by Dana Rowe
DJ Pires passed The Outlaw – Danny Massa, Jr. – with four laps to go and gained his hat trick – third win on the season in Pure Stocks. He outran The Outlaw with four laps to go, then set his sights on the finish line as Doug Benoit barged past Massa and too a look under Pires. DJ slammed the door and they sailed under the checkers with Pires taking down the win. Benoit was second, making yet another podium finish. In fact, except for last week, he has finished either first or second the entire season. Three of those seconds have come at Pires’ hand. Third went to “Lenfender” Sousa and Massa claimed fourth with Mike Henriques rounding out the top five.
Pires started in the middle of the field at ninth. At the front, Max Bergstrom and Daryl Perry prepared to slug it out for the lead, and Bergstrom won the battle. Massa replaced Perry in second and set out after Max. Meanwhile, Henriques dodged past Ava Chouinard and Perry to harry Massa and, on lap three, replace him in second. Massa stuck around and kept sniping at Henriques until he grabbed the second spot back. Two laps later, Massa slid Bergstrom out of first and Henriques followed up by taking over second.
Ten laps in, Ava Chouinard spun to the infield to bring the first caution. Since Henriques’ pass was on the uncompleted lap, Bergstrom went back to second to restart outside Massa. The Outlaw grabbed the lead in turn one. But a lap later, Bergstrom was sideways in turn two and collected several of the cars behind him.
Massa and Henriques lined up and now Pires was low in the second row two with Lenny Sousa outside. Benoit and Randy Laplante followed. At the green, it was wheel-to-wheel down the front, then Massa nosing out in turn two. He had the ful lead coming out of turn four. Pires then got under Henriques as Benoit burrowed in below Sousa. With eleven laps remaining, Massa led Pires, Henriques, Benoit and Sousa.
Benoit wasted no time working his way by Henriques on lap 15 and Souxa got under Mike as well. Behind them Laplante was side-by-side with Marissa Morgan. Pires worked on Massa without a letup and Sousa took a look under Benoit, trying to steal third but was denied.
Lap 20 saw Pires push underneath and run alongside Massa for the lead and then into the clear air. Benoit had been hogging Pires’ bumper and slid under Massa as well. Benoit looked under Pires but couldn’t go there. And Sousa went to work on The Outlaw.
They ran under the twin sticks, and Sousa seized the moment to get under Massa as Pires continued to deny Benoit’s attempts to take the lead. Lenny got through into second and Henriques looked to follow through into third, but Massa shut the door.
The group brawled its way through the white flag lap and under the checkers with Pires gaining his win.
Sixth on the field went to Laplant, followed by Gregory Peryt, Morgan, Daryl Perry, Dave Desrosiers, Tommy Blackwell and Bergstrom.