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Mario Clair charges to victory at DIRTcar 358-Modified Series opener

2014-05-18 Clair VL Rick Young cropped

Quebec’s “Super Mario” fends off Boisvert, Planck, Rudolph for the win

CORNWALL, ONTARIO – May 19, 2014 – After a thrilling battle atop Cornwall Motor Speedway’s quarter-mile, Canadian star “Super Mario” Clair pulled into DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Victory Lane Sunday, May 18.

“The car was perfect,” Cornwall’s 2013 Modified track champion said after the 100-lap feature race. “It was a good battle. The car was very fast on the outside groove.”

Clair, who hails from Drummondville, Quebec, fended off tenacious challengers, including former DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Champions Dale Planck (2012) and Erick Rudolph (2013) to claim Sunday’s series opener win. From the third spot on the starting grid, Clair had a good position from the green flag, and his expertise at Cornwall helped him conquer a stout field of competitors.

Alain Boisvert, of Lachine, Quebec, drew the pole for Sunday’s feature and led the field through 35 laps and three early cautions. Boisvert charged ahead at the third restart of the race in lap 33, but small-block star Planck, of Homer, N.Y., was gaining ground and overtook Boisvert in lap 35.

“We had a really good car. The Page Trucking Bicknell was awesome right from the get-go. (Car Owner) Mike Payne made all the right calls for the feature,” Planck said of the No. 7z. “I bided my time on the bottom and actually took the lead on the outside. The car was rolling really good.”

A three-car collision in lap 40 halted the pace of the race for another set of yellow laps. Planck yielded to Boisvert’s challenges and fell to second as the early race leader powered ahead to reclaim the lead on the backstretch. Behind them, Clair was gaining momentum and preparing to make his move.

After a lap-45 caution took the No. 01 of Chris Raabe off the track, Clair found his opportunity in the lap-48 double-file restart. He motored high on the track’s topside to pass Planck for the second spot. While Clair was finding speed on the outside groove, Planck was able stand his ground from the challenging inside groove.

The pair raced side-by-side, reaching then-leader Boisvert in lap 55. Clair cruised around the top side of the track to pass Boisvert in lap 56 for the lead.

Planck challenged Clair again in lap 68, restarting strong on the inside to pass the race leader, but Clair gained back the position in lap 76. He held onto it the remaining laps, outlasting three more yellow flags, one red flag, and late-race challenges from defending DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Champion Rudolph.

Rudolph finished second after Clair and Planck finished fifth. Danny O’Brien, of Kingston, Ontario, finished third after starting fifth and staying strong for 100 laps.

“It was a good race and we came out in one piece,” O’Brien said. “That was a tough race track. There was a lot of water down in the bottom of (turns) 1 and 2. The first few restarts were crazy, but once it started going it wasn’t bad.”

Rounding out the top ten in Sunday’s finish were Boisvert in sixth, Steve Bernier in seventh, Joel Doiron in eighth, Dominic Dufault in ninth and Lance Willix II in tenth.

The DIRTcar 358-Modified Series continues Monday, May 19, with a second 100-lap event in Ontario. The series heads to Thorold, Ontario, for a full night of racing at Merrittville Speedway.

A-Main (100 laps):

1. 22c Mario Clair – Drummondville, Quebec

2. 25 Erick Rudolph – Ransomville, N.Y.

3. 17d Danny O’Brien – Kingston, Ontario

4. 1 David Hebert – St-Danase, Quebec

5. 7z Dale Planck – Homer, N.Y.

6. 73 Alain Boisvert – Lachine, Quebec

7. 25* Steve Bernier

8. 40 Joel Doiron – Alexandria, Ontario

9. 63 Dominic Dufault – Ste-Victoire de Sorel, Quebec

10. 16 Lance Willix II – Theresa, N.Y.

11. R70 Ryan Arbuthnot – Renfrew, Ontario

12. 88 Chris Herbison – Mallorytown, Ontario

13. 115 Stephane LaFrance – St. Albert, Ontario

14. 47 Simon Perreault

15. 10R Gabriel Richer

16. 151kb Brian MacDonald – Cornwall, Ontario

17. 17 Marc Therrien – Williamstown, Ontario

18. 3 Bill Mullin – Iroquois, Ontario

19. 21k Randy Chrysler – Lewiston, N.Y.

20. 01 Chris Raabe – Napanee, Ontario

21. 54 Steve Bernard – Granby, Quebec

22. 21 Yan Bussiere – Drummondville, Quebec

23. 23b Dany Bilodeau – Victoriaville, Quebec

24. 99 Bruno Lepage – Maplegrove, Quebec

25. 66x Carey Terrance – Hogansburg, N.Y.

