ESS: Little Valley results 2004-06-11

Kaszubinski Dominates ESS at Little Valley; Bruce Miller Captures Supers (Little Valley, NY) Dan Kaszubinski from Syracuse finally won an Empire Super Sprints feature at Little Valley after several years of trying. When he finally got it, he...

Kaszubinski Dominates ESS at Little Valley; Bruce Miller Captures Supers

(Little Valley, NY) Dan Kaszubinski from Syracuse finally won an Empire Super Sprints feature at Little Valley after several years of trying. When he finally got it, he made it look easy, going wire to wire, basically unthreatened in the 25 lap A main on Friday, June 11th. Even a caution that erased a straightaway lead he had built by lap 7 did not deter the veteran racer, who pulled away from Jeff VanDusen on the restart and left the field to vie for second. That honor fell to Bobby Podolak, who started sixth and then made a spirited charge at the end to snatch the spot from Mike Stelter on lap 22. Lance Yonge and Doug Emery rounded out the top five.

Kaszubinski was as surprised as anybody with his performance, saying, "I didn't think the car was that fast. I hate running the bottom, and just riding around there I saw the 32 (Justin Barger); he's good on the slick stuff. I figured he was gonna go by me. But (it was) good enough I guess. The last minute we changed a couple things on the car. Ricky Wilson actually gave us some advice. I think it helped, because in the dash we struggled pretty bad. We weren't bad in the heat race, but we were horrible in the dash. We figured we had the car as tight as we could and he told us a couple things to change right before the feature. It seemed like it worked. Maybe it was just the pole start. I don't know." Regarding the restart he added, "I had no clue where they were. I figured they were all over me. I'm horrible on the dry slick stuff. I was just waiting for someone to go by me. We always struggle here."

Podolak thought he might have made things interesting for Kaszubinski if the cards fell right at the caution on lap 7. He observed, "I thought I had something for him, but with the lap cars being in there, it would have been very tough." Without the lap cars, he added, "If he made a mistake, yes." On his pass for second late in the going, he noted, "Stelter tried taking the lap cars on the outside and left me a lane, and I took it. The car was very good all night."

A fine field of super stocks was on hand to compete for the $1,000 winner's check. The race had an ugly start as a multi-car crash on the first lap eliminated Dave Miller, who had looked very impressive in his heat. Bruce Miller, Dave's son, from Wellsville, bolted up from ninth to claim the lead on lap 6 and was never seriously challenged. Bill Holmes started on the pole, but the car on the move was Darren Kish who slipped under Holmes on lap 3 to take the point after going off sixth. One lap later disaster struck for Kish as he appeared to spin by himself in turn four and was struck by another car. He went off on the hook.

On the restart, Genesee regular Jim Johnson was at the front having wrested the lead from Holmes shortly before the caution. Holmes was second, with Miller third, and the ageless veteran Ron Baker, up from twelfth was lying fourth. Miller immediately grabbed second from Holmes with Baker following him into third. Miller swept past Johnson on the front chute on lap 6, and the race was essentially over. Baker faded when his right rear tire softened, allowing Holmes to retake third. At the line it was Miller by a large margin, followed by Johnson and Holmes. Andy Miller, Bruce's brother, who won the first race of the season at Little Valley, made up the most ground, finishing fourth after starting 26th. Don Wagner finished fifth.

Miller commented, "My strategy was just to stay out of trouble. I've been in so many wrecks this year and taken myself out of a lot of good races. I was just watching traffic, and actually I ended up just getting lucky. I didn't know (how far ahead I was), so I just kept going as hard as I dared. It's nice being out front because you can establish a rhythm, while other guys are trying to work with different guys in front of them. I could just set my own rhythm and my braking points. It might feel like I'm not going faster, but I ended up pulling away. The bottom is the safest place to run, but the top can be fast. It's a lot harder. You've got to really hit your points and be a lot more careful on the top, so I stayed on the bottom because it's a lot safer. I didn't figure that anyone would be trying me on the outside anyway."

The 15 lap street stock feature fell to a hard charging Ryan Learn from Franklinville, who started seventh, but only needed five laps to take the lead. He lost it when the caution fell on the same lap, but reclaimed it on lap six after the restart and never looked back. Jason Schoonmaker finished second, with Andy Michael, Steve Dixon, and Rocco Conte Jr. completing the top five. "I was just trying to take it easy and keep it up front. The top groove just didn't have it tonight. The bottom was the way to go. I love this race track," declared Learn.

NOTES: Seventy-nine cars were in the pits for the three classes contested, 23 street stocks, 33 super stocks, and 23 sprinters.....Rick Wilson who won his sprint car heat and the dash convincingly and has won before at Little Valley, couldn't get out of traffic in the feature and finished a disappointing thirteenth.....There was a good crowd on hand on a perfect evening. They were headed home at 10:15.

Sprint Finish: (25 laps) Dan Kaszubinski, Bobby Podolak, Mike Stelter, Lance Yonge, Doug Emery, Jeff VanDusen, Billy Krull, Justin Barger, John Karklin Jr., Scott Bonnell, Jeff Cook, Tim Kelly, Rick Wilson, Nick Fratto, Phil Mott, Jared Zimbardi, Bubby Kerrick, Alain Bergeron, Kyle Moffit, Alex Mosher, Randy Years, Don Sharp Jr., and Brad Knab. Heat winners were Emery, Wilson and Krull.

Super Stock Finish: (20 laps) Bruce Miller, Jim Johnson, Bill Holmes, Andy Miller, Don Wagner, Jeremy Wonderling, Dustin Croft, Jason Dupont, Tim Rockwell, TJ Shaw, Ron Baker, Tim Dunham, Scott Behrens, Bob Dixon, Terry Pangrazio, Bo Clark, Junior Peters, Dick Young, Kyle Bradigan, Don Krug, Matt Cobb, Todd Rice, Darren Kish, Greg Hallett, Jason Schoonmaker, Mike Wonderling, Jason Tingue, and Dave Miller. Heat winners were Rice, Dave Miller, and Dupont.

Street Stock Finish: (15 laps) Ryan Learn, Jason Schoonmaker, Andy Michael, Steve Dixon, Rocco Conte Jr., Josh Smallidge, Lance Palmer, Kevin Pangrazio, Wayne Mohawk, Jay Irons, Chuck Biniarz, Jerry Condren, Doug Cobb, Josh Silliman, Colin Kulpa, Ben Ingalls, Mike Murphy, Stu Burton, Mike Carney, Damon Lewis, Shane Andrews, Ron Hebner, Tony Colantino, Cliff Johnston, Mike Coast, and Mike Holford (DNS). Heat winners were Colantino, Learn, and Michael.

-lvs-

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Bruce Miller , Justin Barger , Matt Cobb