By CHARLIE BROWN, DELMAR, DE – Matt Jester managed to finish second in the second heat despite damage to the front suspension of his car. This would actually turn into a bit of luck as the inversion draw was a four putting him on the pole for the 25-lap NAPA Big Block Modified feature, Saturday night at the Delaware International Speedway.
Jester started on the point with Howard O’Neal second and heat winners Scott VanGorder and Jamie Mills third and fourth. Jester was turning laps in the low 19 second range right from the drop of the green and began to pull away from the field. O’Neal was quick in second with VanGorder, Beau Wilkins and Jamie Mills battling for third. Eyes were on H.J. Bunting who crashed his primary car in the heat and for the second week had gone to his small block powered backup car. Bunting started in 16th and by lap five was running in seventh.
The caution was out at this point as Art Valdesere, Jr. went off the top of the first turn. Back to green, Trice got by Mills on lap eight for fifth and two laps later took fourth from VanGorder. Jester once again pulled away from the pack and at the halfway sign was followed by O’Neal, Wilkins, Trice and Mils in the top five.
The second yellow was out with nine to go when Glenn Reed rolled to a stop, once again erasing Jester’s lead. Bunting got by Mills for fifth with seven to go. Bunting got together with Trice going into the first turn with Trice getting out of shape but holding on to fifth.
Jester would make no mistakes in the closing laps as he drove to his third checkered of the season by 4.77 seconds over O’Neal who posted his best finish of the year. Wilkins finished in third with Bunting fourth Trice fifth.
“This win here is 100 percent for all my guys,” said Jester. “I tore the car up pretty good in the heat. It was all my fault – a bonehead move. They replaced the front axle and did a lot of things and we worked right up until the time we had to be on the grid so I can’t thank everyone enough.”
NAPA Big Block Modified Finish: 1. Matt Jester; 2. Howard O’Neal; 3. Beau Wilkins; 4 H.J. Bunting; 5. Brad Trice; 6. Jamie Mills; 7. Scott VanGorder; 8. Donnie Radd; 9. Dana Walker; 10. Dale Hawkins; 11. Drew Simmons; 12. Kyle Fuller; 13. Glenn Reed; 14. Shawn Ward; 15. Art Valdesere, Jr.; 16. Matt Hawkins.