Late Model ACT racers pick up pace at Airborne Speedway Saturday. A crowd of 3,000 was on hand to usher in the new racing season at the South Plattsburgh oval. Bonus photos available at midday at

PLATTSBURGH -- Saranac Lake's Patrick Dupree took advantage of George Foley's misfortune, then held off Napierville's Martin Roy to win the 30-lap Ernie's Tools Modified season opener in front of more than 3,000 fans at Airborne Speedway Saturday.

Fokey was in command after a lap-19 restart, when rookie Spencer Rushlaw drifted into his lane while nursing a flat tire. The ensuing contact brought out another caution and relegated Foley to the middle of the field.

Dupree's Outback Steakhouse No. 24 car, held the point from there and was two car lengths ahead of Roy. Mike Bruno rallied back from third place after a flat tire that sent him to the pits.

Cameron Grady and Andy Powell completed the top five.

In the Sportsman's feature, Toby Ebersole, the defending division champion, inherited the lead on a restart with six laps left, when leader Jamy Begor's car came to a halt.

Bucko Branham was a close second, a half-car length ahead of third-place driver Jason Bonnett.

"Last year we didn't win a race until late in the season, so we are glad to get one early even though Jamy had the car to beat," Ebersole said.

In the US Army Warrior Feature, Billy Jenkis, of St. Albans, Vt. passed James Collins in lapped traffic with two laps left for the win. Ed Doner, Donny Lamere and Joe Warren finished in third, fourth and fifth.

West Chazy's Joe Garrow won the Monster Energy Bomber feature.

Don Bluto Jr. was a dominant winner in the Versatile Trailer Sales Renegade 25-lap feature. Plattsburgh's Mike Criss was second and Sherri Meunier of Fairfax, Vt. was third.

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