Five laps remained and Tanner was to the back bumper of Howland in traffic. Howland masterful worked the traffic forcing Tanner to be equally as strong.
Tanner’s best opportunity came on the final lap as the pulled right up next to Howland as they exited the first turn and raced down the backstretch. Howland used a slower car as a block and rolled off the middle groove to the win by only a few feet over Tanner.
“The last few laps I saw someone sticking their nose underneath me,” commented Howland. “I didn’t know if it was the second place or a lapped car but I figured I better get going. I tried different line around lapped cars and it worked. Everywhere I went my car was just great.”
For Tanner it was another second place finish on a slick track as he finished second last Sunday night at the Humberstone Speedway on the slick as well and it came after he started in the seventh spot.
“We got this thing rolling really good in the black and after the week we’ve had we needed this,” stated Tanner. “We didn’t need the lapped cars at the end because I think we had a shot at Bryan (Howland). The lapped car set a pick for him, congratulations to Bryan he had a real good run.”
It was his best finish of Speedweek thus far and was a nice boost for a team that has had issues all week long with various things on the car.
“We are really confident,” said Tanner. “We brought the same setup here that we ran at Humberstone and Utica-Rome is always slick so hopefully it works tomorrow.”
Barney brought his X-1 Race Cars No. 87 home in the third position. He watched the battle for the lead but he was never able to hop into the fray to challenge for the top spot.
“We started at the bottom on Wednesday and we are steadily climbing toward the front,” said Barney. “We’ve had great race cars and I got to thank all my guys it’s been a grueling five days. We are getting better.”
Emery held on the finish in the fourth position, his best finish on dirt this season and Steve Poirier charged up from the 12th starting position to complete the top five. Rounding out the top ten were Cory Sparks, Shawn Donath, Larry Wight, Speedweek point leader Michael Parent and Paul Kinney.