Smilin’ Reese Bogue even had the Full Moon/Friday the 13th backing him up in a season where everything else has seemed to go his way. Only Dave Darling in Pro Stocks has more wins in 2012. On this Harvest Moon night, Bogue’s smiling took on an ethereal glow as the evening’s events in Bandolero Bandits unfolded. This night, he was to experience Richard Petty’s “I’d rather be lucky than good,” firsthand.
Bogue had a comfortable although not insurmountable lead over his nearest rival, Brendan LeBelle going into the next-to-last championship of the season. A first-lap incident put the reins in Bogue’s hands as a turn one crash spilled across into turn two: Grant Harkin and Rob Murphy, Jr. tangled and Jaden Dib spun around them, coming to rest near the wrecker ramp. And then LeBelle discovered sitting downtrack. He had to be pushed to the pits, ending his night and perhaps his challenge to Bogue for the championship.
After a lap-two incident brought another halt as Harkin again spun onto the front stretch grass and retired for the evening after the first lap had been completed. Once more around for the field saw four more competitors in the pits as Ethan Dion, Joel Newcomb, Brent Robidoux and Zacarias Kelley were all together in turn two, sending the field scattering to avoid. The fifteen-car field suddenly was down to nine.
And Bogue was restarting on the outside pole (he had begun on the outside of row three) with Adam Harrison on the point. Harrison shot away at the green, as he had the previous starts on the evening. PJ Evans shot under Bogue and then Harrison in turn two and was two cars ahead on the next circuit. Bogue dodged past Harrison to give chase and Brody Monahan caught hold of Harrison’s bumper in fourth just ahead of Jaden Dib and Ryan Vanasse, Jr.
Evans and Bogue rushed out to a fifteen-car lead over the field and at the midpoint of the feature, Evans led by three cars. In the field, Harrison (running third) was two lengths up on Monahan. Evans was on top of things on the evening and pushed out to eight cars as Bogue sought to maintain contact on the leader.
With seven laps remaining, the field was running single file and holding position.
With four to go, Evans was a half-straight ahead and Bogue was trying to maintain pace. Monahan was now all over Harrison for third, but Harrison was able to evade all of Monahan’s pretenses.
They wound through the final laps in this order with Evans flying under the checkers with an apparent victory. However, he had jumped the start, as had Monahan. They’d been informed by race control to drop back two places but with the race underway it had not happened and two positions were taken on the finish.
This spring-boarded Bogue onto Victory Lane and Harrison to second while Evans fell back to third. Monahan’s third was also scrapped and he fell to sixth behind Ryan Vanasse, Jr. and Richie Helger, Jr. Dib scored seventh, while Collin Vanasse, Rob Murphy, Jr and Ethan Dion completed the top ten.