CORNWALL, Ontario – Defending DIRTcar Pro-Stock Series champion Joey Ladouceur had only one thing on his mind as he entered Cornwall Motor Speedway Sunday: win the 50-lap event.
Ladouceur accomplished this in impressive fashion, getting one race closer to the 100 win mark.
Rob Yetman and François Adam drew the top row of the 23-car field that took the initial green in the Alexandria Home Hardware 50.
Yetman led the first lap as several cars got together in turn four. Yetman got a good jump as Marc Lalonde and Roch Aubin slipped by Adam for the top three spots.
Ladouceur quickly got to fourth after starting tenth and challenged Lalonde using the bottom lane. Ghislain Valade hit the wall hard in turn 4 and the yellow lights were back on with six laps completed.
Yetman had another strong start as Lalonde got second over Aubin. The Alexandria, Ontario, driver charged back to second on the next lap and pursued the leader with a dozen laps in the books.
Lalonde regained second as the leaders were caught with a slower car with 33 laps to go. Flagman Jason Aikman brought the caution on lap 21. Yetman, from Castleton, NY, was still in the lead on the following green as Joey Ladouceur got two spots and took second.
At the halfway point, Yetman, Ladouceur, Lalonde, Aubin and Chip Smith, were the top 5. Lalonde spun in turn 2 of that same lap, losing his valuable third spot and the field was brought together.
On the restart, Ladouceur found some speed on the top side and got by Yetman on lap 27 as Chip Smith was now running third after having a great restart. Ladouceur started to pull away from the field as Dan Desnoyers stopped in the back stretch and the yellow flag was out on lap 33.
Ladouceur and Yetman were racing together as Aubin passed Smith for third. The leaders preferred the top lane as the first seven drivers were running on top with 10 laps to go.
Ladouceur led the final circuit to capture his first DIRTcar Series race of 2012 and 99th career win over Yetman, Aubin, Michel Desjardins and Smith rounded out the top five.
Ladouceur was ecstatic in the winner`s circle.
“It`s fun winning in front of the home crowd,” Ladouceur said, “finishing in front of two times winner Rob Yetman is a bonus.”
In a sudden and unexpected turn of events, Chris Herbison rose triumphant from Cornwall’s companion 50-lap DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series opener.
Herbison, who drew the sixth spot in the lineup, quickly broke the top five and spent much of the race maintaining his fourth- or third-place position. Meanwhile, leaders Josh VanBrocklin and Gary Lindberg stole the audience’s attention, fighting mercilessly for the lead.
“I thought we were going to finish third,” Herbison admitted.
However, the battle between frontrunners came to a quick close in lap 40 when both collided with sidetracked No. 7 driven by Cody McPherson. VanBrocklin attempted to continue the race on the restart, but soon returned to the pits, leaving Herbison in his wake.
Although Herbison inherited the lead with just one-fifth of the race left, the final were laps were not smooth cruising. Herbison faced a difficult double-file restart, taking the outside and beating Danny Wiesner to the lead. Wiesner, Martin Pelletier, and Dan Jalbert continued to try to challenge Herbison, but were never able to catch him.
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