Bobby Tripp put it all together after several near misses and piloted his way to a big win in Late Models. Trip has made some long runs at the front but has been overhauled by competitors at the finish. This week, however, his rocket ship blasted off from the pole and led all 35 laps to the checkers. It ran from green to checkers and was over in just eight minutes, four seconds. Hardly enough for any of the competitors to draw a deep breath. (Top speed on the event went to multichamp, Gerry DeGasparre, Jr. at 88.564 mph.
It wasn’t all that easy a run for Tripp, as Mark Hudson had one of his best nights of the season, coming off the outside pole and staying in Tripp’s mirror all 35 laps, making several attempts to overhaul the leader. He finished second, while Dan Johnson ALSO kicked off from third and ran in position for the full distance. Fourth place went to last week’s winner, Vinnie Arrenegado who stole the win from Tripp at the last second. This week, he had to start thirteenth thanks to the win and had an interesting time threading his way through the field.. He had to wrestle fourth away from Mark Jenison, who completed the top five.
If you ran to the snack bar for a Pepsi at the beginning of the race, you probably missed the whole thing.
You haven’t heard the whole story, yet.
Michael Benevides started fourth, but Paul Newcomb jumped in from row three and had the position before lap one was complete and Jenison did the same. DeGasparre vaulted up from a ninth place start, Got by Tom the Bomb Adams, then passed Newcomb on lap five to latch onto Jenison’s bumper. Gerry ran fifth all the way to lap 23. But DeGasparre had Vinnie on his tail from lap twelve until the latter edged him out of fifth on lap 23.
This of course brings up Charlie Rose who dropped in for the first time this season. He came from eleventh and climbed in behind Arrenegado on lap 17 at seventh. But Charlie had Adams on his back from lap 17 to the finish.
While it was a hard, fast race, there was little passing beyond what has already been said: the field . The pack quickly strung out single file and did not reform, but they did energize the crowd with their high speed pursuit.
Four laps in, there was some wheel-to-wheel between Jenison and Newcomb as Jennison edged him out of fourth and Degasparre followed under into fifth. Lap seven saw Rose move Newcomb back another spot. Next time around, Adams was able to get by Nick Uhrig with some resistance but Adams did acquire tenth behind Ryan Lineham and stole ninth five laps later.
Lap 20 saw mechanical problems beset Benevides, forcing him to pit under green and was unable to return. DeGasparre was looking under Jenison but was held off. Gerry then felt the pressure from Arrenegado, who did get in underneath and steal the spon on lap 22..
Vinnie took a breather for a lap and then started in on Jenison who shut the door.
With eight to go, Hudson had run up to Tripp’s bumper and had Johnson filling his mirror. Johnson was not in the catbird’s seat as he had Arrenegado making noise on his tailgate.
Tripp shot back out to a two-car bulge and Hudson got a carlength of breathing space over Johnson. Vinny looked under Dan but could not go. He kept on trying.
With two to go, Adams was on Roses bumper and stuck his nose under as they ran through the white flag. They battled it out over the final lap, but Charlie held him off by 79 thousandths of a second.
Tripp had claimed is first win on the season and Hudson his best finish.
Sixth on the event went to DeGasparre. Rose grabbed seventh. Rounding out the top ten came Adams, Lineham and Uhrig. Newcomb, after a hard race, was one spot outside the top ten.