Ronnie Williams came on late to spoil a great shot by Boehler Racing’s Matt Swanson on lap 81. Williams had started twelfth and edged his way through the crowd. Swanson, meanwhile, had spoiled Ron Silk’s bid for another win in the event, by stealing the lead midway through the race, which Silk had led since lap 15. Williams collected the big check and Tommy Barrett sneaked past Swanson for second three laps after Williams had gotten by. Five laps later, the finish was Williams, Barrett and Swanson for the podium. Matt Hirschman grabbed fourth and Todd Patnode rounded out the top five.
Woody Pitkat and Todd Kochenash led the field down to the green flag. Swanson was outside Anthony Sesely in row two while Silk and Patnode backed them up.
Pitkat and Kochenash were door-to-door out of the box and Pitkat gained an edge. Kochenash grabbed second with Sesely third. Swanson was fourth with Silk at his back. Sesely attempted to get under Kochenash but was held off. Silk then ducked under Sesely into third and ran to Kochenash’s bumper. Ten laps in, it was four cars at the front running bumper-to-bumper: Pitkat, Kochenash, Silk and Sesely. Silk then ducked under Kochenash into second. The field, running single file, filled most of the third-mile oval.
Silk got by Pitkat for the lead on lap fifteen but the latter pursued relentlessly. The field settled in for some hard running, nose-to-tail in many places. Andrew Charron became the first lapped car on lap 29 and four more loomed ahead. Silk and Pitkat motored through them.
Geoff Rollins brought out the first caution on lap 31 coming loose in turn two and running into the grass at mid-track.
Silk and Pitkat lined up and Silk nosed into the lead on the green. Pitkat settled in with Sesely behind him followed by Patnode. Rob Murphy had been working on Patnode and broke into fourth on lap 34. Hirschman now put in an appearance in the top five by getting past Patnode, as well as Keith Rocco.
Silk went to work and had a four-car lead on lap 40. Behind him, Pitkat was three up on Sesely and it was another three back to Hirschman who had moved Murphy back. Rocco had also passed Murphy, who followed with Swanson surging up behind him. Swanson took his position on lap 42 with an underneath move. Carl Medeiros then slide off the front stretch to the infield bringing a lap 43 restart. He retired to the pits.
The grid still featured Silk, Pitkat and Sesely as the top three, but Hirschman sat on Sesely’s shoulder. Rocco and Swanson made up Row 3. Russ Hersey and Murphy backed them up. It was door-to-door out of the box with Silk again taking the lead coming out of turn two. But Charron spun, bringing a second restart. This time, Silk grabbed the front immediately.
Hirschman got under Sesely into third and began working on Pitkat. In the meantime, Swanson moved into fifth on lap 46. He looked under Sesely but the latter slammed the door.
The fi eld ran single-file through the race’s midpoint. Sesely, Swanson and Rocco followed the leaders, chased by Russ Hersey and Rob Murphy.
Caution flew on lap 53 with Kirk Alexander and Dana DiMatteo against the wall. Alexander pulled away, but DiMatteo was off on the hook. Alexander made another lap but then ended his evening. Many cars ran to the pits for tires and adjustments. The entire top 40 made the move and this elevated Swanson to the lead.
On the restart, Rob Murphy accompanied him to the front row. Rocco and Kochenash were the second tier, ahead of Calvin Carroll and Brian Robie. Out of the box. Swanson took a nose on Murphy. They ran a lap side-by-side before Swanson grabbed the lead the next time through turn two. Murphy dropped in ahead of Kochenash and Andy Jankowiak as the field again was quickly single file.
Over the next eight laps, Swanson generated a four-car advantage over Murphy and Kochenash. But now Williams was on his way up and got under Sesely and into fifth place. Barrett was now on Carroll’s bumper and looking to grab sixth place. He got by with thrity laps to go.
At the three-quarters point, Swanson was still up on Murphy. Kochenash was third, ahead of Jankowiak but Murphy was shortening the distance as was Kochenash, who went by Murphy into second.
But Silk, running deep in the pack after the tire stop, suddenly spun and caution flew.
Williams was in the top five, now, and went past Murphy. Another lap and he was past Kochenash into second.
With 20 laps remaining, Swanson was nursing a four-car lead on him. But Silk, running deep in the pack after the tire stop, suddenly spun and caution flew. Swanson pulled away, but after five hard laps, Brian Robie’s motor died on the front stretch and they lined up again.
Kochenash and Murphy backed up Swanson and Williams, while Barrett was restarting fifth. Patnode and Hirschman rounded out the top ten for the green. They ran door-to-door as Kochenash looked underneath but was rebuffed. Swanson edged into the lead with Williams all over his bumper. He looked underneath and went. As they battled, and the count clicked down to ten to go, caution flew once more, and for the last time.
Swanson and Williams lined up. Swanson nosed out, then took the lead, but Williams dropped under and came on hard. They were door-to-door and then Williams grabbed the front on the backstretch. Swanson attempted to drop under, but the door was closed. Barrett moved in behind them with Kochenash now third. Hirschman was barging into fifth.
Barrett got under Swanson and into second with four laps to go. Kochenash was trying to fend of Hirschmann, but the latter prevailed to move into fourth sending Carroll back to fifth. As the leaders streaked toward the finish, Patnode and Pitkat pushed forward into fifth and sixth to complete the race.
Seventh on the evening went to Kochenash, followed by Carroll, Silk, John Kievman, Murphy and Sesely.