Steve Poirier Tops Justin Barger in Empire Super Sprint Thriller at the Cornwall Motor Speedway. CORNWALL, ONT -- It was Canada vs. US, a sprint rookie vs. a 22 year old Empire Super Sprint (ESS) star. Quebec's Steve Poirier and ...
Steve Poirier Tops Justin Barger in Empire Super Sprint Thriller at the Cornwall Motor Speedway.
CORNWALL, ONT -- It was Canada vs. US, a sprint rookie vs. a 22 year old Empire Super Sprint (ESS) star. Quebec's Steve Poirier and Montrose, N.Y.'s Justin Barger waged a war among wars in a classic two car battle that kept the huge Cornwall Motor Speedway in their feet for 25 tension filled laps. The two drivers swapped the lead six times before the Canadian fans had a chance to cheer one of their own--Steve Poirier wins the Spectro Oils Canadian Invasion event with a lap 23 pass to thrill all in attendance.
When the French-Canadian star from St. Mathieu de Beloeil, Quebec made it known that he was going to tackle the nativepoker.com Tour for the Empire Super Sprints in 2006, some knew that he would be a instant threat in the 24 year old organization. The driver just might be the best DIRT big block driver to ever come out of the French speaking province, now he is making a name for himself in the world of wings.
With the exciting pass with two laps to go at the ultra-quick quarter-mile, Poirier becomes the first driver to repeat victory in seven ESS events this year. "That was a great race! That's all I can say. Maybe a little lucky or not but I gave it my all to make that pass and I guess it worked out." said the driver who always displays a calm about himself. "Those last laps I never lifted, here on this small track, I never lifted--that was fun!"
Indeed, it was fun for the fans as well. When Barger juts nipped past Poirier on lap 21 when the caution lights came out, he knew it was a "do or die" attempt to get his lead back. "He (Justin) did a great job to get me just as the yellow came out. I just figured that I had to drive a little bit harder, so that is what I did." Poirier mentioned. "I have plenty of experience here with the mod so I hoped that helped some. I knew turns one and two are good up top and that is where I went. Luckily it worked, I'm just so happy to win in front of many of my fans."
For Barger, it could have been looked at as one that got away. He got beat by a rookie, but this is no normal rookie. "Steve is a great driver, he just drove a great race and beat me. I had to congratulate him" said Barger shortly afterwards who was also looking to become the first repeat winner on the tour. "That yellow on lap 21 I think did me in. I just wasn't that good when my tires cooled off and he was better than me in one and two. If the green stayed out I probably would have won. But, he took advantage and drove a heck of a race."
With the pill draw coming up 12, most of the field got inverted on this night with Barger and Poirier claiming the front row and what a show they put on. Barger led laps one to six, Poirier than took over until lap 13 when Barger just slipped past to collect the National Parts Peddler halfway bonus. Poirier then got the lead back on lap 14 and held it until lap 21 when the caution lights came on. Barger did lead lap 22 but when the two-lap-to-go sign came down it was Poirier's FM Industries Maxim in the lead and on to victory.
Finishing right behind the front two was two-time Cornwall winner Jeff Cook with his Rt. 37 Building Supply #10, Bubby Kerrick was home for fourth just ahead of Dan Kaszubinski. Rounding out the top ten were Jeff VanDusen, Lance Yonge, Canadians Rick Wilson and Alain Bergeron with Kyle Drum taking tenth which earned him the Lane's Yamaha hard charger bonus after starting in 20th.
Just two cautions slowed the event with both being for newcomer Justin Harris.
Taking the Car Mate Trailer heat events were Barger, Yonge and Bobby Podolak with the Northwood2 Construction/Walt's Hobby Dash being won by Yonge.
ESS/CORNWALL NOTES: A total of 24 sprints entered the event on the first of two events to Ron Morin's beautiful facility--Harris made his return to ESS competition after taking a year off--Michael Parent was the only sprint to get in it's wing with a solo flip after the checkered flag on heat one--Many representatives from nativepoker.com were on had to view the action. Both Yonge and Kerrick had their nativepoker.com sprinters on display for the fans--The winged warriors of ESS will make their second stop on July 16th--Next weekend will be two more Spectro Oils Canadian Invasion events as the teams will travel to Western Ontario with stops at Ohsweken and South Buxton Speedways. The visit to South Buxton will be the first ever for ESS.
Heat 1 -- Justin Barger, Doug Emery, Russ Bennett, Doug Norrie, Justin Harris, Kyle Moffit.
Heat 2 -- Lance Yonge, Dan Kaszubinski, Steve Poirier, Billy White, Jeff VanDusen, Jessica Zemken.
Heat 3 -- Bobby Podolak, Rick Wilson, Don Sharp Jr., Jeff Cook, Bubby Kerrick, Alain Bergeron.
Northwood2 Construction/Walt's Hobby Dash -- Lance Yonge.
Added Starter -- Randy Years.
Did Not Qualify -- Michael Parent.
A-MAIN -- STEVE POIRIER, Justin Barger, Jeff Cook, Bubby Kerrick, Dan Kaszubinski, Jeff VanDusen, Lance Yonge, Rick Wilson, Alain Bergeron, Kyle Drum, Doug Emery, Russ Bennett, Don Sharp Jr., Jessica Zemken, Luke Eriksen, Billy White, Matt Norrie, Doug Norrie, Nick Fratto, Justin Harris, Randy Years, Kyle Moffit, Bob Podolak.
Gater News Lap Leaders -- Barger 1-6, Poirier 7-12, Barger 13, Poirier 14-20, Barger 21-22, Poirier 23-25.
Ohsweken Speedway Winner's Bonus -- Poirier $100
National Parts Peddler Halfway Bonus -- Barger $100
Northwood2 Construction/Walt's Hobby Dash -- Yonge $100
Lane's Yamaha Hard Charger Bonus -- Drum (10 pos.) $50
Geneva Curbing Bridesmaid Bonus -- Barger $50
Car Mate Trailer Heat Bonus -- Barger, Yonge, Podolak $25.