Ed Perry took off at the start and held off the world through 25 laps and three cautions to come home the winner in Sport Trucks. He escaped from David Simpson off the front row and kept his lead from green to checkers. Along the way, he dueled Darryl Church, then Josh Hedges and finally Rob Murphy, giving him plenty of sweat equity in his win.
Murphy finished second, Hedges third and Mike Duarte was fourth. Points leader Chase Belcher held onto his points lead with a fifth place, but Duarte’s finish just ahead of him cut Belcher’s lead to two points, sending them into the final two weeks of competition in a virtual tie, promising plenty of drama over the coming two weeks.
Belcher and Barry Shaw came into the event dead even in points, but a black flag for leaking fluids on lap seven struck a crushing blow to Shaw’s hopes. Belcher had no easy time of it. As Perry pulled away at the front and Belcher was coming from inside the third row, Doug Rioux went up the embankment for a pass and caught Belcher’s front bumper with his rear and bent it away from the front. Chase dodged into the pits under the resulting caution and had it bent back into place and returned at the rear of the pack.
Perry was away again on the lap one restart, while Church dropped in behind with Simpson on his tail. Mike Cavallaro was working underneath Rioux, who fell back and dropped in, barely missing Duarte. Lap three saw Perry leading Church and Simpson. Ed Gannon came up behind Cavallaro into fifth with Shaw in pursuit. Gannon made his way past Shaw to chase Cavallaro and Hedges came in behind Shaw. Lenny Guy was running eighth with Murphy on his tail.
Belcher was working up from the back and ran in behind Murphy. Lap seven saw Perry pulling ahead and Simpson running up to Church’s bumper and then going underneath, trailing Cavallaro and Gannon. But Shaw got the black flag call and headed for the pits, trailing fuel. Moments later, Gannon went around on the backstretch.
The lap eight restart saw Perry and Simpson at it again. Perry again leapt ahead and Church came in under Simpson. Hedges and Cavallaro ran door-to-door behind them while Murphy and Belcher duked it out over sixth place. Murphy ran in under Cavallaro as Hedges moved up and completed the pass to get underneath Simpson. Murphy now ran under Cavallaro, who jumped ahead under Simpson. Into lap 12, Perry continued to run at the front, trailing Church and Hedges, but Robert Jackson spun out of turn three, bringing out caution.
Perry and Chruch ran wheel-to-wheel again, with Perry again claiming the front down the backstretch. Hedges and Murphy were the second row and Hedges dodged under Church to pursue Perry. Murphy grabbed third while Mike Duarte dived between Simpson and Church for a three-wide. It was brief and Duarte shot through into fourth.
But lap 15 saw Simpson fire back underneath Duarte only to see the latter nose out and claim the position again. Cavallaro and then Belcher pulled in behind Simpson and Belcher looked to the outside to run wheel-to-wheel with Cavallaro for lap 19, then drop back behind
Cavallaro came loose and spun across the stripe, bringing a lap 21 caution.
Perry’s toils were not yet done, as he had Hedges on his shoulder for the restart. But he wasn’t to be denied this time and nosed ahead. Hedges elected to stay outside and brawl it out. Murphy ran to Perry’s bumper with Duarte on his outside. Belcher was trying to work around Simpson behind them. Hedges dropped in onto Perry’s bumper on lap 23 and Murphy went to his outside. This gave Perry a few inches of breathing room and they ran under the white flag, door-to-door behind Perry.
It was a virtual dogfight through the final lap and after Perry scored the win, Murphy registered a .084-second margin over Hedges for second. Duarte’s fourth, just ahead of Belcher, insured that the divisional championship would remain a mystery for at least another week.
Sixth went to followed by Lenny Guy, John Robidoux, Gannon, Rioux and Rob Rainville.