ESS: Bully Hill Nationals - day two

Mission Accomplished: Suprick Wins Bully Hill Nationals and $5000 by Dean Reynolds DUNDEE, N.Y. - When George Suprick decided to head North to the Black Rock Speedway instead of a regular United Racing Club point show at Bridgeport, there was...

Mission Accomplished: Suprick Wins Bully Hill Nationals and $5000
by Dean Reynolds

DUNDEE, N.Y. - When George Suprick decided to head North to the Black Rock Speedway instead of a regular United Racing Club point show at Bridgeport, there was one goal for him and his Doctor John Motorsports Team...win the Bully Hill Vineyards Super Sprint Fall Nationals. =20

After earning the pole through a Bully Hill Qualifier and timing the fastest of a 48 car field, the Clark Summitt, Pa. star took advantage to lead every lap and collect the $5000 winner's check in victory lane. The 35 tours around the 4/10ths Dundee, N.Y. oval was no cakewalk as lapped cars and five-time Empire Super Sprint champion Mike Woodring made the second annual event a memorable one for the large crowd on hand.

"This is a big win for us as a team but also for me personally." said Suprick shortly afterwards. "I've been racing for a long time in mods and sprints and I really don't know how many years I have left but before I hang it up. I just wanted to win a big race before I do. This is a big race and when we decided to come here we can now admit that all we wanted was a win."

Suprick's Everlast Quality Natural Stone backed sprinter was quick all weekend as not only did he timed the fastest but also won one of the three "Sweet 16" features the night before. Going in as the pole sitter and the favorite to win added some pressure, but the real pressure occured as the National event unfolded.

By virtue of earning the most points over the two days, Woodring's SP Wilson sponsored #19 sat outside pole which got the fans attention right at the drop of the green flag. "I was worried about Mike (Woodring) on the outside of me...real worried!!" noted Suprick on his plan for the race. "I knew that I had to get into turn one first or I didn't know if I could get back by. Mike is one hell of a competitor and super driver, I knew that if I wanted to win this event I had to beat him."

At the drop of Tommy Burton's green flag the two 360 sprint stars came down the frontstretch side by side. But, when they exited turn two, it was Suprick with the advantage. He then opened up a good sized lead on Woodring and was just entering slower traffic when the first caution came out on lap six. The same scenerio happened when the red lights came on with lap 16 in the books. Suprick with a lead and Woodring starting to close in as slower traffic entered the picture. =20

After the lap 16 red flag stoppage, the rest of the event went non-stop to the checkered flag and the fans at the Yates County Oval was in for a treat. "I felt my car was fast when I was by myself, but when you get into traffic then that changes your whole deal." said driver who not only has two wins on the URC trail this year but also four career wins with ESS. "As the laps went by I knew I was slowing down to make the passes and I started to hear an engine roaring behind me. I knew it wasn't a car I just passed so I figured that purple car (Woodring's #19) was right there."

Suprick proved a prophet as Woodring indeed closed the gap and the crowd came to their feet just three laps from the end when the two raced side by side for the lead. "When I saw him, I knew I better step up the pace. But, you also had to find the right line to pass and hope you don't get passed as well." said Suprick.

Woodring wanted to bring the Bully Hill trophy back to the ESS stable and made this a thrilling finish. "My car was just a notch off of George in the open but I know I could close in with the traffic." said Woodring who currently leads the ESS points.=20 "I was hoping that someone would make George just slip one little bit and it would give me a chance to go by. I had a couple of good runs on him but I just didn't quite have enough to make the pass."

In the final three laps, Suprick took one groove to pass lapped cars while Woodring took another to pass both. It was a spectacular "cat and mouse" game at over 100 mph on the dirt oval in Dundee! The last turn of the last lap Woodring made one last ditch effort on the top but Suprick mission for the weekend was achieved. =20

"I have to thank all the sponsors, John (Deuel, the car owner) and all of the crew or else there wouldn't be a #87 here in victory lane." said Suprick who celebrated with a victory lane dance that climaxed with the likeable driver saluting the crowd on top of his wing. "I also have to thank Black Rock for putting on such a big event for us, it's a big gamble to pay this much money. Thank you to the fans for supporting and we would love to come back here for a third annual Bully Hill race and maybe make it two in a row.

