---- — PLATTSBURGH — Robin Wood led the final 17 laps of the FedEx Limited Late Model 60-lap main event at Airborne Saturday after a lengthy duel with Bucko Branham.
It was the 3rd win of the season for the driver of the Loreman’s/Rent-A-Wreck No. 61 and the 34th of his career since 2000 — second only to Branham (40).
Danny Sullivan of Morrisonville — never far from the leaders finished 3rd. Jamy Begor held off Dylan Payea for 4th.
Branham used the outside lane on a lap-32 restart to regain the lead (from Wood) that he had first grabbed on lap 15. With Sullivan and Begor close at hand, the pair swapped the lead five times before Wood took control on lap 43.
“I got under Bucko once a little too early in the race to go all out,” Wood said. “But he got loose around lap 42 or so and I went for it. We changed two front springs before the feature and it helped.”
Ernie’ Tools Modified winner Stone started 9th and moved into 3rd on a lap-9 restart after a six-car pile-up in turn one brought out the red flag. He soon found himself in a dogfight with Kris Vernold for second behind leader Pierre Berthiaume. Stone cleared Vernold on lap 14 and then shot under Berthiaume’s 1H machine when it washed up high exiting turn two on lap 17. From there, Stone’s G. Stone Motors 1x was never headed.
Vernold got home for second. Jessey Mueller caught Berthiaume to claim 3rd with five laps to go. Leon Gonyo was a strong 5th. Positions 6-10 went to Max Viens, Andy Lindeman, Craig Reyell, Andy Heywood and Chris Cayea.
Robert Gordon of Milton, Vt, won a Renegade thriller, edging Richie Turner by inches after a dozen laps of door-to-door action, Gordon, on the inside, and Turner, on the outside came to the line dead even on laps 22 and 23 of the 25-lap feature. Lance Rabtoy, who raced win the leaders most of the way, wound up 3rd. Tylor Terry and Don Franklin completed the top five.
Jamie LaFountain of Keeseville won his first J&S Steel Sportsman Modified feature of the year. LaFountain led from start to finish in the Marsha Homes No. 20, but was under heavy attack from Jason Durgan, Travis Bruno and Nick Heywood over the second half of the race.
Bruno tried to squeeze underneath Durgan exiting the final turn – a gamble which sent them both into the wall. Heywood, the divisional point leader, inherited the runner-up spot. Eric Lauziere of Drummondville, QC placed third.
“I give thanks to my dad, Shawn for all his help,” LaFountain said. “I knew Travis and Durgan were coming. Staring on the pole helps.”
Dale O’Neil of Mooers, Josh Lavarnway of Chazy and Jayson Criss of Plattsburgh were 1-2-3 in the Mini Modified feature.