Connor Souza outlasted Evan Marchand and Samantha Dell to the finish line of the Bandolero Outlaws after starting fifth and working his way to the front going into lap five. Dell, who had begun on the outside pole, ran either second or third, troubling the leaders the entire distance until a spin on the final lap took her out of contention. Marchand, trying to repeat last week’s win, troubled Souza’s progress from lap five onward.
A late restart, with three remaining, saw the duo on the front row with Dell and Wesley Heard backing them up. Souza nailed the lead and Dell ducked under Marchand, who went very wide in turn four, and she grabbed second as the twin sticks were shown for two to go. But Marchand got the car under control and dropped under Dell to steal second back. She pursued, but pressed too hard and spun in the curve as the field flew past to the checkers. Marchand grabbed second, just ahead of heard while Tyler Tomassi and Hailey Brightman rounded out the top five.
It took two tries to get the race going, as Brightman, starting behind polesitter Heard, tried to drop under him between the starting box and the start-finish line. Heard spun at the stripe and a complete restart ensued.
Dell, the outside pole, dropped into second as Heard pulled ahead, with Souza latching onto her bumper. Tomassi was working under Brightman. Souza pushed in under Dell as Tomassi and Brightman ran side-by-side behind them, followed by Marchand and Michael Cooper.
Dell pushed up outside Heard with Souza going to Wesley’s bumper. She fell back alongside Souza as behind them, Marchand moved in under Brightman.
Lap four saw Souza getting in under Heard and taking the lead going down the back stretch. Dell followed under Wes, who dropped in for third. However, he got loose out of turn two and spun. He got it started and tried to continue, but the caution had already flown.
Souza and Dell were at the front with Marchand and Cooper behind them for the restart. Souza grabbed the lead going across the stripe and Marchand dived in under Dell and into second. Brightman got by Cooper into fourth.
Marchand looked to Souza’s high side but was held off. Dell followed, looking for opportunities. Brightman, Cooper, Heard and Tomassi pursued. They ran hard parade laps down to four-to-go, then Marchand again looked to the outside then tried to drop under, but Souza was up to the task and held him at bay. The flew into lap twelve when Brightman suffered her spin and Cooper was called for the assist. This set up the final surge to the finish under green, whit, checker conditions.
The restart set up the tight competition between Souza, Marchand and Dell, resulting in Souza grabbing the checkers.
Sixth on the event went to Cooper followed by Dell.