IT’S MURPHY AGAIN IN TRUCKS
Tripp Snares Second and Triple Crown
Rob Murphy continues to shake things up after his late arrival this season. He grabbed a big win his first week back, and this week grabbed another trip to Victory Lane in convincing fashion. Meanwhile, Bobby Tripp, leading contender for the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown in the Sport Trucks Division, made it apparent that he wanted the honors by closing everybody else out with a second place finish. Josh Hedges battled in for third after last week’s win, Mike Cavallaro snagged fourth and champ Mike Duarte rounded out the contenders’ list in the top five.
The kickoff saw Randy Burr leap off the pole into a lead he would hold for the first ten laps. Barry Shaw ducked under Dave Simpson onto Burr’s tail and Murphy grabbed onto Shaw’s. Without wasting time, the Murph went under Shaw, looking for second. While they went door-to-door, Burr went to a three-car lead. Murphy vaulted into second and Ed Gannon quickly filled the gap below Shaw. Barry couldn’t buy any luck, as Tripp zapped in to take the space Gannon left by moving up.
Five laps in and Burr had the tenacious Murphy all over his tailgate. Gannon had his eye on both of them and Duarte was looking underneath him.
Murphy was looking underneath Burr more and more but Randy kept shutting the door. While Duarte was stealing third from Gannon, Tripp was taking aim and unseated Ed from fourth. Murphy, meanwhile, opted for a new tactic and went to Burr’s outside but was held off. Just then, Brittany Campbell spun and collected Johnny Silva III. Campbell pitted for the duration and Shaw headed in for some adjustments.
Burr and Murphy now held the front row; Duarte and Tripp backed them up with Gannon and Cavallaro in row three. Burr burst out of the box but Murphy reeled him back in. They hacksawed the lead until Murphy faded back and Duarte sat below him in the groove. Their door-to-door gave Burr a good lead over them. Tripp, stuck outside, fell back. Murphy dropped back and onto Duarte’s tail, then pushed ahead underneath and suddenly Duarte was working the outside. Tripp couldn’t penetrate the low groove, yet, as Gannon held the space below him.
Murphy broke from Duarte and sailed after Burr. Upon arrival, he ducked underneath. There was contact, then some hard rubbing between them coming down the front stretch. At the stripe, Burr came loose, went up and struck the wall in a glancing blow. Gannon couldn’t avoid contact with Burr and the latter then limped to the pits under caution. The action ended his evening.
Murphy jumped away from Duarte on the restart; Duarte glommed onto his tailgate while Gannon and Tripp dueled side-by-side behind them. Tripp escaped into third while Cavallaro ducked under Gannon. A lap later, Murphy was nursing a four car lead over Duarte, who had eight lengths on Tripp. Cavallaro and Gannon remained door-to-door. Cavallaro was able to disengage and pull ahead into fourth. The field strung out single file and ran some hot pace-laps until Lenny Guy spun off turn four into the grass.
With four laps to go, Murphy and Duarte were side-by-side on the front, Tripp and Cavallaro held down row two and Josh Hedges and Gannon sat in front of Andrew Kun and Darryl Dutch.
Murphy dodged ahead out of the box while Tripp drove in under Duarte, going to second. Hedges broke forward and got under Duarte while Cavallaro grabbed fifth. Cavallaro then went to fourth, edging Duarte further back.
They wound through the closing laps and under the white flag. On the final circuit, Dutch spun in turn four as the field cashed in on the checkers.
Sixth on the event went to Kun, followed by Gannon, Darryl Church, Simpson, Maddie Harkin and Lenny Guy.