Last week, Dylan Estrella struggle mightily after his car wrecked out of the heat race. He came out of turn two as a wreck erupted ahead of him. He was collected, climbed the backstretch wall, flew high in the air and crashed down hard enough that he had to be double-hooked from the track in a hammock grapple. Fortunately, Bobby Pelland III rushed home to Warwick and brought Estrella his own pro stock to borrow for the feature.
This week was like night and day. Sixteen laps into the forty-lapper, Estrella rushed past leader Rocket Ryan Vanasse and then simply drove off into the night – all the way to the checkers. There’s a story, somewhere about the past week replete with sleepless nights and lots of thrashing. But Estrella’s ride ran about as good as it gets and he was unassailable.
Mike Mitchell and Daryl Stampfl kicked it off with Fred Astle and Tom Scully behind them and Estrella in the third row with Vanasse. The Rocket and Rick Martin jumped ahead of Estrella, pushing him back to seventh. But then he caught fire. He got past Martin the next time around then overhauled a fading Stampfl two laps later. He dueled Scully until a lap eight caution flew just as he got by and Scully dropped in behind him. Kyle Casper and three others made for the pits, but Casper did not return.
On the restart, Vanasse grabbed the lead from Mitchell and went to a five-car margin. Astle gave chase and behind him, Estrella was working his way under Mitchell. Dave Darling and scully waited behind them for an open avenue.
Twice more around and The Rocket had eight cars on the opposition just as Dick Benoit took a solo spin on the back stretch.
Vanasse and Astle, Estrella and Mitchell, Darling and Martin – set up for the restart. Vanasse nosed away from Astle for two laps, then had the lead to himself. Estrella looked under Astle as Darling gave chase. Dylan edged Astle out of the spot and Darling then went up to Fred’s high side to pass. But Vanasse got crossed up, forcing Estrella to brake and Darling paid the price, going through the infield in his attempt to avoid a wreck. But Estella had nailed the pole before the caution flew. He now lined up with Vanasse on his high side.
Fifteen laps would unwind before the next caution and Estrella made the most of it. After a short wheel-to-wheel with Vanasse, he was away and in two laps had generated a three-car lead. Vanasse, Astle, Martin, Mike Brightman and Scully followed. Astle got by Vanasse but Estrella increased the lead to three cars and then to five cars with 15 laps to go.
Scully ducked under Brightman to take fifth on lap 26. Darling followed him through to sixth and Kevin Casper ran up to his tail. Astle two cars from the lead as Martin began looking under Vanasse. Darling took the opportunity to drive in under Scully for position and Scully came sideways after Darling had moved through, bringing the final caution with eight laps remaining.
The setup for the restart had Estrella and Astle in the front again, Vanasse and Martin followed by Darling and Brightman. They went side-by-side across the stripe and made a full lap before Estrella began to nose ahead at the next crossing of the line. Astle dropped onto his bumper, but Estrella pulled out to a one-car lead. Vanasse followed Astle with Darling at his back. Darling ran past into third.
Lap 36 saw Estrella grab a two car lead, then three cars on lap 38. Next time around was the white flag lap and the lead was still the same. They ran single-file to the finish with Estrella grabbing his first win of the season. Astle was half-a-second back with Darling behind him. Vanasse and Kevin Casper rounded out the top five.
Martin notched sixth, followed by Scully, Mitchell Brightman and Stampfl completed the top ten.