Emhof Thunder Mountain report 2001-07-14

Williamson, NY - Five races into the 2001 Central New York Mini Sprint (CNYMS) season, Mike Emhof maintains on second place in the tour points standings, thanks to a top 10 finish at Thunder Mountain Fasttrack (Center Lisle, NY) on July 7th, and a...

Williamson, NY - Five races into the 2001 Central New York Mini Sprint (CNYMS) season, Mike Emhof maintains on second place in the tour points standings, thanks to a top 10 finish at Thunder Mountain Fasttrack (Center Lisle, NY) on July 7th, and a top five finish at Accord (NY) Speedway a week later.

Despite handling problems at Thunder Mountain, Emhof was able to claw and scrap his way from a 13th starting position to finish 8th in the feature event. "We went with a setup that had worked for us before, but the car was extremely tight all night long," Emhof commented. "We made some changes for the feature. We struggled early [in the feature] and dropped back to fifteenth, but the car seemed better later on in the race, and we were able to salvage a top ten finish." There was a full field of 24 cars in the feature event.

The Branich Motorsports team then made to long tow to Accord on July 13th. The race was a make-up of a rainout date of a tour race that was originally scheduled early in the season. The first rainout date was rescheduled on very short notice by CNYMS, and Emhof and the rest of team were unable to compete, as he and team owner Fred Kaempffe had previously scheduled out of town business commitments. Rain forced the cancellation of the event after one heat race, and CNYMS originally stated that only those cars signed in for the rainout would be able to compete in the make-up race July 13th. However, after lobbying by several teams that were unable to make the first rainout date, CNYMS did allow additional teams to compete, but those teams would not be awarded heat race points and would have to start at the back of the pack for the feature event.

Emhof started his Pace Electronics/Heluva Good Foods mini sprint in 19th position, with 22 cars lined up for the feature event. Unlike the week before, the car handled extremely well. "I was able to take to car high or low, basically anywhere I needed to drive it," said Emhof. It showed on the track, as he was able to thread his way up through the field in a 15-lap shootout on the tight ¼ mile "bullring." He made it to third place before settling for a fifth place finish.

The CNYMS tour was scheduled to return to Thunder Mountain on July 21st, but the track promoter canceled that date as well as two other dates for CNYMS later in the summer. Emhof and the rest of the CNYMS teams will travel to McKean County Speedway, East Smethport, PA, for a July 28th show.

-www.speedwayad.com/Branich.

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Series Sprint
Teams Williams