Chase Belcher’s late-race move to the front kept him in the lead in the divisional points standings and also brought him the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown for 2017. In the laps-added feature, Belcher battled Ed Perry for the lead after succeeding John Paiva in second on lap 19, then whipsawed the lead in door-to-door action with Perry. Once in command of the front on lap 26, Belcher immediately roared to a 15-car lead, strutting under the checkers on lap 30. Perry held off the challenge of Barry Shaw for second, while Shaw, David Simpson and Paiva rounded out the top five.
Belcher started fifth as John Robidoux and Perry faced off at the front. Robidoux leapt to the lead as Mike Lopes nosed in under Perry with Lenny Guy on Mike’s bumper. But the front suddenly slowed and everybody went on the brakes, hard, resulting in Mike Duarte spinning in turn four.
The restart had Robidoux and Perry again going wheel-to-wheel with Perry nosing out then taking the lead in turn two. Guy ran in under Robidoux and Belcher stood on their tailgates. Mike Cavallaro was behind him. Belcher was then able to get under Robidoux as Guy took over second. But Lenny then spun in turn three and Darryl Church had to avoid him.
The Lap 3 restart now had Perry facing off against Lopes while Robidoux and Belcher filled row two and Cavallaro and Josh Hedges followed. After a false start the field got into motion with Perry and Lopes going door-to-door around to turn three before Perry could nab the lead. Cavallaro went under Robidoux into third while Belcher went outside for a three-wide with Paiva and Hedges, but was forced to back out.
Perry took a four-car lead into lap six as Cavallaro wedged in under Lopes. Paiva came up to their bumpers followed by a resurgent Duarte and Hedges. Hedges went to the outside and Belcher got underneath him.
By lap eight, Perry was eight cars ahead and Belcher, running sixth behind Barry Shaw, looked to the outside. Cavallaro dropped under Lopes. Perry was now a full straightaway ahead of his pursuers.
Lopes, behind him, continued to lead Cavallaro, Paiva and a door-to-door between Shaw and Belcher with Chase running the high side. Cavallaro began running high and low behind Lopes, seeking an opportunity. On lap 15, Lopes suddenly foundhimself sideways while negotiating turn four. Cavallaro tried to go to the infield, but ended up piling in and sheared off his right front fender. He limped to the pits for some repairs.
Now Paiva shared the front row with Perry. Belcher and Shaw were behind them while Simpson and Hedges made up row three. Out of the box, they were hacksawing the lead for four laps, while Belcher captured third. As Perry escaped to the front on lap 18, Belcher deftly swung in under Paiva to battle for second. He pulled ahead and Simpson came in under Paiva. Belcher looked under Perry but could not get in.
Perry had Belcher filling his mirror, looking high and low for a chance to pass but not committing. Simpson had gone under Paiva and Shaw ran solo behind them while David Lougee and Hedges brawled over sixth.
But Doug Rioux spun in turn four, bringing the field back for a lap 23 restart. Belcher was on Perry’s shoulder but Rioux spun in turn one on the green. Second try saw Perry nosed ahead gaining a half-car on Belcher, who battled back alongside. Shaw followed with Paiva on his bumper. Lap 25 saw Belcher nose ahead on the outside and Perry showed some looseness in turn four, allowing Belcher to escape with the lead. Perry settled in front of Shaw’s nose, followed by Simpson, Paiva, Hedges, Cavallaro and Lougee on lap 26. Over the next two circuits, Belcher extended his lead rapidly to fifteen lengths as the field stretched out. They wound around the bullring to the lap 30 checkers with Chase running home with the win.
Hedges followed Paiva home for sixth, followed by Cavallaro, Lougee, Guy, Robidoux and Lopes.