Ray Preston Slips by Blake Breen With One Lap To Go To Win 41 Car Empire Super Sprint Season Opener at Cayuga County. WEEDSPORT, N.Y. -- It was a Mother's Day classic battle between the crafty veteran versus the young lion. On a beautiful ...
Ray Preston Slips by Blake Breen With One Lap To Go To Win 41 Car Empire Super Sprint Season Opener at Cayuga County.
WEEDSPORT, N.Y. -- It was a Mother's Day classic battle between the crafty veteran versus the young lion. On a beautiful sunny afternoon it was experience that paid off as 51 year old Ray Preston made a bold move to take the lead on 19 year old Blake Breen on lap 24 of the 25 lap A-Main to win the series opener for the Empire Super Sprints (ESS). The win at the Cayuga County Fair Speedway was worth $2,050 in cash and also snapped a winless drought that dated back to the summer of 2001.
The event mark the first time ESS has been to DIRT Motorsports Northeast's flagship speedway in three years and the fans were rewarded with a big 41 car field. The victory for the Romulus, N.Y. chauffeur, who was piloting a new F5 chassis, was his fourth career with the 360 sanctioning body.
"I was just trying to save my tires early and when I did decide to push it, the car really responded." noted the driver of the Fourwide Motorsports sponsored #22. "I could see that I was gaining on Blake, I felt I could catch him but passing him was a different story. Then he just slipped up just enough for me to get under. We bumped just a little but it was just racing and we both gave each other a pat on the back afterwards."
"This has been a long time coming. I have struggled for a few years but ever since Curt (Shuttleworth) came on to help me I have had the best stuff." said the happy victor. "I was doubting myself for a while but ever since I got some good cars under me I got my confidence back. Curt has been great, Jimmy D had the engine perfect, this is a great Mother's Day."
By the luck of the draw, Breen's Pearl Industries #8 started on the pole but before the first official lap was in the books, the red flag came out for a wild four car incident. Last years ESS rookie of the year Kyle Moffit got tangled up which also involved Frank Senzio, Doug Emery and defending United Racing Club champion Curt Michael, who rolled over his #99.
While it was a rough start, the entire 25 lap A-Main did go green to checkered from there it looked like the young teenager was primed for his first ever ESS full point show checkered flag. Breen's J&J sprinter opened up a good sized lead early over outside pole starting Don Sharp Jr. Preston started the event in fourth and quickly moved past Sharp into second on lap seven and the chase was on.
On a very slick Weedsport surface, the leading duo tried not to make any mistakes and also negotiate lapped traffic. As the closing stages approached Preston was indeed closing the gap. With the white flag getting ready to wave from Dave Farney, Preston made a solid inside pass on Breen to take the lead and on to the victory.
"I just slipped up a little bit, just went in a little too hard and Ray got me." said as a matter of fact by the young Breen. "It's tough, you think you had it won and just one slip is all it takes. Second is good, but we really wanted to be in victory lane."
Behind the front two were Russ Bennett with the Spectro Oils #65, R.C. Faigle with his best ESS finish in several years with Jeff VanDusen's Pro Spas #56D in for fifth. The next five was made up of Sharp Jr., last years ESS champ Lance Yonge, the legendary veteran Gary Gollub, Bob Podolak and Mike Stelter.
Taking the $25 to win Car-Mate Trailer heat events were Michael, Sharp Jr., Preston and Jeff VanDusen. The Walt's Hobby Dash was won by Chuck Hebing with the C-Main going to Alain Bergeron and the KSE Racing Products B-Main won by Jeff Cook.
ESS NOTES: As noted earlier, a big field of 41 sprints filled the pit area--Making their first ever ESS point show starts were the Breen brothers of Blake and Bobby, Gollub, Shawn Donath, Jim Livingston, Tom Krause and Rich Swarthout--A big welcome back to second generation driver Craig Lane after an eight year absence with ESS, 2002 ESS rookie of the year Billy White as a teammate to Bennett and a surprise late entry from eight-time ESS champion Mike Woodring aboard the Glenn Styres #0. All three drivers however missed the A-Main cut--.With added bonuses, the win was worth $2,830--The ESS Tour 2005 will again be in full swing this Friday with a return visit to the Albany-Saratoga Speedway.
A-Main -- Ray Preston, Blake Breen, Russ Bennett, R.C. Faigle, Jeff VanDusen, Don Sharp Jr., Lance Yonge, Gary Gollub, Bob Podolak, Mike Stelter, Bryan Howland, Tim Kelly, Chuck Hebing, John Karklin Jr., Jeff Cook, Doug Norrie, Shawn Donath, Mike VanDusen, Brian Dumigan, Curt Shuttleworth, Warren Alexson, Frank Senzio, Dan Kaszubinski, Kyle Moffit, Curt Michael, Doug Emery.
Did Not Qualify -- Nick Fratto, Alain Bergeron, Craig Lane, Billy White, Jim Livingston, Tom Krause, Luke Eriksen, George Ely, Randy Years, Jeremy Barnard, Matt Norrie, Rich Swarthout, Cory Sparks, Bobby Breen, and Mike Woodring.
Gater News Lap Leaders -- Breen 1-23, Preston 24-25.
Lane's Yamaha Hard Charger -- Kelly (14 pos.) $50.
Brodix Cylinder Heads Halfway -- Breen $50.
Winner's Bonuses: Geneva Curbing $50, ATL Fuel Cells $100, Butler Built Seats $100, Penske Shocks $100, Hank's Performance Products $50, Total Seal $50, Saldana Race Products $50, B&B Oval Track Products $50, Impact Racing $50, Racing Optics $30, Rod End Supply $30, Race Depot $25, Brake Man $25, Kreitz Oval Track Products $25, Red's Speed Shop $25, Behrent's Performance Warehouse $20, Bect Chemicals $20, MRE Productions $10.
Weld Racing Hard Luck -- Michael $100.
M&W Aluminum Products -- Bennett $75.
Leaf Racewear -- Bennett $75.
Design 500 -- M. VanDusen $100, J. VanDusen $50.
KSE Racing Products -- Cook $50.
Zemco Headers -- J. VanDusen $50.
Joe Hunt Magnetos -- Michael $50.
Fourwide Motorsports -- Faigle $25.
La Sharp -- Alexson $25.
DMI -- Emery $25.
HRP -- Hebing $25.
Car-Mate Trailers -- Michael, Sharp Jr., Preston, J. VanDusen $25.
Bect Chemicals -- Breen, Bennett, Faigle, J. VanDusen $20.
1. Ray Preston 127
2. Blake Breen 115
3. Russ Bennett 111
4. R.C. Faigle 106
5. Jeff VanDusen 102
6. Don Sharp Jr. 97
7. Lance Yonge 88
8. Gary Gollub 85
9. Bobby Podolak 79
10. Mike Stelter 74