Lenny Guy put the nose of his Sport Truck in front at the green of the Kraze’s Speed Equipment 30. Thirty laps later, the checkers flew and he was still there after battling fast Ed Gannon for 28 of those laps.
It was a battle of four-cylinder trucks as the V8’s stretched behind the 4-banger duo in the lead.
Billy Clarke had the pole, but his back snapped around out of the starting box in a spin to the infield. Clarkie kept it going and the field crossed the starting stripe with Lenny in front and Rob Andreozzi on his tail with Dan Leach on his rear bumper. Joe Kohler got up onto the inside berm and looped out of turn four.
Guy led the restart against Andreozzi. Gannon had already jumped from tenth to sixth. As Guy went to the front, Dan Leach powered to second. John Paiva got into Rob’s back and sent him spinning, bringing out caution and earning a trip to the rear for the assist.
Guy and Leach led off, but now Gannon was in third and into second by lap 4: this set the mood for the next 26 laps, as the duo dueled the distance to the finish. They faced off on restarts out of laps 5, 7 and 11. Each time, Guy went to the front. The final 29 circuits were under green and Gannon had no solution.
Mike Cavallaro had lost his motor in the heat race, and came out for the feature with the 80 renumbered from the 49 of Jim Hawkins. Hawk offered the V8-power to Cavallaro to keep him running. Rob Rainville then loaned Hawk his 33, to renumber 49. “I had to do it. Mike has helped me so many times this year,” said Hawkins after the feature. Cavallaro started from the rear, and moved quickly up to fourth behind Leach by lap 5. He got around to third on a lap 7 restart. However, the 4-cylinder duo was locked in and he was unable to overtake.
Guy kept putting distance on Gannon, then navigated lapped traffic to extend his lead. Guy had his win. Gannon filed for second with Cavallaro third. Barry Shaw jumped into fourth with Paiva, Dan Leach, Joe Kohler, Billy Clarke, Darrel Church and Anna Gregoire rounding out the top 10.
Dave Darling notched win three on the season in a picture-perfect race, to close up on point’s leader Fred Astle, who finished five places back. Mike Brightman, fresh off a big win last time out, chased Darling valiantly for the final 22 laps, but was unable to overtake. Kyle Casper and Tom Scully, Jr. rounded out the top five. Darling and Brightman started side-by-side in the fourth row. Darling moved to the front, taking the lead from Dick Houlihan, who had held the place from the green, in lap13. Brightman edged Houlihan for second five circuits later. Casper trailed him into third on the same lap. The trio dueled to the checkers.
Astle started fourteenth, and ran into difficulties early. He ducked under Kyle Casper for a 3-wide with Scully, Jr. on the outside in the first lap. But Colby Fournier, just ahead, got sideways, and Fred ducked across the berm to the infield to avoid, sending sparks from underneath. He was checked for damage, went to the pits, and had to restart from the rear with Fournier.
A second restart had Scott Dion spin out of turn two and still, the race had not begun.
Houlihan got away from Bobby Tripp for the lead, and Kyle ducked into second. Kevin followed. Darling was in fourth by lap seven and Houlihan was up to lap first-timer Bryan Peavey by lap 9. Scully, Sr. spun to the infield on lap 13 and Darling took the lead from Houlihan out of the restart. Brightman then got into a three-wide with Houlihan and Kyle. Houly fell back and Brightman battled Kyle on the outside to take second.
Ten laps of racing unreeled with Darling adding distance between himself and Brightman as Kyle kept pace until Kevin spun in turn 4 sending up a huge plume of smoke; Scully, Sr. was called for the assist. A 5-lap run to the checkers ensued. Darling went to the front followed by Brightman and Kyle and led through to the win.
Wily veteran Norm Wrenn of Nashua, NH, wasn’t obvious – unless you were looking for a car drifting decidedly toward the front though the 25 laps of Pro Four Modified action. Until, suddenly, there he was in second with 15 laps down and leader Tyler Anderson was scrutinizing him in his rear-view mirror.
But it took some heads-up racing and a couple of tactical tricks that sent Stormin’ Norman from second under the white flag to head of the pack under the checkers.
Kurt Vigeant had leapt from the pole to the front Anderson took three laps to drop under and into the lead. Dan Meservey followed in third until nearly running over Vigeant’s wheel. Meservey checked up and the field scattered. Rob Richardi looped in the pack, coming to rest in turn 3.
Anderson nabbed the lead again; Matt Sagar grabbed third with Dave Richardi on his tail. Wrenn came around Meservey into sixth and then by Frank Perry for fifth.
Lap 11 saw a red flag, as Rob Richardi snapped out of line and hit the wall out of turn three very hard; Derek Robbie and Tony Dubois had nowhere to go and followed him into the barrier. The three cars were removed from the track, while all of the drivers climbed out under their own power.
