Stone stays out of the fray in Airborne opener

PLATTSBURGH – Todd Stone began defense of his Airborne DIRTcar Modified title with a convincing win in the Craig Ormsby Memorial 60-lap main event before a large opening day crowd Saturday. Stone started on the pole by luck of the draw and it was a good place to be since the race included eight cautions and two red flags.

Stone was pressured on the early restarts by Pierre Berthiaume, but he was always able to assume command after a lap or two of green flag racing. Berthiaume had to pit for a tire in the latter stages of the race, which ushered Craig Reyell, Leon Gonyo and Jessey Mueller into contention.

Gonyo took over second with five laps left. Mueller, a high school senior from Olmstedville who was driving with his right wrist in a cast, moved into third on the final lap. Reyell was fourth and Maxime Viens was fifth.

The first red flag was needed after Kris Vernold brushed Mueller’s car and swerved into the path of Patrick Dupree of Saranac Lake, sending him hard into the first turn wall. Dupree was uninjured, but his car ended up on top of Vernold’s and both machines were severely damaged.

In the closing laps, Mike Reyell, running in the top 10, slammed violently into the fourth-turn wall, bringing out the second red flag. Earlier in qualifying action, former track champion George Foley of Vermontville destroyed his No. 34 after a bout with the first turn wall that flipped him completely over.

Positions six through 10 went to Mike Wells, Dan Brown, Matt Woodruff, Mikhail Lebreche and Berthiaume.

“We’re out to try and win another title,” Stone said. “Starting first definitely helped. Sometimes races have lots of cautions. I felt I had to keep pushing the car even though at times I had a big lead.

“I knew Craig Ormsby,” Stone continued. “He touched a lot of hearts in the racing community.”

Defending Sportsman Modified champion Nick Heywood of Plattsburgh got his 2013 season off to a good start with a win over Mike Phinney and Jamie LaFountain in the 25-lap feature.

Heywood took the lead on a lap 7 restart. He opened a sizeable lead that dwindled in lap traffic late in the race, but Phinney could never draw alongside. Rick Doner placed fourth. Jake Branham completed the top five.

The Adirondack Water Limited Late Models swapped the lead multiple times. Jamy Begor spent 15 laps at the front, but Robin Wood used the outside lane on a lap-17 restart to grab the lead and he went on to win in the Rent-A-Wreck/Leland’s Barber Shop No. 61. Danny Sullivan and rookie Nick Lagoy were very competitive in fourth and fifth.

Jason McClatchie of Plattsburgh made good use of a late race restart to get the better of early Renegade feature leader Richie Turner. It was McClatchie’s sixth career win. Turner held on to second ahead of Lance Rabtoy (third), Josh Terry (fourth) and Ryan Boutin (fifth).

Eric Reyell of Morrisonville won the Busch Mini Modiifed feature. Rob Clark and Ty Drown were next in line.

Modified Feature

60 laps

1. Todd Stone 2. Leon Gonyo 3. Jessey Mueller 4. Craig Reyell 5. Max Viens 6. Mike Wells 7. Dan Brown 8. Matt Woodruff 9. Mikail Labreche 10.Pierre Berthiaume 11.Mike Reyell 12. Andy Lindeman 13.Andy Heywood 14. Kris Vernold 15. Patrick Dupree 16. Chris Cayea 17. Richard Tisseur 18. Roger Labreche 19. Todd Ormsby 20. Ryan McLean

Sportsman Modified Feature

25 laps

1. Nick Heywood 2. Mike Phinney 3. Jamie LaFountain 4. Rick Doner 5. Jake Branham 6. Lonnie Rivers 7. Eric Lauziere 8. Erick Sayles 9. Joe Daniels 10.Tom Remington 11.Chris Sousie 12.Rico Hernandez 13.Johnmichael Bresette 14.Brian McGinley 15. Speedy Bresette 16. Codie Aubin 17. Keith Pelkey 18 Travis Bruno.

Limited Late Model Feature

25 laps

1. Robin Wood 2. Jamy Begor 3. Bucko Branham 4. Danny Sullivan 5. Nick Lagoy 6. Dylan Payea 7. Dave Rabtoy 8. Brandon Atkins 9. Michael Chagnon 10.Chris Frennier 11.Casey St. Clair 12. Shawn Duquette 13. Larry Underwood 14. Austin McKiernan 15.Cody Meyers