First Career Empire Super Sprints A-Main Victory to Jeff Cook Comes at the Cornwall Motor Speedway on a Wild Night. CORNWALL, ONT. -- The magic of Ron Morin's beautiful quarter-mile oval known as the Cornwall Motor Speedway continued Sunday...
First Career Empire Super Sprints A-Main Victory to Jeff Cook Comes at the Cornwall Motor Speedway on a Wild Night.
CORNWALL, ONT. -- The magic of Ron Morin's beautiful quarter-mile oval known as the Cornwall Motor Speedway continued Sunday night for the second Spectro Oils Canadian Invasion event of the 2004 season. Joining a long list of first time Empire Super Sprints (ESS) feature event winners was Jeff Cook of Antwerp, N.Y. Getting the lead back after Justin Barger slid off the track on lap 16, the former asphalt pro stock star kept Rick Wilson at bay for his first ever ESS triumph.
It was a wild and unpredictable night in front of the standing room only crowd that kept all on edge. Lead changes, contact among sprinters and just the thrill of side by side racing made this night in Canada a memorable one. But--what continued was the mystique of Cornwall in producing first time ESS winners. Gary Drum, Dan DeCracker, Chris Shuttleworth, Alain Bergeron, George Ely and Bill Bailey either collected their only ESS career wins or their very first. Now Cook, son in law of ESS legendary chauffeur Adrian Flath, joins the group.
"This is something special; no way did I think I would get a win with ESS this early in the season. I'm just happy with top tens and to put the car on the trailer each night." said Cook who showed emotions in victory lane on his triumph. "I just didn't give up but when Justin passed me I just wanted to hang on and see where I could finish. Then, he just slid off the track, I couldn't believe it but this is one tough place and sometimes you need the luck."
While Cook's win will be something to talk about for a long time, contact with another ESS rookie Alex Mosher on a lap 14 restart also made this a night of questions. Mosher and Cook swapped the top spot a couple of times before the restart. Cook touched the back bumper, Mosher got sideways and then he had to make quick work through the infield to save his mount. He did, but the bid for the win was lost.
"That's the only thing that will take some away from the win. I don't want to win like that but there was nothing I could do. I got pinched a bit and I did hit him." Noted Cook on the lap 14 occurrence. "I know they (the Mosher camp) were upset at me but we were both going for the lead and the same spot on the track."
After Cook regained the lead, Barger was the next foe and his #32 was flying on the outside of the track. He made quick work of Cook as lap 16 was scored. But, before a quarter-mile could be completed, Barger's mount slid off turn four just missing the outside pit wall. He did return to the event but his bid for victory was lost also.
The final eight laps went non-stop with Cook now faced with the challenge of slower cars for the final few tours and a closing Wilson who was looking for his third ESS win of the season. It was Cook's low line and not making a mistake that was key for the victory. "I didn't know if I was going fast enough down low but I had to stay there because my power steering was going away. I couldn't run too hard or the car would slide up the track and push." Cook said on his line. "This is just a good car though (A Maxim Big Max), we got it from Mike Woodring after his last race and it really seems to work."
At the checkers it was Cook winning over Wilson, who earned the Lane's Yamaha hard charger bonus by advancing 12 spots, Lance Yonge's #17J took third ahead of the Troyer Speed and Custom sprinter of Bubby Kerrick and current ESS point leader Dan Kaszubinski. Rounding out the top ten were Mike Stelter, Bergeron, Billy Krull, Jeff VanDusen and Mosher who lead the A-Main on two different occurrences.
Two tries to get the 25 lap feature event started resulted in quick yellow flags. On the first it was Nick Fratto and Doug Emery getting together and then on try two it was Bergeron and Randy Years stopping on the track. Fratto spun on lap 14 while Barger's turn four troubles caused the lap 16 and final caution.
Taking the Engler Machine and Tool heat events were Bergeron, Kerrick and Cook with Cook making it a clean sweep on the evening by winning the Walt's Hobby Dash as well.
ESS NOTES: A total of 20 sprinters in the pits for the first of two visits to Cornwall--.New entries were Mike VanDusen, who was making a charge to the front before he ran out of tear-offs, and Alexandre Hade making his first ESS start ever as a team mate to Bergeron--Next weekend it's off to the province of Quebec for visits to Autodrome's Granby and Drummond for Spectro Oils Canadian Invasion events three and four--A return to Cornwall comes on July 18th as a part of a big four race weekend.
Heat 1 -- Alain Bergeron, Randy Years, Rick Wilson, Jeff VanDusen, Billy Krull, Tim Kelly.
Heat 2 -- Bubby Kerrick, Justin Barger, Don Sharp Jr., Alex Mosher, Mike Stelter, Doug Emery, Alexandre Hade.
Heat 3 -- Jeff Cook, Nick Fratto, John Karklin Jr., Lance Yonge, Dan Kaszubinski, Mike VanDusen, Kyle Wilson.
Walt's Hobby Dash -- Cook.
A-MAIN -- JEFF COOK, R. Wilson, Yonge, Kerrick, Kaszubinski, Stelter, Bergeron, Krull, J. VanDusen, Mosher, Emery, Karklin Jr., Kelly, Barger, Fratto, K. Wilson, M. VanDusen, Sharp Jr., Years, Hade.
Gater News Lap Leaders: Cook 1-5, Mosher 6, Cook 7-9, Mosher 10-14, Cook 15, Barger 16, Cook 17-25.
Lane's Yamaha Hard Charger -- Wilson (12 pos.) $50.
Brodix Cylinder Heads Halfway -- Mosher $50.
Winner's Bonuses: Car-Mate Trailers $50, ATL Fuel Cells $100, Pro Shocks $100, Penske Shocks $100, Hank's Performance Products $50, B&B Oval Track Products $50, Total Seal $50, Saldana Racing Products $50, The Brake Man $50, Real Racing Wheels $50, American Racer Tires $50, Racing Optics $30, Frankland Racing Products $25, The Race Depot $25, Red's Speed Shop $25, Behrent's Performance Warehouse $20, MRE Productions $10.
Weld Racing Hard Luck -- Sharp Jr. $100.
Leaf Racewear -- Yonge $75.
M & W Aluminum Products -- Yonge $75.
Penske Shocks -- Mosher $100.
Design 500 -- Fratto $100, Kaszubinski $50.
Zemco Headers -- Kaszubinski $50.
Joe Hunt Magnetos -- Sharp Jr. $50.
Engler Machine and Tool -- Bergeron, Kerrick, Cook $25.
DMI -- Years $25.
HRP -- Kelly $25.
Point Standings as of 06/13/04:
1. Dan Kaszubinski 509
2. Doug Emery 461
3. Lance Yonge 455
4. Jeff VanDusen 439
5. Rick Wilson 429
6. Justin Barger 388
7. Tim Kelly 385
8. Mike Stelter 383
9. Jeff Cook 367
10. Bubby Kerrick 365