By TIM BALTZ
AKWESASNE, NY – Wild Country 96.5 and the great fans were treated to some exciting racing action this past Friday night at the Mohawk International Raceway. With hot temperatures pushing into the 90s the action on the track was just as hot with many familiar faces returning to victory lane.
The first leg of the Can Am Mod Lite Series was ready to go for the Green’s Performance Mod Lite Division. Deric Ellsworth took the lead at the drop of the green flag took over the lead at the drop of the green flag and had a great race car in the opening laps with Harley Brown, Brad Reif, Jeff May and Martin Flaurent completing the top 5 early on. On lap 3 Harley Brown decided he was ready to take over the lead and did so by using the top side of the race track bringing Jeff May with him to 2nd. Brown and May continued their hotly contested battle for the lead until lap 7 as the caution flag flew for Brendan Villnave who spun in turn 4. On the restart it continued to be the Harley Brown Jeff May show up front over Deric Ellsworth, Brad Reif and Alex Rodier. Both Harley Brown and Jeff May had been the class of the field all night long and continued that in the 20 lap contest as they battled wheel to wheel through a large portion of the race. On lap 12 the caution flew on lap 12 as Brad Reif spun in turn 4 while running in the top 5 ending his shot at a possible win. When the green flew May and Brown continued to lead but Deric Ellsworth was making one last effort on the top side but Brown and May continued to lead the way. over the final laps the top 2 were all by themselves and made it a great race for the fans as they continued to trade the lead for several laps. On the final lap May was able to sneak by on the bottom and would hang on by the narrowest of margins to claim the opening race win in the Can Am Mod Lite Series. Harley Brown ran a great race to finish 2nd over Deric Ellsworth Dan Reif and Alex Rodier.
The Twin Leaf Convenience 358 Modifieds were set for 30 laps of racing and Brian McDonald wasted no time jumping to the head of the class over Lance Willix, Lee Ladouceur, Tim Fuller and Carey Terrance. McDonald was fast in the early laps but Lance Willix was up on the wheel and took over the top spot on lap 7 sending McDonald to 2nd and Fuller into the top 3. With Willix out front and basically driving away from the field Tim Fuller and Brian McDonald were having their own spirited battle for with Fuller getting by on lap 10 as behind them Lee Ladouceur and Carey Terrance completed the top 5. Fuller was focused on this night and ran down the race leader on lap 15. Using the bottom lane again Fuller was able to take over the lead from Wilix and begin to author a dominant performance. Behind the leader Lee Ladouceur and Carey Terrance were in their own battle for 3rd while behind those 2 drivers Chris Raabe was doing all he could to get to the front and keeping his winning streak alive as he completed the top 5. With the laps clicking off Fuller kept stretching his advantage over Lance Willix as Chris Raabe was on the charge. First he got by Carey Terrance on lap 21, then ran down Lee Ladouceur in an attempt for 3rd, and the chase was on. With no cautions slowing the feature event and a bad fast race car, everything lined up perfect for Tim Fuller on this night, as he cruised to a dominating 3rd win of the 2018 season. Willix had his best finish of the year coming home 2nd with Lee Ladouceur, Chris Raabe and Carey Terrance finishing out the top 5.
In Crossroads Tobacco Sportsman action Kristian Smoke took the top spot away at the start of the 25 lap affair over Jamy Begor Johnathon Ferguson, Zach Arquiett and Mike Stacey. Smoke had the car to beat in the early stages of the race and appeared as if he was going to make a return to victory lane but Jamy Begor had other plans. After starting 3rd Begor used patience to run down the leader and eventually caught him on lap 10. Begor stayed committed to the bottom lane and it paid off as he took over the top spot on lap 11 from Smoke with Arquiett, Ferguson and now Robert Delormier who came from 10th to complete the top 5 just shy of the half way point. Begor seemed destined to win his first of the season but changing track conditions would play a factor, which helped Zack Arquiett’s bid for the lead. Arquiett hounded the race leader for several laps as the track took on rubber creating a narrow groove as Delormier, Ryan Stabler and Joynathon Ferguson were all in a close battle for a top 5 finish. On lap 22 Arquiett had his only opportunity to make a bid for the lead and did so heading into turn 3 as Begor slipped up the race track allowing Arquiett to take control. Robert Delormier also slipped by for 2nd and the battle was on. Coming to the white flag Zack Arquiett made a costly error which helped Delormier as he took over the lead heading into turn 1. Once in front Delormier put it on cruise control and marched on to his 1st win of 2018. Zack Arquiett took home 2nd with Ryan Stabler charging from 8th on the grid to finish 3rd while Jamie Begor and Miguel Peterson completed the top 5.
