What a way to end a career – taking down both the division championship and the Venditti Memorial Race. But Paul Lallier did it. Lallier said before the race, while sitting in the car waiting to get in some practice, that he’d be back, but not full time and that he’d never won the DAV and this was what he wanted. Then he went out and did what he intended. Son Tyler Lallier made it a family double by working his way up to second and nailing it down at the checkers making it a family podium finish, also including third place finisher and a former Sportsman champ himself, Al Clements IV. Rounding out the top five on the event came Vinny Pangelinan and Kyle Casper.
While Paul started fifth and Tyler fourteenth, Adam Pettey and Scott Bruneau led off from the front row. Clements was behindPettey and Sparky Arsenault was on his shoulder. At the green, Pettey took the lead, but Bruneau elected to stay outside and fight it out. Clements got under him, but he moved back up to challenge Pettey.
A three-wide situation saw Bruneau and Arsenault get together in turn two and wedged together down the stretch. Sparky lost a front tire and Bruneau a rear. They pitted for spares.
Pettey and Clements led off the lap two restart with Kid Chaos – Corey Fanning – and Lallier in row two. Chjallenging from the third slot on the grid were Casper and Mike Brightman. Pettey grabbed the lead again and Fanning shot underneath Clements. Another three-wide saw Casper get under Lallier, who had Celemts on his high side. Lallier broke to the front to grab third behind Pettey and Fanning while Casper and Clements ran side-by-side. Brightman followed with Tyler Lallier at his back.
The field tightened with the lead trio going nose-to-tail and Casper/Clements still door-to-door behind them. Fanning and Lallier got under Pettey and moved him back to third, then Casper got in under him. Pettey got sidewayts in the encounbter, but held on as Brightman took the next opportunity to go underneath. But as Lallier ran hard on Fanning’s bumper, Gerry DeGasparre spun at mid-pack.
Fanning got away from Lallier on the lap 21 restart and Casper got underneath. Lallier pulled back ahead and dropped into second after a battle and looked underneath, only to be denied. Petty came up on Casper’s outside with Clements in pursuit.
Lallier upped the pressure on Fanning, looking everywhere at once for an opening, finally pushing under for a door-to-door then edging ahead. With sixteen laps remaining, Lallier got hisnose across the stripe and had the lead coming out of turn two. He went to a two car lead as Casper, then Tyler eased Fanning back, as he was stuck on the outside. Then came Clements, Pangelinan and Pettey before he could drop into the racing groove.
Paul had a ten car lead with fifteen to go. Behind him. Casper had Tyler on his bumper and Clements was on Tyler’s tail. Pettey moved up and four cars were running bumper-to-bumper, followed by Kid Chaos. Tyler set to work on Casper and was finally able to move him out of second. Clements followed through and did the same of the following lap. Pettey moved in and after a four-lap duel with Casper, took over fourth. There were eight laps to go and the field had strung out. Tyler began to close the distance to Paul but there wasn’t enough time.
Clements applied heavy pressure to Tyler, but he refused to yield. They made their way through several bits of lapped traffic enroute to the white flag. Once more around, and Paul Lallier had the DAV win he had talked about hours earlier.
Sixth place went to Fanning, followed by Petey, Rob Kohler, Gill Bradstreet and Sparky Arsenault.