SOUTH PLATTSBURGH - Todd Stone's strong season at Airborne Speedway got even better Wednesday as the Middlebury, Vt. driver survived a late charge from Pat McGrail to win the Della Motorsports 75-lap DIRTCar Modified Series event.
Stone drew the outside pole and was never headed. McGrail drew near in the closing laps, waiting for a mistake that never came. He settled for second-best, three car-lengths ahead of third-place finisher Keith Flach of Ravena.
Matt DeLorenzo and Airborne regular Greg Atkins were a competitive fourth and fifth, but no match for the leaders.
Stone stayed silky smooth through six restarts and never had a car at his door.
"When you start up front, you go," Stone said. "I got an early lead and just tried to run my race as best I could. When McGrail got closer, the car felt good underneath me and I stepped it up the last 15 laps."
"I had a handful those last few laps," McGrail said. "I did what I could."
Flach, who had set fast times in qualifying, said he was guessing setup-wise having not raced at night at Airborne for a couple of years.
"About lap 30, I lost a little something, at least what I needed to keep up with those two (Stone and McGrail)," he said.
Airborne's weekly features are 30 laps long. By lap 15, some of the 26-car field began having right rear tire trouble. Jason Durgan, Patrick Dupree and Michel Viens had to pit early.
On a restart after the fourth of six cautions, McGrail swept around DeLorenzo and Maxime Viens (seventh) to take over second. Flach moved into third on lap 43 and the top three stayed intact.
Leon Gonyo had a stout run to finish sixth. Positions seven through 10 went to Adam Bartemy, Viens, Aaron Bartemy and Vince Quenneville.
Thirty-two cars attempted to qualify for 26 spots. Aaron Bartemy, McGrail and Flach won their qualifying heats.
The event was the first of four races in the DIRTcar Modified asphalt series. The second event of the series is at Dunn Tire Raceway Park in Lancaster on Tuesday, June 26.
Kris Clark of Keeseville drove to his first win of the season in the Busch Mini Modified feature. Jayson Criss finished second. Point leader Erick Sayles was third.
Airborne returns to action on Saturday. Four weekly divisions and the SpeedSTR sprint cars - a touring series with teams from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Quebec - will compete. Post time 6 p.m.