Connor Holderback put his demons to rest with a Legends win over points leader Peter Bennett after a season of near-misses. Holderback has frequently led all comers only to have fate pull him up just short of his goal.
This time out, he started in the second row behind polesitter Devin Deshaies and as Deshaies got wide on the start, Holderback dodged underneath and to the front just two laps into the 25-lap feature. From there, it was catch-me-if-you-can for the remainder, and nobody could. Matt Carpenter tried in the early going, then Josh Parsons took over the pursuit down the middle laps. Bennett moved in towards the end. However, none could unseat Holderback this evening and he ran under the checkers for a trip to Victory Lane.
Bennett chased him across the stripe with Parsons at his back for second and third. Carpenter grabbed fourth and Luke LeBrun came all the way from a scratch start through the 22-car field to round out the top five.
Two laps in, Paul Newcomb, stepping down from a Late Model into Isaiah’s backup car, discovered how slippery a Legends car can get as he spun between turns three and four. He took it to the pits for the night.
Holderbach had the pole for the restart and jumped away from Deshaies with Parsons glued to his bumper. Parsons took to the high side to pass and Carpenter got in between him and Deshaies. But Brendan Hammann spun, setting up another restart.
Holderbach and Parsons set up again, with Carpenter and Deshaies behind them. Batman – Brandon Martinez and Bennett were row three. Holderbach and Parsons went wheel-to-wheel, whipsawing the lead for five laps, bringing the crowd to the edge of their seats. Finally, eight laps into the race, Holderbach reclaimed the lead in turn one. Parsons dropped in ahead of Carpenter, who was being chased by Martinez, Bennett and Ryan Doucette. By now, the field was running single file. Bennett took a look under Martinez on lap 10 and dived in. Martinez then spun in turn four.
The restart again saw Holderbach and Parsons at the front. Bennett was now alongside Carpenter in row two; Doucette was joined in row three by LeBrun.
It took four tries to get the restart. Deshaies couldn’t get up to speed on the first try. There was debris on the track on the second try and the same problem befouled the third attempt. Try number four and they were finally rolling again. Holderback got the lead and Carpenter ducked in under Parsons. Carpenter and Bennett ran side-by-side behind them. Parsons won control of second, Carpenter held on to third and Bennett pulled ahead of Doucette.
Holderbach went to a four-car lead over Parsons as Bennett eased Carpenter out of third in turn two with 12 laps to go. Carpenter dropped in between Bennett and Doucette. The field had again gone single file.
Fourteen laps in, and Holdrbach had put eight carlengths on the rest of the field, but Parsons began to press and in one lap chopped three lengths out of that. LeBrun was challenging Doucette for fifth and succeeded.
Lap eighteen saw Holderbach, Parsons and Bennett going nose-to-tail. Bennet spotted room and slid in under Parsons and then into second. Five laps remained. But the finishing order of the top nine was already decided and though the pursuit was intense, the order remained the same.
Unfortunate for Connor Souza, running tenth, he encountered difficulties which forced him to give up his spot and pit with just one to go.
The final statistics showed Doucette claiming sixth behind LeBrun, followed by Jacob “Rowdy” Burns, Dennis Pantani, Martinez, Deshaies, Hammann and Mason Tessier.