In a classic late race throwdown, Nic Montanari was able to make the pass on Charlie Smith, holding him off despite a bump en route to winning the Signs of Innovation Mini Stock feature on Saturday night at Sunset Speedway.
The first caution of the night flew during the first heat on Lap 6 as a result of Peter Wakeling spinning on the frontstretch. Nic Montanari picked up the win ahead of Eric Yorke, Cameron McGlashan, Kyle Fetterly, Joe Dunlop, Lisa DeLeeuw, Curtis Stewart, Chandler Bos, Wendy Adams, Wakeling and Dylan Holmes. Notably, Holmes pulled off with a flat tire early in the event after contact with Stewart.
Charlie Smith won the second heat ahead of Josh Bullen, Daniel Montanari, Trevor Seaboyer, Randi Seguin, Stefan Woyslaw, Pat MacDonald, Eric Rainey, James Levi, and Amanda Shave.
A quick caution flew on the fifth lap of the third heat, with Holmes spinning in turn four. Eric Yorke picked up the win ahead of McGlashan, Fetterly, Nic Montanari, Dunlop, DeLeeuw, Bos, Stewart, Holmes, and Adams.
There was also a yellow flag in the last heat, with Seaboyer spinning in turn two on Lap 6. Daniel Montanari picked up the win ahead of Smith, Young, MacDonald, Woyslaw, Seguin, Rainey, Shave, Seaboyer, Levi and Bullen. Notably, Bullen spun on the last lap on the backstretch.
Come feature time, Pat MacDonald led the field to green ahead of Lisa DeLeeuw, Joe Dunlop, Josh Bullen, Randi Seguin, Stefan Woyslaw, Daniel Montanari, Nic Montanari, Charlie Smith, Eric Yorke, Kyle Fetterly, Cameron McGlashan, Wendy Adams, Eric Rainey, Dylan Holmes, Trevor Seaboyer, Chandler Bos, Amanda Shave, James Levi, Cory Young, Curtis Stewart, Peter Wakeling.
MacDonald jumped out to the early lead, as Dunlop and DeLeeuw ran side-by-side for second, ahead of Bullen as Smith, Seguin and Woyslaw went three-wide for fifth. Smith got ahead of them, getting alongside Bullen for fourth at Lap 3. Bullen held him off, though, getting alongside Dunlop for second a lap later, as DeLeeuw, Smith and Woyslaw went three-wide for fourth.
Smith was able to clear that battle, taking Bullen and Dunlop three-wide for second ahead of DeLeeuw. Smith took the second spot on Lap 6 now ahead of Bullen and Dunlop. Dunlop tried to get by Bullen for third, but was unable to as Nic Montanari got by him, before getting alongside Bullen for third at Lap 8, with Dunlop now side-by-side with Yorke for fifth.
With eight laps on the board, MacDonald led ahead of Smith and Nic Montanari, with Yorke and Bullen side-by-side for fourth. Yorke got the spot on Lap 10, with McGlashan, Daniel Montanari and Fetterly following him through over the next four laps.
At the front of the field, Smith tracked down MacDonald for the lead, taking the top spot on Lap 15, bringing Nic Montanari and Yorke through with him. McGlashan then moved into fourth on Lap 17, with Daniel Montanari getting alongside MacDonald next for fifth. Before he was able to complete the pass, though, the caution flew on Lap 18 for Shave stalling. With seven laps to go, Smith led Nic Montanari, Yorke, McGlashan, MacDonald, Daniel Montanari, Young, Bullen, Woyslaw, Dunlop, Seguin, DeLeeuw, Seaboyer, and Bos.
Charlie Smith got a good restart to keep the lead as Nic Montanari and Yorke went side-by-side for second ahead of McGlashan and Daniel Montanari. Nic Montanari got the spot on Lap 21, with McGlashan getting alongside Yorke for third. The caution would fly a lap later, though, as Seguin went around in turn four.
The first attempt at a restart didn’t go well, with a four-car tangle happening in turns three and four involving Dunlop, Bullen, Adams and Seaboyer. With three laps to go, Smith led Nic Montanari, Yorke, McGlashan, Daniel Montanari, Fetterly, Young, MacDonald, Woyslaw, DeLeeuw, Rainey, Bos, Stewart, Holmes and Seguin.
Nic Montanari got the jump on the restart, pulling ahead of Smith. Smith tagged the back of Montanari, but it didn’t change the course of events over the final laps of the event.
Nic Montanari led the rest of the way en route to scoring the feature victory. Charlie Smith crossed the finish line in second, but would be DQ’d in post-race technical inspection. Eric Yorke was scored second ahead of Cameron McGlashan, Daniel Montanari and Kyle Fetterly. Cory Young was scored sixth, followed by Stefan Woyslaw, Pat MacDonald, Lisa DeLeeuw, and Chandler Bos.
Eric Rainey was scored 11th, followed by Curtis Stewart, Randi Seguin, Joe Dunlop, Josh Bullen, Dylan Holmes, James Levi, Wendy Adams, Peter Wakeling, Trevor Seaboyer, and Amanda Shave.