Francois Bernier, Cleveland score wins at Airborne

DON SIMPSON PHOTOFrancois Bernier held off Lance Willix for his first 358-Modified win of the season Saturday at Plattsburgh Airborne Speedway.

PLATTSBURGH — Sometimes in racing, you’re just in the right spot at the right time.

That was the case for Francois Bernier Saturday at Plattsburgh Airborne Speedway.

Bernier was running in the third position when Mike Mahaney and Steve Bernier got together multiple times, resulting in mechanical issues for both machines, and Francois Bernier inherited the lead and never looked back.

Chris Raabe was leading at the halfway point of the 30-lap 358-Modified feature, but a broken camshaft ended his night and set up the battle between Mahaney and Steve Bernier.

The two ran several laps alongside one another until the late-race restart when Mahaney successfully completed a slide job in turns one and two, but Steve Bernier was able to slingshot to the inside and battle on the inside.

Both cars made significant contact in the middle of the backstretch and again in turns three and four, damaging the rear ends of both machines.

Francois Bernier had to hold off Lance Willix in the closing laps to collect his first win in his first appearance at Airborne in 2019.

Willix finished in second, while Preston Forbes finished in the third position.

Jim Mahaney and Dany Gagné completed the top five.

Connor Cleveland collected his sixth win of the season in the 30-lap feature for the Sportsman Modified division.

Cleveland had a 10-car length deficit that he was able to erase in the final six laps.

Coming to the white flag, Cleveland closed to within a couple car lengths of Tanner Forbes’ back bumper.

Forbes ran the inside while Cleveland rode the cushion.

Coming off the fourth turn, a lapped car moved in front of Cleveland but didn’t break his momentum, as he beat Forbes to the line by .050 seconds.

After leading much of the event, Forbes had to settle for second, and Dylan Rabtoy had a season-best, third-place finish.

Travis Bruno and Codie Aubin finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Super Stocks resumed their event from a week ago and competed in another 20-lap feature event.

Zack Daniels picked up his second win of the year in the rescheduled feature from a week ago, and Jim McKiernan collected his fourth win of the season in the regularly scheduled event.

Joe Daniels, Shawn Duquette, Jared Blake and Rolland Guay completed the top five in the first feature, while Tylor Terry, Tyler Irwin, Joe Daniels and Blake completed the top five in the second feature.

Nathan Smart collected victories in both feature events for the Strictly Stocks.

Rolland Guay and Josh LaPorte finished second and third in both events.

Justin Stone scored his second Novice Sportsman win of the season over Cody Meyers and Cory Castell.

358-Modifieds (30 laps): Francois Bernier, Lance Willix, Preston Forbes, Jim Mahaney, Dany Gagné, Christophe Lupien, Matt Woodruff, Steve Bernier, Mike Mahaney, Mike Stacey, Codie Aubin, Adam Pierson, Chris Raabe, Roger Labreche, Ryan McLean, Cameron Black, Matt Depew

Sportsman Modifieds (25 laps): Connor Cleveland, Tanner Forbes, Dylan Rabtoy, Travis Bruno, Codie Aubin, Bucko Branham, Nick Heywood, Chris Cayea, Justin Severance, Jason McClatchie, Lonnie Rivers, Jack Speshock, Jamie LaFountain, Mike Phinney, Robert Delormier, Chris Frennier, Cory McCoy, Ricky Thompson, Jeffrey Lapalme, Adam Pierson, Melvin Rush, Dustin Bradley, Derrick McGrew Jr., Chris Reeves, Jamy Begor, Jason Bruno

Super Stocks (20 laps 8/3): Zack Daniels, Joe Daniels, Shawn Duquette, Jared Blake, Rolland Guay, Mark Caron, Cam Gadue, John Bradley, Metal Man, Matt Leonard, Tylor Terry, Jim McKiernan, Michael Wright, Austin McKiernan, Josh Terry, Travis Stokes, Tyler Irwin, Brent Jarvis

Super Stocks (20 laps): Jim McKiernan, Tylor Terry, Tyler Irwin, Joe Daniels, Jared Blake, Bill Duprey, Michael Wright, Rolland Guay, Zack Daniels, Trevor Hurlburt, Shawn Duquette, Cam Gadue, Metal Man, Mark Caron, Austin McKiernan, Travis Stokes, Matt Leonard, Josh Terry, John Bradley

Strictly Stocks (15 laps 8/3): Nathan Smart, Nathaniel Guay, Josh LaPorte, Michael Daniels, Mike Tompkins, Cody Agoney, Charles Mooney, Caleb Tourville, Jake Fountain, Gregory Harris, Clem Bell

Strictly Stocks (20 laps): Nathan Smart, Nathaniel Guay, Josh LaPorte, Caleb Tourville, Mike Tompkins, Michael Daniels, Cody Agoney, Clem Bell, Gregory Harris, Charles Mooney, Jake Fountain-DNS

Novice Sportsman (15 laps): Justin Stone, Cody Meyers, Cory Castell, DJ Gonyo, Robert Laware, Rush, Derrick Ellsworth, Cory Lozier, Josh Pete, Matt LaBombard-DNS, Joe Daniels-DNS