LITTLE VALLEY, N.Y. - It was a clean sweep, a "hat trick" if you will. Granby, Ct.'s Scott Holcomb was indeed the class of the Empire Super Sprint (ESS) field Saturday night at the Little Valley Speedway as he won his heat, dash and capped off...
LITTLE VALLEY, N.Y. - It was a clean sweep, a "hat trick" if you will. Granby, Ct.'s Scott Holcomb was indeed the class of the Empire Super Sprint (ESS) field Saturday night at the Little Valley Speedway as he won his heat, dash and capped off the convincing evening by taking the 20 lap A-Main.
The event also marked the final full point show on the ESS Tour 2001 and clinching a record seven championship was Eden, N.Y.'s Mike Woodring. The point title (his sixth in a row) surpassed ESS great Mal Lane who won six titles from 1987-'92.
Holcomb's night ended a string of ups and downs that has plagued the quiet sprint car pilot for most of the season. Since his rookie season in 1996, where he took the rookie of the year honors, Holcomb has been a regular fixture on the ESS tour missing just one show in his six year career. Despite his Connecticut residence, Holcomb was always counted on to be in the pits showing true dedication. What made this win special, this could have very well been Scott Holcomb's final ESS sanctioned event.
"I think I have to get out of it." said a driver with a smile after the win, but also with a down tone in his voice. "I'm going to miss these cars (sprint cars), I'm REALLY going to miss them. But, I have a family now and it's getting so hard on my wife. The travel is just too much right now so I'm thinking of switching to midgets for next season. It's not definite but I was a bachelor when I started this, now there's going to be two young kids screaming at home and in reality, this is still just a sport. If I lived in New York the races could be a lot closer and I think I could keep doing it."
Despite his ultimate fate, Holcomb still came to Little Valley and he came with a mission. His Lucky's Trailer Sales TrevisCraft was winless so far in 2001 but this driver likes the big Little Valley half-mile. Winning his heat with force and also taking home the loot in the dash for cash, Holcomb was dubbed the favorite for the night's feature event.
However, when the green flag dropped the start didn't go quite as planned. Black Rock winner Phil Mott led the first two circuits before Mike Stelter took over to hold the top spot right up to the halfway point where Bill Coffey took his turn to lead up until a lap 13 caution. Holcomb's charging display he showcased all night was missing, he was still mired in fourth position.
But, that holding of position didn't last long. "I think I had the tires sealed over early in the race. I just couldn't get any bite at all." said Holcomb. "On the last caution (lap 13) I "buzzed" the tires as many times as I could and I think I finally burned some heat into them. After that, the car was fast again. Bill (Coffey) was running well, I could see how far out front he was and I just thought I would try the best I could. When the car came back to me, I couldn't believe the difference"
Fast was an understatement, up to second on lap 15 and right into the lead one tour later after a brilliant side by side duel with Coffey. In the final four laps, Holcomb opened up a big lead to collect his sixth career victory on the ESS tour. The victory also marked the 16th different winner in full ESS point shows as well.
"This (the win) makes you feel good." noted Holcomb. "After the other frame was bent at Utica-Rome, I put together the newer car and it's worked real well. It has me thinking if I should have ran this one all along. But, it's a win no matter how and it's been a long time. It will make the trip home (eight hours) just a little shorter."
A wild photo finish at the checkered flag saw Stelter coming back to nip Coffey by inches at the stripe. Lance Yonge came from his 13th place start to place fourth just ahead of tour champion Woodring Wayne-Dalton backed #19. The next five was made up of Steve Dow, Dan Kaszubinski, B-Main winner and Walt's Hobby Hard Charger winner Brian Dumigan who started in 19th, John Karklin Jr. and Rick Wilson.
Dumigan spun on the start which caused for a restart, on lap eight, Kyle Drum was looped around and on lap 13, third and fourth place running Randy Years and R.C. Faigle came together for the final yellow.
Taking the Brodix Cylinder Heads $25 to win heat events were Holcomb, Faigle and Coffey. The Sixt Lumber/Walt's Hobby Dash was won by Holcomb with Dumigan winning the KSE Racing Products B-Main.
