SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The 20 year old little lady from Sprakers, N.Y. is heading west! One of the key ingredients to what could very well be the finest rookie crop of drivers in the 24 year history of the Empire Super Sprints (ESS); Jessica Zemken is...
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The 20 year old little lady from Sprakers, N.Y. is heading west! One of the key ingredients to what could very well be the finest rookie crop of drivers in the 24 year history of the Empire Super Sprints (ESS); Jessica Zemken is ready to take on the very best open wheel drivers in the Nation at the 21st Annual Chili Bowl Nationals held indoors at the Tulsa (Ok.) Expo Center.
The Chili Bowl has grown as one of the most storied events in America with victors gaining national media attention and instant fame. In a effort owned by Wayne Simmons of Knoxville Iowa., Zemken will team up with super sprint star Wayne Johnson as well as Force 5 (F5) chassis mates Justin Henderson, Kyle Wissmiller, Rickie Gaunt, Cody Brewer, Mike Goodman, Larry Cole, Korey Weyant, Sam Hafertepe Jr. and Brady Short.
"This is just amazing, a dream come true--to be honest I'm not sure if it has sunk in yet but I'm ready. I'm ready to do well." said the young star with a January Christmas present. "There's been a lot of work getting this ride put together and I have to thank Wayne (Simmons, owner and builder of Force 5 chassis) for giving me a chance." Sponsorship help will also come from Louie Jackson and his new Action Race Parts and Fabrication from Akwesasne, N.Y. as well as many anonymous friends.
F5's made their debut last year at the Nationals with Johnson earning the headlines coming from the F-Main to place 23rd in the A-Main finale on Saturday night. Johnson will be anchoring the team and all the F5 entries. "We all are going to meet on Monday for a special test session. They have a track that's built just like the one in Tulsa and that will be a big help to me." Zemken noted on her early departure. "I've never driven a midget before but they say my style of driving should fit to what I need to do well."
While goals to follow last years winner from the Empire State, Tim McCreadie, are long indeed, Zemken hopes to make people notice that she is there. "I just hope to do well, I really would like to pass some cars and move up in qualifying as much as I can." Zemken spoke on her goals. "There are so many people there and maybe it will help me down the road."
In her first full season in ESS, she tallied up one A-Main win in route to a solid fifth place finish in the final points making for an incredible virgin campaign. Due to illness with her car owner and sponsor her ride for 2007 has been put on hold. "I really hope Tony (Laughing) gets well, he's been a big help to my career and also a good friend. I don't even think about the sprint car, I just want him to get better." expressed Zemken. A good effort in the Chili Bowl is hoping to spark some interest to get back on the ESS tour in '07. Her qualifying night begins on Wednesday while Johnson will go on Friday.
For more information on the 21st running of the Chili Bowl, please log on to www.chilibowl.com and for the latest up do date information on the upcoming 25th season for the Empire Super Sprints you can log on to www.empiresupersprints.com where some major announcements will be coming in the next few weeks which will make the 25th year the biggest ever.