Dupree recovers for fifth place
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -- Martin Roy did exactly what he needed to do on Saturday night at Airborne Speedway: Win.
The Napierville, Qué. driver, who entered the Aird Dorrance/Monster Energy/Taylor Rental event in a tie atop the Modified point standings with defending track champion Patrick Dupree, posted his sixth victory of the season, taking advantage of some troubles suffered by his title rival.
Dupree was involved in minor incident in his qualifying heat race to begin the evening, breaking a tie rod end on his car's steering. Having finished outside the top-four in the heat, Dupree was unable to use his handicapped starting position in the feature race and was forced to start 32nd on the 33-car grid for the 40-lap main event. Roy, however, won his heat and was given his handicapped spot in 11th place.
The results for the evening were almost set into place at that point.
Roy took the lead on a lap 15 restart, passing Richard Tisseur for the top spot. The caution flag had previously come out after Pierre Berthiaume crashed himself out of the lead while attempting to put Chris Cayea and Neal Provost a lap down. Dupree, meanwhile, had to fight his way through heavy traffic, running almost exclusively two- and three-wide through the field. He ran as high as fourth place on the final lap, but was passed just before the finish line by Mike Bruno.
Roy's win, combined with Dupree's fifth-place run -- his first finish not on the podium since May 30 -- gives Roy a 12-point advantage, unofficially, 658-646, with two point-counting races remaining.
Roy knows the championship battle is far from over.
"No, no, no," he said. "The winner (will be decided) on the last lap of the last race. It's very tight with me and Patrick Dupree."
Dupree took his misfortune in stride. "Throughout the whole race I probably melted the right-front and the right-rear (tires) off," said the Saranac Lake, N.Y. driver "That last lap when the 22 (Bruno) got by me, I figured I'd try to get one more spot and I drove in really hard but those guys checked up. I tried to check up but it just dropped the nose and pushed the car right up. So that was a bonehead, last-ditch attempt at a move, but I think it was the only spot I lost all day. We only lost 12 points, I think, so it wasn't a terrible night. I was a little mad at myself for that last lap and doing something stupid, but all in all it worked out pretty good."
Roy had a run to the front similar to Durpee's on July 11. "I had my bad night a couple of (weeks) ago. I had the pole (for a restart) and had a flat tire. I started 30th with three laps to go and I finished (11th). It's the game."
Tisseur, of Chateauguay, Qué. held on for the runner-up finish, with Chazy, N.Y. driver Leon Gonyo in third place. Bruno, of Castleton, was fourth ahead of Dupree. The top-ten was completed by Andy Heywood, Mike Reyell, Bryant Trim, Matt Woodruff, and Mike Wells. NASCAR driver Kenny Schrader finished 16th, one lap down, with an ill-handling car.
Bucko Branham of Plattsburgh, N.Y. took his third Sportsman victory of the year after passing leader Chris Reeves with four laps remaining. Branham worked his way under second-place runner Rick Frenyea on lap 16, then dueled door-to-door with Reeves for three laps before taking over. Reeves of Plattsburgh, finished second with Saranac, N.Y.'s Frenyea third, Bill Sawyer of Milton fourth, and Shawn Duquette or Morrisonville, N.Y. fifth.
Robin Wood entered the night with a 10-point lead over Branham, but suffered a flat tire late in the race and finished 18th, several laps off the pace. Branham now leads Wood, his nephew, by 19 points, unofficially, 588-569, with foru Sportsman championship events remaining.
Rob Gordon of Milton took the lead from West Chazy, N.Y. driver Randy LaDue with a lap-and-a-half remaining in the 25-lap Renegade feature, and held on for his first win of the season. LaDue finished second, with Swanton's Dave Rabtoy third. Rabtoy led the majority of the race before surrendering to LaDue on lap 19. Josh Terry and Nick Heywood completed the top five.
Billy Thwaits of Clintonville, N.Y. took his fourth Mini-Modified win of the year over Randy Martin and Rick Doner. Josh LeClaire of Plattsbugrh notched his second Bomber win of the year, with Josh LaPorte second and Jayson Blondo third.
Billy VanInwegen, Jr. of Sparrow Bush, N.Y. won a special 20-lap event for the SpeedSTR Midgets. VanInwegen took the lead from Paul Lotier on lap 16 and held on for the win. Carl Labonte passed Lotier for second place two laps later.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS -- Aird Dorrance/Monster Energy/Taylor Rental Night
Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Ernie's Discount Tools Modified (40 laps)
1. Martin Roy, Napierville, Qué.
2. Ricahrd Tisseur, Chateauguay, Qué.
3. Leon Gonyo, Chazy, N.Y.
4. Mike Bruno, Castleton
5. Patrick Dupree, Saranac Lake, N.Y.
6. Andy Heywood, Morrisonville, N.Y.
7. Mike Reyell, West Chazy, N.Y.
8. Bryant Trim, Morrisonville, N.Y.
9. Matt Woodruff, Bloomingdale, N.Y.
10. Mike Wells, West Chazy, N.Y.
J&S Steel Sportsman (25 laps)
1. Bucko Branham, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
2. Chris Reeves, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
3. Rick Frenyea, Saranac, N.Y.
4. Bill Sawyer, Milton
5. Shawn Duquette, Morrisonville, N.Y.
6. Tylor Terry, Morrisonville, N.Y.
7. Howard Stoner, Altona, N.Y.
8. Jamy Begor, Mooers, N.Y.
9. Toby Ebersole, Peru, N.Y.
10. Travis Bruno, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Versatile Trailer Sales Renegade (25 laps)
1. Rob Gordon, Milton
2. Randy LaDue, West Chazy, N.Y.
3. Dave Rabtoy, Swanton
4. Josh Terry, Morrisonville, N.Y.
5. Nick Heywood, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Keeseville NAPA Mini-Modified (20 laps)
1. Billy Thwaits, Clintonville, N.Y.
2. Randy Martin, Keeseville, N.Y.
3. Rick Doner, AuSable Forks, N.Y.
4. Justin Doner, Keeseville, N.Y.
5. Dustin Duvall, Keeseville, N.Y.
Monster Energy Bomber (20 laps)
1. Josh LeClaire, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
2. Josh LaPorte, Peru, N.Y.
3. Jayson Blondo, Champlain, N.Y.
4. Curtis Seymour, Jr., Plattsburgh, N.Y.
5. Curtis LaGrave, Jr., Plattsburgh, N.Y.
SpeedSTR Midget (20 laps)
1. Billy VanInwegen, Jr., Sparrow Bush, N.Y.
2. Carl Labonte, Dummondville, Qué.
3. Paul Lotier, Jr., Lebanon, Penn.
4. Patrick Vigneault, Trois Rivières, Qué.
5. Richie Tobias, Jr., Hershey, Penn.
(PHOTO: Martin Roy of Napierville, Qué. sttod in Airborne Speedway victory lane for the sixth time in 2009 after winning Saturday's 40-lap Modified event. Photo by Justin St. Louis/VMM)