by Dana Rowe
David Gargaro put together some fast laps along with excellent handling to overtake Jordan Lopes and then forge on to victory in Sport Four competition. The division ran caution-free for the entire 20 laps, yielding unending suspense.
For Gargaro, there was a minimum of doubt as he was fixed upon the win and he vectored through from a fourteenth place start outside points leader and current champ, David Westgate. Lopes, meanwhile spring boarded off a fourth place slot outside Karlin Levesque in row two.
Nick Alves came off the outside pole to grab the lead from polesitter Christine Simpson. Lopes went past Simpson to chase Alves while Levesque and Matt Smith went wheel-to-wheel over third. By lap 3, Lopes was pressing in under Alves and they went door-to-door through turns two and three before Alves came loose in four, nearly meeting with the wall, but managed to stay with it. His recovery kept him in seventh. Lopes, meanwhile, began to gallop away from the field.
By lap four, Lopes was four cars up on Timmy Ouellette. Behind them Tough Tim Bolger and Levesque were debating third ahead of Joey Wordell, Jr. Behind Wordell, Samantha Mattera, Smith and Gargaro were sharing a three-wide. Gargaro broke ahead to pursue Wordell as Lopes had gone to a comfortable eight-length margin. He continued to improve the distance between them.
Gargaro, meanwhile, was moving Wordell out of fourth, then Bolger from third. Ouellette was next and Gargaro stole second from him on lap nine. Bolger then took over third. Gargaro set his sights on Lopes’ half-straight lead and began to pare it down. With eight to go, he had cut it down to three cars and was closing fast. Another lap and they were side-by-side with Gargaro nosing ahead by increments. Behind Lopes came Bolger, Ouellette, Mattera and Mike LeFort, who had rocketed up from an 18th place start. Mattera got below Ouellette and took over fourth as Westgate ran past LeFort and engaged Ouellette, stealing fifth place. LeFort then moved Tim back another spot to jump onto Westgate’s bumper.
The finishing positions of the top were assured, but LeFort hadn’t banked on last week’s winner, Alexander Manuel, who arrived at his bumper with four laps remaining. They duked it out until the penultimate lap when Manuel was able to push ahead. They continued to brawl all the way to the checkers.
At the front, Gargaro had gone to a six-car lead on Lopes, who had about the same on Bolger.
Gargaro cruised home to the checkers flying with Lopes second and Bolger claiming third. Mattera was fourth, just ahead of Westgate and Manuel won the feud with Lefort, garnering sixth. Lefort, Wordel, Smith and Ouellette rounded out the top ten.