GRANBY, QC - When all the stars and cars from the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) trek north to Autodrome Granby in Quebec, you have to place your bets on Mike Woodring to bring his Upstate Kenworth ...
GRANBY, QC - When all the stars and cars from the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) trek north to Autodrome Granby in Quebec, you have to place your bets on Mike Woodring to bring his Upstate Kenworth #19 to victory lane. On Friday night it took a wild inside dive in turn three to pass a high flying Dan Kaszubinski on lap 24 of the 25 lap VSM Abrasives Canadian Invasion A-Main to thrill the big crowd on hand to collect his first ESS checker of 2003.
It appeared that the event was all Kaszubinski's as he took the top spot from Bill Coffey on a lap 10 restart and immediately attacked the Granby cushion with abandon to open up a sizeable lead. Woodring used two restarts and the entire Granby surface to move his sprinter from it's 12th place starting spot towards the front. He moved into second on lap 21 but it looked as if laps were going to run out.
"I never ran this place as hard as I did tonight. I was all over the place, over the cushion, under it, almost inthe wall, I was doing everything I could to try to catch Dan." said the eight-time ESS champion. "I didn't know if he was getting loose or just loosing his line a bit but I started to close in and on that turn three move I just went for it all. I was either coming away with the win or I was going to be all out of shape and probably lose a spot or two."
With 23 of the schedule 25 tours in the books, Woodring made one of the boldest moves of the 2003 season going into turn three. Never lifting off the throttle he dove under Kaszubinski's Autotech of Syracuse #20 and his sprinter just stuck to the bottom and came off turn four with the lead as lap 24 was officially in the books.
Passing a lapped car shortly after kept Kaszubinski from making a charge in return and Woodring went on to collect his eighth win at Granby and his third in a row. "We put in a new engine (a Jereco built power plant) for Knoxville and had a few bugs in it, but it worked great tonight." said the driver that now has 57 career ESS victories. "It was real strong on restarts and that help in getting by some of the cars to have a chance for the win."
While Kaszubinski also got the French speaking crowd to their feet a few times himself with his wild outside passing that is his trademark, he was a bit disappointed to be standing on the podium that says the #2. "Man I thought I had that race, but what can you say, he (Woodring) is the best here. I was getting a little loose towards the end but I didn't think I was slowing down much." noted Kaszubinski. "I just tried to stay on the cushion, run hard and keep out of trouble. Every time I went down the backstretch I kept looking at the scoreboard and I saw Billy holding second and I felt that I had a good chance. Then I saw the #19 in move to second and I knew he would be coming. I just couldn't believe when he went under me and took the lead. I guess running 25 laps help him tonight, he's still the master of Granby."
Woodring took the win in front of a cheering crowd with Kaszubinski taking second. Coffey lead the first ten laps and brought home third place money with a strong effort. Mike Lutz battled his way through the field to collect fourth with Justin Barger taking fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Brockville victor Bobby Podolak, Bill Bailey, Lance Yonge, who was in the top five all race until a slowly leaking right rear cost him spots late, John Karklin Jr. and Jeff VanDusen.
Four cautions, all minor in nature, slowed the fast pace. Frank Senzio spun around on lap eight with Nick Fratto doing the same on lap 10. Erin Crocker's sprinter jumped out of gear on lap 16 and rear end troubles for Jim McCaffrey on lap 18.
Taking the Engler Machine and Tool heat events were Woodring, VanDusen and Rob Dietrick.
ESS NOTES - A solid field of 25 sprinters made the tow on a sunny Friday in Quebec...Woodring also collected the Walt's Hobby Hard Charger bonus by advancing 11 positions....Maxim built sprinters were the frame of choice as the top five were all the same make...The ESS sprinters and the 20th Anniversary Tour will make a second visit to Granby on Friday, August 29th.
Heat 1 - Mike Woodring, Dan Kaszubinski, Erin Crocker, Bob Podolak, Randy Years, John Karklin Jr.
Heat 2 - Jeff VanDusen, Bill Bailey, Mike Stelter, Jim Senzio, Bubby Kerrick, Daniel Lampron.
Heat 3 - Rob Dietrick, Justin Barger, Lance Yonge, Bill Coffey, Mike Lutz, Alain Bergeron.
A-Main - MIKE WOODRING, Kaszubinski, Coffey, Lutz, Barger, Podolak, Bailey, Yonge, Karklin Jr., VanDusen, Stelter, Tim Kelly, Kerrick, Dietrick, Bergeron, Crocker, Russ Bennett, Years, Lampron, Jim Senzio, Nick Fratto, Jim McCaffrey, J. Senzio, Don Sharp Jr.
Did Not Qualify - George Ely.
Lap Leaders - Coffey 1-10, Kaszubinski 11-23, Woodring 24-25.
Walt's Hobby Hard Charger Bonus - Woodring (11 pos.) $50.
Brodix Cylinder Heads Halfway - Kaszubinski $50.
Winner's Bonuses: Car-Mate Trailers $50, Pro Shocks $100, Hank's Performance Products $50, Real Wheels $50, Saldana Racing Products $50, Total Seal $50, American Racer Tires $50, Bicknell Racing Products $35, Hazlitt Vineyards $30, Red's Speed Shop $25, Behrent's Performance Warehouse $20, MRE Productions $10.
Weld Racing Hard Luck -- Kelly $75.
ATL Fuel Cells -- Kaszubinski $100.
Leaf Racewear -- Coffey $75.
Penske Shocks -- VanDusen $200.
Design 500 -- Bennett $100, Bailey $50.
Zemco Headers -- Bailey $50.
Joe Hunt Magnetos -- Daniel Lampron $50.
Bailey Racing Products -- Stelter $35.
Hazlitt Vineyards -- Kaszubinski $20, Coffey $10, Sharp Jr. $10.
HRP -- Kerrick $25.
DMI -- Sharp Jr. $25.