Josh Hedges bolted to the front on lap 3 of Sport Trucks competition, then led the filed the remaining distance to the lap 25 checkered flag. This puts him even on wins with Chase Belcher, who swung in on Hedges’ stern on lap 10 and used every move in his bag of tricks to steal the win. But Hedges was able to hold him off to the finish, along with Barry Shaw, who was also looking for a second 2017 win. Belcher scored second with Shaw on his tailgate for third, while Adam Murphy and Mike Duarte rounded out the top five.
Ed Perry drew first blood, diving under polesitter David Lougee and outside pole Mike Cavallaro for a three-wide, catching them both by surprise. He kept his nose ahead for the first three circuits as Lougee slid up and hedges came past Darryl Church, Cavallaro and Lougee. Hedges then powered past Cavallaro and Lougee into second with Cavallaro giving chase and Lougee on his tail. Shaw was in fifth and closing on the four leaders, who were running nose-to-tail.
Hedges powered into the lead going into lap four but Perry stubbornly refuded to give up. Cavallaro held third, but Lougee pushed back under to steal the position. Shaw went past Cavallaro into fourth while Adam Murphy looked to usurp his spot. They got together in turn three, and into a spin with Cavallaro spinning to a stop in turn four. Meanwhile, Anastacia LeBrun, who had been experiencing mechanical problems, slowed to a stop on the back stretch. She was pushed to the pits. Murphy and Cavallaro restarted at the rear.
Hedges and Lougee led the field to the green and Hedges nosed ahead at the stripe. Perry got under Lougee and onto Hedges’ bumper while Shaw looked for a way around. Lap 7 saw Belcher up from his starting spot at the rear and on Shaw’s bumper.
By lap 8, Hedges had a five-car lead while behind him, Shaw had ducked under Lougee as Perry began to fade. Shaw grabbed second and Belcher followed him through on his bumper into third and Lougee pursued with Perry at his back.
Two laps later, Belcher went under Shaw and grabbed second. Hedges continued to lead with Belcher looking to make up the six cars between them, followed by Shaw, Lougee, Perry and Church. The field was single file by this time. It was lap 14 and Hedges had a six-car lead.
But Belcher began to whittle that down and when, on lap 19, Doug Rioux spun in turn two, Belcher was set to restart on the front row on Hedges’ shoulder. It was a one-lap challenge as Rioux was around again on the backstretch. He retired to the pits on the two-spin rule.
They came out of the box again, door-to-door. It took Hedges until turn two before he nosed ahead and was able to get a half-car past by the stripe. Meanwhile Murphy had come up to fourth and tried nosing under Shaw, who slammed the door on him.
Hedges finally secured the lead with three laps remaining. Shaw pursued Belcher with Murphy on his tailgate, followed by Duarte, Perry, David Simpson and Cavallaro. The field strung out single file.
Hedges glued himself to the bottom of the track to prevent Belcher from going in underneath.
The latter, however, kept insisting on trying. Belcher spent the final laps seeking an avenue both high and low. But Hedges played prevent defense and held him off. They battled throughout the white flag lap and under the checkers with Hedges eking out the win.
Perry scored sixth, followed by Simpson, Cavallaro, Lenny Guy, Darryl Church and Darryl Dutch.