SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Not only was there fireworks in the air, but on the fast Â½ mile oval known as Can-Am Motorsports Park Saturday night for the Empire Super Sprints Tour 2004 event. Joyceville, Ontario's Rick Wilson came from his 22nd place ...
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Not only was there fireworks in the air, but on the fast ½ mile oval known as Can-Am Motorsports Park Saturday night for the Empire Super Sprints Tour 2004 event. Joyceville, Ontario's Rick Wilson came from his 22nd place starting spot to pass John Karklin Jr. on the very last lap to pick up the win which made for a sweep at Billy and Charlie Caprara's promoted oval this season
The second of two events at the Lafargeville, N.Y. oval to help celebrate the 4th of July Weekend not only saw a pit full of 32 sprint cars but the largest crowd of the season that packed the grandstands. Sprint fans were awed at the fast paced action on the tacky oval that produced times in the mid-17 second range.
Wilson has been dominating many events all over the Northeast and Canada for 2004 which has included two wins with ESS so far. But, the 22nd starting spot added another obstacle. A long-time ESS rule/penalty came into effect which states that if an ESS member runs a non-ESS event on the same night within a 200 mile radius that he/she will have to start scratch in the next two events. Wilson opted to attend another event last Saturday while ESS was at Merrittville forcing the penalty to take action.
What the full house saw was a charge to the front that will be remembered for a long-time to come.
Karklin Jr. took advantage from his outside pole starting spot to grab the lead at the drop of Matt Burdick's green flag with his QA1 Motorsports sponsored #69K. The winner at Granby led the first four laps until ESS rookie Kyle Moffit blasted by on the outside to lead the next six laps. "I thought I was running well until here is Kyle just passing me like I'm standing still, I just couldn't believe it" said a surprised Karklin. "But, he showed me the lane as I wasn't running high enough on the track. I moved up and it helped me get him back."
Karklin did get Moffit back on lap 11 to make for a fun race to watch up front. While the battle was going on for the lead, Wilson was making his charge without the help of any caution flags. The FX Caprara #42W was up to sixth when the first yellow did finally come on lap 19. This closed up the field and Wilson now had his challengers within ear shot.
On lap 20 he went from sixth to fourth before the second and final yellow on lap 20. The next restart got the fans on their feet as a pass from fourth to second was made with Karklin the last target for the Can-Am sweep. The final four laps were cat and mouse but it appeared as Karklin did have enough to hold Wilson off until the very last lap.
"I just went in turn one as hard as I could up top and it just looked like he slowed down a bit going in. I just shot across the track and got under him coming off turn two." Noted Wilson in setting up for what would be the winning move. "Once I did that I knew he couldn't go into turn three as hard as I could and I just went in deeper and slid up in front. I just had to come off strong and came home for the win."
The tackier oval track played into Wilson's style as well. "The track was a lot different tonight than the first show. You really could run the sprinters hard and I like to run them that way." said the driver who picked up ESS career win #6. "It's just good to win on front of your fans once again, that's three wins now up at the tracks I used to run at with the modified."
While Karklin was somewhat upset at the results, that slowing going into one was found afterwards. "My wing tree broke coming down on the last lap. When I went into one the car started vibrating like you wouldn't believe." Karklin mentioned in disbelief. "Once that happened there was nothing I could do, Ricky just blew by me and he earned this one. It's frustrating but we will take second as the year just hasn't gone smooth so far."
Behind Wilson and Karklin in the A-Main that finished under checkered and yellow conditions were Bubby Kerrick, Dan Kaszubinski, who ran the entire 25 lap A-Main on seven cylinders and Jeff VanDusen in fifth. The next five were Moffit for his best finish ever, Tim Kelly, Justin Barger, who came from 23rd place starting spot, Don Sharp Jr., and Doug Emery.
The two cautions in the event were for Lance Yonge who looped around in turn three while in the top ten and for Bobby Podolak who blew his engine and he stopped in turn four.
The Engler Machine and Tool heat events were won by Moffit, Kerrick and Billy Krull. The H.E. Heath Electrical/Walt's Hobby Dash was won by Kerrick with Sharp Jr. taking the KSE Racing Products B-Main.
ESS NOTES: Of the 32 sprinters on hand, two were new to ESS competition. United Racing Club regular Jimmy Stitzel decided to head north and he made the A-Main. The second new sprinter was DIRT big and small block competitor Frankie Caprara who also happens to be the son of track co-owner Charlie Caprara. Power steering troubles hindered his first ever start in a new Maxim built, Gaerte powered mount--The engine woes continue for Alain Bergeron as he hurt his second in two weeks making him a DNQ--Engine troubles also saw Justin Barger to change sprinters and use his one race provisional to start the A-Main--Of the top five finishers, the first two were J&J Chassis while Maxim filled out the rest of the top five--With the success of ESS' visits to Can-Am on both the Memorial Day and July 4th weekends fans can look for this to be tradition for years to come as the Caprara family were very happy with car and fan turnouts.
Heat 1 -- Kyle Moffit, Dan Kaszubinski, Phil Mott, John Karklin Jr., Lance Yonge, Jeff Cook.
Heat 2 -- Bubby Kerrick, Randy Years, Rick Wilson, Doug Emery, Bob Podolak, Mike Stelter.
Heat 3 -- Billy Krull, Tim Kelly, Jeff VanDusen, Brad Knab, Kyle Wilson, Luke Eriksen.
H.E. Heath Electrical/Walt's Hobby Dash -- Kerrick.
B-Main -- Don Sharp Jr., Keith Dempster, Frank Senzio, Jimmy Stitzel.
Provisional Starter -- Justin Barger.
Did Not Qualify -- Nick Fratto, Frank Caprara, Scott Davis, Alain Bergeron, Brian Dumigan, Brian Glasser, Dick Spadaro, Jim Senzio, Russ Bennett.
A-MAIN -- RICK WILSON, Karklin Jr., Kerrick, Kaszubinski, VanDusen, Moffit, Kelly, Barger, Sharp Jr., Emery, K. Wilson, Knab, Dempster, F. Senzio, Mott, Yonge, Cook, Stelter, Years, Podolak, Stitzel, Krull, Eriksen.
Gater News Lap Leaders -- Karklin 1-5, Moffit 6-11, Karklin 12-24, R. Wilson 25.
Lane's Yamaha Hard Charger -- R. Wilson (21 pos.) $50.
Brodix Cylinder Heads Halfway -- Karklin $50.