Raabe, Branaham Win Season Openers at Airborne

PLATTSBURGH, NY – Two of Quebec’s top drivers started on the front row of the Egglefield Ford 358-Modified feature at Airborne Park Speedway.

That didn’t matter.

Alexandria, Ontario native and defending 358-Modified track champion, Chris Raabe started in position twelve and methodically worked his way through the field in the 30-lap feature event.

Mario Clair and David Hébert were the two drivers that took the field to the green. They traded the lead three times in the first five laps. Hébert led until lap-25 when Raabe dove underneath in turn two. Never looking back, Raabe drove to a seven car-length victory.

“We weren’t very good in the heat race,” Raabe said. “My dad and the crew did a great job with the adjustments. We drove the wheels off it tonight.”

Hébert finished second, with another Quebecois, Steve Bernard completing the podium. Steve Bernier and Todd Stone finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Local racing veteran, Bucko Branham collected the victory in the Poirier’s True Value Sportsman Modified division.

Branham took the lead on the initial start from the outside of the front row. A number of early race yellows forced Branham to ace restarts for him to keep the lead. Martin Pelletier closed in on Branham in the final five laps and pulled alongside him on the final lap in turns three and four, but Branham had him at the line by a nose.

“I backed off a little in the final five laps,” Branham said. “I was trying to keep the car down to the bottom. We had a good car tonight.”

Pelletier crossed the line second with Michael Richard finishing third. Moïse Pagé and Nick
Heywood completed the top five.

2017 champion, Brent Jarvis collected the first win of the season for the Ernie’s Discount Tools Super Stock division. Tylor Terry and Michael Wright completed the podium.

Zach Wood collected the victory in the Mini-Mod division. Dave Demore and Josh LaPorte
finished second and third.

Shawn Walker scored the first victory of the year in the Strictly Stock division. Caleb Tourville and Matthew Lapan completed the top three.

Racing action resumes next weekend with Autograph Night presented by A-Verdi Storage
Containers. To stay up to date or for more information, visit airborneparkspeedway.com or on Facebook at Airborne Park Speedway.