By: Tim Baltz
Final points night, double features for Sportsman and Bandit, 50 lap 358 Modified feature, a packed house, what does that equal? A recipe for a fantastic night of racing at the Mohawk International Raceway this past Friday night. Long time speedway supporters Frenchie's Chevrolet and Frenchie's Ford were treated to some great racing as feature winners and track champions were all honored.
The night began with some held over features from our rained out program on August. 5. The Sportsman division was set for battle and it would be a battle between Ricky Thompson and Robert Delormier for the top spot in the early going of the 25 lap event. Thompson would get the advantage on lap 5 while Robert Delormier and Moise Page would have a great battle for the 2nd spot. On lap 6 Delormier would run down the leader Thompson and take over the position just as the first caution flag flew. On the restart Delormier got a great jump on the field while Thompson did his best to fight off Page and Brianna Ladouceur for 3rd and 4th while rookie Jesse Hudson completed the top 5. With Delormier out in front Ricky Thompson was charging hard and looking to run down the leader. On lap 16 a scary incident involving Moise Page and Troy Fleming brought out the red as Fleming would end up on his roof in turn 2. Both drivers would climb oiut uninjured.Over the final laps Robert Delormier was in complete control in his Thompson Motorsports machine as he cruised to his 3rd win of the season at Mohawk. Ricky Thompson came home 2nd with Brianna Ladouceur, Louie Jackson Jr. and Jesse Hudson crossing 5th.
The Bandit division had their 10 lap feature next from August. 5th and Richard Thorton was looking to close his championship season with a big win. Thorton would lead the opening 7 laps until Jon Gifford was able to take over the top spot after a great battle. From there Gifford would drive away to score his 2nd win of the season over Thorton and last year's champion Shane Ray.
In the regular scheduled action the 35 Modifieds were ready for battle as not only was the battle for the win on the line but Billy Dunn and Jordan McCreadie were both fighting to see who would bring the Mohawk title back to Watertown in 2016, both drivers would line up in row 3 for the start. When the green flew Middlebury Vermont's Todd Stone would get the advantage into turn while Tim Fuller, Carey Terrance, Billy Dunn and last week's winner Corey Wheeler would complete the top 5. Stone has won many features in his career at MIR and would lead the opening 7 laps of the 50 lap contest. Fuller had other ideas and would take over the position with Stone now 2nd over Dunn, Terrance and Ryan Arbuthnot. With Fuller out in front Billy Dunn was doing all he needed to do to hang on to a possible 5th straight track title as he ran in 2nd while his nearest competitor Jordan McCreadie was stuck in traffic running in the 7th spot. The event would run caution free until lap 23 as Madison Mulder came into contact with an infield tire in turn 4. Mulder would be able to continue at the tail of the field. On the restart Dunn did all he could to stay with the veteran but Fuller remained up front and in charge with Arbuthnot, Wheeler and Terrance completing the top 5. As the laps wound down Tim Fuller was getting closer to his 2nd win of the year as he held a straight away lead but the caution flew again on lap 41 as Todd Stone, who was running 6th, would lose the handle on his machine in turn 1 on lap 41. On the restart Fuller would fight off Billy Dunn for the lead and pull away while behind them Jordan McCreadie was trying everything he could to close in as he went from 8th to 5th on lap 42 and was on the move. Over the final 8 laps Fuller would pull away to a straight away advantage and score his 2nd win of the 2016 season while Billy Dunn crossed in 2nd good enough to wrap up his 5th straight 358 Modified title. Carey Terrance had a great night coming home 3rd while Ryan Arbuthnot and Jordan McCreadie would complete the top 5.
The regular scheduled Sportsman feature was set for battle and Louie Jackson Jr. had already wrapped up his first ever Sportsman track title but wanted to close out the year with a big win. Jordan Miller was the class of the field in the early laps as he led the way over Chris Frennier, Jesse Hudson, Zack Arquiett and Justin White. Miller would lead the opening 8 laps of the event until the first yellow flew for a 4 car tangle in turns 1 & 2. On the restart Miller continued to lead but had a challenger in the form of Zack Arquiett. On lap 9 Arquiett flexed his muscle as he took over the top spot bringing Jesse Hudson and Moise Page to 2nd and 3rd while Miller and Thomas Cook completed the top 5. Arquiett was on a mission to claim his 2nd of the year but reigning Mod Lite champion Jesse Hudson was on the charge and challenging Arquiett for the top spot. On lap 16 he would take it away and pull out to a commanding lead. With Moise Page, Thomas Cook and Sid Harmer Jr. now 5th. Hudson had a huge lead on the field with 6 to go and seemed like nothing was stopping him on this night. However that all changed as Jamie LaFountain made contact with an infield tire spinning out. This triggered a pile up in turn 4 and race leader Hudson had no place to go and was collected. All drivers pulled away with the exception of Troy Fleming who suffered heavy front end damage and Hudson who had major left rear damage ending his shot at victory. This left Thomas Cook in front but Moise Page was looking to take home his first ever win. On lap 21 Page would do take over the lead and battle Cook in the closing laps. Coming to the checkered flag Moise Page would stay committed to the bottom and hold off Cook to score his first ever Sportsman win by a half car length over Cook, Arquiett, Brianna Ladouceur and Sid Harmer Jr.
