by Dana Rowe
Sparky Arsenault was outside Ryan Flood at the front of the starting grid for the 25-lap Sportsman feature. Sparky grabbed the lead on the backstretch of lap one and Flood settled into second. Twenty-five uninterrupted laps later, they were still in the same place. Victory Lane for Sparky, podium finish for Flood as well as division champ Scott Bruneau. End of story.
More must be said, however, and the two main combatants turned in an outstanding effort, albeit shorter than usual. Arsenatult’s performance was reminiscent of his early days in Formula Fours, where he’d wind up his number Zero VW rabbit and circle the track and his opponents until he came out the winner. This time was much the same as Sparky counted down the laps without interruption. Flood could only pursue. Back in the pack, Bruneau dodged his way from sixth to third, getting by Ed Perry, Captain Fun (Craig Pianka) and Chris Gomes.
Starting deep in the field, however, were last week’s winner and second place finisher: Kyle Casper and Paul Lallier. Casper was four cars deeper, thanks to the win, and Lallier was fourteenth. They battled their ways up through the field to finish fourth and fifth, with Lallier taking the fourth.
Gomes and Pianka dueled over third and as Gomes moved forward, Bruneau got under Capt. Fun, then Gomes fell prey. Ed Perry got by them both as well and they battled each other once more. Smokin’ Joe Kohler came up behind them. Kohler then got beneath Gomes in turn three and passed him in turn four. But one lap later, Lallier had arrived and was working his way under Kohler into sixth. Just in time for Casper to glom onto Smokin Joe’s bumper and steal seventh.
By lap 12, Pianka remained between Lallier and Bruneau while Casper was under Ed Perry behind them. Lallier got under Pianka in turn three and into fourth on lap ten as Sparky began laping other drivers. While there had been no cautions, there had been some damage. Dick Benoit had flapping body panels on his passenger’s side, while Kevin Rioux began to trail amounts of smoke. Rioux retired to the pits. Benoit moved uptrack to the high groove and negotiated turns three and four. But as he came onto the front stretch, he dropped down into the infield during the white flag lap. At the same time, Corey fanning Spun to the infield in turn two, with an assist from Ed Flanagan, Jr.
Pianka finished behind Casper in sixth, followed by Steve Axon, Ed Perry, Kohler, Gomes, Rey Lovelace, Vinny Pangelinan and Paul Wiliams.