ESS: Albany-Saratoga results 2006-06-27

Steve Poirier Collects Third Empire Super Sprint Victory of 2006 with Exciting win at Albany-Saratoga. MALTA, N.Y. -- When St. Mathieu de Beloeil, Quebec's Steve Poirier decided to switch from DIRT modified racing to the world of winged ...

Steve Poirier Collects Third Empire Super Sprint Victory of 2006 with Exciting win at Albany-Saratoga.

MALTA, N.Y. -- When St. Mathieu de Beloeil, Quebec's Steve Poirier decided to switch from DIRT modified racing to the world of winged sprint cars and the Empire Super Sprint (ESS) series several knew that he would be a top runner from the start. But, three wins in the ten races and being the only repeat winner on the tour has captured the attention from may in the 24 year old organization.

With a pass on Doug Norrie with just three laps to go, Poirier's 4 Saisons Foundation backed Maxim collected the exciting win Tuesday night at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway. The special event billed as the "Race Fans Dream", the nativepoker.com Tour for ESS shared the bill with the Race of Champions tour for big block mods.

"This is pretty amazing, I really didn't believe I would have three wins on a series that is so tough." said the always calm French-Canadian. "I was just hoping to run well, do the whole tour and learn. But, when the car is right it gives you a chance to win and tonight it was good. When the car isn't good you can have a bad night and we have had them--I've been upside down three times this year also!"

The Spectro Oils #65 of Russ Bennett led lap one when the Spectro Oils #92M of Norrie slipped by looking to take home his second career ESS A-Main triumph. Norrie opened up a sizable lead even after two early cautions using the extreme outside of the track. Poirier was making his moves to the front as well moving into fifth on lap 10m third on lap 13 and then second on lap 16.

As the closing stages was setting in, Norrie's sprinter was get loose as the laps clicked on and Poirier was closing in rapidly. On lap 21, Norrie almost slipped off the track in turn four and that saw Poirier side by side with him coming down the front stretch. Just one lap later, the inside pass was made and victory was in sight--however.

With the white flag ready to wave the front wing came off Luke Eriksen's sprinter and made contact with Poirier's car knocking his front wing almost off as well. "I knew my wing got hit, I could see it sitting sideways on my front end. When we went green I didn't know what to expect." Poirier said on those final two laps. "When I went in the corners the car just pushed way up the track, I moved the wing as far forward as I could to help. While it was tough in the corners, down the straits I had tons of bite so that was good and I guess it worked."

Fellow Quebec native Alain Bergeron made it a three race challenge on the final lap but it was Poirier in for his third victory of the still young 2006 season. Bergeron did make the pass on Norrie to take second with Norrie's fine run ending with a third place finish. Jessica Zemken was fourth with Bennett, who also lost his front wing but early in the event, take fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Lance Yonge, Bubby Kerrick, the Geneva Curbing #20 of Dan Kaszubinski, current point leader Justin Barger who earned the Lane's Yamaha hard charger bonus after starting in 21st and Jeff VanDusen in tenth.

Three cautions, all minor in nature, slowed the fast pace. Bennett's wing on lap nine, Cory Sparks went off the track on lap 12 and the front wing of Eriksen on lap 23.

Taking the Car Mate Trailers heat events were Bergeron, Bennett and Poirier. The Gabriel's IGA Supermarkets/Walt's Hobby Dash was won by Bergeron with the KSE Racing Products B-Main taken by Donny Sharp Jr.

ESS/ALBANY-SARATOGA NOTES: Another good field of sprints on hand with 31 in the pits--A nice welcome back to long-time ESS faithful Dick Spadaro. But fuel pick up problems hindered his night--Sportsman star John Scarborough made his first ever ESS start in the Brad Davis #3 but wound up a flip victim in his heat--John Smith III also came back to ESS competition but he too found his sprinter upside down in his heat--With Tony Laughing and Randy Connors from nativepoker.com on hand, it was good to see all three of their cars in the top ten--Even with record amounts of rain fall and a state of emergency across much of New York State because of flooding, the rain stayed a mere few miles away from the Malta oval. A good crowd came out to see the popular double-header--The stars and cars of ESS will return to Albany-Saratoga on Fri., Aug. 25th to make up the May 12th rain out.

RESULTS:

Heat 1 -- Alain Bergeron, Jessica Zemken, Doug Norrie, Mike Stelter, Blase Regina, Dan Kaszubinski.

Heat 2 -- Russ Bennett, Doug Emery, Lance Yonge, Nick Fratto, John Karklin Jr., Jason Barney.

Heat 3 -- Steve Poirier, Billy White, Ray Preston, Bubby Kerrick, Jeff Cook, Matt Norrie.

Gabriel's IGA Supermarkets/Walt's Hobby Dash -- Alain Bergeron.

B-Main -- Don Sharp Jr., Cory Sparks, Jeff VanDusen, Luke Eriksen.

Added Starter -- Justin Barger.

Did Not Qualify -- Warren Alexson, Josh Flach, Dick Spadaro, James Hanson, Randy Years, Kayle Robidoux, John Scarborough, John Smith III.

A-MAIN -- STEVE POIRIER, Alain Bergeron, Doug Norrie, Jessica Zemken, Russ Bennett, Lance Yonge, Bubby Kerrick, Dan Kaszubinski, Justin Barger, Jeff VanDusen, Ray Preston, Jeff Cook, Don Sharp Jr., John Karklin Jr., Nick Fratto, Blase' Regina, Luke Eriksen, Matt Norrie, Doug Emery, Cory Sparks, Jason Barney, Mike Stelter, Billy White.

-ess-

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Series Sprint
Drivers Nick Fratt , Justin Barger