AKWESASNE -- Even with threatening skies over the Mohawk International Raceway on Friday night, it didn't stop the drivers from putting on a show.
In 358 modified action, Lance Willix and David Papineau led the field to Austin Swamp's green flag with Willix jumping out to the early race lead over Carey Terrance, David Papineau, Gage Morin and Ryan Arbuthnot. Willix had one of the fastest cars on the track as he opened up a full straightaway lead by lap 10 and was in search of his first win in a long time at Mohawk. Carey Terrance was racing with a heavy heart on this night and was more than determined to run down the race leader.
By lap 15, Terrance would catch Willix in traffic and would use the top side of the speedway to grab the lead away over Willix, Brian McDonald, Billy Dunn and David Papineau. Once in front, Terrance began to show his muscle as he pulled out to a commanding lead as behind him Lance Willix was doing all he could do to hold on to second place as McDonald, Dunn and Papineau closed in. McDonald would move by for second with five laps to go, but Terrance was running like a bear through lapped cars and would build up a lead of over 3 seconds as the laps wound down.
With the race going caution-free, Terrance had no problems throughout the entire 25 lap contest as he cruised to his third win of the season in dominant fashion. McDonald held on for second while Dunn nipped Willix at the line for third with last week's winner at Cornwall, Gage Morin rounding out the top five.
In the Sportsman division, the odds of a first-time winner were pretty good as two former Mohawk track champions started on the front row with former pro stock champion Ricky Thompson taking the top spot away from reigning mod lite champion Joel Hargrave.
Thompson would have no problems in the opening five laps as he built up a comfortable advantage over the rest of the field as behind him, where Hargrave, Zach Arquiett, Adam Rozon and Louie Jackson Jr. battled in the top five. On lap 11, Thompson still held the lead but as he enteredtraffic the first yellow flew for Billy Cook who broke a front end in turn four.
On the restart, Thompson still was able to pull away with no problems as Hargrave, Jackson, Bryan Green and Wyatt Mullin were on the charge in the top five. Bryan Green was running his best race of the season as he charged by both Jackson and Hargrave to jump into second, and quickly reel in the leader by lap 17.
On lap 18, the final yellow flew, giving Bryan Green a clear shot at the leader. On the restart, Thompson grabbed the top spot but Green was able to keep pace. Corey Wheeler was also on the charge, as he recovered from a mid -ace tangle to charge back to the front and contend for the win. Green gave it all he had, but the experience of Thompson paid off as he finally broke through to score his first ever sportsman feature since moving from the pro stock division. Green came home second with Wheeler, Dylan Evoy and Mike Maresca, who recovered from a hard crash in hot laps to score yet another top five finish, coming home fifth.
The Mohawk Racing Parts Pro Stock Series was set to go for their 30-lap contest and Stephane Lebrun was looking to sweep the Mohawk events in 2014 as he took the lead from the pole over Stephane Lemire, Charles David Beauchamp, George Renaud and Roch Aubin. Lebrun won the pro stock championship at MIR last season and would pull out to a comfortable lead until the first yellow flew on lap six for Bob Ray, who lost a left rear tire in turn four.
On the restart, Staphane Lemire tried keeping pace with Lebrun but the defending series champion was able to hold off all challenges as he once again began to pull away from the field. Behind the leader Lemire, Beauchamp, Aubin and Renaud would stage a great battle for spots two through five, which continued until just past the halfway point of the event. On lap 23 Terry Ladouceur lost a motor in turn three, bringing out the final caution of the night.
On the final restart, Lemire pulled alongside of Lebrun in turn two and was able to take the lead for a brief moment. Lebrun was not to be denied, as he charged hard to the bottom of turn two to regain the top spot and would hold it the rest of the way as Stephane Lebrun would sweep the Mohawk Racing Parts Pro Stock Series races at MIR for his second win of the series, followed by Beauchamp, Jocelyn Roy, Lemire and Aubin.
Mod lites were set for a 15-lap battle and Harley Brown was looking to score his first-ever win as he jumped out to the lead in the early going over Jesse Hudson, Dan Reif, Mathieu Robinson and Kevin Foster. Brown was in complete control, but Hudson was on the charge and closing fast.
On lap three, Dan Reif slowed with a problem on the back stretch. Three laps later, the bad luck for the Reif family continued as Brad Reif spun on the back stretch bringing out the final caution.
On the restart, Brown continued to lead but Hudson kept trying the high side in an effort to steal the lead away. On lap 10, he finally made it work as Hudson took over the lead from Brown and would hold it the rest of the way for his division-leading third win of the year over Brown, Robinson maintained his point lead by finishing third. Dan Desnoyers and Nick Mallette rounded out the top five.
In bandit action, Scott Banker held onto the top spot in the early going but was under some serious pressure from Matt Zira and Randy Whiting.
Zira would take command of the race on lap three, bringing Whiting to second and Banker close behind in third. The top two drivers would pull out to a commanding lead and put on a fantastic side by side battle for the lead through the entire 12-lap distance.
Whiting gave it all he had on the outside, while Zira held him off using the bottom of the speedway. On the final lap, Matt Zira did all he could do as Whiting charged hard into turn three, but would blow a right front tire. Zira took full advantage and scored his fifth win of the season over Whiting, Banker, Corey Castell and Shane Ray.
Carey Terrance, Brian McDonald, Billy Dunn, Lance Willix, Gage Morin, Chris Raabe, Ryan Arbuthnot, Danny O'Brien, Tom Conklin, David Papineau, Jordan McCreadie, Steve Paine, Charlie Rice, Joel Doiron, Matt Woodruff, Bruno Lepage, John Mulder, Kevin Bates, Kevin Gamble, Casey Swamp
Ricky Thompson, Bryan Green, Corey Wheeler, Dylan Evoy, Mike Maresca, Wyatt Mullin, Joel Hargrave, Louie Jackson Jr., Ryan Stabler, Ryan Helm, Adam Rozon, Thomas Cook, Eli Gilbert, Perry Francis, Brianna Ladouceur, Scott Mere, Neal Provost, Jasmine David, Greg Snyder, Robert Delormier, John Greene III, Mike Stacey, John Greene Jr., Billy Cook, Brent Kelsey, Zach Arquiett, Styles Arquiett
Mohawk Racing Parts Pro Stock Series
Stephane Lebrun, Charles David Beauchamp, Jocelyn Roy, Stephane Lemire, Roch Aubin, Marc Lalonde, George Renaud, Owen White, Claude Parisien, Guy Viens, Terry Ladoucuer, Bob Ray
Jesse Hudson, Harley Brown, Mathieu Robinson, Dan Desnoyers, Nick Mallette, Kevin Foster, Brad Reif, Cameron Reif, Dan Reif
Matt Zira, Randy Whiting, Scott Banker, Corey Castell, Shane Ray, Tim Tupia