PHOTO: Martin Roy took his first Airborne Speedway win since May 21 on Saturday night. (Ricky St. Clair/VMM photo)

–by Ricky St. Clair

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Airborne Speedway fans have become accustomed to seeing Martin Roy pull into victory lane several times a year. However, Roy had only one victory entering Saturday night, and a string of bad luck that cost him two potential wins earlier in the season.

It’s safe to say that that bad luck has come to an end.

The 2009 Ernie’s Discount Tools DIRTcar Modified track champion worked his way up from his 12th place starting position in the 27-car field, escaped multiple mishaps in the early stages of the event, and used a mid-race caution to pick off Cameron Grady to take the lead on lap 17.

A lap 16 caution period benefited Roy and helped him set up his move on then-leader Grady. The Napierville, Que., driver used the second lane on the progressively-banked Airborne half-mile to make his race winning pass.

“My plan was to pass [Grady] on the outside groove,” Roy said. “The car was very good on the outside. When I saw the yellow flag on lap 27, I was still comfortable that we had a good enough car to win.”

“We should have had them before, but we’ve been cutting tires,” said Steve Morin, crew chief on Roy’s No. 90 Gamache Truck Center car. “This caution tonight on lap 27 was like a nightmare had come back again, but it was all good. We had to adjust the car to the track. The track changes constantly every week and that adjustment paid off tonight.”

Chief Starter Butch Henry inadvertently threw the checkered flag on lap 28, two laps before the feature event was scheduled to conclude. Yet, it didn’t fool Roy.

“Yes, I saw that,” Roy chuckled. “I checked the board and saw 28 laps and thought, ‘The race is not finished.’ The flagman made a mistake. I know we race 30 laps.”

Grady went on to finish second while Leon Gonyo, Chris Cayea, and Andy Heywood completed the unofficial top five. Positions six through ten were rounded out by Patrice McGrail, Craig Reyell, Maxime Viens, Vince Quenneville, Jr., and Aaron Bartemy.

Point leader Patrick Dupree of Saranac Lake, N.Y., finished 12th after pitting mid-race.

Bucko Branham of Plattsburgh, N.Y., picked up his third checkered flag of the season by claming the win in the 25-lap J&S Steel Sportsman feature. The veteran worked his way up from his 11th-place starting position and used a lap 21 caution period to his advantage by taking the lead from Travis Bruno on the ensuing green flag off of turn two.

Nick Heywood would earn the runner-up spot while Bruno, Shawn Duquette, and Tylor Terry completed the top five.

Milton, Vt., hotshoe Robert Gordon continued his dominance in the Versatile Trailer Sales Renegade feature after winning a classic duel with Plattsburgh’s Josh Allen to win his sixth race of the 2011 campaign.

Gordon was unable to complete the pass on Allen following a lap 14 restart, but was able to solidify himself in the lead following the next restart one lap later.

Allen would go on to finish second at the line with Josh Terry, Joe Warren, and Andrew Bordeau completing the unofficial top five.

Josh LaPorte of Plattsburgh grabbed his first career win in the Keeseville NAPA Auto Parts Mini-Modified division. Speedy Bresette, Erick Sayles, Josh LeClaire, and Mike Whalen, Jr., earned top-five honors.

JohnMichael Bresette of Keeseville, N.Y., claimed his second consecutive win in the Busch Bomber division. Travis Sherman, Curtis LaGrave, Jr., Josh Durivage, and Tyler Crary completed the top five.

Weekly racing at Airborne Speedway continues next Saturday night as Agency Insurance, Haun Welding, and Aird Dorrance will sponsor the racing program. A six-car, six-lap, $250-to-win Renegade Dash will also be included on the racing program.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Aaron’s/Mike Brown Plumbing/Morrisonville Septic/Gordon Oil Night
Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pos.-Driver-Hometown
(# – denotes rookie)

Ernie’s Discount Tools DIRTcar Modified (30 laps)
1. Martin Roy, Napierville, Que.
2. Cameron Grady, Wilmington, N.Y.
3. Leon Gonyo, Chazy, N.Y.
4. Chris Cayea, Mooers Forks, N.Y.
5. Andy Heywood, Morrisonville, N.Y.
6. Patrice McGrail, Candiac, Que.
7. Craig Reyell, West Chazy, N.Y.
8. Maxime Viens, St-Cesaire, Que.
9. Vince Quennville, Brandon, Vt.
10. Aaron Bartemy, Sheldon, Vt.

J&S Steel Sportsman (25 laps)
1. Bucko Branham, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
2. Nick Heywood, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
3. Travis Bruno, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
4. Shawn Duquette, Morrisonville, N.Y.
5. Tylor Terry, Morrisonville, N,Y.
6. Jamie Atkins, Ausable Forks, N.Y
7. Jamy Begor, Mooers Forks, N.Y.
8. Robin Wood, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
9. # David Rabtoy, Swanton, Vt.
10. Casey St. Clair, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Versatile Trailer Sales Renegade (25 laps)
1. Robert Gordon, Milton, Vt.
2. Josh Allen, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
3. Josh Terry, Morrisonville, N.Y.
4. Joe Warren, West Chazy, N.Y.
5. Andrew Bordeau, Dannemora, N.Y.
6. Don Franklin, Milton, Vt.
7. # Curtis Seymour, Jr., Plattsburgh, N.Y.
8. David Drake, Ausable Forks, N.Y.
9. # Rick Doner, Ausable Forks, N.Y.
10. Robbie Favreau, Peru, N.Y.

Keeseville NAPA Auto Parts Mini-Modified (15 laps)
1. # Josh LaPorte, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
2. Speedy Bresette, Castleton, Vt.
3. # Erick Sayles, Saranac Lake, N.Y.
4. Josh LeClaire, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
5. Mike Whalen, Jr., Plattsburgh, N.Y.
6. Chris LaVair, Gabriels, N.Y.
7. Scott Richner, Rouses Point, N.Y.
8. Levi Bombard Ausable Forks, N.Y.
9. Billy Jenkins, Milton, Vt.
10. Kris Clark, Keeseville, N.Y.

Busch Beer Bomber (15 laps)
1. JohnMichael Bresette, Keeseville, N.Y.
2. Travis Sherman, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
3. Curtis LaGrave, Jr., Plattsburgh, N.Y.
4. Josh Durivage, West Chazy, N.Y.
5. Tyler Crary, Saranac Lake, N.Y.
6. Bill Joyal, Sr., Ausable Forks, N.Y.
7. Ray Germain, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
8. Brian Montroy, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
9. Tyler Bresette, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
10. # Dale O’Neil, Plattsburgh, N.Y.