by Dana Rowe
Ryan Kuhn corralled his second feature win on the season in a thriller, going all the way to turn four of the final lap in a brawl with Charlie Rose and Ryan Lineham before claiming victory. Rose had led the 35-lapper since the fifth circuit, after polesitter and initial leader Tom Scully, Jr. had come loose while the duo was running side-by-side. Rose took full advantage, settled into the racing groove and ran at the front for the final 30 laps . . . except the run down the front stretch to the checkers.
Kuhn had been working his bumper and had ducked underneath. Coming through the final turn as the checkers waved ahead, there was contact and Rose’s tires came unglued. He flew up the track, directly in front of Ryan Lineham, who had been contesting on Kuhn’s high side. Rose bounced off the outside wall and Kuhn, Lineham and Tom Adams rushed past for a 1-2-3 finish. Rose wrestled it over the line for fourth followed by Gerry DeGasparre, Jr.
At the outset, however, Scully came off the pole into the lead ahead of Nathan Tracy. Mark Hudson grabbed third from the second row. One lap down and Scully had a five-car lead over Hudson while Rose was getting under a fading Tracy into fourth when Colby Lambert spun in turn four. Jeremy Lambert spun on the backstretch moments later as the field spotted the yellow.
A complete reset of the start followed and Scully pulled ahead once more. Hudson followed him through under Tracy and Rose again got underneath as Tracy fell back. Jeremy got under Tracy into fourth as Rose pulled away. Jeramme Lillie was fifth, followed by Lineham and there was a three-wide behind them with DeGasparre under Adams with Tracy on the outside. But caution flew again.
Scully pulled away on the lap 3 restart as Rose drove in under Hudson then into second and Lineham got under Hudson. Five laps in, DeGasparre spun in turn one.
Scully and Rose set up with Scully taking the front and Rose grabbing his bumper but Lillie was around in turn two. Kuhn was called for the assist and joined The Hammer at the rear. This time, Scully and Rose went wheel-to-wheel on the green and Lineham waited in third. Scully came loose, however and Rose grabbed the lead just as Colby went around in turn four. He and Lillie engaged in some histrionics and were black-flagged.
The lap seven restart had Rose on pole with Scully outside. Charlie nosed ahead then took the lead down the back. Lineham ducked under Scully for second and Tom elected to battle from the outside. Kuhn had already completed his trip from the rear. He ducked under Lineham for the pass but Ryan took it back by dropping underneath.
Rose now led Lineham, Kuhn, Scully, Nick Uhrig, Hudson and Adams, all running in a tight line. The lead trio broke away on lap 16.
Lineham was fastened onto Rose’s bumper and Kuhn onto his as the front three circulated nose-to-tail. Scully then bridged up to Kuhn to make it a four-car train.
With 12 laps remaining, Kuhn attempted to get under Lineham without success. Rose had a car lead as they battled behind them. Scully got crossed up and fell off.
Rose led by a half car coming out of lap 25, but Lineham kept closing up with Kuhn glued to his bumper. Adams, DeGasparre, Uhrig, Hudson and Dan Johnson continued to pursue from a distance.
With four laps to go, Kuhn was looking for space below Lineham, who was still on Rose’s tail. Next time around, Kuhn was below Lineham and both on Rose’s rear as Kuhn moved underneath. The had a side-by-side battle through the white flag lap until contact in turn four and Rose went up the track to the wall. This allowed Lineham and Adams to get past him, but he preserved fourth place with DeGasparre finishing fifth.