ESS: Eriez speedway race report

Mike Stelter Whips Empire Super Sprint Field at Eriez by Dean Reynolds HAMMETT, Pa. - In a year where photo finishes and new winners have been the norm. Ontario, N.Y.'s Mike Stelter put together a dominating effort to win his second Empire...

Mike Stelter Whips Empire Super Sprint Field at Eriez
by Dean Reynolds

HAMMETT, Pa. - In a year where photo finishes and new winners have been the norm. Ontario, N.Y.'s Mike Stelter put together a dominating effort to win his second Empire Super Sprint Tour 2000 A-Main on the season. The win came Sunday night at the Eriez Speedway just outside of Erie, Pa.

Starting in eighth spot, the driver of the Vicomp Graphics backed, Ron Buckner built sprinter took the lead in just five laps. Not even lapped traffic late would hinder the solid effort by Stelter who collected his fourth career win on the ESS trail. The win also moved him up to third in points, his highest placing of his career so far.

"I just couldn't believe the start I got." said the happy winner who always greets the fans in victory lane with his loud cheers. "I think all the cars up front slid up the track and that left the bottom wide open. It was amazing and made it easy for me to get to the front. After that I just tried to keep the car strait and stay calm in slower traffic."

When Stelter passed Mike Young on lap five, little did he know that he opened up a huge lead on the rest of the competition. "I didn't realize that we were that good until everyone told me afterwards." noted the 1996 ESS rookie of the year. "I've been at this for a few years now but I'm still learning that sometimes you need to go slower to be faster. Tonight was one of those nights."

Young's AEY Enterprises #42 lead the first four laps from the pole before Stelter took over the front spot which was a lead that he would never surrender. The battle was then for the runnerup spot in the final laps with Doug Emery slipping by Young on lap nine, Bob Podolak would do the same on lap 11 and then Rick Wilson, Rich Wood and Mike Woodring. The five drivers were all under a blanket for the final stages with lapped traffic also playing a roll in this battle.

Each driver tried different grooves in hopes to capture the $800 second place paycheck. The one driver that seemed to shine and made his moves late was Wood as he got into fifth on lap 12, fourth on lap 16 and then into third on lap 18.

At the checkered flag, Stelter won handidly with Emery just nipping an outside running Wood for second place money. Podolak came home in fourth followed by Woodring and Wilson. Rounding out the top ten was Lance Yonge, Young, Bubby Kerrick and Scott Holcomb.

Only one caution on lap six for a spun Dick "Crash" Nash slowed the pace. Taking the Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events which pay $25 to win were R.C. Faigle, Woodring and Rob Dietrick.

ESS NOTES: As the night before, 25 sprints in the pits...Not returning was George Ely, but Nash was a new entry...Fuel pickup problems hindered the night for Dick Spadaro which saw him the only DNQ...Randy Years rolled his sprint in the second heat but came back to run the A-Main...Tom Taber came from his 24th place starting spot to finish 12th and collect the Walt's Hobby Hard Charger bonus..."America's Race Cars" will head West once again {TB}for a visit to the Ransomville Speedway this Friday night.

RESULTS: Heat 1 - R.C. Faigle, Mike Young, Doug Emery, Rich Wood, Mike Stelter, Steve Dow. Heat 2 - Mike Woodring, Bob Podolak, Bubby Kerrick, Scott Holcomb, Tim Zimbardi, Alain Bergeron. Heat 3 - Rob Dietrick, Rick Wilson, Dan Kaszubinski, Lance Yonge, Bobby Seidel, Ray Preston. Did Not Qualify - Dick Spadaro. A-MAIN - MIKE STELTER, Emery, Wood, Podolak, Woodring, Wilson, Yonge, Young, Kerrick, Holcomb, Dow, Tom Taber, Seidel, Bergeron, Bill Coffey, Randy Years, Preston, Dietrick, Zimbardi, Don Sharp Jr., "Crash" Nash, Kaszubinski, Faigle, Darrell Bragman. Lap Leaders - Young 1-4, Stelter 5-20. Walt's Hobby Hard Charger - Taber (12 pos.) $50. Vicomp Graphics Halfway - Stelter $50. Winners Bonuses - Car-Mate Dealers $50, Hank's Performance Products $50, Total Seal $50, Griffin Thermal Products $50, Bicknell Racing Products $35, Behrent's Performance Warehouse $30, Red's Speed Shop $25. Other Bonuses: Weld Racing Hard Luck - Years $75. Penske Shocks - Woodring $150. Design 500 - Dietrick $100, Wilson $50. Bailey Racing Products - Dow $35. Total Seal - Holcomb $30. Thunder Mtn. Wings - Emery $20. Dave Ely Racing - Young, Kerrick, Wilson $10. Powder Birns - Seidel $10. Lauterborn Electric - Holcomb $10.

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Series Sprint
Drivers Bill Coffey