COREY WHEELER'S DREAM COMES TRUE WITH 1ST CAREER 358 MODIFIED VICTORY AT MOHAWK
By: Tim Baltz
Yet another double header night for the 358 Modifieds was in store this past Friday night at the Mohawk International Raceway. The held over event from August the 5th would kick off the evening plus a 50/50 jackpot that began at $1350 gave fans something to go for as well. The good folks at White's Plumbing and Heating, Action Race Parts and Number 1 Speed Equipment and the great fans were in for a great evening.
The held over 358 Modified 30 lap event from August 5th saw Gage Morin Power his way out to the early lead over Billy Dunn, Corey Wheeler, John Mulder and Chris Raabe. After struggling the last few weeks, Morin was looking really strong in the opening laps as he pulled away from a quality field by lap 10. Billy Dunn was also strong on this night as he closed in on the race leader looking for an opening. At the halfway point Morin still held the lead but the 4 time champion was right there to challenge. Off turn 2 on lap 16 Billy Dunn made his move for the lead but was not able to do so allowing Morin to drive away and in the process allow Wheeler to make a race out of it for the 2nd spot. With 10 laps to go Gage Morin was in complete control over Dunn, Wheeler, Brian McDonald and Chris Raabe, who was having a great battle with Ryan Arbuthnot for the 5th position. With the event going 30 laps caution free, Gage Morin led 27 of the 30 laps including the most important one to score his first win since September 4th of last year at Mohawk. Billy Dunn kept control of the points lead with a 2nd place effort, Corey Wheeler, Brian McDonald and Ryan Arbuthnot would nip Chris Raabe at the line for 5th at the checkered flag.
The regular scheduled 30 lap feature for the 358 Modifieds saw Bloomingdale New York's George Foley be the talk of the event as he charged out to a commanding lead over David Papineau, Brian McDonald, Corey Wheeler and Ryan Arbuthnot. After many seasons on the asphalt in a 358 Modified Foley has learned a lot since becoming a regular on the dirt at Mohawk as he pulled away from everyone with Corey Wheeler moving from 4th to 2nd on lap 6 bringing Arbuthnot to the 3rd spot with McDonald and now Gage Morin making up the top 5. Corey Wheeler was fast in the first feature and the 2nd event was no different as he slowly reeled in the leader as lap 10 went up on the scoreboard. On lap 11 Madison Mulder came to a stop in turn 2 bringing out the first yellow of the night. When the green flew Foley remained the leader but Corey Wheeler and Ryan Arbuthnot were there to challenge. Arbuthnot made the first move as he stormed by Wheeler for 2nd, then closed in on Foley for the lead with McDonald and now Tim Fuller making up the top 5 drivers. On lap 16 Ryan Arbuthnot made the pass on the top side of turn 2 to take over the lead and start to pull away. As the laps clicked off Ryan Arbuthnot was on a mission as he held a 7 car length lead while Wheeler did all he could do to keep pace. With 5 laps remaining Wheeler was beginning to close in on the leader but Arbuthnot was determined and kept his foot to the floor on a fast race track. Coming into turn 3 with the white flag set to come out something broke on the Arbuthnot R70 sending him pit side. Wheeler would take control of the race at the white flag and would not look back scoring an emotional first career 358 Modified victory over Fuller who made a late charge into 2nd. George Foley came home a solid 3rd while Billy Dunn and Brian McDonald made up the top 5.
The Sportsman division was set to close out the Number 1 Speed Equipment Sportsman Series with a special 35 lap contest. 14 year old Anthony Rasmussen would use the redraw to his advantage by drawing the pole position and racing out to a big lead in the opening laps, over Robert Delormier, Thomas Cook, Joel Hargrave and Moise Page. Rasmussen looked to have everything going his way but Robert Delormier was on the move in his Troyer chassis as he closed in o Rasmussen. On lap 9 Delormier would take control of the race with Rasmussen now 2nd over Thomas Cook, Page along with Series and overall track points leader Louie Jackson Jr. now 5th. Delormier was driving hard and working traffic with no problems until the first yellow flew for Zack Arquiett who slowed on the back stretch with a problem. When the green flew Delormier got a great start as he once again pulled away from the field as Moise Page made a big move taking the 2nd spot away from Rasmussen as Jackson and Thomas Cook still completed the top 5. On lap 19 Justin White had problems in turn 2 coming to a stop, and the caution flew for the 2nd time. When the green came back out, much like the previous restart, Delormier once again powered away from the field and looked to be the dominant force as he pulled away from Page while Jackson worked his machine to position number 3 over Rasmussen with Cook still 5th. The driver on the move in the late stages was Louie Jackson Jr. having charged to 3rd at the drop of the green, he immediately went after Moise Page for 2nd and the chase was on. The caution flew once again on lap 22 forcing another restart. Delormier once again remained solid leading the way with Jackson right there to challenge over Page, Thomas Cook and now Brianna Ladouceur in 5th. As the laps wound down, so did Delormier's lead as Jackson was chipping away and looking to not only claim his 2nd win of the year, but also capture the Series title as well. With 5 to go the leaders were in some heavy traffic allowing Jackson to make a run at Delormier for the top spot. Delormier however would find a way through the lapped traffic and would go unchallenged the final 4 laps to record his first ever Number One Speed Equipment Series win and 2nd of the 2016 season. Louie Jackson Jr. came home 2nd which sealed up his first series title. Moise Page finished a solid 3rd while Brianna Ladouceur and Thomas Cook completed the top 5.
