Sunday, September 6, 2009

Roy Beats Dupree for Trombley 100 Win, Championship

Roy is first Canadian to win track title since 1971

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -- Martin Roy's car owner, Jean-Claude Fortin, issued some unsolicited advice to Airborne Speedway champion Patrick Dupree at the 2008 awards banquet: Enjoy your reign as king now, because 2009 will belong to us. After a win on opening day in May, Roy backed up Fortin's claim, saying, "It's my year." On Saturday night, both men were proven correct.

Roy dominated the second half of the Charlie Trombley Memorial 100-lap championship finale for the headline Modified division on Saturday night at the Plattsburgh, N.Y. track, holding off Dupree for the win and the championship, unofficially, by 14 points.

Roy started 13th on the 30-car field and quickly worked his way through traffic, passing Dupree for eighth place on lap 2. Roy reaching third place by passing Chris Cayea on lap 10, then moved under Cameron Grady to take second away on lap 24. Pierre Berthiaume led the first 46 laps from the pole position, but his car shut down following a restart, allowing Roy to slip by and inherit the lead. Dupree, who started 11th, used a tire-saving strategy for the first half of the race, content to ride in the back half of the top-five while racing with Andy Heywood and Mike Bruno before taking second place form Heywood on the 57th lap.

After a restart on lap 65, Dupree turned the wick up a bit, running Roy down in lapped traffic. However, a red flag for a nasty crash on lap 79 involving Heywood, George Foley, and Michel Viens effectively put a stop to Dupree's charge. Roy was faster than Dupree immediately following each late-race restart, while Dupree was much faster after about three laps of green flag racing (Dupree turned a 16.007-second lap -- the fastest lap of the year in any feature race, on lap 94, three laps after a restart), but late cautions kept Dupree stuck behind Roy.

The victory was Roy's seventh of the year in 15 events -- jus shy of 47% of the races run -- and solidified him as the champion, unofficially, by 14 points over Dupree, who won three times. During the season, the pair finished within one position of each other on eight occasions; on four of those nights, Roy beat Dupree for a victory, and twice Dupree beat Roy to win.

"I'm very happy. The competition is very hard at this place and it's very special for me to win in the U.S.A.," said Roy, with help from interpreter Steve Morin. Roy, of Napierville, Qué., is the first Canadian driver since Denis Giroux in 1971 to win a headline division championship at Airborne.

Dupree was extremely frustrated with his runner-up finish in the race -- although not necessarily the championship -- and placed the blame on himself. "I was thinking I was going to save tires [for the longer distance race], but I should have went right for the front. I was a much faster car. I gave that one away. Maybe not the championship, but tonight's race I gave away, like a (expletive) moron. Yup, just gave it away, watched [Roy] drive right by. Oh well, thought we had to save the tires, but they were fine."

The Saranac Lake, N.Y. racer thought that less caution periods could have helped his chances to pass Roy at the end of the race. "Yeah, I'd say at that point a longer green flag run would have helped us because I would have got him, but he's got a lot of motor in his starts and everything. He's got so much freaking motor, it pulls pretty good on the starts, it takes three or four laps to get back settled in, and the freaking caution comes out. If we had some green flag I would have got him, but it was my fault letting him go in the first place, he went right to the front."

Roy was appreciative of his season-long title fight with Dupree, which remained clean and respectful throughout the year. "It was very tight, very tight. Every race, it's like it's me and Patrick finish before [one another], finish after, finish before, finish after, and [it happened again] tonight. I was very, very nervous. In my life, I've lost three championships at the last [race]. In 2007 at this place, at Granby in '07, and Granby in '06. At Granby in '06 we ran at the rear in the feature, and we got in a wreck in '07 while leading the feature. That could have given us enough points to win the championship, so we were nervous about [something similar tonight]. You always think about the bad times instead of the good times, like when we won in '05 at Drummond. But tonight nothing bad happened. It's a happy time."

Dupree liked the idea of a close point battle, but felt as though Roy's team was better overall. "You know, it was close, but we were nowhere near as good as those guys," he said. "I mean, we had a little bit of bad luck, but we didn't 'get it' nearly as much as they did as far as the setups. We worked at it a lot, but with the new [progressively banked track surface constructed in April] we were struggling a little bit more. It was pretty good, like, tonight was probably the best it's been, but the track is so weird, it loosens up now [at night]. The later it goes, the looser the track seems to get, and everyone's got to deal with the same thing."

Behind Roy and Dupree on the track, Castleton racer Bruno finished third. Leon Gonyo of Chazy, N.Y. finished fourth, with Richard Tisseur of Chateauguay, Qué. fifth. Matt Woodruff, Cayea, Mike Reyell, Jason Durgan, and Mike Phinney completed the unofficial top ten.

Robin Wood of Plattsburgh posted his sixth Sportsman feature win of the season in a rough 25-lap event. Bucko Branham was the runner-up, with Travis Bruno inheriting third place after apparent finisher Tylor Terry faield post-race inspection. Jamy Begor and Jim Bushey completed the unofficial top five. Rob Gordon of Milton won the 25-lap Renegade feature over point leader Nick Heywood, Kevin Boutin, Lance Rabtoy, and Randy LaDue. Randy Martin of Keeseville, N.Y. won the Mini-Modified feature, and Bill Joyal of AuSable Forks, N.Y. was the Bomber winner.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS -- Charlie Trombley Memorial Night presented by Cold Spring Granite and Bimbo Bakeries
Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009


Ernie's Discount Tools Modified (100 laps)
1. Martin Roy, Napierville, Qué.
2. Patrick Dupree, Saranac Lake, N.Y.
3. Mike Bruno, Castleton
4. Leon Gonyo, Chazy, N.Y.
5. Richard Tisseur, Chateauguay, Qué.
6. Matt Woodruff, Bloomingdale, N.Y.
7. Chris Cayea, Mooers, N.Y.
8. Mike Reyell, West Chazy, N.Y.
9. Jason Durgan, Morrisonville, N.Y.
10. Mike Phinney, Keeseville, N.Y.

J&S Steel Sportsman (25 laps)
1. Robin Wood, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
2. Bucko Branham, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
3. Travis Bruno, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
4. Jamy Begor, Mooers, N.Y.
5. Jim Bushey, Mooers Forks, N.Y.

Versatile Trailer Sales Renegade (25 laps)
1. Rob Gordon, Milton
2. Nick Heywood, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
3. Kevin Boutin, Jr., Swanton
4. Lance Rabtoy, Fairfax
5. Randy LaDue, West Chazy, N.Y.

Keeseville NAPA Mini-Modified (15 laps)
1. Randy Martin, Keeseville, N.Y.
2. Billy Thwaits, Clintonville, N.Y.
3. Justin Doner, Keeseville, N.Y.
4. Rick Doner, AuSable Forks, N.Y.
5. Dustin Duvall, Keeseville, N.Y.

Monster Energy Bomber (15 laps)
1. Bill Joyal, AuSable Forks, N.Y.
2. Jayson Blondo, Champlain, N.Y.
3. Chad Collins, Morrisonville, N.Y.
4. Josh LeClaire, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
5. Curtis Seymour, Jr., Plattsburgh, N.Y.

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