ESTRELLA GRABS CHECKERS FOR FIRST LATE MODEL REPEAT WIN
Dylan Estrella worked his way forward to again spoil a long run at the front by Mark Hudson. This came enroute to Estrella breaking the standoff in repeat winners in the division, which has stood through May, June and into July. Charlie Rose worked the final ten laps to gather in yet another second place finish, just ahead of Bobby Pelland III. The three-four finish keeps Rose and Pelland in first and second in points in the closest points spread among speedway divisions. Hudson held on for fourth while last week’s winner, Gerry DeGasparre, Jr., claimed fifth.
Hudson came off the pole into the lead as Vinny Arrenegado slid under outside polesitter Jeramee Lillie. Lillie fired it up and tried to push back alongside Hudson but remained alongside Arrenegado. But the duo rubbed fenders and Lillie loosened, heading him back along the outside. Arrenegado took over second while Estrella got under Lillie. As Estrella moved ahead, Rose pulled underneath.
Lap three saw Hudson, Arrenegado and Estrella leading with Rose ahead of Nick Uhrig who was holding Lillie outside. Pelland awaited the two-stack to break down with DeGasparre on his bumper followed by Austin Blais.
Hudson ran out to a four-car lead as Estrella got under Vinny. He pulled into second on lap six and Rose ducked under Arrenegado, who got loose but made a great save. Estrella began to close the lead, which was down to 3 cars on lap eight. Arrenegado and Rose were another eight cars back, running nose-to tail followed by Uhrig.
Estrella was cutting deeply into Hudson’s lead and was just a half-car back on lap ten. Behind them, Vinny, Rose and Uhrig were bumper to bumper. Pelland was contending with Blais and moved past. DeGasparre went by and Lillie snugged up on Blais’ bumper.
Estrella was snug against Hudson’s bumper by lap 14 and nosed against the leader on the ensuing circuit. Hudson left some space at the bottom and Estrella slid under in turn two. They were wheel-to-wheel on the next lap. After two laps, Estrella edged ahead into the lead at the start-finish line into lap 19.
Rose run under Arrenegado as Uhrig ran up to his bumper as Estrella stretched the lead to a one-car margin. Uhrig followed through and Vinny was fifth. Pelland, DeGasparre and Blais followed. By lap 22, Estrella had a two-car edge over Hudson. Rose followed with Uhrig behind him and Vinny on his bumper. But Uhrig went around on the front stetch, sliding to the infield and Arrenegado was called on the assist, sending them both to the rear. Arrenegado detoured through the pits.
The lap 21 restart saw Estrella escape into the lead out of turn two. Rose got under Hudson, followed by Pelland. Behind him, DeGasparre ran under Blais, followed by Lillie. Pelland edged Hudson out of third and Hudson was stuck on the outside with DeGasparre moving underneath. They ran door-to-door for three laps to the checkers with DeGasparre unable to crack Hudson’s resolve and Hudson wrested away fourth place with Gerry claiming fifth.
Completing the top ten were: Blais, Lillie, Curtis Rolando, Uhrig and Arrenegado.
BRUNEAU TAKES DOWN SECOND OF SEASON IN STREETS
Scott Bruneau picked up another win in Street Stock competition, which will aid him in catching division leader Paul Lallier. Bruneau, running second, in points saw Lallier slip back to ninth on the run; after Lallier, challenging for second, was involved in a spin with Chris Rioux. Lallier was called on the assist and went to the rear, elevating Bruneau from third to first with eight laps remaining. Bruneau outran ”Kid Chaos” Corey Fanning and Rey Lovelace to the checkers, while Tyler Lallier finished fourth, just ahead of Vincent Pangelinan.
Rioux and Anthony Kohler faced off, going door-to-door for two laps before Rioux was able to edge away. Tony Oliveira, Paul Lallier and Kohler pursued, while Bruneau dueled underneath Fanning for fifth. Bruneau moved up to fourth as Kohler was eased back. Paul jumped from third to second, past Oliviera and Bruneau came up to fourth.
