The weekend began with a 50-lap DIRTcar regional race at Mohawk International Raceway in Hogansburg, NY. A tough cast of invaders combined with Mohawk 358 Modified regulars built an incredibly challenging field of competitors. O’Brien qualified for the redraw via a fourth-place finish in his heat, but selected the 12th starting spot, the lowest available for a redraw car.
“We had one caution early around lap nine and went green the rest of the way. We finished third. It was a real good run. There’s a tough field at that place. Once it went green, it was hard to catch up,” O’Brien said of Friday night’s showdown.
O’Brien and his team had little time to rest before returning to action with the 1000 Islands RV Centre/BOB FM No.17d at Brockville Ontario Speedway on Saturday. After a third-place finish in his heat and entering the night at the point leader, O’Brien again had to start near the rear of the field.
“It was real slick and there was just one caution. That’s the story of the year (at Brockville). The field there is very stellar, so every car you pass is tough,” O’Brien explained.
O’Brien managed to pull off a fifth-place finish at Brockville once again, a result he’s incredibly happy with considering the dry track conditions. A clean night also allowed him to participate in a car show on Sunday before heading to Cornwall Motor Speedway for the second round of the Bandit Motorsports Canadian Nationals. The 125-lap race was the final event of the long weekend for O’Brien.
“We finished third in our heat and redrew ninth. There was only one yellow there on lap 83. I was up to third and mixing up with the leaders. When the yellow came out, I got a terrible restart and ended up fifth. It’s still a good run. That was a tough race too,” O’Brien offered.
It was just O’Brien’s second start of the season at Cornwall. He finished ninth at the tight ¼-mile bullring in May earlier this season and improved to the fifth-place finish.
“Cornwall is a tough place to go to only once and a while and run good. It’s a place of its own,” O’Brien said. “It’s a very fast place. There’s a lot of banking in it and around the bottom you have to hit your marks just right. When you don’t race there for a while, you’re going to be off.”
O’Brien said the extra laps at the Canadian Nationals events don’t bother him at all in terms of fatigue. Instead, the tough field and a bit of bud were the biggest challenges this week.
“You can’t miss it by a little bit anymore. You have to hit right on,” O’Brien said of the competitive field. “The only problem we had was coming out of (turn) two right at the bottom there was one little wet spot and it would throw mud up on the visor. I think everybody was out of tearoffs by lap 80, so the last 25 laps it was tough to see.”
The tough sightlines didn’t prevent O’Brien from earning his third top-five finish of the season. He hopes to continue the streak next Saturday night when he returns to action at Brockville for the final round of the Ogilvie’s Triple Crown Series. The 60-lap race will feature time trials. O’Brien is among the top contenders to win the mini-series and the Inverary, Ont. pilot would certainly revel in the accomplishment.
“That would be nice. It’s a cool little thing they do here. The 50 lappers add a lot of life back in to our racing around here when they brought them back,” O’Brien said. “It’s really good to see sponsors like Ogilvie’s step up and do this sort of thing.”
For additional information on Saturday’s event at Brockville Ontario Speedway, visit www.brockvillespeedway.com.
Danny O’Brien 2016 Season: 17 Starts – 4 Wins, 15 Top-5s, 17 Top-10s
August 6 – Ogilvie’s Triple Crown at Brockville Ontario Speedway
Facebook: facebook.com/DannyOBrienRacing (@DannyOBrienRacing)
Danny O’Brien’s 2016 DIRTcar 358 Modified season is supported by several dedicated corporate sponsors, including: 1000 Islands RV Centre, ATC World Class Trailers, Bob FM, Ambush, Pat’s Auto Centre, Bicknell Racing Products, Heather-Lynn Topping, Integra Shocks, Northwood 2 Construction, and Snap-On Adam Way.
Prepared By Clayton Johns Media