Ed Perry Brawled all the way through 28 of the 30 laps in the Sport Trucks feature, grabbing the lead going into lap two, then holding off Lenny Guy then Mikey Cooper. Cooper edged by but Perry grabbed it back. Then, with two to go – Rick Martin sailed by and under the checkers. Perry accepted the second at the podium, but was caught by surprise when technical inspectors issued a DQ to the winner for a rules infraction and Perry had earned the win, after all.
Just when Perry had shaken off the twin red trucks of Mikey Cooper and Connor Souza, who had plagued him most of the race and was ready to cruise to the checkers and with the top five of Perry, Souza, Andrew Kun, Richie Murray and Chase Belcher running nose-to-tail, disaster struck. Souza went around coming out of turn two. He’d taken a bump from Mike Cavallaro and they lined back up.
Now Perry had Cooper on his shoulder for the restart. Kun and Murray followed up. Belcher was restarting fifth. Perry ran, Kun gave chase. Cooper was on the outside, door-to-door with Belcher. And then Kun was around in turn two, collecting Cavallaro and Lenny Guy. Elias Dib was in the infield, needing a tow. Kun was off on a hammock, strung between two tow trucks.
Then, they restarted and Rick Martin came charging through to the front on the green-white-checkered restart and won the whole shebang. Just like that. Rick Martin? Pro Stocks? Lest we forget, Radical Rick won the Trucks championship in 2010 and on this evening, he showed everybody how he did it with a trip to Victory Lane. Perry hung in there for second; Murray (last week’s winner) grabbed third while Cooper and Barry Shaw, Jr. rounded out the top five. But the DQ elevated Perry and the rest of the field with Guy now scoring fifth.
Martin started next-to-last on the 14-car field, just ahead of Brittany Campbell, who was driving Maddie Harkin’s machine on loan after her own suffered front end damage in a meeting with the backstretch wall during the heat races.
At the drop of the flag, Lenny Guy and Souza ripped away from the starting box and Lenny nosed ahead. But Perry dodged out of the second row and into the lead on lap two, and from there his double-zero was at the top of the leaderboard all the way to lap 17. Souza was at his back and Cooper was a close third. Kun came quickly up from his starting place in eighth and was on Coopers tail in fourth by lap four. Belcher grabbed fifth and the quintet ran hard and fast for eight straight laps, stretching it out by lap three.
Perry was enjoying a five-car lead when Mike Duarte took a solo spin coming out of turn two, bringing the field back together.
Now Perry had Cooper on his should and Souza on his bumper. Kun was on the outside, while row three featured Belcher and Cavallaro. Mike Belanger and The Radical One were hunkered down in the fourth group.
Perry and Cooper were wheel-to-wheel for a whole lap before Perry could get ahead in turn two. Cooper settled onto his bumper with Kun on his. Belanger came in under Souza. Belanger went to fourth and Belcher jumped onto his bumper with Souza on the outside. The front three tightened up and ran bumper-to-bumper while Belanger could only watch and fend off Murray, who had nosed in under Belcher. Martin was surveying Belchers taligate.
Cooper ducked under Perry for some side-by-side racing and then to steal the lead. Kun ducked under Perry looking for second. Belanger, Murray and Belcher followed, but Martin was getting in under Belcher.
Now Kun and Cooper were doing some side-by-side racing until Perry ducked underneath Cooper, whereupon Campbell spun in turn three.
The lap 10 restart had Cooper and Kun at the front, ahead of Perry and Belanger. Murray and Martin were row three.
Perry dived in for another shot at the three-wide on the restart and it worked for him. He came out in front, leaving Cooper still door-to-door with Kun. Cooper broke forward into second.
With eight to go, it was nose-to-tail at the front with a tight line of Perry, Cooper, Kun, Murray and Belcher. Martin had slipped to ninth, but the spin with Cavallaro and Kun changed the field. And Souza’s spin two laps later sent a number of drivers out, shortened up the field and Martin was outside the second row for the restart.
He charged up to second on the green and then went under Perry with two to go. It was a quick move that propelled him into the lead and he ran hard with Perry at his back through the final lap and a half to the checkers.
Sixth on the evening went to Belcher as only seven remained running after the late wreckage. Kun, in the pits and four laps down, registered seventh, followed by Belanger, Cavallaro, Dib and Duarte.