Column By: BRETT HORLACHER / RPW – CONCORD, NC – Saturday night’s DIRTcar Sportsman World Short Track Championship feature looked like it was either going to belong to Andrew Buff or Dave Richer.
However, when all was said and done, Cedric Gauvreau was the man holding the checkered flag after capturing the win.
Buff would lead the 32-car field to green for their 30-lap feature and quickly establishing a sizeable lead over Richer. The 2023 DIRTcar Sportsman Series titlist Buff reached lapped traffic by lap 12. That caused his lead over Richer to all but evaporate.
Several laps later, taking advantage of Buff’s navigation of the traffic, Richer drove hard into turn 3 and took the lead on lap 18.
An undeterred Buff would cross right back over, putting his left front as low as one would dare in turn 4. The two would drag race down the frontstretch. Unfortunately, they ran out of racing room with the lapped machine of Jamie Kamrowski on the outside. That caused them to come together at the flagstand with Richer hopping the left front wheel of Buff’s collapsed front end.
The early-race leader was a retiree from the event.
Richer continued on with the race lead but the car on the move was Gauvreau who briefly passed Richer for the top spot on lap 19. However, the pass was never recorded as the racing action would come to an abrupt stop as seven cars mid-pack came together in turn 2.
That brought out the red flag for track crews to work more effectively. Multiple cars would retire from the race.
On the resulting single-file restart, it was a close battle with Richer and Gauvreau, with Kevin Ridley and Michael Wright battling hard for third. What appeared was that all Dave Richer needed to do was put a few more laps together and he’d be a winner. Unfortunately, his night came to a premature end as he would lose power on lap 26.
That meant he surrendered the lead to Gauvreau.
The restart with 5 laps to go would be all driver #22C as Gauvreau was setting a blistering pace, establishing a sizeable lead and ended up taking the big payday.
After his win, Gauvreau couldn’t thank his team enough for all the hard work.
“This was all for my team and the amazing work they did to get us here, “Gauvreau said. “We needed a win and now we got it.”
Kevin Ridley came home with a strong second place showing with Wright, Dave Rogers and Ayden Cipriano completing the top five.
Feature (30 Laps): 1. 22C-Cedric Gauvreau; 2. 20X-Kevin Ridley; 3. 0-Michael Wright; 4. 44-David Rogers; 5. 5C-Ayden Cipriano; 6. 52-Jessica Power; 7. 49-Chris Jakubiak; 8. 35T-Cameron Tuttle; 9. 51-Kreg Crooker; 10. 35-Nelson Mason; 11. 29-Tanner Forbes; 12. 813-Jason Quenneville; 13. 44S-Gordon Smith; 14. 03-Joshua Jock; 15. 72-Ray Hall Jr; 16. 49M-Derrick McGrew; 17. 32C-Carter Crooker; 18. 32-Tom Princiotta; 19. 10-Chelsie Kriegisch; 20. 23-David Dickey; 21. 58-Logen Lockhart; 22. 73J-Troy Arnold; 23. 22S-Dane Hedlund; 24. 60X-Kinser Hill; 25. 73G-Gordon Hermanson Jr; 26. 7X-Chuck Miller; 27. 318-Dave Richer; 28. 16X-Savannah Laflair; 29. 92-Andrew Buff; 30. 284-Jamie Kamrowski; 31. 28J-Jacob Jordan; 32. 6W-Kyle Whitney