AKWESASNE -- Todd Stone of Middlebury, VT held off a hard-charging Gage Morin to capture his first Frenchie's Chevrolet DIRTcar 358 Modified feature win of the season on Aaron's Sales and Leasing night at Mohawk International Raceway (MIR) on Friday night.
Joey Ladouceur of Alexandria, Ont. bested long-time rival Louie "Action" Jackson to win the Mohawk Race Parts Pro Stock Tour 50-lap feature for his first win of the year at MIR, while Chris Raabe won his eighth DIRTcar Sportsman feature and Joey Foster won his ninth Bandit feature in ten starts.
The Mohawk Race Parts Pro Stock tour rolled into Mohawk International Raceway for a 50-lap feature but the result was the same as the first tour event at Cornwall Speedway in the Spring: Joey Ladouceur was in victory lane after holding off Louie Jackson and PJ Peters.
Roch Aubin took the lead at the drop of the green flag and led until Louie Jackson seized the top spot on a lap nine restart. Dave "Bulldog" Bissonnette pulled past Aubin for second a lap later. A lap 18 caution gave the Bulldog a shot at Jackson, but instead Bissonnette spun coming out of turn two, collecting Dion Oakes and Gilles Goddard as the entire field scrambled to get out of harm's way.
The lap 20 restart gave Joey Ladouceur the opening he was looking for. After starting in the fourth row, he'd calmly moved into the top five and on the restart he charged high and swept by Jackson on the outside to take the lead, while Jody Swamp showed some muscle and powered into third. Swamp's great run came to an end just five laps later, as he broke bringing out the caution.
The lap 25 restart found Ladouceur still in command, but all eyes turned to the stunning charge of Bissonnette, who'd come from the back to 12th by lap 25 and then moved from 12th to sixth in one lap. Ladouceur stretched out a modest lead over Jackson and PJ Peters, who'd worked past Aubin.
The caution waved on lap 30 for the race's most spectacular incident: Bissonnette and Ghislain Valade were battling side-by-side for fifth spot when Bissonnette tagged the backstretch Jersey barriers. Bissonnette's car climbed the barriers, turned onto the driver's side of the car and slide the final half of the straightaway on its side before flopping hard onto its wheels. MIR officials immediately threw the red flag, but Bissonnette re-fired the car and rejoined the tail of the field before tow trucks were even on the scene.
Ladouceur once again pulled away from Jackson, Peters maintained third spot, while Capital District invader Rob Yetman charged into fourth spot, with Aubin in fifth.
The top five maintained their positions until the final caution waved on lap 46 when Yetman tangled with the lapped car of Claudia Tarbell, ending his night.
The final restart saw Ladouceur pull away from Jackson and charge on to the win in just his second MIR start. With two consecutive wins on the Mohawk Race Parts Pro Stock tour, Ladouceur leads the tour point standings. Jackson came home second, PJ Peters was third, Roch Aubin fourth and Cornwall Speedway star Ghislain Valade rounded out the top five in his first MIR start of the season.
Casey Swamp took the initial lead at the start of the Frenchie's Chevrolet DIRTcar 358 Modified feature, with Del LeGrow in second, but Middlebury, VT's Todd Stone made his presence known as he roared alongside LeGrow with just one lap complete.
The red flag waved on lap four as Gage Morin tangled with LeGrow and got sideways -- while Morin was able to straighten the car out and keep on racing, a massive pile-up resulted, with current point leader Carey Terrance, John Lazore, Roy Tarbell and Lee Ladouceur all involved. No one was injured and only Lazore was forced to retire from the event.
On the restart, Stone dove low going into turns one and two and seized the top spot from Swamp, while LeGrow and Perry Francis quickly shuffled past Swamp to move into the top three. A couple of cautions slowed the pace, but Stone had the event well in command -- at the half-way point, LeGrow and Francis were still second and third while Gage Morin started his march towards the front, taking fourth spot from Clayton Benedict. By lap 14, Morin charged into second, with Francis getting by LeGrow for third.
