Once again, Scott Cestodio made his late season return to Pure Stocks a studying coming to the front. While Greg Perry and Danny “The Outlaw” Massa squared off to settle the championship question. They finished the race in that order, the runner-up finish giving Perry the division honors he’s been chasing all season. Mike Henriques shot home for fourth while 2018 champ Doug Benoit grabbed fourth.
Justin Menard stuck his nose ahead of Alic Benoit coming out of the starting box. Ava Chouinard dived in from the third row, making it three wide at the front. Benoit destabilized, taking a trip into the infield as they crossed the line. Alice fought the car back into control, wrestled it back on track and the race continued without interruption with Benoit still clinging to eighth place.
Amy Arsenault came past Joey Morrissette into second as Chouinard led the field. Perry was coming forward behind Morrisette with Nick Mignone giving chase. Behind Mignone, Massa was working outside Max Bergstrom as Shayne Lambert spun to the infield; this time caution flew.
Chouinard and Arsenalult line up and Ava nosed ahead as Morrissette and Perry poised behind them, being chased by Mignone. Morrissette looked under Arsenault and there was contact sending Amy around. Mignone came to a halt, restarted then pitted. Morrissette got the call for the assist and joined Arsenault at the rear.
The lap five restart saw Chouinard nose out on Perry, who fought back for some door-to-door through turn two and then pushed a fender ahead. Chouinard held on. Next time around, however, Perry pushed ahead to claim the lead, dropping in front of Chouinard in turn three.
Cestodio, meanwhile, had been pressing forward from his sixth row start and was three-wide under Massa and Doug Benoit. Another circuit and as Perry gained a five-car lead, Cestodio was looking under Chouinard to stel second. Benoit was at their backs while Henriques and Massa were wheel-to-wheel behind him. Suddenly, Menard was around in turn three and took it to the pits.
Perry shot into the lead on the restart and Cestodio ran wheel-to-wheel with Chouinard behind him. Scott grabbed second in turn two and Massa got underneath into third. Now Cestodio looked under the leader; the ran side-b-side before Perry pulled ahead on the backstretch. Massa was playing observer behind them. Marissa Morgan was behind Massa and Doug Benoit ducked under her.
Massa went to Cestodio’s high side, but Cestodio shot ahead. Benoit now was third and Morrissette was digging under Morgan. Cestodio looked to Perry’s high side then dropped back into second just as Arsenault and Chouinard got together in turn two.
Perry won the door-to-door with Cestodio on the restart. Massa glommed onto Perry’s tail. At the midpoint of the race, Cestodio pushed ahead on the outside, then was able to settle into the lead on the next time around. Perry, Massa and Benoit clustered at his tail for a bumper-to-bumper four cars long. Henriques was coming up behind them, trailing Morrissette, Bergstrom and Chouinard. Cestodio put a carlength between himself and the field over the next circuit. Henriques began to close on the group.
With ten to go, Cestodio had three cars’ worth of insurance, but Perry had Massa on his bumper. Henriques was on Benoit’s bumper and Morrissette continued his pursuit.
With nine laps remaining, Bergstrom spun in turn one, bringing out the caution.
Cestodio and Perry went at it again with Massa and Benoit watching from row two. As Cestodio ran ahead, Massa ducked under Perry, but the latter shot ahead into second. Cestodio gained four lengths while they fought. Henriques pulled into fourth, sliding Benoit to fifth. Chouinard followed, ahead of Morrissette. Arsenault, and Morgan. The field quickly went singl-file as Cestodio generated an eight-car lead.
Five laps remained and the race became a catch-me-if-you-can parade with Cestodio continuing to distance himself from the competition. By the white flag, he was a half-straight up on the field.
Massa avidly pursued Perry, who refused to yield any position, and they finished 1-2-3. Henriques and Benoit rounded out the top five. Cestodio won the battle (and the trip to Victory Lane) while Perry won the war, gaining a seat at the banquet’s head table with his championship.
Sixth on the evening went to Morrissette, followed by Chouinard, Arsenault, Morgan, Mark Sinkiewicz and Emily Brightman.