THOROLD, ONT. -- You can probably make two notes after the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) weekend near the Niagara Frontier. One is that Syracuse, N.Y.'s Dan Kaszubinski is making a serious bid for the 2004 championship. Two, the usual cushion ...
THOROLD, ONT. -- You can probably make two notes after the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) weekend near the Niagara Frontier. One is that Syracuse, N.Y.'s Dan Kaszubinski is making a serious bid for the 2004 championship. Two, the usual cushion hugging, on-the-edge-all-the-time style is not needed for him to visit victory lane and that's not good news for his rivals.
Just like the night prior at Ohsweken, the driver of his familiar #20 used the very bottom of the speedway to make his pass for the lead and the victory. This triumph came at the tricky Merrittville Speedway in claiming another Spectro Oils Canadian Invasion Series Checkered flag. While not afraid to hit the top when needed, the fastest lane in this night was at the very bottom and that's where Kaszubinski did his damage to claim his second victory at the Bicknell family promoted facility and his 22nd victory overall tying him with Tom Taber, sixth on the all-time win list.
"Just like Danny Lososki, you can call me the 'Catfish'--" jokingly said by Kaszubinski. "I'm probably screwing everybody up now by running the bottom. But, just like last night, I felt really comfortable down there. I could use the cushion last night but the bottom was the only place I could run here."
Utica-Rome winner Jeff VanDusen started on the pole with his Pro-Spas #56D and he led the first 15 laps. The young second generation was using the extreme outside lane of Merrittville's D-Shaped 1/3rd miler. As the laps clicked on, the VanDusen's groove was starting to fade and the addition of lapped cars played right into Kaszubinski's hands.
"I was definitely hoping for the lapped cars. I knew I was a little quicker than Jeff but I think I did need the extra help." said Dan on the closing stages. "The bottom had some good bite left and with the traffic more in his way I knew it was a matter of time. This is just so weird, running down there and coming away with two wins. I don't know--but I'm not going to argue either!"
The time of the night came on lap 15 as an inside sweep of VanDusen saw Kaszubinski in the lead and a lead that opened up in the final nine laps. VanDusen then found himself in a nice little four-car battle for second in the final laps that really kept the crowds interest.
At the waving of Barry Davidson's checkered flag it was Kaszubinski home easily, VanDusen threw everything at his rivals and slower cars to hold on to second ahead of Swiffer Products backed #7 of Bobby Podolak, Doug Emery and the Johnson Farms #17J of Lance Yonge. The next five were Jeff Cook, Mike Stelter, Alain Bergeron, Don Sharp Jr., and local driver Mark Schulz.
Only one caution during the event which was for Randy Years and Brad Knab getting together with Knab doing a slow roll over.
Taking the Engler Machine and Tool Heat events were Years, Kaszubinski and Nick Fratto with the Walt's Hobby Dash won by Stelter and the KSE Racing Products B-Main copped by Phil Mott.
ESS NOTES: A total of 24 sprints played host to a standing room only crowd--Southern Ontario Sprint regular Tim Phillips made his first ever ESS start--Billy Krull's up and down season continued with a blown rear end during warm-ups. Added to the A-Main and starting last, Krull did come through to finish 12th and earn the Lane's Yamaha Hard Charger Bonus--With the success of the Canadian weekend in Western Ontario, look for the back to back shows at Ohsweken and Merrittville again for 2005--Next weekend the stars and cars of the Empire Super Sprints will celebrate our nations birthday with a Saturday night visit to the Can-Am Motorsports Park and then off to Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday.
Heat 1 -- Randy Years, Jeff VanDusen, Jeff Cook, Bob Podolak, Alain Bergeron, Cody Geldart.
Heat 2 -- Dan Kaszubinski, Doug Emery, Don Sharp Jr., Kyle Moffit, Lance Yonge, Mark Schulz.
Heat 3 -- Nick Fratto, Mike Stelter, Keith Dempster, Bubby Kerrick, Tim Kelly, Brad Knab.
Walt's Hobby Dash -- Stelter.
B-Main -- Phil Mott, Luke Eriksen, John Karklin Jr., Tim Phillips.
Added Starter -- Billy Krull.
Did Not Qualify -- Brian Glasser.
A-MAIN -- DAN KASZUBINSKI, VanDusen, Podolak, Emery, Yonge, Cook, Stelter, Bergeron, Sharp Jr., Schulz, Kelly, Krull, Dempster, Geldart, Kerrick, Years, Fratto, Karklin Jr., Moffit, Phillips, Eriksen, Knab.
Gater News Lap Leaders -- VanDusen 1-15, Kaszubinski 16-25.
Lane's Yamaha Hard Charger -- Krull (11 pos.) $50.
Brodix Cylinder Heads Halfway -- VanDusen $50.