Lance Yonge Uses Last Lap Pass to Make It Two in a Row for the Empire Super Sprints. He wins the Valvoline Cup A-Main at Can-Am Motorsports Park. LaFARGEVILLE, N.Y. -- He is defending Empire Super Sprint (ESS) champion and he is making some ...
Lance Yonge Uses Last Lap Pass to Make It Two in a Row for the Empire Super Sprints. He wins the Valvoline Cup A-Main at Can-Am Motorsports Park.
LaFARGEVILLE, N.Y. -- He is defending Empire Super Sprint (ESS) champion and he is making some serious noise that he is out to make it a repeat performance for the 2005 season. Penn Yan, N.Y.'s Lance Yonge made a dramatic last lap pass of New Hampshire's Don Sharp Jr. to win Saturday night's Valvoline Cup A-Main event at the Can-Am Motorsports Park.
The win for the driver of the Shuttleworth Asphalt Sealing #17J netted a cool $1700 cash and also collected the first of two guaranteed starting berths in the All-Star Dash held at the annual Bully Hill Vineyards Fall Sprint Nationals.
"I have to be honest with you, if there's one guy that I didn't want to make a pass late like that it's Donny (Sharp Jr.). But, we are here to race and the goal is to try to win every time you hit the track." said Yonge as a matter of fact. "Donny and his dad are great supporters of ESS, they come from New Hampshire every race, have fun, they are just great people and he ran one heck of a race!"
Sharp Jr. took the lead from Bobby Podolak on lap two, survived the lone caution on lap four and drove a flawless race up front. Yonge started in 13th and was using all lanes available on the big, fast LaFargeville oval to make his passes to the front. His Maxim cracked the top five on the restart when he went from sixth to fourth, passed Mike Stelter for third on lap 13 and then Podolak on lap 18 to make the chase.
"I could see Donny's car up front, I knew he was the leader so I just had to hope for lapped cars to help me out a little bit." Yonge noted. "It was just enough for me to catch him but I didn't think I had enough to pass him though until we both got behind a slower car on the last lap."
With the white flag waving from starter Matt Burdick, it was Sharp just inches ahead of Yonge with many-time Can-Am champion Rick Wilson looming in third looking for a mistake. As Sharp entered turn one he slipped up just one lane, a slip he didn't do for the previous 24 circuits. Yonge took advantage to dive underneath and drag race down the backstretch. With the large Can-Am crowd on edge, Yonge dove into turn three just a little bit harder, took over the lead and on to ESS career win #27.
"There was one little bump going into turn one, I hit it and that's all Lance needed. He is just that good, all these drivers in ESS are, you make just one little slip and they pass you." Sharp Jr. said but still cracked a smile. "Hey, it's still a good finish, you always want to win but we will take second."
Shortly after when Sharp's #28NH Maxim came pit side, many then noticed his left rear shock not connected-- "Luckily I didn't know that!!" Donny Jr. said afterwards.
At the checkers it was Yonge nipping Sharp Jr. and Wilson, Stelter came home a fine fourth with Jeff Cook giving the hometown crowd a good effort with his Rt. 37 Building Supply in for fifth. Rounding out the top ten was Alain Bergeron, Podolak, Kyle Wilson, Dan Kaszubinski and Bubby Kerrick.
The only caution of the entire night was for Randy Years who blew out his rear end on lap four of the A-Main.
Taking the Car Mate Trailers heat events were Cook, Luke Eriksen and Sharp Jr. with the Rt. 37 Building Supply/Walt's Hobby Dash won by Eriksen and the KSE Racing Products taken by Shawn Donath.
ESS NOTES: A total of 26 sprinters in the pits for the first of two holiday weekend visits to the Caprara Brothers fine facility--Also for the second night in a row, Yonge passed 12 cars in route to his victories and earned the Lane's Yamaha Hard Charger bonus--.Along with Yonge, two for two in top ten finishes so far on the weekend have been recorded by Kyle Wilson, Podolak, Bergeron and Stelter--.A total of 50 different drivers have competed in ESS competition so far in 2005--Valvoline also provided cases of oil to the top 20 finishers in the A-Main--.The very best of America's Race Cars will make their second visit to Can-Am on Saturday July 2nd for another Valvoline Cup A-Main that pays $1700 to win.
Heat 1 -- Jeff Cook, Doug Norrie, Alain Bergeron, Bubby Kerrick, Bob Podolak, Kyle Wilson.
Heat 2 -- Luke Eriksen, Nick Fratto, Dan Kaszubinski, Mike VanDusen, Russ Bennett, Jeff VanDusen.
Heat 3 -- Don Sharp Jr., R.C. Faigle, Lance Yonge, Mike Stelter, Rick Wilson, Blaise Regina.
Rt. 37 Building Supply/Walt's Hobby Dash -- Eriksen.
B-Main -- Shawn Donath, Billy White, Frank Senzio, Randy Years.
Added Starters -- Matt Norrie, Kyle Moffit.
Did Not Qualify -- Brian Glasser, Scott Davis.
A-MAIN -- LANCE YONGE, Sharp Jr., R. Wilson, Stelter, Cook, Bergeron, Podolak, K. Wilson, Kaszubinski, Kerrick, M. VanDusen, Bennett, Fratto, Eriksen, J. VanDusen, White, Senzio, Donath, Faigle, D. Norrie, Moffit, M. Norrie, Regina, Years.
Gater News Lap Leaders -- Podolak 1, Sharp Jr. 2-24, Yonge 25.
Lane's Yamaha Hard Charger -- Yonge (12 Pos.) $50.
Brodix Cylinder Heads Halfway -- Sharp Jr. $50.