BILLY DUNN BACK IN TITLE HUNT WITH BAILEY MOTOR COMPANY SERIES TRIUMPH AT MOHAWK
By: Tim Baltz
Perfect weather and fast track conditions made for some great racing this past Friday night at the Mohawk International Raceway. Lazore's Construction was on hand for not just regular racing action but was treated to some great held over feature action from 1 week ago.
The Sportsman division kicked off the evening with their feature from July. 22 and Bruce Makinson was determined to claim his 2nd ever Mohawk win as he jumped out to a quick lead. Outside pole sitter Gabriel Cyr charged back by Makinson to take over the top spot on lap 3 bringing a very quick Zack Arquiett to 2nd with Cyr, Moise Page and Billy Cook completing the top 5 early on. On lap 8 Arquiett used the bottom lane on a track that started become very slick to take the lead away as Cyr experienced mechanical issues as Moise Page, Makinson, Anthony Rassmussen and Billy Cook continued to round out the top 5. Arquiett had the dominant car throughout the 25 lap affair as he led by well over a straight away with just 7 laps remaining. Behind the leader Anthony Rassmussen was making some noise. The 14 year old Watertown native who recently graduated from the Novice Sportsman ranks, made his way to 3rd on lap 18 then quickly got by Moise Page for 2nd, but still had some work to do to catch the leader. With the race going caution free nobody had a chance to catch Zack Arquiett as he marched to his 1st win of the season over Rassmussen, Page, Brent Kelsey who came from 9th on the grid to finish 4th and Brianna Ladouceur who made her way from 12th to finish 5th.
In the held over Mod Lite feature from July 22nd Jason Premo started on the pole but Brad Reif would be the driver who would take the lead away with Harley Brown, Scott Waldrif, Kevin Foster and Deric Ellsworth giving chase. The time at the top of the leader board would be short lived for Reif as 2 time winner this year Harley Brown took the top spot away on lap 2 and began to pull away. As the laps wound down Deric Ellsworth was charging hard getting to 3rd on lap 7 and then to 2nd on lap 9 getting by Waldrif. Brad Reif lost the handle on his machine on lap 11 bringing out the race's only yellow. On the restart Deric Ellsworth had a fast car and got by Brown for the top spot and would hold off a late race challenge by his teammate to record win number 3 over Brown, Waldrif, Rej Lemieux and Dan Reif.
The regular scheduled program saw round number 3 of the Bailey Motor Company 358 Modified Series get set to go. This race also had a lot on the line as the winner would receive a guaranteed starting spot in October's NAPA Auto Parts Super Dirt Week 358 event. With a redraw Madison Mulder and Jordan McCreadie were paired together on the front row with McCreadie getting the advantage over the rookie as they headed into turn 1. The Watertown native has been red hot at Mohawk in 2016, not only getting a win but holding on to the points lead as well, McCreadie would put on a driving clinic in the opening 10 laps as he held a straight away lead with Billy Dunn charging to 2nd over Mulder, Luke Whitteker and Corey Wheeler now 5th. On lap 13 the yellow flew for Zach Aubertine as he came to a stop off of turn 1. On the restart Dunn made a charge at McCreadie but the top lane was the place to be as McCreadie still held the race lead over Dunn, Whitteker, Danny O'Brien who came from 12th on the grid to run 4th with Corey Wheeler still back in 5th. On lap 25 Billy Dunn had plenty of right rear tire left and decided it was go time as he charged by McCreadie for the top spot and started to look like the driver from previous years as he began to put on a dominant performance. As the laps wound down it wasn't a matter of catching Billy Dunn, but just trying to stay on the lead lap. With no cautions Dunn had lapped all the way to 8th place Madison Mulder leaving the rest of the top 5 drivers to battle amongst themselves. In the end Dunn had everything in his favor as he cruised to his 2nd win of the season and 7th Bailey Motor Company 358 Modified Series win. Jordan McCreadie still held on to his points lead coming home 2nd with Danny O'Brien, Luke Whitteker and Gage Morin edging out Chris Raabe for 5th at the checkers.
In the regular Sportsman feature Bruce Makinson once again made his way to the top spot at the drop of the green flag over Billy Cook and Anthony Rassmussen. Both Makinson and Cook were both looking to run away from the field but Anthony Rassmussen was having a career night as he took over the lead on lap 5 and began to pull away from the field. In the brief history of Novice Sportsman at Mohawk, Brockville and Cornwall only 1 driver has won a Novice Sportsman and Sportsman feature in the same season and Anthony Rassmussen was on the verge of becoming the 2nd but Thomas Cook and Jesse Hudson were on the charge looking to spoil the party. On lap 18 Hudson used the outside lane to charge by Rassmussen with Cook now 3rd, Brent Kelsey and Brianna Ladouceur completed the top 5. As the laps wound down Hudson looked to be the driver in charge but a fearless Thomas Cook was on the move and working that outside lane to perfection. The top 2 drivers battled hard in and out of traffic in the final laps. But 1 minor slip by Hudson in turn 2 allowed Cook to get by on a narrow outside lane and drive on to score his division leading 3rd win of the season over Hudson, Rassmussen, Kelsey and Ladouceur.
