Story By: TIM BALTZ / MOHAWK INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY – HOGANSBURG, NY – The fourth round of the DirtCar 358 Modified Series invaded the Mohawk International Raceway for a special Monday night show along with the 6th running of the Pete Mitchell Memorial and Mod Lite Challenge. Although fireworks were not scheduled, they some-how made their way on the racetrack
The 6th running of the Pete Mitchell Memorial Sportsman race was one of the races that was exciting from the start and provided fans with something to chat about for the next few days at the water cooler. Ricky Thompson was the early pace setter as he held the lead comfortably over Travis Bruno, Johnathon Ferguson, Cedric Gauvreau and Jessica Power. A good smooth surface allowed Thompson to use his favorite line around the race track as the bottom was the place to be but Travis Bruno was slowly chipping away at the lead every lap. The race would go 34 laps before the first yellow flag flew for Jason Rose who slowed off turn 2. On the restart is where the action started to get intense. When the green flew Travis Bruno made a great move on the top side for the lead as Thompson, Power, Ferguson and Gauvreau all battled in the top 5 spots. The following lap is one of those “you make the call moments.” Heading into turn one Thompson was on the back bumper of Bruno and the two drivers made slight contact sending Bruno around and the field scattering. Nobody else was involved and the caution flew. Bruno who was not happy showed his displeasure with Thompson. This feud was not over. On the restart Thompson would lose the lead as Johnathon Ferguson and Jessica Powers would take the top two spots over Thompson, Gauvreau and Anthony Rasmussen now 5th. The caution would fly a few laps later and that was when the Thompson-Bruno feud would return. Under caution Travis Bruno would make contact with Thompson’s car sending him into the back of Jessica Power causing left rear damage. Thompson would spin to a stop and both drivers were parked for the remained of the event. On the restart Ferguson continued to lead but the damage Power suffered would not slow her pace as she tried to grab the lead. Cedric Gauvreau would start to go forward as he charged to 2nd on lap 40 and begin his charge after the leader. Gauvreau would take over the top spot a few laps later and begin to pull away. Over the remaining laps Cedric Gauvreau showed he had saved his car for when it mattered and would charge to a straight away lead. After scoring his only career win in 2017, Cedric Gauvreau would return to victory lane in the biggest sportsman race of his career, winning the 6th annual Pete Mitchell Memorial and a cool $2000 pay day. Johnathon Ferguson would hold on for 2nd with Jessica Power equaling her best finish in the race with a 3rd place effort with Zach Arquiett and Anthony Rasmussen completing the top 5.
Michael Maresca took the lead at the start of round four for the DirtCar 358 Modified series over Erick Rudolph Mat Williamson Dave Marcuccilli and Kyle Dingwall. With a fast speedway driver could run where they wanted and be fast doing it as MAresca work the top lane through the early laps of the event as Rudolph and Williamson tried to keep pace with the leader. On lap 13 drivers entered lapped traffic which was playing into the hands of Rudolph and Williamson while Marcuccilli and Carey Terrance battled for top 5 positions. Rudolph would assume the lead on lap 15 and make his case that he had the best car as he pulled away while Williamson and Maresca had a battle for 2nd, that Williamson would get, as he tried to run down the leader. On lap 25 Lance Willix had problems on the front stretch as the yellow flew for thee first time. On the restart Williamson would take over the lead and begin to show why he has been dominant in the 358 series as he drove away with Rudolph, Danny Johnson, Tim Fuller and Michael Maresca the top 5. By the halfway point Mat Williamson continued to click off the laps and showed no signs that even lapped cars would stand in his way leaving Erick Rudolph to battle the traffic with 20 laps remaining. Behind the leaders Danny Johnson was the biggest mover of the night. The Rochester native charged from 15th starting spot all the way to third and battled with two-time track champion Tim Fuller. Over the final laps a new challenger emerged as five-time Mohawk champion Billy Dunn would make a charge to the front eventually taking 2nd on lap 66. Mat Williamson has the best car all night and with no cautions to stop the field it was not to be for the other drivers. Mat Williamson would go on to score his 3rd straight win on the series and 4th win in the last four days. Billy Dunn would cross in 2nd over Erick Rudolph, Tim Fuller and Danny Johnson.
