by Dean Reynolds DRUMMONDVILLE PQ - Cameras were flasing, videos were rolling...Mike Stelter and Dan Kaszubinski provided a classic "Photo Finish" Saturday night at Autodrome Drummond. With the big French speaking crowd on their feet, Stelter's...
by Dean Reynolds
DRUMMONDVILLE PQ - Cameras were flasing, videos were rolling...Mike Stelter and Dan Kaszubinski provided a classic "Photo Finish" Saturday night at Autodrome Drummond. With the big French speaking crowd on their feet, Stelter's Ron Buckner built, coil over sprint crossed the start finish line by mere inches over an outside charging Kaszubinski.
Stelter's third career ESS victory was greeted by dozens of thrilled sprint car fans in victory lane just in front of the manmouth grandstand. The win by the Ontario, N.Y. chauffeur marked the ninth different winner on the Empire Super Sprint Tour 2000.
"Wow!!! That was a great race!!!" said a very happy winner. "I'm am so happy to be here (victory lane) to greet everyone. A great race and a real big win for us."
Dick Spadaro lead the first lap in what would be an A-Main talked about for years. Connecticut's Rich Wood then took the top spot on the second lap and opened up a big lead in hopes for his first ESS triumph ever. Wood's FEB Construction backed #6W was setting a fast pace heading into lap cars early in the event.
A red flag came out on lap seven for George Ely who flipped on the backstretch. With the field bunched, it was Wood leading Spadaro and Stelter who came up from his 12th place start. Even though Wood's huge lead was now gone, he opened up another good advantage when the green lights came back on.
Stelter moved into second at the halfway mark and started to make strides towards the leader as Wood's outside lane started to go away slightly. A caution would be needed for Stelter and his wish was answered on lap 13 when Tim Zimbardi turned around in turn three. It was now a battle of two driver and two grooves.
Green lights shined again and Wood went to the top with Stelter down low. Turns one and two, Wood lead but going into three the cushion that was there hugging Wood's right rear seemed to fail him on this lap was he slipped off the bank. Both Stelter and Kaszubinski slipped by as lap 14 was scored.
"When I saw Rich (Wood) slip off I thought there was the break I needed." noted Stelter. "I was going to try and keep a steady pace but Kaz showed me a wheel on the outside. I had ro go as hard as could after that.
Kaszubinski's #20 was side by side with Stelter on lap 16 but the outside lane started to fail him as it did Wood. Stelter sooned opened up a few car lengths and he was looking to cruise in for a win. That was until lap 19, turn four.
"I don't know what happened, I just god sideways." noted a surprised Stelter afterwards. "When that happened I was just waiting to see Kaz go by." Indeed Kaszubinski took advantage with a "never-lift-the-throttle" charge off turn four, the two were completely side by side a the checkered flag.
With the fans standing and cheering, Stelter's sprinter crossed the line by mere inches ahead of Kaszubinski. "I'm so glad I won by a nose, that was close...way to close!!! That god we pulled it off!" summed up the winner.
Kaszubinski capped off a strong weekend, where he won on Thurs. and took third Fri., with the runnerup finish. R.C. Faigle crossed the line third after a lap 17 pass on Wood but was penalized two spots for hitting the restart cone. Wood inherited third at the finish followed by Doug Emery and Faigle. Rounding out the top ten was Mike Woodring, Lance Yonge, Ray Preston, Rob Dietrick and Scott Holcomb.
Taking the Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were Wood, Kaszubinski and Ely. The Walt's Hobby Dash event was also won by Kaszubinski who almost made it a clean sweep of the night's action.
ESS NOTES: The third consecutive night of ESS action produced 23 cars in the pits...Bill Coffey took a wild flip in warmups. The Woodhull winner walk out of his sprinter under his own power but did take a trip to the local hospital...Good weekend for Kaszubinski (1-3-2), Yonge (7-2-7), Woodring (8-1-6) and Stelter (10-7-1) as they had three top ten finishes in the three events...Kaszubinski's winnings totaled over $3800 for the weekend...A special note, the Fulton event rained out in May has now been rescheduled for Tues. Aug. 15...ESS will return to Autodrome Drummond on Sat. Sept. 2...Next weekend is huge four race weekend for the ESS Tour 2000 with Little Valley on Friday followed by Canandaigua, Cayuga County and Black Rock on Monday.
Heat 1 - Rich Wood, Tim Zimbardi, Doug Emery, Ray Preston, Scott Holcomb, Mike Woodring.
Heat 2 - Dan Kaszubinski, R.C. Faigle, Mike Stelter, Don Sharp Jr., Dick Spadaro, Steve Dow.
Heat 3 - George Ely, Lance Yonge, Bubby Kerrick, Randy Years, Rob Dietrick, Alain Bergeron.
Walt's Hobby dash - Kaszubinski.
Did Not Qualify - Bill Coffey.
A-MAIN - MIKE STELTER, Kaszubinski, Wood, Emery, Faigle, Woodring, Yonge, Preston, Dietrick, Holcomb, Kerrick, Years, Bergeron, Steve Dow, Spadaro, Mike Van Dusen, Zimbardi, Carmon Carnibucci, Ely, Sharp Jr., Bob Seidel, Jeff Van Dusen.
Lap Leaders - Spadaro 1, Wood 2-13, Stelter 14-20.
Walt's Hobby Hard Charger - Kaszubinski (12 pos.) $50.
Vicomp Graphics Halfway - Wood $50.
Winner's Bonuses - Car-Mate Dealers $50, Total Seal $50, Hank's Performance Products $50, Griffin Thermal Products $50, Tire Comp. East $75, Bicknell Racing Products $35, Behrent's Speed Center $30, Red's Speed Shop $25.
<pre> Other Bonuses: Weld Racing Hard Luck - Coffey $75. Penske Racing Shocks - Holcomb $150. Design 500 - Spadaro $100, Faigle $50. Bailey Racing Products - Emery $35. Total Seal - Holcomb $30. Thunder Mtn. Wings - Kaszubinski $20. Powder Birns - Bergeron $10. Dave Ely Racing - Zimbardi, Faigle, Yonge $10. Lauterborn Electric - Spadaro $10.