GRANBY, Que., June 28, 1998 -- Very regular since the beginning of the season by finishing in the top five most of the time, American driver Todd Stone from Middlebury, Vermont was able to visit the winner's circle, last Friday night at Autodrome...
GRANBY, Que., June 28, 1998 -- Very regular since the beginning of the season by finishing in the top five most of the time, American driver Todd Stone from Middlebury, Vermont was able to visit the winner's circle, last Friday night at Autodrome Granby on the rescheduled 11th Defi-Vision UAP-NAPA/CAA Quebec. But this night will not be remembered because of Stone's win, but because a new goal was achieved. In fact, a sum of $95,000 was collected for the Mira Foundation, an association who trains dogs for bling people.
Stone who had a perfect night, has now moved into the second spot in the Molson championship trail in the modified division within only three points of Steve Poirier, the leader. Ninth at the start of this 30-lap feature, Stone made his way upfront to find himself behind leader Clement Therrien on lap 6. Therrien driving a small block tried to hold Stone as long as he could but two laps later, Stone took the lead. With a seventh place finish, Therrien won the guaranteed starter position for Syracuse, next October.
After taking the first spot, Stone had only to watch the move of young Steve Poirier. Again, Poirier, who was eleventh on the grid, demonstrated his talent to finish second in front of a very aggressive Gino Clair at the end. Dave Camara who made an unscheduled pit stop on lap 6, finished fourth in front of Dominic Dufault.
In that was, Mike Romano was forced to quit in the early stage of the race due to overheating problems while Luke Plante had to do the same on lap 13.
Earlier in the evening, Hugues Mercier was the winner of the second heat race.
Two in a row
For a second week in a row, eric Sundborg took the honors of the 20-lap feature in the sportsman division. This time, his victims were Louis Bouthiller, Mario Clair and Gerry Patenaude, the defending champion at Autodrome Granby. By finishing just in front of him, Clair was able to increase at five points his lead on Patenaude while with his second win, Sundborg moved up from the eleventh to the seventh spot in the standings.
Bouthillier was the heat winner.
In the late models division, Daniel Belanger and Jocelyn Roy had an interesting fight for the first place but finally, Belanger had the last word. Stephane Lariviere finished third while in the tourism class, Gilles Ostiguy won the 10-lap final. Benoit Berube finished second and Michel Coderre, third.
Despite heavy clouds, more than 5,000 spectators were on hand to watch that 11th Defi-Vision, a 10 -lap race in which the drivers are blind and are guided by local stars of the medias and comedians. For those persons who never had a chance to obtain a driver's license, it is a day to remember.
32 cars took the green flag but only three of them were able the complete the race. The fans were on their feet from the start till the end. Unique in North America, this race which is in the Guinness Book of Records is held once a year at Granby to raise funds for the Mira Foundation. With a goal of $80,000, this year's race allowed this organization to collect $95,000. It cost nearly $25,000 to train a dog for a blind person.
Finally, the winner was Laurence Euteneier. His navigator was Charles Brook.
MODIFIED Feature 30 laps --- 1- 1x, Todd Stone 2- 28, Steve Poirier 3- 44J, Gino Clair 4- 26, Dave Camara 5- 63, Dominic Dufault 6- 3, Claude Brouillard 7- R39, Clement Therrien 8- 27, Robert Ranger 9- 124, Pierre Dagenais 10- 72, Mario Lajoie 11- 73, Alain Boisvert 12- 50, Hugues Mercier 13- 85, Alain Langlois 14- 4, Leon Gonyo 15- 71, Pierre Hebert 16- 87, Richard Chauvin 17- 11J, Jerry Pinnock 18- X5, Jean-Guy Primeau 19-X50, Renald Daoust 20- 02, Mike Reyell 21- LP2, Marco Potvin 22- L50, Luke Plante 23- D50, Mike Romano DNS 7, Denis Labonte.