GAGE MORIN TAKES TOP HONORS IN FRENCHIE'S CHEVY RUNS DEEP SERIES FINALE AT MOHAWK
By: Tim Baltz
With perfect weather this past Friday night at the Mohawk International Raceway Frenchie's Chevrolet was on hand for not only final points night in all classes but the Frenchie's Chevy Runs Deep 358 Modified title was on the line as well. With only 6 points separating Billy Dunn and Tim Fuller, the battle was on for the coveted title.
In 358 Modified action Gage Morin took his new Cliff Merpaw owned ride to the front of the field at the drop of the green over Lance Willix, Tim Fuller, Billy Dunn and George Foley. The yellow flew quickly on the opening lap for Robert Delormier who broke the front end on his race car in turn 4. On the restart Morin remained strong at the front of the field but Lance Willix was right there to challenge. Willix would take over the lead with Morin, Fuller, Dunn and Foley all right there to challenge. On lap 7 Morin would find some speed as he took the lead back over Willix, Dunn, Fuller and Chris Raabe who cracked the top 5 from his 8th starting spot. Morin had the car to beat on this night as he drove away from a quality field but on lap 24 lapped cars began to be the leader's biggest challenge. As Morin picked his way carefully through the lapped cars Willix began to close the gap bringing Dunn and Fuller to challenge making it a great 4 car battle for the race lead. With 10 laps remaining Willix was able to draw alongside of Morin into turn 1 but couldn’t make the pass stick as Morin pulled away leaving Willix to battle with Billy Dunn and Chris Raabe. On lap 46 George Foley slowed to a stop in turn 4 bringing out the final caution of the race. When the green flew Willix tried one last time to get by but couldn’t get the job done, as Gage Morin went on to score his 2nd win of the season over Raabe who made a great move with 2 to go for 2nd. Billy Dunn crossed in 3rd which was good enough to claim his 4th straight 358 Modified championship and his 3rd overall Frenchie's Chevy Runs Deep 358 Modified Series Title as well. Tim Fuller and Lance Willix completed the top 5.
The Sportsman division was set to crown a champion as only 12 points separated 2 time and defending track champion Corey Wheeler and Shane Pecore coming into the 25 lap feature event. Mike Stacey would take the lead from the drop of the green flag over Rick Reandeau, Tim Smythe, Shane Pecore and Joel Hargrave. The caution would quickly fly on lap 1 for Kyle Sharp who spun his machine in turn 2. When the green flew Stacey continued to lead the way but Pecore was trying several different lines to get by but couldn’t get the job done as Hargrave, Smythe and now Moise Page rounded out the top 5 drivers. On lap 7 the caution flew again as Greg Snyder slowed in turn 2. On the restart Pecore held the lead over Stacey, Zack Arquiett, points leader Corey Wheeler came from 11th to move into 4th with Sid Harmer Jr. rounding out the top 5. Lapped cars came into play by lap 13 and this is where Zack Arquiett knew he had to make a move to get the race lead. He did that just 1 lap later taking the lead away from Pecore while Corey Wheeler moved within striking distance. Over the final 11 laps, even in lapped traffic Zack Arquiett held a steady line maintaining a 4 car length lead but on the white flag Arquiett got held up in traffic which allowed Pecore to close in. Heading into turn 3 Arquiett stayed committed to the bottom while Pecore made a big move high and drew nearly even with the leader. As the 2 drivers exited turn 4 Arquiett was able to hold on and score his first career Sportsman win. Pecore would grab his 6th runner up finish of the season while Corey Wheeler finished 3rd which was all he needed to seal his 3rd straight MIR Sportsman track championship. Sid Harmer Jr. and Joel Hargrave would round out the top 5 at the checkers.
The Mod Lite division was looking to determine a winner in the 15 lap feature event but more importantly Jesse Hudson was looking to secure his first ever Mohawk Mod Lite championship as he held a 30 point cushion over Harley Brown. In the feature however Scotty Waldriff was fast all night and wanted to put a season long bad luck streak behind him as he held the race lead early on. When the field headed down the back stretch Bailey McDonald flipped her race car in turn 2 bringing out the red flag. McDonald would climb out of the car uninjured but her car was done for the night. When the green flew Waldriff continued to lead with Jesse Hudson, Kevin Foster, Jason Paige and Harley Brown completing the top 5. Waldriff had by far the fastest car on the speedway pulling out to nearly a straightaway lead past the halfway point but Harley Brown was looking to make a late race charge as he moved to 2nd with 4 laps remaining. Brown would make it close at the end but he ran out of time as Scott Waldriff would finally put a season of bad luck behind him as he dominated for his first win of the season. Harley Brown crossed in 2nd with Jesse Hudson finishing 3rd and in the process claimed the 2015 Mod Lite championship. Benjamin Cartier came from 9th to finish 4th while Kevin Foster completed the top 5.
