ESS: CanAm Park II: Race report

Dan Kaszubinski Smokes Entire ESS Field at Can-Am. LaFARGEVILLE, N.Y. -- On a lap eight restart, Dan Kaszubinski was running in a modest but strong sixth place position. When the green lights shined he took his Autotech of Syracuse sponsored ...

Dan Kaszubinski Smokes Entire ESS Field at Can-Am.

LaFARGEVILLE, N.Y. -- On a lap eight restart, Dan Kaszubinski was running in a modest but strong sixth place position. When the green lights shined he took his Autotech of Syracuse sponsored #20 to the top side of the fast Can-Am Motorsports Park and simply demonstrated a domination of the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) competition.

Moving into fourth on lap nine, second on lap 11 and then by leader Mike Stelter on lap 13. In the final seven laps, Kaszubinski opened up such a big lead that he was in a different zip code than all other ESS sprinters to post his second win of 2002, four victories in four years at Can-Am and ESS career win #17.

"On the restart I think John Karklin was ahead of me, I just waited to see where he would go in turn one and when he sort of moved down I went way high and the car just stuck. I was real surprised that the top was that good, I like it up there so I just drove the car hard and it worked." said the driver that still uses his ancient 1987 Bobby Allen chassis. "I went with a tight set up but a real hard right rear tire. I wanted to run the car as hard as I could but I was hoping that the left rear tire would hold out. During the red (on lap two) I noticed the left rear feathered on the outside. That worried me so I drove the car hard but as strait as I could. That style worked up top and the left rear cleaned up nicely, I just didn't realize that I was as far in the lead as they told me afterwards."

Stelter got the jump on Can-Am favorite Rick Wilson on the start of the 20 lap ESS Tour 2002 A-Main. Even with the red flag on lap two and the only yellow on lap eight, Stelter still held off Wilson on each restart in hopes to back up his win last week at McKean County. Little did anyone figure on the lap eight restart that Kaszubinski would soon be the driver everyone was watching as he took to the high side to pass his next five rivals and into the lead.

Wilson and Erin Crocker had a great side by side dual for third in the mid-stages of the race before Wilson started to pull out and focus on Stelter. As the closing laps clicked on Wilson closed the gap and with two laps to go he got by Stelter but had no chance to catch Kaszubinski.

"This ranks up there as one of the best wins. It's not been that good of a year for me; we are out of sync a bit as a team. We (Dan and fiance Deseree') are moving into a house so I've missed some races and the car preparation has been behind also." said Kaszubinski after coming off his career best second place in points. "But, to pass cars and win this way builds your confidence back up and gets you fired up again. I hope I can finish the year strong and we'll go for the whole ESS deal again next year."

At the finish it was Kaszubinski far ahead of Wilson with Stelter in third. Don Sharp Jr. made a late race pass on Crocker to take fourth place money, Crocker drove to a solid fifth place finish. Lance Yonge won the B-Main and then passed more cars than anyone to collect sixth place and the Walt's Hobby Hard Charger bonus, seventh was Rob Dietrick, who was as high as fourth on lap five, current ESS point leader Mike Woodring was eighth followed by John Karklin Jr. and Ryan Coniam.

The lap two red flag saw a frightening accident when Jeff VanDusen hoped a wheel of a disabled Brian Dumigan and he took a nasty series of flips. VanDusen was alright and two fans in the stands that were struck by flying parts were shaken but alright as well. On lap eight Bob Podolak's front winged came off and flew into his rock screen. He took his sprinter to the high side safely so the yellow lights could slow down the field.

Taking the Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were Podolak, Alain Bergeron and Crocker with the KSE Racing Products B-Main won by Yonge. The No. 1 Speed Equipment/Walt's Hobby Dash was won by Coniam.

ESS NOTES: A total of 26 sprints in the pits--Making his first ever ESS start was Kyle Wilson, teenage son of Rick Wilson. He ran a strong 20 lap feature to come from his B-Main starting spot to 14th at the finish--Engine builder Ron Buckner had a good night with three cars in the top seven spots: Stelter in third, Sharp Jr. in fourth and Dietrick in seventh--Hard work by the crews of John Karklin Jr., Russ Bennett, Ray Preston, Alain Bergeron and Tim Kelly as they all came back from heavy damage the night before at Brockville to run the Can-Am event--.Even with a NASCAR Busch North Series race being held down the road a big crowd came out to see the winged sprinters at Can-Am.


Heat 1- Bob Podolak, Ryan Coniam, Randy Years, Don Sharp Jr., Brian Dumigan, Mike Lutz.

Heat 2 -- Alain Bergeron, Rob Dietrick, Tim Kelly, Rick Wilson, Mike Stelter, Bill Coffey.

Heat 3 -- Erin Crocker, Jeff VanDusen, Dan Kaszubinski, John Karklin Jr., Mike Woodring, Ray Preston.

No. 1 Speed Equipment/Walt's Hobby Dash -- Coniam.

B-Main -- Lance Yonge, Bubby Kerrick, Kyle Wilson, Tom Taber. Added Starter -- Bill White.

Did Not Qualify -- Russ Bennett, Frank Senzio, Leo Yeager.

A-MAIN -- DAN KASZUBINSKI, R. Wilson, Stelter, Sharp Jr., Crocker, Yonge, Dietrick, Woodring, Karklin Jr., Coniam, Kelly, Coffey, Bergeron, K. Wilson, Preston, White, Years, Taber, Kerrick, Lutz, Podolak, VanDusen, Dumigan.

Lap Leaders -- Stelter 1-12, Kaszubinski 13-20.
Walt's Hobby Hard Charger -- Yonge (13 pos.) $50.
Vicomp Graphics Halfway -- Stelter $50.

Winner's Bonuses: Car-Mate Trailers $50, ATL Fuel Cells $200, Extreme Racewear $50, Hank's Performance Products $50, Total Seal $50, American Racer Tires $50, Bicknell Racing Products $35, Hazlitt Vineyards $30, Red's Speed Shop $25, Behrent's Performance Warehouse/Mechanix Wear $20, MRE Productions $10.

Other Bonuses:
Weld Racing Hard Luck -- VanDusen $75.
Extreme Racewear -- R. Wilson $50, Stelter $50, Sharp Jr. $50.
Penske Shocks -- Coniam $200.
Design 500 -- White $100, Sharp Jr. $50.
Zemco Headers -- Sharp Jr. $50.
KSE Racing Products -- Kerrick $50.
Joe Hunt Magnetos -- VanDusen $50.
Goodyear Tires -- R. Wilson $30, Stelter $20, Sharp Jr. $15.
Hazlitt Vineyards -- R. Wilson $20, Stelter $10, Coniam $10, VanDusen $10.
Bailey Racing Products -- Coffey $35.
Leaf Racewear -- Dumigan $25.
DMI -- Bennett $25.


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Series Sprint
Drivers Erin Crocker , Bill Coffey