Evan Machand was back in Victory Lane again as the championship for Bandolero Outlaws closes in. His win gave him a few points’ advantage in a competition with Tyler Tomassi that still can go either way over the last two races of the season. Tomassi, after a hot mid-season, struggled in the outing, coming up with a fifth place, limiting the damage to just a 10-point gain for Marchand.
Meanwhile, rookie Samantha Dell continues to sharpen her skills and led the first half of the race until she pushed a touch too hard and spun out. Still, she was able to push back up and then engage in a spirited duel with Michael Cooper over third place.
Dell had the pole for the start and went to the lead over outside sitter, Cooper. Marchand had started outside the second row and pushed under Cooper. Tomassi, who started below Marchand, struggled from the beginning with a loose car and fell back.
Meanwhile, Connor Souza surged up from a fifth place start into second, ousting Cooper, Marchand and Tomassi along the way and had second behind Dell on lap two. As Marchand closed on Cooper for third, Tomassis handling problems had him around in turn two on the third circuit.
Dell and Souza lined up and ran wheel-to-wheel for most of the lap until Dell pulled ahead on the low side while coming through turn four. Souza settled in with Marchand giving chase, just ahead of Cooper.
Samantha went to a two-car lead and looked to open the distance over the next two laps. Marchand took a look below Souza, but Connor slammed the door. As the race neared its midpoint, the leader looked squirrely between turns one and two and then snapped around to bring out the second caution.
Dell retired to the back of the pack, setting up a confrontation at the front between Souza on the pole and Marchand on his shoulder. Cooper went under Marchand while Dell came past Tomassi, going very wide in turn four and into fourth. Souza, meanwhile, had gone two cars ahead of Marchand as Dell began to engage Cooper.
Marchand closed the gap and with five remaining, ducked underneath Souza. They dueled side-by-side for a lap and into the next before Marchand stepped into the lead in turn three. Souza held second while behind them Cooper and Dell battled it out with the latter working the outside.
Marchand had taken control and Souza was unable to take the lead back. The battle between Dell and Cooper raged on as she took the lead by a hairsbreadth coming under the wave of the white flag. They continued to battle with Dell edging ahead bit by bit until she could claim the lead for herself in turn three, with less than a half-lap remaining.
Marchand had the win with Souza second and Dell leading Cooper across the stripe in third. Tomassi followed in fifth.