DUNDEE, N.Y. - Breaking an over five year Empire Super Sprint (ESS) winless drought was 54 year old Phil Mott who went wire to wire Friday night at the Black Rock Speedway. In the special "Night Before the Bully Hill Nationals" event, the ...
DUNDEE, N.Y. - Breaking an over five year Empire Super Sprint (ESS) winless drought was 54 year old Phil Mott who went wire to wire Friday night at the Black Rock Speedway. In the special "Night Before the Bully Hill Nationals" event, the Hinsdale, N.Y. pilot held off four challengers for all 20 laps to collect his third career ESS A-Main victory.
It was the third annual Bully Hill Vineyards Fall Sprint Nationals weekend and for the first time ever, the ESS stars and cars were invited to put on a full point show for the crowd. A wild night which saw great racing as well as wild flips thrilled all on hand.
"We just had the right breaks tonight." noted the surprise winner who became the 15th different victor on the ESS trail.. "We finally made it into the handicap and had the luck to start on the pole. The track was fast tonight, a bit rough but I kind of like it like that. The car was good, it didn't get upset to much and I think that's why I sitting here (in victory lane)."
Mott's J&J chassis sprinter survived two tries to get the initial start off the ground to take the lead from the start. While he stayed strong in the front spot he would find the cars of Rich Wood, Justin Barger and Bob Podolak well within striking distance during the entire 20 lap event.
It was an on-the-edge-of-your-seat feature event as the fast Dundee oval made the race unpredictable. Four more cautions on the "full moon" type night never strayed the veteran from his goal. Mott continued to run his line, Wood tried high each lap, Barger tried low and Podolak made no bones about it, he wanted a three car mistake.
The final caution came on lap 17, while it was bad for Podolak who broke a bird cage to force the yellow, it saw the drama peak. Mott held his lane, Wood tried high and Barger went low. The final three tours of the Black Rock oval was some of the wildest action seen on the ESS Tour 2001.
Eyes were glued to the threesome but Mott's many years of experience paid off. "I heard them behind me." said the driver who hasn't seen an ESS checker since Aug. 25, 1996. "You just never know what they're going to do. I just didn't want to make mistakes."
Mott returned to the ESS tour after many years absence and the hard work paid off. "We just didn't have a hauler to do the travel." said the driver who won the Freedom Raceway sprint championship last season. "We started to work of a new truck for a while. It has all you need to sleep in and everything and we are glad to be back on the tour. All the best drivers are here and we'll finish out the season with ESS and we will look forward to giving and all out shot at next year."
Mott won by a few feet over Wood. However, Wood didn't report directly to the scales and he was disqualified from his second place finish. This moved the 17 year old Barger up to the runner-up slot with Tim Zimbardi home for a fine fourth over Randy Years and Lance Yonge who earned the Walt's Hobby hard charger award coming from his 20th place start. Rounding out the top ten were Scott Holcomb, Mike Woodring, newcomer Buzz Wilson, URC star Doug Emery and R.C. Faigle.
On the two tries for the original starts, Bill Coffey saw his sprinter land on it's side with Dan Kaszubinski and Alain Bergeron also involved on try one. All cars restarted. Dick Spadaro was spun around on try two. Kyle Drum lost a front end on lap one for the third caution, on lap seven the yellow lights were on for a spun Bergeron with the lap 16 caution for Don Sharp Jr. Podolak's misfortune was the final caution on lap 17.
Taking the Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were Wood, Drum and Mott. The Kwik Fill at the Glen/Walt's Hobby Dash was won by Mott. The C-Main was won by Ryan Coniam with Coffey taking the B-Main.
ESS NOTES: A big field of 40 sprinters came out to be a part of day one on Bully Hill Weekend...URC star Becca Anderson, Buzz Wilson, Ohio's Tim Hunter and ELS regular Mike Miller entered the event with only Wilson cracking the starting lineup...Mike Stelter, Rick Wilson (twice) and John Lieto saw their sprinters on their wings during the night...Congrats to builder Ron Buckner for getting inducted to the Oswego Speedway Hall of Fame. Buckner built both Stelter's sprinter and engine...Bubby Kerrick picked up a ride in the Bud Burlew #28 but he was uninjured in a wild heat one double-flip. Bubby made a trip to the hospital for a shoulder injury. He was sore but did return to run the Nationals on Sat....Next week will find "America's Race Cars" take to the Merrittville Speedway on Sat. for the final Canadian Invasion event of 2001.