By Dean Reynolds BUSTI, N.Y. - A wire to wire victory by Alain Bergeron from St. Pie, Quebec marked the fourth different winner in four Empire Super Sprint Tour (ESS) 2001 events this season. Last year's co- rookie of the year ran a flawless 20...
By Dean Reynolds
BUSTI, N.Y. - A wire to wire victory by Alain Bergeron from St. Pie, Quebec marked the fourth different winner in four Empire Super Sprint Tour (ESS) 2001 events this season. Last year's co- rookie of the year ran a flawless 20 lap A-Main for his second career victory on the ESS circuit.
Once again weather threatened the ESS scheduled event but the management at the Stateline Speedway moved the show along with the sprint feature event checkered shortly after 10 p.m..
"Thank you!!, Thank you!!" was what was spilled frequently by the happy victor who spent the off-season taking English classes so he can converse with his sprint car peers a little easier than one year ago. "The track was slick but the car seemed to be fast all race. I came off turn four higher than I want but it's where the car wanted to go. I just tried from spinning out and not to make any mistakes."
Bergeron's #8B Trevis-Craft built sprinter started the 20 lap finale on the outside pole of rookie Tim Barnard. Bergeron got the jump to take the lead, a lead that would be marked in the scorers books for the next nineteen laps. The event wasn't to be a flag to flag yawn, three cautions, slick track conditions and a late race challenge from the ever exciting Dan Kaszubinski actually made this a nail biter for the Quebec team/
Kaszubinski's charge to the front with his Autotech of Syracuse #20 was a site that thrilled the big crowd. Using an extreme outside lane where he would make passes several times in a three- wide fashion, Kaszubinski cracked the top five for the first time from his ninth place start just one lap after halfway. Fourth on lap 12, third on lap 14 and then into second with two laps to go.
The event looked like it could very well clone the side by side finish just three days prior at Fulton but Bergeron wasn't going to let this one slip through. "I haven't driven a lot in sprint cars, but this car (a former Mike Woodring mount) is better than the '95 Gambler we had last year." noted Bergeron on his equipment update. "We come a long distance to every race, we have a great time racing with ESS. Everyone is so nice to you and then to win makes all this worth while!!"
Bergeron took Spanky Hall's double checkered flag just a few sprint lengths over Kaszubinski who later admitted a loss of power steering seven laps from the end. But, his effort was rewarded with the Walt's Hobby Hard Charger bonus, an award he's collected three times so far in 2001. New Hampshire's Don Sharp Jr. backed up his win at Stateline last season with a strong third place finish. Ironically, his Trevis built sprinter is also a former Mike Woodring mount. Barnard took a career high fourth place finish home with his Trevis built sprinter and another Trevis mount of Connecticut's Scott Holcomb was fifth.
Rounding out the top ten were Woodring, the JCK Motorsports #69K of John Karklin Jr., Allentown Pa.'s Matt Gerber, Bill Bailey and Tim Zimbardi. The event saw all 24 cars that took the original green flag take the checkered flag as well.
The three cautions were all minor in nature, Mike Stelter spun on lap five, Steve Dow did the same on lap 8 and Ryan Coniam looped his sprinter on lap 13.
Taking the Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were Barnard, Bailey and Zimbardi with the KSE Racing Products B-Main copped by Ray Preston.
ESS NOTES: A fine field of 27 sprints at the 1/3rd mile located on the N.Y./Pa. border...Making his first ever ESS start was Pup Nystrom unfortunately his night ended early with a heat race flip...Good to see Tom Taber on hand after his vicious flip at Fulton earlier in the week...Engine woes forced Bill Coffey to run his backup car...Only Kaszubinski's 1987 Bobby Allen built sprinter broke up what could have been a Trevis-Craft built top five...After the event at Stateline, Lance Yonge took over the points lead. He's now the third driver to lead the ESS points this season...A little note, R.C. Faigle's win at Fulton on Wednesday was a Black Rock Bonu$ event for the Bully Hill Nationals held in September...ESS returns to Stateline on Sat. July 14...The Sunday event at Eriez was rained out and no makeup date will be planned...After a weekend off, the ESS Tour 2001 will make it's first trip to Canada for the first of two events at the Brockville Ontario Speedway which will be on Fri. June 8th.
<pre> RESULTS: Heat 1 - Tim Barnard, Bubby Kerrick, Erin Crocker, Mike Woodring, Mike Stelter, Rob Dietrick.
Heat 2 - Bill Bailey, Dan Kaszubinski, Steve Dow, Alain Bergeron, Dan Bennett, Lance Yonge.
Heat 3 - Tim Zimbardi, Don Sharp Jr., Matt Gerber, John Karklin Jr., Scott Holcomb, Kyle Drum.
B-Main - Ray Preston, Ryan Coniam, R.C. Faigle, Randy Years. Added Starters - Bill Coffey, Dick "Crash" Nash.
Did Not Qualify - Chris Shuttleworth, Bill Wolf, Pup Nystrom.
A-MAIN - ALAIN BERGERON, Kaszubinski, Sharp Jr., Barnard, Holcomb, Woodring, Karklin Jr., Gerber, Bailey, Zimbardi, Dow, Kerrick, Yonge, Crocker, Preston, Bennett, Stelter, Coffey, Faigle, Drum, Dietrick, Nash, Coniam, Years. Lap Leader - Bergeron 1-20.
Walt's Hobby Hard Charger - Kaszubinski (7 pos.) $50. Vicomp Graphics Halfway - Bergeron $50.
Winner's Bonuses - Car-Mate Trailers $50, ATL Fuel Cells $200, Pro Shocks $100, Flag2flag.com $145, Extreme Racewear $100, Tire Comp. East $75, Duralite Wheels $50, Griffin Thermal Products,Hank's Performance Products $50, Bicknell Racing Products $35, Total Seal $30, Hazlitt Vineyards $35, Red's Speed Shop $25, Behrents Performance Warehouse/Mechanix Wear $20.
Other Bonuses: Extreme Racewear - Kaszubinski $75, Sharp Jr. $50, Years $25. Weld Racing Hard Luck - Nystrom $75. Joe Hunt Magnetos - Dietrick $50. KSE Racing Products - Preston $50. Penske Shocks - Holcomb $200. Design 500 - Nash $100, Holcomb $50. Bailey Racing Products - Bailey $35. Total Seal - Zimbardi $20. Hazlitt Vineyards - Kaszubinski $20, Sharp Jr. $10. Thunder Mt. Wings - Sharp Jr. $20.=1A