ESS: Bully Hill Nationals - day one

Holcomb, Taber and Suprick Earn "Sweet" Victories to Kick off Bully Hill Vineyards Nationals Weekend. by Dean Reynolds DUNDEE, N.Y. - Empire Super Sprint regulars Scott Holcomb and Tom Taber joined United Racing Club star George Suprick was ...

Holcomb, Taber and Suprick Earn "Sweet" Victories to Kick off Bully Hill Vineyards Nationals Weekend.

by Dean Reynolds

DUNDEE, N.Y. - Empire Super Sprint regulars Scott Holcomb and Tom Taber joined United Racing Club star George Suprick was A-Main winners Friday night at the Black Rock Speedway to kick off the second annual Bully Hill Vineyards Super Sprint Fall Nationals. The triple "Sweet 16" feature events was filled with action from start to finish with each victor collecting a cool $1000 for 16 laps of work.

The $41,000 event attracted stars and cars not only from ESS and URC but also the Eastern Limited Sprints, Keystone Auto Racing Series, Sprints on Dirt and the Freedom Raceway. The first night of action showcased the famous "Knoxville Nationals" point system to set up the starting grid for Saturday's 35 lap, $5000 to win 360 sprint National event. A good sixed crowd came out to see some of the wildest winged sprint car action all year.

SWEET 16 - FEATURE 1: @Connecticut native Scott Holcomb started the first 16 lap feature in the fourth spot. It took just one lap before the driver of the Lucky's Trailer Sales #91 was in second pressuring leader Buzz Wilson. The leading duo pulled away from the rest of the field making this event a two horse race.

"I knew I had a good car and I was able to close in on the #38 (Wilson) pretty quickly." said Holcomb who was the rookie of the year with ESS in 1996. "I was just waiting for a hole to open up and luckily he gave me just enough room to get by. I thought I was going to try up high but my car was just so good down low I was able to stay patient."

Holcomb dogged Wilson lap after lap before the break he needed came on lap nine. A slight slip in turn one and that's all that was needed for the pass on the low side and the victory. "I always felt comfortable here and hopefully I can do just as good tomorrow, that's where the money is." added Holcomb.

Wilson came home a fine second and earned $500, current ESS point leader Mike Woodring took third, ELS regular Bill Bailey was home home for fourth with former Black Rock street stock star Bubby Kerrick taking fifth. Rounding out the top ten were USAC Silver Crown competitor and former ESS star Mike Lauterborn, veteran Bobby Podolak, ESS rookie Randy Years, Howard Singer and Mike Young.

The first feature was only slowed once when Dan Kaszubinski made contact with the turn one wall.

SWEET 16 - FEATURE 2: @This 16 lap event brought a smile to everyone in attendance. The comback is now complete as on lap eight, Tom Taber blasted past race long leader Rick Hart to collect his first victory since his horrifying garage accident a little over a year ago.

"This really makes me feel good." said a happy Belfast, N.Y. native. "I'm walking pretty good now and I'm winning in a sprint car too. I feel like a lucky man, I feel pretty close to being where I was before I got hurt. It was a tough time for me and my family but I think it's behind us now."

Hart started from the outside pole and went out to lead the second feature event up until the halfway mark was displayed. Taber came from his fifth starting spot to swing around the outside for what would be the winning pass in an event that went green to checkered without a yellow flag.

"The car was super fast all night. I just wish we didn't have a broken rocker arm just as I went for my time trial or I think we might be up there going for the point lead." said the driver of the Slocum Milk Hauling #57. "I think we are where we want to be, I'll be shooting for that five grand tomorrow."

Taber won by a full straitaway while in heavy lapped traffic, Hart hung on for second ahead of KARS star Kevin Welsh, Lance Yonge came back from a heat flip to take fourth with ESS' Ray Preston in for fifth. The next five was made up of current ELS point leader Brian Dumigan, female sensation Kris Dow, 16 year old Kyle Drum, Bill Coffey and Dick "Crash" Nash.

SWEET 16 - FEATURE 3: @It took Clark Summit, Pa's George Suprick just two turns to take his Everlast Quality Stone #87 from his sixth place start to the lead in an event that highlighted action on and off the track.

On the track: It was Suprick's all out charge that thrilled the crowd. Off the track: It was a wild double flip by Mike Stelter and Rob Dietrick which saw both ESS stars land way outside turn three. Both drivers were sore but otherwise alright. Dietrick is expected to be back the next night but Stelter's Ron Buckner built sprinter was a right off.

"Our goal is simple, we came here to win." dead panned Suprick who has career feature wins with ESS, URC and ELS. "We decided to miss an URC point event at Bridgeport to come here and hopefully win the $5000. We wanted the pole for the feature on Saturday and luckily we got that and then we got this win as well. So far is been a good trip but there's a lot of good cars here, we just have to keep a good set up in the car and do our best."

Suprick never gave up the lead for the entire 16 laps. Two-time ESS victor Steve Dow came to within a few car lengths to Suprick but not close enough to muster a challenge. Dow settled for a fine second over Rich Wood, Canadian Rick Wilson and John Lieto who rounded out the top five. The next five were Mike Miller with his Steve Smith built, coil over sprinter, Freedom regular Gary Troutman, Dan Bennett, Dave Wickham and Brian Grisel.

The lap three double flip was the only time when the green lights didn't shine in this feature event.

