Bill Coffey Powers To ESS Win at Brockville: First A-Main Win in Over Two Years. BROCKVILLE, ONT -- If you watched Bill Coffey wheel his Lawrence Electric sponsored ...
Bill Coffey Powers To ESS Win at Brockville: First A-Main Win in Over Two Years.
BROCKVILLE, ONT -- If you watched Bill Coffey wheel his Lawrence Electric sponsored #13 Friday night at the Brockville Ontario Speedway you would never imagined that he hasn't won an Empire Super Sprints Tour event since May of 2000. Leading all 20 laps of the VSM Abrasives Canadian Invasion event, Coffey held off charges from first Lance Yonge and then Ryan Coniam to post ESS career win #5.
An one hour rain delay just as gates were open made for a fast and multi-grooved Brockville which saw times under the 13 second bracket during the night. Despite the bad weather early, a big crowd still came out to the Paul Kirkland promoted ¼ miler near the St. Lawrence Seaway.
"Even though we have been doing well in the points the past two seasons, it sure feels good to finally get a win." said a relieved driver who hails from Caledonia, N.Y. "The car has been good for most of the year and we just needed the right breaks. Tonight we got a break with the inversion draw and also a few out on the track. Put that together with a great car the crew gave me, it all fell into place."
Coffey started the A-Main from the outside pole and out-dragged Coniam at the drop of the green flag. Even though Coffey did lead all 20 laps, three cautions and two red stoppages marred the event. Each time either Coniam or Yonge started right on the tail tank of Coffey, but each time the Jereco powered engine was up to the task.
In a sprint car event, a caution good be an asset or a liability and for Coffey it was both on this night. "Cautions are always tough, most of the time you want to stay in your rhythm . But on the last caution (on lap 15) it helped and hurt. We were getting into lapped cars and it was going to get hairy out there but it also put Ryan right on my rear for the restart." explained Coffey who had a game plan for the final laps. "When the green came out I just put the foot to the floor and kept it there. The car was so good that I never had to lift at all."
The amazing strategy on a tight quarter-mile proved the key to the victory as Coffey opened up a sizable lead over Coniam in the final five laps to post the victory. Coniam and Yonge swapped the runner-up spot twice during the feature event with Coniam taking second at the checkered with Yonge in third, Erin Crocker finished fourth with Bubby Kerrick's VRP Shocks #61 in fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Mike Lutz, who earned the Walt's Hobby Hard Charger bonus after starting in 24th, Bob Podolak, Mike Woodring, Don Sharp Jr. and ESS rookie Bill White.
The first red came out on lap four with two separate accidents which saw Kyle Drum, Russ Bennett, Alain Bergeron and Ray Preston either do complete flips or flop over on the side. Dick Spadaro and Dick "Crash" Nash were also involved. Only Preston was able to restart the event. Mike Stelter spun on lap six, Rick Wilson did the same on lap seven. The second red was for Tim Kelly who rolled over his sprinter on lap 15 and on the restart Wilson again looped his mount after climbing back up to seventh.
Taking the Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were Bergeron, Tom Taber and Jeff VanDusen with the Plooy's Performance Products/Walt's Hobby Dash won by Rob Dietrick.
ESS NOTES: A total of 24 sprinters made the Friday night tow--A wild crash in the dash saw Bergeron, Taber and VanDusen get involved but all drivers started the feature with their machines--In the top ten states Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania were represented along with Ontario, Canada--Look for the ESS Tour to make more stops to the track known as the "BOS" for 2003.
Heat 1 -- Alain Bergeron, Kyle Drum, Erin Crocker, Lance Yonge, Don Sharp Jr., John Karklin Jr.
Heat 2 -- Tom Taber, Rob Dietrick, Randy Years, Bill Coffey, Bob Podolak, Tim Kelly.
Heat 3 -- Jeff VanDusen, Bill White, Dick Spadaro, Ryan Coniam, Bubby Kerrick, Ray Preston.
Plooy's Performance Products/Walt's Hobby Dash -- Dietrick.
A-MAIN -- BILL COFFEY, Coniam, Yonge, Crocker, Kerrick, Mike Lutz, Podolak, Mike Woodring, Sharp Jr., White, Dietrick, Mike Stelter, Karklin Jr., Preston, Taber, Rick Wilson, Years, Tim Kelly, VanDusen, Bergeron, Drum, Spadaro, Russ Bennett, Crash Nash.
Lap Leader -- Coffey 1-20.
Walt's Hobby Hard Charger -- Lutz (18 pos.) $50.
Vicomp Graphics Halfway -- Coffey $50.
Winner's Bonuses: - Car-Mate Trailers $50, ATL Fuel Cells $200, Pro Shocks $100, Extreme Racewear $50, Hank's Performance Products $50, Total Seal $50, American Racer Tires $50, Bicknell Racing Products $35, Hazlitt Vineyards $30, Goodyear Tires $30, Red's Speed Shop $25, Behrent's Performance Warehouse/Mechanix Wear $20, MRE Productions $10.
Weld Racing Hard Luck -- Bergeron $75.
Extreme Racewear -- Coniam $50, Yonge $50, Kerrick $50.
Penske Shocks -- Kerrick $200.
Design 500 -- Taber $100, Kerrick $50.
Zemco Headers -- Kerrick $50.
Joe Hunt Magnetos -- Bennett $50.
Bailey Racing Products -- Drum $35.
Hazlitt Vineyards -- Coniam $20, Yonge $10, Bergeron $10.
Goodyear Tires -- Coniam $20, Crocker $15.
Leaf Racewear -- Nash $25.
DMI -- Spadaro $25.