Mike Duarte came home the winner on Saturday Night after Radical Rick Martin’s win was caught by tech inspectors for the second time this season. Duarte and Martin had waged a particular war over the final laps of the race, to see Radical Rick cross the finish line first. However, his truck failed to pass inspection and Duarte was upgraded to winning status. This elevated the rest of the finishing order: Points leader Richie Murray gained second, while Lenny Guy, Connor Souza and Mikey Cooper rounded out the top five.
Duarte had started on the outside of the second row, while Guy and Brittany Campbell shared the front row. Lenny took off and Souza ducked in under Campbell with Duarte following. Cooper also followed through, and Murray moved to fifth. The field strung out single file behind them.
Guy forged on at the front as Murray got under Cooper. Once more around and Duarte was looking under Souza.
Six laps in, and Guy was watching Duarte in his mirror. Souza followed with Murray at his back and now Martin was running fifth just ahead of Barry Shaw. The order held until lap eight when Murray began looking under Souza. Next time around Duarte dug in under Guy as Murray and Souza ran door-to-door. Murray finally completed the pass on lap ten in turn four. Duarte also moved ahead of Guy into the lead. Murray was looking at Guy, now, with Souza, Martin and Shaw in tow. The order was unchanged over the ext lap, but with twelve to go, Murray ran under Guy into second in turn four and started Guy on the great freight train to the rear.
Lenny was stuck on the outside until Shaw swept under him and then Perry until he was able to settle in at sixth. Duarte had been busy the whole time, generating a fifteen-car lead with nine laps remaining. Martin now looked under Murray and dived in. They battled door-to-door for three laps, hacksawing the lead, while Shaw sat on their bumpers and watching for opportunities.
With six laps to go, Lenny Sousa spun in turn one, bringing caution.
Martin had earned the outside pole on Duarte, while Murray and Shaw made up row two. Perry and Guy followed. They ran wheel-to-wheel from the green until Martin got a nose ahead in turn two. Murray looked under Duarte for a three-wide but couldn’t get in. He kept on looking while Duarte and Martin continued their duel. Radical Rick nosed ahead and fell back on lap 22 as Murray watched while holding off Shaw, who had Perry coming in underneath.
Two to go and the leaders were still side-by-side but next tim around, Shaw suddenly spun in turn four, bringing up a green-white-checkered restart.
Martin and Duarte, Murray and Souza and Campbell and Guy lined up and took the green. It was dead even across the stripe, then Martin took a nose and had the lead in turn two. Murray chased Duarte under the white flag, but there were no changes over the final lap.
Martin’s victory was erased, however, by the tech infraction, giving Duarte a hard-fought win. Sixth on the event went to Shaw, who scrambled back up from the back over the final two laps. Completing the top ten were Darryl Church, Mike Cavallaro, Campbell and Elias Dib.