by Dean Reynolds MALTA, N.Y. - Syracuse, N.Y.'s Dan Kaszubinski is a talented but confused sprint car star. A three week long stint of bad luck was finally broken with a wire to wire win Friday night at the Albany-Saratoge Speedway. Going...
by Dean Reynolds
MALTA, N.Y. - Syracuse, N.Y.'s Dan Kaszubinski is a talented but confused sprint car star. A three week long stint of bad luck was finally broken with a wire to wire win Friday night at the Albany-Saratoge Speedway.
Going into the Fourth of July, four-race weekend he was battling the best for the Empire Super Sprint Tour 2000 Championship. In the next three weeks Kaszubinski found himself in fifth in points and out of the championship fight. A crash at Cayuga County started what was a streak of crashes and DNF's that was capped by a wall encounter last week at Ransomville during the pre-feature warmups. He was scheduled to start the 20 lap A-Main from the pole.
At the Malta, N.Y. oval, the sun finally shined on Kaszubinski's parade and a strong victory was earned, his third on the 2000 season. "I don't know if the monkey is off my back yet...but, I do think he's starting to slide down." said a relieved Kaszubinski. "I just can't to tell you how hard these last three weeks have been. I totally lost my confidence and I was ready to sell everything and get out."
"If it wasn't for my crew, fiancee' and fellow ESS drivers, I might not be here (victory lane) right now. I don't even know if I would even be here to race. But, I want to thank everyone for trying to keep me up and going. It was a tough time for me but to have such good people and competitors around you that care does mean a lot." said the driver of the Autotech of Syracuse #20.
On the original start, local favorite Dick Spadaro got the jump on Kaszubinski but a quick yellow brought the field down for another side by side restart. The second try to get the feature rolling saw Kaszubinski with a wild, cushion banging move to get the lead as lap one was scored. On a track where he's collected several wins over the past few seasons, the pressure was on not to make a mistake until the checkered flag.
Opening up a big lead early with his 1987 Bobby Allen built sprinter, Kaszubinski was on the right track for a possible win. As he was out front, Scott Holcomb and Lance Yonge were making their moves towards the front of the line. Holcomb came from his seventh place start to second on a lap nine caution. On that restart Holcomb's low lane proved fast as well and he would pull alongside Kaszubinski hoping to take the lead at the halfway mark. While Kaszubinski didn come out on top, the challenge was indeed on.
"Scott really made me take notice. I really didn't know how far I was leading or if I was running hard enough. "said Kaszubinski. "When he got under me I knew I had to change lanes to keep him behind me. If he got ahead of me I don't know if I could get back by." When Holcomb showed his muscle down low, Kaszubinski indeed changed his line to keep the Connecticut native in second.
Yonge's sprinter came from 12th to third by lap 11 and was looking to make this a three horse race. Kaszubinski was holding off all challenges but if there was a mistake, the two ESS stars were there to make the attack.
A lap 16 caution built up the drama but Kaszubinski was a driver on a mission that needed to be accomplished. Back up to his familiar high line, he opened up a slight lead on both Holcomb and Yonge to collect his 12th career ESS victory. Holcomb was home with a fine runnerup finish over Yonge who closed in on point leading Mike Woodring for the 2000 title. Rob Dietrick had a fine run to finish in fourth with 13th place starting Rick Wilson in fifth.
Rounding out the top ten was Doug Emery, who earned the Walt's Hobby hard charger bonus after starting in 19th, Rich Wood, Quebec's Alain Bergeron, Bubby Kerrick and Bill Coffey.
Four cautions slowed the quick pace on the 1/3rd mile oval. On the original start Mike Stelter went off turn three with a broken frontend. On lap nine, Rich Wood slid off turn one. On lap ten the most serious of the cautions occured with Ray Preston, Kris Dow, Steve Dow, Adam Gordon and Mike Woodring involved. Steve Dow and Woodring saw their sprinters towed to the pits. On lap 16, R.C. Faigle lost power.
Taking the Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were Woodring, Kaszubinski and Kerrick. Ray Preston won the Walt's Hobby Dash.
ESS NOTES: A total of 23 sprinters in the pits on the Friday night home of the CVRA circuit which saw a huge crowd fill the spacious grandstands...URC rookie campaigner Adam Gordon made his first ESS visit...Good to have Kris Dow back in the ESS field, she missed many events with a blown motor...Everyone with ESS would like to thank the Richards family for the "red carpet" treatment and we look forward to a return in 2001. <pre> RESULTS: Heat 1 - Mike Woodring, R.C. Faigle, Scott Holcomb, Mike Stelter, Dick Spadaro, Rich Wood. Heat 2 - Dan Kaszubinski, Ray Preston, Lance Yonge, Bill Coffey, Steve Dow, Adam Gordon. Heat 3 - Bubby Kerrick, Rick Wilson, Rob Dietrick, Alain Bergeron, Kris Dow, Bob Podolak. Walt's Hobby Dash - Preston. A-MAIN - DAN KASZUBINSKI, Holcomb, Yonge, Dietrick, Wilson, Emery, Wood, Bergeron, Kerrick, Bill Coffey, Spadaro, Randy Years, K. Dow, Preston, Don Sharp Jr., Faigle, Gordon, Woodring, S. Dow, Bobby Seidel, Podolak, Stelter. Did Not Start - Frank Longo. Lap Leader - Kaszubinski 1-20. Walt's Hobby Hard Charger - Emery (13 pos.) $50. Vicomp Graphic Halfway - Kaszubinsii $50. Winner's Bonuses - Car-Mate Dealers $50, Pro Shocks $100, Hank's Performance Products $50, Total Seal $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 - Stelter $75. Penske Shocks - Coffey $150. Tire Comp. East - Holcomb $75. Design 500 - Faigle $100, Wilson $50. Bailey Racing Products - Spadaro $35. Total Seal - Coffey $30. Thunder Mtn. Wings - Holcomb $20. Powder Birns - K. Dow $10. Dave Ely Racing - Faigle, Preston, Wilson $10. Lauterborn Electric - Sharp Jr. $10.