An extended green flag session allowed Stone to build up a comfortable lead and while Morin started closing in on Stone in the final five laps, Stone was able to hold on to capture his first win of the season at MIR in the G. Stone Motors/G.
Stone Commercial #1x. Morin came home second, with Perry Francis third, Tim O'Brien fourth in his first start of the season, and Clayton Benedict rounding out the top five.
Brent Kelsey led the first lap of the Sportsman feature, but Chris Raabe charged into the top spot on the second lap, with Dylan Evoy getting past Kelsey for second a lap later. From there on out, Raabe and Evoy ran away and hid from the rest of the field, making for a great two car battle: Evoy challenged Raabe on every lap, trailing on his back bumper the entire 20 laps, charging high, darting low, looking for an opening, but Raabe was able to close the door on every pass attempt. Raabe scored his eighth Sportsman win of the season, with Evoy second at the finish line.
Former 358 Modified star Jeff Marshall was awarded third in his first start of the season after Josh Kane was disqualified in post-race technical inspection.
Bennett White was the early race leader in the Bandit division, but Joey Foster marched to the front on lap two of the feature. White's car broke on lap five and he took a hard ride into the frontstretch wall on lap five (he was uninjured), setting up a restart that gave second-place runner Peter Cename and third-place Scott Mere their best shot at Foster. While Cename and Mere gave it their best, Foster was able to pull away, capturing his ninth win in ten starts by about two car lengths over Cename. Mere finally licked the mechanical problems that had plagued him in recent weeks and came home in third, with Owen White finishing fourth in his first start of the season and John Green rounding out the top five.
Racing resumes at Mohawk International Raceway next Friday night, July 23rd, as Keegan's Tobacco presents a full show of racing for the Frenchie's Chevrolet DIRTcar
358 Modifieds, DIRTcar Sportsman, DIRTcar Pro Stocks and the Bandits, and the ladies will take to the speedway with Powder Puff races. The first heat race begins at 7:45 p.m.
FRIDAY, JULY 16th: AARON'S SALES & LEASING NIGHT
MOHAWK RACE PARTS PRO STOCK TOUR (50 laps): Joey Ladouceur, Louie Jackson, PJ Peters, Roch Aubin, Ghislain Valade, Stephane LeBrun, Corey Wheeler, Gilles Goddard, George Renaud, Rod Tarbell, Dion Oakes, Billy Woodward Jr., Scott Kocher, Stephane LeMire, Claudia Tarbell, Rob Yetman, Dave Bissonnette, Harvey Arquette Jr., Ricky Thompson, Ryan Stabler, Jody Swamp, Thunder Anderson, Allen Peters, David Papineau, Mike White, Roger Levesque, Marc Lalonde. DNS: Moses White, Mike Pecore, Eli Gilbert.
FRENCHIE'S CHEVROLET DIRTcar 358 MODIFIEDS (25 laps): Todd Stone, Gage Morin, Perry Francis, Tim O'Brien, Clayton Benedict, Todd Stewart, Del LeGrow, Casey Swamp, Mike Perrotte, Lee Ladouceur, Tom Jock Jr., Gardner Stone, Preston Forbes, Dave Heaslip, Billy Cook, Ryan Jacobs, Ryan Helm, Roy Tarbell, Carey Terrance, John Lazore, Derrick Martin.
DIRTcar SPORTSMAN (20 laps): Chris Raabe, Dylan Evoy, Jeff Marshall, Travis Back, Tom Benedict, Brad Winters, Shawn Burke, Josh Jock, Tabatha Murphy, Jenna David, Brent Kelsey, Kristian Smoke. DQ: Joshua Kane.
BANDITS (12 laps): Joey Foster, Peter Cename, Scott Mere, Owen White, John Green, Nolan Swamp, Jason Crites, Henry Lamica, Cory Castell, Tammy Rogers, Jonathan Oliver, Brad Fish, Bennett White, Gary Sharlow. DNS: Rick Blanchard, Derek Colbert, Joseph Barnes.
Mohawk International Raceway is located in Akwesasne 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. Visit us on the web 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.