ESS: Bully Hill: Sweet 16's race report

Chris Coyle, Dave McGough and Erin Crocker kick off Bully Hill weekend with Sweet 16 victories. DUNDEE, N.Y. - With a record field of 68 sprint cars on hand, the fourth annual Bully Hill Vineyards Fall Sprint Nationals presented by S.P.

Chris Coyle, Dave McGough and Erin Crocker kick off Bully Hill weekend with Sweet 16 victories.

DUNDEE, N.Y. - With a record field of 68 sprint cars on hand, the fourth annual Bully Hill Vineyards Fall Sprint Nationals presented by S.P. Wilson/Lakes Gas got off to a successful start at the Black Rock Speedway on Friday night. United Racing Club regulars Chris Coyle and Dave McGough along with Empire Super Sprint female sensation Erin Crocker opened the weekend by taking the three Sweet 16 feature events.

All three drivers had similar stories to tell as they each led their 16 lap, $1000 to win events from the drop of the green flag to the checkered. The feature wins for all three drivers was their first at the 4/10ths mile oval located in Dundee, N.Y.

The start of the first 16 was key for Delaware native Chris Coyle as he took the Bill Turpin/Fred Kennedy owned #56 from it's third place start to the lead as lap one was scored. Coyle, who took second in URC points last season, had little troubles for the remainder of the event to collect the easy victory. "We needed this win, we just had a horrible time trial run which put us behind right at the start." said Coyle later in the night. "We changed a few things in the car and it was better. Hopefully we can keep going and maybe get up there and beat George (Suprick, winner of the past two Bully Hill Nationals)".

Coyle was in the middle of lapped traffic as he took the checkered flag ahead of fellow URC mates Trevor Lewis, Brian Seidel and Midge Miller. ESS teenager Kyle Drum took fifth followed by Greg Coverdale, Tim Hogue, Mike Lutz, Gary Gollub and second generation Canadian Kyle Wilson.

For McGough, it was the second try to start his feature event that helped seal his win. On the original start, pole starting Dave Ely got the jump to take the lead but Russ Bennett flipped in turn two before a lap was completed. On the second start it was McGough getting the jump and the lead going into turn one. The former URC champion proved to be the class of the field, not even a lap 12 caution hindered his momentum to grab the victory.

"That second restart definitely helped me in getting the win." said the Sassamansville, Pa. star. "I felt that if I could get the lead on the start that I had a good chance to get the win. The track is fast which makes everyone fast and tough to pass. I just didn't have to make any mistakes and get through the slower cars." For McGough, he followed the plan to a "T".

The finish saw the #669 under the checkers first followed by Ely and ESS veteran Lance Yonge. Current ESS point leader Mike Woodring was fourth with Steve Dow in fifth. The next five were Curt Michael, Brian Dumigan, fast-timer on the night Kevin Welsh, Mike Young and Danny Massey.

The lap 12 yellow was for URC regular Randy West who pulled his Ford powered sprinter to the infield with an oil fire under the hood. West climbed from his car unharmed.

URC regulars took the first two features so ESS put forth their best woman to make sure it wasn't a complete sweep and Massachusetts' Erin Crocker was up to the task. The 21 year old college senior out pulled Bill Coffey down for the start and just like the previous two "Sweet 16's" she was better than the 17 other competitors.

"Our time trial run wasn't the greatest either but the crew really got the car dialed in for the feature, the car was awesome!" said the driver of the Mike Woodring owned #16. "If we can have the car this good tomorrow we might have a chance in giving everyone a run. We'll just hope for the best."

Crocker built up a big lead in the non-stop event to take her fourth win of the season over Coffey, Jeff VanDusen, defending Bully Hill champion George Suprick and ageless veteran Kramer Williamson. Sixth through tenth were John Karklin Jr., Doug Emery, Rick Wilson, Quebec's Alain Bergeron and Rob Dietrick.

A special eight lap Bully Hill dash was run between the eight drivers that won qualifiers during the summer. George Suprick led from start to finish to collect the $300 top prize. He beat Rick Wilson and Mike Woodring to the stripe.

Taking the night's heat events were Coyle, Massey, Rick Wilson and Bill Bailey. The two "Last Chance" Qualifiers were won by Gollub and Ray Preston. Welsh timed the fastest to open the fourth annual event, Lutz, Ryan Coniam, Emery and Suprick rounded out the top five fastest.

BULLY HILL DAY 1 NOTES - The 68 car field saw drivers from nine states and two Canadian provinces....After all the events held on day one, Brian Seidel and Curt Michael were tied for points earned with Mike Lutz right behind in third--.A wild triple flip in the second heat Dan Kaszubinski, Chris Shuttleworth and Scott Pursell all going over in turn three. All drivers were fine but for Pursell and Shuttleworth their night was done. Kaszubinski picked up a ride in the Dick Spadaro #29 and ran his feature--.Don Sharp Jr. blew and engine in warm-ups...Jutsin Barger was DQ'ed after his time trial for using adjustable shocks...John Smith made heavy contact with the inside wall in warm-ups but he got his car repaired to run the rest of the evening.

-ess-

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Erin Crocker , Bill Coffey
Teams Williams