Turner, Terry split Renegades, O’Neil becomes all-time winningest Mini-Mod driver

–by Ricky St. Clair (@Ricky_StClair)
VMM Correspondent

(As seen in the Sunday, August 21 edition of the Press-Republican)

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Nick Heywood celebrated his birthday weekend in style.

Heywood scored his seventh Ernie’s Discount Tools Sportsman Modified win on Aaron’s Military Appreciation Night Saturday at Airborne Park Speedway.

Heywood raced from seventh to first in 11 circuits, and he turned the quickest lap of the race at 16.555 seconds on lap 15.

Heywood will blow out 28 candles today.

“We fought the car all night, and we were slow in times,” Heywood said. “We just kept persevering and changing, and I did three changes before the feature. Normally, I only do one.

“Man, the car came to life.”

While Heywood topped Jamy Begor by 3.198 seconds, he raced conservatively during the closing stages of the event.

“Yeah, I started to get a little bit of a vibration in the right rear,” Heywood said. “I wasn’t sure if the tire was chunking or what happened. So I started to back it down a little bit and hit my marks.”

Begor edged Danny Sullivan for runner-up honors by 0.205 seconds. Jake Branham and Mike Wells completed the unofficial top five.

Wells led the first five laps, while Begor showed the way from laps six to 10.

Richie Turner held off Robert Gordon and Brent Jarvis on a green-white-checkered restart to claim the first of two 20-lap features for the Jeffords Steel Renegades.

Turner, as the race leader, elected to start the final restart on the inside. He rebounded from a practice incident with Dylan Rabtoy earlier in the day.

“With Rob, I was going to take the outside,” Turner said. “But I chose the inside. The car’s starting to push a lot in one and two.

“Instead of hitting (Rabtoy), I tried to go around, and I went too far. I went off the track, and I broke a brake line off, so we had to fix that. We made it back out, and I’d like to thank my crew for all the hard work (Saturday).”

Unofficially, Jon Boutin and Josh Terry joined Gordon and Jarvis as top-five finishers.

Terry took advantage of his third-place starting position to lead all but one lap and win the second 20-lap feature.

Terry survived a lap-seven restart before fending off older brother Tylor Terry for the race victory by 2.627 seconds.

“Yeah, these tires have been on the car for three, four weeks now,” Josh Terry said. “If something ain’t broke, don’t fix it is what they say. So (I’m not) fixing it.”

Jarvis finished behind Tylor Terry to record his second third-place finish in as many starts. Gordon and Turner, who started last in 15th, completed the unofficial top five.

Dale O’Neil swept two 10-lap segments for the Busch Beer Mini Modifieds to score a race-low two points and register his 10th victory of the season.

With the win, O’Neil passed Rick Doner to become the division’s all-time winningest driver with 22-career victories.

“Rick Doner was real good in these cars,” O’Neil said. “So to say you have more wins than him is a pretty good feat, and I’m pretty proud of it. And it’s all because of my crew.

“They give me a great piece.”

Racing resumes at 7 p.m. Saturday with Plattsburgh Ford Night.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – Aaron’s Military Appreciation Night
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
Airborne Park Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Saturday, August 20, 2016


Ernie’s Discount Tools Sportsman Modifieds (30 laps)
1. Nick Heywood, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
2. Jamy Begor, Mooers Forks, N.Y.
3. Danny Sullivan, Morrisonville, N.Y.
4. Jake Branham, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
5. Mike Wells, West Chazy, N.Y.
6. Roger Labreche, St-Remi, Que.
7. Chris Cayea, Mooers, N.Y.
8. Jamie LaFountain, Keeseville, N.Y.
9. Bucko Branham, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
10. Codie Aubin, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Jeffords Steel Renegades Feature #1 (20 laps)
1. Richie Turner, Fairfax, Vt.
2. Robert Gordon, Milton, Vt.
3. Brent Jarvis, Peru, N.Y.
4. Jon Boutin, St. Albans, Vt.
5. Josh Terry, Essex, N.Y.
6. Zach Rabtoy, Fairfax, Vt.
7. Tylor Terry, Morrisonville, N.Y.
8. Jason McClatchie, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
9. Shawn Duquette, Morrisonville, N.Y.
10. Dylan Rabtoy, Swanton, Vt.

Jefford’s Steel Renegades Feature #2 (20 laps)
1. Josh Terry, Essex, N.Y.
2. Tylor Terry, Morrisonville, N.Y.
3. Brent Jarvis, Peru, N.Y.
4. Robert Gordon, Milton, Vt.
5. Richie Turner, Fairfax, Vt.
6. Shawn Duquette, Morrisonville, N.Y.
7. Zach Rabtoy, Fairfax, Vt.
8. Dylan Rabtoy, Swanton, Vt.
9. Jon Boutin, St. Albans, Vt.
10. Jared Blake, North Hero, Vt.

Busch Beer Mini-Modified (2 x 10 laps)
1. Dale O’Neil, Mooers, N.Y.
2. Tyler Irwin, Peru, N.Y.
3. Josh LaPorte, Peru, N.Y.
4. Pete Blaney, Jay, N.Y.
5. Ed Bresette, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

PHOTO: Nick Heywood, seen here earlier this season, won his seventh Ernie’s Discount Tools Sportsman Modified feature event of the season on Saturday night at Airborne Park Speedway, one day before his 28th birthday. (Dave Brown photo)