Even with heavy rains throughout the entire day Mother Nature still couldn’t stop the second night of the Mohawk Nationals this past Saturday night. Despite the lengthy delay drivers were up to the task and ready to do battle.
The Big Block Modified Super DirtCar Series was ready to go for 100 laps and Matt Sheppard flexed his muscle in the early going by taking the lead from the pole over Billy Decker, Larry Wight, Jimmy Phelps and Peter Britten. Even with the great jump on the initial green flag the yellow quickly flew for an accident in turn 3 involving David Papineau and Dexter Stacey. On the restart Sheppard used the high lane to keep the number 1 spot bringing Wight to 2nd with Phelps, Decker and Britten continuing to round out the top 5 spots. On lap 10 Mat Williamson blew his motor bringing out the 2nd caution flag of the night. When the green came back out Sheppard still proved he had the car to beat as he rocketed out to the lead and put 6 car lengths on Larry Wight with Jimmy Phelps still running a solid 3rd. On lap 15 the 3rd caution flew for an accident in turn 4 involving Danny Johnson, Danny O’Brien and 4 time track champion Mike Perrotte. When the green flew on lap 20 Sheppard remained in front bringing teammate Jimmy Phleps to 2nd. Larry Wight, Billy Decker and Justin Haers now completed the top 5. over the next 6 laps Sheppard and Phelps began to pull away from the field and started their own battle for the top spot but on lap 26 Dexter Stacey lost control off turn 2, hit the backstretch wall and flipped over bringing out the red flag. Stacey would climb out of the car uninjured but his car was done for the night. When the race went back under green Sheppard and Phelps took off from the field and continued their battle for the top spot. Phelps ran the extreme low lane while Sheppard continued to fly around the high side. Even with the top 2 battling for the lead Larry Wight, Billy Decker and Justin Haers were not able to close the gap. On lap 40 Danny Johnson was involved in another yellow as he spun in turn 3. On the restart Sheppard and Phelps continued their dominance of the field while Wight, Decker and now Matt Billings rounding out the top 5. Just past the halfway point of the event is where the laps began to click off and even in lapped traffic Sheppard was able to navigate cleanly with Phelps trailing behind as much as 6 car lengths. With 20 laps to go Sheppard had led the entire way but Phelps was within striking distance. Billy Decker remained a solid 3rd while Brett Hearn who fell back at the start of the race, made his way back to the top 3. Billy Dunn was also on the move as he made his way to 4th with Erick Rudolph, who went to a backup car and came from last place to the number 5 position. On lap 95 the scariest moment occurred when Matt Billings came into contact with the end of the back stretch wall flipping violently. While flipping he was struck again by Mario Clair and ended up landing upside down on the backstretch. Billings was shaken but walked away from his car which was virtually destroyed. When the green flew for the final time Sheppard charged to the lead and would never look back as he scored his 3rd series win of the year over Phelps, Hearn, Erick Rudolph and Billy Dunn.
The Richard Tenace Memorial event for the Go Nuclear Late Model Series was next up and Alan Fink was the early leader over Dale Caswell, Tim Sears Jr., AJ Kingsley and Dave McDonald. Fink had a great car throughout the first half of the race and was looking to get his season back on track after a disappointing start. On lap 16 Fink still continued his great run but Sears, Charlie Sandercock, Caswell and Kingsley were on the move as the leaders began to enter lapped traffic. Charlie Sandercock had made his way to 3rd at the halfway point and wanted badly to sweep the weekend having won on Friday night. On lap 22 Sandercock took one step closer to achieving that as he took over the top spot from Fink with Sears, Kingsley and Phil Potts completing the top 5. Sandercock began to pull away from the field and was lapping cars at will. On lap 28 the caution flag flew giving 2nd place driver Tim Sears Jr. a clear shot at the race lead. On the restart Sandercock showed who had the faster car as he jumped out into the lead over Sears, Fink, Potts and Kingsley. Sandercock was making it look easy as he held a huge lead on the field while behind him Greg Belyea was making a late race charge as he took over the 3rd spot from fellow Brighton Speedway regular Phil Potts on lap 34. However nobody had anything for Charlie Sandercock as he scored his 2nd win of the weekend and 4th win in the Go Nuclear Late Model Series over Sears, Belyea, Potts and AJ Kingsley.
