Current division champ and current points leader Scott Bruneau put aside the one thing that’s been bothering him by holding off former Sportsman champ Steve Axon in blazing gunfight of a race which focused on the duo at the front. Axon seemed able to get the jump out of the starting box after cautions, but Bruneau crafted long runs where he got by and sailed into the lead. At the finish, they were swapping the lead by the length of their noses. And under the checkers, the longest nose belonged to Bruneau, as well as did the trip to Victory Lane.
The duo were side-by-side on the front row for the start, with Bruneau on the pole. Axon jumped out but Bruneau fought back. They were wheel-to-wheel for a full lap until Bruneau nosed out crossing the stripe into lap two. He then captured the full lead in turn three. Axon jumped right onto Bruneau’s bumper as behind them, Vinny Pangelinan was working under an insistent Scott Serydynski, who had gotten past Kid Chaos (Corey Fanning) into fourth.
Ed Flanagan was around in turn four on lap 2 after some bumper tag. Fanning got sideways and the field bunched up. Fanning limped to the pits to end his evening, while the field lined for the restart.
It too two tries to get going as Axon jumped. On the second try, he got his nose past as they left the box under power but Bruneau held on and again they were side-by-side. Serydynski came around for a brief three-wide, then fell back. And again, Bruneau grabbed the lead with Axon on his bumper, followed by Serydydnski, Pangelinan, Fanning and Sparky Arsenault. Paul Lallier was coming forward under Captain Fun, Craig Pianka.
Into lap five, Bruneau had command of the front as Pangelinan looked under Axon for second and Fanning awaited the results. Dick Benoit was suddenly limping down the backstretch with mechanical problems and caution flew.
Axon and Bruneau again put on their dueling display, with Bruneau edging into the lead.
Lap nine saw Serydynski on Pangelinan’s bumper, but Lallier was flying on Scott’s coattails. Serydynski was continually looking underneath Pangelinan.
Bruneau went to a two-car lead on Axon while behind them Serydynski, Pangelinan and Lalier got into a three-wide as Lallier nosed in underneath. Lallier went ahead as Pangelinan got into Serydynski. It sent Vinny going backwards but Serydynski was able to hold position.
Lap eighteen saw Bruneau and Axon a straightaway ahead of Lallier, Chad Baxter and Serydynski, but Tom The Bomb Adams suffered broken equipment, leaving him stuck in turn three. He was able to restart and limp pitside.
Bruneau and Axon were wheel-to-wheel again on the restart, for all of lap 18. At the stripe, Axon was ahead by a half-car. Bruneau fired back and they were again door-to-door in turn three. He nosed ahead as Lallier came up to Axon’s bumper. Bruneau had his nose ahead with four to go, and they raced side-by-side to the finish. Bruneau collected his win by inches with Axon second and Lallier third. Serydynski and Arsenault rounded out the top five.
Sixth went to Baxter, followed by Fanning, Ryan Flood, Pangelinan and Pianka.