By ADAM CORNELL
LAFARGEVILLE, NY – Weather has proved to be a cruel mistress in the Northeast this year, with rainouts aplenty. After cancelling Friday night’s events due to rain, Caprara’s Can-Am Motorsports Park was racing with a big show on Saturday night. Empire Super Sprints, Super DIRTCar 358 Modifieds and GRIT Sportsman Modifieds rolled onto the Nasty Track of the North, under cloudy, but not rainy skies.
Billy Dunn was top man in the seventy-five lap DIRTcar 358 Modified feature. Dunn started third, but drove his way into the lead in lap twenty-six and led the remaining forty-nine laps.
Dunn bested a hard-charging Chad Brachmann who improved from a twenty-second position start to take second place.
“I had to see what the first five to ten laps brought us,” Dunn said, from victory lane. “Every time a caution came out, I just had to take a deep breath, hit my marks and stay out ahead.”
It capped a very successful season for Dunn at Caprara’s Can-Am Motorsports Park, as he finished the year with multiple victories and a track championship.
Zach Sabotka edged out Kevin Root for the GRIT Sportsman Modified victory.
“Me and Kevin were battling the whole way,” Sabotka said from victory lane. “But I guess I got a good jump on the restart there, and got it.”
“Congrats to Zach Sabotka,” Root said, after parking his number 34 in front of the grandstands for post-race photos. “He ran a great race. He didn’t wreck. He pulled up out there once on me, I did the same for him. It was a good race. He’s a great young man.”
Mike White won the feature in the Pro Street Stock class.
Racing for the 2017 season at Caprara’s Can-Am Motorsports Park has concluded for the year.
Visit racecanam.com for off-season info and the 2018 schedule.
GRIT SPORTSMAN MODIFIED FEATURE: The first feature race of the evening had 25 George Sanford and 38 Zach Sabotka starting in the top two positions. 20k Kyle Inman and 34 Kevin Root were in row two, third and fourth starting positions, respectively. Sanford had the lead through turn one, but a caution came out when 1j Rocky Warner spun out back in the field, in turn one. The original positions were used for the restart, save for Warner who restarted in last place. On the restart, Sabotka had the advantage and the lead as lap one was put in the books. 34 Root was in second, while Sanford slid back to third. Sabotka owned the lead through four laps, but Root was pressuring hard for the lead. It took another lap for Kevin Root to complete the pass and become the new race leader. 1 Jack Meeks moved into fourth by lap six, with 20k Kyle Inman in fifth. An infield u-tire in turn two was clipped in lap eight and rolled onto the racing surface. This triggered a caution and a race restart. Root owned the lead on the restart, with Sabotka hanging on in second, as Meeks angled for a pass. Back in the pack, 21 Taylor Caprara was busy moving through the field, taking over eleventh position by lap ten, after starting in twenty-second. 57 Anthony Stockman was also well improved by lap ten, moving into fourth, after starting back in seventh. 60 Jackson Gill came to a stop in turn four, up against the wall, bringing out another caution in lap fourteen. On the restart, Root retained the lead, while Stockman and Meeks battled it out for third. By lap sixteen, Root was ten car-lengths ahead of second place Sabotka, who, himself had put a similar distance between himself and third place Meeks. In lap twenty, 71x Tim Falter got loose through turn one, ending up pointing the wrong direction at the bottom of the track. This brought out a caution, destroying Root’s sizeable lead, providing an opportunity for more position changes. On the restart, Root retained the lead. 57 Stockman moved past 25 Sanford for fourth position after giving it up the on the restart. Stockman and Meeks did battle next, with Stockman running low and Meeks running high. The battle for third was paused when 44 David Rogers, who had been moving well through the field, found himself up against the wall of turn four, in lap twenty-five. 60 Jackson Gill was also involved in the wreck with Rogers. With just five laps remaining, it was 34 Root in the lead, with 38 Sabotka in second. 1 Jack Meeks was in third, 57 Anthony Stockman fourth and 25 George Sanford in fifth. On the caution restart, Sabotka got the jump and took over the lead. With just three laps remaining, another caution came out as 71x Falter spun through turn four. Sabotka now had to battle Root on the restart. The scene was set for a three-lap shoot out to the finish line. Root faltered a bit heading into turn one, and that gave Sabotka the advantage and the lead. But the drama was not over. With two laps remaining, another caution came out, as multiple cars were involved in a turn-four incident. The red flag stopped racing as the tangle of cars were removed from the track. It was a side-by-side restart with Sabotka opting for the top side forcing Root to restart on the low side. After a rocky start, Rocky Warner had climbed all the way back to seventh position on the caution restart. 71X Falter spun out on the restart. As it was his third caution, he was sent to the pits, his night over for the night. As racing ensued, it was Sabotka in the lead, with Root in second. At the checkered flag, it was 38 Zach Sabotka with the victory! 34 Kevin Root took second, while 57 Anthony Stockman took third, 1 Jack Meeks finished fourth, while 1j Rocky Warner finished fifth.
