PHOTO: Kevin Boutin won the biggest race of the season for Airborne Speedway’s Renegade division on Saturday. (Ricky St. Clair/VMM photo)

Foley wins Dick Nephew Memorial “topless” race

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Airborne Speedway fans have become accustomed to Kevin Boutin’s patience and consistency on the racetrack. Saturday night, Boutin showed no signs of losing those characteristics after slicing his way through traffic and avoiding multiple mishaps in en route to winning the 50-lap Renegade feature.

The Swanton, Vt., racer started 12th in the 21-car field and maneuvered his way to the lead by slipping underneath six-time winner Robert Gordon down the backstretch on lap 24.

“Patience is the name of the game in these long-distance races,” Boutin said. “This week I was a little more patient. I got to spend more time strategizing from the back by picking my lanes. Tonight, it seemed to pay off.”

The defending Renegade track champion survived two late-race restarts both occurring on lap 34. The final 16-lap shootout featured division favorites Gordon, Josh Terry, and Lance Rabtoy right on Boutin’s tail.

“You know, I’m always worried,” Boutin said after looking at the scoreboard before the final restart of the race. “Those are all good cars. I’d have to say I was pretty confident in my car tonight. I definitely thought I had a really good car. I kept that confidence in my mind and it helped me on those restarts.”

The win was Boutin’s third checkered flag of the year.

“Every win is great,” Boutin said. “It’s a great morale booster for the team. It pays off for all of the hard work. To take three wins this year is a really good win for us. We’ve had a good car and we’ve been lucky for sure.”

The top five was completed by Gordon, Terry, Rabtoy, and Robbie Favreau.

George Foley of Saranac Lake, N.Y., escaped a classic battle with Greg Atkins and Martin Roy to grab the Dick Nephew Memorial checkered flag in the 30-lap Modified feature on “topless night” in which each car removed its roof.

Foley started 11th in the 26-car field, avoided a violent accident on lap 2 involving Patrick Dupree and Patrice McGrail, and slipped underneath Atkins and Roy to take the lead on lap 19.

Roy, Atkins, Roger Labreche, and Pierre Berthiaume rounded out the top five. Labreche’s finish was the best of his Airborne career.

Positions six through ten were credited to Aaron Bartemy, Vince Quenneville, Jr., Jimmy Ryan, Andy Heywood, and Mike Phinney.

With Roy’s runner-up finish and Dupree’s accident crediting him with a 26th-place finish, Roy can clinch his second Airborne title since 2009 with a finish of 12th or better in next week’s 50-lap regular season finale.

After driving from ninth to first in five laps during his heat race, there was no question that Bucko Branham had arguably the fastest Sportsman car of the evening. The Plattsburgh native collected his fourth checkered flag of the year by holding off a hard-charging Nick Heywood in the later stages of the 25-lap feature event.

Robin Wood, who started dead last in the 19-car field after getting involved in a tangle during his qualifier would charge through the field and grab the runner up spot. Heywood, Danny Sullivan, and Shawn Duquette would conclude the unofficial top five.

John Bradley of Plattsburgh picked up his first career checkered flag after nine years of racing by claiming the 15-lap Mini-Modified feature. Speedy Bresette, Erick Sayles, Josh LeClaire and Kris Clark earned top five honors.

Josh Durivage of West Chazy was the apparent victor in the Busch Bomber feature. However, a fellow competitor in the division — Curtis LaGrave, Jr. — elected to “claim” Durivage’s engine for $600. Because Durivage and his team declined to sell the engine and accept the money, by rule, he was stripped of the win and disqualified for the remainder of the 2011 season at Airborne Speedway.

JohnMichael Bresette of Keeseville inherited the win followed by Dale O’Neil, Rob Sines, Ray Germain, and Tyler Bresette.

Weekly racing continues next Saturday night at Airborne Speedway. A 50-lap Modified feature and a 50-lap Sportsman event are on the racing card. Post time is slated for 6:00pm.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Liquor & Wine Warehouse/Plattsburgh Distributing/Casella Night
Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Saturday, August 27, 2011

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

Ernie’s Discount Tools DIRTcar Modified (30 laps)
1. George Foley, Saranac Lake, N.Y.
2. Martin Roy, Napierville, Que.
3. Greg Atkins, Clintonville, N.Y.
4. # Roger Labreche, Roxton Pond, Que.
5. Pierre Berthiaume, Joliet, Que.
6. Aaron Bartemy, Sheldon, Vt.
7. Vince Quenneville, Jr., Brandon, Vt.
8. # Jim Ryan, Shoreham, Vt.
9. Andy Heywood, Morrisonville, N.Y.
10. Mike Phinney, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

J&S Steel Sportsman (25 laps)
1. Bucko Branham, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
2. Robin Wood, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
3. Nick Heywood, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
4. Danny Sullivan, Morrisonville, N.Y.
5. Shawn Duquette, Morrisonville, N.Y.
6. Jamy Begor, Mooers Forks, N.Y.
7. Howard Stoner, Altona, N.Y.
8. Mike Chagnon, Saranac, N.Y.
9. # Brandon Atkins, Clintonville, N.Y.
10.# Keith Pelkey, Clintonville, N.Y.

Versatile Trailer Sales Renegade (50 laps)
1. Kevin Boutin, Swanton, Vt.
2. Robert Gordon, Milton, Vt.
3. Josh Terry, Morrisonville, N.Y.
4. Lance Rabtoy, Fairfax, Vt.
5. Robbie Favreau, Peru, N.Y.
6. # Rick Doner, Clintonville, N.Y.
7. Joe Warren, West Chazy, N.Y.
8. Lonnie Rivers, Saranac, N.Y.
9. Don Franklin, Milton, Vt.
10. # Andrew Bordeau, Dannemora, N.Y.

Keeseville NAPA Auto Parts Mini-Modified (15 laps)
1. John Bradley, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
2. Speedy Bresette, Castleton, Vt.
3. # Erick Sayles, Saranac Lake, N.Y.
4. Josh LeClaire, Plattsburgh, N.Y
5. Kris Clark, Keeseville, N.Y.
6. Eric Reyell, Morrisonville, N.Y.
7. # Josh LaPorte, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
8. Matt Brousseau, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
9. Scott Richner, Rouses Point, N.Y.
10. Larry Archer, Peru, N.Y.

Busch Beer Bomber (15 laps)
1. JohnMichael Bresette, Keeseville, N.Y.
2. # Dale O’Neil, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
3. Rob Sines, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
4. Ray Germain, Bristol, Vt.
5. # Tyler Bresette, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
6. Brian Montroy, Beekmantown, N.Y.
7. # Travis Sherman, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
8. Jason Branham, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
9. Matt Monaghan, Colchester, Vt.
10. Walt Parrott, West Chazy, N.Y