Bandolero Bandit newcomer Brendan LeBelle took full advantage as Ryan Vanasse, Jr. came loose in turn four while navigating around the lapped car of Zacarias Kelley. LeBelle seized the lead at the stripe, going into lap 5 and ran the final 11 laps to the finish unheaded. LeBelle, it had been noted in preseason news, was good for speed and he put it to good use, charging up from mid-pack to overhaul the leaders, then assume control of the feature.
The Junior Rocket pursued LeBelle all the way to second, and another newcomer, Reese Bogue, grabbed third, just ahead of Ryan’s cousin, Colin Vanasse. Adam Harrison rounded out the top five.
Polesitter Rob Murphy, Jr. had taken first shot at the lead, but Colin stayed on the outside pole to challenge Murphy with Ryan coming off the low side of the second row to sneak underneath. Ryan snared the lead from Murphy in turn three. Meanwhile, LeBelle was showing the speed he’d been mentioned for, going from sixth to fourth on lap one.
LeBelle edged Murphy out of third and he worked on Colin for two laps, while Bogue moved up to fourth after falling to sixth on the initial circuit. Four laps in, Murphy got onto the grass, came loose and made a huge save to continue. But Mike Hanafin spun in turn four. Colin Floyd also took a spin in traffic, but it came after the caution had flown for Hanafin.
The lap eleven restart had LeBelle on Ryan’s high side with Coin and Bogue backing them up. The Rocket pulled ahead under green but LeBelle stayed outside. Ryan claimed the lead in turn four and Bogue sneaked in under LeBelle, but could not complete the pass. Colin pursued with Adam Harrison following.
But Ryan had to pass the lapped car of Zacarias Kelley in turn four and came loose. LeBelle Pounced and snared the lead crossing the stripe into lap seven. Ryan recovered to hold onto second and Bogue latched onto his bumper. Colin grabbed fourth and Harrison held fifth.
Now it became a single-file run toward the checkers. LaBelle had a four-car lead over Vanasse, who worked to narrow it down, but it was only by increments and the the laps began to wind down.
The final laps to the checkers were a quest for speed with angry motors snarling all around the track. Ethan Dion engaged Murphy in a battle for sixth over the final laps. Dion had climbed from a back row start to challenge and managed to get by Murphy on the final circuit to claim sixth.
Rounding out the top ten came: Murphy, Jaden Dib, Hanafin and Floyd.