Foley races to modified victory

PLATTSBURGH – George Foley of Vermontville drove to his second win Saturday in a “Run What Ya’ Brung” open competition modified event at Airborne Speedway that was shortened three laps by a red flag incident.

The race was haulted and eventually ruled complete when a track official needed emergency medical assistance after being struck on the racing surface by a race car as the field circled under caution. The victim suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to CVPH Medical Center.

Foley’s No. 34 roofless with a spoiler and a sail panel, turned several laps more than a second faster than the usual DIRTcar modified times around Airborne’s progressively-banked half-mile and held a straightaway lead over Pierre Berthiaume when the original yellow was thrown.

Berthiaume, fast-closing Jessey Mueller, Patrick Dupree and Todd Stone were scored in positions 2 through 5. The second half of the top 10 was comprised of Andy Heywood, Leon Gonyo, Chris Cayea, Maxime Viens and Mikhail Labreche.

The open competition race was a special event with appearance points and points for laps completed in contrast to the usual weekly point distribution format.

In the night’s first feature, Bucko Branham jumped out to an early lead and stayed ahead of Robin Wood and Jamy Begor as they battled for second to claim his fourth Limited Late Model win, a divisional best. Wood maintained the top spot in the point standings by holding off Begor for the runner-up spot. Danny Sullivan was a close fourth. Branham and Wood won the Limited Late Model heats.

“We switched the car up to be able to run the bottom the best because running the outside has been so popular,” Branham said of his Bud Light/Liquor&Wine Warehouse No. 20.

Jamie LaFountain of Keeseville was named the winner of the Haun Welding Night Sportsman Modified feature after apparent race winner Eric Lauziere failed tech inspection. It was LaFountain’s second win of the season.

Point leader Nick Heywood of Plattsburgh, who gained three positions in the last 10 laps, placed second. Joe Daniels, Lonnie Rivers and Mike Phinney were scored third, fourth and fifth. Rico Hernandez and Rick Doner both ran in the top three in the first half of the race before faltering.

Josh Leclaire of Plattsburgh led the final 22 laps to post his first career win in the Renegade feature. Robbie Favreau of Peru kept close contact with Leclaire for the last 15 laps, but was never able to draw alongside. Jon Boutin reeled in Tylor Terry to earn third. Lance Rabtoy, shuffled to the rear in traffic early, rallied back to finish near Terry in fifth good enough to take over the Renegade point lead.

“We finally got the car to where it would go through the corners,” Leclaire said. “I just had to be sure not to run it in too hard.”

The postponed Busch Mini Modified feature will be made up Saturday, Aug. 24.