ESS: Canandaigua II: Race report

Rob Dietrick dominates ESS night at Canandaigua. CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. -- One driver lead all the laps, plain and simple. Farmington, N.Y.'s Rob Dietrick lead his heat, dash and the 20 lap Empire Super Sprints Tour 2002 A-Main from start to finish...

Rob Dietrick dominates ESS night at Canandaigua.

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. -- One driver lead all the laps, plain and simple. Farmington, N.Y.'s Rob Dietrick lead his heat, dash and the 20 lap Empire Super Sprints Tour 2002 A-Main from start to finish to dominate a big field of sprinters Saturday night at the Canandaigua Speedway. The win for the driver of The Trailer Center sponsored Maxim came in front of many friends and family as the track at the Ontario County Fairgrounds is a mere few miles from Dietrick's home.

"This win is so important to me--to do it at your home track with so many people here to see you. It just couldn't get any better than this." said a driver that was all smiles long after the victory. "I can remember scraping mud off of Brian Miller's sportsman car in the mid-80's right at this track and now to win an ESS event is pretty special."

To win an ESS event is an understatement, from the drop of the green flag for his eight lap qualifying heat you can notice that Dietrick was on a mission. By the luck of the blind draw, his familiar blue #10 started the 20 lap feature event from the pole and many on hand among the SRO crowd placed their odds in favor of the 1998 ESS rookie of the year.

Getting the advantage over his front row mate, New Hampshire's Don Sharp Jr., at the drop of Dave Farney's green flag all there was to do is to see if Dietrick would lose the event instead of winning it. "I knew the car was good up top but with only one yellow in the race, I was definitely worried about the lap cars." noted Dietrick. "You try to run as hard as you can but you just don't know who's right behind you and where they are running. When I came up to a car running up high I went low and the car just locked down I knew I should be alright after that. I knew I had a car that could go top and bottom."

The lone caution was on lap five (for a flat tire on Tim Kelly's sprinter) and the slower cars on a tricky and slick Canandaigua oval made for some "nail biting" times with the front runners which pleased the crowd. Dietrick's sizeable lead never came into question by Sharp Jr. nor the fast running sprinters of Mike Woodring and Lance Yonge. The win was a lock, the question was to see if Sharp Jr. could hold off the top two point men in ESS.

In a wild final few laps, both Woodring and Yonge battled lapped cars and Sharp Jr., but the young driver of the #28NH held the hungry dogs behind for a fine runner-up finish. Woodring's third place finish netted him the Walt's Hobby Hard Charger bonus for the second night in a row with Yonge fourth and Woodring's teammate Erin Crocker taking fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Ray Preston, Mike Stelter, Bob Podolak, Alain Bergeron and Mike Young.

Taking the four Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were Dietrick, Crocker, Doug Emery and Sharp Jr. The Speedway Performance/Walt's Hobby Dash was won by Dietrick with the KSE Racing Products B-Main taken by Bill Coffey.

ESS NOTES: Another big field of sprinters to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend as 39 entered--The win for Dietrick with all added cash and bonuses topped the $2000 mark--.As of the Canandaigua event there has been seven different winners in 11 ESS full point shows--Third place in points, Ryan Coniam, had to use his provisional to get into the A-Main. His struggles continued with a 19th place finish...Both George Ely and Warren Alexson saw their sprinters flip on their sides in heat competition, Ely returned, Alexson was out for the night--With a tremendous response from the large crowd on hand, all in ESS will look forward to a return to the "Land of Legends" in 2003.

-ess-

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Series Sprint
Drivers Erin Crocker , Bill Coffey