Danny Massa, AKA The Outlaw, hustled up from mid-pack to overtake Joey Morrissette on lap 13 and steal the lead. Morrissette has been victim to this sort of theft all season long, and The Outlaw made an excellent burglar. But from there on, it wasn’t easy. Massa had edged Scott Cestodio out of second to take his shot at Morrissette and Cestodio wanted it back. He was at Massa’s bumper like an angry hornet for the rest of the twenty-five-lap feature. The only thing Cestodio could not do is find a way past and Massa preceded him under the checkers for the win. Cestodio was second and Morrissette third. Greg Perry and Mike Henriques rounded out the top five.
So, Perry saw The Outlaw steal six points from the division lead and will have to be looking over his shoulder for the week leading up to next Friday’s championship closer. Unofficially, they stand ten points apart after this race.
While Morrissette and Justin Menard came off the front row, Massa and Cestodio were starting tenth and eleventh. Morrissette jumped off the pole into the lead and Ava Chouinard got under Menard into second. Cestodio got past Massa, who gave chase, and they followed each other toward the front. Cestodio held position over Massa all the way to lap 12.
Two laps in, Morrissette led Chouinard and Menard. Cliff Avila was fourth, ahead of Doug Benoit, who was battling with Max Bergstrom.
Lap seven saw Benoit and Avila engaged with Cestodio on their tails when Amy Arsenault spun. Emily Brightman visited the pits briefly during the caution and returned.
Morrissette now had Chouinard outside for the lap 7 restart with Avila and Benoit behind them. Cestodio and Menard followed, just ahead of Massa and Perry. Joey got half his car past Ava coming over the stripe on the restart then had the lead in turn two. Avila got under Chouinard with Cestodio tight on his bumper. Once more around and Cestodio had moved past Chouinard into third behind Avila and Massa was door-to-door with her looking for fourth. He succeeded and they ran single-file to lap eleven. Cestodio stayed on the high side seeking a route into second and Massa started to look underneath as Marc Sienkiewicz spun to the grass in turn three.
Morrissette and Avila lined up again, but now they had Cestodio and Massa side-by-side behind them. Mike Henriques and Max Bergstrom followed. Morrissette took the lead once again but Cestodio ran under Avila to second and Massa followed into third. Suddenly, Morrissette, Cestodio and Massa were running nose-to-tail as Cestodio looked underneath only to have Morrissette slam the door. Massa chose to go high. He forged forward, passed Cestodio and came alongside Morrissette. Midpoint in the 25-lapper saw Massa take over the lead in turn two leaving Morrissette with Cestodio festering at his bumper. Behind them, Bergstrom and Chouinard were door-to-door.
With ten to go, Cestodio moved to Morrissette’s high side and they ran wheel-to-wheel until there was contact and Berstrom went around out of turn three from a three-wide with Chouinard and Perry.
Massa and Morrissette lined up ahead of Cestodio and Bergstrom. The Outlaw grabbed the front in turn four and Cestodio got under Morrissette into second. Henriques went to Perry’s high side for a pass as Benoit and Chouinard followed. Henriques went very wide to steal third from Morrissette but Joey held him off.
With six to go, Cestodio was hounding Massa but beginning to show some looseness in the corners, especially turn straight breakaway on the rest of the field. Perry wos under Morissette who was under Avila for the three-wide.
With two to go, Massa and Cestodio homed in on a group of lapped cars, who moved up as they came down the front to the twin sticks: two to go. Massa had a three-car lead coming by the white flag and he held it to the checkers. Cestodio kept second and Morrissette was third. Perry kept Massa’s points gain to three with a fourth place finish, ahead of Henriques.
Sixth went to Benoit. Cliff Avila, Ava Chouinard, Eddie Ryan, jr. and Nicholas Mignone rounded out the top ten. Bergstrom was just off the pace in eleventh.