George Foley of Saranac Lake took command of the Dick Nephew Memorial 50 with 10 laps to go and went on to his third win of the season in the Casella/Jim Pulsifer Logging No. 34 at Airborne Speedway Aug. 27. Foley sped past point leader on the low side second place then swung outside to overtake Greg Atkins for the lead.
The DIRTcar Modifeds were racing topless – without roofs – a twist that Foley has found is to his liking. “It does make the handling a little different,” he said, “but we have a couple of little changes we discovered a couple of years ago that work pretty good. ” Foley started ninth and managed to avoid a front stretch melee on lap two that destroyed Patrick Dupree’s machine and brought out the red flag.
Dupree, running out of races to overtake point leader Roy and defend his track title, had just begun a daring three-wide move exiting turn four when trouble ahead sent him scraping along the top of the wall. His Saranac Country Store No. 24 and Canadian Pat McGrail’s Brossard Mazda No. 10 left on the wrecker. Neither driver was seriously injured.
Atkins and Roy were waging a terrific duel for the lead when Foley arrived. “I don’t think Roy saw me,” Foley said. “I picked up a push after I got the lead though and I had to work hard to protect the bottom. ”
Roy made it around Atkins to claim second. Atkins was a close third, four car-lengths ahead of Roger Labreche (4th) and Pierre Berthiaume (5th). Richard Tisseur and Leon Gonyo spent much of the event racing side by side for 4th until Gonyo lost a right front tire and spun Tisseur out. Positions 6-10 went to Aaron Bartemy, Vince Quenneville, Jimmy Ryan, Andy Heywood and Mike Phinney.
“I’ll be sore in the morning, but I’m okay,” Dupree said. “Somebody in the middle of the pack was faltering or making a mistake and it became a bad deal for everybody. ”
“I was right behind the 24 (Dupree) and I saw sparks so I got off the throttle and dove down,” Roy said. The Napierville, Quebec driver can clinch his second Airborne title with a 12th or better finish at next week’s regular season finale – the Mike Watts Memorial 50.
Kevin Boutin of Fairfax, Vt. , won the Renegade 50 convincingly. The defending Renegade champion took the lead from Robert Gordon at the halfway mark and was never headed. Gordon regained second place from Josh Terry with three laps to go. Terry, Lance Rabtoy and Rob Favreau completed the top five.
Bucko Branham drove the Liquor & Warehouse No. 20 to his 4th win in the J&S Steel Sportsman feature. Point leader Robin Wood rebounded from a wreck in his heat race and came from the rear of the field to finish second. Nick Heywood, who challenged Branham for the lead for a dozen laps, finished third. Danny Sullivan and Shawn Duquette were next in line.
John Bradley of Morrisonville scored his first career win in the NAPA Mini Modified feature. Bradley bested Speedy Bresette, Erick Sayles, Josh Leclaire and Kris Clark.
Josh Durivage of West Chazy won the Busch Bomber feature.
The standings for last week's modifieds were as follows: 1. George Foley, 2. Martin Roy, 3. Greg Atkins, 4. Roger Labreche, 5. Pierre Berthiaume, 6. Aaron Bartemy, 7. Vince Quenneville, 8. Jimmy Ryan, 9. Andy Heywood, 10. Mike Phinney, 11. Chris Cayea, 12. Maxime Viens, 13. Mike Reyell, 14. Craig Reyell, 15. Jim McComb, 16. Mike Wells, 17. Bryant Trim, 18. Adam Bartemy, 19. Kris Vernold, 20. Mikael Labreche, 21. Richard Tisseur, 22. Matt Woodruff, 23. Leon Gonyo, 24. Jim Introne, 25. Pat McGrail, and 26. Patrick Dupree.