Story By: TIM BALTZ – HOGANSBURG, NY – With only a couple weeks left in the 2019 season at the Mohawk International Raceway, points are on the mind of many as several drivers are not just in a battle for track titles but also battling for important positions in the year-long standings. It was also a special moment on this night for Tina’s Pride, as they continued their fight against breast cancer.
In the Twin Leaf 358 Modifieds Louie Jackson Jr. would be the driver to beat as he raced out to the lead at the start of the 30-lap feature event. Jackson would lead the opening 5 laps when Lance Willix began to close the gap with Chris Raabe, Matt Woodruff and Brian McDonald. By the halfway point of the event the top three had solidified themselves as the cars to beat as they pulled away from the rest of the field. Jackson and Willix were working the inside lane while Raabe tried to make the top side work but had work to do to run down the leader. With the race going caution free the leaders came up on some slower cars but Louie Jackson played it perfect as he cleared all the traffic with 5 to go and was beginning to pull away. On the final lap Willix narrowed the gap but Louie Jackson Jr. was too strong taking his 3rd career 358 Modified win and first at the Mohawk International Raceway. Lance Willix would out run Chris Raabe for 2nd with Matt Woodruff and Madison Mulder completing the top 5.
Darryl Mitchell would pace the first early at the start of the 25 Crossroads Tobacco Sportsman division as he led the opening 5 laps. On lap 6 Jason Rose would sneak by and take over the lead and start to pull away. On lap 10 Anthony Rasmussen started to make his move to the front as he charged to second and then ran down the leader on lap 12. These two drivers would put on a show for the fans as they traded the top spot with a fantastic side by side battle for the lead. Behind them 9th place starter and current points leader Shane Pecore was on the move as he jumped to third with 10 laps to go and patiently ran down the top two drivers. On lap 19 Rasmussen was able to make the bottom lane work and took over the lead as Pecore would slip by for 2nd in turn three with a great move and attempted to run down Rasmussen. Lapped cars would not be a problem as the top two navigated the traffic perfectly, and settled it amongst themselves. On the last lap Shane Pecore used every bit of grip he could find but Anthony Rasmussen was too strong scoring his first career Crossroads Tobacco Sportsman win. Shane Pecore had another strong night coming home 2nd over Jason Rose, Zack Arquiett and Thomas Cook.
The 15 lap Novice Sportsman feature saw redemption for Dan Reif on this night as he took off with the lead at the drop of the green flag. Reif had a dominant run in the opening laps with Joshua Pete, Jonathan Rush, Deric Ellsworth and Dan Beachard giving chase. Reif had one of the fastest cars on track and had built up a big lead leaving the rest of the field to sort out the remaining positions. Cautions in this event were not a factor at all which made things much easier on the reigning Mod Lite champion, who was in search of his first Novice Sportsman win. After a week of major repairs stemming from a nasty flip at Cornwall last Sunday night during a heat race, Dan Reif would not be denied as he finally grabbed his first ever Novice Sportsman checkered flag. Joshua Pete scored another 2nd place finish over Jonathan Rush, two-time winner Deric Ellsworth and Dan Beachard.
One of the biggest fields in the Mod Lite ranks assembled for a 20-lap feature event and Brad Reif was looking to put the bad luck behind him as he charged to the early lead over Steve Comeau, Harley Brown, Nick Mallette and Michael Dion. The top two started to flex their muscle on this fast race track as they began to pull away from a stellar field. By lap 10 the top two drivers had made their way into lapped traffic which would bring Harley Brown and Nick Mallette back into the picture making it a four-car battle for the win. On lap 13 Steve Comeau would start to make a bid for the lead as Brad Reif tried hard to hang on to it. On lap 15 Comeau would take over the position with Brown and Mallette still close by in third and fourth. On lap 17 a yellow would fly setting up the final restart. When the green flew Steve Comeau would launch to the lead and not look back. In only a limited schedule at MIR Steve Comeau would cross the line to claim his 2nd Mod Lite checkered flag of the year over Brad Reif, Nick Mallette, Harley Brown and Michael Dion.
The 12 lap Bandit feature may not have had the car count but it did not lack for excitement between the top two drivers in the field Matt Zira and Francis White. On lap 3 the two drivers made contact bringing out the first yellow flag of the night. When the green flew Jeff Putnam would hold the lead as Zira and White made their way into the top three spots. As the race approached halfway White and Zira once again came together and included Jeff Putnam as well with the caution flying in the air. When the green flew Matt Zira would charge back to the front and took over the race lead. Over the final laps Matt Zira would go unchallenged to win his 6th Bandit feature of the season. Mike Pecore borrowed the John Martin 77S and took home a runner up finish with Terry Lamica rebounding from and early race accident to complete the podium.
Next week Adirondack Powersports will be on hand as title sponsor for a full show which will also include the Eastern Ontario Vintage Stock Car Club. Racing gets underway at 7:30pm. Reminder to all Canadian race fans that Canadian Money will be accepted at par at the main gate all season long. Also do not forget to grab a receipt at the toll booth in exchange for a free bridge pass that night.
For the latest news, results and points and everything happening at the speedway, be sure to check out our website at mohawkintlraceway.com. For even more news be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages
Twin Leaf 358 Modified (30 laps)
LOUIE JACKSON Jr., Lance Willix, Chris Raabe, Matt Woodruff, Madison Mulder, Michael Maresca, Brian McDonald, John Mulder, Mike Stacey, Preston Forbes, Jason Riddell, Mike Trapp
Heat Winners: Louie Jackson Jr. and Matt Woodruff
Crossroads Tobacco Sportsman (25 laps)
ANTHONY RASMUSSEN, Shane Pecore, Jason Rose, Zack Arquiett, Thomas Cook, Ricky Thompson, Brianna Ladouceur, Robert Delormier, Ben Wheeler, Andy Howard, Devin Willis, Shaun Shawn, Dustin Bradley, Gavin Riddell, Delbert Legrow, Jamy Begor, Kristian Smoke, Michael Delormier, Delbert Legrow, Eugene Tarbell, Melvin Rush, Darryl Mitchell, Billy Cook, Gregg Snyder, RJ Tressider
Heat Winners: Shane Pecore, Brianna Ladouceur and Jason Rose
Mod Lite (20 laps)
STEVE COMEAU, Brad Reif, Nick Mallette, Harley Brown, Michael Dion,Tucker Halliday, Kevin Foster, Michal Forcier, Ian Bressett, Alex Daneau, Brendan Villnave, Eric Caron, Scott Sharpe, Tristan Dibble, Matt Fregoe, Styles Arquiett, Gilles Comeau, Karine Thibault, Pierre Olivier Trudel, Keven Boucher Carrier, Isaiha Lyon
Heat Winners: Michael Dion, Harley Brown and Nick Mallette
Novice Sportsman (15 laps)
DAN REIF, Joshua Pete, Jonathan Rush, Deric Ellsworth, Dan Beachard, Robert Laware Jr., Cory Castell, Mark Fewster, Michael Delormier, Adam Delormier, Jason Fetterly
Heat Winners: Dan Reif and Jonathan Rush
Bandit (12 laps)
MATT ZIRA, Mike Pecore, Terry Lamica, Jeff Putnam, Francis White, Dustin Libinski, (DNS) Gary Sharlow
Heat Winner: Matt Zira