Former Sport Trucks champion Radical Rick Martin couldn’t run his Pro Stock for the Venditti Memorial but he made up for it by coming back to the Sport Trucks division and carrying home the DAV trophy. First, however, he had to get past Mikey Cooper, as the rookie led the first third of the feature. Then, four laps after, he had another rookie – the Rookie of the Year AND the new Trucks champ, Richie Murray was on his tail and stayed there to the checkers. Jake Vanada came up as well to harass Murray and Martin all the way to the finish line. At the podium post-race, it was Martin, Murray and Vanada as the top trio. Brittany Campbell and Mike Duarte rounded out the top five on the
Cooper came off the pole, nosing ahead of Campbell, who held onto the outside spot as Mike Cavallaro came looking underneath for second. They ran side-by-side as Duarte Martin came in behind them, looking for a way toward the front. Duarte and Charlie Rose followed.
Campbell got stuck on the outside and took the freight train trip toward the back, looking for a spot to settle in. Duarte slid by underneath, then came Vanada. Two more laps and Murray was doing the same. As Richie moved into sixth, Rose was working past below as the field strung out single file. Murray poked his nose in under Vanada
At the front, Cavallaro was letting Cooper have everything in the way of passing attempts, but Coop remained resolutely entrenched at the front. Martin and Duarte moved in and the lead four were running nose-to-tail. Murray had completed the pass of Vanada and was beginning to bridge up to the lead group. Rose followed with Mike Belanger at his tailgate; Connor Souza and Campbell were now door-to-door.
Cavallaro took a look under Cooper and The Radical One seized the moment to go around Cavallaro to the outside. He too k it into second. This continued until Martin had gone all the way into the lead despite Cooper’s stubborn reticence. Cooper settled in with Cavallaro on his tailgate while Murray was now on Duarte’s high side to challenge for fifth. Rose was closing up on the lead group.
But fifteen laps in on the thirty-five lapper, Johnny Silva III was around coming out of turn four for the first caution. Jordan Lopes, one of a group of Sport Fours competing among the trucks, headed for the pits. (Others included Sport Four champ Mikey Lefort and former Formula Four division hotshoe Bill Schoeler.)
Martin came out of the box with Cooper on his shoulder and went into the lead crossing the stripe. Cavallaro ducked under Cooper before he could drop with Murray sliding under as Mike pulled ahead. Rose was suddenly up to the wall in turn four and a full restart ensued as the field had not completed a lap. Second try and Martin was away again and Cavallaro followed under Cooper. Murray, Souza and Campbell followed but it was a bad start.
Another try brought the same strategies. Cooper fastened onto Cavallaro’s bumper after the pass. There was a brief three-wide and Duarte ended it in fourth as Cooper regained second. Vanada poked his way past Cavallaro onto Duarte’s rear. Now, Lenny Souza and Silva were around between turns three and four. Connor was collected and black flagged to visit the pits for his rear bumper hanging loose. He made repairs and returned to the feature.
Martin and Cooper faced off again with Murray and Duarte behind them. Martin was away again, right out of the box and Murray ducked under Cooper and into second. Cooper dropped in while Vanada was under Cavallaro behind them. Duarte followed, but Campbell ducked under She moved ahead and looked under Cavallaro and nosed into fifth place. Murray was now working over Martin’s bumper as Vanada was coming up to them, trailing Cooper, Campbell and Duarte. Duarte looked under and they dueled and then Belanger moved under as Duarte pulled away.
Murray applied a liberal amount of harassment to Martin. They were 13 cars up on Vanada, who held third. Martin eased a carlength between himself and Murray and they had most of a stright-away on Vanada when Jake’s prayer’s were answered by a Lenny Souza spin at the end of the backstretch.
Vanada was now on Martin’s bumper for the restart. Murray had Duarte behind him. Campbell and Cooper were row three, ahead of Ed Perry and Cavallaro. Martin was not do be denied this day and was gone at the stripe. Vanada ducked under Murray for some door-to-door. Vanada had the lead the next time across the stripe, but Murray dropped under to steal it back.
At the white flag, Murray scooted ahead and Vanada dropped. The expected cross under did not materialize and the ran under the checkers with Martin collecting the win, Murray second and Vanada third. Campbell had come back from her earlier demotion to the rear by the freight train effect to solidly collect fourth, just ahead of Duarte. Belanger gained sixth, followed by Rose, Cavallaro, Perry and Cooper. Darryl Church was just off the top ten in eleventh place and Schoeler was the first of the four-cylinder Sport Fours, finishing twelfth, just ahead of Lefort.