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Raabe survives Morin’s late bid for 358-Modified Mohawk checkers

RaabeVL Mohawk600wide1st DIRTcar 358 Modified Series win for Ontario driver
HOGANSBURG, NY – September 18, 2015 – Chris Raabe of Napanee, ON, won the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series Frenchie’s Chevrolet 75 by a car-length over fast-closing Gage Morin at Mohawk International Raceway Friday.
The victory was the first of Raabe’s 358 Modified Series career. After starting on the pole and leading the first 16 laps, Raabe was overtaken by Billy Dunn, who set fast time in qualifying. He regained the lead for keeps on lap 47 when Dunn’s engine came apart.
Morin experienced carburetor problems during qualifying and started 29th on the field. By the time Dunn’s demise brought out the second and final caution, Morin had advanced to tenth.
Erick Rudolph finished third after many laps in pursuit of Chad Brachmann and there was noticeable contact as he got by him. Brachmann held on to finish fourth. He was followed across the line by Alan Therrien, who had raced wheel to wheel with Rudolph and seventh-place finisher Tim Fuller for over half the race. Danny O’Brien got up late to finish sixth.
Morin, in go-for-broke mode, washed up high in turn two on the next to last lap, which may have been all that stood between his second consecutive 358 Modified Series win.
“I’ve been second a few times in Series races,” Raabe said. “This is my first win. I was watching the scoreboard and I knew the 3-car (Morin) was coming. I was pretty much committed to the bottom and when a lapped car stayed down there, it would bog me down some.”
Morin was kicking himself afterwards for not having completely pulled off his exciting march to the front.
“I made a couple of mistakes,” he said. “I checked the lap counter when Dunn blew up. I was running about 10th and it was going to come down to a regular weekly 30-lap feature. The leaders had been racing hard and I thought I might get there. We had carburetor problems for a while and second is okay. It’s nice to win’em though.”
There was a lot of hard, wheel-to-wheel to racing down through the field. Dunn and Raabe opened up a sizeable lead while behind them Brachmann, Rudolph, Therrien, Fuller and for a time, Dale Planck sparred back and forth. O’Brien and Mario Clair, sixth and eighth respectively made most of their gains after the lap 48 restart.
Dunn, Therrien, Yan Bussiere and Mike Adderley of Potsdam were the heat winners. As Adderley took the checkers in his heat win, his motor gave way. He needed a push truck to get back to the pits and he never returned.
The 358 Modified Series moved Le RPM Speedway in Saint-Marcel-de-Richelieu, QC on Sunday, September 20.
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