The biggest Novice Sportsman field of the year saw 16 drivers take the green flag at the start of the 15 lap affair. Thunder Anderson has been solid the last few weeks and on this night would jump out to the early advantage over JP Herne, Okwari White, Styles Arquiett and Dudes Thompson. With the leader pulling away Anderson seemed destined to score his first ever win in the division but 2 time winner this year Styles Arquiett had other ideas. Arquiett would run down the leader by lap 7 and by half way, would take over the top spot with Herne, White and Thompson completing the top 5. On lap 8 the only yellow flew for a 2 car tangle in turn 3 involving Brian McGinnley and Melvin Rush. When the green flew Arquiett had a powerful machine as he drove out to a commanding lead over Anderson and White. After 2 early wins in 2016 and several top 3 finishes, Styles Arquiett finally found his way back as he recorded his 3rd win of the season. Thunder Anderson finished a solid 2nd while Dudes Thompson, Jamie Begor and Shaun Shaw would round out the top 5.
The Mod Lite class was also on the card and Kevin Foster would take advantage of his pole starting spot as he took the lead early on over Scott Mere and Dan Reif. Foster had not won since July. 15 and was poised to get back into the winners circle but both Mere and Reif were making it tough on the race leader. On lap 6 Scott Mere would take over the top spot but Deric Ellsworth was also on the move from near the back of the pack and was looking for the lead. Ellsowrth would do just that on lap 7 taking the top spot away from Mere while Reif, Foster and Harley Brown making up the top 5. as the laps clicked off Deric Ellsworth was out to a huge lead and was in great position for yet another victory. Behind the leader Harley Brown was making some big moves late but nobody was catching Ellsworth on this night as the Massena New York native would go unmatched for his 5th win of the year and 3rd in a row in Mod Lite. Scott Mere came home 2nd with Brown, Dan Reif and Kevin Foster making up the top 5.
The Bandit 10 lap feature was ready for battle as defending track champion Shane Ray would take over the lead with Westport Ontario's Joe McNichols invading the speedway and challenging for the top spot. The top 2 ran side by side but McNichols was able to take over the lead while Gary Sharlow, in a brand new car, was able to move into 2nd while Ray, Brett Barkley and points leader Richard Thorton completed the top 5. McNichols had without a doubt the fastest car on the track and would hold off a late race run by Gary Sharlow to record his first Bandit victory at Mohawk. Sharlow settled for 2nd while Ray, Barkley and Thorton would round out the top 5 finishers.
Next week its final points night in all classes plus double features for the Sportsman and Bandits as they make up their event from August. 5th plus a 50 lap 358 Modified Labor Day Championship. With 7 great features in store, you won’t want to miss the action. The Green flag drops at 7:30pm.
358 Modified(From August. 5)
GAGE MORIN, Billy Dunn, Corey Wheeler, Brian McDonald, Ryan Arbuthnot, Tim Fuller, Chris Raabe, Carey Terrance, Jordan McCreadie, Jeremy Wilder, Matt Woodruff, David Papineau, John Mulder, Madison Mulder Keith Weston, Zach Aubertine, George Foley
COREY WHEELER, Tim Fuller, George Foley, Billy Dunn, Brian McDonald, Jordan McCreadie, Zach Aubertine, Carey Terrance, Chris Raabe, Jeremy Wilder, David Papineau, Keith Weston, John Mulder, Matt Woodruff, Ryan Arbuthnot, Madison Mulder, Gage Morin
Number One Speed Equipment Sportsman Series Final
ROBERT DELORMIER, Louie Jackson Jr., Moise Page, Brianna Ladouceur, Thomas Cook, Justin Lalancette, Mike Stacey, Joel Hargrave, Ryan Stabler, Sid Harmer Jr., Anthony Rasmussen, Wyatt Mullin, Jesse Hudson, Bruce Makinson, Delbert Legrow, Zack Arquiett, Jamie LaFountain, Gabriel Cyr, Gilles Godard, Brian Comeau, Greg Snyder, Ricky Thompson, Chris Frennier, Jordan Miller, Tim Smythe, Troy Fleming, Billy Cook, Justin White, Delbert Legrow Jr.
DERIC ELLSWORTH, Scott Mere, Harley Brown, Dan Reif, Kevin Foster, Nick Mallette, Scott Waldrif, Rich Rainville, Jason Premo, Stephane Bernier, Frank Nortz, Karine Thibault, Brady Rookey, Ken Denny, Dallas Denny
STYLES ARQUIETT, Thunder Anderson, Dudes Thompson, Jamie Begor, Shaun Shaw, JP Herne, Okwari White, Kyle Simmons, Pascal Racette, Junior Delormier, Melvin Rush, Dana Francis, Cole Davidson, 27A, Justin Cook, Brian McGinnley
JOE MCNICHOLS, Gary Sharlow, Shane Ray, Brett Barkley, Richard Thorton, Johnny Messenger, Lucas Brown