Empire Super Sprints Tour 2004 off to a Fast Start SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- While most of the Motorsports world has been fighting the wrath of mother nature, the opening Memorial Day Weekend for the Empire Super Sprints saw sun filled days and exciting...
Empire Super Sprints Tour 2004 off to a Fast Start
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- While most of the Motorsports world has been fighting the wrath of mother nature, the opening Memorial Day Weekend for the Empire Super Sprints saw sun filled days and exciting winged sprint car action. The stars and cars of ESS will continue this weekend with visits to Little Valley on Friday and Cornwall Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Good fortune and bad fortune were felt by many over the opening weekend:
Good Fortune -- Rick Wilson, topping 28 sprints at both Brockville Ontario Speedway and Can-Am Motorsports Park, the Canadian star finally won in front of his hometown fans with a sprinter. The likeable veteran celebrated with wheelies, a wing dance and two very emotional victory lanes that will be remembered for a long time to come. Unfortunately for Wilson, Memorial Day is not a holiday nor a day off in Canada which forced him to miss Utica-Rome as he had to head back to Canada to tend to his dock building business. Wilson fell to fifth in points.
Doug Emery used an eighth, third and fifth place finishes on the weekend to lead the ESS points going into Little Valley. After three years on the United Racing Club circuit, Emery made his return to ESS in hopes of his first ever title. Consistent finishes will be key and the Nedrow, N.Y. star is on the game plan.
Jeff VanDusen saw some good luck come his way at Utica-Rome after struggling just a bit during the first two shows. The second generation star finished a solid second but after post race tech he was awarded his third career ESS win after the disqualification of Darren Long. VanDusen is third in points going into this weekend's action.
Dan Kaszubinski struggled to take home a 14th place finish at Brockville but then followed up with a second and third on the final two nights to currently be second in points heading into this weekend.
Jeff Cook and Billy Krull. Even though both drivers had to replace their top wings during the weekend, steady finishes find these first time ESS tour drivers 12th and 13th in points leading one of the biggest rookie crops in ESS history.
Bad Fortune -- Lance Yonge could very well be on top of the ESS points with second and seventh at the first two shows but abroken shock tower while solidly in the top five at Utica-Rome produced a 19th place result and seventh in ESS Tour 2004 points.
John Karklin Jr. had his most successful season last year with a fourth in the final tour points. After a strong sixth at Brockville, the Freehold N.Y. driver brought out a new J&J but two lap one drop outs has him 15th on points going into Little Valley.
Brian Dumigan took one year off the tour to regroup and with a new J&J he young driver was looking to regain some of his 2001 form. But a 19th place finish after a multi-car tangle was the Brockville results followed but hurting his motor at Can-Am running a strong second and followed by a DNQ at Utica-Rome.
Don Sharp Jr. was looking forward to 2004 with a new car and new motor but after running just his heat at Brockville, the power plant went up and Sharp was forced to head back to New Hampshire and miss the rest of the weekend.
Brian Glasser is one of the many new to ESS in looking for the rookie of the year honors but a wild flip at Brockville ended not only his night early but also his weekend.
Rand Years is coming off a horrible 2003 season and 2004 hasn't been any better so far with a combination of a struggling set-ups and being at the wrong place at the wrong time seeing this two-time ESS winner DNQ in the final two events of the weekend.
Phil Mott is back on the ESS tour but a flip at Brockville followed by two early drop outs made for a weekend to forget and a 19th placing in points going into his home track at Little Valley.
Gordy Button made his return to ESS hoping to improve on his 29 career ESS victories but a blown drive line was followed by a blown Ford power plant at Utica-Rome in the Dan Deming owned #80. Not the start that his owner/driver combo was expecting.
The raveling road show of the Empire Super Sprints will see peeks and valleys from June 'til October. More tales will be told come this Friday with the first of two visits to the Little Valley Speedway and then it's the second Spectro Oils Canadian Invasion event of the year which takes place at the Cornwall Motor Speedway on Sunday. Sprints fans can always expect some of the very best in winged action when ESS comes to your house.