PLATTSBURGH — Ray Parent finally got the monkey off his back at Airborne Park Speedway Saturday.
In his 31st American-Canadian Tour (ACT) start, the Tiverton, R.I., native captured his first-career victory in dramatic fashion in the ACT 100 Spectacular.
After leading 89 laps, Parent edged Jonathan Bouvrette at the start-finish line by .041 seconds.
“You guys keep saying that once I get the monkey off (my) back watch out,” Parent said. “We’ve been running up front all the time, so hey, our luck turned (Saturday). Let’s keep it rolling.”
Parent was able to distance himself from the top-five cars during an 89-lap green-flag run between laps six and 94.
Back-to-back caution periods, however, on lap 94 bunched up the 19 drivers on the lead lap.
“When that caution came out, I was like, ‘Not again,’” Parent said. “That’s all I could think of. Who’s next to me, you know. I drove it as hard as I could to make this happen.”
After the final caution period, Parent and Bouvrette exchanged the lead four times before Parent won by less than two feet over the Blainville, Que., competitor.
“I don’t know him from a hole in the wall and sometimes that’s better,” Parent said. “He could be a 10-time champion or this could be his first race, I didn’t care. I was going to win this thing. It didn’t matter.”
Bouvrette finished in the runner-up spot, while Joey Polewarczyk Jr., Stephane Descoste and Bobby Therrien completed the top-five finishers.
The 31-car field included three drivers from Clinton County. Brandon Atkins of AuSable Forks finished sixth, while Plattsburgh’s Nick Lagoy was 20th and Bucko Branham 29th.
Morrisonville’s Jason Durgan has a flare for late-race dramatics.
After a lap 23 caution in the J&S Steel Sportsman Modified 25-lapper, Durgan and Mooers Forks driver Mark Lamberton got together coming to the white flag. Lamberton made significant contact with the frontstretch wall and came to a complete stop off the top of turn two, while Durgan escaped for the victory.