Woodring Nips Kaszubinski in ESS Thriller at Erie by Dean Reynolds HAMMETT, Pa. - In one of the most exciting events in the 17 year history of the Empire Super Sprints, Mike Woodring edged out Dan Kaszubinski by mere inches in a photo finish...
Woodring Nips Kaszubinski in ESS Thriller at Erie
by Dean Reynolds
HAMMETT, Pa. - In one of the most exciting events in the 17 year history of the Empire Super Sprints, Mike Woodring edged out Dan Kaszubinski by mere inches in a photo finish Sunday at the Eriez Speedway. Woodring took the lead from Kaszubinski on lap 19 of the 20 lap A-Main, but one last ditch outside swing by Kaszubinski on the last corner of the last lap brought the crowd to their feet as the two sprinters took Spanky Hall's checkered flag side by side.
"It's about time!!" Woodring announced, winning his first event on the ESS Tour 2000. "I tell you, that was a close one though! We had a good car all weekend but a broken suspension part slowed us last night (at Stateline Speedway). Today, the car was fast and there was a good cushion on top. We finally put it all together to get our first win."
Both Donnie Sharp Jr. and Doug Emery lead lap one in what was a caution plagued event. Emery then took charge, after coming off a wild flip the night before, to lead right up until a lap seven caution. That's where Kaszubinski came from his 10th place starting spot to grab the lead on the restart with Woodring up to fourth from his 14th place start.
One lap later, Woodring moved into third and made for a great three car battle for the lead that lasted the entire second half of the feature event. Kaszubinski used the top line with Emery trying all he could down low with Woodring using any lane that was open.
"I kept getting a good run on Doug but he started to switch lanes near the end as he was trying to get by Dan." noted the five-time and defending ESS champion. "Doug actually showed me that the bottom was strong also as he almost took the lead back by going under Dan. Then Dan changed his line when he saw Doug and Doug would got to the top. It was a wild race!"
Woodring took the Tom and Mary Wade owned sprinter by Emery on a lap 17 restart and then made a picture perfect pass coming off turn four on lap 19 to lead for the first time. "I drove into three hard but then hit the brakes and cut off turn four. There was a ton of bite down on the bottom and I got a good run to take the lead." said Woodring on his pass. But, it wasn't a cake walk from there however.
Kaszubinski went right to the cushion in turns one and two to try and get a good run to pass Woodring back. "I wasn't going to let this one slip by." said Kaszubinski, the winner of the ESS opener at Black Rock. "I tried down in one and two but had to let off just a bit, that cost me a little as I did get to hit the right line in three and four."
The right line indeed, Kaszubinski did a wild "go-for-broke" ride on the cushion in turns three and four to pull along side Woodring coming down for the checkered. With the Eriez Speedway fans on their feet the two hit the start/finish stripe side by side with Woodring winning but a few inches! "I gave it my best." said Kaszubinski. "I did know I lost but it wasn't by much. Hey, to lose to the best but be that close...I can't complain."
The win for the Eden, N.Y. driver was his 46th career on the ESS tour. Kaszubinski was second followed by Emery in a fine run, Mike Stelter finished in fourth to record two top five finishes on the weekend with the Ron Buckner built sprinter. Bubby Kerrick completed the top five. The next five was Bill Coffey, Kris Dow, who came back from a lap 2 accident, Lance Yonge, after a trip to the pits himself, Sharp Jr., and Ray Preston.
A total of six cautions and one red did hamper the exciting event some. Lap one saw Yonge hit an inside tire to break suspension parts in teh front end. The restart saw Rick Wilson and Kris Dow come together. Tim Zimbardi stopped on the track on lap five and on that restart, Stateline winner Steve Dow hit the turn three wall and flipped on his side to bring out the red. Randy Years spun on lap seven with Alain Bergeron stopping on the track on lap 14. The final caution came on lap 17 when George Ely hit the frontstretch wall.
The Brodix Cylinder Heads Heat events were won by Emery, Kris Dow and Wilson.
ESS NOTES: A total of 22 sprints made the Sunday evening tow near Erie Pa....With winning purse and bonuses, Woodring took home over $1600...Fans are reminded that the Little Valley event that was rained out has been rescheduled to Friday June 9th...The ESS Tour 2000 will make another appearance at Eriez on Sunday, July 16...Next on the schedule is two trips North of the border with stops at Brockville on Friday and Cornwall on Sunday.
Heat 1 - Doug Emery, Randy Years, Don Sharp Jr., Bob Podolak, Scott Holcomb, Mike Stelter.
Heat 2 - Kris Dow, George Ely, Dan Kaszubinski, Mike Woodring, R.C. Faigle, Tim Zimbardi.
Heat 3 - Rick Wilson, Lance Yonge, Bubby Kerrick, Steve Dow, Bill Coffey, Ray Preston.
A-Main - MIKE WOODRING, Kaszubinski, Emery, Mike Stelter, Kerrick, Coffey, K. Dow, Yonge, Sharp Jr., Preston, Rob Dietrick, Faigle, Bob Seidel, Years, Joe Timerson, Holcomb, Ely, Alain Bergeron, Bob Podolak, S. Dow, Zimbardi, Wilson.
Lap Leaders - Sharp Jr. 1, Emery 1-7, Kaszubinski 8-18, Woodring 19-20.
Walt's Hobby Hard Charger - Woodring (13 pos.) $50
Vicomp Graphics Halfway - Kaszubinski $50.
Winner's Bonuses - Car-Mate Dealers $50, Pro Shocks $100, Total Seal $50, Hank's Performance Products $50, Bicknell Racing Products $35, Red's Speed Shop $25, Penske Racing Shocks $150.
Weld Racing Hard Luck - Zimbardi $75
Design 500 - Timerson $100, Stelter $50.
Thunder Mtn. Wings - Faigle $65, Kaszubinski $20.
Tire Comp. East - Kaszubinski $75.
Bailey Racing Products - S. Dow $35.
Behrent's Performance Warehouse - Kaszubinski $30.
Total Seal - Preston $30.
Powder Birns - Seidel $10.
Dave Ely Racing - Years, Kaszubinski, Yonge $10.
Lauterborn Electric - Bergeron $10.