26. 49 Francois Bernier – Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec

27. 39 Clement Therrien – Victoriaville, Quebec

28. 6m Gage Morin – St. Andrews West, Ontario

29. 23 Laurent Ladouceur – Alexandria, Ontario

 

Did Not Start:

03 Zach Aubertine – Chaumont, N.Y.

39a Alan Therrien – Victoriaville, Quebec

39x Alex Therrien

64 Daniel Nadeau – Maryville, Quebec

66 Kyle Dingwall – South Dundas, Ontario

66w Dexter Stacey – Kaynawake, Quebec

74 Fredrick Gamache

188 David Papineau – Akwesasne, Ontario

 

Race Leaders:

Boisvert (1-35, 41-56)

Planck (36-40, 69-76)

Clair (57-68, 77-100)

 

B-Main 1: Bernard, Willix, C. Therrien, MacDonald, Dingwall, Gamache, Nadeau, Alan Therrien

B-Main 2: M. Therrien, Richer, Terrance, Chrysler, Alex Therrien, Arbuthnot, Stacey, Aubertine. DNS: Papineau

 

Qualifying Heats (8 laps, top 5 qualify, top 3 redraw)

Heat 1: S. Bernier, Clair, F. Bernier, Ladouceur, Doiron, Bernard, C. Therrien, MacDonald, Gamache

Heat 2: Raabe, Planck, Rudolph, Herbison, Hebert, WIllix, Nadeau, Dingwall, Alan Therrien

Heat 3: Bilodeau, Lepage, Mullin, Dufault, Perreault, M. Therrien, Alex Therrien, Stacey, Chrysler

Heat 4: Boisvert, O’Brien, Bussiere, LaFrance, Morin, Richer, Arbuthnot, Terrance, Papineau

 

Time Trials: 1. S. Bernier 13.235; 2. Bilodeau 13.358; 3. Raabe 13.394; 4. F. Bernier 13.394; 5. Clair, 13.407; 6. Boisvert 13.467; 7. Bernard 13.500; 8. Planck 13.514; 9. O’Brien 13.536; 10. Willix 13.549; 11. Rudolph 13.550; 12. Doiron 13.611; 13. Alan Therrien 13.623; 14. Bussiere 13.636; 15. LaFrance 13.645; 16. Ladouceur 13.651; 17. Chrysler 13.654; 18. Mullin 13.702; 19. Gamache 13.715; 20. C. Therrien 13.724; 21. Richer 13.739; 22. Morin 13.745; 23. Nadeau 13.748; 24. Hebert 13.749; 25. Lepage 13.762; 26. Herbison 13.778; 27. Terrance 13.813; 28. Alex Therrien 13.838; 29. Arbuthnot 13.897; 30. Dufault 13.965; 31. M. Therrien 13.995; 32. Perreault 13.995; 33. Stacey 14.155; 34. Dingwall 14.216; 35. McDonaled; 36. 188 Papineau

DIRTcar 358 Modified Series Schedule

Date Track Location Laps Points Winner
Sun., May 18 Cornwall Speedway Cornwall, Ontario 100 100 M. Clair
Mon., May   19 Merrittville Speedway Thorold, Ontario 100 100
Tues., July   1 Humberstone Speedway Port Colborne, Ontario 100 100
Wed., July   2 Ransomville Speedway Ransomville, NY 75 100
Sun., Aug.   31 Cornwall Speedway Cornwall, Ontario 125 150
Fri., Sept.   5 Autodrome Granby Granby, Quebec 75 150
Fri., Sept.   12 Mohawk International Raceway Akwesasne, New York 100 150
Fri., Sept.   19 Le RPM Speedway St-Marcel De Richelieu, QC 100 150
Sat., Sept.   20 Brighton Speedway Brighton, Ontario 100 150
Wed., Oct.   8 Cayuga County Fairgrounds Speedway Weedsport, NY 75 150
Thurs., Oct.   9 Brewerton Speedway Brewerton, NY 100 150
Sat., Oct.   11 New York State Fairgrounds Syracuse, NY 150 150
Fri., Oct.   17 Brockville Speedway Brockville Speedway 100 150

 

The Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing in the Northeast Region is brought to fans by several sponsors and partners including Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuels, Chevy Performance Parts, NAPA Auto Parts, Safety-Kleen, and Velocita USA. Contingency partners include the University of Northwestern Ohio, ASI, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix, ButlerBuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, Integra Shocks, Intercomp, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, KSE Racing Products, Mobil 1, Motorsports Safety Systems, MSD LLC, Fox Shocks, Pole Position Rateway, Racing Electronics, Superflow and Wrisco Industries.

 

The Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing in the Northeast Region is brought to fans by several sponsors and partners including Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuels, Chevy Performance Parts, NAPA Auto Parts, Safety-Kleen, and Velocita USA. Contingency partners include the University of Northwestern Ohio, ASI, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix, ButlerBuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, Integra Shocks, Intercomp, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, KSE Racing Products, Mobil 1, Motorsports Safety Systems, MSD LLC, Fox Shocks, Pole Position Rateway, Racing Electronics, Superflow and Wrisco Industries.

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