By: TIM BALTZ – HOGANSBURG, NY – Night one of the Mohawk Nationals at the Mohawk International Raceway had a big night planned as the third round of the DIRTCar 358 Modified Series was in town. The event was also the final leg of the Twin Leaf Stores 358 Modified Series for the speedway. However, Mother Nature had other plans, making for a very fast racing surface.
A small rain shower passed over the speedway before the end of 358 Modified time trials forcing a lengthy delay. But track officials and drivers helped work the speedway in making for a very fast racing surface.
Ryan Bartlett took the lead at the start of the 60-lap event over Erick Rudolph Jackson Gill Louie Jackson Jr and Billy Dunn. Bartlett was fast at the start of the event and would fend off Rudolph repeatedly in the opening 11 laps before a yellow flew for RJ Tressider as he slowed on the back stretch. On the restart Bartlett remained in control but Rudolph was closing quickly with Gill, Jackson and now Tim Fuller cracking the top 5. On lap 30 Barlett made one small error in turn 3 allowing Rudolph to get by for the lead but the man on the move was Billy Dunn. The 5 time 358 Modified track champion was on the charge after falling to the 6th spot in the early going. Dunn would get by Fuller, Jackson and Gill to move into 2nd, then ran down Rudolph as he was in a bid for his third straight series win. Dunn was about to make his move for the lead but the caution flew with 7 to go leaving all drivers with another shot at the leader. When the green flew Rudolph got a great start and would maintain a two car length lead. Dunn gave it everything he had, but this night would belong to Erick Rudolph. After several top 3 finishes, Erick Rudolph would hold off Dunn to score his first series win of the year and first ever Mohawk feature win. Dunn would hold on for a runner up finish. Fuller would hold on to third over Louie Jackson Jr. and Jackson Gill.
The MIR Sportsman Series final round would close out with the 8th annual Pete Mitchell memorial 54 laps event and Cory Castell would waste little time taking the lead at the drop of the green over DJ Gonyo Ben Wheeler Dave Rogers and Dalton Rombough. With a super-fast race track all drivers were fast and Castell took full advantage with a fast car and open race track as he would lead the field comfortably for the opening 13 laps. Dave Rogers would make a charge to 2nd as the leaders approached lapped traffic as Castell had some struggles, which set up a battle for the lead. On lap 14 Rogers would used lapped traffic to take the lead and then show how fast his car was as he opened up a near straight away advantage at halfway. Behind the leader Castell, Gonyo and Dalton Rombough put on a fantastic battle for 2nd 3rd and 4th with Rombough taking the 2nd spot away and tried to run down the race leader, which was looking like a tall order. On lap 32 Rogers lead would vanish as Ricky Thompson would spin in turn 4 bunching up the field for a restart. When the green flew it was Rogers again in command over Rombough with Ryan Shanahan making his way into the top three late in the going. Over the final laps and even with a late race restart, nobody had anything for Dave Rogers as he would dominate the field for his first ever MIR Sportsman Series win and first ever Mohawk feature win in the Sportsman ranks. Dalton Rombough, Ryan Shanahan, Zach Arquiett and Cory Castell would round out the top 5.
A special 25 lap combination event for Street Stock and Super Stocks was held and featured competitors from neighboring speedways. Tyler Bushey proved to be the dominant driver even with tricky track conditions as he led the way over Travis Stokes, Joe Daniels, Nathan Guay and Jason Bogett. Bushey was literally putting on a clinic has he stretched his lead to well over a half track just before halfway while the field struggled with the tricky track. Bushey would eventually close in to try and lap 2nd, 3rd and 4th place cars of Stokes, Daniels and Shawn Duquette on lap 20 but things were about to get interesting. On lap 22 Stokes and Daniels would tangle in turn three as Bushey would also get involved and suffer minor damage. On the restart the damage did not slow his charge as Tyler Bushey would drive away to lead every lap and score his 2nd Mohawk win in 2021 and first in a Street Stock. Nathan Guay would take the 2nd spot over Jason Bogett, Cody Agoney and Jason Lashway.
The Mod Lite 20 lap event saw Kyle Demo take the lead at the drop of the green flag over Tucker Halliday Harley Brown Jason Premo and Brad Harris. The track was fast and Demo was quick on this night and looking for his third win at Mohawk in as many starts in 2021, but Halliday would put the pressure on as the top two pulled away from the field. The leaders would catch traffic and on lap 13 Demo would tangle with one driver sending him spinning to the infield and ending his shot at a possible win. He returned to finish 6th. On the final restart Tucker Halliday would pull away and go unchallenged to score the win over Jason Premo Harley Brown Brad Harris and Tristan Dibble.
DIRTCar 358 Modified and Twin Leaf Store 358 Modified Series (60 laps)
ERICK RUDOLPH, Billy Dunn, Tim Fuller, Louie Jackson Jr., Jackson Gill, Lance Willix, Ryan Bartlett, Dave Marcuccilli, Jordan McCreadie, Ron Davis III, Marshall Herd, Lucas Fuller, Greg Atkins, Darryl Mitchell, Steve Lewis, Jeff Sykes, Carey Terrance, Mike Stacey, Matt Woodruff, Derrick Webb, RJ Tressider, Kristian Smoke, Preston Forbes Ryan McLean, Tyler Meeks, Tommy Jock Jr., Cameron Black, (DNS) Mike Mandigo
Fast Time: Tim Fuller 16.162
Heat Winners: Billy Dunn, Tim Fuller and Ron Davis III
Pete Mitchell Memorial Sportsman (54 laps)
DAVE ROGERS, Dalton Rombough, Ryan Shanahan, Zach Arquiett, Cory Castell, DJ Gonyo, Ben Wheeler, Jamy Begor, Delbert Legrow Jr., Taylor Doxtator, Franklin Mackin, Casey Swamp, Travis Back, Steve Bushey Jr., Greg Henry, Greg Snyder, Mike Wells, Fire Swamp, Blayden Arquette, Bentley Gray, Codie Aubin, Eugene Tarbell, Dustin Bradley, Brendan Reif, Ricky Thompson, Dan Reif, Thomas Cook, Tim Smythe, Joshua Pete, Harvey Arquette, Terry Lamica, Gavin Eisle
Fast Time: Ryan Shanahan 16.919
Heat Winners: Delbert Legrow Jr., Ricky Thompson, Dalton Rombough and Ryan Shanahan
Street Stock/Super Stock (25 laps)
TYLER BUSHEY, Nathan Guay, Jason Bogett, Codey Agoney, Jason Lashway, Travis Stokes, Joe Daniels, Shawn Duquette, Brandon Snyder, Tyler Terry, (DNS) Tyler Irwin
No Heat Races Run
Mod Lite (20 laps)
TUCKER HALLIDAY, Jason Premo, Harley Brown, Brad Harris, Tristan Dibble, Kyle Demo, Isaiah Lyon, Jeff Putnam, Wayne Dibble, Sam Usborne, Jack Lyon, David Norcross
No Heat Races Run