by Dana Rowe
Crystal Murray stepped from her car after her victory lap and her feet never touched the ground. Probably she was still ten feet off the pavement all the way through her time in Everett’s Victory Lane. It was a first win for Crystal, the latest member of the racing Murray clan. She shares the car on alternating Friday nights with her brother Richie, who has also taken down a win this rookie season for both siblings.
She started outside Jason Poitras in the second row, behind Samantha Mattera and Arthur Meack. Crystal nosed under Meack as Mattera pulled ahead into the lead. David Westgate came up to challenge Meack and came through onto Crystal’s tail. She went to Mattera’s rear bumper as points leader AJ Manuel ran up to Westgate’s bumper. This prompted Westgate to look to Murray’s outside but she dropped under Mattera as a means of escape. She pulled through in turn four as Mattera’s speed sent her high in the curve. Lap seven saw Murray leading Westgate, Meack and Mattera.
Manuel pushed past Mattera and she fell back, setting up a three-car breakaway by Murray, Westgate and Manuel. AJ looked under Westgate as Mattera, Meack and Jordan Lopes raced each other a short distance behind.
Murray was beginning to pull away and put three lengths between her and Westgate. Manuel was looking under Westgate with eight laps remaining and made his move with six to go. This was good news for Murray, giving her some breathing room at the front. AJ took over second on lap fourteen and then began to close on Murray. But Westgate was not finished and he looked to Manuel’s outside only to be denied.
Murray continued to maintain her two car lead and held steady. Behind the three leaders, Jordan Lopes had gotten by Mattera to take over fourth. Karlin Levesque followed him into fifth and Mike Lefort moved into sixth, leaving Mattera in seventh, just ahead of Tim Bolger and Tyler Almeida. Meack followed.
At the finish, it was Murray claiming her first racing win with Manuel at her back in second, followed by Westgate. Lopes and Levesque rouynded out the top five.
Sixth went to Lefort, followed by Mattera, Bolger, Alemida, Meack and Cliff Avila.