After early season mechanical adversities cut Charlie Rose out of wins in the Late Model division, he came through with a big night and an equally big win. It wasn’t easy, as he had to hold off a charging Vinnie Arrenegado at the end. As a bonus, the extended, 50-lapper was round one of the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown for Late Models. Following Arrenegado’s second was visiting Keith Rocco, Ryan Morgan and Ryan Kuhn.
Rose piled off the pole into the lead while Dan Johnson nosed in under outside polesitter, Mike Teague.. As Teague fell back, that placed him outside Anthony Flannery and then sent Flannery into third.
Charlie was stretching his legs and had a five-car lead at the end of the first circuit. Arrenegado was moving up and was in fourth place, just ahead of Teague. Gerry DeGasparre, Jr. was under Kuhn behind Teague. Arrenegado went under Flannery and into third.
The field, however, was watching Rose pull away: he had 12 cars on his nearest competitor by lap four. Arrenegado started to work around Johnson in turn three as contact sent DeGasparre spinning out of turn three right in front of the pack. In a mad scramble, everybody managed to avoid him. Rocco, who had been moving up rapidly, went to the rear on the assist.
On the restart, Arrenegado got past Johnson and into second behind Rose. Branden Dion skirted into fourth just ahead of Mikey Flynn. Dylan Estrella had moved in and was looking under Johnson, now. But Flynn went around in turn four on lap 17.
Charlie nosed out again and had the lead by the time he came out of turn two. Arrenegado, followed with Dion following and Kuhn on his outside. Flynn and DeGasparre then spun together, with Flynn taking a ride across the infield grass.
Rose and Arrenegado faced off for the lap 20 restart. Dion and Estrella followed with Kuhn and Austin Blais in row three. Rose was away again with Vinny on his bumper. Dion was clear in third and Kuhn was underneath Estrella. Nick Uhrig and Estrella were debating sixth. By lap 27, third place was a major debate between four cars, running tight, nose-to-tail: Dion, Kuhn, Estrella and Blais. Blais got by Estrella.
Ron Barboza took a solo spin to bring caution on Lap 32 and DeGasparre headed immediately for the pits. The restart saw Dion take a tap from Estrella which sent him spinning and he lost the left rear tire off the rim. He pitted for a new one. Uhrig took damage in the incident and was off on the hook.
Kuhn got under Rose on the restart but Charlie pulled ahead and had a 2-car lead by lap 35 and Arrenegado was on Kuhn’s bumper, looking for second. By lap 38, Rocco was back in the picture, getting under Ryan Lineham for sixth and onto Estrella’s bumper. He was past into fifth by lap 42.
The next circuit saw Estrella and Jake Johnson make contact and Estrella fighting to keep control high in the turn. He kept it off the wall, but did spin and bring caution.
Rose outran Kuhn for the lead down the backstretch after the restart, whereupon Arrenegado made a pitch for Kuhn’s spot. They went side-by-side until Vinnie took the spot in turn four. Rocco got under Kuhn on the next lap and into third down the backstretch with two to go. Rose had four cars on Arrenegado. Over the final two laps, Vinnie tried to close in but Charlie held him at bay.
Rounding out the top ten were:Nick Johnson, Lineham, Dan Johnson, DeGasparre and Teague.