Canadian Rick Wilson Thrills Big Brockville Crowd With Last Corner; Last Lap Pass of Lance Yonge to Kick off the Empire Super Sprints Tour 2004. BROCKVILLE, ONT. -- It was a jubilant celebration in victory lane Friday night at the ...
Canadian Rick Wilson Thrills Big Brockville Crowd With Last Corner; Last Lap Pass of Lance Yonge to Kick off the Empire Super Sprints Tour 2004.
BROCKVILLE, ONT. -- It was a jubilant celebration in victory lane Friday night at the Brockville Ontario Speedway for the opening event of the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) Tour 2004. Local hero Rick Wilson made a last corner, last lap pass in lapped traffic of Lance Yonge to bring down the house in winning the 25 lap Spectro Oils Canadian Invasion event.
A legend in these parts know as the "Joyceville Jet", the former DIRT 358 modified great kept the fans on their feet with several 360 spins, a wild wing dance and emotional victory lane interview that had all in attendance smiling as the evening continued on. Even though this was his fourth career win with ESS, to come in his home country undoubtedly made this triumph just a little more special.
"This is just a dream come true!!" exclaimed the exciting sprint car chauffeur. "To come from the back and then pass a great driver like Lance Yonge on the last lap in front of all your fans, how can it get any better than this!!"
For Wilson, it was a never-say-die attitude that won this race for him. You see, on lap 19, Yonge's Lane's Yamaha sponsored #17J found a lane of rubber laid down in the middle groove and he shot by Wilson to take the lead in what looked like a sure victory. Yonge's sprinter opened up some distance in the next few laps but it was the slower traffic that was key in the final outcome.
"I was running low and thought that was the fast groove. Then he (Yonge) just blew right by me." Noted Wilson on the change of track conditions. "I then used his lane and when he got to the slower cars that is where I closed in."
The final two laps around the quick quarter-mile put the crowd on the edge of their seats. Yonge held his lane while Wilson's Focus Eye Centre backed J&J was dogging high and low. It wasn't until turns three and four with the checkered flag waving when the winning move was made.
"I just drove it in as hard as I could, my brake foot went to the floor and I did all I could not to take him out." As Wilson described his tale. "I was either going to wreck or win, it was as simple as that. Luckily I got the pass done and we are here celebrating. The lapped traffic won this for me, if Lance didn't have to slow down this was his race but we will take the trophy home with smiles!"
Yonge, a true ESS great, also had a smile on his face afterwards, defeated yes, but knew he was a big part of one of ESS' most exciting A-Mains. "He got me, that's all I can say. I did it to him back at Cornwall and now the score is even." Said the Penn Yan, N.Y. star. "Ricky is daring and he made a great pass to get me and the lapped car for the win, he defintely earned it. But, we are happy--this Maxim and our Penske Shock package seems to really click. I'm excited to see how the year goes, I think we will be alright."
Dan Kaszubinski drew the pole starting spot for the feature event and he lead the first three laps before his #20 slid off the turn one banking. John Karklin Jr's QA1 Precision Products #69K took over the top spot until Wilson shot around him on lap nine. Leading the next ten tours until Yonge blasted by, Wilson was looking at a bridesmaid finish right until the last two corners were he earned well over $2,000 for the win.
Finishing behind the leading duo were 20 year old Justin Barger, Tim Kelly and Quebec's Alain Bergeron. The next five was made up of Karklin Jr., veteran Bobby Podolak, Doug Emery, the Mike's Drive-In #36 of Mike Stelter and ESS rookie Jeff Cook who earlier won the B-Main.
The final 15 laps went non-stop but the first ten laps did see two reds and two yellows making for an interesting start of the 21st Anniversary Season. On lap two the first red was out for Phil Mott who snapped rolled his #5M, Randy Years was also involved. Kaszubinski's spin on lap three slowed the pace. A double spin by Years and Cook on lap nine brought out the second yellow. Just one lap later came the biggest crash of the night and the second red flag. Wilson's son Kyle hit the turn four wall hard with his car sliding back across the track. Collecting Wilson's mount was Brain Glasser, who flipped wildly, Brian Dumigan and Billy Krull. There were no injuries but all cars were done for the night.
