Lance Yonge Collects Third Empire Super Sprint Win of the Year with Convincing Triumph at Merrittville. THOROLD, ONT -- Coming off a frustrating weekend where his big points lead was cut more than half, Lance Yonge made notice that he is back...
Lance Yonge Collects Third Empire Super Sprint Win of the Year with Convincing Triumph at Merrittville.
THOROLD, ONT -- Coming off a frustrating weekend where his big points lead was cut more than half, Lance Yonge made notice that he is back in the title mode with a big win Saturday night at the Merrittville Speedway. Passing John Karklin Jr. on lap 13 restart, Yonge opened up a big lead to win the Spectro Oils Canadian Invasion event which is his third victory of 2005.
With the pill inversion number coming up 13, just about the entire field flopped to the front for the start of the 25 lap event at the tricky D-Shaped oval. Karklin Jr. found himself on the pole with Yonge starting in third on the grid. At the drop of the green flag it was Karklin's JCK Timber J&J taking control early with Yonge in second on lap three. For the early stages it was Karklin holding his over the Johnson Farms Maxim that was behind. But, we the field took the halfway sign, Yonge noticed that his rival was having some troubles.
"I could see he was having problems getting in turn one. It looked like he could stay low and had to use the cushion." said the defending ESS champion. "When the yellow came out I knew I was going to go low and run it in as hard as I could. The car stuck and I came off four with the lead. But, John is a good driver, I ran hard because you don't know if he would get you back."
However, the mount of Yonge's was too strong on this night. Even lapped traffic wasn't going to stand in his way and as the final 12 laps went under the green lights the distance continued to open up. "With the rain making the track heavy you just had to run as hard as you can. It's not really what I like but afterwards they told me I had a pretty big lead." Yonge mentioned. "It feels good to get another win, we had a big points lead until last weekend but you just come to the next race and try hard again. Tonight it worked out."
At the finish it was Yonge almost half a track ahead of a now smoking Karklin who inched out Alain Bergeron for third. The reason why for the smoke? His engine blew out the bottom end right at the finish. Taking fourth was Doug Emery with Ray Preston in for fifth. The next five was made up of Bubby Kerrick, Don Sharp Jr., Dan Kaszubinski, Jeff VanDusen who started in 19th and earned the Lane's Yamaha hard charger bonus and Dave Schulz.
Only three minor cautions slowed the pace at the quick 1/3rd mile oval: Jeff Cook had a right front tire go flat while running in second, stopped on the track on lap three. VanDusen brought out the yellow on lap seven with Matt Norrie looping his sprinter on lap13 for the final yellow.
Taking the Car Mate Trailer heat events were Kyle Moffit, Kerrick and Yonge with the Walt's Hobby Dash claimed by Kerrick.
ESS NOTES; A total of 22 sprints in the pits which played host to a big crowd--Long-time Niagara Frontier modified star Fred Cade made his first ever ESS start--The entire staff at Merrittville did a great job getting the show in after a big thunderstorm ripped through the area. Throwing in the towel was never an option and after a two hour delay, a fast and tacky oval greeted the winged sprint cars--Tough night for Luke Eriksen and R.C. Faigle as both never answered the call for the A-Main. Eriksen lost his brakes after changing a rear end and he hit the turn four wall during warm-ups bending is mount. Faigle lost his motor during the dash--Next weekend it will be return visits to Can-Am and Utica-Rome to celebrate the 4th of July Weekend. Both A-Main will be backed by Valvoline Cup and will be $1700 to win.
Heat 1 -- Kyle Moffit, Matt Norrie, Doug Emery, Nick Fratto, Jeff Cook, Dan Kaszubinski, Jeff VanDusen.
Heat 2 -- Bubby Kerrick, Alain Bergeron, Randy Years, Ray Preston, John Karklin Jr., Doug Norrie Mark Schulz.
Heat 3 -- Lance Yonge, R.C. Faigle, Don Sharp Jr., Dave Schulz, Brian Glasser, Fred Cade. Mike VamDusen.
Walt's Hobby Dash -- Kerrick.
A-MAIN -- LANCE YONGE, Karklin Jr., Bergeron, Emery, Preston, Kerrick, Sharp Jr., Kaszubinski, J. VanDusen, D. Schulz, M. Schulz, Cook, D. Norrie, Fratto, M. Norrie, Moffit, Years, Glasser, Cade, M. VanDusen.
Did Not Start -- Faigle, Luke Eriksen.