John Lineberger came back to form for his first win on the season, leaping off the pole and holding the front from green to checkers, as the race ran nearly perfect with just one caution on lap 16. Lineberger had just two chasers over the 20 laps: Mike LeFort went under outside polesitter Christine Cavallaro on the first circuit, but his car lost power and forced him to retire with six laps remaining. This allowed Cavallaro to recapture second and she held position through the checkers. Samantha Mattera came up a lap later to take third, while Michael Glad and Henry Lavalle fought through to complete the top five.
Lineberger grabbed the front out of the box but a mad scramble ensued in turn two with Cliff Avila remaining stuck in the turn and had to be taken off on the hook. The race restart saw Lineberger nose out and Cavallaro drop into second. But LeFort was there and went into second on lap one. Lavalle went to Cavallaro’s outside, dropping Mattera to fourth, but she immediately grabbed Christine’s bumper and Lavelle dropped back.
By lap two, Lineberger was four lengths ahead and LeFort was eight up on Cavallaro. Mattera and Lavalle were dueling side-by-side and behind them, Jordan Lopes and Chris Pacheco were doing the same. Glad was running eighth.
By lap six, Lineberger was 13 places ahead of LeFort, but Mike was closing on the leader, now. Cavallaro was maintaining pace about the same distance back. Behind her, Mattera led five cars running bumper-to-bumper, including Lopes, Glad, Jason Poitras, last week’s winner, Dave Westgate and Lavalle.
At the midway point, Lineberger led the field by a straight and Lefort still carried second, but smoke was beginning to appear behind him. Cavallaro was beginning to close. Lap 12 saw LeFort slowing and Cavallaro looked underneath. He pulled his nose ahead but more smoke was issuing. They ran side-by-side, but LeFort pulled the car high on the track and limped toward the exit ramp. Karlin Levesque also headed pitside.
Cavallaro now worked at slimming down Lineberger’s lead with Mattera and Lopes giving chase. Poitras spun in turn four after contact with Lavalle, bringing the first – and only – caution of the event.
Lineberger and Cavallaro lined up with Mattera low in row two and Lopes on her shoulder. Glad and Chris Pacheco backed them up. Lineberger surged to the front and Cavallaro dropped in behind. Mattera grabbed third while Glad went to her bumper and under Lopes. Lavalle and Pacheco also got past.
Into the white flag lap, Lineberger had Cavallaro on his back, looking for opportunities, chased by Mattera and Glad while Lavalle and Pacheco battled over fifth and Lopes behind them.
Lavalle was able to capture the position while Pacheco ran sixth. He was followed by Lopes, Westgate, Tim Bolger, Jr. and Alexander Manuel completed the top ten.