An Empire Super Sprint Thriller at Ohsweken, Dan Kaszubinski Passes Alain Bergeron on the Last Lap for Victory. OHSWEKEN, ONT. - In what will go down as one of the most exciting finishes in Empire Super Sprints (ESS) history came Friday night at...
An Empire Super Sprint Thriller at Ohsweken, Dan Kaszubinski Passes Alain Bergeron on the Last Lap for Victory.
OHSWEKEN, ONT. - In what will go down as one of the most exciting finishes in Empire Super Sprints (ESS) history came Friday night at the Ohsweken Speedway during the Spectro Oils Canadian Invasion event. Coming from his 21st place starting position, Dan Kaszubinski took full advantage of a lap 23 restart to swing by race long leaderAlain Bergeron on the final lap to pick up his second A-Main triumph of 2005 in thrilling fashion.
For both drivers, it was a bit of good luck as Kaszubinski and Bergeron were running back-up sprinters after destroying their main mounts last week. For the Syracuse, N.Y. star it was a continuation of a tale that has you scratching your head. His winning mount? Yes, the 1987 Bobby Allen chassis is back and it's back in victory lane.
"I guess I should have run this car at the beginning of the season!" Kaszubinski screamed in victory lane. The Maxim has been good to me, it was a good car. But, there is just something about this old thing. After last week I told everyone the junk will be back, I even have it painted on the car!!"
An oil pressure gauge failure forced Kaszubinski to miss his heat so he had to make it into the feature event through the B-Main thus spotting the field some 20 spots. While Kaszubinski's charge to the front is the key part of this night. Bergeron also had his hands full with two other competitors during the 25 lap finale as well.
First was the charge from ageless veteran Mike VanDusen who came from his eighth starting spot to second on lap seven. The #58 sprinter was ready to make his move on Bergeron when all of a sudden his mount lost power on lap 10 bringing out the yellow. The culprit was that the car wouldn't stay in gear. "If I was running eighth or something I wouldn't feel so bad, but we had a great car. I think this was our race." noted VanDusen.
The second challenge for the likeable driver from Quebec came from New Hampshire's Luke Eriksen who is looking for his first ever ESS A-Main victory. Eriksen started in second, fell to third with the VanDusen pass but was back up to challenge Bergeron when VanDusen fell by the wayside. As laps clicked on, Eriksen found his groove and was ready to make a challenge of his own. But, just like VanDusen, Eriksen fell to fate that ended his bid. The right rear tire blew out forcing him into the outside turn two wall causing the lap 23 caution that set up Kaszubinski's bid.
"I was coming, I didn't know if I was going to get Alain but I was coming." said the driver of the Autotech of Syracuse #20. "But, when the yellow came out I just tried to get a good restart and I knew I was going to the top, hit the cushion and go balls to the wall."
The plan worked to perfection, on the final lap Kaszubinski drove into turn one not lifting and swept by the Bergeron mount into the lead and on to victory. For the second place finisher, who nursed his car minus a front wing for the final laps, it was a bitter sweet second place. "It's better than last week but I really wanted to win." simply said by Bergeron. "The car was really tough to steer when the front wing went. I was driving the best I could do but Dan beat me, he did a great job."
Just a little side note, the gauge that Kaszubinski borrowed came from Bergeron.
At the finish it was Kaszubinski taking the checkers in front of a cheering crowd with Bergeron close for second. John Karklin Jr. kept his hot streak going with his third top five in a row taking third ahead of Lance Yonge and Southern Ontario Sprint (SOS) regular Jim Porter. Unfortunately for Porter, he didn't go directly to the weigh in scales and he will be scored in last place under ESS rules. This moved Nick Fratto in to fifth. Making up the next five was another SOS runner Jamie Collard, Don Sharp Jr., Doug Emery, Ray Preston with the Shuttleworth Asphalt Sealing #22 and Dave Schulz rounding out top ten.
Five cautions and one red flag did slow the quick pace on the tacky Ohsweken oval. Doug Norrie spun on lap five; Randy Years did the same one tour later while running in fourth. Track owner/promoter Glenn Styres got up into the turn four wall and did a wild series of flips. His car was heavily damaged but he walked out and waved to his hometown crowd. VanDusen stopped on lap 12 with Bubby Kerrick and Jeff VanDusen making contact on lap 17 ending VanDusen's night. The final caution came on lap 23 for Eriksen's bad luck.
Taking the Car Mate Trailer heat events were Years, Bergeron and R.C. Faigle with the Ohsweken Speedway/Walt's Hobby Dash won by Faigle and the KSE Racing Products was won by Styres.
ESS NOTES: A total of 26 sprints in the pits with a welcome support from the SOS group. Along with Porter and Collard, making first ESS starts for 2005 were Mark Schulz, Craig Downie and James Whittaker That brings the total to 62 different drivers in ESS competition so far this year...Even though Styres had to tend to a bent race car afterwards, he did have smiles with his biggest crowd of this season, it was SRO at Ohsweken...All sprint teams were rewarded with a roast beef buffet after the races...Many off ESS' stars and cars will make their return to Ohsweken for the Canadian Nationals weekend on Sept. 16 and 17. Kaszubinski, Bergeron and Karklin Jr. will represent ESS in the Shootout in Friday night. On Saturday it's the first ever Canadian Sprint Nationals that will pay $5,000 to win in American Funds.
Heat 1 - Randy Years, Luke Eriksen, Doug Emery, Jeff VanDusen, Lance Yonge, Bubby Kerrick.
Heat 2 - Alain Bergeron, Jeff Cook, Jamie Collard, Nick Fratto, George Ely, Ray Preston.
Heat 3 - R.C. Faigle, Mike VanDusen, Don Sharp Jr., John Karklin Jr., Doug Norrie, Jim Porter.
Ohsweken Speedway/Walt's Hobby Dash - Faigle.
B-Main - Glenn Styres, Dave Schulz, Dan Kaszubinski, Mark Schulz.
Added Starters - Matt Norrie, Kyle Moffit.
Did Not Qualify - Craig Downie, James Whittaker.
A-MAIN - DAN KASZUBINSKI, Bergeron, Karklin Jr., Yonge, Fratto, Collard, Sharp Jr., Emery, Preston, D. Schulz, Moffit, Cook, D. Norrie, Faigle, Kerrick, M. Schulz, Years, Eriksen, M. Norrie, J. VanDusen, M. VanDusen, Styres, Ely. Porter.
Gater News Lap Leaders - Bergeron 1-24, Kaszubinski 25.