PJ Evans garnered his first win in Bandolero Bandits by hanging out in the top three until he had a chance to spoil another hard run at the front by Adam Harrison. Evans and Harrison dueled for the lead with PJ easing Adam out of the lead after a restart with nine to go. Smilin’ Reese Bogue chased him to the finish for second on the evening, solidifying his grip on the points lead. Third went to Harrison, while Ethan Dion and Colin Vanasse rounded out the top five.
Evans started fifth, while Harrison and Ryan Vanasse, Jr. led off from the front. The Junior Rocket had problems from the getgo as he slowed decidedly coming out of the starting box. But Brenden LeBelle spun in turn two and a restart was needed. Red flag fluttered, however, to ease the cleanup as Mike Hanafin was powerless at the end of the front stretch. Grant Harkin, trying to avoid LeBelle had taken a rough trip through the infield. He was tended to, then walked under his own power for an ambulance trip to the pits and a thorough checkup. Bogue dropped onto Evans’ bumper into fourth as Evans settled to the groove in third. Smilin’ Reese took a look underneath and dived in to grab third in turn two. He went to the outside to find his way around Dion and Evans looked underneath. Suddenly, the lead was four-wide.
Harrison escaped back into the lead and Evans dropped back to third, Dion split Harrison and Evans in second, while Bogue ran fourth. Evans then dropped under Dion, who had drifted up and took a nose coming across the stripe going into lap five. He drew Bogue along with him on his bumper. The four-car crowd at the front was now showing all the aspects of an aerial dogfight, save for the high altitude.
Evans nosed under the leader, but there was contact and Harrison came momentarily loose. Evans caught the berm with his left side wheels and suddenly, Bogue went around him into second going down the backstretch. He again went to the outside of Harrison as Evans ducked under and into the lead. But Brody Monahan and Ryan Vanasse got together and spun. Rob Murphy, Jr. spun to avoid them. Monahan was wreckered into the pits with rear suspension damage, Vanasse also was off on the hook and Murphy also had to be towed in.
Evans’ hard-earned lead was temporarily lost as the lap hadn’t been completed. Harrison and Bogue were on the front and Evans was in row two with Dion. Collin Vanasse and LeBelle followed, ahead of Brandon Cowen and Zacarias Kelley.
Harrison eased ahead on the lap 8 restart and Bogue stayed on the high side, but Dion spun in turn one. They restarted the same lap in order with Dion going to the rear as the accident car.
This time, Harrison and Smilin’ Reese came under the green side-by-side all the way to turn one. Harrison got the edge in turn two as Evans crept under Bogue. He got under Harrison and Bogue rushed ahead for another three wide at the front. Evans pulled ahead as Harrison backed out and Bogue was now wheel-to-wheel with Evans. PJ added power and pulled ahead, allowing Harrison underneath Bogue in turn three. With four to go, Harrison now acquired second. Bogue then wrested it back again and Dion ran at Harrison’s rear, followed by LeBelle with Collin outside.
Evans grabbed a two-car advantage with two laps remaining. But Bogue chopped it to a half-car as they cruised under the white flag. Evans kept steady through the final lap to keep Reese at his back for the win.
Sixth went to LeBelle, while Kelley, Brent Robidoux, Cowen and Monahan rounded out the top ten.