By lap five, the field had strung out with Rioux running the front and Lallier on his bumper. Three laps later, Bruneau moved Oliviera out of third onto Lallier’s tail, followed by Pangelinan, Fanning, Tyuler and Lovelace. Oliveira fell back to eighth.
Lap 11 saw the front nine cars running bumper-to-bumper. In the middle of the group, Lovelace pushed in under Tyler for sixth. Rioux continued to lead Paul and Bruneau. Bruneau, getting anxious, nosed into Paul’s quarter panel. Lallier pushed forward and made contact with Rioux, who went around in turn two and Paul was called for the assist. Bruneau and Pangelinan wound up on the front row for the restart.
It took two tries to get the field restarted as Thomas Adams, Jeremy Walker and Adam Dion spun into a knot on the green. Before the second attempt could be made, Rioux showed Lallier his displeasure and received the black flag for intentional contact under yellow.
When the field got away, Bruneau took the front and Fanning got under Pangelinan. Tyler was under Lovelace and Kohler was working below Oliviera. Fanning and Tyler moved up leaving Pangelinan outside Lovelace, who took over fourth.
Fanning moved onto Bruneau’s bumper for the stretch run and Lovelace snugged up on Tyler. Kohler was working on Oliviera for sixth. Craig Pianka, Steve “The Cyclone” Potter and Paul Lallier pursued. Lovelace was able to pry third away from Tyler with six laps remaining and with five to go, Kohler edged Oliveira out of sixth. Oliveira began to debate seventh with Potter but Potter held on to the checkers.
Bruneau carried the day edging Fanning to the line while Lovelace finished on the same second as the leaders.
Sixth went to Kohler, just ahead of Oliveira and then Potter. Paul lallier was good for ninth, ahead of Manny Dias, Walker, Pianka and last week’s victor, Thomas Adams.
FREDDY ENDS THE DROUGHT WITH TRIPLE CROWN FEATURE WIN
Fred Astle, Jr. found a good night to end his long drought of feature wins: he ran to the front and then held off the field enroute to a big, double-points win in the 65-lap Phil’s Propane Triple Crown second round. It was a a banner night for veterans who have struggled on the season: Dave Darling came on to nab second with a late pass of Kenny Spencer with three to go. Spencer was never out of the top three all night, leading the first ten laps before relinquishing the front to Astle, who controlled the race for the final 55 circuits. Angelo worked the top four after lap ten, trading between second and third with Spencer until Darling’s arrival with ten laps remaining. And Tom Scully, Jr., who has struggled early, began to pick up his pace after lap 15 and climbed steadily until he had a fifth place finish on the night.
Spencer went to the front on the green while outside polesitter Nick Lascuola fell back until Astle was dueling him over second. Lascuola fired back up and ran wheel-to-wheel with Spencer for a few laps. But soon he was being challenged again by Astle. Darling had moved up to fourth with Mike Brightman and Kevin Casper on his tail. Angelo Belsito edged past Brightman and began to joust with Darling over position. By lap eight, the 22 cars were stretched to a single line.
One lap later, contact on the backstretch sent Ryan Vanasse spinning hard into the retaining wall at the pit entrance, piling in on the driver’s side. Vanasse was checked by emergency crews and was OK, but his car was done for the night and had to be taken off the track hammock style between two wreckers. Also out on the same lap was teammate Bobby Pelland III.
Spencer popped away from Lascuola on the restart with Astle and Darling door-to-door behind them. Astle moved ahead and was under Lascuola as Belsito jumped into the breach under Darling and Casper and Brightman were in a dogfight over ninth.
Now Spencer and Astle were sizing each other up, but Alex Mielnicki and Mike Mitchell were together on the frontstretch. Astle was outside Spencer for the restart with Lascuola and Belsito behind them. They came out of the box side-by-side and across the stripe and through turns one and two. Astle began to take an advantage down the backstretch and began showing as leader on lap 10. They ran until Kevin Folan spun on lap 13.
This time Astle had the pole and Belsito was behind him. Fred was away and Belsito followed under and into second on lap 14. Astle took the lead once again on the green with Belsito second and Darling following Spencer in fourth. Fred Pulled out to a 2-car lead and the front four ran as a loose group, 15 cars up on the field, which was led by Brightman, Lascuola, Martin and Kevin Casper.