EMPIRE SUPER SPRINTS FEATURE: The sprints roared onto the half-mile track next, with 10 Jeff Cook and 90 Matt Tanner started in the top two positions. Tanner launched into the lead immediately, with Cook in second. 28FM Steve Poirer moved into third by lap two, with 19k Paul Kinney in fourth. 88C Chad Miller was in fifth by lap four, with 36 Matt Billings right on his back bumper. By lap six, 00 Danny Varin had moved into fifth position, behind Kinney. 28FM Poirier moved into second one lap later. But Cook didn’t like third place, so he took second back from Poirier one lap later. By lap thirteen, the leaders were moving into lapped traffic, with cars stretched around the entire track. Despite this, Cook could not gain on Tanner, and Poirier couldn’t gain on Cook. Not until lap twenty, that is. Poirier took the high line around the track as Cook and Tanner were caught behind slower lapped traffic. At the finish line, it was 28FM Steve “Fireball” Poirer with the victory. 90 Matt Tanner finished second, with 10 Jeff Cook in third. 19k Paul Kinney finished fourth while 88C Chad Miller finished out the top five.
DIRTcar 358 MODIFIED FEATURE: The 358 Mods squared off in a seventy-five lap feature next, with 22D Danny Johnson and 24 Brandon Sweet starting in the top two positions. 9 Billy Dunn and 9j Jordan McCreadie were in row two, third and fourth positions, respectively. Johnson elected to start the race on the outside, with Sweet starting on the inside. It proved to be a wise move, as Johnson led by two car-lengths as lap one came to a close. A caution flag came out on the track, as 1M Mathew Desjarding couldn’t find power at the drop of the green. After the restart, Johnson was back in the lead, but 9 Billy Dunn was hot on his tail in second place. 9j McCreadie and 31 Lance Willix battled it out for third position, while Sweet slid back to fifth by lap eight. Just one lap later, another caution came out as the track required debris to be cleared. The restart had Johnson, the leader, select an outside restart, with Billy Dunn restarting on the inside. Johnson took the lead, once again, with Dunn faster on the straightaways, but not so in the turns. Another debri-instigated caution came out in lap seventeen. Laps continued to tick by during a lengthy caution as race officials tried to untangle the restart order in the back of the field and 73 Kevin Poitras faced equipment issues. Poitras was pushed to the pits and racing ensued on lap twenty-three. On the restart, Johnson once again retained the lead, with Dunn right behind. 9j Jordan McCreadie settled into third, while 66x Cary Terrance made his presence felt, taking over fourth position, after starting ninth. In lap twenty-six, Billy Dunn was the leader, passing up Johnson in turn four. R70 Ryan Arbuthnot managed to improve to fifth position by lap twenty-seven. By lap thirty, Dunn was a straightaway ahead of second-place Johnson. As the race approached the halfway point, it was 9 Billy Dunn in the lead, 22D Danny Johnson in second, 9j Jordan McCreadie in third, 66x Cary Terrance in fourth, and R70 Ryan Arbuthnot in fifth. By lap forty, Dunn was well into lapped traffic, and half a track ahead of the second position. That’s where the battle was raging, as Johnson and McCreadie sparred for position while dodging lapped cars. In lap forty-four, McCreadie passed up Johnson for second, just as a caution flag unfurled over the track. With his extensive lead deleted, Dunn faced a restart with McCreadie on his door. Knocking on the door of the top five leaders, was 3C Chad Brachmann, who had moved up from twenty-second starting position to sixth by the lap forty-four caution. As lap fifty ticked by, full-speed racing resumed. Billy Dunn launched out ahead of the pack, with McCreadie settling into second and 66x Cary Terrance in third. Brachmann moved into fourth by lap fifty-three, steadily reeling in Terrance, until he was right on the bumper of the 66x. 17D Danny O’brien moved into fifth position by lap fifty-five, after starting back in twelfth position. Two laps later, Brachmann put another notch in his belt, taking over third position, after passing Terrance in turn two. Meanwhile, Dunn continued to rocket ahead of the field, adding more and more distance between himself and the rest of the field. Once again that lead was decimated when a caution came out, as 23 Joey Ladouceur spun out in turn two. When racing resumed, there were just fifteen laps remaining. The single file restart had Billy Dunn retaining the lead with McCreadie in second, and Brachmann in third. A gladiatorial battle was raging for fourth position, as Terrance and O’Brien parried for space on the track. Terrance emerged in lap sixty-three with the advantage, retaining his fourth position. That victory was short-lived, as O’Brien came roaring back to take over fourth by lap sixty-seven. After another caution in lap sixty-eight, R70 Ryan Arbuthnot improved his position by pacing up Terrance and O’Brien for fourth position. Brachmann passed up McCreadie for second place with just four laps remaining. McCreadie chewed on Brachmann’s back bumper to try to regain his position. But Brachmann fought off the assault and pulled away with just one lap remaining. Nobody caught Billy Dunn. At the checkered flag, it was 9 Billy Dunn with the victory. 3C Chad Brachmann took second, with 9j Jordan McCreadie in third. R70 Ryan Arbuthnot finished fourth with 17D Danny O’Brien in fifth.
