John Karklin Jr. Rim Rides to ESS Victory at Devil's Bowl. @by Dean Reynolds WEST HAVEN, VT. - A change in his sprint car set-up and a change in track conditions fit right into the plans of Freehold, N.Y.'s John Karklin Jr. Taking to the...
John Karklin Jr. Rim Rides to ESS Victory at Devil's Bowl. @by Dean Reynolds
WEST HAVEN, VT. - A change in his sprint car set-up and a change in track conditions fit right into the plans of Freehold, N.Y.'s John Karklin Jr. Taking to the extreme outside of the Devil's Bowl Speedway on Sunday night, Karklin Jr.'s JCK Motorsports #69K lead wire to wire for his second Empire Super Sprint (ESS) Tour 2001 win of the season.
The win came at one of the closest tracks to Karklin's Eastern, N.Y. home and the big crowd gave him a loud cheer in victory lane. In nine ESS events held at Vermont's fastest half-mile oval since 1985, there now has been nine different winners.
"After the heats I completely changed everything in the car. I was just spinning the tires and I was worried that I would just got to the back at the start." said Karklin Jr. who is running the full ESS tour for the first time. "Then Lance (Yonge) and I were talking and he felt that the track was coming back and getting faster. He also thought the top might be the place to be as the modifieds would use up the bottom. When I got pushed off I went up against the wall and gassed it. It stuck and I said to myself 'I know where I'm running!'"
Starting on the outside pole, Karklin Jr.'s mount quickly took to the top and into the lead as he lead the field at a very quick pace. Even with three yellow flag periods during the 20 lap A- Main, Karklin Jr. still pulled ahead from the pack on each restart. As the laps clicked on, it appeared that a mistake was the only way he was going to lose this race.
Taber held on to second until a lap 16 restart when Dan Kaszubinski went from fourth to second when lap 17 was scored. Kaszubinski, a two time winner in 2001, did close some has he went all-out trying to catch the Shaw chassis sprint that was leading. But, the challenge was never really serious enough as Karklin Jr. was fast enough and he never made that mistake. The win moved him into a group that included Kaszubinski, Mike Woodring and George Ely as repeat winners on the 2001 season.
"This feels a lot better than the win at Black Rock. Bubby (Kerrick) had that race won and I just got a bit lucky." said the very happy winner. "This win is mine and it feels good!! I'm so glad I came to run with ESS, me and my family are just having a ball. I came in this year hoping to get one win...maybe. Now I got two, guess I better retire!!"
At the checkered flag it was Karklin Jr. over Kaszubinski. Rick Wilson came from his ninth place start to pass Taber on the last lap to collect third. Taber was fourth with R.C. Faigle's Miller Lite sponsored #21A rounding out the top five. The next five was made up of Yonge, Quebec's Alain Bergeron, Ray Preston, Bubby Kerrick and Frogtown winner Rob Dietrick.
The first caution came on lap three when Tim Zimbardi stopped on the front stretch. On lap five Don Sharp Jr. and Steve Dow made heavy contact in turn one. The lap 16 caution was for 16 year old Kyle Drum was he stopped on the track as a result from a blown engine.
Taking the Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were Faigle, Taber and Bergeron with the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum/Walt's Hobby Dash won by Wilson. The KSE Racing Products B-Main was copped by Randy Years.
ESS NOTES: A total of 29 cars made the trip to the Green Mountain state which is an ESS record...Making first starts on the ESS Tour 2001 were Rich Wood Jr., Carmon Carnibucci and Frank Senzio, son of Jim Senzio...Senzio, Floyd Billington and Curtis Bradshaw suffered heavy damage to their sprinters during heat race competition...Lance Yonge's second place finish in the dash to Wilson saw him take over the Walt's Hobby Dash Series points lead over Rob Dietrick. A $500 cash prize from Walt's Hobby awaits the point champ...The Walt's Hobby Hard Charger was Jeff VanDusen as he advanced 7 spots in the A-Main...A reminder, the Friday night rain out at Albany-Saratoga will be made up on August 17...Next Friday "America's Race Cars" of ESS will make it's second appearance at the Black Rock Speedway in an event run in conjunction with the Winston Cup Weekend at Watkin's Glen.