AKWESASNE -- Dale "The Natural" Planck of Cortland won his second Frenchie's Chevrolet DIRTcar 358 Modified feature of the season on Friday night for the "Battle of the Eastern Door 100" at Mohawk International Raceway.
In World of Outlaws Late Model qualifying action, Chub "Chubzilla" Frank (Bear Lake, PA) set fast time in time trials and won his qualifying heat race, while Rick Eckert (York, PA) and Darrell Lanigan (Union, KY) won the other two qualifying heat races.
In other action, Joey Foster (West Stockholm) won his tenth Bandit feature and Chris Raabe (Napanee, ONT) won his twelfth MIR Sportsman feature and his 25th for the season overall, setting a new DIRTcar record for most Sportsman wins in a season.
It looked like there might be a new face in victory lane in the Frenchie's Chevrolet DIRTcar 358 Modifieds as Del LeGrow, Gardner Stone and Tom Jock Jr. all set a torrid pace, with Stone and LeGrow trading the top spot a couple of times in the first few laps.
The race's first caution waved on lap eight as the front end on Carey Terrance's #66x broke, ending the current 358 Modified point leader's night.
On the restart, Jeff Sykes powered high and snatched the top spot, with LeGrow second, Jock third and Clayton Benedict in fourth. Syke's great run came to an end three laps later as his car suddenly slowed and he was forced to the pits.
This handed the lead back to LeGrow, but the quick cautions gave Dale Planck the opportunity to keep the front of the field in his sights. On the restart, Planck moved around Jock for second spot, while John Lazore advanced to fourth as the race resumed.
One lap later, Planck swung high and grabbed the top spot, a position he would never relinquish. As Planck stretched out his lead, the battle behind him was fierce, with Lazore and Jock banging wheels on the frontstretch as Lazore moved into the third spot.
On lap 21, Lazore worked past Del LeGow for second, but the race's last caution waved for the stopped car of Laurent Ladouceur.
The four lap dash to the checkered flag saw Planck, defending Mr. DIRTcar 358 Modified champion, roar on to his second win of the season at MIR, with Lazore coming home in the second spot.
Del LeGrow and Tom Jock Jr. tangled while battling hard for third spot, causing both of them to lose several spots with just two laps to go, allowing Todd Stone to use a late race charge to hustle up to third spot.
DIRTcar Hall of Fame member Dave Heaslip moved into fourth on the final lap for his best finish of the season, while Roy Delormier rounded out the top five.
The World of Outlaws Late Models used time trials and heat races to set part of the starting field for Saturday night's "Battle of the Eastern Door 100." Chub Frank set fast time and won his heat race, while Rick Eckert and Darrell Lanigan won the other two heat races.
Saturday's last chance B-main will qualifying the final starters leading into the "Battle of the Eastern Door 100," which pays $20,000 to win out of a total purse of $120,000. Also on the card Saturday night will be the Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock tour with a 50-lap feature and the Bandits.
In the DIRTcar Sportsman division, Brad Winters grabbed the early lead, but Chris Raabe and Dylan Evoy joined the battle in a hurry.
Raabe challenged Winters for the lead on lap six and after a great side-by-side battle for over a lap, Raabe moved to the top spot. Winters maintained his strong pace, but Evoy caught him and moved into second on lap twelve.
The race's only caution waved on lap 14 as Winters tangled with the lapped car of Jenna David while battling to hold onto third spot. The restart saw Raabe maintain his top spot to capture his 12th win of the season at MIR and 25th win overall for the season, setting a new DIRTcar record for most wins in a single season.
Evoy finished second, Steve Planck was across the line in third but was disqualified in post race technical inspection, with Brent Kelsey, Steve Barber and Kristian Smoke rounding out the top five.
Joey Foster seized the lead on the first lap of the Bandits, but unlike earlier in the season when Foster could easily run away and hide from his competitors, Derek Colbert and Pete Cename were on his back bumper the entire race.
A lap nine caution for a tangle between Thunder Anderson Jr., Nolan Swamp and Owen White tightened the field up for a three lap dash for the checkered, but on the restart Foster charged on for his tenth win of the season, with Cename second and Colbert third. In victory lane, Foster was quick to dedicate this win to him mother, who is undergoing surgery this week, and to MIR track photographer Mike Watts, who passed away a month ago.
Racing action resumes next Friday, August 27th, at Mohawk International Raceway as Parkway Country Polaris presents a full show of racing for the Frenchie's Chevrolet DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, the DIRTcar Sportsman, DIRTcar Pro Stocks and Bandits.
Friday, September 3rd, Frenchie's Chevrolet presents the Labor Day Shoot-Out, with the DIRTcar 358 Modifieds going 50 laps. This race is the final round in the Frenchie's Chevrolet American Revolution series. Also on the card will be DIRTcar Sportsman, DIRTcar Pro Stocks and Bandits. Friday, September 3rd will be the final night of points for the 2010 season, so the MIR 2010 track champions will also be crowned on that evening.
MOHAWK INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY FRIDAY, AUGUST 20th -- PRELIMINARY NIGHT FOR "BATTLE OF THE EASTERN DOOR 100"
FRENCHIE'S CHEVROLET DIRTcar 358 MODIFIEDS (25 laps): Dale Planck, John Lazore, Todd Stone, Dave Heaslip, Roy Delormier, Del LeGrow, Clayton Benedict, Perry Francis, Todd Stewart, Pierre Dagenais, Tom Jock Jr., Roy Tarbell, Gardner Stone, Laurent Ladouceur, Preston Forbes, Billy Cook, Melvin Rush, Ryan Helm, Mike Perrotte, Pat O'Brien, Ryan Jacobs, Tim Fuller, Jeff Sykes, Carey Terrance, Derrick Martin. DNS: Clint Smith.
DIRTcar SPORTSMAN (20 laps): Chris Raabe, Dylan Evoy, Brent Kelsey, Steve Barber, Kristian Smoke, Travis Back, Sheldon Hoogwerf, Shawn Burke, Josh Jock, Robbie Ezard, Jenna David, Tom Benedict, Brad Winters. DQ: Steve Planck.
BANDITS (12 laps): Joey Foster, Peter Cename, Derek Colbert, Owen White, Scott Mere, Cory Castell, Jason Crites, Trevor Jones, Brad Fish, Bennett White, Joseph Barnes, Thunder Anderson Jr., Andrew Fish, Nolan Swamp, Darryl Mitchell.
Mohawk International Raceway is located midway between the Seaway International Bridge to Cornwall, ONT and the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino. From Route 37, turn south onto Frogtown Road.
Racing is held on Friday nights at 7:45 PM from May through September, featuring the Frenchie's Chevrolet DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, Sportsman and Pro Stocks, as well as the Bandit division.
The website address is www.MohawkInternationalRaceway.com. The MIR office is 518-358-3225 and on race days, the track number is 518-358-9017. The track is owned and operated by Mohawk International Raceway, LLC.