CHRIS RAABE ENDS WINLESS DROUGHT WITH 358 MODIFIED TRIUMPH AT MOHAWK
The great folks at Adirondack Powersports were on hand for a full card of racing this past Friday night at the Mohawk International Raceway. Along with the regular 5 divisions on hand the Quebec Lightning Sprints were back for their 2nd appearance of the year as well.
The 358 Modifieds were set for 30 laps of racing as Matt Woodruff and John Mulder led the field to green with Mulder getting the top spot over Woodruff and Luke Stewart. Mulder set a torrid pace in the early going but the caution flew on lap 2 for Craig Collier who slowed in turn 2. On the restart Chris Raabe made his way forward as he took over the top spot from Mulder bringing Luke Stewart to 2nd, Mulder 3rd, Tom Conklin and Billy Dunn completed the top 5. Raabe was looking to end a winless drought that spanned back to August of 2013 and looked in fine form as he held a full straightaway lead by lap 10 with Luke Stewart having a fantastic run in 2nd, holding off several challenges from 3 time and defending track champion Billy Dunn and last week's winner Tim Fuller. Lapped traffic would come into play around lap 18 for Raabe which allowed Stewart, Dunn, Fuller and Gage Morin to close in. On lap 25 Dunn made his move for 2nd bringing Fuller with him to 3rd while Stewart and Morin completed the top 5. On lap 27 the final yellow flew as Danny O'Brien slowed to a stop off turn 4. On the final restart Raabe grabbed the lead but Billy Dunn was there to challenge. Even with several challenges Billy Dunn would have to settle for 2nd on this night as Chris Raabe finally went to victory lane over Dunn, Fuller, Morin and Luke Stewart.
The 25 lap Sportsman feature was a great show which featured some great racing among drivers who have never won a Sportsman feature. Veteran Tim Smythe led in the early going and was pulling away over Jordan Miller, Moise Page, Delbert Legrow Sr. and Gilles Godard. On lap 8 the yellow flew as Rick Reandeau spun off turn 2, he would rejoin the field at the back of the pack for the next restart. On the restart Miller would surprise the veteran Smythe, taking over the top spot with Page still completing the top 3. On lap 13 2 time and defending track champion Corey Wheeler began to charge from his 12th starting spot. Wheeler moved into 2nd getting by Smythe and would close in on race leader Jordan Miller. On lap 15 Wheeler made the move that counted as he grabbed the lead and began to pull away from the field. With 5 to go last week's winner Louie Jackson Jr. made every attempt to close in but had to settle for a runner up finish as Corey Wheeler cruised to victory for the 3rd time in 2015 over Jackson, Ricky Thompson, Jordan Miller and Sid Harmer Jr.
The Quebec Lightning Sprints were back for their 2nd tour at Mohawk in 2015 and Tomy Morreau wasted no time grabbing the lead away over Guillaume Neiderer and Alex Therrien. Morreau would lead the opening 10 laps before Neiderer gained control of the race and was looking to drive away from the field. On lap 14 the only yellow flew for Benjamin Mathieu who slowed in turn 3. On the restart Neiderer would continue his dominant run over Therrien and Morreau. With no pressure from behind Guillaume Neiderer would cruise to his first win of the season in Lightning Sprint competition with Alex Therrien, Jordan Poirier, Yves Girard and Tomy Morreau who blew a motor coming to the checkered flag would finish up 5th.
The 15 lap Mod Lite feature provided some great racing along with some tense moments as well. Deric Ellsworth would be the dominant force leading the opening 7 laps over John Foster, Dan Desnoyers, Kevin Foster and defending track champion Mathieu Robinson. On lap 8 is when things got scary as Kevin Foster and Dan Desnoyers made slight contact on the back stretch sending Desnoyers car flipping wildly over the backstretch wall and into the advertising signs. The race was red flagged as Desnoyers was able to climb out of the car under his own power unhurt, the car was severely damaged. On the restart John Foster made a nice move to take over the lead for the next 2 laps but Deric Ellsworth rallied to get the top spot back with 5 to go. With all the excitement happening points leader Jesse Hudson was on the move from 6th as he took over 2nd on lap 11. With 3 to go Hudson made the move on Ellsworth for the lead and was looking to run away. However the yellow flew on lap 14 setting up a 1 lap shootout. When the green flew Hudson would go unchallenged to score his division leading 3rd win of the year over Ellsworth, Mathieu Robinson, Harley Brown and Scott Waldrif.
In Novice Sportsman action Junior Delormier had a fast race car and was in fine form looking to score his first ever Sportsman win after a dominant run in the opening 6 laps, over Regi Castelle and Dana Francis. On lap 7 Delormier saw his chance at victory go away as he broke while leading, handing the top spot to Regi Castelle. From there Castelle would hold off a late race run by Darryl Mitchell to record his first career win with Chris Frennier, Styles Arquiett and Leonard Drown completing the top 5.
The start of the 10 lap Bandit feature saw a 3 car pileup which forced a complete restart. When the race got going last week's winner Corbin Millar was the driver to beat with former Bandit champion Claudia Tarbell running 2nd, Cory Castell, Jamie Truelove and John Gifford completing the top 5. Millar would begin to pull away by lap 5 but fellow Brockville Speedway regular Jamie Truelove was closing in trying for his first ever win in his Mohawk debut. Despite narrowing the gap to 6 car lengths Millar remained tough as he went on to score his 2nd win in a row over Jamie Truelove, Claudia Tarbell, John Gifford and Cory Castell.
Next week the track will sit idle with the fair being in town, but will return for a full program on August. 21 with Twin Leaf on hand for a full show plus another Ironman Slick Track Enduro Qualifier. Racing action starts in 2 weeks time at 7:30pm.
CHRIS RAABE, Billy Dunn, Tim Fuller, Gage Morin, Luke Stewart, Tom Conklin, Jordan McCreadie, John Mulder, Matt Woodruff, Charlie Rice, David Papineau, Brian McDonald, George Foley, Danny O'Brien, Dexter Stacey, Craig Collier, (DNS) Maxime Viens
COREY WHEELER, Louie Jackson Jr., Ricky Thompson, Jordan Miller, Sid Harmer Jr., Moise Page, Tim Smythe, Joel Hargrave, Brianna Ladouceur, Delbert Legrow Sr., Shane Pecore, Gilles Godard, Robert Delormier, Zack Arquiett, Billy Cook, Greg Snyder, Sean Castle, Rick Reandeau, Delbert Legrow Jr., Mike Stacey, Bruce Makinson, Joel Herne, Jamy Begor
GUILLAUME NIEDERER, Alex Therrien, Jordan Poirier, Yves Girard, Tomy Morreau, Eric Sundborg, Benjamin Malo, Sabrina Blanchette, Yannick Poirier, Stephane St-Laurent, Pascal Levesque, Kathy Caissy, Benjamin Mathieu
REGI CASTELLE, Darryl Mitchell, Chris Frennier, Styles Arquiett, Leonard Drown, Dana Francis, JP Herne, Gabriel Cyr, Junior Delormier, Greg Ezard, Madison Mulder
JESSE HUDSON, Deric Ellsworth, Mathieu Robinson, Harley Brown, Scott Waldrif, Brad Reif, Jason Paige, John Foster, Martin Parent, Karine Thibault, Cameron Reif, Dan Desnoyers, Kevin Foster, (DNS) Dan Reif
CORBIN MILLAR, Jamie Truelove, Claudia Tarbell, John Gifford, Neil Martin, Curtis Smith, Jake Paul, Shane Ray, Darryl Mainville, Cory Castell, Deven Cook, (DNS) John Messenger