Two Canadian DIRTcar Modified veterans, Richard Tisseur and Patrice McGrail have begun to prepare for the 2010 Airborne Speedway season in an attempt to deny countryman Martin Roy’s bid for a second straight Ernie’s Tools Modified championship.
Tisseur, 52, from Chateauguay, Quebec, will be entering his third full season on the Plattsburgh, NY progressively banked asphalt half-mile oval. His friend Patrice McGrail, 48, of Candiac, Quebec, is returning to a full-time open-wheel 358 Modified schedule after racing selected dirt track events at Cornwall and Autodrome Granby in 2009.
Tisseur had five top-5 finishes in 2009, including a second-place effort on Aird Dorrance Night when he trailed only Ernie’s Tools Modified champion Martin Roy of Napierville, Quebec. That night NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader was a part of the 26-car field. “This is the first time we have been able to go fast since I wrecked the car two weeks ago,” Tisseur said afterwards.
“We had a very good season last year,” Tisseur said. “It was the first year in the PMC chassis car that my crew chief Jacques Longtin helped me prepare for Airborne. Everyone had to work hard and change a lot of things to get their cars to go fast on the new pavement. Airborne is a very fine place to race. Mike (Perrotte) has done a very good job. There is a family atmosphere at the track. I race there for fun. If we win, that’s very good. If we finish 10th or 15th, that’s good too. I raced at Albany-Saratoga on the pavement last fall. The track is short, but very fast. I plan to race there for a few races this season in my Troyer back-up car.”
Tisseur is sponsored by Attaches Chateauguay, a trailer fabricator and manufacturer located in Ste-Catherine, Quebec and Robert Thibert Inc of Chateauguay. He began racing over 20 years ago at dirt tracks like Granby, Brockville and Cornwall. “I’m 52 years old,” Tisseur noted. “It’s too hard on me and on the car to race on dirt anymore. I’m happy to race at a track as good as Airborne.”
McGrail has purchased a new TEO chassis car and is awaiting delivery of an Enders engine for his 2010 Airborne entry, which will be sponsored by his Brossard, Quebec Mazda dealership and Fastenal. “I am negotiating with another sponsor and I hope to make an announcement about that before the season starts,” McGrail said. “I am looking forward to racing at Airborne. I test-drove Richard’s car there and I went to see two races. I recently bought some land in the Plattsburgh area too.”
McGrail started racing motocross as a teenager. He traveled worldwide on the Grand National Sports Truck Series in the eighties with the likes of Robby Gordon and Ivan “Ironman” Stewart and has raced Big-Block and 358 Modifieds at Autodrome Granby and Autodrome St-Eustache.
Former Alain Boisvert crew chiefs Yvon Perron and Leandre Laroche will be a part of McGrail’s team at Airborne.
Airborne’s 58th season opener is Saturday, May 1st.
Contact: Tom Herzig
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