Wheeler Tops Star Studded Field for Mohawk 358 Modified Victory
By: Tim Baltz
If there was ever a feel good story to be told it was this past Friday night at the Mohawk International Raceway as Corey Wheeler went head to head with the best in Modified racing for his first win at MIR and 2nd in the last 7 days. Joel Hargrave ended a 1 year winless drought in Sportsman, Kurt Russell stopped Junior Delormier's bid for 3 in a row in Novice Sportsman, Deric Ellsworth notched his 2ndMod Lite win in 3 weeks while Gary Sharlow held off Richard Thorton for the big win in the Bandits.
In the 358 Modifieds the question was could anyone stop Tim Fuller's early season dominance? Fuller would have a long night as he started in 16th. When the green flew to start the event David Papineau would jump out into the top spot over Matt Woodruff, John Mulder, Corey Wheeler and Lance Willix. Papineau was fast in the early going and would stabilize his lead by 5 car lengths in the opening laps. On lap 5 the first yellow flew for Ryan Arbuthnot as he slowed off turn 1. When the green came back out it was once again Papineau in control but Corey Wheeler was on the move. After starting 5th Wheeler made his move taking 2nd from Woodruff on lap 12, then ran down the leader David Papineau, and the battle was on. At the halfway point Wheeler would take command of the race bringing 12th place starter Danny O'Brien to 2nd with Tim Fuller making some big moves to jump into 3rd spot with Papineau and Danny Johnson completing the top 5. As the laps clicked off the top 5 were start studded as Wheeler continued to lead with Fuller getting by Danny O'Brien for 2nd , Billy Dunn charged from 15th to 4th while Johnson continued to round out the top 5. With 3 to go Wheeler did all he could to hold off a very determined Tim Fuller and Danny O'Brien as these 3 drivers put on a fantastic show for the fans. After beating Danny Johnson 1 week ago in Cornwall Corey Wheeler did it again beating Tim Fuller and Danny O'Brien to collect the popular win and ending Fuller's streak. Behind Fuller and O'Brien in the top 5 were Billy Dunn 4thand Danny Johnson 5th.