Ryan Vanasse kicked it up a notch and sailed home with a big, timely win in Pro Stocks, but not without earning it, every inch of the way. He grabbed the front on lap eleven of the forty-lap feature, but never saw a moment’s peace as the Speedway’s top drivers queued up behind to take potshots at his lead. He only escaped the pressure when he burst under the checkers with Fred Astle, Jr. hot on his tail. Major contenders Dave Darling, Jr. and Tom Scully, Jr. had been harrying his position all race and followed Astle in for third and fourth. Mike Brightman, who Vanasse had edged out of the lead early in the race, was the completion of the top five.
Vanasse started eighth, outside the fourth row while Daryl Stampfl and Kevin Folan led the field into the starting box. Stampfl got his nose ahead of Folan, while Brightman and Bobby Pelland III ran side-by-side behind them. Kyle Casper ran under Pelland as Brightman jumped ahead and under Folan. Second time past the starter, Stampfl led Brightman, Casper, and Vanasse, who had moved in under Folan. Darling had come up under Pelland as Vanasse nosed ahead of Folan.
Brightman went to Stampfl’s bumper and they rocketed around the oval. By lap six, Vanasse had moved into third and Darling was under Casper who elected to drop in, right in front of Astle.
Brightman ran under Stampfl as he went high, taking the lead on lap eleven. Vanassed followed through, then ducked under Brightman to take the lead on lap 12. Darling then followed underneath into second on lap 13. Stampfl fell into fourth with Astle on his bumper. Scully had just arrived in sixth. Stampfl got high once again and Astle took advantage and into fourth. Scully immediately looked underneath Astle.
Vanasse and Darling performed a breakaway, putting eight cars between themselves and Brightman. Darling continued to pressure Vanasse through laps 19, 20, 21 and 22.
In lap 22, Pelland was loose coming out of turn four and slewed up to the outside wall but was able to keep from making contact. He pitted for adjustments as did Bob Hussey.
On the restart, Brightman and Scully were behind Vanasse and Darling. Astle and Stampfl were row three with Casper and Dick Houlihan behind them. On the green, Vanasse and Darling went side-by-side for two laps before Darling dropped onto Vanasse’s bumper. Scully ran up to Darling’s bumper and Astle shot past Brightman. Casper, Alex Mielnicki and Hussey followed.
By lap 27, the leaders had formed a four-car nose-to-tail that snaked around the oval as Pelland began smoking badly from a rear tire. He pitted.
Scully was looking under Darling on lap 29 but backed out after coming loose. Astle nosed under him but then glued himself to Scully’s bumper. Darling went looking underneath again, but Vanasse shook it off. Stampfl headed for the pits.
Astle came around the outside into third and then went to Darling’s high side. Darling’s attention to Astle, now, became a relief to Vanasse who headed for home. Astle and Darling wound around the bullring trading the lead by inches, leaving Scully little to do but look low, which was closed out by Darling.
Astle put on a final rush down the back of the white flag lap and managed to edge past Darling by a mere .028 seconds at the stripe. Scully’s fourth was just .16 off that.
Casper rolled in for sixth, followed by Mielnicki, Folan, Rick Martin, Houlihan and Hussey.