Brightman was able to overhaul Darling by lap 21 and they debated fourth for several laps. Brightman was able to push by on lap22, but Darling took it back. Rick Martin moved in behind Mighty Mike and Scully climbed to seventh. Following a lap 22 restart, the race ran caution free to lap 50 and the lead eight ran unchanged until lap 42. One lap before, Scully had elected to challenge Martin on the outside. He went past and also moved Brightman out of fifth. Scully set out after the lead quartet of Astle, Spencer, Belsito and Darling, who were some distance ahead.
Martin began to engage Brightman for position and was all over his bumper on lap 46. Brightman came loose in turn two and Martin took advantage. One lap later, Kyle Casper spun in turn two. Houlihan went pitside on the caution. Astle was away on the restart and Belsito went under Spencer. Ryan Lineham earnestly on the attack went three wide in the middle of the pack.
Brightman spun in turn four and went to the pits for some repairs as did Dick Houlihan. On the restart, Scully got under Darling for a debate over position but Darling held on and moved away. The nine leading cars were in position for the finish save for a brief exchange where Darling moved Spencer to third with three remaining. With two to go, Brightman passed Bob Hussey for tenth on the evening.
Sixth through tenth went to Kevin Casper, Lineahm, Martin, Folan and Brightman.
It was Astle’s first win on the season and his 75th career win. When asked how he felt about the big number, the six-time champion replied: “Makes me feel old!”
John Paiva returned after a week off and showed that he wasn’t rusty at all, with a strong, 25-lap win in Sport trucks. Paiva led from lap 12 onward, holding off chief rival Rob Murphy through the final 12 laps. Rookie Eric LeBrun led the first six circuits, holding off Chase Belcher until Belcher took the lead. Belcher’s lap 12 spin necessitated a push start and he retired to the pits for the remainder of the race. Paiva took over the lead and fended off Murphy for the remaining distance. LeBrun claimed third ahead of David Lougee and Mike Duarte.
LeBrun came off the pole into the lead with a grand leap forward. Belcher drove into second from the outside of the second row. LeBrun had a four-car lead on the second circuit, ahead of Belcher, Duarte, Paiva and Murphy. Belcher began to close, however, on lap four. Belcher looked underneath for the pass and LeBrun pushed a little harder getting loose and very high in the corners, allowing Belcher to get through underneath. Duarte followed through into second. But Paiva was moving forward and by lap ten, he was past LeBrun and Duarte onto Belcher’s bumper.
Paiva nosed under and Belcher dropped to slam the door, but caught Paiva’s nose and threw himself into a spin. Paiva braked hard to avoid and narrowly missed Belcher.
On the restart attempt, Belcher spun once again, signaling some mechanical problems and he retired for the evening. Now Duarte was on Paiva’s outside and Murphy on his bumper for the restart. Paiva was away with Murphy on his bumper. Duarte settled into third ahead of LeBrun and Lougee, who were jousting for fourth. Paiva got a three-car lead for breathing room as the field stretched out single file.
At mid-pack, points leader Mike Cavallaro worked with a replacement truck from Jim Hawkins, who offered it after Mike’s truck was crushed in a meeting with the wall the previous week. Cavallaro was pushing to maintain eighth place with the unfamiliar vehicle. He followed Darryl Chruch, Joe Fortin and Duarte.
Lap eighteen saw Duarte rush up to Murphy’s bumper for a pass but was forced to back off. With five to go, Russ Bourges was around on the backstretch. Paiva and Murphy came away door-to-door. Shawn DeMello got sideways on the start but managed a miracle save to keep running. Paiva was able to clear into the lead out of turn four and Murphy settled in with LeBrun, Lougee and Duarte following. Cavallaro got by Lenny Guy as Paiva improved his advantage to four cars.
They wound through to the checkers with Paiva gaining the victory lap. Rounding out the top ten were Fortin, Church, Cavallaro, Guy and Mike Lopes.