CORNWALL, Ontario – In a spectacular Canada Day upset, Chris Raabe held off fellow Canadian Mario Clair to win Sunday’s Super DIRTcar Series big-block modified show at Cornwall Motor Speedway.
In his No. 01 Canadian Tire MotoMaster Sylvania Dodge, Raabe left his racing heroes Brett Hearn and Danny Johnson, in the dust and successfully held off challengers Carey Terrance, Billy Dunn and Clair for his first series victory.
“This win is pretty big for us,” said Raabe. “It’s hard to get out there and get yourself known unless you win some of these series races.”
Raabe had his work cut out for him at Sunday’s event. Drawing the third position in the starting line-up, he maintained third at the green flag, but was soon passed by Johnson.
Raabe, unwilling to give up his position without a fight, caught up with Johnson in the second turn on lap two, and by the fifth lap was inching toward frontrunner Bobby Herrington.
Herrington held steady, and on lap nine Raabe once again fell behind four-time Super DIRTcar Series champion Johnson.
Johnson sped ahead, and with Herrington weaving between lapped cars into lap 11, Johnson used lapped traffic to help propel himself into the lead. However, the congestion soon became his downfall as a turn-one collision in lap 14 created a multi-car pile-up, taking Johnson and Hearn to the pits.
Herrington led the restart with Raabe in second and on lap 25 Raabe finally closed in on the leader and passed him. For the remaining 75 laps, Raabe maintained the lead, outlasting five restarts and fighting off a last-minute challenge from Clair in the final laps.
“It’s definitely exciting anytime you win,” said Raabe. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a sportsman or a modified. It was a pretty good race car all around. The guys made some great calls on it.”
Rounding out the top five were Clair in second, Terrance in third, Dale Planck in fourth and Laurent Ladouceur in fifth.
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