ESS: Little Valley II: Event preview

Sensational ESS rookie, Erin Crocker, to race at Little Valley. When the Empire Super Sprints make their first appearance of the year at Little Valley on Saturday, September 21st (their first scheduled appearance on June 14th was rained out),...

Sensational ESS rookie, Erin Crocker, to race at Little Valley.

When the Empire Super Sprints make their first appearance of the year at Little Valley on Saturday, September 21st (their first scheduled appearance on June 14th was rained out), they will be led by one of the best ESS rookies to come along in years, maybe ever. Erin Crocker, the 22 year old engineering student at Rennsselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, driver of the red No. 16 car, has turned the series on its ear, by winning four races, her most recent being one of the "Sweet Sixteen" races against the top open wheel pilots in the Northeast at the Bully Hill Nationals at Black Rock Speedway in Dundee. She is currently seventh in points and would be higher if she hadn't had several DNFs due to her enthusiastic and aggressive approach to every race. Translated, that means she loves to drive fast and hates to lose.

Sometimes that means she wrecks. Indeed, her first two wins came after she wrecked her car the previous night. She is looking forward to Little Valley, where she raced last season when she was breaking in to 360 sprint cars, because it's so fast. Her car owner and teammate, Mike Woodring, the all time ESS win leader, enroute to an unprecedented seventh straight ESS title, and recent winner of the prestigious Bully Hill Nationals, will join her, in what could be their final appearance in the area for a while, as they plan to race on the USAC circuit next year.

The ESS will be part of a big double header, with the other feature being the Big Block Modified Tour, this year led by Ron Smoker from North Boston, NY, who is in first place in the point chase as of this writing. Little Valley will be the final point race of the season for the tour, with the title on the line. In addition, it is the final race night on Little Valley's 2002 schedule.

In addition, the "Open Wheel Reunion" will take place on the 21st. Originally scheduled for June 14th, but postponed by weather woes, a number of open wheel racing pioneers will be honored, and old time race cars will be on display.

Also on the racing agenda will be the Super Stocks, where Bill Holmes from Chaffee holds a commanding lead over Steve Watson from Coudersport, PA, and the Street Stocks, where a tight battle rages between Wayne Mohawk from Irving and Jim Kennerknecht from Erie, PA. The school buses will also conclude their point battle, with Kenny Foster from Little Valley the current leader. Championships in all three divisions will be decided.

Gates open at 3:00, with the first race taking the green at 6:00. There is free camping with hook-ups available on the grounds. Tickets are $15 for adults, with those under 12 years old admitted free. Little Valley Speedway is located on the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds in Little Valley, New York. Little Valley is on State Route 353 eight miles north of Interstate 86 Exit #20 [Salamanca] westbound and twelve miles northeast of Interstate 86 Exit #16 [Randolph] eastbound. From the Buffalo area LVS is accessed off State Route 242 10 miles southwest of Ellicottville / Route 219. The Speedway office phone is 315-536-3728 or 716-938-9146 [race day]. The World Wide Web address is www.littlevalleyspeedway.com

-lvs-

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Series Sprint
Drivers Erin Crocker