Rob Dietrick Passes Bob Podolak With Three Laps To Go To Collect ESS Victory at Frogtown. HOGANSBURG, N.Y. - A lap 15 caution was what Farmington, N.Y.'s Rob Dietrick needed to make the winning pass and go on to win his first Empire Super Sprint...
Rob Dietrick Passes Bob Podolak With Three Laps To Go To Collect ESS Victory at Frogtown.
HOGANSBURG, N.Y. - A lap 15 caution was what Farmington, N.Y.'s Rob Dietrick needed to make the winning pass and go on to win his first Empire Super Sprint (ESS) Tour 2001 A-Main of the season which came Sat. night at the Frogtown Int'l Speedway. An outside sweep of Bob Podolak on lap 17 was the winning move for the driver of The Trailer Center, Inc. backed Trevis Craft. The victory marked the 12th different winner in 16 ESS events run so far this season.
"I needed this!" exclaimed the former mechanic of the year and rookie of the year. "This year has been so much of a struggle but I went back to basics this week. I put together my new Trevis, got back on Pro Shocks and basic bars and the car was fast all weekend. I started Tuesday night changing everything and I was wondering if I was crazy, but, I'm glad I did it now."
The fast paced Frogtown oval produced speeds over 120 m.p.h. and Dietrick's style fit right into the plans. "This place was fast tonight and the car was fast. I just couldn't get this car to handle earlier in the year, now it seems to be coming around." noted Dietrick.
While Dietrick was indeed standing in victory lane, it was that lap 15 caution which set the stage for the winning pass. "Bob (Podolak) was fast down low, he always runs well down there. I was using the top and was gaining some but I don't know if I could have passed him if it stayed green." said Dietrick. "The caution helped because I was able to see the track better which helped me find the fastest lane up top. When we were racing there was some dust in the air and I would miss the groove some. When the green came out I knew I could get a good run on the outside and hopefully I could get by him. We just had a great race, two laps side by side, I never had anyone race me like that. It was fun and Bob deserves credit for a great battle."
Young 18 year old Jeff VanDusen lead the first eight laps with his Pro Spas sponsored Buckley. Podolak slowly closed the gap as the laps clicked on and he eventually took the lead with an inside pass. The lead the veteran built up was a sizeable one and as the numbers on the lap counter continued to climb, it looked like this could be a non-stop 20 lap finale as well as a Podolak victory.
But, on lap 15 VanDusen and Mike Woodring got together bringing out the race's only caution. This put Dietrick on Podolak's rear bumper with no lapped cars and a clean track ahead. As the green lights shined, Podolak went low and Dietrick took to the top. The two ran side by side in a thrilling dual, lap 16 was a virtual dead-heat and then on lap 17, Dietrick nosed ahead. The next two laps saw Dietrick pull out by a few lengths to go on to victory.
The win was ESS career win number six for Dietrick with Podolak scoring a well earned second. The "Joyceville Jet", Rick Wilson, came from his 12th place starting spot to take third and earn the Walt's Hobby Hard charger bonus. Kyle Drum was in for a fine fourth ahead of Bill Coffey. Rounding out the top ten were Mike Stelter, Lance Yonge, Dan Kaszubinski, Bubby Kerrick and Ryan Coniam. Woodring came back from the late race spin to finish in 11th.
Taking the Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were Stelter, Kaszubinski and Dietrick. The Walt's Hobby Dash was won by Kaszubinski and the KSE Racing Products B-Main was taken by Scott Holcomb.
ESS NOTES: Another fine field of 29 sprints filled the pits in ESS' return to Frogtown after two years...Don Sharp Jr. qualified for the A-Main but suffered motor woes and was forced to scratch...On the weekend, Dietrick (3-1), Drum (6-4) and Coniam (7-10) were the only three drivers to capture two top 10 finishes...The ESS Tour 2001 and "America's Race Cars" will take a well deserved weekend off before returning to Albany-Saratoga on Aug. 3 and then to Devil's Bowl in Vermont on Aug. 5. <pre> RESULTS:
Heat 1 - Mike Stelter, Rick Wilson, Alain Bergeron, Tom Taber, John Karklin Jr., Don Sharp Jr.
Heat 2 - Dan Kaszubinski, Jeff VanDusen, Bill Coffey, Lance Yonge, Ryan Coniam, Tim Zimbardi.
Heat 3 - Rob Dietrick, R.C. Faigle, Kyle Drum, Bob Podolak, Mike Woodring, Bubby Kerrick.
Walt's Hobby Dash - Kaszubinski.
B-Main - Scott Holcomb, Justin Barger, Shawn Felt, Steve Dow, Randy Years.
Scratched - Sharp Jr., Added Starter - Ray Preston. Did Not Qualify - Billy Bradshaw, Jim Senzio, Warren Alexson, George Ely, Bill Wolf.
A-MAIN - ROB DIETRICK, Podolak, Wilson, Drum, Coffey, Stelter, Yonge, Kaszubinski, Kerrick, Coniam, Woodring, Holcomb, Bergeron, Years, Taber, Faigle, Zimbardi, VanDusen, Dow, Felt, Karklin Jr., Barger, Preston.
Lap Leaders - VanDusen 1-8, Podolak 9-16, Dietrick 17-20. Walt's Hobby Hard Charger - Wilson (9 pos.) $50. Vicomp Graphics Halfway - Podolak $50.
Winner's Bonuses: Car-Mate Trailers $50, ATL Fuel Cells $200, Extreme Racewear $100, Hank's Performance Products $50, Duralite Racing Wheels $50, Griffin Thermal Products $50, Flag2flag.com $145, Tire Comp. East $75, Bicknell Racing Products $35, Hazlitt Vineyards $30, Total Seal $30, Red's Speed Shop $25, Behrent's Performance Warehouse/Mechanix Wear $20.
Other Bonuses: Weld Racing Hard Luck - Sharp Jr. $75. Extreme Racewear - Wilson $50, Preston $25. KSE Racing Products - Holcomb $50. Design 500 - VanDusen $100, Coffey $50. Penske Shocks - Coffey $200. Joe Hunt Magnetos - Barger $50. Bailey Racing Products - Taber $35. Hazlitt Vineyards - Podolak $20, Wilson $10, Kaszubinski $10. Total Seal - Coniam $20. Thunder Mt. Wings - Podolak $20.
Empire Super Sprint Tour 2001 Points as of July 21, 2001. 1. Mike Woodring 1544 2. Dan Kaszubinski 1306 3. Lance Yonge 1233 4. Steve Dow 1108 5. Mike Stelter 1103 6. Kyle Drum 1098 7. Bill Coffey 1079 8. Bubby Kerrick 1047 9. Rob Dietrick 1038 10. Randy Years 1023 11. Scott Holcomb 1009 12. Alain Bergeron 991 13. Ray Preston 985 14. R.C. Faigle 977 15. Ryan Coniam 954