Monday, August 3, 2009

Duquette Perfect on Tiger Sportsman Series

CANAAN, N.H. -- Shawn Duquette may not have been the odds-on favorite for the ACT Tiger Sportsman Tri-State Series championship at the beginning of the year, but it's hard to ignore him now.

The Morrisonville, N.Y. driver dominated the second round of the three-race series at Canaan Fair Speedway on Saturday night en route to maintaining a perfect two-for-two record in ACT events this year; Duquette also won the season opener at his home track, Airborne Speedway, on July 11.

Duquette started third on the 23-car grid after earning a "+3" handicap in plus/minus heat race qualifying.  Polesitter Mark Barnier led the opening 13 laps before Duquette nosed ahead on the outside to lead lap 14, then settled in behind Barnier until a lap 29 restart brought them side-by-side.  Duquette took the lead again on lap 30 and was never challenged again, at one point leading by nearly half of a lap.

Joey Roberts of Georgia finished a career-best second after a battling with Barnier, Joey Becker, and Toby Ebersole at different points in the event.  ACT Late Model driver Becker, moonlighting in Rich Watson's Tiger Sportsman car, finished third over Jason Bonnett and Ebersole.  The top-ten was completed by Jimmy Hebert, Lance Allen, Brendan Moodie, Skip Liberty, and Eric Badore.  Barnier cut a left-front tire while running in fourth place on lap 74 and finished 17th.

Duquette represented a strong contingent of Airborne teams; all five that raced at Canaan on Saturday finished in the top-ten, including Ebersole, Bonnett, Liberty, and the Becker/Watson pairing.

"I ran the same setup as Airborne, and the car just turned," said Duquette.  "It was a little loose, but loose is fast.  It just took off."

Duquette won in his first visit to Canaan Fair Speedway.  He'll try to wrap up the Tri-State Series championship at another track he's never been to, Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl in Barre, on August 13.

"I've heard a lot of bad stories about there," he said, "but I'm going to head over Thursday (Aug. 6) to see if I can try to practice."

At the rate Duquette is going, though, he may not even need it.

OFFICIAL RESULTS -- Canaan Fair 100
ACT Tiger Sportsman Tri-State Series -- Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan, N.H.
Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pos.-Driver-Hometown (# - denotes rookie)

1. Shawn Duquette, Morrisonville, N.Y.
2. Joey Roberts, Georgia
3. Joey Becker, Jeffersonville
4. Jason Bonnett, St. Albans
5. Toby Ebersole, Peru, N.Y.
6. Jimmy Hebert, Williamstown
7. Lance Allen, Barre
8. Brendan Moodie, North Wolcott
9. Skip Liberty, Peru, N.Y.
10. Eric Badore, Milton
11. #Erik Steel, Barre
12. Ray Stearns, East Corinth
13. Derrick O'Donnell, Bradford
14. Joey Laquerre, East Montpelier
15. Joel Hodgdon, Craftsbury
16. Josh Demers, Middlesex
17. Mark Barnier, Essex Junction
18. Scott Coburn, Barre
19. #Neal Foster, Waterbury
20. Richie LaFond, Colchester
21. #Kevin Godfrey, Wentworth, N.H.
22. Shawn Fleury, Middlesex
23. George May, Barre

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