THOMAS COOK GRABS SPORTSMAN WIN NUMBER 1 IN DRAMATIC FASHION AT MOHAWK
One of the biggest nights of the season was on tap at the Mohawk International Raceway this pastFriday night. The stars of the Empire Super Sprints were on hand to tackle a fast race track along with the Quebec Lightning Sprints as well. Brass Horse Grille, and a packed grandstand were treated to some fast paced action all night long.
The Empire Super Sprints were ready for battle as Jordan Poirier took the lead at the drop of the green flag over Dave Axton, Tim Axton, Steve Poirier and Shawn Donath. Poirier led the opening lap before Jeff Cook turned over on the front stretch bringing out the race's only red flag. Cook was able to climb from his wrecked race car and walk back to the pits under his own power. On the restart Jordan Poirier took the lead once again but 6 time Mohawk winner and current ESS point’s leader Steve Poirier charged off turn 2 going from 3rd to the lead as the field entered turn 3 and began to put on a driving clinic. Poirier built up an incredible straight away and a half advantage at the halfway point and appeared to show no signs of slowing down even in lapped traffic. Behind the leader Jordan Poirier was running the race of his career as he held off Tim Axton and Jason Barney for several laps before Axton was able to take over the number 2 spot in traffic relegating Poirier to 3rd Barney 4th and Matt Tanner 5th. Poirier continued to lead with 5 to go and was in complete control while behind him Tim Axton was making a late race charge but could only narrow the lead to just a straight away in the final laps. Steve Poirier was on cruise control on this night claiming his 4th series win of the season, his 7th at Mohawk and win number 57 of his Empire Super Sprints career putting him 3 wins shy of breaking the all time win record set by 8 time champion Mike Woodring. Tim Axton settled for 2nd with Jordan Poirier 3rd, Jason Barney and "The Cobra" Chuck Hebing rounding out the top 5 in the Vigneault Racing number 55 machine.
The Quebec Lightning Sprints were ready for their 20 lap feature event and Jordan Poirier was on cloud 9 after his fantastic showing with the Empire Super Sprints and would look to continue that momentum in this event. However the spotlight belonged to Alex Therrien who took the lead at the drop of the green flag and was determined to run away and hide from the field as he, much like Steve Poirier, built up a straightaway lead in the opening 5 laps with Jordan Poirier, Charles Belanger, Alex Vigneault, and Guillaume Neiderer completing the top 5. Therrien had without question the fastest car on the race track and was lapping cars at will, while Poirier and rookie Charles Belanger were trying to keep pace. On lap 12 things changed completely and coming into turn 1 Alex Therrien suddenly spun all by himself. Therrien made a valiant effort to keep the car going and hold the lead but he could do neither as Poirier took over the top spot and the caution flag flew. Therrien would restart 15th but would charge to an 8th place finish. When the green flew Jordan Poirier held the advantage and would drive away over the final 7 laps to score his 2nd top 3 finish of the night but more importantly, the big win. Guillaume Neiderer put on a late charge to finish 2nd while Alex Vigneault, Belanger and Yannick Poirier would round out the top 5.
The Sportsman 25 lap affair was looking to be a first career win for young Gabriel Cyr who would take the lead at the drop of the green flag over his mentor Billy Cook, Troy Fleming, Delbert Legrow and rookie Jesse Hudson. Cyr put the car on auto pilot in the opening laps as he ran away from the field with Joel Hargrave who came from 8th on the grid up to 2nd while Billy Cook, Brianna Ladouceur and Mike Stacey completed the top 5. Cyr was on cruise control in his fast machine but on lap 18 the big lead went away as the caution flew for Robert Delormier and Moise Page who came together on the back straightaway. On the restart Gabriel Cyr had some company as Joel Hargrave who won just 2 weeks ago was looking to get back into victory lane. Hargrave tried multiple time to get by but was unsuccessful as the field came by the start/finish line with 5 laps to go. This was where Thomas Cook put the hammer down and was making a charge. he would charge into the top 5 using the top side of the speedway with 3 to go and was on the move taking 2nd away from Joel Hargrave and set his sights on race leader and teammate Cyr as the field came to the white flag. The crowd was on their feet as Cyr drove his normal line to the bottom while Cook had his car wound up on the high side. As they came down the backstretch Cook found a narrow lane a slipped by as they entered into turn 3. After suffering serious injuries last year in a fire in his garage Thomas Cook made the comeback complete as he led the most important lap of the night, lap 25, scoring his first win of the year over Gabriel Cyr, Joel Hargrave, Louie Jackson Jr., and Brianna Ladouceur.
