PHOTO: Jason McClatchie celebrates his upset Airborne Renegade 50 win by taking a seat in the leather recliner presented to the race winner. (Ricky St. Clair/VMM photo)

–by Ricky St. Clair

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — When Airborne Speedway officials announced that the winner of Saturday’s Renegade 50 would receive a recliner courtesy of Furniture World of Vermont, Jason McClatchie wanted nothing more than the exclusive brown leather chair in his room for the remainder of Memorial Day weekend.

The 20-year-old Plattsburgh, N.Y., native started seventh in the 21-car field for the extra-distance race, and charged to overtake race leader Mark Caron by slipping underneath the Peru, N.Y. competitor on lap 22.

Without a single caution period slowing the event, McClatchie executed the upset bid by notching his second career win in convincing fashion after checking out to a backstretch lead on runner-up and two-time defending track champion Kevin Boutin.

“I was waiting for the caution to come out,” McClatchie admitted. “I knew the No. 25 car was on the board mid-way through the race. When I saw Kevin take the third spot, that’s when I said ‘it’s time for me to go.’”

McClatchie credited the work of his entire crew after resolving a power steering problem that negatively impacted his No. 70 automobile for nearly a month.

“This is such a huge win for our team especially after battling power steering issues for the last three weeks,” McClatchie said. “We as a team have been together since my Go-Kart days and without them, I wouldn’t have won tonight.”

Despite his 1.576-second margin of victory, the pilot of the Richards Tree Service/TDI Towing and Truck Repair car had to wrestle an ill-handling machine throughout the entire duration of the race.

“In my heat race, the car was so loose, I could barely drive it,” McClatchie chuckled. “That carried over to the feature, too. It was hard for me to get off the corners. I almost actually looped the car by myself in turn two.”

Boutin, who was the victor of this very race one year ago, started 12th in the field, and solidified himself in the second spot with two-thirds of the event already completed.

“I thought I might be able to close-up on him if he messed up, but that wasn’t the case,” Boutin said. “He had a real stout car tonight. I was keeping my fingers crossed for a caution because I think I might have had something for him on the outside.”

Boutin was surprised that the lone extra-distance event for the Renegades in 2012 went green-to-checkered.

“When we started crowding the lapped cars, that’s when a mistake is made and a caution happens,” Boutin said. “On lap 45, I kind of settled in and took my second-place finish. It was a great points night for sure.”

Rick Doner of Clintonville, N.Y., picked up his second consecutive third-place finish with Essex, N.Y., driver Josh Terry and Lance Rabtoy of Swanton earning top-five honors.

Positions six through ten went to Robbie Favreau, Joe Warren, Caron, Robert Gordon, and Andrew Bordeau.

The 50-lap race featured three lead changes among three different drivers. It was completed in just over 17 minutes.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Furniture World of Vermont Renegade 50
Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Saturday, May 26, 2012


1. (7) Jason McClatchie, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
2. (12) Kevin Boutin, Swanton, Vt.
3. (8) Rick Doner, Clintonville, N.Y.
4. (3) Josh Terry, Essex, N.Y.
5. (4) Lance Rabtoy, Swanton, Vt.
6. (9) Robbie Favreau, Peru, N.Y.
7. (15) Joe Warren, West Chazy, N.Y.
8. (1) Mark Caron, Peru, N.Y.
9. (11) Robert Gordon, Milton, Vt.
10. (18) Andrew Bordeau, Dannemora, N.Y.
11. (5) Brian Criss, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
12. (2) Jon Boutin, Swanton, Vt.
13. (13) Don Franklin, Milton, Vt.
14. (14) Vern Woodard, Milton, Vt.
15. (17) Ryan Boutin, Swanton, Vt.
16. (16) Kenny St. Germaine, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
17. (20) Curt Giventer, Saranac, N.Y.
18. (6) Curtis Seymour, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
19. (10) Tylor Terry, Morrisonville, N.Y.
20. (21) Freeman Sawyer, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
21. (19) Jimmy Varno, Peru, N.Y.