AKWESASNE - With St. Lawrence Radiology on hand for a big night of racing this past Friday night at Mohawk International Raceway, all four divisions were treated to a very fast racing surface which produced some suprises at the top of the leader board in all four divisions.
The 358 Modifieds were set for battle and two non-winners led the field to the green flag as Charlie Rice took the top spot away from David Papineau at the start of the 25-lap event. Rice, who ran a limited Pro Stock Schedule in 2013 at MIR, was the driver to beat as he charged out front with David Papineau and 2013 Rookie of the Year Travis Stacey rounding out the top three. Rice continued to surprise everyone as he led by over a straight away by lap 7 but the man on the move was two-time and defending track champion Billy Dunn. After starting mid pack Dunn quickly made his way to second past Papineau and quickly ran down the leader. On lap 11, Dunn made his move as he took the lead away leaving Rice, Papineau, Joel Doiron and Travis Stacey to battle in the top five. Nearing the halfway point of the event Dunn was virtually untouchable as he entered into lapped traffic which did not slow his pace. Behind him Chris Raabe and Danny O’Brien started to charge to the top five as they moved into fourth and fifth by lap 16. As the laps wound down Dunn appeared to be headed for another dominant win in a caution free race until lap 22 as Gage Morin broke his front end in turn 2 bringing out the only yellow of the race, under the same yellow Charlie Rice slowed to a stop in turn 3 as he ran out of fuel ending his fantastic run.
On the restart, Dunn held onto the lead over Raabe, O’Brien, Doiron and Travis Stacey. After a fifth place run last week, Dunn put it all together as he scored his third win of the 2014 season over Chris Raabe, Danny O’Brien, Joel Doiron claimed his second straight top five finish coming home fourth, while Travis Stacey claimed his best career finish of fifth at the checkers.
The 25-lap Sportsman event was one of the best of the year as Scott Mere took the early lead at the drop of the green over Jasmine David, Billy Cook, Thomas Cook and Bryan Green. Mere has won races in Bandit and Mod Lite competition at Mohawk but never in Sportsman, and he looked great in the opening laps as he pulled out to a seven-car length lead by lap 7 over David, Robert Delormier, Billy Cook and Thomas Cook. On lap 8, Neal Provost spun on the front stretch collecting Delbert Legrow Jr. Both were ok. On the restart, “The Wild Child” Jasmine David had enough of running second as she took over the lead with Delormier, Thomas Cook, Wyatt Mullin and three-time winner Corey Wheeler making up the top five. David began to pull away from the field and was setting a quick pace until the yellow flew on lap 11 for Bryan Green who slowed in turn 2. On the restart Delormier would assume command of the field over David and Thomas Cook. Robert Delormier began to open up the lead by a full straight away as behind him Corey Wheeler was making his way forward. Wheeler, who had won the last three events coming into tonight, was able to move into second bringing Mike Maresca to third with seven laps to go, but still had major distance to make up as Robert Delormier looked well on his way to career win number one. On lap 23 the break Wheeler need came in the form of a yellow flag for Brad Winters who came to a stop in turn 2. On the final restart Wheeler made several attempts to get by but Delormier held the advantage. Coming to the white flag the top two made slight contact as Delormier fought to hold onto the lead. But Wheeler never gave up, entering turn 3 the defending track champion laid it all on the line on the high side and his plan worked as he led the last 100 feet to claim his fourth straight victory over Delormier, who claimed a hard fought second. Mike Maresca made his sponsor proud by coming home third. Wyatt Mullin and Dylan Evoy rounded out the top five.
In Mod Lite action, Dan Desnoyers took the lead from the drop of the green flag over Dan Reif, Mathieu Robinson, Jesse Hudson and Scott Walldrif. Desnoyers had struggled the last few weeks with handling but showed no signs of slowing down as he pulled away from the field by over 1.5 seconds by lap 3. The first yellow flew on lap 3 as Scott Waldrif lost a motor in turn 3. On the restart Dan Reif looked to the inside but Desnoyers kept the car wound up on the high side to retake the top spot allowing Dan Reif, Mathieu Robinson, Jesse Hudson and Nick Mallette to have their own battle in the top five. Despite a final yellow on lap 9 for a slowed Tim Reif, nobody was catching Dan Desnoyers on this night as he collected his first career Mod Lite victory. Mathieu Robinson slipped by Dan Reif to finish second while Jesse Hudson came home fourth and Nick Mallette rounded out the top five.
The Bandits were set for battle as Corey Castell took away the early race lead but was being chased by three-time winner Matt Zira. Castell would lead the opening two laps as Zira was able to take the top spot away bringing another three-time winner, Randy Whiting to position number two. The top two put on a fantastic show throughout the entire race as Ray Bechler, Dakota Bechler and Corey Castell tried to keep pace. With two laps left, Matt Zira’s night came to an end as he blew a right rear tire handing the lead to Randy Whiting. From there Whiting went on to claim his division leading fourth win of the year over Dakota Bechler, Ray Bechler, Corey Castell and Shane Ray.
For more information, visit the track website at www.MohawkInternationalRaceway.com or call the track office at (518)358-9017.