HOGANSBURG, NY – After cancelling the 2020 racing season at the Mohawk International Raceway, opening night of the 2021 campaign surely did not disappointment the crowd on hand as the weather and the racing action was sizzling.
Fans and drivers alike in attendance witnessed a well prepared and very fast racing surface as well as the return of some very eager drivers to the 3/8 mile track. They also saw the first time appearance of a new class, the Super Stocks.
With five features set to go after some thrilling heat race action. The newly sanctioned DirtCar Bandits made their way on to track. Defending track champion Matt Zira was on the pole with his on track rival Francis White on the outside. From the green flag Zira and White set the pace for the feature with Zira gaining the upper hand early on. White was not going to go away from Zira as the bottom grove is where both cars found themselves running at a torrid pace. Zira kept his early lead during the first 5 laps but not without seeing flashes of White on his outside. Francis White tried everything he could to make the top side work but Zira kept his wheels straight for all 10 laps. With 2 to go, White made a move to the outside coming off of Turn 2 but his car drifted up the race track and it allowed Zira to turn a half car lead into a 5 car length lead on the backstretch. From there, Zira coasted to Victory Lane and picked up win #1 of the year.
Next up on the track was the always exciting Mod Lite class. The top row would see Harley Brown fire away from the pole position with Jason Premo to his outside. On the opening green flag of their 15 lap feature, Harley Brown’s car would come to abrupt stop just past the flag stand and we would see our first caution in this event. As Brown’s car was taken track side, the remaining cars would file into place with Premo and Scott Sharpe start from the front. On the restart, Premo would gain the early advantage but Scott Sharpe had something in store for the evening. On lap 3, Premo slipped up entering Turn 4 which allowed Sharpe to capitalize and become the new leader. Starting from the 3rd position, Tristan Dribble kept his name in the running for the top spot and a blanket could have been thrown over Sharpe, Premo, and Dribble for the next 9 laps. On Lap 12, the Red flag would come out as a few cars came together entering Turn 2 which would lead to Steve Shatraw’s Mod Lite end up on its roof. Shatraw was ok after the accident but his car would require to be taken pitside for the rest of the evening. After clearing the track cars were firing back up but the #4 car of Tristan Dribble would require assistance and it would see him take his car pitside for the rest of the feature. On the restart on Lap 12 Scott Sharpe decided it was time to end any challenges until the end. Sharpe would take his car in to Victory Lane on opening night.
It was now time for the Super Stocks to make their debut for their 12 lap feature. Zack Daniels would start on the pole and Jason McClatchie would start on his outside. The green flag would see Zack Daniels put on a show as he wasted no time jumping out to an early lead. McClatchie would do everything he could to keep within striking distance in the early stages but to no avail. Daniels led all 12 laps and put on a display of driving ability and talent that will be remembered all season.
With 2 features remaining, Blayden Arquette would start from the pole to begin the Novice Sportsmen Feature and see the young hot shoe Cameron Reif to his outside. The 15 lap event surely didn’t disappoint as Arquette and Reif would set a thrilling pace for the first 12 laps. Arquette would gain a large advantage by Lap 10 and was looking to lead the feature wire to wire, however the left shock tower on Terry Lamica’s car almost played spoiler to Arquette’s visions of Victory Lane. As Lamica entered Turn 3 on Lap 12 , his left shock tower gave away and his car last all momentum. If not for Arquette’s evasive action his night might have come to an end. On the restart on Lap 12, Reif started from the 2nd position knowing this would be his chance to grab the Victory away from Arquette. Reif fired his car almost perfectly and had the inside advantage coming out of Turn 2. However Arquette sensed Reif’s challenge and set his car sailing into Turn 1 and opened a 2 car length lead as the cars raced down the backstretch. Arquette would go on to open a considerable advantage for the remaining 3 laps and pick up win #1 of the 2021 campaign.
The last feature of the evening would see 26 Sportsmen cars make their way onto the speedway for their 25 lap event. With Nick Haywood starting on the pole and Melvin Rush starting the outside, the fans were in for a treat. From the first green flag, Haywood would open a commanding margin and get himself into deep lap traffic as Dan Reif would be hard to the charge running in the 2nd place position. However Dan Reif would find himself mired deep in his pursuit of Haywood and simply could not get his car within striking distance of Haywood. Nick Haywood would not be challenged during the all green 25 lap feature and used lap traffic to his advantage as his steered his car to Victory Lane on Opening night.
Next week will be the MIR Sportsmen Series race along with the Novice Sportsmen, Super Stocks, Mod Lites, and Bandits. First green flag with be at 7:30pm!
Sportsmen Feature 25 laps
1. #29 N.Haywood, 2. D.Reif, 3. #19 Jamy Begor, 4. # 1R Ricky Thompson, 5. #9 K.Smoke, 6. #10 M.Delomier, 7. #14 Z.Arquiette, 8. #35 T.Cook, 9. #04g Dale Gonyo, 10. #88 F.Swamp, 11. 71x D. Legrow Jr, 12. M70 B. Cook, 13. 10x C.Castell, 14. #31 M.Rush, 15. #18 C.Cayea, 16. 84p J.Pete, 17. #6xx T.Back. 18. #37 D. Mitchell, 19. #9s B.Gray, 20. #54g G.Snyder, 21. #71 D.Legrow, 22. #48 D. Ellsworth, 23. 6x J.Rush, 24. 23. #23 T.Smythe, 25. #51 M.Bourey, 26. #44 C.Swamp (DNS)
Novice Sportsmen 15 laps
1. #18. B.Arquette, 2. #00 C.Reif, 3. #22 M. Leonard, 4. #23 P.Stacey, 5. #22D X.Delormier, 6. T. Lamica 7. #411 M.Fester 8. # 14 T. David (DNS) 9. 1W B.Reif 10. #29 C.Vallance
Super Stocks 12 laps
1. #30 Z. Daniels, 2. # J. McClatchie 3. # 18 S. Duqette 4. # 54 T. Irwin 5. B. Snyder (DNS)
Mod Lites 15 laps
1. #16 S. Sharpe, 2. #5 J.Premo, 3. # 11x J. Lyons 4. #18 W. Dribble 5. #4 T.Dribble 6. #33 S. Shatraw 7. #3k D.Norcross 8. #314 N.Mallette 9. #8 H.Brown 10. #16B J. Putnam (DNS)
Bandits 10 laps
1. #17 M.Zira 2. 100 F.White 3. 22 J. Fountain 4. 77s J.Martin 5. 20s L.Sharlow 6. 88d C. Smith (DNS) 7. 1k G.Sharlow 8. 15.5 J.Young (DNS) 9. #27S