Fast Freddy Astle was at or near his fastest as he took a big lead early, then held off the ever-present Dave Darling for the finale. Darling finished second, just ahead of the ubiquitous Ryan Vanasse. Rick Martin took fourth while Tom Scully, Jr. rounded out the top five.
Kevin Folan led off from the pole, but Astle started directly behind him. Folan took the lead off the green and Astle ducked under outside polesitter, Daryl Stampfl. Astle had second in turn two while Martin came underneath into third. As they went across the stripe again, Vanasse was working his way below Stampfl and Mike Brightman was on their tails. Behind Mike, Larry Gelinas was underneath Scully.
Lap two saw Astle duck under Folan for the lead and Martin did the same on lap three. Vanasse followed and Brightman settled in behind Folan as he dropped in. Behind Mighty Mike, Scully was working below Stampfl.
By lap 6, Vanasse was running on Martin’s bumper and behind them Brightman was coming through under Folan with Scully close on their bumpers. But Darling was surging up from the back, where he’d started thanks to last week’s win and closing on Scully.
The field descended to three sets of cars running nose-to-tail. At the front was the trio of Astle, Martin and Vanasse. In the middle, Brightman, Scully and Darling. Behind them, Folan had Stampfl, Kyle Casper and Bobby Pelland III bumper-to-bumper behind him. They began to disentangle over the coming laps.
Darling passed Scully and went under Brightman and Scully followed such that the running order on Lap 15 was Astle followed by Martin, Vanasse, Darling, Scully, Brightman and Folan.
The field was running single file and did repetitive laps on 16, 17 and 18. But Darling was moving forward and just eight cars back of Vanasse. Brightman snugged up to Scully’s bumper ahead of Casper, Pelland, Folan and Gelinas.
Darling made it to Vanasse’s bumper, who was tight against Martin’s. Freddy was 15 carlengths ahead of them. Darling looke dunderneath and edged Vanasse back to third. As Astle stretched it out to half a straightaway, Darling was at Martin’s rear and went outside for the pass. It was wheel-to-wheel in turn one and Darling had second down the back.
Astle continued to run hard and had better than a half-straight lead with eight remaining. Darling began to close the gap.
With three circuits to go, Vanasse moved Martin out of third. Astle was 8 cars up on Darling.
At the white flag, Darling still had six cars to make up and there wasn’t enough distance to complete the overhaul. Astle took the win over Darling while Vanasse managed to get halfway past Martin for third. Scully ran fifth.
Sixth went to Brightman, just ahead of Pelland, who ran seventh. Following were: Casper, Folan, Stampfl, Gelinas and Dick Houlihan.