Kyle Casper ran the second half of the race at the front after taking over the lead from Chris Rioux. He was leading the two competitors who stood to take the championship: Kid Chaos, a.k.a. Corey Fanning, and Tyler Lallier, and had to fight them off much of the way. Fanning got to Casper’s bumper and would not let go, and Lallier came up to try to shake them both loose from the front. In the end, they finished 1-2-3 as Chad Baxter and Steve Axon rounded out the top five.
Casper started in the third row as Vinny Pangelinan and Rioux led off from the front row. Lallier was row four and Fanning in six as they came under the green. Vinny nosed ahead and took the front in turn two. Rioux dropped onto his bumper and wouldn’t let go. He looked under on lap two but couldn’t get there as Justin Travis rushed up in third. Casper was coming under Ed Flanagan into fourth as Lallier and Porkchop Erickson followed through. Five laps in, it was Casper getting under a fading Pangelinan into third as Rioux set the pace with Travis at his back. Casper settled into third, trailing Lallier and Pangelinan dropped it.
Next time around, Fanning was looking under Lallier for fifth. Erickson got outside and pushed ahead as Fanning’s attempt failed. Suddenly, Paul Lallier drove into Fanning in turn three, pushing him around into turn four. Caution flew and Paul was black-flagged.
On the restart, Rioux and Travis ran door-to-door until Rioux grabbed the front down the back. Casper stayed close to Rioux and got under Travis and after a lap secured second. Tyler Lallier then got under Travis into third and Fanning stayed on Lallier’s bumper. Erickson was close on their heels.
Lap sixteen saw Casper still chasing Rioux and in turn being chased by Lallier. Fanning was looking underneath Lallier and as he did, Erickson looked to his high side. Once more around and the field was running single file. Fanning was all over Lallier’s bumper and Erickson was waiting for opportunities.
Casper looked under Rioux, was denied, tried again and went in. The went door-to-door into the ensuing lap. But Travis lost power and tired to limp from the front stretch along the outside. The system failed in turn two and caution flew.
Rioux and Casper lined up with Lallier and Fanning behind them. Erickson and Manny Dias were row three. On the start, they ran side-by-side and Lallier took a look under Rioux but the door closed. Fanning got onto Rioux’ bumper just as Erickson took a 360-degree spin in turn two, sending the field into hard braking to avoid.
On the lap 22 restart, Casper was under Rioux and pulled into the lead. Fanning came under Rioux from the second row and Dias was under Lallier. Smokin’ Joe Kohler and Adam Pettey were side-by-side behind them. Joe Melberg now found himself around in turn one.
Casper and Fanning lined up ahead of Rioux and Dias. Lallier and Kohler were row three. Casper grabbed the lead and Fanning dropped in. Rioux and Dias ran side-by-side. Lallier and Kohler were wheel-to-wheel as well.
But Pangelinan and Pettey were together and onto the grass in turn two, bringing a restart with nine to go. Casper and Fanning duked it out until Casper jumped ahead. The field ran double-file until Lallier was able to get under Dias and into third. Rioux grabbed fourth.
Fanning looked under Casper but couldn’t go. He kept looking into lap 31, with four remaining. With three to go, it was Casper, Fanning, Lallier and Baxter, running close together. Fanning stuck on Casper’s tail, but a lead opened up between him and Lallier.
They ran the final three laps to the finish in order, with Casper taking down the win ahead of Fanning, Lallier, Baxter and Steve Axon coming on and rounding out the top five. Sixth went to Rioux, followed by Dias, Chris Gomes, Kohler and Pangelinan.