The Mod Lite Challenge was on track to close out the night for 20 laps as Justin Williams led the opening laps over Kevin Foster Doug Williams, Ian Bressett and Kevin Boucher Carrier. Foster and Justin Williams put on a spirited battle for the top spot in the opening laps as Foster was looking to end his streak of 2nd place runs with a possible win. On lap 8 the top two made contact in turn one sending Williams spinning out. Foster was penalized to the rear for the contact. This left Mod Lite veteran Doug Williams in control of the field as the green flag flew over Ian Bressett Eric Caron Kevin Boucher Carrier and Friday night winner Steve Comeau. Williams had a dominant car in the final laps and would pull away from a quality field in the final laps of the event. Behind the leader Steve Comeau would make a late charge taking the 2nd spot away, but it was not enough as Doug Williams cruised to the big win over Comeau, Ian Bressett, Kevin Boucher Carrier and Justin Williams.
Friday night racing resumes this week at the Mohawk International Raceway as all five divisions will be on the card with Blevin’s Ford on hand as title sponsor. Racing gets underway at 7:30pm with Canadian Money accepted at par at the main gates only. If you are traveling from Canada, remember to show your toll receipt at the main gate and receive a free bridge pass. For the latest new, results and division points, be sure to check out our website at mohawkintlraceway.com. Also be sure to follow us for all the latest happening at the speedway on Facebook and Twitter.
DirtCar 358 Modified Series Round 4 (75 laps)
MAT WILLIAMSON, Billy Dunn, Erick Rudolph, Tim Fuller, Danny Johnson, Mike Mahaney, Michael Maresca, Carey Terrance, Dave Marcuccilli, David Hebert, Kyle Dingwall, Ryan Arbuthnot, Corey Wheeler, Chris Raabe, Mario Clair, Jordan McCreadie, Demetrios Drellos, Michael Parent, Chad Brachmann, Yan Bussiere, Anthony Perrego, Ryan Bartlett, Brian McDonald, Mike Stacey, Preston Forbes, Luke Whitteker, Ronnie Davis III, Lance Willix, Louie Jackson Jr., Tyler Meeks, Steve Bernard
Billy Whittaker Cars and Trux/Gauvreau Transport Fast Time Award- Mike Mahaney 17.547
Heat Winners- Mike Mahaney, Corey Wheeler, Billy Dunn and Carey Terrance
Last Chance Qualifier: David Hebert and Yan Bussiere
Pete Mitchell Memorial (54 laps)
CEDRIC GAUVREAU, Johnathon Ferguson, Jessica Power, Zach Arquiett, Anthony Rasmussen, Ryan Stabler, Jackson Gill, Tyler Corcoran, Jarrett Herbison, Daryl Nutting, Ben Wheeler, Gabriel Cyr, Thomas Cook, Brianna Ladouceur, Jamy Begor, Chris Frennier, Roy Delormier, Dylan Rabtoy, Kristian Smoke, Dustin Bradley, Jason Bruno, Brian Hudson, Robert Delormier, Kurtis Cayer, Jason Rose, Devin Willis, Alan Fink, Cory Winters, Brandon Planck, Shane Pecore, (DQ) Ricky Thompson and Travis Bruno
Gauvreau Transport Fast Time Award- Jamy Begor 18.415
Heat Winners- Jamy Begor Johnathon Ferguson Ryan Stabler Brian Hudson and Anthony Rasmussen
Last Chance: Jason Rose and Kristian Smoke
Mod Lite Challenge (20 laps)
DOUG WILLIAMS, Steve Comeau, Ian Bressett, Kevin Boucher Carrier, Justin Williams, Allyson Prince, Kevin Foster, Nick Mallette, Harley Brown, Scott Sharpe, Brad Reif, Alexia Roux, Josee Fortier, Styles Arquiett, Matt Fregoe
Heat Winners: Styles Arquiett and Justin Williams