First ESS Win Ever For Don Sharp Jr. Comes in Exciting Fashion at Stateline. by Dean Reynolds BUSTI, N.Y. - It was a battle to the finish between two young lions on the Empire Super Sprint Tour 2000 Saturday night at the Stateline Speedway. ...
First ESS Win Ever For Don Sharp Jr. Comes in Exciting Fashion at Stateline.
by Dean Reynolds
BUSTI, N.Y. - It was a battle to the finish between two young lions on the Empire Super Sprint Tour 2000 Saturday night at the Stateline Speedway. New Hampshire's Don Sharp Jr. and New York's R.C. Faigle swapped the lead several times in the 20 lap A-Main with Sharp Jr. coming out on top on the last lap to collect his first ESS win ever.
An early rain shower pushed the show back several hours but with the help of many of Stateline's regular competitors, the 1/3rd miler turned up quick and multi-grooved making for an exciting final event.
"This is just great! This makes all the hard work worth while, it makes the season for us!" dead panned the young chauffeur who took the checkered flag some 12 hours from his Grafton, N.H. home. "The car was good no matter where I put it and the motor really felt strong. We just hit the right combination tonight and we got the win."
While Sharp did get to showcase a smile from ear to ear in victory lane. His run was no cakewalk as Faigle put on a breathtaking challenge from lap eight to the final turn of the last lap. "R.C. and I had a great race. It was fun to race like that, pass each other and never have our cars touch once." summed up Sharp on the exciting two car dual. "He ran a great race also and it could have been his win very easily."
By virtue of some tough luck recently which included a blown motor, Sharp started the A-Main on the pole with veteran Dick Spadaro outside. The irony of this start is that the motor in Sharp's A1 Plumbing and Heating sponsored sprinter was purchased from Spadaro after his motor troubles. On the start Sharp took the lead and even with three early caution flags he wouldn't give up the top spot.
Faigle's new black, Labatt Blue #21A started in sixth and was up to third on a lap six restart. His pass for second on Randy Years came on lap eighth and then the Stateline fans were in for a treat. Several times Faigle made a pass on Sharp only to see the second year ESS pilot get Faigle back. Slide jobs, around the outside, every groove was tried by Faigle with all eyes glued to the leading duo.
The action hit it's peak on lap 18 when the final yellow was displayed. While lapped traffic was no longer going to be a factor, Years, Doug Emery and Mike Woodring got their chance at maybe making this a five car battle. As the green lights shined once again, Sharp and Faigle pulled out and went right back at it. Faigle darted down low in turn one to get alongside Sharp's #28NH but just like all other attempts, he was up for the challnge.
It was a thrilling last two laps but this was Sharp's turn to stand in victory lane which was a wild and happy scene. Faigle's fine run rewarded him with a second place finish. Teammate Doug Emery made a lap 19 pass on Years for third with Years and Woodring trailing. Rich Wood came from the B-Main to take sixth and receive the Walt's Hobby Hard Charger bonus. Bubby Kerrick took seventh ahead of Bobby Seidel for his first ever ESS top ten. Ray Preston and Lance Yonge rounded out the top ten.
The four cautions that slowed the 20 lap feature event started on lap two when Yonge spun in turn four. George Ely bicycled and then hit the turn two wall on lap four with Tim Zimbardi also making wall contact on lap six. The lap 18 caution was for Mike Stelter who made a quick barrell roll with his Ron Buckner built sprinter. Even with wing damage, Stelter restarted and finished the event.
The Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were won by Ely, Years and Alain Bergeron. The KSE Racing Products B-Main was copped by Bill Coffey.
ESS NOTES: A field of 25 sprinters entered the event...Good to see Bill Coffey and Rick Wilson back in action...With added winner's bonuses and the Vicomp Graphics halfway bonus, the victory for Sharp was worth over $1700...And you thought you had some tough luck, Dan Kaszubinski had a night to forget. A wall encounter during the warmups, a broken rearend during his heat, a missing motor in the B-Main saw him take a provisional to start the A-Main. Hanging on until a broken driveline with two laps to go in the feature capped off the evening.
<pre> RESULTS: Heat 1 - George Ely, Bubby Kerrick, Mike Stelter, Don Sharp Jr., R.C. Faigle. Mike Woodring. Heat 2 - Randy Years, Rob Dietrick, Ray Preston, Lance Yonge, Steve Dow, Bobby Seidel. Heat 3 - Alain Bergeron, Doug Emery, Dick Spadaro, Scott Holcomb, Rick Wilson, Mike Young. B-Main - Bill Coffey, Bob Podolak, Rich Wood, Tim Zimbardi. Provisional Start - Dan Kaszubinski. Did Not Qualify - Darrell Bragman, Tom Taber. A-MAIN - DON SHARP JR., Faigle, Emery, Years, Woodring, Wood, Kerrick, Seidel, Preston, Yonge, Holcomb, Coffey, Wilson, Dow, Dietrick, Stelter, Kaszubinski, Bergeron, Spadaro, Zimbardi, Ely, Podolak, Young. Lap Leader - Sharp Jr. 1-20. Walt's Hobby Hard Charger - Wood (15 pos.) $50. Vicomp Graphic Halfway - Sharp Jr. $50. Winner's Bonuses: Car-Mate Dealers $50, Penske Shocks $150, Pro Shocks $100, Total Seal $50, Hank's Performance Products $50, Griffin Thermal Products $50, Bicknell Racing Products $35, Behrent's Performance Warehouse $30, Red's Speed Shop $25. Other Bonuses: Weld Racing Hard Luck - Young $75. Design 500 - Stelter $100, Woodring $50. C&R Racing Radiators - Yonge $50. Bailey Racing Products - Yonge $35. Total Seal - Yonge $30. KSE Racing Products - Coffey $50. Thunder Mtn. Wings - Faigle $20. Dave Ely Racing - Kerrick, Dietrick, Emery. $10. Powder Birns - Wilson $10. Lauterborn Electric - Dow $10.