Devin Deshaies capped off his season and the Bandolero Bandits championship with his tenth win on the 2018 campaign. It’s an amazing skein for the diminutive bandito in the sport’s entry-level division. It’s not that Devin lacked competition – he had plenty in the likes of Giovanni Ruggerio, Isaiah Newcomb and others, including Riley Caron who led much of the most recent feature and battled Deshaies to a near standstill when the latter came up to make the pass. But Devin Deshaies became a patient winning-machine over the season and it began to seem that the question wasn’t whether he would win, but how long it would take him to get to the front. In the most recent case, with Caron, that translated to twelve laps of the planned 15.
Riley had usurped the lead from polesitter Nathan Smith after a door-to-door challenge from the starting box all the way to turn two. Caron dropped into the groove going through turn four and owned the lead to begin the second circuit. Smith held on to second with PJ Evans running third, followed by Ruggerio and then Deshaies. As Caron pulled away from the field, Deshaies worked on Ruggerio, getting by on lap three.
Caron had a tenb-car lead over Smith just four laps in and Evans was flying third. But he acquired Deshaies on his back bumper on lap five. Devin ducked underneath in turn three and had the position going into turn four. Ruggerio then zeroed in on Evans’s tail. Deshaies now looked under Smith but was denied.
Another time around and he fought his way underneath, gaining second crossing the stripe, leaving seven laps remaining to close the ten-car gap to Caron. A lap later, the lead was eight cars and once more around took it down to five. He was closing faster, now, and he was at Caron’s bumper the next time around. Devin went to Riley’s high side, but things came to a halt as Newcomb spun in turn four.
On the restart, Isaiah spun agan in turn four and was retired on the two-spin rule.; second try saw Caron leap away from Deshaies coming out of the box and Smith looked under for third but Deshaies held him off. Devin descended onto Caron’s bumper and Smith dropped into third, trailing Ruggerio and Evans. Gio and PJ swapped positions after a short duel and Evans was followed by Collin Vanasse, Brent Robidoux, Nikolas Frechette and Colin Floyd.
Deshaies looked to Caron’s high side but ducked back onto his bumper, then went to the high side again. As they dueled, Floyd rolled to a stop on the front stretch with a flat right front tire.
Following a bad start called back by the starter, Caron nosed ahead and grabbed the lead entirely in turn one. With four laps remaining, Deshaies elected to stay in the second groove. Caron got a full car ahead with three remaining, but came into turn four very fast and slid up out of the racing lane.
Deshaies seized the moment and drove underneath to secure the lead. Smith was unable to capitalize on Caron’s gaffe and the latter settled in at second place as Deshaies generated distance between them. Evans and then Ruggerio pursued. The lead was three lengths as the field flashed under the white flag with one lap remaining, and they ran in order to the finish.
Deshaies ran to the checkers gathering up his tenth win on the season and the Bandolero Bandits 2018 championship. Caron came home second, less than a half second back, followed by Smith. Evans and Ruggerio rounded out the top five. Sixth went to Vanasse, followed by Brent Robidoux and Frechette.