Raabe gets 15th Sportsman victory at Mohawk Raceway; Sheppard wins 358 Modified, Sears takes Sportsman tour race
AKWESASNE -- Chris Raabe captured his fifteenth Sportsman win of the season during the regular Sportsman racing program at Mohawk International Raceway (MIR) on Friday night, while Own White made a dramatic last lap pass to get the win in the Open Competition Bandit race.
The races were run as part of the A&M Beverage 75 program on Friday night.Matt Sheppard of Waterloo won the A&M Beverage 75 for the Mr. DIRTcar 358 Modified tour, while Tim Sears Jr. won the A&M Beverage 50 Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman tour race.
Steve Gray grabbed the lead at the drop of the green flag for the 20-lap Sportsman feature, but a lap one restart saw Chris Raabe dash to the lead coming out of turn two.
Raabe looked like he was on cruise control, but Tim Sears Jr., who had won the 50-lap DIRTcar Sportsman tour race earlier that evening, caught Raabe with four laps to go.
The leaders worked through lapped traffic in the final laps, with Sears mounting several challenges, but Raabe was able to get across the finish line first, with Sears second and Brockville Ontario Speedway champion Dylan Evoy coming home third.
The win was Raabe's 15th of the season at Mohawk International Raceway and his 30th win overall on the DIRTcar circuit.
This was his 81st career Sportsman win, putting him just four wins behind all-time DIRTcar Sportsman win leader Steve Hall, who scored 85 wins in his Sportsman career in the 1990s.
The Open Competition Bandit race got off to a wild start at Jason Crites tangled with another car going into turn one on the second lap and went for a wild rollover. Crites was uninjured.
On the restart, Ernie Cree and John Green battled for the lead, with Cree moving Green up the track to take the lead on lap four.
From there on out, it looked like Cree was going to cruise to his first career Bandit win, but Cree went high coming out of turn two on the final lap to go around lapped traffic and Owen White saw his opportunity, diving low and taking the top spot going into turn three.
White and Cree traded paint working out of turn four and while Cree tried to push White sideways to get past, White kept his car straight enough and was first across the finish line, with Cree leaning on the driver's side door going across the finish line.
Green held on for a third place finish.
The final race of the season is set for Sunday, September 19th, with a 2 PM start time for the annual IronMan Slick Track Enduro 100.
MOHAWK INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th DIRTcar SPORTSMAN (20 laps): Chris Raabe, Tim Sears Jr., Dylan Evoy, Steve Gray, Ryan Susice, Shane Pecore, Josh Jock, Travis Back, Kristian Smoke, Brent Kelsey, Jamie Platt, Sheldon Hoogwerf, Christine Martin, Kevin Fetterly, Jenna David, Mark Dixon, Jeff Phillips. DNS: Justin Wright, Mark Chiddy.
OPEN COMPETITION BANDITS (12 laps): Owen White, Ernie Cree, John Green, Bennett White, Andrew Fish, Gary Sharlow, Scott Kocher, Joseph Barnes, Jonathan Damon, Joe Jock, Stuart Mossow, Bob Ray, Jason Crites.
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. He website is at 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.