Kevin Nowak has been touring Legends venues and this week returned to the Cement Palace for the second step on the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown. His win in the event places him in the final running and he says he has a ticket to come back and make a run at the big prize. It took Nowak half of the 30 laps to rise from eleventh to the lead, but once there, he held on all the way to the checkers.
Peter Bennett’s points lead remained secure, as his second-place finish to Nowak padded the bulge. Brendan Hamman kept pace, finishing third while Ryan Doucette and Jacob “Rowdy” Burns rounded out the top five. The race left the points spread between Bennett and Hammann at 40 points.
Connor Souza and Burns came off the front row ahead of Dennis Pantani and Mason Tessier. Souza jumped ahead and then slid uptrack. But Isaiah Newcomb, fresh from a Bandolero win on the evening, spun in turn four and brought out a full-race restart. Second try had Souza and Burns wheel-to-wheel with Burns nosing ahead. But Souza put on a spurt to take the front in turn two. Burns came back alongside but the dropped into second. Connor Holderbach made his way onto Souza’s tail as Burns fell back past Tessier and dropped in. But Newcomb tangled with Don Parsons and they spun. RJ Marcotte and Parsons headed into the pits. Parsons did not return.
Holderbach lined with Tessier, ahead of Doucette and Bennett. Souza and Josh Parsons followed. Holderbach grabbed the lead and Doucette grabbed onto Tessier’s bumper. Bennett and Souza followed. Doucette dropped under and into the lead, leaving Tessier outside. Parsons was under
Tessier a moment later and it then became three-wide as Bennett ducked under them both. Bennett ran to third and Parsons grabbed fourth.
Sean Buffington now climbed into contention, forging his way into third. Nowak was hitching a ride on Buffington’s bumper.
With sixteen laps to go, Holderbach led Buffington, who was at his bumper. Nowak was running third under Parsons. They wound around the track strung out until lap 12, when Jeff Wood spun in turn three and came to a stop with flames flickering under his hood.
The red flag flew and the fire truck responded, quickly quelling the flames. He was pushed into the pits for the night.
Holderbach and Bennett lined up with Nowak and Parsons in row two. Buffington had Hammann on the outside in row three.
As the green fell with twelve to go, Nowak dived under Holderbach to make it three wide at the front. Nowak won the lead and Bennett followed him underneath and into second. Then came Buffington and Parsons. The field quickly went single file.
With nine to go, Nowak had a carlength on Holderbach. Bennett quickly began looking underneath. They were now door-to-door and Parsons was moving up to fourth. Bennett grabbed second to see Nowak now with ten cars worth of open space ahead. Parsons was now seeking a way under Holderbach.
Brandon Martinez was running ahead of Tessier and suddenly lost power and Tessier piled into him with great impact. Parsons was coming forward very fast and tangled with Holderbach. Caution flew with five remaining.
Nowak pulled away on the green and Bennett dropped in. Buffington was on his tail with Hammann grabbing fourth, ahead of Doucette. The field was very quick going single file. This order remained the same until Lap 27, as Hammann drove under Buffington into third. The white flag fell and they circled the track in order to the finish.
Sixth on the evening went to Buffington, followed by Tom Gray, Joey Ternullo, Souza, Zachary Martinez, who ran tenth, Marcotte, Holderbach and Parsons.