PHOTO: Todd Stone took advantage of lap traffic to make a late race pass on Greg Atkins to score the DIRTcar Modified feature win at Airborne. (VMM file photo)

–by Ricky St. Clair

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Greg Atkins could’ve sworn Friday the 13th occurred one day prior to the start of Saturday night’s 30-lap DIRTcar Modified feature at Airborne Speedway.

The Clintonville, N.Y., native led the first 26 circuits and was four laps shy of his first career Modified win. But on the next lap, he found himself pinned behind the lapped automobile of Alain Fournier, and Todd Stone overtook Atkins for the lead.

Stone, who charged from his 12th-place starting position in the 22-car field, seized the opportunity and shot around the two cars in the second lane to grab his third victory at the half-mile in 2012.

“He (Atkins) had a fast car and I didn’t know if I was going to get around him,” Stone said. “I lost one earlier in the year because of a lapped car. It always seems to come back to you, but I’ll take a win whenever I can get a win.”

After scoring a third-place finish at Devil’s Bowl Speedway Friday night, Stone credited the work of his crew and a special member of his team, who turned wrenches on the G. Stone Motorsports No. 1x in the garage area.

“When you get the car handling better, it’s time to go,” Stone said. “I’ve had some great guys helping me. I’ve got (veteran open wheel racer) Lou Cicconi up from Pennsylvania, Rick (Paya) from RPM helping, my crew chief Jeff (Carter), and my whole team. If it wasn’t for my team, I wouldn’t be here tonight.”

The wily veteran from Middlebury, Vt., discontinued his weekly dirt track racing at the beginning of the season in an effort to focus his program on winning the Airborne track championship.

“We do feel good, but you can’t slide,” Stone said. “We’ve got to keep working and digging because if you have two bad weeks then you’re behind. We’ve got to make the best of it every race.”

Atkins held on for the runner-up position and two-time track champion Patrick Dupree of Saranac Lake, N.Y., was the final podium finisher. Vermontville, N.Y., hotshoe George Foley and Canadian Patrice McGrail earned top-five honors.

Positions six through ten were credited to Andy Heywood, Mike Reyell, Vince Quenneville, Roger Labreche, and Leon Gonyo, respectively.

Nick Heywood of Morrisonville, N.Y., escaped a thrilling three-car battle for the win en route to his fifth checkered flag of the summer. Heywood went from third to first in the span of a lap after he took the lead on the backstretch from Eric Lauziere for keeps on lap 16.

Bobby Therrien, who competes regularly with the Tiger Sportsmen division at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl in Barre, Vt., and on the regional American-Canadian Tour circuit, finished second in Jamie LaFountain’s machine. Lonnie Rivers, Jake Branham, and “Little” Joe Daniels concluded the top-five.

Robin Wood of Plattsburgh, N.Y., wrestled an early race lead from Shawn Duquette and fended off the likes of Jamy Begor in a caution-free 25-lap Limited Late Model feature. The win marked the veterans second victory of the year and 30th in a Limited Late Model-type car since 2000. Begor, Bucko Branham, Shawn Duquette, and Jimmy Bushey rounded out the top-five finishers.

Dannemora, N.Y., racer Andrew Bordeau picked up his first career Renegade win in convincing fashion after going wire-to-wire in the 25-lap event. Bordeau had a rear view mirror full of Richie Turner following a lap 12 caution period for a one-car spin, but kept the 2004 track champion on his back bumper. Turner grabbed the second spot with Robert Gordon, Jimmy Varno, and Robbie Favreau finishing the top-five.

Rob Clark of Keeseville, N.Y., tallied a much needed win for his family owned operation in the 15-lap Mini-Modified feature. Point leader Erick Sayles finished second and former Renegade hotshoe Tyson Drown earned podium honors.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – Aird Dorrance/UniFirst Night
Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Saturday, July 14, 2012


DIRTcar Modifieds (30 laps)
1. Todd Stone, Middlebury, Vt.
2. Greg Atkins, Clintonville, N.Y.
3. Patrick Dupree, Saranac Lake, N.Y.
4. George Foley, Vermontville, N.Y.
5. Patrice McGrail, Candiac, Que.
6. Andy Heywood, Morrisonville, N.Y.
7. Mike Reyell, West Chazy, N.Y.
8. Vince Quenneville, Jr., Brandon, Vt.
9. Roger Labreche, St-Remie, Que.
10. Leon Gonyo, Chazy, N.Y.

Sportsman Modifieds (20 laps)
1. Nick Heywood, Morrisonville, N.Y.
2. Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg, Vt.
3. Lonnie Rivers, Cadyville, N.Y.
4. Jake Branham, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
5. Joe Daniels, Saranac, N.Y.

Limited Late Models (25 laps)
1. Robin Wood, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
2. Jamy Begor, Mooers Forks, N.Y.
3. Bucko Branham, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
4. Shawn Duquette, Morrisonville, N.Y.
5. Jimmy Bushey, Mooers Forks, N.Y.
6. Danny Sullivan, Morrisonville, N.Y.
7. Keith Pelkey, Clintonville, N.Y.
8. Fred Lagoy, Morrisonville, N.Y.
9. Dave Rabtoy, Fairfax, Vt.
10. Brandon Atkins, AuSable Forks, N.Y.

Renegades (25 laps)
1. Andrew Bordeau, Dannemora, N.Y.
2. Richie Turner, Fairfax, Vt.
3. Robert Gordon, Milton, Vt.
4. Jimmy Varno, Peru, N.Y.
5. Robbie Favreau, Peru, N.Y.
6. Jason McClatchie, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
7. Joe Warren, West Chazy, N.Y.
8. Don Franklin, Milton, Vt.
9. Lance Rabtoy, Fairfax, Vt.
10. Jon Boutin, Fairfax, Vt.

Mini-Modifieds (15 laps)
1. Rob Clarke, Keeseville, N.Y.
2. Erick Sayles, Lake Clear, N.Y.
3. Tyson Drown, Morrisonville, N.Y.
4. Josh LaPorte, Peru, N.Y.
5. Jayson Criss, Plattsburgh, N.Y.