Sheppard zeroed in on Paine in second, going for a pass on the inside, but Paine sped ahead, both avoiding Sheppard’s threat and passing leader Hearn for the lead in a lap-23 three-wide maneuver. Sheppard got by Hearn as well, and continued his pursuit of Paine, taking him just a lap later.
“When you know you’re catching those guys and you’re faster than them, you just want to try and take your time, and get by them cleanly. We didn’t really have to take our time tonight — this car was a rocket ship,” Sheppard said. “This car was awesome tonight. Pretty much everywhere I wanted to go, it went there.”
For the remaining three quarters of the race, Sheppard never relinquished his position, leaving those in his wake to battle for second. Five more cautions hit the field before race conclusion, including one with six laps to go, keeping racers on their toes as they battled for positions on restarts.
Hearn continued in second after Sheppard, sometimes defending against Paine, for several laps until Planck edged into the top standings. Planck pulled up beside Hearn in lap 60, racing side-by-side with him until yellow flag conditions in lap 71. Hearn pulled into the pits under caution to leave Planck in second.
Meanwhile, a car from the back of the field was steadily gaining ground. Justin Haers started 27th in the feature after a wreck in his heat caused him to finish sixth.
Steve Bernier won the companion sportsman feature.
Matt Sheppard, Justin Haers, Matt Billings, Brett Hearn, Dale Planck, Kayle Robidoux, Steve Paine, Pete Britten, Danny Johnson, Yan Bussiere, Billy Dunn, Jimmy Phelps, David Hebert, Rich Scagliotta, Gary Tomkins, Jean Boissoneault, Mario Clair, Dave Rauscher, Mathieu Boisvert, Danny Bilodeau, Tim Currier, Steve Nadeau, Billy VanInwegen Jr., Carey Terrance, Steve Bernard, Andre Gauthier, Alain Boisvert, Billy Decker, Francois Bernier, Daniel Nadeau.