Nick Uhrig took a big win in the Propane Plus Power Five 35-lapper, holding off an insistent Jeramee “The Hammer” Lillie for the win. Uhrig led every lap of the nearly green-to-checker race, save for a lap-26 caution. Branden Dion had been on Uhrig’s tail the full distance until he spun in turn two, with the assist going to rookie Jake Johnson. Johnson had been on Dion’s case since lap ten. It then became Lillie’s turn to pursue Uhrig, who was having none of it and completed the run with a two-car advantage. Austin Blais came up to take third, followed by Vinny Arrenegado and Uhrig’s teammate Ryan Lineham to cover the top five.
Uhrig and Dion went wheel-to-wheel at the start with Uhrig going to the front in turn two. Lillie looked under Dion but fell back. Johnson and Joey Parker followed. By lap 3, Blais was working around Parker into fifth. Parker kept his nose underneath but Blais continued. Ryan Kuhn lay in wait behind Parker with Mike Teague at his back.
Uhrig went to a two-car lead but Dion ran back up to his bumper on the next lap. Johnson was rocketing along on Lillie’s bumper. Parker had fallen back behind Blais and Kuhn and Arrenegado was on his tail. Vinny nosed under on the following lap.
By lap 10, Uhrig was finding he couldn’t shake Dion and Lillie had the same problem with Johnson. The field was now single file and they ran intently, keeping it close. Dion kept trying to slingshot past Uhrig, but was continually held off. Johnson had cleared by Lillie and now was closing on Dion.
He snugged up in third and the trio ran nose-to-tail. After a short gap, four cars, including Lillie, Blais, Kuhn and Arrenegado were bumper-to-bumper as well. Lineham ran a short distance behind them. This continued for three more laps and Johnson then began trying to nose under Dion. Dion denied him on laps 21 and 22, and their duel allowed Uhrig to generate a two-length gap and some breathing room. He extended it by a length over the next circuit. But Dion rushed up to him again with Johnson on his bumper.
The field was tightening up behind them by now as Uhrig pushed harder. The duel between Dion and Johnson intensified again and by lap 26, Uhrig had a six-car cushion.
Lap 27 saw Johnson’s zeal get the better of him and he made contact while trying to get under Dion. Contact loosened Dion up and he spun, sending Kuhn through the infield to avoid a wreck. Dion and Johnson reported to the rear with nine laps remaining.
Now it was Lillie’s turn to attempt to unseat Uhrig. Nick was firmly fixated on a win and nosed away coming out of the box. Lillie fired up and nosed out himself, but Uhrig took it back down the frontstretch on lap 28. Lillie rushed up again on the next lap, but Uhrig grabbed it back in turn four.
On lap 30, Uhrig grabbed the front alone in turn two and Lillie dropped onto his bumper with Blais on his. Arrenegado and Lineham chimed in to create the final top five with three laps remaining.
They cascaded under the checkers with Uhrig comfortably two cars ahead and Lillie with Blais on his bumper.
Sixth went to Nick Johnson, who got past Kuhn on lap 33. Followed by Charlie Rose, Gerry DeGasparre, Jr., Kuhn, Dan Johnson, Rey Lovelace, Dylan Estrella and Parker.