The Novice Sportsman where set for 15 laps and everyone was looking to stop the winning streak of Anthony Rassmussen as he started from position number 6. When the green flew at the start of the feature Styles Arquiett took over the top spot over Jason Bruno and Jamie Begor. Arquiett had a great race car in the opening laps as he pulled away from a stout field by lap 5 over Bruno and now Greg Snyder completing the top 3. Anthony Rassmussen by this time was on the charge as he made his way to 4th getting by Jason Bruno and was in search of the top 3. With 5 to Arquiett was looking in great shape to take home his first ever win but Rassmussen was charging hard taking 2nd from veteran Greg Snyder and the chase was on. Styles Arquiett played it perfect on this night as everything went his was as he went on to score his first ever Novice Sportsman victory over a very determined Anthony Rassmussen who's bid for 3 wins in a row came up short with a 2nd place effort. Greg Snyder, Jason Bruno and Jamie Begor rounded out the top 5.
In Mod Lite action 4 different drivers have gone to victory lane in the first 4 events of the 2016 season and Harley Brown was determined to become the 5th different winner as he made his way to the front taking the top spot away from early race leader Kevin Foster while John Foster, Deric Ellsworth and last week's winner Scott Waldrif completed the top 5. Brown had without a doubt the fastest car on the track and pulled away from the field but a caution on lap 11 for Scott Waldrif would close up the field for the final restart. When the green flew Kevin Foster did all he could to get by Brown but it did not work as Harley Brown pulled away to score his first win of the season making it now 5 different winners in 5 events in Mod Lite action. Kevin Foster came home 2nd with Deric Ellsworth who took a new race car to 3rd while John Foster and Dan Reif rounded out the top 5.
The Bandit division was set to go racing for their 10 lap feature and they were nothing short of exciting as 5 drivers were all in a tight pack determined to get to victory lane. Shane Ray , the defending track champion, led the charge of this group over Curtis Smith, Jeff Crawford, points leader Richard Thorton and John Gifford. It was a fantastic battle among these 5 drivers as they traded positions lap after lap before Shane Ray had issues taking his car to pit road just past halfway. This opened the door for Thorton and Gifford to charge into the top 3 but the race was far from over. Gifford, the defending Brockville Speedway Street Stock champion made a big move on the high side to take 2nd and then with 2 to go, take over the lead after a hard battle with Curtis Smith. Over the final 2 laps nobody was catching John Gifford as he scored his first ever Mohawk Bandit victory. Smith came home with his best ever finish of 2nd while points leader Richard Thorton padded his lead in the standings with a 3rd place finish.
Next week a The Eastern Ontario Vintage Modified Series will head to Mohawk for their 3rd race of the season. The Mod Lites will take the night off but a full program is in store for all divisions with Adirondack Auto Parts on hand as well. The racing action starts at 730 pm.
LUCAS OIL EMPIRE SUPER SPRINTS - STEVE POIRIER, Tim Axton, Jordan Poirier, Jason Barney, Chuck Hebing, Paul Kinney, Matt Tanner, Shawn Donath, Devin Caron, Yan Bilodeau, Brandon Kidd, Dave Axton, Parker Evans, Paulie Colagiovanni, Chris Jones, Jonathan Preston, James Hanson, Guillauma Neiderer, Paul Pekkonen, Denny Peebles, Keith Granholm, Tommy Wickham, Jeff Cook
QUEBEC LIGHTNING SPRINTS - JORDAN POIRIER, Guillaume Neiderer, Alex Vigneault, Charles Belanger, Yannick Poirier, Benjamin Malo, Lou Torres, Alex Therrien, Alan Therrien, Pascal Levesque, Tomy Moreau, Sebastien Ferland, Rick Stone, Kathy Caissy, Sabrina Blanchet, Mario Moreau
SPORTSMAN - THOMAS COOK, Gabriel Cyr, Joel Hargrave, Louie Jackson Jr., Brianna Ladouceur, Mike Stacey, Delbert Legrow, Ricky Thompson, Zach Arquiett, Billy Cook, Sid Harmer Jr., Jesse Hudson, Andy Howard, Jordan Miller, Adam Rozon, Troy Fleming, Kyle Sharp, Moise Page, Delbert Legrow Jr., Joel Herne, Tim Smythe, Robert Delormier
NOVICE SPORTSMAN - STYLES ARQUIETT, Anthony Rassmussen, Greg Snyder, Jason Bruno, Jamie Begor, Thunder Anderson, Cody Aubin, Junior Delormier, Melvin Rush, Burton Ward, JP Herne, Dana Francis
MOD LITE - HARLEY BROWN, Kevin Foster, Deric Ellsworth, John Foster, Dan Reif, Nick Mallette, Jason Paige, Jason Premo, Scott Waldriff, Brad Reif
BANDIT - JOHN GIFFORD, Curtis Smith, Richard Thorton, Gary Sharlow, Jeff Crawford, Lucas Brown, Shane Ray