Winning the Engler Machine and Tool heat events that paid $25 were Kaszubinski, Bergeron and Podolak. The Foster/Wilson Memorial-Walt's Hobby Dash event was won by Bergeron and Cook took home the KSE Racing Products B-Main honors.
ESS NOTES: A good field of 28 sprinters opened the 2004 season for ESS--Many drivers are looking for the Jereco Engines Rookie of the Year honors which included Krull, the 2002 winner of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame national rookie title, making his move up to ESS for this season, Cook, who is the step son of ESS great Adrian Flath, Bryan Howland making his bid coming from mini-sprints as well as Manchester, Vt.'s Luke Eriksen who also made the A-Main. Micro-sprint champion Alex Mosher missed the cut with suspension troubles in the B-Main. Glasser, Blase Regina Jr. and Kyle Moffit are also looking to stay on the ESS tour in hopes of the rookie honors--.With added cash bonuses, which included the Car-Mate Trailers winners bonus, the Lane's Yamaha hard charger and the Brodix Cylinder Heads halfway, and contingencies, Wilson took home $2,385--Swiffer, a division of the Brockville based Procter and Gamble plant is the main sponsor for the two ESS events at the speedway as well as Bobby Podolak. They treated the ESS veteran to a night out on the town Thursday as part of their sprint car promotions--.The winged warriors will return to Paul Kirkland's facility on August 13th.
Heat 1 -- Dan Kaszubinski, Tim Kelly, Justin Barger, Lance Yonge, Brian Dumigan, Phil Mott.
Heat 2 -- Alain Bergeron, Rick Wilson, John Karklin Jr., Bubby Kerrick, Randy Years, Bryan Howland.
Heat 3 -- Bob Podolak, Kyle Wilson, Jeff VanDusen, Mike Stelter, Doug Emery, Billy Krull.
Foster/Wilson Memorial-Walt's Hobby Dash -- Bergeron.
B-Main -- Jeff Cook, Brian Glasser, Luke Eriksen, Nick Fratto.
Did Not Qualify -- Don Sharp Jr., Alex Mosher, Kyle Moffit, Daniel Lampron, Blase Regina Jr., Brad Knab.
A-Main -- RICK WILSON, Yonge, Barger, Kelly, Bergeron, Karklin Jr., Podolak, Emery, Stelter, Cook, VanDusen, Howland, Fratto, Kaszubinski, Kerrick, K. Wilson, Dumigan, Krull, Glasser, Years, Eriksen, Mott.
Lap Leaders -- Kaszubinski 1-3, Karklin Jr., 4-8, Wilson 9-18, Yonge 19-24, Wilson 25.
Lane's Yamaha Hard Charger -- R. Wilson (10 pos.) $50.
Brodix Cylinder Heads Halfway -- R. Wilson $50.
Winner's bonuses: Car-Mate Trailers $50, ATL Fuel Cells $100, Pro Shocks $100, Penske Shocks $100, Hank's Performance Products $50, Total Seal $50, Saldana Racing Products $50, Real Racing Wheels $50, American Race Tires $50, The Brake Man $50, Racing Optics $30, Red's Speed Shop $25, Frankland Racing Products $25, The Race Depot $25, Behrent's Performance Warehouse $20, MRE Productions $10.
Weld Racing Hard Luck -- Glasser $100.
Leaf Racewear -- Barger $75.
Penske Shocks -- Cook $100.
Design 500 -- Fratto $100, Bergeron $50.
KSE Racing Products -- Cook $50.
Zemco Headers -- Bergeron $50.
B&B Oval Track Products - Bergeron $50.
Joe Hunt Magnetos -- Eriksen $50.
Engler Machine and Tool -- Kaszubinski $25, Bergeron $25, Podolak $25.
DMI -- Mott $25.
HRP -- Fratto $25.