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Wins for Hebert, Forbes and Arbuthnot (11th July 2024 BLOG)


 This weeks BLOG begins on Friday the 5th of July.

The Can Am Speedway at Lafargeville NY , my usual Friday night location  were taking a night off, so I found myself heading up to Autodrome Granby , Quebec,  once more.

I’ve been going to Granby for over 25 years now , and the downer for me has always been the drive to get  there on a Friday night, with all the Montreal traffic.

A big city like that , and all the people wanting to get away for the weekend.

In the old days the biggest delays were the ‘bottle neck’ to cross the Champlain Bridge. It was a relief when the Auto Route 30  was built , and this could be avoided .


Over a period of time this has also become busy and delays regularly occur  where the 30 meets the 10 . I quite often exit the 30 at La Praire and join up with the 10 at Chambly, but this too can be very busy.  A few weeks ago I had a one hour delay getting to the track . This time , with plenty of time on my hand, I made the decision to leave home early and beat the weekend traffic .

It worked out well so instead of getting frustrated in the lines of traffic, I was able to relax for a few hours in Granby .

On my arrival at the track I bumped into a familiar face from the past.

When I first visited Granby all those years ago , one of the top drivers was Real Lafrance.

He rarely raced at my local Cornwall Motor Speedway , but often he’d be there watching,  and we’d usually end up sitting next each other in the grandstand.

He was at Granby on this occasion to be part of a ‘past driver tribute’ thing they’ve been doing this year.

The nights program consisted of Modifieds , Sportsman , Pro Stocks and Sport Compact (Mini Stocks),

The first of the features was for the Sport Compact.

This was one by  Dominik Blais

Next up was the Pro Stock Feature

Winner of this one was Gabriel Caouette

The Modified feature followed this, and it turned out to be a good one.

From the green we had the Racine brothers Even # 54  and William # 35 battling it out for the lead with Luke Whitteker in hot pursuit .

David Hebert started a long way back on the grid , but had gradually began working his way up.

A few cautions closed up the pack , and with a few laps to go , he was challenging Even  and  second placer,  Felix Roy , By the time the checkers fell , Hebert had got the lead , making a great climax to the race. 

Joining David and Felix on the podium was Even Racine, who held on for third. 

It was now 10-15 so I made my exit , because my  Saturday was going to be busy one.

In my absence Antoine Parent # 17 got the Sportsman win.

I got home just after mid night, and once I’d got a good nights sleep , I was off to my first destination.

The Louisville Fire Department NY were holding there annual car show .  I took my Thunderbird to this one last year and planned to do it again.

Louisville is a small village just out side Massena , New York , and just a short drive from my home in Cornwall, Ontario. I got there around lunch time and already a lot of cars had turned up.

My registration number was 114 , and more cars were arriving after me. 

It was nice to see the Dirt Modified race car of Dustin Bradley on display .

Like me , he’d got other plans for later in the day, as Louisville is only a skip and a hop from the Mohawk International Raceway. 

I stayed at the show until about 3-00 pm before heading towards the track .

I had plenty of time to kill .

Once parked in the pit parking lot I covered the T Bird up with a tarp to protect the white vinyl roof from the race track dust.

As this was the closest show to ‘July 4th’ , fireworks  were on the program.

It was a nice night and the weather continued to be perfect.

The program consisted of the regular Modifieds, Sportsman , Pro Stocks , Rookie Sportsman and Mini Stocks.

It wasn’t a good start to the night for young Bryan Tarbell who blew his motor in the Rookie heat race

Mike Greenfield was the Mini Stock feature winner

Next up was the Rookie Sportsman.

Brady Howard took the checkers in this one

Next up was the Sportsman feature.

This became a memorable event for many of us, with young Tristan Ladouceur, claiming his first career win.

I’m glad I was there to witness this one, because I’ve been good friends with the Ladouceur family for many years.

It was so nice to see the joy and happiness on the faces of his mum and dad, Josee and Joey.

Here’s a  picture I took, 10 years ago to the day (6th July 2014) of Tristan and Joey after a Cornwall win.

The next race was the Modified feature , and this one was a thriller to watch.