The restart had Anderson and Vigeant facing off again; Wrenn was in fifth with Perry on his shoulder. The leaders went nerf bar to nerf bar, Anderson taking the lead out of turn four. Sagar got under Vigeant, and Wrenn followed. Sagar chased Anderson until lap 14, when Wrenn moved underneath to second. By lap 16, Wrenn was at Anderson’s bumper and Vigeant had come back to third.
Wrenn went outside on lap 18 and they were wheel-to-wheel through lap 21, when Norm settled in behind. Vigeant closed on his bumper and the trio was a tight line. Wrenn looked to the outside again, and as the white flag flew, went hard around putting his nose in front coming out of turn two. A lapped car lurked in the low groove, and Wrenn held Anderson low, forcing him behind the slower vehicle in turn 3. Wrenn broke out of four headed for the checkers, to cross the line, ahead by .145 seconds. Anderson was followed by Vigeant, Brian Vincent and Frank Perry.
Gerry DeGasparre, Jr. saw his fortunes increase as he won his third race on the season and second in as many events as he came from the rear of the pack and had quirky fortune smile upon him along the way. Locked in a tight point’s battle with reigning Late Model champ Ryan Vanasse, he has held onto a slim points lead all season, as Vanasse has posted nine victories, whittling away at the span of the lead.
Ron Barboza and Jeramee Lillie led the pack and Barboza grabbed the lead. Lillie attempted to drop in, caught Thompson’s nose and spun in turn two. Everybody scattered and Cavallaro spun up the track. Now, Thompson had the outside of the front row, Dylan Estrella and DeGasparre followed with Pelland and Bernard the third row. Lap 10 saw Barboza, in third, with Estrella and Pelland door to door behind him. Barboza took a bump and spun, with Estrella getting the call for the assist. Vanasse had hurdled from sixth to third in two laps.
DeGasparre lined up outside Thompson with Pelland and Vanasse behind them. Thompson went to the front, but Gerry came battling back outside. Vanasse saw an opportunity under Thompson and stuck his nose in, but backed out. Into lap 15, the leaders rubbed paint, and DeGasparre went up the track in turn 2, and began to spin out, nose down, headed for the infield. Vanasse, following a car back, intervened unwittingly, as he came underneath and DeGasparre’s nose caromed off his car. The collision straightened DeGasparre out, and he headed off after Thompson again, while Vanasse was knocked into the infield grass at the beginning of the backstretch. He stalled there and caution came out.
The lap 11 saw Vanasse restarting twelfth, while DeGasparre was on the outside pole. This time, Vanasse took the measure of Thompson on the green and forged into the lead. Thompson was on his tail with Pelland on his bumper. The lead began to stretch and Gerry had 10 cars on Thompson by lap 20. Pelland was all over Thompson’s bumper but couldn’t find the measure. Jariah Roderick looped on the front stretch and Cavallaro and Frank Duquette visited the pits. Vanasse had been working his way up from tenth to seventh.
DeGasparre outran Thompson again, with Pelland again nabbing third. Dave Hutchins, Jr. restarted fourth, in one of his best runs to date, but bounced off the backstretch wall, losing ground, but continuing. Vanasse again spring boarded on the restart to fifth, but the group had established its order and the final laps wound down with DeGasparre taking the win and Pelland getting under Thompson for second at the line. Estrella and Vanasse rounded out the top 5. The point’s gap between DeGasparre and Vanasse again widened to 20 points with just 2 events remaining in the chase.
DeGasparre may have dropped the quote of the night in his finish line interview, as the fans’ catcalls rose: “The boos are back . . . that means I must be doing something right!”
Rey Lovelace can look back on his first win of the season with a sense of relief: he started third, was in the lead on lap 10, and didn’t have to look back at all the smoke and twisted metal the eight cautions brought.
Lovelace came out to run and had made it to the front by lap 9, just before the first caution flew. He survived restarts against Dick Benoit, three times; Vincent Arrenegado, Jr., four times; and Steve Axon. The final restart with Axon came as the race wound down to its final five laps, and officials declared a single file restart to get the race completed. Axon tried the outside, but could not pass, and Chris DeMoura came underneath to snatch second.
Arrenegado, holding fourth, came out of the final turn and got spun sideways, forcing the field to scatter. Crystal Serydynski found nowhere to go and hit squarely on his left rear wheel, sending the wheel into the air. She spun through the infield and came to rest with the car halfway across the start-finish line, but not completely across, finishing fifteenth.
Lovelace was followed by DeMoura, Axon, Mike Mitchell and Scott Bruneau. Chris Beaulieu, Paul Lallier, George Rego, Benoit and Sparky Arsenault rounded out the top 10