PRO STREET STOCKS FEATURE: The final feature of the night was the Pro Street Stocks, where 1x Mike White and 25B Marc Minutolo started in the top two positions. 7x Justin White and 14R Sid Harmer Jr. were in row two. Harmer shot outside and passed up the leaders in lap one. Lap two started with a caution, as 13 Kenny Hamm launched over the turn one berm. Hamm was able to return to the race at the tail of the field. Harmer retained the lead on the restart, while White maneuvered into second, passing up Minutolo. 3k Shawn Kirby was in fourth, with 7x Justin White trying to regain positions from fifth. Harmer ran out front through lap nine, but Mike White began to reel him in, closing down on the extensive lead by lap ten. One lap later, White took the lead, passing on the low side, as Harmer was getting loose in the corners. Meanwhile, Kirby and Minutolo were sparring for third position. With five laps remaining, the second caution of the race came out, as x15 Tyler Bushey came to a stop on the back straightaway. On the restart, Harmer challenged for the lead by diving low. He gained advantage through turns one and two, but White was faster through the straightaway, and took the lead right back. Another caution came out with four laps remaining. It was the chance Kirby was waiting for. He moved into second position, after leap-frogging past Minutolo and Harmer. With one lap remaining, Harmer retook second through turns one and two, but gave it back through three and four. At the checkered flag, it was 1x Mike White with the victory, with 14R Sid Harmer Jr. just nosing into second place. 3k Shawn Kirby took third, while 25B Marc Minutolo finished fourth and 7x Justin White took fifth.
FULL FEATURE RESULTS:
GRIT SPORTSMAN MODIFIED: 1) 38 Zach Sobotka, 2) 34R Kevin Root, 3) 57 Anthony Stockman, 4) 1 Jack Meeks, 5) 1J Rocky Warner, 6) 20K Kyle Inman, 7) 1X Willy Decker Jr, 8) 24K Nick Krause, 9) 415 Andrew Wren, 10) 21 Taylor Caprara, 11) 88 Chris Bellamy, 12) 24 Jordan Kelly, 13) 88C Xavier Andrews, 14) 29J Joel Hall, 15) 38J Jarrett Herbison, 16) 7S Shaun Shaw, 17) 2 Chris Thurston, 18) C21 Jeff Davoli, 19) 25 George Sanford, 20) 71X Tim Falter, 21) 5 Amy Holland, 22) 15 Adam Leslie, 23) 26 Mike Mandigo, 24) 99R Dalton Rombough, 25) 3C Tyler Corcoran, 26) 44 Dave Rogers, 27) 60 Jackson Gill, 28) 22 Josh Verne, 29) 45R Preston Forbes, 30) 1JVS Jimmy Spano
358 MODIFIED: 1) 9 Billy Dunn, 2) 3B Chad Brachmann, 3) 9J Jordan McCreadie, 4) R70 Ryan Arbuthnot, 5) 17D Danny O’Brien, 6) 27W Nick Webb, 7) 66X Gary Terrance, 8) 22D Danny Johnson, 9) 01 Chris Rabbe, 10) 31 Lance Willix, 11) 23B Danny Bilideau, 12) 83X Tim Sears 13) 47S Cory Wheeler, 14) 62S Tom Sears, 15) 24 Brandon Sweet, 16) 22C Mario Claire, 17) 23 Joey Laddceur, 18) 39X Alex Therrien, 19) 25* Steve Bernier, 20) 25P Micheal Parent, 21) 21 Larry Welling, 22) 18JR Louis Jackson, 23) 151KB Brian McDonald, 24) 02 Roy Breshnehan, 25) 11R Rob Bellinger, 26) 28 Tyler Meeks, 27) 25 Bobby Harrington, 28) 39 Ryan Bartlett, 29) 73 Kevin Poitras, 30) 1M Mathew Desjarding
PRO STREET STOCKS: 1) 1X Mike White, 2) 14R Sid Harmer Jr, 3) 3K Shawn Kirby, 4) 25B Marc Minutolo, 5) 7X Justin White, 6) 3 Rick Dusckas, 7) 28 Burton Ward, 8) 57K Kevin Fetterly Jr, 9) 83D Dustin Brradley, 10) 74 Terry Ladouceur, 11) 0 Travis Andrews, 12) X15 Tyler Bushey, 13) 13 Kenny Hamm, 14) 32 Ryan Shanahan, 15) 75 Ken Hartshorn(DNS)
For full results for the Empire Super Sprints, visit empiresupersprints.com
For more information about Caprara’s Can-Am Motorsports Park, please visit racecanam.com.
Racing will return to Caprara’s Can-Am Motorsports Park in 2018. Thank you to all the fans and sponsors for making 2017 a great year!