Chris Raabe Inches Closer to Second Title with Third 358 Modified Win

By: TIM BALTZ – HOGANSBURG, NY – With just two points paying nights left at the Mohawk International Raceway some drivers are focused on getting that coveted track title they set out to get on opening day in May.

Others have not been to victory lane yet and time is running out. Some were able to accomplish these-goals on Adirondack Power Sports night, while others are still on a mission as time is running out.

The Crossroads Tobacco Sportsman were set for their 35 lap MIR Sportsman series event and Thomas Cook jumped to the lead and would lead the opening 10 laps over Shaun Shawn, Devin Willis, Ben Wheeler and Robert Delormier. Cook had a great car and was looking to pull away from the field but Willis had other plans as he closed in on the leader with Shaun Shaw right there to challenge. The top 3 raced in and out of traffic for the majority of the event with neither driver gaining a clear-cut advantage. On lap 18 Cook was in heavy traffic as Robert Delormier, who won the DirtCar Sportsman Tour race at Cornwall the night before, was on a roll and putting the pressure on Cook for the top spot. On lap 23 the first yellow flew as Ricky Thompson slowed which would bunch the field up for the restart. When the green flew Devin Willis charged from 3rd to take over the lead as Brianna Ladouceur made her way into the lead battle moving to the runner up spot, and the battle was on. Current series and track points leader Shane Pecore also was on the move taking 3rd from Thomas Cook and began to run down the top two drivers. With 6 to go Brianna Ladouceur was able to take the lead and Pecore would move to 2nd as the top two drivers began to pull away. Ladouceur had a fast car and protected the bottom lane and appeared well on her way to her 2nd win of the year. However the caution flew on lap 33 for Dustin Bradley who spun in turn 4. On the final restart Ladouceur drove off with the lead and Pecore’s only chance was to take the top lane. As they raced to the white flag the top two pulled even in turns one and two with no driver getting an advantage. Off turn 4 Shane Pecore put the hammer down and drove by Ladouceur to win by a single car length for his 4th win of the year. Ladouceur settled for her 5th runner up finish of the season over Devin Willis, Robert Delormier and Ben Wheeler.

Matt Woodruff was celebrating his birthday as the Twin Leaf Stores 358 Modified field took the green flag. Woodruff would lead the way in the opening laps over John Mulder, Lance Willix, Preston Forbes and Brian McDonald. Woodruff had a fast car and was pulling away from the field until lap 9 when Mike Stacey slowed with suspension problems on the front stretch. When the green flew it was still Woodruff in front but Lance Willix was closing in and mounting a serious challenge for the top spot. On lap 18 Willix was able to take over the lead as points leader Chris Raabe started to enter into the picture with Michael Maresca and Tim Fuller charging into the top 5 as Woodruff slid back to the number five spot. Willix was in fine form and in complete control of the race but Chris Raabe was charging hard and looking to score a big win while Willix was hoping to end Mohawk winless drought that dated back to September 1st of 2017. On lap 26 Chris Raabe would use the top lane on the speedway to draw even with Willix and make a run at the lead. The Alexandria native charged to the top spot and would start to pull away. After a few weeks of motor problems Chris Raabe would put all of that behind him and secure his third win of 2019. Lance Willix would take his 2nd runner up finish of the week over Michael MAresca, Tim Fuller and Carey Terrance.

The Mod Lite division has seen plenty of different winners in 2019 and Steve Comeau was looking to keep the winning going as he led the opening 6 laps over Ian Bresette, Brendan Villnave, Kevin Foster and Styles Arquiett. The yellow would fly quickly on lap 7 as Isaiah Lyon would spin in turn. On the restart it was Comeau with the lead but the driver on the move was Ian Bressette. After starting in spot number 8 Bressette would close in on the leader and was searching for his first career win. On lap 9 Bressette would make the pass on the back stretch to take over the top spot and would do all he could to hold off Comeau. Over the remaining laps Ian Bressette would pace himself perfectly and made zero mistakes on this night to record his first career Mod Lite victory at MIR. Steve Comeau’s bid win number three on the year would come up one spot short in 2nd while Kevin Foster Harley Brown and Brendan Villnave would complete the top 5.

