Vermont Motorsports Magazine

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Branham Garners Third Straight 4-20s Win

Posted By Tj Ingerson On August 6, 2012

Categories: Airborne

BFR Chassis, the asphalt chassis specialist, Whately, Massachusetts, www.bfrchassis.comPHOTO: "I feel like Michael Phelps," Bucko Branham said after donning medals recognizing his two segment and overall wins. The 28-year racing veteran collected his third straight 4-20s win Saturday night at Airborne Speedway. (Ricky St. Clair/VMM photo)

--by Ricky St. Clair

The Games of the XXX Olympiad may be going on across the pond in London, but Bucko Branham had an international battle of his own Saturday night at Airborne Speedway.

After Québécois invaders Maxime Pelletier and Steve Cote claimed the first two of three USA/Canada Late Model Series events earlier in the year, Branham finally brought home the gold for the United States by claiming his sixth win of 2012 in the third annual 4-20s.

Branham concluded his night with two segment wins, a fourth-place run in the second 20-lap sprint, and a runner-up to Cote in segment four to conclude his night with eight points.

“I knew all the segments were going to be really tough with Cote, Pelletier, Robin Wood and Jamy Begor, so I just drove every lap like it was the last one,” Branham said. “In the fourth segment, we obviously had a fast car. Me and my guys have been working really hard trying setups from the beginning of the year to mid-season and apparently it showed tonight.”

The Plattsburgh, N.Y., racing veteran has won all three 4-20 events at the speedway since the inaugural edition was completed in August 2010.

“It’s a no-holds-barred race and that’s the way I like driving,” Branham said. “I wish I could just be more aggressive without damaging somebody’s car. It is what it is and we came out on top, so that’s good.”

Cote, who competes regularly on the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and asphalt Modifieds in the greater Sacramento, Calif., area during the off-season, finished with 13 points to finish runner-up behind Branham.

“The No. 20 (of Branham) was really fast today, so I don’t have any disappointment finishing behind a guy that races here every week, and to finish that close in second is pretty good,” Cote said. “My goal was to finish in front of Pelletier because I’m close with him in points. I’ll have the lead going into the last race of the year at St-Eustache, so that’s good.”

Wood, a two-time and defending track champion in the division, garnered 15 points (6+2+4+3) and got the tiebreaker over Pelletier by finishing better than the 2011 St-Eustache track champion in the final segment.

“The car hasn’t been that great lately, but we made some progress tonight,” Wood said. “We still haven’t won a segment at all after three years, so I’m a little disappointed about that. We definitely picked it up a lot since (the Canadians competitors) first came here. We’re pretty happy with third.”

Pelletier of Mascouche, Que., finished fourth and St-Jerome, Que., front-runner Jean-Francois Bouvrette completed the unofficial top-five.

Mooers Forks, N.Y., driver Jamy Begor finished sixth after making hard contact with a light pole on the backstretch in segment three. Positions seven through ten were credited to Stephane Aubin, Martin Goulet, Marc-Antoine Demers, and Sebastien Joseph.

The six-race series will culminate Saturday, September 8 with a 125-lap “shootout” at the four-tenths mile Autodrome St-Eustache near Montreal, Que.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS -- Della Auto Group/Furniture World of Vermont/Culligan Water/Aaron’s 4-20s
Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Saturday, August 4, 2012

1. Bucko Branham, Plattsburgh, N.Y. -- 8
2. Steve Cote, Ile Bizard, Que. -- 13
3. Robin Wood, Plattsburgh, N.Y. -- 15
4. Maxime Pelletier, Mascouche, Que. -- 15
5. Jean-Francois Bouvrette, St-Jerome, Que. -- 30
6. Jamy Begor, Mooers Forks, N.Y. -- 38
7. Stephane Aubin, Boisbriand, Que. -- 41
8. Martin Goulet, Mascouche, Que. -- 43
9. Marc Antoine-Demers, Le Gardeur, Que. -- 43
10. Sebastien Joseph, Terrebonne, Que. -- 47
11. Shawn Duquette, Morrisonville, N.Y. -- 52
12. Casey St. Clair, Plattsburgh, N.Y. -- 54
13. Jason Bonnett, St. Albans, Vt. -- 55
14. Sylvain Contant, Mascouche, Que. -- 55
15. Chris Frennier, West Chazy, N.Y. -- 60
16. Dave Rabtoy, Fairfax, Vt. -- 62
17. Martin Lacombe, Terrebonne, Que. -- 62
18. Fred Lagoy, Morrisonville, N.Y. -- 64
19. Rico Hernandez, Clintonville, N.Y. -- 72
20. Jamie Atkins, AuSable Forks, N.Y. -- 76
21. Keith Pelkey, Clintonville, N.Y. -- 78
22. Brian McGinley, Plattsburgh, N.Y. -- 80
23. George Foley, Vermontville, N.Y. -- 88
24. Martin Fauteaux, Terrebonne, Que. -- 99
25. Hani Chiniara, Montreal, Que. -- 100
26. Brad Bushey, Fairfax, Vt. -- 102