CORNWALL, Ontario — A gorgeous evening for racing as the Cornwall Motor Speedway presented the initial DIRTcar Sportsman Series event Sunday night with Martin Pelletier taking the checkered flag.
Pelletier and Adam Hilton led the field 31 competitor to the green of the 50-lap event as Pelletier grabbed the lead over Hilton and defending series champion Brad Rouse ran third. Rouse quickly took second as Hilton went off the track in turn four to bring yellow flag conditions in lap three.
Pelletier was able to hold off Rouse, Joey Ladouceur running behind the leaders, when Samuel Desrochers lost a wheel in front of the grandstand and caution was back out with five laps completed.
Pelletier kept the lead as Mathieu Desjardins cracked the top five. Ladouceur used the high lane to pass Rouse for second on lap eight as Desjardins did the same thing to him two laps later. Jasmine David spun in the front stretch on lap 13 and the third yellow was out.
The pair of No. 92 rides were still in front, Pelletier holding the lead over Ladouceur as a great battle was occurring for third. As they got into heavy traffic, Pelletier tried to avoid contact with a slower car and Ladouceur took the top spot as yellow was out. Pelletier got back in front as the green lights were back; he led Ladouceur, Rouse, Corey Wheeler and Mathieu Desjardins at the halfway point.
Pelletier had the high lane figured out as the feature reached lap 30 while Desjardins lost some momentum and Gilles Godard powered to fifth. A good battle was forming up for second with Rouse taking the position from Ladouceur with 15 laps to go.
Pelletier joined slower cars as the feature hit the 40-lap mark.
Pelletier pulled away from the field and led the final laps to win his first DIRTcar Sportsman Series race over Joey Ladouceur and Brad Rouse.
The French speaking driver was pretty happy in the winner’s circle: “We finished second two year ago and fourth last year and winning the first event gives us a good head start for this year.”
Defending pro stock champion Dave Bissonnette won the 50-lap pro stock feature.