bringing caution with five to go.
Arsenault and Kohler were again at the front with Axon and Lallier behind them. The came side-by-side down the front before Arsenault grabbed the lead in turn two. Axon dodged in under Kohler and Lallier tried to follow but Ant slammed the door. Pianka edged Erickson out of fifth, followed by Vinny Pangelinan, Corey “Kid Chaos” Fanning and Casper. Lallier shot up to Kohler’s bumper but was unable to pass.
They wound into the white flag lap and Fanning was battling for position alongside Pangelinan.
Arsenault sailed in for the win with Axon at his bumper for second. Kohler was third and Lallier firmed up his points lead with a fourth. Pianka rounded out the top five. Then came Erickson, Fanning, Pangelinan, Casper and Baxter rounded out the top ten. Petty was just off the pace in eleventh.