In Mod Lite action Deric Ellsworth was looking to pull off the sweep after winning the held over 15 lap contest earlier in the night but had to come from the 6th spotto do it. At the drop of the green Scott Mere took over the lead with Scott Waldrif Brad Reif, Harley Brown and Ellsworth completing the top 5. On lap 3 Mere's machine suddenly slowed allowing Ellsworth to drive through all the traffic and take over the race lead. As the laps clicked off Harley Brown started to reel in the race leader, setting up another great battle for the win. Brown tried several times to get by on the top side but it wasn't meant to be as Deric Ellsworth would sweep both features grabbing his 4th win of the year over Brown, Waldrif, Brad Reif and Nick Mallette.
The Novice Sportsman saw Melvin Rush take over the lead at the drop of the green flag over Dana Francis and Greg Snyder. These 3 drivers put on a fantastic battle for the lead as Rush was doing all he could to hold off Snyder. On lap 3 Snyder finally powered by on the top side to take over the lead and was headed for a possible 3rd win but Nick Heywood was on the move. The multi time Modified champion on the asphalt at Airborne Park Speedway was on the move from 8th as he took over 2nd with 4 laps to go from Dana Francis and set his sights on the leader. On lap 14 Heywood got within a car length of Snyder but could not pull off the pass as Greg Snyder claimed his 3rd win of the year of Heywood who's dirt debut resulted in a 2nd place run over Dana Francis, Styles Arquiett and Junior Delormier.
The Bandit class saw Richard Thorton take the lead at the drop of the green flag over Gary Sharlow and Shane Ray. Thorton would lead the opening 4 laps before Sharlow would take over the top spot as the handling went away on his machine. Shane Ray would take over 2nd 1 lap later and begin to track down the race leader. Sharlow had a strong car and would not look back taking his 2nd win of the year over defending track champion Shane Ray and points leader Richard Thorton crossing in 3rd.
Next week Adirondack Powersports will be on hand for a full program of racing at MIR. The action begins at 7:30pm.
Mod Lite (From 7/22)
DERIC ELLSWORTH, Scott Waldrif, Harley Brown, Rej Lemieux, Dan Reif, Nick Mallette, Scott Mere, Brad Reif, Jason Premo, Kevin Foster
Sportsman (From 7/22)
ZACK ARQUIETT, Anthony Rassmussen, Moise Page, Brent Kelsey, Brianna Ladouceur, Louie Jackson Jr., Joel Hargrave, Mike Stacey, Bruce Makinson, Billy Cook, Jesse Hudson, Delbert Legrow, Jordan Miller, Ricky Thompson, Troy Fleming, Chris Frennier, Delbert Legrow Jr., Tim Smythe, Thomas Cook, Brian Comeau, Joel Herne, Sid Harmer Jr., Gabriel Cyr
Bailey Motor Company 358 Modified Series Round 3
BILLY DUNN, Jordan McCreadie, Danny O'Brien, Luke Whitteker, Gage Morin, Chris Raabe, Lance Willix, Madison Mulder, Brian McDonald, Corey Wheeler, Pat O'Brien, Todd Stone, Michael Maresca, David Papineau, Matt Woodruff, Joey Ladouceur, John Mulder, Mike Adderley, Zach Aubertine, (DNS) Keith Weston
THOMAS COOK, Jesse Hudson, Anthony Rassmussen, Brent Kelsey, Brianna Ladouceur, Louie Jackson Jr., Mike Stacey, Joel Hargrave, Zack Arquiett, Moise Page, Ryan Stabler, Bruce Makinson, Ricky Thompson, Jordan Miller, Delbert Legrow, Delbert Legrow Jr., Joel Herne, Jamie Begor, Robert Delormier, Troy Fleming, Chris Frennier, Brad Winters, Tim Smythe, Billy Cook, Brian Comeau
GREG SNYDER, Nick Heywood, Dana Francis, Styles Arquiett, Thunder Anderson, Brian McGinnley, Jason Anderson, JP Herne, Okwari White, Melvin Rush, (DNS) Jamie LaFountain
DERIC ELLSWORTH, Harley Brown, Scott Waldrif, Brad Reif, Nick Mallette, Dan Reif, Rej Lemieux, Scott Mere, Jason Premo, Ken Denny, Karine Thibault
GARY SHARLOW, Shane Ray, Richard Thorton, Lucas Brown, Scott Hurford, Sharlann Diabo