Story By: TIM BALTZ / MOHAWK INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY – HOGANSBURG, NY – The 2018 season was one for the record books and in a few weeks-time those who had outstanding seasons will be honored at the annual champions banquet.
Twin Leaf 358 Modified division could only be summarized into two words, Tim Fuller. The Edwards New York native literally dominated the field during the 2018 campaign breaking the all-time single season win record. Leaving Chris Raabe and Carey Terrance to share victory lane the other 5 events on the season. The 26-year record once held by 2-time track champion Pat O’Brien at 8 was broken by Fuller during the Mohawk Nationals weekend when he picked up the DirtCar 358 Modified Series win for his 9th win of the year. He capped off the season the next night by outlasting Mat Williamson to claim the Super DirtCar Series event, his 10th victory of the year at MIR. In addition to defending his track title he also claimed the championship again in the MIR 358 Modified Series. Fuller won once during the 3- race campaign and was never worse than 3rd in any of the 50 lap events.
Crossroad’s Tobacco Sportsman saw history made as the boys were shown the way to victory lane in 2018 by Cornwall Ontario’s Brianna Ladouceur. After making a switch in car manufacturers in the off season Ladouceur came right out of the gates winning two in a row to start the month of June. She also added a 3rd win of the year on July 27th. Then needing only a good run on the final points night, Ladouceur did one better by taking her OlsonFab Bicknell to victory lane on August 31st which was her 2nd career win in the Unique Ecigs Sportsman Series as well. The newly crowned champion was tops in the win column with 4 overall in the 16 events which saw 10 other drivers visit the winners circle through the year.
The Unique Ecigs Sportsman Series saw a big change in 2018 with the addition of 2 events at the Plattsburgh Airborne Speedway. St. Andrews Ontario’s Shane Pecore claimed the title in the 5-race series claiming one feature win on July 20th at Mohawk. His consistent finishes through the 2018 title run were good enough to score his second series title, having previously won the championship in 2015 as a track regular. Bucko Branham and Patrick Picotin claimed wins at the Plattsburgh events while Brianna Ladouceur and Martin Pelletier joined Pecore in the winners circle in the other two Mohawk races.
Jason Rose led a talented crop of Novice Sportsman drivers in the win column for 2018. The South Glengarry native moved on to the regular Sportsman division following his 3 wins. Dylan Rabtoy had two, Jonathan Rush, Tyler Atkins, Dale Gonyo, Brian McGinnley, Gavin Riddell, Kurt Russell, Josh Laware, Corbin Millar and 2018 Brockville Speedway Rookie Sportsman Champion Xavier Perrin all visited victory lane in the Novice division. Brian McGinnley will be receiving the Top “Mr. Consistency” award.
The Mod Lite division saw Dan Reif rise to the top of the mountain in 2018. In 15 events Reif saw victory lane 4 times including 3 in a 5-race span from July 6th through August 3rd. During his 15 starts Reif had an impressive 10 top 3 finishes and also claimed 4 runner-up finishes to claim his first ever track championship.
In the Bandit division a rare thing occurred as a first year driver won the title. That being RJ Tressider. After running once in 2017 and taking a 2nd place finish Tressider took the former Richard Thornton car to victory lane on opening day. That win would be the only time he would grace victory lane but was close on several occasions as he also finished 2nd, a division leading 6 times during the year. The Edwards New York native finished outside the top 5 only one time in the 13 events he competed in. He closed out his title run with a 4th place finish on August 31st.
The Night Of Champions will take place at the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino on Saturday, March 30, 2019. Doors opening at 4pm with dinner to follow at 5, awards ceremony to follow. Tickets are $45 dollars each and can be purchased at the MIR office. Office hours are Tuesday – Thursday 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. For more information be sure to follow the speedway on Facebook and Twitter and also on our website mohawkintlraceway.com. Hotel Reservations available at Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort. Discount code: Mohawk International Raceway.