Morin, Poirier Split Pro Open in Fonda
Fonda, NY (Feb. 2, 2014) — Former regional snocross champions Mathieu Morin and Danny Poirier each claimed a Pro Open final over the weekend, as East Coast Snocross completed Round 5 of its 10-race 2014 schedule at historic Fonda Speedway.
Morin (Ingles Performance/Ski-doo), of Val d' Or, Quebec, led every lap of Sunday's grueling 15-lap final to post his second victory of the season. Poirier was rock-solid behind him the whole race to make it a 1-2 finish for his team, while Vermont veteran Lincoln Lemieux filled out the podium.
"I got a great holeshot which made it easier to make some time while the others battled behind me," Morin said. "I was riding all out during the first half of the final, then Sebastien (Fortier, his mechanic) let me know I had a big lead so I backed off a little and just had fun. This second win was long overdue and it feels fantastic."
Poirier (Ingles Performance/Ski-doo), of St. Theodore, Quebec, dominated Saturday's 14-lap grind with a strong holeshot and brilliant ride. With five wins in 10 starts, Poirier has his eyes on the prize and momentum on his side. Morin started his weekend with a strong second place run, while Wisconsin's Mike Bauer (Jess Racing/Arctic Cat) continued his strong season in third.
"The track was very challenging last weekend," Poirier said. "It was a very fast track with a weird combination of wet, heavy snow on top and icy snow underneath. That makes for good racing, because you have to stay on your toes the whole race. I think we (Mathieu and I) led every lap of in the Pro finals."
Hunter Patenaude Leaps to Pro-Lite Point Lead with Sweep
In Pro-Lite action at Fonda, young Hunter Patenaude (Ingles Performance/Ski-doo) stole the spotlight once again. On Saturday, Hunter settled into second as the Final got under way. He powered his way past Montana Jess (Jess Racing/Arctic Cat) on lap seven and hung on for top honors. Jess settled for second, while snocross "Ironman" Jason Boron (Team Southside/Mystic Lubricants Polaris) came home third.
On Sunday, Hunter made a last-lap pass on Boron to steal the win in dramatic fashion. Boron capped his best weekend of the season with a second place finish, with Southside teammate Chris Coleman third. Patenaude has enjoyed a sensational rookie season in Pro-Lite, challenging for wins nearly every week.
Gaspardi Scores Sport Hat Trick
In Sport action at Fonda, second generation racer Bruce Gaspardi Jr. (Team Southside/Mystic Lubricants Polaris) registered a rare "hat trick" with three impressive victories. Gaspardi won the Sport Super Stock finals on Saturday and Sunday, along with Sunday's Plus 25/35 battle.
The personable athlete from western Massachusetts won the final in four out of five classes he entered. Only Todd Smith, also a part of Team Southside, bested Gaspardi in Saturday's Plus 25/35 final. It was truly a weekend to remember for the rider known affectionately as "Captain America." Even Sport class rising star Cody Paolella had nothing for Gaspardi last weekend.
Other final round winners over the weekend in Fonda include Nykea Williams (Pro Women Sat.); Steff Bell (Pro Women Sun.); and Ryan Dupont (Jr. 16-17 Saturday and Sunday).
East Coast Snocross would like to thank Matt DeLorenzo and his staff at Fonda Speedway for hosting a second event this season. Fonda is the best thing to happen to ECS since it was created. Warm temperatures and even a light rain made track conditions a challenge, but that didn't keep Mohawk Valley race fans away. This venue proved more than ideal for snocross in 2014.
After three consecutive weekends of racing, most teams will now make the trek west to the Seneca Allegany Casino for this Friday and Saturday's U.S. Air Force Eastern Nationals in Salamanca, New York. This is ISOC's only show in the east, and fans will pack in by the thousands as they did last winter.
East Coast Snocross maintains a regional circuit intended to keep grass-roots snocross racing healthy in this part of the snowbelt, while also cultivating new talent for tomorrow's factory-backed Pro teams.
Photos by Katharine Images, Bruce Gaspardi Jr., Taylor Anderson
East Coast Snocross presented by Amsoil and Woody's Traction