Last Lap Dramatics Nets Chuck Hebing ESS Thriller at Utica-Rome. VERNON, N.Y. - Steve Poirier led 24 and one half laps Sunday night during the Empire Super Sprint A-Main at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Unfortunately, that last half lap belonged to...
Last Lap Dramatics Nets Chuck Hebing ESS Thriller at Utica-Rome.
VERNON, N.Y. - Steve Poirier led 24 and one half laps Sunday night during the Empire Super Sprint A-Main at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Unfortunately, that last half lap belonged to 14th place starting Chuck Hebing as he made a thrilling pass to get by the Quebec star to win his second A-Main of the season on the tour brought to you by Jacobs Motorsports. The wild finale brought many of the huge crowd to their feet and they gave their approval when the Ontario, N.Y. star did his patented wing dance in victory lane.
"That was a wild finish, I didn't think I was going to have enough to get him (Poirier). I got slowed up a bit in lapped traffic but he did too right there at the end and I was able to make the move," noted the sprint star known in these parts as the Cobra. "When I did get under him I slid up the track and I though I cleared him but he was still there, I had to back down the track and didn't know if he was going to get me back. I held on and it worked. I just have to thank the guys (the crew) as we were scrambling all night but it came together when it had to."
While Hebing's first checkered flag came at Autodrome Granby came in Jeff Cook's back-up ride with him starting up front, this victory was in is own snake skinned painted, Southcott Properties backed #45. But, he did it the way he likes, starting in the back and passing some of the very best 360 drivers in the business. "It really makes you feel good to win from the back. ESS has some of the toughest drivers around and to hit right on the set up to get by them gives you a confident feeling." said the Hebing in is usual low key voice.
With the luck of the pill draw, Poirier's FM Industries #28FM was on the front row with Jared Zimbardi along side but when Matt Burdick dropped the green flag it was all Poirier on the big Vernon, N.Y. half-mile. He opened up a lead that measured longer than a strait away before and after the lone caution on lap 11.
While Hebing was making gains (6th on the lap 11 caution), it wasn't until after the green lights came on again where he hit on to the set up to make his charge. "I moved me wing all the way back and adjusted the shocks, I got the car tight enough to where it would push and that's what you needed today." Hebing mentioned on his cockpit changes.
Fourth on lap 14 slipping by Mike Stelter, third on lap 16 going by Alain Bergeron and passing Bubby Kerrick on lap 17 before he could make the crowd pleasing chase and the pass for ESS career win number five.
For Poirier, it was a disappointing second but he was happy with the performance of his mount. "The car was good, I felt comfortable in it but when you're leading you just don't know where the second place car is or where he is running." said the driver who collected five wins on his very first sprint season last year. "I was just a bit conservative with some of the lapped cars and I think that helped him to close in. It was a good race and he really deserves the win, he made a great pass."
At the checkers, it was Hebing by three sprint lengths over Poirier, Lance Yonge did a late race charge himself with his Johnson Farms #17J to place third followed by Stelter and Kerrick. Rounding out the top ten were current ESS point leader Jeff VanDusen, Jeff Cook, Bergeron, Doug Norrie and Michael Parent.
The lone caution on lap 11 was for the third place running Tommy Wickham who slowed with a flat tire.
Taking the Car Mate Custom Built Trailer heat events were Cook, Wickham and Bergeron. The make-up Speedway Performance/Walt's Hobby Dash was won by Dan Kaszubinski with the Walton's Farm and Auto Repair/Walt's Hobby Dash won by Poirier. Kaszubinski also won the KSE Racing Products B-Main.
ESS/Utica-Rome Notes: A total of 23 sprints in the pits for the second of three visits.Making his first start of the season was Kingston, Ontario's Justin Harris.Jessica Zemken continues to be snake bit on the ESS trail as she lost power during the lap 11 caution.Next weekend finds the stars and cars heading down to the Vern Wasson promoted Woodhull Raceway for the first appearance in seven years. Ms. Motorsports Chelsea Miller will also be on hand to the highly anticipated event.The event Saturday night at Can-Am Motorsports Parks was rained out with a rain date announced shortly.
Heat 1 -- Jeff Cook, Steve Poirier, Cory Sparks, Justin Barger, Bubby Kerrick, Doug Norrie.
Heat 2 -- Tommy Wickham, Lance Yonge, Chuck Hebing, Jeff VanDusen, Mike Stelter, Jami Russell.
Heat 3 -- Alain Bergeron, Jessica Zemken, Jason Barney, Michael Parent, Jared Zimbardi, Russ Bennett.
Speedway Performance/Walt's Hobby Dash -- Dan Kaszubinski
Walton's Farm and Auto Repair/Walt's Hobby Dash -- Steve Poirier
B-Main -- Dan Kaszubinski, Tim Kelly, Matt Norrie, Justin Harris.
Added Starter -- Normand Beaudreault
A-Main -- Chuck Hebing, Steve Poirier, Lance Yonge, Mike Stelter, Bubby Kerrick, Jeff VanDusen, Jeff Cook, Alain Bergeron, Doug Norrie, Michael Parent, Jared Zimbardi, Cory Sparks, Dan Kaszubinski, Justin Barger, Russ Bennett, Jason Barney, Matt Norrie, Tommy Wickham, Tim Kelly, Normand Beaudreault, Jami Russell, Justin Harris, Jessica Zemken.