Tyler Corcoran scored his eighth career DIRTcar Sportsman Series win. (Joe Grabianowski Photo)

Corcoran Wins DIRTcar Sportsman Series North Region Opener

LAFARGEVILLE, N.Y. — For the past four seasons, Tyler Corcoran has been the man to beat at Can-Am Speedway.

The four-time and defending track champion proved that hasn’t changed Friday night, leading all 30 laps to win the DIRTcar Sportsman Series North Region season opener.

Corcoran, the polesitter, brought the field to the green flag alongside Eric Nier, another Can-Am track regular. The drivers ran side by side for two laps until Corcoran nosed his No. 64 ahead of Nier and started pulling away.

The Central Square, NY driver then drove away from the field, increasing his lead to over four seconds as he completed lap 29. However, he’d face one more challenge before the race was over. 

As Corcoran entered turn one, a red flag came out for Mike Fowler and Blayden Arquette, who crashed in turn three, setting up a green-white-checkered finish and lining up Gavin Eisele to Corcoran’s outside.

When the race resumed, so did Corcoran’s pace at the front. He pulled away from Eisele, leading the final two laps to earn the $1,000 prize. 

Corcoran said his team made minimal changes to the car, a decision that paid off toward his eighth career DIRTcar Sportsman Series Feature win. 

“Starting on the pole, I was walking from trailer to trailer asking questions and just overthinking everything,” Corcoran said. “I ended up just not even doing a single thing to the car all night long. I think the only thing we did was grind tires, and that was it.”

One of the factors Corcoran attributed to his win was how well he navigated lap traffic. He said he was running a unique line, especially while exiting turn two.

 “Instead of running the bottom, I kind of came in and started the death slide a little early and got enough traction to cut down,” Corcoran said. “I was basically running the infield coming out of turn two, just trying to get every bit of moisture I could.”

Eisele settled for second after starting sixth. The LaFargeville, N.Y. driver charged to the runner-up position in the final 10 laps, navigating lap traffic to sneak past Jessica Power, Cedric Gauvreau and Ryan Shanahan. 

He said his car was set up for longer runs, which played into his favor with 29 consecutive green flag laps.

“We weren’t very good early on,” Eisele said. “Thankfully, it was a 30-lap race rather than 20. I think it’s so cold out that the tires never really fired until the end. When everyone was falling off, I started to get better, and I found a line in (Turns) one and two that worked really well. They’d slip up, and I could drive underneath him.” 

Cedric Gauvreau, from Chelsea, QC, rounded out the podium. With his third-place finish, he’s already looking ahead to the final three races of the North Region.

“I was third on the restart, so I said, ‘OK, I’ll just settle down for third place,’” Gauvreau said. “I’m going to do the North Region, so I think it was a good run for us tonight. It’s a new car, too, so I think it rolled off well for us tonight. We’re happy with third.”

Jessica Power finished fourth, and 2016 DIRTcar Sportsman Series champion Shane Pecore crossed the line fifth. 

Feature Finish (30 Laps)

1. 64-Tyler Corcoran[1]; 2. 18-Gavin Eisele[6]; 3. 22C-Cederic Gauvreau[5]; 4. 52-Jessica Power[4]; 5. 0-Shane Pecore[8]; 6. 32RS-Ryan Shanahan[3]; 7. 34-Eric Nier[2]; 8. 91-Josh Reome[20]; 9. 33-Richard Murtaugh[7]; 10. 35B-Brennan Moore[21]; 11. 94-Gabriel Cyr[12]; 12. 03-Joshua Jock[14]; 13. 0X-Xavier Andrews[16]; 14. 7D-Dustin Hutton[9]; 15. 44-David Rogers[29]; 16. 92-Frank Sibley[13]; 17. 7O7-Greg Brinklow[15]; 18. 2-Taylor Doxtater[19]; 19. 16X-Savannah Laflair[18]; 20. 10X-Cory Castell[24]; 21. 62-Jonathan Murphy[25]; 22. 22G-Gorden Clair[22]; 23. 17-Owen Nier[17]; 24. 2X-Martin Lessard[28]; 25. (DNF) 95-Dan Jalbert[30]; 26. (DNF) 410-Mike Fowler[10]; 27. (DNF) 18B-Blayden Arquette[26]; 28. (DNF) 34K-Keegan Nier[11]; 29. (DNF) 1D-Paul DeRuyter[23]; 30. (DNF) 621G-Trevor Gibbons[27]