In Bandit action no heat events were contested at the request of the drivers in the field so a 10-lap feature took place. Matt Zira has been the clear-cut dominator in the class but Jeff Putnam was right there to challenge through the entire distance. Zira would do all he could to hold on to the lead as Putnam made several attempts to get by. On lap 7 Matt Zira would put the hammer down and drive away from the field to record his 7th feature win of 2019. Jeff Putnam would come across in 2nd with former two-time Bandit champion Richard Thornton returning to the field and coming home in the number three position.

In Novice Sportsman Dan Reif has been on a roll as of late and on this night it was no different. After leading all 15 laps a week ago Reif would charge to the top spot from the outside pole over Joshua Pete and Dan Beachard. Reif had a dominant car and led by well over a straight away by the halfway point and showed no signs of letting up. Joshua Pete would continue to run in the second spot while Dan Beachard had his hands full holding off former Mod Lite Champion Deric Ellsworth. In the end without the help of a caution Dan Reif would cruise to a dominant win for a 2nd straight week in Novice Sportsman. Joshua Pete would secure another runner up finish with Dan Beachard completing the top 3.

The Dirt Modified Nostalgia Tour and Eastern Ontario Vintage Stock Car Club would join together this weekend for a three-race series, which also included events in Plattsburgh and Cornwall. At Mohawk this past Friday night the red flew right away as Darrell Wilson and Wayne Riddell tangled in turn 4 causing Wilson to go upside down. Wilson would climb out unhurt but both cars were heavily damaged. When the green flew and the laps clicked off, it was a battle between a veteran and an upstart contender as Jason Powers led early over Matt Barbour. Barbour would put the pressure on through the entire 25 lap contest with Bob Johnson, Steve Billings and Sheldon Hoogwerf completing the top 5. With two laps remaining Powers held a slight lead but Matt Barbour would close in and take over the lead as the field came to the white flag. Powers did all he could to take it back, but it did not happen. Matt Barbour would march on to score the win, his first ever at Mohawk. Jason Powers would come across the line 2nd with Bob Johnson crossing in 3rd in the 70s and 80s class. Scott Gauthier would hold off Tim McColman’s bid for 3 in a row to take the 50s and 60s victory.

Next week it’s final points night for all classes including the final points night for the MIR 358 Modified Series with long time supporter Frenchie’s Chevrolet and Frenchie’s Ford on hand. Racing gets underway as always 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 For even more news be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages

Twin Leaf 358 Modified (30 laps)

CHRIS RAABE, Lance Willix, Michael Maresca, Tim Fuller, Carey Terrance, Matt Woodruff, Louie Jackson Jr., John Mulder, Preston Forbes, Madison Mulder, Larry Welling Jr., Ryan McLean, Mike Stacey, Brian McDonald

Heat Winners: Lance Willix and Carey Terrance

MIR Sportsman Series (35 laps)

SHANE PECORE, Brianna Ladouceur, Devin Willis, Robert Delormier, Ben Wheeler, Thomas Cook, Justin Lalancette, Shaun Shaw, Zack Arquiett, Andy Howard, Shane Stearns, Kristian Smoke, RJ Tressider, Travis Back, Xavier Perrin, Billy Cook, Delbert Legrow, Darryl Mitchell, Delbert Legrow Jr., Dustin Bradley, Eugene Tarbell, Greg Snyder, Jason Rose, Anthony Rasmussen, Ricky Thompson, Gavin Riddell

Heat Winners: Anthony Rasmussen Thomas Cook and Ricky Thompson

Mod Lite (15 laps)

IAN BRESSETTE, Steve Comeau, Kevin Foster, Harley Brown, Brendan Villnave, Nick Mallette, Scott Sharpe, Jason Premo, Tristan Dibble, Gilles Comeau, Isaiah Lyon, Brad Reif, Matt Fregoe

Heat Winners: Styles Arquiett and Kevin Foster

Novice Sportsman (15 laps)

DAN REIF, Joshua Pete, Dan Beachard, Deric Ellsworth, Robert Laware Jr., Michael Delormier, Matthew Bourey, Jason Fetterly, Jonathan Rush

Heat Winners- Dan Reif and Dan Beachard

Bandit (10 laps)

MATT ZIRA, Jeff Putnam, Richard Thornton, Terry Lamica, John Martin, Dan Snyder

Dirt Modified Nostalgia Tour (25 laps) Top 3

70s-80s: Matt Barbour, Jason Powers Bob Johnson

50s-60s: Scott Gauthier