Francis, Evoy, Ladouceur and White claim top honors Friday at Mohawk Raceway
AKWESASNE -- Drivers took advantage of a fresh, tacky track surface durinbg competition Friday night at Mohawk International Raceway.
First up was the first ever Bailey Motor Company Pro Stock Mini Series race for the DIRTcar Pro Stocks. 35 laps was the issue and heat winners Roch Aubin and Ricky Thompson led the field to Austin Swamp’s green flag with Thompson getting the early advantage. Drivers headed off into turn 1 and all made it through clean except for Preston Mossow as he spun bringing out the yellow.On the restart Thompson held his lead while Aubin, Stephane Lebrun, Joey Ladouceur and Jody Swamp made up the top 5. With the race going caution free and Thompson pulling out to a full straightaway lead over the rest of the field it seemed like he’d just cruise to his 3rd feature win of the year at MIR, however on lap 23 Thompson’s machine slowed considerably on the backstretch.
The field closed in rapidly heading into turn 3 but Thompson was able to get the car going again and remained in the number 1 spot with Joey Ladouceur, Aubin, Lebrun, and Corey Wheeler who started 9th rounding out the top 5. With 5 laps remaining Ricky Thompson’s night came to a disappointing end as his right front suspension broke in turn 4 forcing him pit side.
This gave the lead to Joey Ladouceur who went unchallenged the final 5 laps to score his first win of 2011. Roch Aubin, Stephane Lebrun, last week’s winner Louie Jackson and Corey Wheeler rounded out the top 5.
The DIRTCar 358 Modifieds were up next. Perry Francis and the newest winner in the Modifieds at Mohawk Clayton Benedict led the field to the green with Francis jumping out front early. With the race going caution free Perry Francis planned to use the tacky track to run off and hide from the rest of the field, but 7th place starter Gage Morin was not about to make it easy on him. These 2 drivers put a full straightaway on the rest of the field as Mike Perrotte, Todd Stone who charged from 9th and Jeff Sykes battled in the top 5. With the leaders entering lapped traffic just past halfway this allowed Todd Stone to close the gap and make it a 3 way battle for the top spot. On lap 19 Francis continued to hold off a hard charging Gage Morin with Stone, Perrotte and Jeff Sykes rounding out the top 5. Stone had one of the fastest cars on the speedway but with 5 laps to go he slowed in turn 4 and ducked into the pit area ending his great drive. Perry Francis drove the hardest 5 laps of his career and was not to be denied as he scored his first win of the season over Morin, Jeff Sykes, Mike Perrotte and points leader Chris Raabe who continued his strong rookie campaign in the modifieds with a 5th place run. When asked in victory lane about his first win in many seasons he simply replied, “It’s about time, it’s been way too long.”
In the DIRTcar Sportsman division a rookie led the field to the green as Louie Jackson Jr. shared the front row with Dillon Sallows. Sallows led the opening 6 laps until the yellow waved as Brad Winters made contact with front stretch wall ending his night early. On the restart Sallows continued his pursuit of career win number 1 until the yellow flew one lap later for Brent Kelsey who slowed in turn 4. On the ensuing restart Sheldon Hoogwerf who won on opening night was able to grab the lead with Dylan Evoy who came from his 11th starting spot to grab 2nd, Dillon Sallows, Jenna David who won her first career heat race earlier in the night and Brandon Hagan rounding out the top 5. Hoogwerf held onto the top spot until Brandon Hagan and Jenna David made contact in turn 4 bringing out the yellow. This set up a 5 lap shootout. As the green came back out last week’s winner Dylan Evoy dove to the bottom in turn 1 and made the pass that counted as he got past Hoogwerf and raced on to his 2nd win in a row and his 3rd in the last 5 races over Hoogwerf, Tom Benedict who drove from 22nd up to 3rd, Tom Conklin and early race leader Dillon Sallows completed the top 5.
The Bandit division took to the track next. Stuart Mossow and John Greene shared the front row with Greene setting the pace early over Mossow, Owen White, Ernie Cree and Nolan Swamp. On lap 3 things got interesting as Mossow and Greene tangled in turn 4 Greene’s car dug in and did a slow flip bringing out the first red flag of the night. Greene was able to climb out of the car and walk back to the pits under his own power while Mossow was unable to continue. On the restart Owen White grabbed the top spot and stayed strong the rest of the way to become the first repeat winner in the Bandit division in 2011. Nolan Swamp, Corey Castell, Randy Whiting and Ernie Cree rounded out the top 5.
The racing action switches to Thursday night next week as Chiefs Tobacco Outlet and Gas present a 100 lap $3000 dollar to win race for the DIRTCar 358 Modifieds, the DIRTcar Sportsman division will be set for 35 laps in the first round of the inaugural Frenchie’s Built Ford Tough Sportsman Series. DIRTCar Pro Stocks and the Bandits will also be on the card. Gates open at 4pm, time trials begin at 7:15, and the green flag drops on the first qualifying heat at 7:45pm.
Here are Friday night's results:
Bailey Motor Company DIRTCar Pro Stock Series (35 laps)
JOEY LADOUCEUR, Roch Aubin, Stephane Lebrun, Louie Jackson, Corey Wheeler, David Papineau, Jody Swamp, Marc Lalonde, Morgan David, Ricky Thompson, Dave Bissonette, Preston Mossow, Rod Tarbell
DIRTCar 358 Modifieds (25 laps)
PERRY FRANCIS, Gage Morin, Jeff Sykes, Mike Perrotte, Chris Raabe, Carey Terrance, Clayton Benedict, John Lazore, Tim O’Brien, Brian McDonald, Roy Tarbell, Roy Delormier, Casey Swamp, Melvin Rush, Delbert Legrow, Derek Martin, Todd Stone, Rick Miller, Gardner Stone, Tom Jock, (DNS) Ryan Helm
DIRTCar Sportsman (20 laps)
DYLAN EVOY, Sheldon Hoogwerf, Tom Benedict, Tom Conklin, Dillon Sallows, Cory Winters, Mike Arquiett, Thunder Anderson, Marcel Pecore, Kristian Smoke, Billy Cook, Neal Provost, Brandon Hagan, Jenna David, Mike White, Josh Jock, Louie Jackson Jr., Brian Copp, Brent Kelsey, Travis Back, Brad Winters
Bandits (12 laps)
OWEN WHITE, Nolan Swamp, Corey Castell, Randy Whiting, Ernie Cree, Andy Fish, Brad Sharlow, Blaze Benedict, John Greene, Stuart Mossow
Mohawk International Raceway is in Akwesasne, NY, midway between the Seaway International Bridge to Cornwall, Ont., off of St. Rt. 37 on Frogtown Road.
Info: www.MohawkInternationalRaceway.com, (518) 358-9017.