Ryan Kuhn needed only eight laps to rise from a fifth place start into the lead, after a Jeremy Lambert spin brought out a lap six restart and spoiled a four-car lead generated by Vinnie Arrenegado who took the initial lead on the event. Kuhn and Arrenegado dueled over the spot after the restart and Kuhn edged to the front. Kuhn’s night wasn’t over, yet. Although he led the rest of the 35 lap feature, he acquired division champ Ryan Lineham at his bumper and the youngster and veteran played catch-me-if-you-can down to the final laps.
Tom “The Bomb” Adams had the best night of his season and came up to duel Lineham over second, freeing Kuhn to generate a lead. Adams’ late pass put him into second for his best finish of his rookie season in Late Models. Lineham kept Arrenegado at bay for a third place finish, and Vinnie grabbed second, just ahead of Eddie LeClerc, who rounded out the top five.
Lambert started on the pole with Arrenegado on his shoulder; Vinnie ran him wheel-to-wheel across the stripe and they dueled for two laps before Lambert fell back. Mark Hudson engaged Lambert until Kuhn ran through into second, three laps in. Nick Uhrig was fourth behind Lambert with teammate Lineham on his bumper. Nick nosed ahead of Jeremy then took over third and Lineham slid underneath as Uhrig moved up. But Lambert got sideways, collecting Dan Johnson, who had nowhere to go. The crash eliminated both drivers. Mark Jenison had to spin to avoid the pileup. Side effects of the accident included Dane Saritelli heading pitside for adjustments. Chase Belcher was sporting a crease all the way down his right side.
Arrenegado and Kuhn lined up for the restart with Lineham and Uhrig at their backs. Adams wasalready in fifth and was joined in row three by Chad Baxter. Arrenegado stuck his nose ahead crossing under the starter’s flag but Kuhn went back alongside then nosed out on the following lap. John Paiva then spun bringing another caution.
They came out of the box again and Kuhn went ahead by 2/3 of a car, then grabbed the lead to himself in turn one. Lineham ducked under Arrenegado, who fought it out with him. Adams was working under Uhrig behind them.
Ten laps in, Kuhn was sporting a four-car lead. LeClerc came in to challenge Uhrig just before a spin by Ron Barboza, Jr. Kuhn and Lineham went at it again and Kuhn took the lead going down the backstretch. Lineham dropped in and looked under, but couldn’t go, instead settling onto his rival’s bumper. Adams settled into third. Lap fourteen saw the top four cars running nose-to-tail with Uhrig fifth, a half-car behind Arrenegado.
Adams began to nose under Lineham and Arrenegado followed by looking under Adams. Adams dropped in, slamming the door. All this dogfighting had set Kuhn loose to run up a ten-car advantage. And LeClerc, Uhrig and Gerry DeGasparre, Jr. ran close on their heels. The field was now strung out single file. Belcher, nursing his wounded car, pulled into eighth to join the brawl. With 14 laps remaining, Kuhn now had a half-straight advantage and was building more distance on the field.
Adams remained glued to Lineham’s bumper and DeGasparre was all over Uhrig for position. Twice more around, DeGasparre nosed in under Uhrig and Adams followed suit with Lineham. With eight laps remaining, Adams was able to push under Lineham and into second. By now, Kuhn was leading by the length of the straightaway. Adams had a long look to catch sight of his bumper going into the turn ahead. Lineham was now on Adams tail, followed closely by Arrenegado, LeClerc, DeGasparre and Uhrig.
With five laps remaining, the finishing sequence of Kuhn, Adams, Lineham, Arrenegado and LeClerc had been established and there was a five-lap, high-speed parade to the checkers with all hands hoping for a mistake from the drivers ahead.