CORNWALL, ONT. -- The tight and fast quarter-mile in Cornwall, Ontario once again produced a first time winner on the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) tour. Waverly, N.Y.'s Bill Bailey has been knocking on the door of victory lane and on Sunday night...
CORNWALL, ONT. -- The tight and fast quarter-mile in Cornwall, Ontario once again produced a first time winner on the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) tour. Waverly, N.Y.'s Bill Bailey has been knocking on the door of victory lane and on Sunday night he made a pass on Erin Crocker for the lead and his first ever win with the 360 sanctioning organization celebrating it's 20th anniversary.
The 25 lap VSM Abrasives Canadian Invasion event was called after 23 laps in the books. A combination of a caution called by ESS officials combined with rain falling and confusion in the scoring process it was deemed best to call the event after 23 laps in the books. For Bailey, it was the 23rd lap where he passed the high flying lady racer for the trip to the winners circle.
The stage was set when Crocker took her Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) sponsored J&J past race long leader Mike Stelter on the 19th lap. Bailey moved his B&B Motorsports Maxim from it's 11th place starting spot to third on lap 20, second on 21 and then the battle for the win coming down to score the 23rd lap.
Bailey and Crocker had to pass a lapped car going into turn three, Crocker high, Bailey low. Both swept by and in between turns three and four they touched which saw Crocker to half spin and go through the infield.
"It was just a racing deal. We had to get by the slower car going into three and after we got by I slid up some and she came down some." said Bailey on the wild pass. "We just ended up in the same space. I didn't want to make contact but after we both made the pass we just seemed to be in the same lane just after."
Right after the pass was made, caution was called for a spun Daniel Lampron and the race was made complete with Bailey making a quick trip to hold the checkered flag. "This just about makes up for Brockville (where he led most of the race until a bolt in the steering broke just four laps from the end), it feels good to win with ESS--this is special." dead-panned the soon to be 25 year old chauffeur. "We finally have good equipment to run with these guys. We have a new car and a real good motor, before we just struggled when we ran with ESS but now we can be competitive. You need that, to run here you have to bust your butt every lap in every race but I like that, it's fun and it makes you a better driver. We really feel welcomed this year, we feel that we are a part of ESS and hope that we can get another win or two."
For Crocker, it was a bitter sweet runner-up finish. "I don't know what happened, I went to the outside and passed the car and next thing I knew is that we touched." said the engineering graduate from RPI. "I did all I could to save the car, I have some bent parts so I guess we are lucky to finish.
The finish saw Bailey the winner over Crocker and Stelter who lead the first 18 laps with his Mike's Drive-In #36. Taking fourth was Don Sharp Jr. with current ESS point leader and three-time winner Mike Lutz rounding out the top five. Dan Kaszubinski was sixth followed by Bill Coffey, Bubby Kerrick, Rob Dietrick and Mike Woodring.
Only one other caution slowed the 11 second a lap pace and that came on the first lap when Jeff VanDusen looped out over the turn four bank. The teammate to Lutz still came back to finish in 13th.
Taking the Engler Machine and Tool heats were VanDusen, Stelter and Dietrick with the Terry Madigan Trucking/Walt's Hobby Dash taken by VanDusen.
ESS NOTES: A total of 23 sprinters made the Sunday nigh tow to Ron Morin's beautiful facility. As the norm at Cornwall the stands were packed with fans--Lutz now has a 48 point lead over Bailey in the chase for the 2003 ESS championship. Kaszubinski is third in points followed by John Karklin Jr. and Alain Bergeron--.The VSM Canadian Invasion points after two events has Don Sharp Jr. leading Bubby Kerrick--The Walt's Hobby Dash Series has VanDusen leading the way--.The 20th Anniversary Tour now travels to Little Valley on Friday the 13th for the final Bully Hill Vineyards dash qualifier.
Heat 1 -- Jeff VanDusen, Bubby Kerrick, Lance Yonge, Alain Bergeron, Bob Podolak, Kyle Wilson.
Heat 2 -- Mike Stelter, Erin Crocker, Randy Years, Don Sharp Jr., John Karklin Jr., Rick Wilson.
Heat 3 -- Rob Dietrick, Bill Bailey, Bill Coffey, Dan Kaszubinski, Mike Lutz, Mike Woodring.
Terry Madigan Trucking/Walt's Hobby Dash -- VanDusen.
A-MAIN -- BILL BAILEY, Crocker, Stelter, Sharp Jr., Lutz, Kaszubinski, Coffey, Kerrick, Dietrick, Woodring, Karklin Jr., Bergeron, VanDusen, R. Wilson, Yonge, Justin Barger, K. Wilson, Daniel Lampron, Years, Ray Preston, Podolak, Nick Fratto, George Ely.
Lap Leaders -- Stelter 1-18, Crocker 19-22, Bailey 23.
Walt's Hobby Hard Charger -- Bailey (11 pos.) $50.
Brodix Cylinder Heads Halfway -- Stelter $50.
Winner's Bonuses: Car-Mate Trailers $50, Sway-A-Way $100, ATL Fuel Cells $100, Pro Shocks $100, Saldana Racing Products $50, Hank's Performance Products $50, Real Racing Wheels $50, American Race Tires $50, Total Seal $50, Penske Shocks $200, Bicknell Racing Products $35, Hazlitt Vineyards $30, Red's Speed Shop $25, Behrent's Performance Warehouse/Mechanix Wear $20, MRE Productions $10.
Weld Racing Hard Luck -- Preston $75.
Leaf Racewear -- Stelter $75.
Zemco Headers -- Lutz $50.
Design 500 -- Yonge $100, Lutz $50.
Joe Hunt Magnetos -- Fratto $50.
Bailey Racing Products -- Sharp Jr. $35.
Hazlitt Vineyards -- Crocker $20, Stelter $10, VanDusen $10.
Engler Machine and Tool -- VanDusen, Stelter, Dietrick $25.
HRP -- VanDusen $25.
DMI -- Ely $25.