Smilin’ Reese is becoming redundant in Victory Lane. Again, he sallied forth among the Bandolero Bandits and again he was standing in Victory Lane talking to announcer Kevin Bocher when it was all over. Not to diminish his opponents: PJ Evans was at Bogue’s 6 o’clock coming over the line and had led the race from lap two until Bogue got by on lap 13 of the fifteen, spoiling Evans’ shot at going two out of the last three. But over eleven starts on the season, The Smiler has now won six of the ten races in the 2019 season.
Evans, with two wins on the season, held on for second in the frenzied exchange with Bogue over the closing laps. Ethan Dion, Brenden LeBelle and Ryan Vanasse, Jr. rounded out the top five.
While Bandits usually run smoothly, this time out was a bit shaggy. The opening lap saw Rob Murphy, Jr. spring airward on contact with Joel Newcomb, bringing a complete race restart. Through the chaos, Bogue had sneaked through to the lead, but all was called back, and he returned to his starting spot in ninth.
Harrison and Murphy faced off and Collin Vanasse grabbed second from row 2. Behind them, Brody Monahan and Ethan Dion wrapped around Evans for a three-wide and Evans let them go. Adam Harrison led into lap two with a crowd giving chase and Collin on his heels. Monahan and Murphy were door-to-door behind them.
As they sped through turn four, however, Harrison was suddenly sideways in front of Collin and a mad scramble ensued. Vanasse had no chance to avoid and suffered extensive damage to the front of his car. Collected in the chaos were Dion, Monahan and Murphy, in a tight, three-car sandwich near the wall, but did not contact the barrier. Harrison, Vanasse, Murphy and Monahan were all towed to the pits to end their evenings.
Evans and Bogue suddenly occupied the front for the restart. Ryan Vanasse and LeBelle followed with Zacarias Kelley and Dion in row three. Evans and Bogue went wheel-to-wheel until Evans managed to pull away on the backstretch. Reese glommed his bumper and LeBelle grabbed third with Vanasse fourth. Dion came around Kelley in pursuit of Vanasse.
Evans generated a four-car lead by lap six and Bogue was second, a half-straightaway ahead of LeBelle. Next time around, Vanasse looked under LeBelle who shut the door but first-time driver Richie Helger spun at the stripe, bringing a restart.
Evans and Bogue lined up again. LeBelle was accompanied by Vanasse in row two, while Dion and Kelley followed. They were off with Evans towing Bogue in his wake after some side-by-side racing to turn four with six to go. Next time around, they were lapping slow cars. The field was running single-file.
With three to go, Evans had a carlength on Bogue, They hit the white flag and Dion went to LeBelle’s high side and Vanasse looked for some way around them. Bogue went under Evans through turns one and two, then pulled ahead as they went three-wide around a lapped car. Three more lapped vehicles loomed and they ran around them into the front stretch. Dion completed the pass to steal third from LeBelle.
Both drivers went to their afterburners to charge under the checkered flag. Bogue came out the winner with Evans firing in on his tail.
Sixth went to Grant Harkin, followed by Kelley, Jaden Dib, Brent Robidoux and Richie Helger, Jr. rounded out the top ten.