ESS: Utica-Rome preview

Empire Super Sprints To Kick off Their 25th Season Sunday at Utica-Rome Speedway. SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- While it has been a long, grueling winter for many in the Northeastern United States and Canada, it's all about to heat up on Sunday, May 27th...

Empire Super Sprints To Kick off Their 25th Season Sunday at Utica-Rome Speedway.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- While it has been a long, grueling winter for many in the Northeastern United States and Canada, it's all about to heat up on Sunday, May 27th as the wing warriors from the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) are ready to kick off their 25th consecutive racing season. Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, N.Y. is the site for the first of 31 dates on the tour brought to you by Jacobs Motorsports which will be the most lucrative in the history of the successful 360 sprint car organization.

A talent laden field of more than 30 sprinters will fill the pit area at the Gene Cole owned, Dick Sweet promoted 1/2 mile which has been the back bone for ESS in Central, N.Y. Once again all three holiday weekends will see the cars and stars from ESS grace the fast oval which now sports a newly high-banked turns three and four. Since the event is the first point show of the new season, an open draw format will be used for the heat starting line-ups and redraw for the A-Main. All sprint car teams are welcome to attend and are eligible for the draw, with the exception of true rookies, as all they have to do is sign on as full ESS members. (Note -- Monday, May 28th has been set up as a rain date for the first point show).

Heading the list of winged chauffeurs will be defending champion Alain Bergeron who hails from St. Pie, Quebec. Even though the likeable Frenchman went winless in '06, his incredible run of consistency was key for his first ever ESS crown and also the first time ever a driver "north of the border" is tagged champion.

All teams in '07 will be gunning for Bergeron and first on the list will be Lance Yonge, two-time champion and ready to shake off his worst year of his long and storied ESS career. The Penn Yan, N.Y. great has finished no worse than fifth in points since his start with ESS in 1992, that was until last season with a eighth place finish the end result.

Along with Yonge, fans will see top stars and title contenders such as five-time winner in '06, Steve Poirier who has a new car ready for his shot at Bergeron. The last time ESS was at Utica-Rome, Jeff VanDusen sat in victory lane and the runner-up in points the last two seasons will be back to improve one spot. The list doesn't stop there, Bubby Kerrick, Jeff Cook, Don Sharp Jr., Mike Stelter, Cory Sparks, Michael Parent, Tommy Wickham will help make up the pit log. Also expected to be on hand will be former ESS/Utica-Rome winners Dan Kaszubinski, Doug Emery, Chuck Hebing, Justin Barger and Bobby Podolak as well as Jason Barney, Russ Bennett, Doug and Matt Norrie, Warren Alexson and many more.

The Car Mate Custom Trailers heat events paying $25 to win will kick off the action followed by the Speedway Performance/Walt's Hobby Dash Series event, where the winner of the four lap event will take home a cool $100. The KSE Racing Products B-Main will fill out the field for the 25 lap A-Main that posts a minimum of $1600 to win, $400 for tenth and $250 to take the green with a cash payoff topping $11,000. There will also be more than $2,000 in bonuses posted as well which will boost the winner's take over $2,000 in cash and prizes.

Sunday, May 27th is the date, Utica-Rome Speedway is the site. The 25th season for the Empire Super Sprints and the tour brought to you by Jacobs Motorsports is ready for the first green flag. Pit gate for sprint teams will open at 9AM with ESS officials on hand from 10AM on, Warm-ups at 4:00 with the heats set to go at 5:00 PM sharp. For more information, please log on to www.empiresupersprints.com or www.uticaromespeedway.com where the tradition continues of excitement guaranteed!!

-credit: ess

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Series Sprint
Drivers Justin Barger