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Heywood Bookends Airborne Season for Historic Fourth Title

Posted By Tj Ingerson On September 8, 2015

Categories: Airborne

Nick Heywood of Plattsburgh carries the checkered flag after winning the finale J&S Steel Modified race of the season and securing his record fourth consecutive Airborne Park Speedway championship. (Dave Brown photo)PHOTO: Nick Heywood of Plattsburgh carries the checkered flag after winning the finale J&S Steel Modified race of the season and securing his record fourth consecutive Airborne Park Speedway championship. (Dave Brown photo)

Turner wins second Renegade championship; LaVair celebrates first Mini-Mod crown

(From track press release)

Nick Heywood finished his season at Airborne Park Speedway the same way he started it – in victory lane – and used an incredible run of consistency between his wins to capture a record fourth consecutive track championship on Saturday, September 5. The Plattsburgh native accomplished the milestone at the Huntley Trucking/Ernie’s Discount Tools Championship Night event for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series presented by Yandow Sales & Service and John Deere.

The J&S Steel Modified division ran a pair of 50-lap extra-distance races to wrap up their championship schedule, with Morrisonville racer Jason Durgan taking the win in the opening round. Low-buck racer Speedy Bresette led the opening 14 laps before Durgan was able to make his way past and sail to his fourth win of the year. Late Model standout Bobby Therrien of Hinesburg, VT finished an impressive second in his first Modified race of the year, followed by Leon Gonyo – from 18th starting position – Heywood, and rookie Timex Morgan.

Heywood’s score came in the nightcap as he put an exclamation point on his season. Bresette again led early before giving way to Greg Atkins on lap 21. Heywood took control just three circuits later, then cruised to the win and sealed up the title. Atkins finished second in the race, with Gonyo third for the second time on the night. Jamie LaFountain finished fourth with rookie Jamy Begor fifth.

Heywood became the first driver in Airborne Park Speedway’s 62-year history to win four-straight championships. Between his opening-night win on May 2 and the 50-lap finale, Heywood compiled a record of 15 top-five finishes in 19 starts, and finished worse than ninth just once, on August 1.

“It’s a heck of a feeling,” Heywood said. “It makes all the hard work and effort worth it – but it’s very stressful, I can tell you that,” he said with a laugh.

Richie Turner of Fairfax, VT came out on top of a torrid points battle in the Key R-D Trailer Sales Renegade division for the second Airborne championship of his career, 11 years after his first title. Turner finished third in the 50-lap finale and had the best seat in the house for a thrilling fight for the win between Shawn Duquette and Dylan Rabtoy.

Duquette, of Morrisonville, raced in close formation with 16 year-old Rabtoy over the final dozen laps, then squeezed ahead to lead only the final two circuits. Rabtoy settled for second place, followed by Turner, Jason McClatchie, and Jimmy Bushey. Robert Gordon of Milton, VT finished second in the standings, just two points ahead of Duquette.

Chris LaVair of Gabriels celebrated the first championship of his long career in style, taking down a two-segment, 50-lap finale for the Busch Beer Mini-Modified division. LaVair played his part in the final chapter of the season-long “Chris & Kris Show” as he and Keeseville racer Kris Clark each won one of the 25-lap segments of the race. LaVair ended up as the overall winner and champion, with Clark second in both the race and point standings. Dale O’Neil finished third in the race followed by Tyler Irwin and Tim LaFountain.

Special 10-lap “Non-Winners Shootout” races completed the night’s action for drivers who had not won a main event during the season. Plattsburgh’s Speedy Bresette won the Modified race over Jamy Begor for his first-ever win, and Andrew Bordeau of Dannemora took the Renegade checkers ahead of rookie Tony Salerno. Rob Clark, Jr. of Keeseville won the Mini-Modified race over Pete Blaney.

Danny Sullivan of Morrisonville was named the Ernie’s Discount Tools Rookie of the Year in the Modified class, with the same honors going to Michael Wright of Alburgh, VT in the Renegade division and Tanner Crary of Saranac Lake in the Mini-Modifieds.

Durgan’s win entered him into a tie with Bucko Branham for the most Modified victories on the season, and the two will split a $500 cash bonus as co-champions of the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel “Hottest Shoe” Challenge for 2015. Three-time Renegade winners Turner and Josh Terry will share a $250 bonus, and Mini-Mod stars LaVair and Clark will split a $100 bonus with six wins each.

Airborne Park Speedway will formally honor its champions, top drivers, and special award winners at the Banquet of Champions, with details to be announced soon.

Airborne Park Speedway is located on Broderick Road in Plattsburgh, NY, one mile south of Exit 36 on the Interstate 87 Northway. Visit for more information, or call (518) 647-4444. Airborne Park Speedway is on Facebook at and on Twitter at @AirborneSpeed.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – Huntley Trucking/Ernie’s Discount Tools Championship Night
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series – Airborne Park Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Saturday, September 5, 2015

(# -- denotes rookie)

J&S Steel Modified Feature #1 (50 laps)
1. Jason Durgan, Morrisonville, N.Y.
2. Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg, Vt.
3. Leon Gonyo, Chazy, N.Y.
4. Nick Heywood, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
5. # Timex Morgan, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
6. Jamie LaFountain, Keeseville, N.Y.
7. # Jamy Begor, Mooers Forks, N.Y.
8. Mike Wells, West Chazy, N.Y.
9. Codie Aubin, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
10. # Danny Sullivan, Morrisonville, N.Y.

J&S Steel Modified Feature #2 (50 laps)
1. Nick Heywood, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
2. Greg Atkins, Clintonville, N.Y.
3. Leon Gonyo, Chazy, N.Y.
4. Jamie LaFountain, Keeseville, N.Y.
5. # Jamy Begor, Mooers Forks, N.Y.
6. # Danny Sullivan, Morrisonville, N.Y.
7. Jason Durgan, Morrisonville, N.Y.
8. Speedy Bresette, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
9. Codie Aubin, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
10. Andy Heywood, Morrisonville, N.Y.

Key R-D Trailer Sales Renegades (50 laps)
1. Shawn Duquette, Morrisonville, N.Y.
2. Dylan Rabtoy, Swanton, Vt.
3. Richie Turner, Fairfax, Vt.
4. Jason McClatchie, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
5. Jimmy Bushey, Mooers Forks, N.Y.
6. Zack Daniels, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
7. Robert Gordon, Milton, Vt.
8. Josh Terry, Essex, N.Y.
9. # Michael Wright, Alburgh, Vt.
10. Brent Jarvis, Peru, N.Y.

Busch Beer Mini Modifieds (2 x 25 laps)
1. Chris LaVair, Saranac Lake, N.Y.
2. Kris Clark, Keeseville, N.Y.
3. Dale O’Neil, Mooers, N.Y.
4. Tyler Irwin, Peru, N.Y.
5. Tim LaFountain, Keeseville, N.Y.
6. Scott Richner, Rouses Point, N.Y.
7. Eddie Bresette, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
8. Pete Blaney, Jay, N.Y.
9. Harold LaVair Jr., Gabriels, N.Y.
10. Matt Brousseau, Peru, N.Y.