ESS: Edelweiss: Race report

Ryan Coniam finds himself out on top during a wild ESS night at Edelweiss: Winner Brian Dumigan comes up light on scales. CANTLEY, QC - It looked to be a "full moon effect" night this past Friday for the annual stop by the Empire Super Sprints...

Ryan Coniam finds himself out on top during a wild ESS night at Edelweiss: Winner Brian Dumigan comes up light on scales.

CANTLEY, QC - It looked to be a "full moon effect" night this past Friday for the annual stop by the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) at the Autodrome Edelweiss Speedway. Fast action, wild accidents and a disqualification on the scales made for an interesting VSM Abrasives Canadian Invasion event.

Brian Dumigan led 19 of the 20 laps and looked like he took home his third A-Main of the season. But, the post race weigh-in saw his sprinter coming up a few pounds shy of the required 1300 lbs. Dumigan was disqualified and the win was then handed down to second place finisher Ryan Coniam. Coniam passed Mike Stelter coming off turn four on the last lap to take second by inches at the stripe. Little did the young Canadian star know that it was the pass for the win.

For Coniam, he now has three A-Main wins in his pocket but the irony is that two of them were a result of a DQ. Stelter had a win taken away earlier in the year at Eriez for missing the scales and Coniam was the second place finisher there as well. "I said it before at Eriez, this is not the way you want to win shows but we will take them." said Coniam who had some disbelief in his voice. "I'm sure a couple of pounds didn't win this race for Brian, but there's a weight rule and you have to make weight at the end of the race."

While Dumigan had a sizeable lead, Coniam and Stelter thrilled the huge crowd on hand with some exciting side by side action for second. The duo swapped positions several times but it was Coniam's outside sweep coming down for the checkers that proved to be the winning move. "The car was good all race, we weren't going to win but we had a good car for the dry track." noted Coniam on his performance. "Mike (Stelter) went low to protect the bottom on the last lap restart so I just went to the top to see if I could get by. It was close, but it worked. It's good to get another win, especially in Canada. It's has a bit more meaning to win in your own country.

Coniam's VSM Abrasives sponsored mount edge over Stelter was a mere few inches, taking third in the final run down was Bob Podolak, Bill Coffey, who won the Walt's Hobby Hard Charger bonus after starting in 17th, took fourth with Alain Bergeron in fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Mike Woodring, who debuted a brand new Maxim, Steve Dow, Rob Dietrick, Don Sharp Jr. and Mike Lutz who made a long 13 hour haul from Western Pa.

The side by side finish by Coniam and Stelter wasn't the only lightning in the Quebec sky. On the original start Darren Beach and Kyle Drum did a high flying double flip in turn three that knock both from competition. On the second try to get the feature event underway, a big six car pileup on the front stretch occurred involving John Karklin Jr., Erin Crocker, Jeff VanDusen, Lance Yonge, Steve Dow and Bill White which brought out another red. Only Dow and White were able to return with Crocker coming out of her sprinter with a limp but otherwise OK. On lap ten, Don Sharp Jr. looped his sprinter while trying to pass Stelter for second, Lutz spun around on lap 12 while trying to move into sixth and the final caution was on lap 19 for a spun Rick Wilson as he was trying to make a pass to move him into fifth.

Taking the Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were VanDusen, Coniam and Yonge with VanDusen also winning the four lap Walt's Hobby Dash.

ESS NOTES: A total of 24 sprinters made the Friday night tow to the 1/3rd mile oval located just North of Canada's capital of Ottawa...Bergeron's night started out with a slow roll over during warm-ups....The Drum/Beach double flip became a savior for Woodring who went pit side with gear troubles. Under the red, the crew made the corrections and he was able to start the event ...Many cars were heavily damaged by the end of the event which made for a long night for some: The list included Yonge, Drum, Crocker, Karklin Jr. and the VanDusen team cars....Randy Years horrible luck continued as he couldn't get his car to fire all night and he never took a green flag...Troubles on the road caused Bubby Kerrick to miss the heats...The sprinters are a big hit at Edelweiss has a standing room only crowd and then some packed the stands, a return of the ESS super sprinters will again take place in 2003.

-ess-

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Series Sprint
Drivers Erin Crocker , Bill Coffey