In Novice Sportsman action Junior Delormier led by 18 points over Madison Mulder but points didn't seem to matter much to Mulder, as he took the race lead on lap 6 from early pace setter Dana Francis with Chris Frennier and Anthony Rasmussen completing the top 5. Mulder had a great car on this night and was pulling away from the field but Junior Delormier, who claimed a Novice Sportsman win at Cornwall last Sunday, was looking to run down the leader as the laps wound down. In the end Mulder would go unchallenged to claim his 3rd win of the year and 2nd in a row over Junior Delormier who claimed the Novice Sportsman title with a 2nd place finish while Rasmussen, Louie Jackson and Dana Francis completed the top 5.
With the Bandit title all but closed out points leader Shane Ray was looking to score his first ever win as he took the lead from Cory Castell at the drop of the green flag. Ray looked strong in the opening 5 laps but Mike Gaucher was making his first start of the year and took the lead away bringing Corbin Millar with him to 2nd. These 2 drivers would have a classic battle as Gaucher was trying to deny Millar his 5th straight win. Millar tried inside and outside over the remaining 5 laps but was not able to get by as the field came to the white flag. On the final lap heading off turn 4 Millar made a bold move taking over the lead off the turn and would edge out Gaucher by inches to score his 5th win in a row. Gaucher settled for 2nd while Cory Castell finished up 3rd. Shane Ray's 4th place finish gave him the 2015 Bandit track championship with Bob Ray rounding out the top 5.
The Mohawk International Raceway returns to action in 2 weeks time with a big weekend of racing as the DirtCar 358 Modified Series, Go Nuclear Late Models and TUSA Mod Lite Series is set to go on Friday night. On Saturday the Go Nuclear Late Models and TUSA Mod Lites will return for a double header along with the 2nd annual Pete Mitchell Memorial DirtCar Sportsman series event. For more information on this big event check out the speedway website at mohawkspeedway.com
Frenchie's Chevy Runs Deep 358 Modified Series
GAGE MORIN, Chris Raabe, Billy Dunn, Tim Fuller, Lance Willix, Jordan McCreadie, Jeremy Wilder, Ryan Arbuthnot, Mike Maresaca, Roy Delormier, John Mulder, Matt Woodruff, David Papineau, Craig Collier, Carey Terrance, George Foley, Luke Whitteker, Brian McDonald, Maxime Viens, Wallace Stacey, Dexter Stacey, Robert Delormier
ZACK ARQUIETT, Shane Pecore, Corey Wheeler, Side Harmer Jr., Joel Hargrave, Mike Stacey, Adam Rozon, Thomas Cook, Brianna Ladouceur, Moise Page, Andy Howard, Bruce Makinson, Gabriel Cyr, Tim Smythe, Delbert Legrow Jr., Jasmine David, Joel Herne, Delbert Legrow, Tommy Jock Jr., Kyle Sharp, Billy Cook, Louie Jackson Jr., Greg Snyder, Rick Reandeau
SCOTT WALDRIFF, Harley Brown, Jesse Hudson, Benjamin Cartier, Kevin Foster, Mathieu Robinson, John Foster, Deric Ellsworth, Jason Paige, Brad Reif, Nick Mallette, Cameron Reif, Jason Premo, Bailey McDonald, Dan Desnoyers
MADISON MULDER, Junior Delormier, Chris Frennier, Louie Jackson, Dana Francis, Styles Arquiett, Sean Castle, Regi Castelle, Thomas Jock III, Suzi Roy, Greg Ezard, Marcel Lafleur, Tom Roy, Chris Frennier
CORBIN MILLAR, Mike Gaucher, Cory Castell, Shane Ray, Bob Ray, Curtis Smith, Richard Thorton, Darryl Mainville, Dudes Thompson, (DNS) Andrew Fish