ESS: Black Rock: Season opener preview

Empire Super Sprints to open 19th season at Black Rock on April 13. SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- What might have seemed to be an eternity since the final checkered flag of the 2001 season back in October, the first green flag for the Empire Super Sprint ...

Empire Super Sprints to open 19th season at Black Rock on April 13.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- What might have seemed to be an eternity since the final checkered flag of the 2001 season back in October, the first green flag for the Empire Super Sprint (ESS) Tour 2002 is ready to by waved. Saturday night, April 13th, the wicked fast Black Rock Speedway will once again be the traditional opening speedplant for ESS' new year.

The 4/10ths mile Yates County oval has seen the stars and cars from ESS compete there since 1984. Lin and Cindy Hough are the owners/promoters of Black Rock and have been huge supporters of winged sprint cars as well as ESS. The April 13th opener is the first of three ESS point shows held at the track located just ten miles north of Watkins Glen. Then on Sept. 6 & 7 comes the $40,000 Bully Hill Vineyards Fall Sprint Nationals.

Last year Mother Nature was inked in as the winner of the opening event and fans of sprint car racing will not be hoping for a repeat. Instead, seven-time champion Mike Woodring will head the list of nearly 40 sprinters that will fill the Black Rock Pits. Top stars such as Dan Kaszubinski, Lance Yonge, Bill Coffey and Steve Dow will be among the crowd favorites as well. Past winners at Black Rock that will also be expected in the field will be Tom Taber, Scott Holcomb, Rob Dietrick, John Karklin Jr., Randy Years and Phil Mott as well as a big welcome back to Tim Kelly and Jeff "Spider" Thomas.

While the veterans of ESS competition will always be on the minds as favorites, the "Young Guns" of ESS should not be counted out. The teen-age group of 2001 ESS rookie of the year Kyle Drum, Justin Barger and Jeff VanDusen along with 20 year old female chauffeur Erin Crocker will have their say as well. The 2002 "Rookie Crop" will be a strong one with Connecticut's Bill White, N.Y.'s Curt Shuttleworth and Dan Deming Jr. as well as Vermont's Anthony Cain looking to crack the A-Main starting line up.

Fans will get a chance to see three or four Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events, the KSE Racing Products B-Main, the Lane's Yamaha/Walt's Hobby Dash all before the 20 lap A-Main that will pay the winner $1150 in cash along with nearly $1000 more in bonuses.

Sprint is here and what better way to forget ole' man Winter than some good old alcohol breathing sprint cars!!! If you can't wait for the 13th, you can visit Black Rock on Friday night the 12th for a special practice session. Many ESS cars will be on hand along with all other of the top Black Rock divisions.

It's the half-a-million-dollar ESS Tour 2002. The first of 39 dates is at the "Rock", Black Rock Speedway and it will be excitement guaranteed!!!!

-ess-

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Series Sprint
Drivers Erin Crocker , Justin Barger , Bill Coffey