Tyler Meeks was the early leader , and after a caution closed the field , Chris Raabe powered away on the top groove and pulled away at the front.

It looked like a foregone conclusion for most of us , until Preston Forbes came on the scene, He’d been using the bottom groove and was gradually catching up on Raabe.

Before Chris knew what was happening Forbes shot past to take the lead and ultimately the win.

This was Preston’s second M.I.R win of the year . He won a few weeks back on the Sail Panel night.

The last race of the was for the Pro Stock feature.

Once again it was Marc Lalonde who parked it in Victory Lane.

As the fireworks were going off, the tarp came off the Thunderbird and I was soon heading for home.

No lines at the border , and I was back indoors in 15 minutes.

Being home before 11-00 pm meant an early night , so I got up bright and early on Sunday morning.

My only plans for the day had been to attend the evening races at the Cornwall Motor Speedway, until I noticed a Face Book post from an old friend of mine.

Maggie Wheeler, is a local historian and author of several crime novels. She is still actively involved in the Seaway’s  historical events and posted something I was interested in attending.

<<Looking for a Sunday drive? The vintage GTR locomotive and Aultsville station beside Crysler Marina outside Morrisburg will be open today from 9:00 to 3:00 pm., with special visitors:
The Highway 43 Car Club will be cruising in with their vintage vehicles for a 9am-noon display. Graeme Roy will be demonstrating telegraphy in Aultsville Station.
The public is welcome to stop by and see what the Friends of GTR 1008 are doing to restore the GTR 1008 train. A great opportunity as well for photographers who want to capture images of vintage cars together with the historic locomotive!>>

I quite fancied the idea of getting a closer look at the old locomotive  that I’ve passed many times,  and the thought of getting pictures of the Thunderbird close up to it , was an opportunity not to be missed.

So instead of sitting behind my TV and witnessing Lewis Hamilton win the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, I set off in the T Bird.

It’s less than a 30 minute drive from my place, and beside Upper Canada Village.

On my arrival , the organizers from the Highway 43  Car Club welcomed me to join them.

I stayed for a while, and said hi to Maggie , before heading back home to get ready for the nights races.

It was a regular show at the Cornwall Motor Speedway , with no fancy additions,  apart from the annual Autograph Night taking place on the front stretch during Intermission.

I took my usual Hot Lap , aswell as the heat race pics from the pit tower, before moving to the middle.

While I’m up on the tower, I get a perfect birds eye view of what’s going on.

I looked on,  as two Modified driver buddies,   Corey Wheeler and Ryan Arbuthnot checked out the track conditions , while getting additional input from Brockville promoter Paul Kirkland.

After the heats , the first of the feature races took place . This was for the Rookie Sportsman

Winner was Nicholas Merkley, driving the AJ Dickie owned car.

When Victory Lane ceremonies were over, the pits emptied as the front stretch got filled up with race cars for the Autograph Session.

At the same time as this was going on, we’d  arranged for a ‘Speedway Staff  Group Photo’. It’s something we hadn’t done for a few years.

Here’s some of the people responsible for making it happen each week.

During the on track ‘ invasion of fans’ I bumped into two old friends Chris Craft and Kathy Caldwell .

They are from Bedford, Quebec and are both former DirtCar Officials.

It was an ideal night for this annual event and the kids (and big kids) loved it.

After a short break for track prep the Sportsman feature took to the grid.

The track was in great shape and Shane Pecore came away with a victory.

Next up was the Modified feature .

It didn’t take long for Ryan Arbuthnot to take control of this one, but as the laps wound down , his buddy Corey Wheeler ended up chasing him over the line.

The Pro Stocks were on track next for their big event.

This gave Burton Ward of Massena NY his first win at the track.

The final race of the night was the Mini Stock feature , which after numerous cautions , went to  Antoine Dumouchel.

Things were all over by around 10-30 , and I had another early night at home. 

I was looking forward to the coming week, with a big mid week race at the Mohawk International Raceway on Wednesday.

Mother Nature had other ideas and it was cancelled the day before because of the big storms expected.

It proved to be a good decision as it rained heavy for most of the day.