PLATTSBURGH — Steve Cote of Ile Bizard, Quebec held off Maxime Pelletier and Bucko Branham to win the Furniture World of VT USA/Canada Masters Late Model 50-lap main event Saturday at Airborne Speedway.
Cote had a sizeable lead evaporate when the race was red-flagged for a seven-car wreck with 10 laps to go. Pelletier was alongside Cote for the restart but couldn’t keep pace.
Branham’s third-place run was a valiant comeback from an early incident that put him at the rear of the field. He had won his qualifying heat but pulled a redraw number that set him 12th on the grid. One lap later, he was turned around by Martin Lacombe but passed 23 cars to finish third.
Fourth went to Jamy Begor of Mooers who was strong throughout. Martin Goulet of Mascouche, Quebec was fifth. Robin Wood, who also had to race back up through the field from the rear after contact with Shawn Duquette, gained four positions in the closing laps to claim sixth. Unofficially, positions seven to 10 went to Jim Bushey, Duquette, Keith Pelkey and Marc Antoine Demers.
“This was a long race for me with the 50 laps on the half-mile and the restarts and red flag,” Cote said. “But I had a strong car, and it was a good win.”
Pat McGrail of Candiac, Quebec kept his hot streak going with a decisive win in the Culligan Water/TDI Repair Modified 30-lap feature. Counting a Modified Series win in Lancaster, McGrail has won his last three starts, including two in a row at Airborne.
McGrail stalked early leader Pierre Berthiaume for several laps before taking the lead after restart on lap 12. As McGrail drew away, Berthiaume, Aaron Bartemy, Vince Quenneville and Adam Bartemy diced for second. A half lap after contact with Aaron Bartemy, which landed Bartemy a two-spot penalty on a subsequent restart, Berthiaume and Adam Bartemy collided in turn one, knocking Adam Bartemy out of the race.
Quenneville, Patrick Dupree, Chris Cayea and Todd Stone benefitted, but Aaron Bartemy rallied back to finish third at Quenneville’s bumper. Dupree and Cayea finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Jason McClatchie ran away with the Renegade feature in the Dee’s Pit Stop/TDI Repair No. 70. It was win No. 3 for the Plattsburgh driver. Rick Doner outlasted point-leader Kevin Boutin for third. Joe Warren and Lance Rabtoy were next in line.
Josh LeClaire, of Plattsburgh, won the Busch Mini Modified feature.