Woodring took a well earned second and collected $3000, Canadian ESS star Rick Wilson started in 12th and came through to take third ahead of Connecticut native Scott Holcomb and last years ESS rookie of the year Kris Dow who had a great weekend aboard her family owned #80. Rounding out the top ten was all ESS competitors: Lance Yonge came back from a wild flip the night earlier to start the Nationals in 20th spot, at the finish the former Black Rock DIRT mod champion was sixth for the night's hard charger. Kris Dow's brother Steve took seventh to make for a solid night by the entire Dow family. Tom Taber took eighth over Bubby Kerrick, the last car on the lead lap, and Bob Podolak.

The only yellow flag period was on lap six when Howard Singer's tailtank started to come off, the cuation lights were turned on for safety. On the restart, Rich Wood did a couple of show rolls to bring out the first of two red flags. The second was on lap 16 when Mike Lauterborn lost power and as he was coming off the track, Dan Kaszubinski made contact tipping over his #20. It was a bad blow for the four-time ESS winner as he was running in fourth at the time.

Taking heat wins earlier in the night were KARS star Dale Hammaker, Rick Wilson, Lauterborn, Yonge, Kaszubinski and Doug Emery. Singer won the 15 lap B-Main.

BULLY HILL NOTES - DAY 2 - A total of 35 sprinters made the return in hopes for one of the 24 starting spots...Doug Emery was the only new entry as he finished his car Saturday at six in the morning after a frame change caused by an accident last week.=20 Doug missed coming through the B-Main by three spots...Ray Preston had engine troubles with his #22 and Emery loaned his mount for Preston to take the green...The feature field was made up of 15 cars from ESS, 5 from ELS, 2 from KARS, Kyle Drum from Freedom Raceway and Mike Lauterborn...Suprick earned over $6300 on the weekend...Lin Hough and his entire staff made officials from ESS, ELS and KARS welcomed all weekend and deserve all the credit for a first class show. With help from SP Wilson and Lakes Gas as well, it was a successful event...Bully Hill Nationals III is already in the works!!

<pre> RESULTS: Heat 1 - Dale Hammaker, Scott Holcomb, Rich Wood, Randy Years, Kris Dow. Heat 2 - Rick Wilson, Mike Woodring, Kevin Welsh, Rob Dietrick, Justin Barger. Heat 3 - Mike Lauterborn, Steve Dow, George Suprick, Bob Podolak, J.R. Berry. Heat 4 - Lance Yonge, Tim Zimbardi, Tom Taber, "Crash" Nash, Kyle Drum. Heat 5 - Dan Kaszubinski, Howard Singer, Brian Dumigan, Bill Bailey, Dick Spadaro. Heat 6 - Doug Emery, Bill Coffey, Bubby Kerrick, Gary Troutman, Ray Preston. B-Main - Howard Singer, John Lieto, Randy Years, Mike Lauterborn, Dale Hammaker. Did not Qualify - Mike Miller, Justin Barger, J.R. Berry, Tim Zimbardi, "Crash" Nash, Dick Spadaro, Brian Grisel, Gary Troutman, Dave Wickham, Doug Emery. BULLY HILL NATIONALS - GEORGE SUPRICK, Woodring, R. Wilson, Holcomb, K. Dow, Yonge, S. Dow, Taber, Kerrick, Podolak, Drum, Bailey, Dumigan, Dietrick, Lieto, Years, Hammaker, Welsh, Coffey, Rick Hart, Kaszubinski, Lauterborn, Wood, Singer, Preston.

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Series Sprint
Drivers Mike Miller , Justin Barger , Bill Coffey