by Dean Reynolds SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The only four race weekend of the new season looms just over the hill for the Empire Super Sprint (ESS) Tour 2001. Four nights of wild, winged sprint car action in one state and two Canadian Provinces brings in...
by Dean Reynolds
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The only four race weekend of the new season looms just over the hill for the Empire Super Sprint (ESS) Tour 2001. Four nights of wild, winged sprint car action in one state and two Canadian Provinces brings in the Summer season in style.
The big stretch starts with the annual Pabst Shootout at the Can-Am Motorsports Park on Thurs. night June 21 then moves to the Autodromes in Quebec, Granby on the 22nd and then Drummond on the 23rd. The fourth and final night finds all the ESS teams heading back into Ontario for a Sunday night stop at the Cornwall Motor Speedway.
For the first time in ESS history, the visit to Can-Am finds the fast half-mile under new ownership with John Wight now taking over the reins. What remains is the strong and long history of top notch dirt track racing and the Pabst Shootout promises to be bigger and better than ever. To make the Thurs. night stop even more lucrative for the ESS gang is that the A-Main is the first of three Syracuse "Shootout" Qualifiers. The winner will earn a guaranteed starting berth for the 20 mile, $5000 to win contest held during Super DIRT Week.
More than 30 sprinters will take part in three Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events, the KSE Racing Products B-Main and the F.X. Caprara/Walt's Hobby Dash. All the action leads up to the 20 lap A-Main where the winner will take home close to $2000 in cash and bonuses.
After Can-Am, it's up through Ontario, Canada, swing by Montreal on your way to Granby, Quebec. Autodrome Granby has been the Friday night home for dirt track racing in Quebec for many years now and a traditional large turn out is again expected in the stands for the first of two visits by the sprinters. The Quebec fans will again have a chance to cheer for one of their own as St. Pie's Alain Bergeron will lead the contingent of sprinters to the Granby pits. Bergeron has already collected an A-Main win in 2001 and would love to win on front of his hometown fans.
While a Saturday night trek North to Drummondville and Autodrome Drummond has been the norm every time ESS comes to Quebec, a new Drummond will be waiting to greet all on hand. For the second time in three years, management has decided to change the face of Drummond. What was a huge half-mile for nearly 50 years, Drummond was switched to a lightning fast 1/3 mile oval in 1999 and 2000. Now for 2001, a track that might be considered "in-between" will be the look on June 23rd.
For the first time ever, the Cornwall Motor Speedway has been added to the annual late June haul up North for ESS. The change in date doesn't make this a "stand alone" event so the largest field ever at Cornwall could be there for the 4000 plus fans that pack the ultra-fast quarter mile each year. Plooy's Performance Products will take over the sponsorship of the Walt's Hobby Dash giving it a local flavor on the evening.
While the ESS Tour 2001 is still in the first third on the 34 event tour, the one and only four race weekend could make a big impact on the season long points standings. Woodring, Yonge, Kaszubinski, Stelter, Years, Dow, Holcomb and many others will be looking to make a big move in hopes of being the champion in the 18th season of the Empire Super Sprints.
Excitement guaranteed???, You bet and in two countries and two different languages to boot. June 21-24, pack the bags and follow the ESS Tour 2001, you'll be glad you did.
<pre> Empire Super Sprints Winners at Can-Am Motorsports Park
7/30/87 John Brutcher 7/28/88 John Birosh 7/27/89 John Birosh 8/2/90 Mal Lane 8/1/91 Jeff Thomas 7/30/92 Tim Kelly 7/28/94 Mike Woodring 6/22/95 Craig Lane 6/19/96 Mike Woodring 6/19/97 George Suprick 6/18/98 Mike Woodring 6/24/99 Dan Kaszubinski 6/22/00 Dan Kaszubinski
Empire Super Sprint Winners at Autodrome Granby.
6/17/94 Roger Horvath 6/23/95 Mike Woodring 9/1/95 Craig Keel 6/21/96 Mike Woodring 6/20/97 Mike Woodring 8/29/97 Bobby Parrow 6/19/98 Mike Woodring 9/4/98 Lance Yonge 6/25/99 Mike Stelter 9/3/99 Lance Yonge 6/23/00 Mike Woodring 9/1/00 Mike Stelter
Past Empire Super Sprint Winners at Autodrome Drummond.
5/19/84 Gordy Button 5/19/84 Dave Leckonby 6/19/94 Tom Taber 6/24/95 Mike Woodring 9/2/95 Mike Woodring 8/30/97 Mike Woodring 6/20/98 Mike Woodring 9/5/98 Tim Kelly 6/26/99 Mike Woodring 9/4/99 Dan Kaszubinski 6/24/00 Mike Stelter
Past Empire Super Sprint Winners at Cornwall Motor Speedway.
9/16/84 Jon King 5/16/93 Jeff Thomas 5/22/94 Adrian Flath 6/11/95 Mike Woodring 6/9/96 Gary Drum 6/8/97 Jeff Thomas 6/7/98 Dan DeCracker 6/6/99 Chris Shuttleworth 6/4/00 Alain Bergeron