by Dana Rowe
Derek Gluchacki missed opening night, dueled his way to a close second last week and then took down the big first win of the season on the most recent outing. It was a tour-de-force for the young driver who’d missed the race due to doctor’s orders. This week, as well as last, he showed no ill effects as he put together a strong victory on the early season. He was doggedly pursued by Josh Parsons and third went to Shileigh Martinez, who was in contention all night long. Last week’s winner, Jake Matheson, pursued Martinez over the line to score a fifth.
Connor Holderbach held the pole and Martinez sat at his shoulder. Mason Levesque locked onto Holderbach and slid under Shileigh as Holderbach eased ahead. Gluchacki was already making noise as he leapt from ninth to sixth on the first circuit. And once more around saw him in third. Holderbach continued in the lead and Reagan Parent had overtaken second. He closed out lap three by taking the lead and Gluchacki then began working at stealing the position. He was underneath Reagan on lap five and pulled out front in turn for. Eric LeBrun spun coming out of four.
The restart saw Gluchacki and Martinez at the front with Parent and Josh Parsons in row two. Derek went to the front at the stripe but the start was called back on a quick start. Second try, Martinez zoomed to the front but Gluchacki began to close back up. He went to her bumper and looked under, then proceeded. They held a spirited, side-by-side battle over the next five laps while Parsons, Holderbach, Matheson and TJ Thompson pursued and waited for opportunities.
Matheson displaced Holderbach but with nine to go, Jacob Burns spun out of turn one and lost power. On the lap 10 restart, Gluchacki pulled away from Martinez and Parsons got underneath, grabbing second in turn three. Matheson then followed suit and gained third. Shileigh doggedly pursued him, however, and she had it back two laps later, with four remaining. Matheson worked hard at passing her once again, but Martinez was up to the challeng and held him at bay. On the white flag lap, he made a final attempt before she put a few feet of insurance between them enroute to the checkers.
As they flew, Gluchacki had his win cemented and Parsons scored the third, just ahead of Martinez and Matheson.
Sixth went to Trenton Goodrow, followed by Luke LeBrun, Thompson, Eric LeBrun, Mason Levesque, Parent and Brendan Hammann.