Bob jumped at the green flag and flew into the lead in an instant. A yellow flag before the first lap was completed negated the effort, so he did exactly the same thing again. Bob looked strong and led for about three laps. Then David Gilliland passed him down the front straight and took over the lead.
A series of cautions gave Bob numerous restarts and chances to find a chink in the armor of Gilliland (David had won six of the last seven main events). Bob went up high on the restarts, dove down low on the restarts, hung back and accelerated to time it just right, and even tried following the exact line Gilliland took. The result was some exciting racing. Bob managed to get door-to-door with Gilliland several times and almost pulled it off. This is about the closest anyone has come to passing Gilliland in months. Bob ran second for the remainder of the race until, with two laps to go, he bobbled after hitting a big hole in the middle of a turn. Steve Stewart had been dogging Bob for quite a few laps, and when Bob bobbled, Stewart was positioned perfectly to get under the car and take over Second Place. With a lap and a half to go, there was no way to get the position back. Still, it was a great race with a lot of action.
The crowd seemed to love it too. There was a real buzz in the air with lots of cheering each time a pass was made or almost made. After the races, the crowd filtered into the pits, but we were not expecting the huge number of people crowding around. Bob commented that when we finished seventh, there were about five people who came by to see us. Now that we finished third (and a lot of people didn't even notice the pass and thought we finished second) there were about 30 people milling around.
We really soaked in the moment. Bob must have signed 30-40 autographs. We had about 10 kids sit in the car; their parents were taking photos. It was a blast. I mean, that feeling is exactly why we do this. You too?