BILLY DUNN ENDS YEAR LONG DROUNGT WITH FIRST 358 MODIFIED WIN OF 2016 AT MOHAWK
By: Tim Baltz
Adirondack Auto Parts was on hand this past Friday night at the Mohawk International Raceway which saw very demanding track conditions along with some warm temperatures all night. Despite all these factors the racing was 2nd to none in all divisions.
The 358 Modifieds were ready to go for 30 laps and after a week off the drivers were up on the wheel and charging hard. Rookie Madison Mulder was the early pace setter as he took the lead from the outside pole over Matt Woodruff and Billy Dunn. With 3 laps complete Dunn was on a mission as he took the lead away from Mulder who tried to keep pace with the 4 time champion but was unable to do so while Woodruff, Brian McDonald and Corey Wheeler completed the top 5. With Dunn stretching out his advantage the battle continued on in the top 5 with Wheeler, McDonald and Danny O'Brien who charged from 9th on the grid to run in the number 5 spot. Wheeler would make the charge getting around Mulder for 2nd with Danny O'Brien also making a big move to get by for 3rd while Mulder and McDonald were in a war for the 4th spot. By the halfway point Dunn was literally on cruise control and was mastering the slick track conditions very well as he started to enter lapped traffic which gave Wheeler and O'Brien a small glimmer of hope. Dunn worked his way through traffic and showed no signs of slowing down. Behind the top 5 Carey Terrance was also on the move and would battle Madison Mulder with 10 laps remaining for the number 5 spot which Terrance would eventually take over by lap 25. With the race going 30 green flag laps Corey Wheeler and Danny O'Brien had no chance of catching the 4 time champion as "The Big Gun" Billy Dunn broke through for his first win of 2016 over Wheeler, O'Brien, Brian McDonald and Carey Terrance.
In Sportsman action Gabriel Cyr who came within a half lap of winning his first ever feature 1 week ago, took over the lead at the drop of the green flag over Billy Cook, Sid Harmer Jr., Delbert Legrow Jr., and Delbert Legrow. Cyr tried his best to hold back the veteran but Cook eventually took the top spot back on lap 3 when the first yellow flew for Mike Stacey who slowed with a problem on the back stretch. On the restart Cook held the lead again over Cyr and Harmer but the yellow flew again the next lap for Ryan Stabler who slowed on the back stretch. When the green flew the battle was on as Billy Cook led the way but Harmer, Cyr, Louie Jackson Jr., and Brianna Ladouceur began to make their way into the mix as well. Cook held a slight lead but Harmer had a game plan. He took the outside lane in turn 1 taking over the lead slightly as Cook rallied back from the bottom. This battle would go on over the next several laps with Jackson, Ladouceur, and now Jessica Power running 5th from her 11th starting spot. With 16 laps complete Harmer was in control but Brianna Ladouceur was on the move as she took over 2nd from Cook and on the same lap coming off turn 4 was able to sneak by on the low side to take over the lead by lap 18. Over the final 7 laps Brianna Ladouceur would pull away from the field and march on to score the popular win, her first of the year at Mohawk, over veteran Billy Cook who backed up his 2nd place effort 1 week ago at Cornwall with another runner up finish. Jackson settled for 3rd with Jessica Power taking a car she named "Sweet Caroline" to 4th and Joel Hargrave got by Sid Harmer Jr. for 5th at the checkers.
The 15 lap feature for the Eastern Ontario Vintage Stock Car Club saw Josh Powers jump out to the early race lead over Ryan Comeau, Steve Billings, John Stanley and Paul Billings. Powers had by far the fastest car on the race track as he opened up nearly a straightaway lead before the first yellow of the night flew for Steve Lackie, who slowed with problems in turn 4. On the restart Powers once again ran out to a healthy lead but the real battle was behind the leader as Ryan Comeau, John Stanley, Paul Billings and Steve Billings were all battling hard for position. Stanley would win the battle as he took over the 2nd spot with 5 to go and was trying to run down the race leader as the laps wound down. On this night however Josh Powers had everything go his way as the Addison Ontario native finally put his 1957 Plymouth Crusade into victory lane. Stanley, Who was looking for his 3rd tour win in 4 races came home 2nd with Ryan Comeau 3rd, Cornwall winner Steve Arbuthnot charged to 4th at the finish while Steve Billings crossed in 5th.
In the Novice Sportsman Styles Arquiett started on the pole and was looking to duplicate the performance from 1 week ago by jumping out to a big lead in the early going over Dudes Thompson and Melvin Rush. Arquiett was tip toeing around the inside lane as track conditions made it very difficult to find any bite but Arquiett held a strong lead. Behind the leader former Semi-Pro champion at Mohawk Greg Snyder was charging around using the extreme outside lane and had pulled to 2nd by lap 5 getting around Jamie LaFountain for 2nd while Melvin Rush and Dudes Thompson continued to complete the top 5. On lap 12 Junior Delormier spun in turn 2 setting up a 3 lap dash to the checkers. When the green flew Arqueitt stayed smooth and consistent, holding off a late charge by Greg Snyder to score his 2nd straight win over Snyder and Jamie LaFountain.
The Bandit division was ready to roll for 10 laps and Gary Sharlow was the class of the field. After struggling through the first part of the year Sharlow drove away from points leader Richard Thorton early on and without a caution flag Thorton and the rest of the field had no chance of catching his as Gary Sharlow claimed his first Bandit feature of the year over Thorton and defending track champion Shane Ray
Next Week a full program is set to go in all 5 divisions plus the 2nd enduro qualifier of the year with the winner getting a guaranteed starting spot in the Ironman Slick Track Enduro in Septemeber. Racing starts at 7:30pm.
358 MODIFIED - BILLY DUNN, Corey Wheeler, Danny O'Brien, Brian McDonald, Carey Terrance, Madison Mulder, Matt Woodruff, Jordan McCreadie, Chris Raabe, John Mulder, Zack Aubertine, Aaron Pugh, Tommy Jock Jr., Mike Adderley, George Foley, David Papineau, Gage Morin, Patrick Dupree
SPORTSMAN - BRIANNA LADOUCEUR, Billy Cook, Louie Jackson Jr., Jessica Power, Joel Hargrave, Sid Harmer Jr., Delbert Legrow Jr., Delbert Legrow, Moise Page, Andy Howard, Thomas Cook, Zach Arquiett, Robert Delormier, Jesse Hudson, David Rogers, Troy Fleming, Bruce Makinson, Ricky Thompson, Gabriel Cyr, Justin White, Justin Lalancette, Neal Provost, Tim Smythe, Joel Herne, Kyle Sharp, Chris Frennier, Ryan Stabler, Mike Stacey
NOVICE SPORTSMAN - STYLES ARQUIETT, Greg Snyder, Jamie LaFountain, Melvin Rush, Dudes Thompson, Junior Delormier, JP Herne, Jason Bruno, (DNS) Dana Francis, (DNS) Hunter Schwandner, (DNS) Anthony Rassmussen
Eastern Ontario Vintage Stock Car Club
JOSH POWERS, John Stanley, Ryan Comeau, Steve Arbuthnot, Steve Billings, Paul Billings, Denzil Billings Jr., Ally Amell, Tim Charland, Darrell Wilson, Tim Hegarty, Justin Saunders, Steve Lackie
BANDIT - GARY SHARLOW, Richard Thorton, Shane Ray, Curtis Smith, Lucas Brown