The 15 lap Novice Sportsman feature saw Josh Laware jump out in front of the field over Jason Rose, Dale Gonyo, Lee Barcomb and Xavier Perrin. It was a much better evening for Laware as opposed to a week ago where he fought all kinds of handling issues, as he drove away from the field but Jason Rose had other plans. Rose, who won 3 weeks ago was up on the wheel and charging hard and by lap 7 had caught Laware for the lead. On lap 8 Rose made the move as he took over the top spot from Laware while Dale Gonyo ran 3rd and Rico Hernandez, who came from 9th starting spot up into 4th while Lee Barcomb rounded out the top 5. As the laps wound down Jason Rose kept getting faster as he built up a very comfortable advantage. For Dale Gonyo a fantastic run and best ever finish was about to go away. O the final lap coming into turn 2 Gonyo misjudged the top lane as he slid of the race track and lost several positions. He eventually would cross the line in 8th. For Jason Rose it was a Friday night cruise as he would claim his 2nd win of 2018 over Josh Laware, Rico Hernandez, Lee Barcomb and Eugene Tarbell.
The Bandit 10 lap feature had one major question heading into their 10 lap feature and that was who would become the first 2 time winner on the season. Gary Sharlow would step up to the plate as he took over the lead at the start of the event over Mike Pecore and RJ Tressider. Sharlow was making it look easy as he drove away from some tough competitor in the opening laps as he put on a dominant performance. RJ Tressider was making some big moves at the halfway point as he took over 2nd from Pecore on lap 6 but still had work to do to catch the leader. In the end Gary Sharlow proved to be too much on this night, as he would charge to the checkered flag becoming the first 2 time Bandit winner in 2018. RJ Tressider would cross in 2nd with Shane Ray coming from 10th starting spot to complete the podium.
Next week the MIR 358 Modified Series is set to go green with round 2 of the 3 race series coming to town for the Independence Day 50. Along with the Twin Leaf Convenience 358 Modifieds the Crossroads Tobacco Sportsman will be on hand plus the Green’s Performance Mod Lites, Novice Sportsman and Bandits along with the popular fireworks display. Next week’s racing action is all brought to you by St. Lawrence Radiology, the first green flag will fly at 7:30pm. For news, points, results and all the up to date information happening at the speedway, visit mohawkintlraceway.com.
Twin Leaf Convenience 358 Modified
TIMFULLER, Lance Willix, Lee Ladouceur, Chris Raabe, Carey Terrance, Brian McDonald, Louie Jackson Jr., John Mulder, Matt Woodruff, Larry Welling Jr., Jeff Sykes, George Foley, Madison Mulder, Greg Atkins, Keith Weston, Gage Morin
Heat Winners: Lance Willix and Tim Fuller
Crossroads Tobacco Sportsman
ROBERT DELORMIER, Zack Arquiett, Ryan Stabler, Jamy Begor, Miguel Peterson, Johnathon Ferguson, Brianna Ladouceur, Devin Willis, Cedric Gauvreau, Brent Kelsey, Jesse Hudson, Mike Stacey, Anthony Rasmussen, Delbert Legrow, Chris Frennier, Thomas Cook, Kristian Smoke, Andy Howard, Joel Hargrave, Delbert Legrow Jr., Mike Trapp, Codie Aubin, Billy Cook, Junior Delormier, Ricky Thompson, Dustin Bradley, Richard Thornton, Greg Snyder.
Heat Winners: Johnathon Ferguson, Billy Cook and Jamy Begor
Green’s Performance Mod Lite/Can Am Mod Lite Series Round 1
JEFF MAY, Harley Brown, Deric Ellsworth, Dan Reif, Alex Rodier, Allyson Prince, #7, Michael Dion, Styles Arquiett, Kevin Parenteau, Nick Mallette, Alexia Roux, Martrin Flaurent, Steve Comeau, Brendan Villnave, Jason Premo, Tom Perkins, Tucker Halliday, Dave Brown, Karine Thibault, Tim Reif, Jimmy Provencher, Scott Sharp, Brad Reif, Gill Comeau, #9J, Ryan Halliday, Matt Fregoe, Doug Williams, Justin Williams
Heat Winners: Dan Reif, Deric Ellsworth and Harley Brown
JASON ROSE, Josh Laware, Rico Hernandez, Lee Barcomb, Eugene Tarbell, Xavier Perrin, Gavin Riddell, Dale Gonyo, Joshua Pete, Jonathan Rush, Brian McGinnley
Heat Winners: Josh Laware and Gavin Riddell
GARY SHARLOW, RJ Tressider, Shane Ray, Nick Perham, Terry Green Jr., Ian Bressett, Terry Lamica, Jeff Trapp, Anthony Law, Preston Snyder
Heat Winners: Gary Sharlow and RJ Tressider