ESS: Autodrome Grandby report

Mike Woodring Blitzes Empire Super Sprint Field at Autodrome Granby. by Dean Reynolds GRANBY, PQ - It looked like 1998 all over again, Eden, N.Y.'s Mike Woodring went from his tenth place starting spot to the lead in just four laps during the...

Mike Woodring Blitzes Empire Super Sprint Field at Autodrome Granby.
by Dean Reynolds

GRANBY, PQ - It looked like 1998 all over again, Eden, N.Y.'s Mike Woodring went from his tenth place starting spot to the lead in just four laps during the Empire Super Sprint (ESS) event Friday night at Autodrome Granby in Quebec. Woodring opened up huge lead to eventually take the checkered flag by over half a track lapping all but the top eight finishers in the 20 lap A- Main.

In 1998 Woodring took 10 A-Main victories, which included a record five in a row, on his way to his fourth ESS championship. Last year Woodring collected his fifth championship but he used consistency and not domination he displayed a year prior. This season, the ESS Tour 2000 is boasting the closest point title fight ever with Woodring coming into the Granby event tied with Lance Yonge and just a few points ahead of Dan Kaszubinski.

While he made shambles of the field at Granby, it was a good news/bad news night. The good was a car that was set up perfectly to help in the victory the he needed. The bad was that Yonge and Kaszubinski also broke through the field to finish right behind the Tom and Mary Wade owned #19 in the finishing order to keep this a point chase to the finish.

"We just went back to an old set up in the car tonight and I guess it worked." noted Woodring. "This car is a lot like our 1998 Trevis Craft and we used the same set up we did here in '98 which made the car feel real comfortable." The change in the chassis was after the ESS event at Merrittville two weeks ago where Woodring flipped several times in the closing stages of the A-Main. The chassis had to be taken back to Trevis for repairs and the backup is brought to use.

"The track was nice and wide tonight and I knew what I wanted to do at the start." said Woodring on his crowd pleasing charge to the front. At the drop of the green he took right to the cushion out near the outside wall to pass five cars and move into fifth by lap one. Then into fourth when the yellow lights shined on lap three. On the restart another outside sweep was made and when lap four was scored Woodring swept by leader Ray Preston for the lead.

There was no other cautions in the fast paced event and Woodring was never slowing until his saw the checkered flag. "I knew the car was good but I was going to push it all the way to the finish. There's been a lot of fast cars this year and you just don't know if someone is closing in on you or not." noted the now 47 time ESS winner. "Lap cars were a factor but I just had to stay aggressive and it really worked tonight. We feel good as a team tonight and maybe we can get some momentum going."

Ray Preston started on the pole with the Speedway Performance Parts #22 and he lead the first three laps before Woodring thrilled the French speaking crowd with his wild passes to the front in taking the lead. Behind the Lakes Gas sponsored mount was a thrilling battle with Preston, Doug Emery, Yonge and Kaszubinski all trying for the runnerup finish.

Yonge eventually got by Preston and Emery to take second on lap 13 with Kaszubinski using his wall hugging style to claim third on lap later. But with Woodring so far ahead and no more cautions to bunch up the field the was to be no challenge for the win on this night.

At the drop of the checkered flag, Woodring claimed the win by more than half of Granby's half-mile layout. Yonge took second and also collected the Walt's Hobby Hard Charger dollars after coming from his 13th place start. Kaszubinski finished in third after starting in 14th with Preston and Emery also having fine runs to claim fourth and fifth respectively. The next five was made up of Bill Coffey, last years Granby winner Mike Stelter, Rob Dietrick, the last car on the lead lap, Scott Holcomb and Don Sharp Jr.

The lap three caution was for a spun Rich Wood but he did return to the action to come back and finish in 12th.

Taking the Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were Holcomb, Stelter and Yonge with the KSE Racing Products B-Main was taken by Mike Van Dusen.

ESS NOTES: A strong field of 25 sprinters ran a quick show that saw only one caution all night in front of a big Friday night crowd...Bobby Seidel and Carmon Carnibucci Jr. were new entries after the Thursday night event at Can-Am...Rick Wilson was forced out of the A-Main during the pace laps with no oil pressure. A broken shaft on the oil pump was the culprit which knocked him out for the rest of the weekend. The same for Bob Podolak with a burnt piston in his engine...Kris Dow was a spectator for the rest of the weekend as well after the blow engine at Can-Am...The Van Dusen family would like to thank former ESS competitor Adrian Flath for his help in getting their team ready after a rough night at Can-Am...ESS will make a second visit to Granby on Sept. 1.

{TB} RESULTS: Heat 1 - Scott Holcomb, Doug Emery, Dan Kaszubinski, Bubby Kerrick, Don Sharp Jr., Alain Bergeron. Heat 2 - Mike Stelter, Mike Woodring, Rick Wilson, Rich Wood, Bob Podolak, Randy Years. Heat 3 - Lance Yonge, Bill Coffey, Rob Dietrick, Ray Preston, R.C. Faigle, Steve Dow. B-Main - Mike Van Dusen, Bob Seidel, Dick Spadaro, Carmon Carnibucci Jr. Added Starters - George Ely, Tim Zimbardi. Did Not Qualify - Jeff Van Dusen. A-Main - MIKE WOODRING, Yonge, Kaszubinski, Preston, Emery, Coffey, Stelter, Dietrick, Holcomb, Sharp Jr., M. Van Dusen, Wood, Kerrick, Faigle, Bergeron, Dow, Seidel, Years, Carnibucci Jr., Spadaro, Zimbardi, Ely, Podolak. Did Not Start - Wilson. Lap Leaders - Preston 1-3, Woodring 4-20. Walt's Hobby Hard Charger - Yonge (11 pos.) $50. Vicomp Graphics Halfway - Woodring $50. Winner's Bonuses - Car-Mate Dealers $50, Pro Shocks $100, Tire Comp East $75, Hank's Performance Products $50, Total Seal $50, Bicknell Racing Products $35, Behrent's Performance Warehouse $30. Red's Speed Shop.$25. Other Bonuses: Weld Racing Hard Luck - Wilson $75. Penske Shocks - Emery $150. Design 500 - Dietrick $100, Emery $50. Griffin Thermal Products - Kaszubinski $50. Bailey Racing Products - Spadaro $35. Total Seal - Sharp Jr. $30. Thunder Mtn. Wings - Kaszubinski $20. Dave Ely Racing - Emery, Woodring, Coffey. Powder Birns - Kerrick $10. Lauterborn Electric - Bergeron $10.

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Series Sprint
Drivers Bill Coffey