AKWESASNE - After a one week lay-off, the top stars at Mohawk International Raceway were back in fine form with Cedar View Golf Course on hand to sponsor an outstanding night of dirt track action.
In 358 Modified action, Billy Dunn has been the driver to beat as he came into the night with a 14-point lead on second place Chris Raabe. Dunn would have a long way to go as he started deep in the pack in the 25-lap affair. Travis Stacey was able to get the lead early on from the pole over Jordan McCreadie, Mario Clair, Brian McDonald and Carey Terrance. Stacey would build up a full straightaway lead by lap 5 as Mario Clair cleared McCreadie for the second spot, McDonald and Zach Aubertine completed the top five. Clair was able to run down the leader by lap 10 and used the low side of the speedway down the back stretch to take over the top spot and open up a commanding lead. With Billy Dunn starting deep in the pack it looked like his chances for victory were all but over as he worked his way into the top five just past the halfway point. Clair entered into lapped traffic and began lapping cars at will as Dunn battled former track champion Brian McDonald for second until Dunn was able to take the spot away with nine to go. Clair started to enter heavier traffic which played right into the hands of Dunn as he was able to reel in the leader and make a great battle for the win. With three laps remaining Dunn caught Clair in turn 2 and would use the bottom side of the track to take over the lead for good. Even a lap-24 caution for Carey Terrance, who spun, would not slow his charge as Dunn pulled away from Super Mario on the final restart for his sixth win of the year over Clair, Zach Aubertine, Brian McDonald and Lance Willix.
In the Sportsman division, rookie Mike Maresca used the pole position to take away the lead early on. Maresca, in his first full season on dirt, has learned a lot this year and showed everyone as he rocketed to a full straightaway lead by lap 5 with Robert Delormier and Dylan Evoy rounding out the top three early on. Maresca was on cruise control and seemed like he was well on his way to his first career win. Robert Delormier had other ideas as he ran down Maresca in traffic and was able to take the lead away on lap 10. Corey Wheeler and Dylan Evoy were also on the move. Evoy and Wheeler both moved into the second and third spots by lap 12 until the caution flew for Neal Provost who suffered a hard hit in turn 2. On the restart Wheeler went right to work as he took the second spot from Evoy and quickly ran down Delormier for the top spot. The final caution flew on lap 18 settingup a two-lap shootout to the finish. On the final restart Delormier got out in front of Wheeler and seemed destined to go to victory lane. However in turn 2 Delormier left the bottom open as the top two raced side by side into turns 3 and 4. Coming off the final turn, the two drivers exchanged paint several times as Corey Wheeler was able to edge Delormier by 0.011 seconds for his first win of the year over Delormier. Darryl Nutting, Dylan Evoy and Mike Maresca rounded out the top five.
The Mod Lites were ready for battle as 2011 track champion was still in pursuit of his first win of the year. Robinson made it clear to everyone that he meant business as he took the lead early on. Current points leader Joel Hargrave was hot on his heels throughout the 12-lap affair. Hargrave made several attempts to get the lead but Robinson remained at the top of the board. Only one yellow slowed the field as Dan Reif came to a halt in turn 4. On the restart Hargrave gave it his all but it wasnt enough as Mathieu Robinson finally got to the winners circle for the first time in 2013. Hargrave came home second, Scott Waldrif, Brad Reif and Nick Malette rounded out the top five.
The Bandit division saw Justin Desrosiers take the lead from the drop of the green and dominate the first part of the 10-lap affair. Behind him points leader Jean Marc Larose and newest Bandit winner Randy Whiting were also charging through the field breaking into the top five just past the halfway point. Desrosiers great run came to an end on lap 9 as he broke while leading bringing out the yellow. This left Jean Marc Larose in front on the final restart. Coming to the white flag Larose slowed handing the lead to Cory Castell. Castell raced hard on the final lap as Larose got his car going again and reeled in the leader. The top two raced side by side to the checkered flag with Castell winning by less than inches over Larose. Darryl Mitchell, Scott Banker and Peter Cename rounded out the top five.
This Friday night, the 358 Modifieds, Sportsman, Pro Stock and Bandit will be on the card for a full program, the Mod Lites will have the night off. The green flag drops at 7:30 p.m.
For more information, visit the rack website at www.MohawkInternationalRaceway.com.