Jeff Cook Wires the Empire Super Sprint Field at Autodrome Granby: Collects over $2,000 in Lucas Oil Canadian Invasion Series Victory. GRANBY, QC -- The month of July is the heat of the summer and Antwerp, N.Y.'s Jeff Cook is heating up on...
Jeff Cook Wires the Empire Super Sprint Field at Autodrome Granby: Collects over $2,000 in Lucas Oil Canadian Invasion Series Victory.
GRANBY, QC -- The month of July is the heat of the summer and Antwerp, N.Y.'s Jeff Cook is heating up on the Empire Super Sprint (ESS) circuit and the tour brought to you by Jacobs Motorsports. Taking advantage of his outside pole starting spot, Cook and his North Country Welding Maxim took the lead at the drop of the green flag and led all 25 laps to capture the Fondations 4 Saisons A-Main at Autodrome Granby. The victory for the Lucas Oil Canadian Invasion Series event was worth over $2,000 in cash and marked his second triumph in the last three events.
A late afternoon rain made the big half-mile tacky the entire night and Cook is not afraid to tell you that it does fit into his style. "I just seem to do better when there is bite out there. This car seems to like it too. Just like Edelweiss, we had rain early in the night and the track just had so much bite in it and it lasted all night" noted Cook shortly after his second victory of 2007. "This has been a good car for me, anytime you can drive a car hard and be comfortable is a big help."
And, how fast was the Granby oval on this night? With two laps to go in the A-Main, his #10 was gunned at 133 M.P.H. on the back stretch!
But, most importantly for the driver who is on the full ESS tour for the fourth season, it marked the first time he has a podium finish at a track he really likes. "I hope the jinx is over. I didn't care where I finished; first, second, third, I just wanted a podium finish for once." Cook was reflecting with a smile and then he quickly joked, "It feels good to be on this side of the fence for once!" He was referring to one year ago during the A-Main when his sprinter went over the wall, through the fence and landed near the turn four grandstands.
The 2006 Jereco Competition Engines rookie of the year in Michael Parent started the event on the pole in front of many hometown friends and fans. But, it was Cook on the outside that got the jump with Parent, Cory Sparks, Alain Bergeron and Jeff VanDusen in tow. A red flag on lap two for Anthony Cain who flipped wildly in turn one was the only time the action was stopped or slowed in the 25 lap event. Cain walked away unharmed.
With the final 23 laps under the green lights, it was up to Cook to maneuver the lapped traffic and not to make a mistake. While Parent stayed within reach, the opening of the door never did happen. He wanted his first career ESS victory on this night badly, but, it was to be a career best and well earned runner-up finish.
It was Cook by several lengths for his sixth career ESS victory which ironically puts him just one behind former ESS star Adrian Flath, Cook is Flath's son-in-law. Parent's well wishes were extended well into the night for second with VanDusen moving his #56D into third late to close the overall point standings. Bergeron kept the French-Canadian crowd smiling with a fine fourth as Lance Yonge was home for fifth. Rounding out the top ten were current point leader Steve Poirier who earned the Lane's Yamaha Hard Charger bonus after starting in 12th. Sparks was seventh, Jared Zimbardi, Mike Stelter and Tommy Wickham finished up the top ten.
Taking the Car Mate Custom Built Trailer heats were Yonge, Wickham and Bergeron.
ESS/GRANBY NOTES: Making first starts in 2007 were DIRTCar sportsman star Alex Boisvert as a teammate to Parent, Boisvert was to make his debut at Cornwall two weeks ago but was rained out. Also, after three year hiatus, Tim Zimbardi took the wheel alongside his son Jared...A scary incident in the heats saw a broken suspension piece on the sprinter of Justin Barger. Not able to turn, Barger made hard contact with the outside wall destroying his mount. Except for a sore wrist, Barger was fine...The stars and cars of the Jacobs Motorsports tour will make one more visit to Granby on August 31 followed up by a visit to Autodrome Drummond the next night...ESS will now take two weeks off before it's a big three race Lucas Oil Series weekend at Edelweiss, Brockville and Cornwall to make up the July 15th rain out.
** Note -- The event at Autodrome Drummond on July 28th fell to rain.
Heat 1 -- Lance Yonge, Michael Parent, Steve Poirier, Cory Sparks, Normand Beaudreault, Tim Zimbardi
Heat 2 -- Tommy Wickham, Jared Zimbardi, Jeff VanDusen, Mike Stelter, Daniel Lampron, Rich Van Keuren, Lori Cook
Heat 3 -- Alain Bergeron, Jeff Cook, Anthony Cain, Alex Boisvert, Bubby Kerrick, Justin Barger
A-MAIN -- JEFF COOK, Michael Parent, Jeff VanDusen, Alain Bergeron, Lance Yonge, Steve Poirier, Cory Sparks, Jared Zimbardi, Mike Stelter, Tommy Wickham, Alex Boisvert, Daniel Lampron, Normand Beaudreault, Bubby Kerrick, Rich Van Keuren, Anthony Cain, Tim Zimbardi, Lori Cook.
DNS -- Justin Barger
Gater News Lap Leader -- Cook 1-25