Suprick set fast time earlier in the evening and since he won a Bully Hill Qualifier during the Summer, he's guaranteed the pole for the Nationals. Heat wins went to Taber, KARS point leader Dale Hammaker, Rick Wilson and Nash. The special "Quick Six" dash was taken by Stelter and he received $300 for the win.

BULLY HILL NOTES: A total of 48 sprints filled the pits...The breakdown was ESS: 23, ELS: 11, KARS: 6, Freedom: 5, Craig Keel has been running with SoD, Justin Barger splits his time with URC and ELS and Mike Lauterborn has been running any type of sprint car this year...Keel had Ford cylinder heads that didn't conform to Bully Hill rules and had to scratch for the night...KARS' Rick Horn lost a motor in warmups...Chris Muhleisen also flipped with Lance Yonge with his #10 landing far beyond turn four. While his car was destroyed, the two-time Freedom winner was alright...veteran George Ely also flipped in his heat...After the points were tallied following time trials, heats and features Kris Dow was the point leader followed by Mike Woodring, George Suprick, Kyle Drum and Dan Kaszubinski.

<pre> RESULTS: Time Trials - 1. George Suprick/Deuel 87 - 14.154, 2. Dan Kaszubinski/K&K Racing 20 - 14.450, 3. Rob Dietrick/Dietrick 10 - 14.503, 4. Kris Dow/Black Creek Racing 80 - 14.515, 5. Mike Woodring/Wade 12 - 14.587, 6. Mike Stelter/Stelter 36 - 14.647, 7. Bob Podolak/Podolak 7 - 14.711, 8. Brian Dumigan/Dumigan 9 - 14.727, 9. Ray Preston/Preston 22 - 14.737, 10. Kyle Drum/Drum 47 - 14.743, 11. Bubby Kerrick/Kerrick 61K - 14.745, 12. Steve Dow/Black Creek Racing 70 - 14.763, 13. Bill Coffey/Sprinterexpress 13 - 14.905, 14. Rich Wood/Wood 6W - 14.920, 15. Phil Mott/Mott 5M - 14.951, 16. Rick Hart/Hamlin 21H - 14.953, 17. Scott Holcomb/Holcomb 91 - 14.990, 18. Lance Yonge/Lane 5 - 15.022, 19. Mike Miller/Miller 74 - 15.022, 20. Bill Bailey/Bailey 27 - 15.041, 21. Tom Taber/Taber 57 - 15.066, 22. Kevin Welsh/Welsh 18W, 23. Rick Wilson/Price 27C - 15.076, 24. Rich Richcreek/Richcreek 80R - 15.102, 25. Alain Bergeron/Bergeron 8B - 15.115, 26. Chris Muhleisen/Muhleisen 10M - 15.168, 27. Howard Singer/Singer 26 - 15.205, 28. George Ely/Ely 90E - 15.208, 29. Buzz Wilson/Wilson 38 - 15.272, 30. Mike Lauterborn/Lauterborn 41 - 15.335, 31. John Lieto/Lieto 73 - 15.383, 32. Dick Spadaro/Spadaro 29 - 15.428, 33. Dave Wickham/Dumigan 90 - 15.452, 34. Mike Young/Young 42 - 15.489, 35. Justin Barger/Barger 32B - 15.490, 36. Randy Years/Years 2 - 15.510, 37. Tim Zimbardi/Zimbardi 82 - 15.580, 38. Gary Troutman/Troutman 44 - 15.598, 39. Dan Bennett/Bennett 61 - 15.600, 40. Dick Nash/Nash 48 - 15.712, 41. Rich Carnathan/Carnathan 64 - 15.713, 42. Steve Rutkowski/Rutkowski 75R - 15.790, 43. Brian Grisel/Grisel 11 - 15.826, 44. J.R. Berry/Berry 74JR - 15.870, 45. Warren Alexson/Alexson 3A - 16.018, 46. Dale Hammaker/Marriott 18 - 16.184, 47. Rick Horn/Horn 01 - NT, 48. Craig Keel/Pottorff 9 - DQ.

Heat 1 - Taber, B. Wilson, Holcomb, Wickham, Woodring, Alexson 2 - . Heat Hammaker, Kaszubinski, Drum, Young, Stelter, Wood 3 - R. Wilson, . Heat Lieto, Mott, Kerrick, Singer, Dietrick 4 - Nash, Years, K. Dow, . Heat Berry, Bailey, S. Dow .

SWEET 16 - FEATURE 1 - SCOTT HOLCOMB, B. Wilson, Woodring, Bailey, Kerrick, Lauterborn, Bob Podolak, Years, Singer, Young, Berry, Barger, Kaszubinski. DNS - Mott, Rutkowski. SWEET 16 - FEATURE 2 - TOM TABER, Hart, Welsh, Yonge, Preston, Dumigan, K. Dow, Drum, Coffey, Nash, Hammaker, Spadaro, Zimbardi, Richcreek, Carnathan. DNS - Horn. SWEET 16 - FEATURE 3 - GEORGE SUPRICK, S. Dow, Wood, R. Wilson, Lieto, Miller, Troutman, Bennett, Wickham, Grisel, Dietrick, Stelter. DNS - Ely, Bergeron, Muhleisen. 

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Series Sprint
Drivers Steve Smith , Mike Miller , Justin Barger , Bill Coffey