Dave Westgate held off an overheating engine and a hard-charging Samantha Mattera to capture the Sport Four win, then stalled just past the finish line in turn two. He was unable to drive the victory lap, perhaps an engine failure due to the heat, which he said he could see climbing each caution and coolant spraying up onto his winshield.
Samantha Mattera had her best race to date, collecting second on Westgate’s tail. (They had started seventh and eighth and came through the field in order to their finishing spots. At the end, Tyler Almeida had been threatening to dethrone them both. However, Lucky Mike Lefort and AJ Manuel came barging up behind and Almeida drifted wide giving them a conduit to dive through and harrass the leaders.
At the finish, top five went to Westgate, Mattera, Lefort, Manuel and Jordan Lopes. Almeida held on for sixth.
Matt Smith and Jason Poitras kicked things off as Poitras pushed ahead from the outside pole. Smith came back and they went door to door through turn two. Smith grabbed the front and Poitras dropped into second with Timmy Ouellette on his tail until Ouellette went around between turns three and four.
The lap one restart saw the same scenario between Smith and Poitras with Smith again taking the lead. Poitras stayed outside to make a battle of it. Westgate had springboarded to fifth on the restart and grabbed third over the next circuit. He settled behind Poitras on lpa three, chased for three laps, went by and then passed Smith for the lead on lap six.
Mattera lost Westgate’s lead on lap three and got in behind Dave Simpson. They duked it out over the next six laps with Simpson steadfastly clinging to fourth behind Poitras. Almeida was waiting in the wings behind them. But coming down the front stretch on lap 10, Dave Pitassi, Justin Rioux and Joseph Pilling got together on the front stretch. Pitassi took a trip across the infield grass and Pilling spun up near the wall, as caution flew. Westgate came in after the yellow and went hard on the binders, but still bounced off Pilling – but continued uptrack as caution flew. Rioux rounded the track then ground to a halt just short of the tunnel. He finally had to go off on the hook.
Westgate and Smith lined up ahead of Poitras and Almeida and it took two tries to get going as Poitras went around, then pitted. He returned for the restart.
Almeida got the better of Smith on the green and Mattera got underneath. She grabbed the thrid spot in turn two. Almeida began looking under the leader as LeFort came wide around behind Mattera. But Poitras problems persisted and he was around in the grass in turn four.
Westgate and Almeida lined up again. A fierce field waited behind them to have at them: The Boss Lady and Lucky Mike were row two; AJ and Smith were row three, followed by Tough Tim Bolger and Arthur Meack, then Crystal Murray and Henry Lavalle. Five laps remained.
Westgate, despite the hot engine, jumped away from Almeida and Mattera dived underneath, seeking second. They dueled as Westgate grabbed a two-car lead and behind them Lefort and Manuel ran door-to-door waiting for Mattera or Almeida to make a mistake. Lopes was impatiently at their bumpers ahead of Smith while Bolger and Murray were wheel-to-wheel.
Almeida fell back, Lefort went to third, Manuel dropped into fourth and Smith fell back to make it three wide with Murray and Bolger. Bolger broke forward and Smith fell behind Murray.
With two remaining, Westgate’s heating problems had puffs of smoke coming from his exhaust, but he had enough horses to hold Mattera off as well as Lefort, Manuel and Lopes behind her. Almeida was still in the mix, pursuing Lopes avidly, chased by Bolger and Murray.
Westgate pushed through for the win with the Boss Lady on his bumper for second. Lefort held Manuel off by just .036 seconds for third and Lopes came in still on their bumpers just ahead of Almeida.
Seventh went to Bolger followed by Murray, Meack, Smith, Christine Simpson and Lavalle.