Dave Darling came from eleventh place on the starting grid to eventually wrestle the lead away from Dylan Estrella on lap 25 of the scheduled 40, then ran in clear air the rest of the way to the checkers. Kevin Casper then moved in and on the final lap got enough of his nose past Estrella to steal second by 33 thousandths of a second. Estrella’s third was followed by Tom Scully, Jr. and Ryan Vanasse to represent the top five.
The fabric of the race changed as it progressed.
At the outset, Mike Brightman jumped off the pole position to lead the first 12 laps. Brightman and Austin Blais were briefly door-to-door after the green, but Brightman pulled ahead . Blais settled to the low groove for the chase but was assailed by Radical Rick Martin, who had started third. Martin pushed past Blais on lap three and set his sights on the leader.
Scully, meanwhile, was getting past Mike Mitchell into fifth, behind Estrella. Estrella edged blais out of third while Darling was passing Kyle Casper into seventh. There was a lot of action at mid-pack, with Vanasse starting tenth, owing to his win on the previous feature. Vanasse and Darling had sparred in the early laps, then he had engaged Mitchell and followed Darling, passing Blais as he faded back after lap ten.
Kevin Casper was equally involved in the middle of the field, sparring with brother Kyle, Darling, vanasse and then Scully. He passed Martin into fourth on lap 13, landing between Darling and Scully,
At the front, Estrella worked his way past Martin and engaged Brightman but after a brief duel, Brightman suddenly lost power and Estrella vaulted to the lead. Brightman was forced to retreat to the pits.
As Estrella took over the lead, Everett’s teammate Fred Astle, Jr. got onto his tail and looked for a way around for four laps until Darling moved into third and challenged Fred for second. They dueled for five laps before Darling edged him out of the runnerup spot and began working on Estrella.
When Darling cleared Astle, Estrella was five cars ahead. While Kevin Casper began a duel with Astle, Darling closed in on the leader. Casper challenged Astle as Scully played observer. Vanasse was trailing Scully and Blais, now on an upswing, was pursuing The Rocket. Bobby Pelland III was eighth behind him.
At the front, Darling closed the gap on lap 18 and set to work. He looked underneath on lap 20 and pressed forward. They came door-to-door and Estrella attempted to drop under, but Darling anticipated the move and kept the door closed. Casper moved up and took over the spot. Blais rushed underneath before Astle could drop and they dueled while Pelland and Martin waited behind them. With ten to go, Darling commanded the lead ahead of Estrella, Casper, Scully, Vanasse and Blais. Martin and Pelland were wheel-to-wheel but Martin pulled ahead. Pelland looked to drop under but couldn’t find the room.
Six laps remained and the field was single file and indivuduals were far enough apart, that the ending laps were a high-speed pursuit to the checkers. On the final lap, however, Casper augured in on Estrella enough to get underneath and nip him at the line for second.
Sixth overall went to Blais, followed by Martin, Pelland, Astle, Kyle Casper, Mitchell and Billy Joerres.