Nick Fratto Completes Empire Super Sprint Sweep at Autodrome Drummond. DRUMMOND, QC -- Young 17 year old Nick Fratto completed the "Hat Trick" Saturday night at Autodrome Drummond in Quebec when the nativepoker.com Tour for the Empire Super...
Nick Fratto Completes Empire Super Sprint Sweep at Autodrome Drummond.
DRUMMOND, QC -- Young 17 year old Nick Fratto completed the "Hat Trick" Saturday night at Autodrome Drummond in Quebec when the nativepoker.com Tour for the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) made the second of three visits in 2006. The driver of the Geneva Curbing Maxim won his heat, dash and then led all 25 laps to win the Spectro Oils Canadian Invasion Series A-Main.
For Fratto, it marks the first win in two years and his second career with the 24 year old sprint car organization. "This has been a long time coming. We have been close many times but just didn't get back to victory lane since my first win." noted the 2003 ESS rookie of the year who is from Geneva, N.Y.. "I just have to thank Dan (Kaszubinski) and Todd (Weigand) as they just bust their butts every day to keep both cars going. My dad wanted to team up with them and it's starting to turn the whole program around and it has also really helped me become a better driver."
Good results are starting to be noticed as Fratto is back into victory lane and Kaszubinski took over the ESS point lead after the event making the Fratto Motorsports team a major force.
As the field came down to Eric Salvas' green flag, Fratto got the jump over his front row mate Bobby Podolak and what was played out over the next 20 minutes was a near perfect 25 laps turned in by the young teenager. However, it was no cake walk as the tension did hit its peek with the final of three cautions came on lap 19 which put team cars of John Karklin Jr. and Doug Emery right on his rear bumper for an exciting six lap dash to the victory.
"After that caution I got real cautious. With the track like it was I didn't want to get off the bottom, if someone was going by me it was around the outside." Fratto remarked on those final six, nail biting laps.
Emery slipped under the Karklin and immediately put the pressure on Fratto hoping to pick up win #2 for 2006. "I could hear Doug behind me, I knew I might have been playing it too cool but I just didn't want to make a mistake and give this away. I didn't want to lose it, just to have Doug earn it." said Fratto.
With two laps to go, Emery pulled right behind the Fratto #F1 but one small glitch in the plan doomed the bid for the win. "I went into turn three hard but for some reason the car really pushed on me and I lost all my momentum. That was basically the last shot I had, Nicky pulled away and just drove a real smart race it was good to see him get the win tonight." said the ESS veteran who is in the middle of the closest championship fight in ESS history.
At the finish it was Fratto just ahead of Emery with Karklin Jr. aboard the other Patterson Motorsports entry taking a fine third. Karklin totaled his mount the night prior at Granby but as a good friend to both Tom Patterson and Emery was offered the ride just minutes after. Lance Yonge took fourth with Bubby Kerrick fifth in their nativepoker.com sponsored rides. Rounding out the top ten were Podolak, Alain Bergeron, Kaszubinski, Jeff VanDusen and Jessica Zemken who became the new Spectro Oils point leader.
The first of three cautions came out on lap three when Jason Barney lost his front end and collected Billy White. Both cars were done for the night. Michael Parent looped his sprint on lap 12 with Luke Eriksen and Steve Poirier getting together on lap 19.
Winning the Car Mate Custom Built Trailers heat events were Podolak, Parent and Fratto with Fratto winning the Walt's Hobby dash was Fratto as Poirier won the KSE Racing Products B-Main.
ESS/DRUMMOND NOTES: A total of 23 sprints played host in front of a packed house on "Wing Night" as the mini-sprints joined the card at Drummond--16 year old Michael Parent collected his first ever ESS checkered by taking the win in heat two--Emery also earned the Lane's Yamaha hard charger bonus after coming from his tenth place starting spot--Even after flipping out of the ball park last night at Granby and a quick trip to the hospital, Jeff Cook was back behind the wheel of his #10--The winged warriors of the nativepoker.com Tour will make its third visit to Canada's oldest running dirt track on September 2nd--.It will be two weeks off for most of the ESS teams with the exception of Lance Yonge, Justin Barger and Jessica Zemken as they head out to the famed Marion County Fairgrounds and the Knoxville Raceway. They will take on the very best in 360 sprint car racing in the annual 360 Sprint Car Nationals and the annual Brodix Tournament of Champions. For Zemken, she will stay one more week to run a 410 in the biggest sprint car race of them all, the Knoxville Nationals.
Heat 1 -- Bob Podolak, Bubby Kerrick, Doug Emery, Doug Norrie, Luke Eriksen, Jessica Zemken
Heat 2 -- Michael Parent, Jason Barney, Dan Kaszubinski, Billy White, Lance Yonge, Matt Norrie
Heat 3 -- Nick Fratto, John Karklin Jr., Alain Bergeron, Jeff VanDusen, Jeff Cook, Justin Barger
Walt's Hobby Dash -- Nick Fratto
B-Main -- Steve Poirier, Russ Bennett, Rich Zagata Jr., James Hansen
Added Starter -- Randy Years
A-MAIN -- NICK FRATTO, Doug Emery, John Karklin Jr., Lance Yonge, Bubby Kerrick, Bobby Podolak, Alain Bergeron, Dan Kaszubinski, Jeff VanDusen, Jessica Zemken, Michael Parent, Matt Norrie, Russ Bennett, Steve Poirier, Jeff Cook, Doug Norrie, Luke Eriksen, Rich Zagata Jr., Randy Years, James Hansen, Justin Barger, Billy White, Jason Barney.