ESS: Black Rock II: Race summary

DUNDEE, N.Y. -- With a wild, sweeping pass in turn one with three laps to go, Liverpool, N.Y.'s Brian Dumigan passed race long leader Randy Years to go on to collect his second Empire Super Sprints A-Main victory of the 2002 season. With the win...

DUNDEE, N.Y. -- With a wild, sweeping pass in turn one with three laps to go, Liverpool, N.Y.'s Brian Dumigan passed race long leader Randy Years to go on to collect his second Empire Super Sprints A-Main victory of the 2002 season. With the win Friday night at the Black Rock Speedway, Dumigan joins and elite group of Mike Woodring, Lance Yonge and Ryan Coniam as double feature winners so far this season.

The win came before one of the largest crowds in the history of the Yates County oval and Dumigan also bested an ESS record of 42 sprint cars that played host on a very fast Black Rock surface. "This feels good to get back into victory lane." noted Dumigan. "We have been struggling lately but tonight the car felt better and I could run it hard. The tires really came on in the second half of the race and I felt I was a little faster than Billy (White) and Randy (Years) but I just didn't know if I could get by."

Years has simply been having a year he would like to forget but he wasn't ready to throw away his outside pole starting spot and he out-dragged White at the drop of the green flag to take command early. The Honeoye Falls, N.Y. pilot won here at the Dundee, N.Y. oval last season and was looking to get back into the winners circle. Years opened up a lead early over the International Paper Products #66 of White and Dumigan, who started in third, wasn't that far behind.

Even with three early cautions, Years still held strong in the front of the field but while the race looked to be in his hands, little did anyone know, his fate might have been handed to him on lap eight. "Just before that last caution I jumped the cushion and the next thing I knew my brakes were gone. I mean, my foot went right to the floor! The rear brake rotor was ripped right out." said Years, who again suffered the hand of hard luck. "I was fine out alone but when we got to lapped traffic I knew I was in trouble."

The final 12 laps did go non-stop in the 20 lap event and as the front threesome closed in on the slower traffic both White and Dumigan easily closed ground. On lap 15 and 16, the three young pilots put on a wild show for the SRO crowd as both White and Dumigan were switching lanes to claim the top spot. On lap 16, Dumigan's red #9 Henchcraft built sprinter inched ahead of White and then with a no-holds-barred pass on Years he took over the lead with three laps to go. The pass was all he needed as he opened up a big lead afterwards to collect his second career ESS victory.

Unlike his win in the ESS point opener at Canandaigua where Brian Dumigan lost his father shortly after in the pit area, he could receive well wishes all night from friends and fellow competitors. "The win helps, it makes it a little easier. This win is for dad, all my wins for the rest of my career will be dedicated to him. It's tough and we all miss him." said Dumigan frankly. "But, I have to thank my crew, my girlfriend-- everyone for helping me and my family get through this. I have to also thank Dan Kaszubinski so much as well. Everyone time we have a mechanical trouble he comes over and he just seems to know everything about these cars. He's gotten me back on the track so many times this season."

At the checkered flag, Dumigan had a big lead while in heavy lapped traffic to claim the win. Twelfth place starting Rick Wilson made a late race charge to take home second place money with Mike Woodring charging from 14th to place third and receive the Walt's Hobby Hard Charger bonus dollars. Ryan Coniam came from 13th to take fourth with ESS rookie of the year hopeful in White claiming his best finish to date in fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Steve Dow, Years, who struggled the last three laps to the finish, Bubby Kerrick, Connecticut's Russ Bennett and John Karklin Jr.

Three cautions, all minor in nature, slowed the 20 lap finale: On lap two, George Ely and Mike Young did a double spin but both restarted. On lap eight Warren Alexson hopped the wheel of Kyle Drum and his sprinter hopped in the middle of the field wildly. The yellow was thrown in safety of Alexson. On the lap eight restart, Drum lost control of his sprinter in turn two and he spun around. On the second lap eight caution, ESS point leader Lance Yonge suffered a flat tire and with the rest of the event going non-stop he didn't make it back out of the pits. Yonge lost his point lead to Woodring.

The Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were won by Coniam, Drum, Kerrick and Wilson. The C-Main was taken by Tim Zimbardi with Doug Emery copping the KSE Racing products B-Main. The Lane's Yamaha/Walt's Hobby Dash was won by Kerrick.

ESS NOTES: The record field of 42 cars produced a four heat, C,B, and A-Main format for the first time--Making their first appearances ever were URC rookie Heath Hehnly and Jared Zimbardi, son of ESS competitor Tim Zimbardi. Two-time Bully Hill Nationals champion George Suprick made a return to ESS competition as did Bobby Parrow who ended a three year absence driving the Curt Shuttleworth #12. Unfortunately for Parrow, who retired after winning the ESS/URC Challenge event three years ago at Black Rock, a blown engine in the heat ended his night early--The ESS Tour 2002 will make two more appearances to Black Rock, on Friday night August 9th for a full point show which ties into Winston Cup weekend at Watkins Glen. Then on Sept. 6 and 7 it's the $40,000 Bully Hill Vineyards Sprint Car Fall Nationals.

-ess-

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Series Sprint