After Josh Parsons had led the Legends division for 23 out of the 25 laps, the devil was in the details as five-time winner (this season) Derek Gluchacki got his nose under and pushed it ahead going under the waving white silk. Parsons took a deep breath and pushed harder on the outside as the pylon listed Gluchacki’s 03 as the leader. The two drivers unloaded their entire armory on each other for the next 586 yards until they rocketed in unison under the checkers. Did Derek have his sixth win or did Josh make a grand comeback? The pylon told the tale: Parsons! And the timing computer told an even wilder tale: he had one by just one one-thousandth of a second. Points leader Jake Matheson fired in for third with Reagan Parent on his bumper and Luke LeBrun running fifth. Better yet: the entire top five had finished within the same second on the timers. It would have been a tough finish to have called by eye or even photo finish.
You knew it was going to be like this from the start: Jacob Burns and RJ Marcotte had fired out of the box on the front and Parsons, on the outside of row two, had made it three-wide at the start by rushing ahead and then grabbing the lead before the first lap had been completed. He left a message for the rest of the field as he went: “Catch me if you can!”
Burns hung onto second until Mason Levesque pulled past, ut Levesque was quickly supplanted by Brendan Hammann the next time around and Matheson ran to third on Hammann’s tail. The transition wasn’t over as Luke Lebrun fixed on Matheson and barged into fourth. Behind them came Eric LeBrun and Reagan Parent. Matheson was all over Hammann’s bumper as Gluchack surged into the riot, passing Parent and Levesque onto Eric’s bumper. But caution flew for a spin.
Parsons was reeled in by the caution and Hammann lined up alongside. Matheson and Eric were row two. Parsons rocketed away and Matheson went under Hammann into second. Eric seized third and Gluchacki vaulted into fourth. Luke followed and Hamman was suddenly in sixth.
Parent came in behind Hamman. They ran in this order for several laps until lap seven. As Matheson closed inb on Parsons, Gluchacki was under Eric for position. Eric spun in turn four. The lineup was fierce: Parsons and Matheson led off, followed by Gluchacki and Luke with Hammann and Parent in row three.
Parsons grabbed the lead out of the box and Gluchacki dodged in under Matheson onto Parsons’ bumper. Luke and Parent followed. Parsons could only bear down with Gluchacki cloned to his rear bumper. With four to go, he found one car’s worth of breathing room as Matheson, Luke and Parent charged along in hot pursuit. Hammann was sixth and Ryan Doucette seventh.
Parsons got wide in lap two and Gluchacki closed in and took the outside, pushing ahead on the penultimate lap. As the white flag waved, Parsons summoned up his wherewithal and they went at it for the final circuit. After 8 1/3 miles and 12 solid minutes of racing, the fortunes of the Legends feature came down to fractions of an inch and one thousandth of a second. And fate smiled on Josh Parsons.
Hammann scored sixth on the event, followed by Doucette, Levesque, Eric Lebrun and Jacob Burns to complete the top ten.