Jeff VanDusen Takes Advantage of Bubby Kerrick's Misfortune to win the Lucas Oil Canadian Invasion Series Event for the Empire Super Sprints at Drummond. DRUMMONDVILLE, QC -- It all came down to a lap 22 restart in the Fondations 4 Saisons ...
Jeff VanDusen Takes Advantage of Bubby Kerrick's Misfortune to win the Lucas Oil Canadian Invasion Series Event for the Empire Super Sprints at Drummond.
DRUMMONDVILLE, QC -- It all came down to a lap 22 restart in the Fondations 4 Saisons A-Main when Bubby Kerrick was ready to pace the field down to Danny Mulligan's green flag. The Jacobs Motorsports #4U took off at the drop of the green flag but then sputtered severely to a near stall. When the next lap was scored it was Otego, N.Y.'s Jeff VanDusen in the lead and he held off local favorite Steve Poirier to win the 25 lap Lucas Oil Canadian Invasion Series event for the Empire Super Sprints at Autodrome Drummond on Saturday night.
Kerrick, who also took advantage of a misfortune by Jessica Zemken who lost her front wing while leading, was in position to break a winless streak that has lasted nearly four years. But, when his sprinter faltered shortly after taking off, the hopes of the $2,000 victory were gone. The reason? "I ran out of fuel." simply said by Kerrick who ended up finishing 11th in the final run down.
For VanDusen, it was a nice reward after hurting an engine the night before at Granby. Using the back-up ProSpas sponsored Eagle he was ready to make a bid for the lead before the red flag was thrown on lap 22. "I was going to give it a shot. I don't know if I was going to get Bubby but it was going to be a good race to the finish." said the 23 year old, second generation driver. "I was set for the restart and all of a sudden he (Kerrick) didn't go and he moved up to the wall. I just missed hitting him, I mean it was real close. I got out front and then I just went a hard as I could to try to get the win."
The victory was his ninth on the tour brought to you by Jacobs Motorsports, but the Eagle car he did it in has a unique story. "It's a 2001 model that was all bent up and just sitting up in a garage from a friend to Florida. He just gave it to us." VanDusen mentioned on the tale of the sprinter. "We clipped it and used it for a few races. It's a good car and I felt comfortable in it. Carl (Schultz, VanDusen's car owner) doesn't quite have our back-up ready so dad decided to bring this car we own for a just in case. I'm glad we did!"
Zemken's Doug Emery wrenched Maxim took off from its outside pole starting spot and she opened up huge lead on the field. By the halfway mark, the 21 year old female sensation had nearly a half track lead and was looking to collect her second career win on the ESS trail. Just as it was looking like a simple drive down the road, her front wing was starting to break free. In a few laps it was standing on end and her vision was being blocked causing her to lose ground rapidly.
With Zemken slowing, Kerrick, VanDusen and Poirier were closing it and soon it was a four car battle for the lead. On lap 21, Kerrick was the first to break free and take control of the lead with VanDusen and Poirier doing the same shortly after. As the red lights were shown on the 22nd tour, it set up the three lap drama to the checkered flag.
The stage was set until the Kerrick machine stumbled adding the major twist to the plot. At the finish it was VanDusen home first with Poirier close behind after starting 14th to collect the Lane's Yamaha hard charger bonus, the Mike's Drive-In #6 of Mike Stelter took third followed by Jeff Cook and Tommy Wickham. Making up the next ten were Zemken (who ripped off her front wing during the lap 22 red), the Les Constructions Ultra #25 or Michael Parent, Quebec modified star David Hebert as a teammate to Poirier, Brian McDonald and Lance Yonge.
Two red flags did stop the action in the 25 lap A-Main: On lap one second place running Russ Bennett lost his front axle which caused him to hit the turn three wall and flip over. With his car blocking the track Alain Bergeron, Jamie Collard, Daniel Lampron and Normand Beaudreault also were collected. None were able to return. On lap 22, Cory Sparks made hard contact with the turn four wall flipping high in the air. All drivers were uninjured in both accidents.
Taking the $25 to win Car Mate Custom Built Trailers heat events were Poirier, Stelter and Sparks with Poirier also claiming the Babe Design/Walt's Hobby Dash event where he took home another $100.
ESS/DRUMMOND NOTES: A nice field of 24 sprints in the pits in front a full Drummond grandstand...Not only was Hebert making his first ever ESS appearance in a sprint, but so was another modified star in Yan Bussiere as a teammate to Alain Bergeron. Both drivers looked right at home in the winged machines...The third driver making her first ever ESS start was Lori Cook, wife of ESS star Jeff Cook and daughter of ESS legend Adrian Flath. She became the fifth female driver to run an ESS point event...Just after winning the dash, Poirier was also presented the 2006 360 sprint car rookie of the year award from the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum, the capacity crowd gave him a big ovation...The stars and cars from the Jacobs Motorsports Tour will make two more Lucas Oil Canadian Invasion Series stops at Drummond on July 28th and Sept. 1st.
Heat 1 -- Steve Poirier, Bubby Kerrick, Jeff VanDusen, Jessica Zemken, Keith Dempster, Jamie Collard.
Heat 2 -- Mike Stelter, Alain Bergeron, Russ Bennett, Tommy Wickham, David Hebert, Lance Yonge.
Heat 3 -- Cory Sparks, Jeff Cook, Michael Parent, Daniel Lampron, Brian McDonald, Yan Bussiere.
Babe Design/Walt's Hobby Dash -- Poirier.
Did Not Qualify -- Rich Van Keuren, Lori Cook.
A-MAIN -- JEFF VanDUSEN, Steve Poirier, Mike Stelter, Jeff Cook, Tommy Wickham, Jessica Zemken, Michael Parent, David Hebert, Brian McDonald, Lance Yonge, Bubby Kerrick, Anthony Cain, Glenn Styres, Cory Sparks, Kayle Robidoux, Yan Bussiere, Keith Dempster, Russ Bennett, Alain Bergeron, Daniel Lampron, Jamie Collard, Normand Beaudreault.