- 28 July 2019
The heat is in full swing now, it’s nearly ninety degrees, and the sun is unrelenting under the clear blue sky. Dario Cangialosi is lined up on pole, Keith Grant on his left in second, will Grant provide another upset or will Cangialosi return to the top step of the podium? Flinn Lazier in third may have something up his sleeve, after his disappointing mechanical issue on Saturday he’s sure to push hard for redemption.
To the green flag, the field is tight, Grant got a small jump but Cangialosi has the inside into turn one. Grant seemingly errored, Lazier gets Grant as well. It’s Cangialosi, Lazier, Grant, Brockman, and Alexander. By the time they reach the finish line to complete the first lap, Grant is back by Lazier to take over the second spot.
Cangialosi got up to speed quickly, he’s put about a second between him and Grant. Lazier is sliding back, Brockman is lurking a few car lengths behind. As the drivers find their rhythm, Cangialosi and Grant run identical lap times, Lazier and Brockman are just a few ticks off. Lee Alexander still holds fifth, and Dudley Fleck is the leading master’s driver in sixth.
Fifteen laps remain, Grant is closing on Cangialosi now. The gap shrinks to just two tenths of a second. Grant has a bit of look on the way into turn one, he’s too far back this time to make it work. The next time by, Grant improves his run on Cangialosi, but Grant’s forced to the outside and can’t make it happen. Cangialosi plays defensive through turns one and three, Grant settles in behind. Meanwhile Lazier and Brockman are running laps faster than Cangialosi and Grant, they are beginning to narrow the gap to the lead. For Lazier however, it’s not to be. He disappears on track and registers a second DNF for the weekend. Brockman inherits third, but lost some six seconds in the process.
Cangialosi and Grant are now running without concern from behind. Only two tenths of a second separates the two. Grant gains the lead, Cangialosi couldn’t defend this time. As the two return to the finish line a full course caution is out. They pack will bunch up behind the pace car, it’s a second chance that Spencer Brockman will certainly appreciate. Three cars are to be retrieved from the track before racing can resume, Lazier being one of them.
At this juncture, there are nine remaining laps but only thirteen minutes left on the clock. The race will be concluded on time rather than lap count. The racing has now resumed with Grant at the point. At the restart, Alexander jumped Brockman to find himself third. Brockman will need to get back my Alexander quickly if he hopes to fight with the top two.
Grant, now begins to build a lead, it’s over a full second back to Cangialosi. Brockman pressures Alexander something fierce, it pays off! Alexander errors, he spins off with a puff of tire smoke in turn three! He gets moving again, but the damage is done.
The white flag flies, a single lap to go, Grant is cruising out front. Cangialosi can’t reach Grant. Brockman in third is busy keeping Rich Zober, the leading master’s entry, at bay. This is how they finish, Grant sweeps both races at VIR!