Rick Wilson Doubles up With Empire Super Sprints/Valvoline Cup A-Main Victory at Can-Am Motorsports Park. LaFARGEVILLE, N.Y. -- What better way to back up one of your most exciting sprint car feature event wins? Do it again a mere 24...
Rick Wilson Doubles up With Empire Super Sprints/Valvoline Cup A-Main Victory at Can-Am Motorsports Park.
LaFARGEVILLE, N.Y. -- What better way to back up one of your most exciting sprint car feature event wins? Do it again a mere 24 hours later. Joyceville, Ontario's Rick Wilson did just that with a lap 21 restart pass on Dan Kaszubinski to claim the Valvoline Cup backed 25 lap A-Main for the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) Saturday night at Caprara's Can-Am Motorsports Park.
A celebration of 360 spins after his triumph in front of his hometown fans at the Brockville Ontario Speedway was encored by even more exciting donuts in front of the big crowd at Can-Am, the half-mile oval where Wilson has seen so much success for over two decades. Not only did the victory produce $1775 in cash and well over $2300 in prizes total, it also earned him a guaranteed starting berth in the Beam Mack/Western Snow Plow All-Star Dash held during the Bully Hill Nationals at the Black Rock Speedway.
While Wilson's win shouldn't be a surprise to most of the faithful on hand, beating Kaszubinski after starting on 15th place was indeed a feat to recognize as the Syracuse, N.Y. ESS star has won four of the last six events held at Can-Am. Using a brave run on the outside when Matt Burdick dropped the green flag for a restart on lap 21 was the winning move and despite an overheating engine it was two wins in two nights and ESS career win number five.
"I'm just speechless!! There are just no words to describe the feeling I have right now. To win last night at Brockville and now here at Can-Am with ESS is just amazing. To pass Lance (Yonge) and Dan (Kaszubinski) you are passing the best and that makes it that much more special." Said the well-liked north country star. "I just have to thank so many people, family, sponsors, fans, everyone. I've been so fast so many times with a sprinter up here by my hometown but could never get a win. Now I got two in two nights."
Wilson's charge was headline making on a slick Can-Am oval. Starting 15th was a result of his handicap from the win the night prior, the veteran made a quick charge to the front as he was fifth on lap nine, fourth on lap 11, third on lap 15 and then runner-up on lap 17 chasing the Autotech of Syracuse sponsored #20 of Kaszubinski. A final yellow on lap 21 saw Wilson on the back bumper of his quest and when the green lights shined he went to the top of the track and swept around Kaszubinski's mount to lead and hopefully for the victory.
But, while Wilson did open up an advantage, an overheating engine that was showing smoke was the concern. "It was up to 260. I didn't know how many laps it would last." Wilson commented on those final three laps. "But, just like last night where I was either going to crash or win, this engine was either going to blow or take me to victory lane. There was no way I was pulling off and it did last, we got lucky 'cause I think it just quit after I did the 360's. Hell, who cares!! I'm just so glad to get these wins!"
Kaszubinski took over the lead on lap seven from 2003 ESS rookie of the year Nick Fratto and looked to be on his way to a very familiar spot--Can-Am's victory lane. Even a few cautions didn't slow his pace until the final one just three laps from the end. "I just got beat by one fast sprint car." Simply said by Kaszubinski "You have to give Ricky credit, he came from the back and got a good run on me on that last restart. Just like last night, he earned it, there's no doubt about it, he was the best tonight and we are happy to take home second."
Second was indeed the final tally with Doug Emery coming from his ninth place start to take home third in his Patterson Motorsports #33, Rick Wilson's teenage son Kyle placed fourth making it a memorable night. While Kyle is no stranger to top five placings at Can-Am to do it in a completely rebuilt sprint car from a hard wall encounter at Brockville made this noteworthy. "At first we were just going to sit this one out, but we had an old sprint car back in the barn so we decided to cut the front-end off that one and weld it to this one. I'll be darned, it worked" summed up Rick Wilson. Justin Barger rounded out the top ten.