ESS NOTES: The final point show brought out 31 sprinters for the second visit to Little Valley...Special thanks to ESS sponsor Lance Rightmyer and his Vicomp Graphics as he supplied American flag decals for all cars in attendance. The Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds was also decked out with American flags around the entire oval, a nice dedication of remembrance...Tough luck Don Sharp Jr. found his sprinter again on it's wing...Bobby Podolak blew his engine in warm-ups, but with help from Dan Kaszubinski and crew as well as from Mike Woodring, his hauler and crew the engine swap was done in plenty of time before the heats took to the track...With added bonuses from Car-Mate Trailers, ATL Fuel Cells, Extreme Racewear, Flag2flag.com, Tire Comp. East, Penske Shocks, Hank's Performance Products, Duralite Racing Wheels, Griffin Radiators, Bicknell Racing Products, Hazlitt Vineyards, Total Seal, Red's Speed Shop and Behrent's Performance Warehouse/Mechanix Wear, the victory was worth well over $2000 for Holcomb....With his dash appearance, Lance Yonge clinched the Walt's Hobby Dash Series championship and the $500 cash prize...The Merrittville event on Sept. 15 is now cancelled, Woodring wins the Canadian Invasion points over Ryan Coniam...Next on the ESS Tour 2001 is two events with a $50,000 total price tag awaiting the drivers. On Sat. October 6 comes the second annual ESS/URC Super Shootout on the Mile. The 20 mile, $5000 to win, $35,000 contest is a part of Super DIRT Week in Syracuse. Later that night, the ESS/URC Challenge Series heads to Rolling Wheels where $2500 going to the winner of the 25 lap event there. <pre> RESULTS: Heat 1 - Scott Holcomb, Randy Years, Alain Bergeron, Tim Barnard, Dan Kaszubinski, Kyle Drum. Heat 2 - R.C. Faigle, Lance Yonge, Mike Woodring, Mike Stelter, Jeff VanDusen, John Karklin Jr. Heat 3 - Bill Coffey, Rick Wilson, Bob Podolak, Steve Dow, Phil Mott, Rob Dietrick. Sixt Lumber/Walt's Hobby Dash - Holcomb. B-Main - Brian Dumigan, Bubby Kerrick, Tom Taber, Tim Zimbardi. Did Not Qualify - George Ely, Justin Barger, Ray Preston, Don Sharp Jr., Pup Nystrom, Bill White, Bill Wolf, Chris Muhleisen, Ryan Coniam. A-MAIN - SCOTT HOLCOMB, Stelter, Coffey, Yonge, Woodring, Dow, Kaszubinski, Dumigan, Karklin Jr., Wilson, Kerrick, Bergeron, Podolak, Zimbardi, Dietrick, VanDusen, Drum, Barnard, Years, Faigle, Mott, Taber.
Lap Leaders - Mott 1-2, Stelter 3-9, Coffey 10-15, Holcomb 16-20. Walt's Hobby Hard Charger - Dumigan (11 pos.) $50. Vicomp Graphics Halfway - Coffey $50.
Winners Bonuses: Car-Mate Trailers $50, ATL Fuel Cells $200, Penske Shocks $200, Extreme Racewear $100, Flag2flag.com $145, Tire Comp. East $75, Hank's Performance Products $50, Griffin Thermal Products $50, Duralite Racing Wheels $50, Hazlitt Vineyards $40, Bicknell Racing Products $35, Total Seal $30, Red's Speed Shop $25, Behrent's Performance Warehouse/Mechanix Wear $20.
Other Bonuses: Weld Racing Hard Luck - Faigle $75 Extreme Racewear - Stelter $75, Coffey $50, Taber $25. KSE Racing Products - Dumigan $50. Design 500 - Drum $100, Dow $50. Joe Hunt Magnetos - Faigle $50. Bailey Racing Products - Kaszubinski $35. Hazlitt Vineyards - Stelter $20, Coffey $10. Total Seal - Wilson $20. Thunder Mt. Wings - Stelter $20.