George Ely Becomes Repeat Winner on ESS Tour 2001 With win at Cayuga County. WEEDSPORT, N.Y. - Mike Woodring and Dan Kaszubinski became the first two drivers to repeat victories on the Empire Super Sprint (ESS) Tour 2001. The next driver to...
George Ely Becomes Repeat Winner on ESS Tour 2001 With win at Cayuga County.
WEEDSPORT, N.Y. - Mike Woodring and Dan Kaszubinski became the first two drivers to repeat victories on the Empire Super Sprint (ESS) Tour 2001. The next driver to join them? How about 63 year old George Ely! Taking the lead on lap four, the veteran easily lead the final 16 laps to collect his second ever ESS victory which came this past Sunday at the Cayuga County Fair Speedway.
Ely lives just a mere few miles from the Weedsport oval where he started racing and winning in the mid-50's. Using an ancient, 20 something year old Oz-Car, Ely duplicated his win just one week earlier at the Cornwall Motor Speedway hooking up on an extremely slick surface to cover the field. Also, for the second night in a row, he made a clean sweep on the evening to win his heat, dash and feature.
"This is something!" exclaimed the Jordan, N.Y. driver. "The car was just real good. I have to thank Craig Keel for the set- up help, he gave us ideas on gear and shocks. He's the first person we called after we won, he really knows how to go on a slick track and he's really got this car dialed in. This is fun, I tell you, I kind of like beating all these young guys!"
Ely has been running a winged sprint car for a little over half a decade after wheeling a DIRT modified from the 50's to the mid 90's. But, it's been since this 2001 season where he was found the "Fountain of Youth" to become an ESS winner.
"I guess it's luck, I don't know. The car is just that good, it's so easy to drive." said the driver with now two career victories on the ESS circuit but admitted that he really doesn't know how many wins he has at Cayuga County. "This win is special, probably more than last week since this is probably my home track. I have a lot of friends and fans here tonight. I can remember coming here when this place was so much smaller, heck, they even had trees in the infield here back then."
Jeff VanDusen lead the first three laps from his pole starting spot with the ProSpas #56 Buckley built sprinter. Ely's Clark Rigging #90 started in fourth and coming down to score lap four he swept past VanDusen to the lead. In another headline making performance, it was a lead that he was not to give up to any foe.
Former ESS rookie of the year Rob Dietrick came from his sixth place start to shoot into second on lap seven and he began the chase on Ely. Dietrick has five career wins on the ESS circuit and was looking to be eighth different winner in 10 events with The Trailer Center #10.
"I was getting a run on George and started to close in some when that caution (on lap 13) came out." said Dietrick on his quest to catch the leader. "I lost the heat in my tires and really didn't have much for him after that. George was strong again, that's just incredible what he is doing. You really have to give him credit."
That lap 13 caution could have been the only bump in Ely's road but as Dave Farney waved the green flag, he pulled away. The lead over Dietrick built up slightly over the last few laps and when Ely took the checkered flag, the crowd let out a huge ovation.
Ely won over Dietrick with young Kyle Drum taking third over last years winner at Weedsport in Bobby Podolak. Coming from his 14th place starting spot to place fifth was Mike Woodring, that charge earned him the Walt's Hobby Hard Charger bonus for the second night in a row. Rounding out the top ten were Bill Coffey, in the Eastcoast Electric #13, VanDusen for his best finish of 2001, Mike Stelter, Dale Planck and Dan Kaszubinski.
Two cautions in the 20 lap A-Main, on lap three Lance Yonge, Steve Dow, R.C. Faigle, Ray Preston and Ryan Coniam piled up in turn one with only Preston returning to the action. On lap 13, Alain Bergeron lost power to built the drama for a seven lap shootout.
Taking the three Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were Ely, Dietrick and Drum. The Walt's Hobby Dash was won by Ely with Mike Bozzuto taking the C-Main and Preston winning the KSE Racing Products B-Main.
ESS NOTES: Another big field as 39 cars filled the pits...Doug Emery, Matt Gerber and Pete Green deserve the long haul awards as they competed in the URC event the night prior in Delaware. Only Emery cracked the A-Main starting lineup...Mike Bozzuto, Justin Barger and Gerber either landed on their wing or performed some aerial acts during qualifying...The victory for Ely was also a Black Rock Bonu$ qualifier for the Bully Hill Vineyards Sprint Nationals to be held on Sept. 8. This coming Friday will find a preview of the Bully Hill Nationals as "America's Race Cars" will be heading to Black Rock.
RESULTS: Heat 1 - George Ely, Mike Stelter, Bill Coffey, Jeff VanDusen, Dale Planck, Rick Wilson. Heat 2 - Rob Dietrick, Bob Podolak, Lance Yonge, Dan Kaszubinski, John Karklin Jr., Tim Zimbardi. Heat 3 - Kyle Drum, Brian Dumigan, Tom Taber, Alain Bergeron, Mike Woodring, Steve Dow. C-Main - Mike Bozzuto, Matt Gerber, Curtis Bradshaw, Warren Alexson. Walt's Hobby Dash - Ely. B-Main - Ray Preston, Ryan Coniam, Doug Emery, R.C. Faigle. Added Starter - Bubby Kerrick. Did Not Qualify - Bozzuto, Gerber, Bradshaw, Alexson, Pete Green, Sam Ross, Scott Holcomb, "Crash" Nash, Randy Years, Bill Wolf, Justin Barger, Jim Senzio, Dan Bennett, Mike Young, Phil Mott, Don Sharp Jr. A-MAIN - GEORGE ELY, Dietrick, Drum, Podolak, Woodring, Coffey, VanDusen, Stelter, Planck, Kaszubinski, Wilson, Emery, Preston, Karklin Jr., Kerrick, Bergeron, Taber, Yonge, Dumigan, Dow, Coniam, Faigle.
Lap Leaders - VanDusen 1-3, Ely 4-20. Walt's Hobby Hard Charger - Woodring (9 pos.) $50. Vicomp Graphics Halfway - Ely $50.
Winner's Bonuses: Car-Mate Trailers $50, ATL Fuel Cells $200, Pro Shocks $100, Extreme Racewear $100, Tire Comp. East $75, Hank's Performance Products $50, Duralite Wheels $50, Griffin Thermal Products $50, Bicknell Racing Products $35, Hazlitt Vineyards $40, Red's Speed Shop $25, Behrent's Performance Warehouse/Mechanix Wear $20.
Other Bonuses: Extreme Racewear - Dietrick $75, Drum $50, Faigle $25. Weld Racing Hard Luck - Gerber $75. Penske Shocks - Kaszubinski $200. Design 500 - Kerrick $100, Coffey $50. Joe Hunt Magnetos - Coniam $50. KSE Racing Products - Preston $50. Bailey Racing Products - Coffey $35. Hazlitt Vineyards - Dietrick $20, Drum $10. Total Seal - Kaszubinski $20. Thunder Mt. Wings - Drum $20. ^Z