RAABE FINALLY CLOSES THE DEAL WITH 1ST EVER DIRTCAR 358 TOUR WIN AT MOHAWK
Night number 1 of 2 was set for battle this past Friday night at the Mohawk International Raceway with the DirtCar 358 Modified Series, Go Nuclear Late Models and TUSA Mod Lites all on hand to tackle a fast race track.
The DirtCar 358 Modified Series was ready for battle and Chris Raabe was looking to continue his late season success as he drew the pole position for the 75 lap affair. Not only did he draw the pole but he took over the top spot in convincing fashion at the drop of the green flag over Chad Brachmann, Alan Therrien, Erick Rudolph and Dale Planck. On lap 2 the caution flew for a 4 car spin in turn 3 bunching the field up for a restart. Raabe would take the lead on the restart and had a great race car over the next 13 laps before 7th place starter and 2015 Mohawk champion Billy Dunn took control of the lead in traffic with Brachmann, Therrien and Rudolph still rounding out the top 5. With Dunn well out in the lead it seemed he was well on his way to his 4th tour win in the last 5 races at Mohawk, until lap 40 when his car started to show some smoke. On lap 46 the motor finally expired on the #23 sending him pitside and ending his shot at victory. When the green flew Raabe remained in control with Brachmann, Rudolph, Dale Planck and Tim Fuller now breaking into the top 5 for the first time. Raabe began to open up a comfortable advantage on the rest of the field and was poised to claim his first ever series win. The real story of the night was Cornwall winner and current series points leader Gage Morin, after struggling in the heats and taking a provisional to start, Morin ran from 29th on the grid to move into the top 5 by lap 60 and give chase to the top 3. As the laps wound down Raabe found himself in heavy traffic which allowed Brachmann and Rudolph to close but Morin was charging hard. With 10 to go Morin made his way by Brachmann for 3rd, then with 5 to go he drove by Brachmann for 2nd. Raabe still held a slight lead but Morin was on the charge. On the final lap heading into turn 3 Raabe was trapped behind several lapped cars on the bottom which opened up the top lane for Morin. The Cornwall native gave it all he had but Chris Raabe was finally able to reach victory lane for the first time ever in the DirtCar 358 Modified Series. Morin's late race surge left him with a 2nd place finish and a slight lead in the series points, Erick Rudolph, Chad Brachmann and Alan Therrien complete the top 5.
The Go Nuclear Late Model Series was ready for 30 laps of racing and defending series champion Charlie Sandercock would take the lead from the pole at the drop of the green over Andy Mayhew and Greg Belyea. Sandercock has had a great season in crate late model action at his home track of Brighton and was on a mission to claim his 3rd straight Mohawk victory as behind him Andy Mayhew, Greg Belyea, Brandon Mowat and Lee Gill were staging a war from 2nd on back. These 4 drivers put on a great show for the fans with Belyea finally getting to 2nd on lap 14 and tried to run down Sandercock to have a shot at his first ever tour win. With 12 laps to go Belyea had narrowed the gap between himself and Sandercock while Gill made the outside lane work getting by Mayhew for 3rd. Lee Gill was not content just to ride in 3rd, after that as he closed in on Belyea and made the pass for 2nd with 7 laps remaining, and the chase was on. On lap 28 Gill made a bid for the lead on Sandercock down the back stretch when the caution flag flew. This was all Charlie Sandercock needed as he took the lead on the final restart and went on to score his 2nd tour win of the year over Lee Gill, Greg Belyea, Kyle Sopaz and AJ Kingsley edged out Andy Mayhew for the 5th spot at the finish.
In the TUSA Mod Lite Series 2 time feature winner Harley Brown was determined to show the series invaders how to get around MIR as he stormed out into the lead in the early laps over Jesse Hudson, Jim Bogett, Joe Isabell and Steven Beckett. Brown was on cruise control and was looking for the biggest win of his young Mod Lite career but veteran Joe Isabell was on the move. On lap 10 Isabell had made his way to the front to challenge Brown for the top spot. Despite the efforts of Brown, it was Joe Isabell taking the top spot away. On lap 11 the caution flew for Scott Waldriff who slowed to a stop in turn 2. On the restart Isabell continued to have a great night, leading the field with Jim Bogett, Harley Brown, Deric Ellsworth and 2 time track champion Mathieu Robinson now completing the top 5. Isabell looked to be running away to victory but the yellow flew for John Foster who lost a motor in turn 2. On the final restart Jim Bogett gave it all he had but Joe Isabell was too strong scoring his 2nd TUSA Series win at Mohawk in 2015. Jim Bogett came home 2nd with Harley Brown, Deric Ellsworth and Jeff Isabell Jr. completing the top 5.
Night 2 of the Mohawk double header gets set to go Saturday with the 2nd annual Pete Mitchell Memorial DirtCar Sportsman Series 100 lap event plus the Go Nuclear Late Models and the TUSA Mod Lites. Racing action gets set to roll at 4:30pm.
DirtCar 358 Modified Series
CHRIS RAABE, Gage Morin, Erick Rudolph, Chad Brachmann, Alan Therrien, Danny O'Brien, Tim Fuller, Mario Clair, Dale Planck, Jordan McCreadie, Simon Perreault, Yan Bussiere, David Hebert, Mat Williamson, Brian McDonald, Steve Bernard, Dominic Dufault, Lance Willix, Alex Therrien, Steve Bernier, Roy Delormier, Matt Woodruff, JF Corriveau, Mike Maresca, Gabriel Richer, Roger Levesque, Billy Dunn, John Mulder, Dexter Stacey, Luke Whitteker
Go Nuclear Late Model Series
CHARLIE SANDERCOCK, Lee Gill, Greg Belyea, Kyle Sopaz, AJ Kingsley, Andy Mayhew, Brandon Mowat, Chris Fleming, Kevan Cook, Billy Eisle, Sean Beardsley, Bret Beldon, Sam Pennacchio, Dale Caswell, Brandon Ford, Tyler Rand, Mike Trapp, Norm Mayhew, Dustin Waters, Aaron Jacobs, Shane Tenace, Alan Chapman, Brian Down, (DNS) Adam Turner
TUSA Mod Lite Series
JOE ISABELL, Jim Bogett, Harley Brown, Deric Ellsworth, Jeff Isabell Jr., Mathieu Robinson, Benjamin Cartier, Jesse Hudson, Steven Beckett, Justin Williams, Kevin Foster, Jeremy Isabell, Doug Williams, Rej Lemieux, Jason Paige, Nick Mallette, Brad Reif, Karine Thibault, Jason Premo, John Foster, Scott Waldriff, Dave Brown, (DNS) Bailey McDonald