The much anticipated 75 lap $5000 to win Pete Mitchell Memorial Sportsman Super Dirt Series race was set to conclude the evening. Cornwall Native Ryan Stabler took control of the race early on over Mike Maresca, Justin Lalancette, James Michael Friesen and Darryl Nutting. Stabler had a great car and would lead the opening 7 laps until a spin on the front stretch involving Zach Arquiett brought out the first caution of the event. On the restart Stabler kept control of the top spot but Maresca and Friesen were right behind him waiting for an opening. On lap 16 the next yellow flew for Mathieu Desjardins as he slowed heading into turn 1. When the green flew James Michael Friesen took over the lead and started to pull away from the field bringing Maresca to 2nd with Stabler falling to 3rd, Justin Lalancette and Dylan Evoy now completing the top 5 spots. Mike Maresca has had a solid season at Mohawk in 2014 and also a great run on the Sportsman Super Dirt Series and was charging after Friesen for the top spot. Maresca would finally get by on lap 22 with Friesen now 2nd and Justin Lalancette running a solid 3rd. Once in front Maresca started to pull away and would hold a strong lead over the next several laps while behind him Friesen, Lalancette, Stabler and 2014 track champion Corey Wheeler were searching for speed to try and catch the leader. On lap 44 the yellow flew for Rocky Warner who slapped the wall in turn 3, Warner recovered for an 8th place finish. On the restart Ryan Stabler retook the top spot but the driver on the charge was Dylan Evoy. After restarting 8th Evoy picked up 5 positions in turns 3 and 4 using the top side of the speedway to move into 3rd. By lap 50 Evoy would then challenge Mike Maresca for 2nd which he would take, and begin his pursuit of the race leader. On lap 52 Nick Guererri spun in turn 4. When the green flew Stabler stayed committed to the bottom but Evoy kept the car wound up on the high side which prevailed as Evoy took over the lead and began to walk away from the rest of the field. Behind the leader Stabler and Maresca were having a battle for the 2nd spot which Maresca would take control of with just under 5 laps to go. Cody McPherson also made a late race charge as he worked his way to 5th on lap 72 and battled with Justin Lalancette. However nobody was catching Evoy as he claimed his first ever Sportsman Super Dirt Series win and 4th of the year at Mohawk. Mike Maresca came home 2nd with Stabler, Cody McPherson and Justin Lalancette rounding out the top 5.
Next Saturday afternoon MIR will close out the season with the annual Slick Track Enduro plus a Halloween costume contest. Gates open at 9am with racing beginning at 11:30.
Big Block Modified
MATT SHEPPARD, Jimmy Phelps, Brett Hearn, Erick Rudolph, Billy Dunn, Larry Wight, Gary Tomkins, Billy Decker, Justin Haers, Peter Britten, Billy VanInwegen, Adam Roberts, Rich Scagliotta, Tom Conklin, Keith Flach, Tyler McPherson, Tyler Siri, Kyle Jacobs, David Papineau, Matt Billings, Pat Ward, Mario Clair, Matt Woodruff, Carey Terrance, Tim Kerr, Ryan Bartlett, Mike Perrotte, Danny Johnson, Chad Phelps, Lance Willix, Danny O’Brien, Dexter Stacey, Ryan Arbuthnot, Mat Williamson, Bill Mullin
Sportsman Super Dirt Series
DYLAN EVOY, Mike Maresca, Ryan Stabler, Cody McPherson, Justin Lalancette, James Michael Friesen, Rocky Warner, Mathieu Desjardins, Brad Rouse, Wyatt Mullin, Corey Wheeler, Dave Marcuccilli, Darryl Nutting, Martin Pelletier, Brianna Ladouceur, Joey Ladoucer, Louie Jackson Jr., Zach Arquiett, Jessica Power, Bryan Green, Thomas Cook, Mike Stacey, Robert Delormier, Corey Winters, Gilles Godard, Nick Guererri, Dillon Sallows, Ricky Thompson, Joel Hargrave, Shane Pecore
Go Nuclear Late Models
CHARLIE SANDERCOCK, Tim Sears Jr., Greg Belyea, Phil Potts, Alan Fink, AJ Kingsley, Dale Caswell, Dave McDonald, Brian McDonald, Billy Eisle, Kyle Sopaz, Jason Knowles, Rick Miller, Elmer Stevenson, Brian Knowles, Bret Beldon, Harry Halliday, Mat Vanderlinden, Shane Tenace, Dave Talbot, Sean Beardsley, Adam Turner