---- — PLATTSBURGH — After many attempts, Kris Vernold of Queensbury worked underneath Roger Labreche on the next to last lap and went on to win the first half of Ernie’s Tools Modified Twin 50’s at Airborne Speedway Saturday.
The finish of segment one will be reversed to set the line-up for today’s 50-lap finale of the $3,000-to-win event. Labreche started on the pole in the Moody racing Labatt Blue Light No. 24x and led through two restarts in an effort to record his first career win.
Labreche took advantage of lapped traffic to stay ahead of Vernold in the closing laps, but the two cars touched exiting turn sending Labreche sideways and forcing third–place pursuer Todd Stone to take evasive action.
“He was getting a bad push,” Vernold said. “When I showed my right front to his number, I figured it was my spot. (Today) I’ll have to be patient starting out of the back, but after about 10 laps it will be time to go.”
Labreche outlasted Stone for second with George Foley fourth and Leon Gonyo fifth.
Eric Lauziere of Drummondville, Quebec passed Keith Pelkey for the lead halfway through the J&S Steel Sportsman Modified 25-lap feature and held off point leader Nick Heywood of Plattsburgh to earn his first career win. Pelkey finished third, inches ahead of Chris Sousie. Lonnie Rivers overcame two flat tires to finish fifth.
Richie Turner of Milton, Vt. dominated the first leg of the Renegade Twin 25’s. Don Franklin, Jason McClatchie, Ryan Boutin and Lance Raboty finished 2-3-4-5 in close formation.
Jayson Criss of Plattsburgh padded his Busch Mini Modified point lead with a winning drive in the Bud Light Platinum No. 54. Kris Clark of Keeseville was the runner-up.
Post time for today’s ACT Late Model qualifying heats prior to the $25,000-to-win ACT 300 main event is 1 p.m. Also on the race card, the “Twin Finales” for the DIRTcar Modifieds and Renegades plus a 35-lap Limited Late Model feature.
Forty-eight ACT Late Models were in the pits for today’s practice sessions. Multi-time ACT champion Brian Hoar of Williston, Vt., two-time Thunder Road champion Nick Sweet of Barre, Vt. defending ACT champion Wayne Helliwell Jr. of Dover, N.H. and three-time Series ACT champion Patrick Laperle of St. Denis set some of the fastest practice lap times.