Jessica Zemken Makes ASCS History at Brockville BROCKVILLE, Ont. (June 2, 2007) - The Canadian fans came to Brockville Saturday to see their local hero Rick Wilson race on Saturday, they walked away though with Jessica Zemken ...
Jessica Zemken Makes ASCS History at Brockville
BROCKVILLE, Ont. (June 2, 2007) - The Canadian fans came to Brockville Saturday to see their local hero Rick Wilson race on Saturday, they walked away though with Jessica Zemken capturing a historic ASCS Patriot win to become the first female feature winner in American Sprint Car Series history.
On an evening where heavy rains hit the Brockville Ontario Speedway, the show went on with an extremely tacky racing surface, leaving the fans, as well as Jessica Zemken, more than statisfied.
Jessica Zemken took back the lead with seven laps to go in the 25-Lap A-Main to win her first career ASCS Patriot Feature, becoming the first woman to accomplish such a feat.
"I just love coming here, this is definitely my favorite track," said the Sprakers, NY driver about a track that most people aren't as favorable towards. "I ran here with a sportsman-modified a few years ago and always make a point to make races here."
Zemken earned the Engler Pole Position for the second $2,000-to-win show in ASCS Patriot history by virtue of her win in the Riverside Bar and Grill Pole Dash, but would see Bryan Howland jumped to the early lead from the outside of the front row at the drop of the initial green flag.
"We had a fuel pickup problem and Bryan was a lot faster on starts so I knew the only way to get him would be lapped traffic," said the 21-year-old competitor.
Lapped traffic was a rarity for much of the 25-lap event, with a rash of evenly spaced cautions for single car incidents. On lap 18, however, "JZ" would get a long enough green flag run to allow her to swing around two lapped cars, as well as Howland, for the race lead in one set of corners.
"This track is so much about building up momentum and I knew once I had that opening that I had to get around everyone."
Two late race cautions would force Zemken to hold off Howland, something she was able to do with ease coming down the stretch.
Her wing dance in Victory Lane was met with the overwhelming appraisal of the near-capacity crowd that was on hand at the ¼-mile Brockville Ontario Speedway.
Zemken took home the top prize of $2,000, put up by Riverside Bar and Grill in Gananoque, Ontario, as well as Shuttleworth Asphalt Sealing and Red Bear Hand Cleaner, something that she was very appreciative to have.
"We are a low-budget team this year and have to carefully pick and choose the events we want to run," said the first-female to also win an ASCS Patriot Heat race. "We took Thunder Alley off to make sure we were good for tonight and to make it all work and pick up the money allows us to run next week."
Zemken's night started off adventurous as she and John Karklin came together coming to the start of the first heat of the night. A chain reaction would result in Rick Wilson flipping his No. 42w, bending his J&J chassis and ending the local favourite's night.
Bryan Howland was bridesmaid for the second time this season, giving him four top-3 finishes in as many starts in 2007. The Auburn, NY driver won National Parts Peddler Heat No. 3 but was still dejected about losing the event at a track where he clinched the 2005 point championship.
"This track was tough to pass on tonight and we had things go our way for most of the night but I just couldn't find my way around the lapped cars towards the end," said the driver of the Palm Beach Grading No. 51.
Jared Zimbardi earned partial redemption for his near-win with a third place showing in his No. 35, making it the fourth straight race where he improved of his previous top-10 finish.
Ray Preston kept his Shuttleworth Asphalt Sealing No. 22 clean for the balance of the feature, crossing for his best finish of the season in fourth.
Jeff Cook's last ASCS Patriot start at Brockville resulting in his No. 10 flipping as high as the starter's stand, thankfully for him he was able to bring it home in the top-five on Saturday.
Geoff Quackenbush nearly had the two-spin rule imposed on him but kept the car from stalling out and charged back up to cross in sixth.
Justin Barger would have finished fourth if not for his right front tie rod breaking on the final lap, relegating him back to seventh.
Point leader Chuck Hebing tried to stay out of harms way and did so for the most part, finishing in eighth at a track that has been unkind ot him in the past.
Rookie Daniel Lampron scored his best career ASCS Patriot finish in ninth, with Darrell Quackenbush completing the top-10.
Along with Howland, John Karklin and Rookie Sensation Normand Beaudreault also scored National Parts Peddler Heat Wins. The bad thing for Beaudreault was that as he was leading by 2/3 of a lap, his motor would grenade on the final lap. He coasted across for the win but would end his night.
After a beautiful afternoon spent by most ASCS Patriot teams working on their cars at Jeff Cook's shop in Evans Mills, NY, the rains moved in late in the afternoon. Speedway Promoter Paul Kirkland and crew had to thrash to get the track race ready after heavy rains hit the area. Even though hot laps were less than favorable, the feature was optimal conditions for lap times that were as quick as 11.97 seconds.
The ASCS Patriots return to Brockville in six weeks on July 14 for another $2,000-to-win show. The Immediate focus now shifts to Penn Can for this Friday when the Patriots join forces with their ASCS brethren from the Mid-Atlantic Region for the inaugural North-South Shootout at the Penn Can Speedway. That event will also be $2,000-to-win.
ASCS Patriots Results: 6/2/07, Brockville Ontario Speedway, Brockville, Ontario
A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Jessica Zemken (1z), 2. Bryan Howland (51), 3. Jared Zimbardi (35), 4. Ray Preston (22), 5. Jeff Cook (10), 6. Geoff Quackenbush (25), 7. Justin Barger (32), 8. Chuck Hebing (45) 9. Daniel Lampron (52), 10. Darrell Quackenbush (25x), 11. Scott Kreutter (52), 12. John Karklin Jr. (69), 13. April Wilson (15A), 14. Tim Kelly (12), 15. Don Adamczyk (21), 16. Rick Wilson (42w), 17. Tim Barnard (45x), 18. Normand Beaudreault (50).
Lap Leaders- Howland 1-17, Zemken 18-25.
Riverside Bar and Grill Dash (4 Laps)- 1. Jessica Zemken (1z), 2. Bryan Howland (51), 3. Jared Zimbardi (35), 4. John Karklin (69), 5. Daniel Lampron (52L).
National Parts Peddler Heats (8 Laps Each)-
Race 1: 1. John Karklin (69), 2. Jessica Zemken (1z), 3. Jared Zimbardi (35), 4. Chuck Hebing (45), 5. Jeff Cook (10), 6. Rick Wilson (42w).
Race 2: 1. Normand Beaudreault (50), 2. Daniel Lampron (52L), 3. Ray Preston (22), 4. Don Adamczyk (21), 5. Darrell Quackenbush (25x), 6. April Wilson (15A).
Race 3: 1. Bryan Howland (51), 2. Scott Kreutter (52), 3. Geoff Quackenbush (25), 4. Tim Kelly (12), 5. Justin Barger (32), 6. Tim Barnard (45x).
ASCS Patriot Points (Top Ten): 1. Chuck Hebing 644, 2. Bryan Howland 640, 3. Jared Zimbardi 618, 4. Jeff Cook 608, 5. Justin Barger 604, 6. Geoff Quackenbush 598, 7. Ray Preston 580, 8. Don Adamczyk 556, 9. Rick Wilson 534, 10. Blake Breen 452.