Bill Coffey defeats Drummondville demons with ESS victory: Ryan Coniam keeps VSM Abrasives Canadian Invasion Championship in Canada. DRUMMONDVILLE, QC -- On June 24, 2000, Bill Coffey took a vicious flip at Autodrome Drummond. The hard ride ...
Bill Coffey defeats Drummondville demons with ESS victory: Ryan Coniam keeps VSM Abrasives Canadian Invasion Championship in Canada.
DRUMMONDVILLE, QC -- On June 24, 2000, Bill Coffey took a vicious flip at Autodrome Drummond. The hard ride knocked the Caledonia, N.Y. star out of Empire Super Sprint action for more than a month and left him a bit tentative at this track ever since. This past Saturday night, Coffey got his redemption with a convincing win at the 1/3rd mile oval north of Montreal, Quebec.
The event marked the final VSM Abrasives Canadian Invasion point event and Burlington, Ontario's Ryan Coniam took the biggest chunk of the $5000 point fund to honor his own country. A note of irony is that Coniam's main sponsor is also VSM Abrasives, he held off Mike Woodring for his first ever Canadian point title.
"I now feel that I've beaten this place." said a frank and emotional Bill Coffey. "I have never felt comfortable here since the accident but tonight we as a team can put all that behind us. We won at Drummond."
Coffey's Lauterborn Electric #13 was ungodly fast on the top side of the speedway right at the drop of the green flag. Taking advantage of his pole starting spot, Coffey and his Maxim built sprinter beat John Karklin Jr. to the first turn. Quite honestly, that race was won right there.
Not even the lone caution on lap nine nor slower traffic slowed the determined driver's pace. While it looked easy in front of the huge crowd that filled the large main grandstand, it wasn't that easy from the drivers seat. "You never know if you're running hard when you are out front. I just kept on driving as hard as I could right to the end." said the driver that collected his second win of the 2002 season. "While I did feel that I was running strong, the motor started to sputter about lap 15. I don't know what was wrong but it got us to the finish."
While Coffey has always been a consistent runner on the ESS Tour, wins have notched him up the ladder in recognition. "We run good for points but wins is what gets you noticed and now we have two." noted Coffey. "I just have to thank all the crew, my dad, everyone for just giving me the best car. By winning I now think I'm giving them their reward in return."
Coffey never was seriously challenged at the checkered flag. Erin Crocker took second at the start and she pretty much stayed unchallenged at that spot as well. Crocker brought her J&J sprinter home in second to join Coffey on the victory podium. Coniam wanted a spot on that podium as well and brought home his #6 in third to clinch the VSM title. Alain Bergeron gave his fellow French speaking fans something to cheer about with a fine fourth place finish as Woodring took fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Billy White, with the International Paper Products #66W, Karklin Jr., June Drummondville winner Dan Kaszubinski, Rob Dietrick and Doug Emery.
The only caution which came on lap nine was for Justin Barger who slid off turn two, his sprinter did return to action.
Taking the Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were Coniam, Woodring and Dietrick while veteran Bobby Podolak made his first victory lane visit of 2002 by winning the Winters Performance Products /Walt's Hobby Dash.
ESS NOTES: A total of 23 sprinters took in the event in front of one of the largest crowds in Drummond history--Engine changes were the order of the day and night, after blowing his engine the night before at Granby, Mike Lutz barrowed a motor from the VanDusen team. Tough luck followed when the U-joint came undone while running fourth. Mike Stelter had a spud on the oil pump break forcing him to change an engine in the pits. He started last and came up to finish 15th in the A-Main--Drivers with two top tens in Quebec were Coniam, Woodring, Dietrick, White, Karklin Jr., Bergeron and Emery.