The next five saw Fratto, who lead laps one through six after getting the jump on pole starting Kaszubinski, Lance Yonge coming from 17th, Mike Stelter, Tim Kelly in his VFL Energy #12 and Billy Krull who started in 19th after winning the B-Main.
Five cautions, all minor in nature for either spins or stopped sprinters, slowed the fast pace. The most significant of the yellows was on lap 16 for Brian Dumigan who stopped on the track while running a strong second, that drop out propelled Wilson to second.
Taking the Engler Machine and Tool heat events were John Karklin Jr., Kyle Wilson and Podolak. The Walt's Hobby Dash was won for the second night in a row by Alain Bergeron and Krull took the KSE Racing Products sponsored B-Main.
ESS NOTES: Another solid field of 28 sprinters in ESS' return to Can-Am after a one year hiatus--New to the field on this night was 29 time ESS feature event winner and two-time champion Gordy Button aboard the Dan Deming owned #80. Unfortunately a blown drive line during their heat ended the night early. Connecticut's Russ Bennett made the long tow after brake troubles in his hauler made him a no show at Brockville. Justin Harris and Scott Davis made their first start of 2004 as well--Harris along with Blase Regina Jr. and Alex Mosher made their first ever ESS A-Main starts--Only one sprinter found it's way on it's side and that was Randy Years warming up his car for his heat event start. Randy was a DNQ on the night--Not only did Wilson win the added dollars from the Valvoline Cup, every A-Main starter was rewarded with a case of oil--The stars and cars will return to Can-Am to help celebrate our Nation's Birthday on July 3rd.
Heat 1 -- John Karklin Jr., Brian Dumigan, Justin Barger, Brad Knab, Nick Fratto, Mike Stelter.
Heat 2 -- Kyle Wilson, Alain Bergeron Phil Mott, Doug Emery, Dan Kaszubinski, Lance Yonge.
Heat 3 -- Bob Podolak, Jeff VanDusen, Bubby Kerrick, Tim Kelly, Rick Wilson, Luke Eriksen.
Walt's Hobby Dash -- Bergeron.
B-Main -- Billy Krull, Justin Harris, Blase Regina Jr., Alex Mosher.
Added Starters -- Jeff Cook, Kyle Moffit.
Did Not Qualify -- Randy Years, Gordy Button, Scott Davis, Russ Bennett.
A-Main -- RICK WILSON, Kaszubinski, Emery, K. Wilson, Barger, Fratto, Yonge, Stelter, Kelly, Krull, Podolak, VanDusen, Kerrick, Mosher, Cook, Bergeron, Harris, Moffit, Regina Jr., Knab, Dumigan, Eriksen, Mott, Karklin Jr.
Gater News Lap Leaders -- Fratto 1-6, Kaszubinski 7-21, R. Wilson 22-25.
Lane's Yamaha Hard Charger -- Wilson (14 pos.) $50.
Brodix Cylinder Heads Halfway -- Kaszubinski $50.
Winner's Bonuses: Valvoline Cup $175, Car-Mate Trailers $50, ATL Fuel Cells $100, Pro Shocks $100, Penske Shocks $100, Hank's Performance Products $50, Total Seal $50, American Race Tires $50, Real Racing Wheels $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 -- Dumigan $100.
Leaf Racewear -- Emery $75.
Penske Shocks -- Krull $100.
Design 500 -- Harris $100, Barger $50.
Zemco Headers -- Barger $50.
Saldana Racing Products -- Kaszubinski $50.
KSE Racing Products -- Krull $50.
B&B Oval Track Products -- K. Wilson $50.
Joe Hunt Magnetos -- Mott $50.
Engler Machine and Tool -- Karklin Jr., K. Wilson, Podolak $25.
DMI -- Karklin Jr. $25.
HRP -- Kerrick $25.