ESS: Auto Drummond race report 2001-09-01

Bergeron Thrills Hometown Crowd With ESS Win at Drummond DRUMMONDVILLE, QC - It was a packed house cheering along with tears of joy in victory lane as Quebec's own Alain Bergeron claimed the 20 lap Empire Super Sprint A-Main Saturday night at ...

Bergeron Thrills Hometown Crowd With ESS Win at Drummond

DRUMMONDVILLE, QC - It was a packed house cheering along with tears of joy in victory lane as Quebec's own Alain Bergeron claimed the 20 lap Empire Super Sprint A-Main Saturday night at Autodrome Drummond. The St. Pie, QC resident was a many-time mini-sprint champion throughout the 90's at the Autodrome just North of Montreal where his victory proved popular with the big crowd.

For the first time this season a driver won two feature events in a row as well as it was Bergeron's third of the year and fourth overall in his short two year ESS career. The 2000 co-rookie of the year now ties George Ely for the most wins on the ESS Tour 2001.

"I'm very, very happy!!" exclaimed the driver of the Carquest sponsored #8B. "To win at my former home track is incredible. I can not believe that I won in front of all my fans, this is the best feeling ever!!."

When the green flag dropped to start the night's finale, 18 year old Jeff VanDusen took the lead from his pole position. Bergeron started in third but fell back to forth when lap one was scored, this was a minor set back mind you. While VanDusen opened up a good size lead early, Bergeron soon began his charge. Back up to third on the second lap and into second on lap four. After the passes to put him in the runner up position, the challenge that lay ahead was to catch the quick VanDusen.

As each lap was scored, Bergeron was making up notable distance. Then, as VanDusen's sprinter slipped up high in turn two on lap nine it was the break he needed. Coming off turn two, Bergeron dove under the leader to make the pass which produced a large cheer from the big grandstand. Coming down for the halfway mark, the field was now scored Bergeron first, VanDusen second.

"The car was fast all night." said Bergeron shortly after his all-French victory lane interview. "I was just hoping not to make any mistakes and I was also hoping to get through the lapped traffic without any problems." Since the only caution of the event came on lap five, slower cars were a major factor in the closing stages on the newly design Drummond. Bergeron did make his passes on the back markers but VanDusen was never that far behind.

A mistake by ESS' only French-Canadian chauffeur could produce the first win ever by VanDusen. While there was some "nail biting" moves in traffic, that mistake never came and Bergeron took the checkered flag in front of a standing ovation. The wildest victory lane celebration of the season soon followed by a wing dance, high fives and champagne spaying high in the air. VanDusen held off all other challengers for his best finish ever, veteran Bob Podolak took third just ahead of an exciting, rim-riding Dan Kaszubinski. Ely took fifth with the rest of the top ten made up of Ryan Coniam, Rob Dietrick, Brian Dumigan, who earned the Walt's Hobby hard charger bonus after starting in 17th, Ray Preston and R.C. Faigle.

The lap five caution was for Lance Yonge who slowed with mechanical troubles. Quick work by Mal Lane and crew saw Yonge restart the feature event.

Taking the Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were Bergeron, Ely and Podolak. The Walt's Hobby Dash was won for the third time in a row by Coniam and the KSE Racing Products B-Main was taken by Scott Holcomb.

ESS NOTES: A large field of 29 sprinters made the tow North...Speedy Niedhammer drove the John Karklin Jr. back up machine, Niedhammer became the 68th different driver in ESS competition for 2001...Coniam's sixth place finish finds him just five points behind Woodring for the Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar/LaBrie Design Canadian Invasion points with one event remaining...The 20 lap A-Main saw 23 of the 24 starters taking the checkered flag...The Friday night event at Autodrome Granby fell victim to rain for the second time this season. It marked the sixth rain out for the Tour 2001. <pre> RESULTS:

Heat 1 - Alain Bergeron, Ray Preston, Jeff VanDusen, Bubby Kerrick, Bill Coffey, John Karklin Jr.

Heat 2 - George Ely, Ryan Coniam, Dan Kaszubinski, Mike Stelter, Steve Dow, Brian Dumigan.

Heat 3 - Bob Podolak, R.C. Faigle, Lance Yonge, Rob Dietrick, Justin Barger, Mike Woodring.

Walt's Hobby Dash - Coniam.

B-Main - Scott Holcomb, Rich Wood, Randy Years, Darren Beach.

Provisional Starter - Kyle Drum, Added Starter - Dick Spadaro.

Did Not Qualify - Curtis Bradshaw, Don Sharp Jr., Tim Zimbardi, Speedy Niedhammer, Phil Mott.

A-MAIN - ALAIN BERGERON, VanDusen, Podolak, Kaszubinski, Ely, Coniam, Dietrick, Dumigan, Preston, Faigle, Wood, Kerrick, Woodring, Stelter, Dow, Karklin Jr., Holcomb, Years, Coffey, Yonge, Drum, Beach, Spadaro, Barger.

Lap Leaders - VanDusen 1-9, Bergeron 10-20.

Walt's Hobby Hard Charger - Dumigan (9 pos.) $50. Vicomp Graphics Halfway - Bergeron $50.

Winner's Bonuses - Car-Mate Trailers $50, ATL Fuel Cells $200, Extreme Racewear $100, Tire Comp. East $75, Griffin Thermal Products $50, Hank's Performance Products $50, Duralite Racing Wheels $50, Bicknell Racing Products $35, Hazlitt Vineyards $30, Total Seal $30, Red's Speed Shop $25, Behrent's Performance Warehouse/Mechanix Wear $20.

Other Bonuses: Weld Racing Hard Luck - Sharp Jr. $75 Extreme Racewear - VanDusen $75, Barger $25. Penske Shocks - Ely $200. Design 500 - Drum $100, Ely $50. KSE Racing Products - Holcomb $50. Joe Hunt Magnetos - Drum $50. Bailey Racing Products - Dumigan $35. Total Seal - Faigle $20. Hazlitt Vineyards - VanDusen $20, Podolak $10, Coniam $10. Thunder Mt. Wings - VanDusen $20

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