Steve Poirier Excites French-Canadian Fans with Popular Empire Super Sprint Victory at Autodrome Granby GRANBY, QC -- Going into Friday night's Empire Super Sprint (ESS), Lucas Oil Canadian Invasion Series event at Autodrome Granby, Quebec's ...
Steve Poirier Excites French-Canadian Fans with Popular Empire Super Sprint Victory at Autodrome Granby
GRANBY, QC -- Going into Friday night's Empire Super Sprint (ESS), Lucas Oil Canadian Invasion Series event at Autodrome Granby, Quebec's own Steve Poirier held a slim lead over Jeff VanDusen in the overall point standings for the 2007 championship. After his exciting victory in front of a huge crowd at his former home track, the driver of the FM Industries #28FM made a big move towards his first ever title on the tour brought to you by Jacobs Motorsports.
The win was worth over $2,000 in cash thanks to A-Main sponsorship from Poirier's family business Fondations 4 Saisons and it was also his second of the season and seventh overall in his short ESS career. The event saw position changes on every lap thanks to a multi-groove ½ mile, Poirier came from his 12th starting spot to finally take the lead on lap 18 and he never looked back for the victory that saw fans on their feet.
With his closest rival Jeff VanDusen dropping out early, Poirier opened up his overall point lead and also took charge in the Lucas Oil standings with four point shows left. Three of those events are north of the border which will be key on both titles which carries a point fund of over $30,000.
While it sounded like a dominating effort, Poirier didn't make his moves until the second half of the event. "For some reason my car was too tight early on. I really couldn't figure out why, but I couldn't make a charge until we got a few laps in." noted the driver who won his heat by half a track. "But, once some of the fuel burned off the car got fast, real fast. I could run high, low, it didn't matter but once it got to where I could really drive it is where I could start making passes."
Tommy Wickham got the jump from Granby's own Michael Parent at the start and was looking for his second victory in three events on the ESS tour. The orange #75 opened up a good size lead using the high side around the fast oval. The battle behind Wickham though was just incredible with numerous changes in the running order on each lap. Parent, Lance Yonge, Brian McDonald and Justin Barger all had a share in the top five but in which spot was never determined until the lap was officially scored.
It was lap 12 before Poirier entered into the fray and he started to pick off his challengers in his effort to take the victory. Up to third on lap 16 and in a wild move to go from third to the lead on lap 18 is what thousands of fans came to see. With the last 14 laps under the green lights, Poirier used lapped traffic to open up some distance on the field to score the victory with a comfortable margin.
Yonge and Wickham swapped the runner-up position several times in the closing stages with Yonge finally getting the upper hand on lap 21 to take home over $1,000 for his fine run. Barger also made a late race pass on Wickham for third at the checkered with Wickham home fourth followed by Parent. Rounding out the top ten were defending champion Alain Bergeron, Jessica Zemken, Mike Stelter, the Norton Blaze #9 of Cory Sparks and McDonald who lost his tires late to fade to tenth.
Three cautions did slow the pace where the winged machines reached over 122 m.p.h. VanDusen made hard contact with the inside wall on lap one for disappointing outcome. Defending Granby winner Jeff Cook also fell to the same fate on lap four with Jamie Collard spinning around on lap 11 for the final yellow.
Taking the Car Mate Custom Built Trailers heat events were Poirier, Bergeron and Wickham.
ESS/GRANBY NOTES: A fine field of 24 sprints entered the nights action--Massachusetts Jeff Ries, Curtis Bradshaw and Kyle Stabler, who ran McDonald's back-up mount were new entries on the 2007 season--Problems after warm-ups for Bradshaw and Kayle Robidoux saw their sprinters scratched for the night. All was not lost for Robidoux as he won the 50 lap DIRTcar 358 championship event--With rainouts from the week prior, an unique features only format was used during the night and was a big hit--The event marked the third of three successful outings at Granby with dates already booked for next year.
Heat 1 -- Steve Poirier, Michael Parent, Cory Sparks, Bubby Kerrick, Normand Beaudreault, Jami Russell, Jamie Collard, Lori Cook.
Heat 2 -- Alain Bergeron, Jeff VanDusen, Jessica Zemken, Mike Stelter, Brian McDonald, Russ Bennett, Jeff Ries.
Heat 3 -- Tommy Wickham, Lance Yonge, Justin Barger, Jeff Cook, Anthony Cain, Daniel Lampron, Kyle Stabler.
Did Not Qualify -- Kayle Robidoux, Curtis Bradshaw.
A-MAIN -- STEVE POIRIER, Lance Yonge, Justin Barger, Tommy Wickham, Michael Parent, Alain Bergeron, Jessica Zemken, Mike Stelter, Cory Sparks, Brian McDonald, Russ Bennett, Normand Beaudreault, Anthony Cain, Jami Russell, Bubby Kerrick, Jamie Collard, Daniel Lampron, Jeff Cook, Jeff VanDusen, Jeff Ries, Kyle Stabler, Lori Cook.