The Novice Sportsman division saw Dudes Thompson take over the lead on lap 4 and was running a great race looking for his 2nd on the season over Okwari White, Dana Francis, Jamie Begor and Melvin Rush. Begor would make his way to 2nd and would get to within 4 car lengths of Thompson. Without the aid of a yellow flag Thompson had everything going his way on this night and would close out his 2016 Novice Sportsman campaign with his 2nd feature win of the year over Begor, Okwari White, Dana Francis and Melvin Rush.
The Mod Lite class had a great championship battle as well as Harley Brown and Deric Ellsworth would battle it out for the season title. Pole Sitter Kevin Foster would lead the way early on over Scott Mere and Dan Reif. Foster was in complete control during the entire 15 lap affair while behind the leaders Deric Ellsworth and Harley Brown continued their battle for the title as Brown ran in 4th while Ellsworth would hold on to 6th just past the halfway point. With the race going 15 caution free laps nobody was catching Kevin Foster as he dominated scoring his 2nd win of the season over Dan Reif, Scott Mere, Harley Brown and Scott Waldrif. Deric Ellsworth would hold on to 6th which was just enough to claim his first Mod Lite title.
The Bandit division was set to go with their 10 lap regular scheduled event and action would get going right away at the drop of the green flag. 5 cars came together on the front stretch bringing out the yellow but all were able to continue on. Once the raced got going Richard Thorton would lead the way but would suffer a flat right rear which allowed Brett Barkley to take over the lead from Thorton while Gifford, Joe McNichols and Shane Ray would complete the top 5. Gifford would get around Thorton who still was keeping pace with that flat tire but eventually did go pit side ending his shot at the win. Behind these driver Joe McNichols was in search of his 2nd win of the year but had some ground to make up to try and catch Gifford. On lap 3 Gifford made his move getting by Barkley for the lead and began to pull away. McNichols would make it close at the finish but it wasn’t meant to be as Jon Gifford would claim his 2nd win on the night and 3rd of the season over McNichols, Shane Ray, Johnny Messenger and Gary Sharlow.
The staff and management would like to thank all teams, drivers and especially the great race fans for all the support in 2016 as the regular season has come to an end. Racing at Mohawk is not over by a long shot as in 2 weeks time the Mohawk Nationals weekend is set to take place as the 358 Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock Super DirtCar Series will all be on hand along with 3 TUSA Mod Lite Series Races and a twin bill for the Go Nuclear Late Models on September 16th and 17th. Stay tuned to our website at mohawkspeedway.com for all the info on the big weekend.
TIM FULLER, Billy Dunn, Carey Terrance, Ryan Arbuthnot, Jordan McCreadie, Zach Aubertine, Corey Wheeler, Chris Raabe, Todd Stone, Brian McDonald, John Mulder, David Papineau, Keith Weston, Gage Morin, Madison Mulder, Matt Woodruff, George Foley
Track Champion: Billy Dunn(5th straight)
Sportsman (From 8/5)
ROBERT DELORMIER, Ricky Thompson, Brianna Ladouceur, Louie Jackson Jr., Jesse Hudson, Mike Stacey, Joel Hargrave, Zack Arquiett, Sid Harmer Jr., Anthony Rasmussen, Gabriel Cyr, Thomas Cook, Greg Snyder, Billy Cook, Moise Page, Chris Frennier, Tim Smythe, Delbert Legrow, Jordan Miller, Troy Fleming, Delbert Legrow Jr., Kyle Sharp
Track Champion: Louie Jackson Jr.
MOISE PAGE, Thomas Cook, Zack Arquiett, Brianna Ladouceur, Sid Harmer Jr., Louie Jackson Jr., Joel Hargrave, Robert Delormier, Justin White, Anthony Rasmussen, Miguel Peterson, Mike Stacey, Adam Rozon, Greg Snyder, Jordan Miller, Jamie Begor, Wyatt Mullin, Delbert Legrow Jr., Delbert Legrow, Jamie LaFountain, Tim Smythe, Jesse Hudson, Ricky Thompson, Bruce Makinson, Troy Fleming, Chris Frennier, Styles Arquiett, Gabriel Cyr, Billy Cook, Justin Lalancette
DUDES THOMPSON, Jamie Begor, Okwari White, Dana Francis, Melvin Rush, Junior Delormier, Brian McGinnley, Justin Cooke, Suzi Roy, JP Herne, Thunder Anderson
KEVIN FOSTER, Dan Reif, Scott Mere, Harley Brown, Scott Waldrif, Deric Ellsworth, Nick Mallette, Brad Reif, Jason Premo, Brady Rookey, Dallas Denny, Ken Denny
Track Champion: Deric Ellsworth
Bandit (From 8/5)
JON GIFFORD, Richard Thorton, Shane Ray, Lucas Brown, Brett Barkley, Johnny Messenger, Melissa Gifford, (DNS) Harold Lavair, (DNS) Sharlann Diabo
JON GIFFORD, Joe McNichols, Shane Ray, Johnny Messenger, Gary Sharlow, Melissa Gifford, Sharlann Diabo, Brett Barkley, Lucas Brown, Richard Thorton, Mike Gaucher
Track Champion: Richard Thorton