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Bad weather leads to memorable season finish at Mohawk Raceway

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AKWESASNE - The 2012 racing season ended at Mohawk International Raceway this weekend with an unforgettable weekend of events.

The original two-day show was crammed into one as Mother Nature interrupted Friday night’s show just after time trials had ended. The track tried to wait out the rain and they did everything they could, but it was eventually decided that it just wasn’t going to stop in time to get the race in within a reasonable hour, and DIRTcar and MIR officials made the decision to put the remaining Friday events into Saturday afternoon, before the Saturday program was scheduled to start.

It may also have been a first for DIRTcar running all four major Series on the same day at the same track, and it certainly produced a record turnout of cars in the pits, that ended up overflowing into the infield, and parking lot area. It will go down as a day to remember for everyone involved.

The Big Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series headlined the Friday portion of the show which had been postponed to Saturday afternoon, and also featured the Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Series, Go Nuclear Late Models and an open event for the Mod Lites and Bandits. When that was complete the stands and pits were emptied, and people returned to the track for the scheduled Saturday events that featured the 358 Modifieds, DIRTcar Sportsman, Go Nuclear Late Models once again and a CKON TUSA Mod Lite Series race.

For the second year in a row, it was Jimmy Phelps coming out on top of the Big Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series race at MIR. Phelps started seventh in the 100 lap main event and took the lead on lap 32 after Brett Hearn led the opening laps. Phelps remained in command through lap 73 until a caution bunching the field back up. Dale Planck briefly took the lead on the restart. Planck, who had started eighth held the lead for one lap, before the caution was back out, this time for rain. The rain didn’t last long, an soon they were back under green and Phelps regained the top spot and drove to victory over Planck, Justin Haers, Carey Terrance and Steve Bernard.

Joey Ladouceur has more wins then any other driver in the Pro Stock division, and has a great record at Mohawk International Raceway as well. He started seventh in their 50 lap main event and just a few laps later he was into second and took command of the race on a lap 11 restart to take the win in a dominating performance. The margin of victory was nearly half a track over second place finisher Ryan Stabler, Jody Swamp, Bruno Cyr and Allen Peters who were all fighting for positions two through five at the finish.

Sean Beardsley captured the first Go Nuclear Late Model Series feature of the day, finishing ahead of Greg Belyea, Tim Sears Jr. Adam Turner and Jordan Peters.

The Mod Lites and Bandits were also on Friday night’s schedule that got pushed to Saturday. Corbin Miller won the Bandit feature and ‘Nitro’ Nick Sapp won the Mod Lite event.

When Friday night’s events had been completed, the pits and grandstands cleared and everyone would re-enter for Saturday night’s originally scheduled race. After getting everyone situated in the pits, racing got underway with the usual time trials and qualifying events for all classes, followed by the main events.

Tim O’Brien and Dale Planck led the field to the green flag for the 75 lap 358 Modified main event. Planck led the first 27 circuits before falling back, and Billy Dunn took command of the race. He was challenged by Matt Billings for the next several laps until a mid race restart on the outside of the dry slick racing surface sent him back to third as Australian Peter Britten moved into the runner-up position. Dunn drove to victory, ending a banner season at Mohawk Raceway winning the track championship, the Frenchie’s “Chevy Runs Deep” Modified Championship as well as both DIRTcar 358 Modified Series races. Dale Planck and Danny O’Brien rounded out the top five.

Mathieu Desjardins claimed his first ever DIRTcar Sportsman Series victory at Mohawk International Raceway on Saturday night. He took the lead right from the drop of the green flag and lead all 50 laps. Desjardins, a regular at Autodrome Granby and Drummond held off several challenges from Chris Herbison over several restarts to claim the win. Herbison finished second, ahead of Brandon Easey, Devin Caron and Gary Lindberg.

The Go Nuclear Late Model Challenge Series was back in action on Saturday night’s program. This time it was Dale Caswell taking the win holding off a late race challenge from Adam Turner.

The final round of the CKON 97.3 TUSA Mod Lite Series was also on the card for Saturday and the winner was Jim Bogett. Bryan Green had a great season, winning the Mod Lite Championship at MIR and also won the CKON TUSA Mod Lite Series.

The annual Ironman Slick Enduro will conclude the 2012 season at Mohawk International Raceway on Saturday, September 29, at 2 p.m. The 100 lap Enduro will pay $1,500 to win, $1,000 for second and $500 for third. Rules and Entry Form are available at the Mohawk International Raceway website listed below. Cost to register the car is just $60, which does not include driver admission.

For more information, visit the track website at www.MohawkInternationalRaceway.com.

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