ELBRIDGE, N.Y. - It was a wild scene in victory lane Saturday night at the Rolling Wheels Raceway Park as Canadian and Empire Super Sprint (ESS) regular Rick Wilson lead all 25 laps to win the ESS/United Racing Club (URC) Challenge Series event.
ELBRIDGE, N.Y. - It was a wild scene in victory lane Saturday night at the Rolling Wheels Raceway Park as Canadian and Empire Super Sprint (ESS) regular Rick Wilson lead all 25 laps to win the ESS/United Racing Club (URC) Challenge Series event. The win for the former DIRT 358 modified great was his first ever with the ESS organization which came with a $2500 top prize rewarding his efforts.
Even though it was a wire to wire triumph, Wilson fought off a torrid battle with former URC champion Greg Coverdale in the final 13 laps that thrilled the chilled crowd at the "Fast Track" "You bet...I knew he (Greg) was there, he got alongside of me several times!!" said the Joyceville, Ont. driver on his stiff challenge from the Delaware pilot.
"The track started to take rubber in the feature and that made it pretty much one grooved towards the end. I knew it would be tough for him to get by and I wasn't going to make it easy for him either."
Coverdale took the Sam Locuson owned #97 by heat and dash winner Midge Miller just one lap past the halfway mark and he quickly closed in on the Price Paving sponsored #27C to make this a classic two car dog fight. High and low, Coverdale used every inch of the Rolling Wheels half-mile to get pass Wilson.
"I tried my best, I thought I had a good run on him (Wilson) several times." said Coverdale who has won twice this season on the URC circuit. "But, the track started to tighten up and when I ran in hard my car would push a bit. I gave it might best shot, he was strong though and deserves all the credit."
The two car battle entered lapped traffic with both Wilson and Coverdale putting on wild passes while trying to pass each other as well. It all came down to turn three on lap 24 as Coverdale made one last effort on the outside to make the pass for the win. The two were side by side going in but Wilson got the run coming off turn four to take the victory.
"This win means so much to me and my owner (Charlie Price). Charlie is going asphalt racing next year so this was our last race together. I bought all the sprint stuff and will go on my own for next year." said Wilson who had a smile from ear to ear afterwards. "Charlie and his entire family have been great friends to me and my family. We have been racing with ESS for three years now and have had so many second place finishes. To finally get that win with the best from two clubs on hand really makes this special for all of us. Charlie wants to go weekend racing and I'll keep on running the sprinter, I just love these things and I hope I can do some more winning in the years to come.
Wilson took Dave Farney's checkered flag just a mere few feet ahead of Coverdale. A trio of URC runners followed which was made up off Miller, Kevin Welsh and Bill Brian Jr. ESS runners Scott Holcomb and Dan Kaszubinski were next in line followed by many-time ESS/URC Challenge winner Kramer Williamson. Rounding out the top ten was ESS regular Mike Stelter and former URC champion Dave McGough rounded out the top ten.
The only caution in the $16,000 event came on the original start when URC rookie Jeff Busby spun collecting URC's Doug Emery.
Taking the six heat events were Brian, Coverdale, ESS' Ray Preston, Busby, Kaszubinski and Miller. The two C-Mains were won by URC's Scott Pursell and Western Pa. regular Scott Bonnell. The B-Main was copped by ESS veteran Bob Podolak with Miller taking the $100 to win Walt's Hobby Dash.
ESS/URC Challenge Notes: A challenge series record of 59 sprinters filled the pits....The field was made up of 28 cars from ESS, 25 cars from URC, Western Pa.'s Bonnell, USCS regular Kenny Adams, Cliff Brian, ELS' Mike Lauterborn, Pa.'s Jeff Thomas, KARS/Pa. 358 runner Blaine Heimbach....The feature field saw an even split with 12 cars from each club...Kramer Williamson earned the Walt's Hobby Hard Charger bonus by advancing 10 spots in the A-Main...It wasn't a good night to be point leaders or champions. Mike Woodring won his seventh ESS title in 2001 but missed qualifying by one spot. URC point leader Chris Coyle joined forces with JMO Motorsports after a blown engine earlier at Syracuse. He too missed a transfer spot...Wilson joins Craig Keel, Lance Yonge and Dan Kaszubinski as Challenge winners from ESS, URC has had Kramer Williamson, Curt and Sean Michael and Rick Koenig take Challenge victories...Next event for the URC Bars Leaks Series comes this Saturday night at New Egypt with ESS' annual awards banquet on Nov. 17 in Syracuse, N.Y.
Heat 1 - Bill Brian Jr., Rick Wilson, Fran Hogue.
Heat 2 - Greg Coverdale, Dave McGough, Ryan Coniam.
Heat 3 - Ray Preston, Curt Michael, Brian Dumigan.
Heat 4 - Jeff Busby, Scott Holcomb, Doug Emery.
Heat 5 - Dan Kaszubinski, Kevin Welsh, R.C. Faigle.
Heat 6 - Midge Miller, Mike Stelter, Kramer Williamson.
C Main 1 - Scott Pursell, Blaine Heimbach.
C Main 2 - Scott Bonnell, Pete Green.
Walt's Hobby Dash - Midge Miller.
B-Main - Bob Podolak, Alain Bergeron, Bill Coffey, Lance Yonge, Matt Gerber, Steve Dow.
Did Not Qualify - Mike Woodring, Chris Coyle, Tim Zimbardi, Becca Anderson, Bubby Kerrick, Trevor Lewis, Tim Barnard, Bill Wolf, Randy Years, Brian Seidel, Green, "Crash" Nash, Adam Gordon, Kyle Drum, Pursell, Justin Barger, Sam Ross, Billy Bradshaw, Jeff Thomas, John Karklin Jr., George Ely, Jeff VanDusen, Bonnell, Kenny Adams, Rob Dietrick, George Suprick, Mike Haggenbottom, Tim Hogue, Dick Spadaro, Mike Lauterborn, Cliff Brian, Danny Massey, Ashley Parlett, Mike Kostic, Heimbach.
A-MAIN - RICK WILSON, Coverdale, Miller, Welsh, Brian Jr., Holcomb, Kaszubinski, Williamson, Stelter, McGough, Preston, Michael, Coniam, Yonge, F. Hogue, Dow, Gerber, Faigle, Dumigan, Coffey, Bergeron, Podolak, Busby, Emery.
Lap Leader - Wilson 1-25.