ESS: Cornwall: Race report

Exciting ESS event at Cornwall finds Lance Yonge taking third win of 2002. CORNWALL, ONT. -- In front of over 5000 Canadian sprint fans, Penn Yan, N.Y.'s Lance Yonge held off a fast Rick Wilson and slipped through lapped traffic to capture the...

Exciting ESS event at Cornwall finds Lance Yonge taking third win of 2002.

CORNWALL, ONT. -- In front of over 5000 Canadian sprint fans, Penn Yan, N.Y.'s Lance Yonge held off a fast Rick Wilson and slipped through lapped traffic to capture the VSM Abrasives Canadian Invasion event Sunday night at the Cornwall Motor Speedway. The win was Yonge's third on the Empire Super Sprint Tour 2002 and marked his 22nd of his ESS career tying him with Tom Taber for fifth on the all-time win list.

The exciting 25 lap A-Main saw Yonge admit some luck early with his skill as a sprint car veteran taking over for the stretch drive. Even though he busted through the field from his ninth place starting spot to take fourth on the second lap, it was an outside sweeping pass by Rick Wilson on the seventh lap that opened up the door for a new lane on the fast Cornwall quarter-mile.

"I'll admit, when Ricky (Wilson) blasted by me on the outside he showed me a new lane." said Yonge on a change of strategy. "The car felt good on the bottom and I was going to stay there and see how far I could go. But, when he just blew by me I went to the top and the car worked great."

While Yonge and Wilson were the two drivers coming from the back of the pack, they both still had early leader Bubby Kerrick and second place Erin Crocker to get by before they could wage their war. A lap nine restart set up the battle for both stars. Yonge swept by Wilson on lap ten, then he disposed of Crocker on lap 11 and overtook Kerrick on the twelfth lap for the lead. Wilson got Crocker on lap 12 and then he passed Kerrick on lap 14 to make it a two car shootout to the finish.

With the final 16 laps going under the green lights, lapped traffic was to decide this event which kept all fans on the edge. "When I got to the slower cars I knew I had to stay as aggressive as I could." noted Yonge. "Rick is just so good here, he has so many laps at Cornwall I knew that he would be coming. I guess I was using some of my 410 experience where you run all out all the time. I think that really helped me in getting through the traffic."

Both stars were putting on breath taking moves, high and low on the high banked oval. But, Yonge never made the mistake that Wilson was hoping for. Even though the hometown star was giving it all, Yonge wasn't ready to let this one slip by. To end the battle, a flat right rear on the Wilson #42W on the last lap saw him take his sprinter to the pits for a heart breaking ending.

"Cornwall has been both good and bad for us. I like racing here a lot and with all these fans here to see us it really makes this win special." said the happy victor. "This was a just a fun race, to run high or low on the track, to battle lapped cars and to have a fast driver chasing you it really makes racing fun."

At the finish, it was the Lane's Yamaha #5 comfortably in the lead with Crocker backing up her win the night before at Frogtown with a fine second. Mike Stelter capped off a good night which included a heat and dash win with a strong third ahead of Kerrick and Ryan Coniam. Rounding out the top five was Dan Kaszubinski, who collected the Walt's Hobby hard charger bonus, Mike Woodring, Rob Dietrick, The ProSpas #56 of Jeff VanDusen and Bill Coffey.

Only two cautions slowed the 11 second laps that are showcased at Cornwall. On lap nine Ray Preston lost power and on the restart Billy White and Kyle Drum came together.

Taking the Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were Randy Years, Drum and Stelter with Stelter also taking home the dollars in the Engine Research/Walt's Hobby Dash.

ESS NOTES: A total of 23 sprinters in the pits for the event that was rained out on June 23rd--A scary scene during warm-ups when Ryan Coniam bailed out of his sprinter on the front stretch with an alcohol fire in the cockpit. The fire was put out quickly with Coniam slightly burned. The backup car was put to use and his fifth place finish marked three top fives on the weekend--.Mike Lutz only did one lap in the feature because of engine woes, he was to start third in the 25 lap event--.Special thanks to Lutz for donating a set on 1 Block, set-up blocks to an ESS driver. Daniel Lampron was the lucky recipient--.Next week the ESS Tour 2002 will make a visit to the high banks of the Fulton Speedway. Fans can expect over 35 sprinters to put on a great show on the wide, high banked oval.

-ess-

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Erin Crocker , Bill Coffey