OUTLAWS: EVAN MARCHAND WITH FIRST WIN ON SEASON

 

Evan Marchand made the best of a bad situation on lap 6. A wreck ended the evening for race leaders Mason Tessier, Brittany Campbell and Connor Souza, bouncing Zachary Martinez to the pole and Marchand to the outside of him. Marchand took the lead between the starting box and the stripe and stayed in front for the rest of the 15 laps. The win broke the ice on trips to Victory Lane for Marchand, who made a number of visits last season, but had been snakebit so far in 2017.

Tyler Tomassi got by Martinez for second, and Zach nabbed third. Wesley Heard was the final car running for fourth. (Place awards went to Campbell, Tessier, Souza and Maddie Harkin who was out on lap one.)

On the green, Campbell and Martinez ran side-by-side and Harkin took a look underneath to make it three-wide at the front, but made contact with Martinez, then spun to the grass in turn three. It ended her evening prematurely.

A full-race restart ensued and Campbell nosed away from Martinez, who fired up and came back even. Campbell nosed ahead again in turn two and took the lead down the backstretch. She stretched it to two cars, crossing the stripe into lap two while Souza got past Martinez, who was stuck on the outside. Tessier surged into third and Tomassi went to work under Martinez, who pulled ahead into fourth. Tomassi became very loose as Zach and Tomassi got together but recovered.

Campbell continued to lead as Tessier took over second. He drove up to her bumper and began weaving high and low, seeking a way past. Souza came up to Tessier’s tailgate and they ran nose-to-tail with Campbell staying close to the berm to prevent Tessier dodging underneath. They were running a dozen lengths in front when Campbell came loose and got sideways. Tessier piled in hard, shedding fiberglass and Souza glanced off them, headed for the wall. He was able to halt the spin but slid backwards along the barrier to a stop. The lead trio spent the rest of the race pitbound.
Marchand took control on the restart from the outside pole. Martinez went to second, followed by Tomassi and Heard. Next time around, Zach was bouncing in turn four as Marchand was quickly ten cars ahead and Tomassi was moving quickly up on second. He dropped under and there was some side-by-side action but Martinez was relegated to third in turn three. By lap ten, the order was Marchand, Tomassi, Martinez and Heard.

Marchand’s lead was most of a straightaway. Tomassi was doing his best to close in, but only three laps remained. With two to go, Heard spun in turn four, but did an outstanding job of straightening the spin out and continuing without caution.

The final two circuits were a single-file, high-speed parade to the checkers.