ESS: Can-Am results 2006-07-01

Justin Barger Makes a Clean Sweep at Can-Am; Collects Second Empire Super Sprint Victory of 2006. LaFARGEVILLE, N.Y. -- While Montrose, N.Y.'s Justin Barger sits atop the Empire Super Sprint (ESS) point standings in 2006, a statement was ...

Justin Barger Makes a Clean Sweep at Can-Am; Collects Second Empire Super Sprint Victory of 2006.

LaFARGEVILLE, N.Y. -- While Montrose, N.Y.'s Justin Barger sits atop the Empire Super Sprint (ESS) point standings in 2006, a statement was made Saturday night at the Can-Am Motorsports Park that the 22 year old is ready to make a full assault on the championship. Making a clean sweep of the evening by winning his heat, dash and the 25 lap A-Main to collect his second victory of the 2006 season.

After taking a year off to pursue USAC racing in both sprints and silver crown cars, the young star has made his return to the ESS wars and is making headlines. His Cortlandt Auto Body sponsored Maxim with a Rider built engine under the hood swept past leader Nick Fratto on a lap 19 restart to take Matt Burdick's checkered flag in a fast, tacky half-mile.

"The track was fast tonight, I had a good car and felt comfortable. I didn't lift off the throttle much during the whole night, it's fun to run on a track like this. You don't get a lot of nights like this so we will take it." said the second generation driver who's father Chris was a star big block driver at the Orange County Fair Speedway.

While it looked like his #32 was the fastest all night, it took him many laps to catch the leaders and eventually set himself up for the win. "I took my time a bit, with the track so fast you had to pick your spots. I had a few cars get in the line I was running so it took a few laps to make a pass." noted Barger. "But, I think the restarts helped us the most. I had a car that took off quick and I was able to make a bunch of passes from restarts."

Many-time Can-Am victor Dan Kaszubinski started on the pole and led the first five laps. The driver of the Fratto Motorsports #20 looked to be a pre-race favorite but his teammate Nick Fratto had other ideas by making the pass for the lead in hopes of his second career ESS victory. Fratto's pace was torrid as he kept all challengers at bay.

Barger came from his eighth place starting spot to fifth just one lap shy of the halfway mark. In fourth on a lap 14 caution, the restart proved critical as he got by both Kaszubinski and Jessica Zemken to take second and the chase to catch Fratto was on.

A final caution on lap 19 bunched the field one last time and the restart was again key for Barger as he used his momentum to take over the lead when lap 20 was in the books. The final five tours went by without any troubles for Barger for win #2 on the Tour and his fifth overall.

Kaszubinski rebounded with a wild charge late to take second and keep his rival in sights in the overall point standings, Zemken backed up her win in May with a strong third place finish ahead of Chuck Hebing and Fratto who lost some spots in the final laps. Rounding out the top ten were Jason Barney, Doug Emery, former Can-Am star Rick Wilson, Jeff VanDusen, who took a provisional to start the A-Main and earned the Lane's Yamaha hard charger bonus after starting in 25th, Alain Bergeron was tenth.

One red and four cautions slowed the blistering pace on the big half-mile. On lap two Cory Sparks and Jonathan Eriksen performed a wild double flip that also involved Bergeron, Don Sharp Jr. and Blake Breen. Both Sparks and Eriksen were unharmed but done for the night, the rest restarted the A-Main. Sharp Jr. stopped on lap four, Steve Poirier spun on lap nine, Luke Eriksen had front end damage to bring out the yellow lights on lap 14 with Jeff Cook's turn four wall encounter bringing out the last caution on lap 19.

Taking the $100 to win Walt's Hobby/Car Mate Trailers heat events were Barger, Emery, Billy White and Bergeron. The Rt. 37 Building Supply/Walt's Hobby Dash was won by Barger with the KSE Racing Products B-Main copped by Luke Eriksen.

ESS/CAN-AM NOTES -- A stout field of 36 sprints kicked off the holiday weekend--It was the first appearance of 2006 for Jonathan Eriksen but unfortunately his flip in the A-Main made for tough results--The fast track proved tough for many with Lance Yonge, Doug and Matt Norrie, Bobby Podolak and Rick Wilson notable DNQ's--The winged wonders of the Empire Super Sprints will make one more visit to Can-Am with a special Thursday night event on July 27th bringing back the popular "Shootout".

Heat 1 - Justin Barger, Kyle Moffit, Cory Sparks, Blake Breen, Russ Bennett

Heat 2 - Doug Emery, Jessica Zemken, John Karklin Jr., Rick Wilson, Tommy Wickham

Heat 3 - Billy White, Nick Fratto, Mike Stelter, Jeff Cook, Steve Poirier

Heat 4 - Alain Bergeron, Chuck Hebing, Jason Barney, Dan Kaszubinski, Bubby Kerrick

Rt. 37 Building Supply/Walt's Hobby Dash - Justin Barger

B-Main - Luke Eriksen, Dave Wickham, Jonathan Eriksen, Ray Preston.

Provisional Starters - Jeff VanDusen, Don Sharp Jr.

Did Not Qualify - Lance Yonge, Randy Years, Justin Harris, Scott Davis, Bobby Podolak, Matt Norrie, April Wilson, Kyle Wilson, George Ely, Doug Norrie.

A-MAIN - JUSTIN BARGER, Dan Kaszubinski, Jessica Zemken, Chuck Hebing, Nick Fratto, Jason Barney, Doug Emery, Rick Wilson, Jeff VanDusen, Alain Bergeron, Tommy Wickham, Don Sharp Jr., Steve Poirier, Billy White, Blake Breen, Bubby Kerrick, Kyle Moffit, Russ Bennett, Mike Stelter, Jeff Cook, Luke Eriksen, John Karklin Jr., Dave Wickham, Ray Preston, Cory Sparks, Jonathan Eriksen.


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Series Sprint
Drivers Nick Fratt , Justin Barger