Richner takes Airborne Mini Mod 50
PLATTSBURGH – After biding his time for 25 laps, Scott Richner pounced on the leaders and went on to win Saturday’s Casella Mini Modified 50-lap main event.
Richner had the Beaulac Excavating/Bushey’s Auto Repair No. 81 up to third place on a lap 31 restart. He passed Steven Bresette for the lead on lap 35 and held it the rest of the way while eventual runner-up Pete Blaney, Bresette and Dale O’Neil duked it out for second.
Bresette finished third to fortify his point lead with O’Neil fourth and Mike Whalen Jr. fifth. Harold LaVair, Bobby LaVair and Tim LaFountain were next in line.
“I tried to take it slow and let everybody shuffle through,” Richner said. “It’s a great way to end the night after breaking a water pump in practice.”
Travis Bruno landed the Bruno’s Small Engine Repair/Adirondack Water No. 69 in victory lane in the 1st of two Sportsman Modified features. The first 25-lap event counted toward the Airborne J&S Steel Sportsman Modified point standings.
Codie Aubin led the first 10 laps. Bruno shot underneath him for the lead on lap 11. Bruno’s only close moment came on the final lap when he was slowed by backmarkers in the low lane as Mark Lamberton closed ground behind him. Nick Heywood was a close third, followed by Aubin and Jayson Criss.
“I had smooth sailing for a while, but I got a little nervous at the end,” Bruno said. “I knew Lamberton was coming and I didn’t want to get picked off.”
In the nightcap – a Sportsman-358 Modified Challenge – Lamberton drew the pole and smoked the field. The racing for spots 2-6 behind Lamberton was very good. Jason Durgan wound up in 2nd with Leon Gonyo 3rd, Nick Heywood 4th, Bruno 5th and Jessey Mueller 6th.
Robert Gordon got by Josh Terry on the last lap to win the Key Rd Trailer Sales Renegade feature. It was the third win in a row for the division’s all-time winner (19). Terry had a seasonal best second-place run. Positions 3-5 went to Jamy Begor, Lance Rabtoy and Shawn Duquette.
“As long as they give me the bottom, I’ll take it,” Gordon said, “even if it is harder on the brakes down there. I hate to see this set of tires go, but I think they’re all done now.
Gordon will try to continue his winning streak Saturday, Aug. 9 in the Champlain Smiles 100. After a competition yellow at the halfway mark, the race leader will have the option of earning a $500 bonus by dropping back to the rear of the field.
Despite being Airborne’s winningest driver all-time, Gordon is still seeking his first track championship. Having drawn even with Rabtoy in the 2014 standings, Gordon finds himself only two points ahead of Mooers driver Jamy Begor.
Saturday’s 100-lap event – the Renegades typically run 30-lap features – is the second long-distance event of the season for the 8-cylinder, crate motor, metric chassis cars. Gordon won the 98.9 WOKO FM 100 in June. He led at the halfway point when a competition yellow was thrown for refueling and minor adjustments (no tire changes).