ESS: Ontario Speedway race report

Standing Room Only Crowd at Brockville Sees Ray Preston End Two Year Empire Super Sprint Winless Streak. by Dean Reynolds BROCKVILLE, ONT. - It's been since July of 1998 that Romulus, N.Y.'s Ray Preston scored his first ever Empire Super Sprint...

Standing Room Only Crowd at Brockville Sees Ray Preston End Two Year Empire Super Sprint Winless Streak.
by Dean Reynolds

BROCKVILLE, ONT. - It's been since July of 1998 that Romulus, N.Y.'s Ray Preston scored his first ever Empire Super Sprint A- Main victory. In front of a record crowd at the Brockville Ontario Speedway on Friday night, Preston's second career victory was a dominating effort leading all 20 laps.

The win gives the driver of the Speedway Performance #22 a guaranteed starting spot for the ESS/URC Shootout to be held during Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds.

"I just have to thank my family for this win. This is just a family deal and anytime you can get a win it feels good." said Preston wearing a large smile afterwards. "My son Chris gave me an incredible set up tonight. The car was just so fast right from the start, I don't know how far I was ahead of anyone but they said I had a good lead all the way through. This made for a special night as it was my daughter's (Heather) birthday tonight and we moved her and Chris back into college today as well."

A good lead indeed, Preston got the jump from his outside pole starting spot to beat Quebec's Alain Bergeron into the first turn. He lead Bergeron comfortably even in lapped traffic right until the first caution on lap nine. On the restart, Bill Coffey and local favorite, Canadian Rick Wilson needed little time to sweep by Bergeron and start to take chase on the leader.

While it was looking like a trouble free run, a final caution on lap 15 saw Coffey and Wilson right on the rear bumper of Preston to add some serious drama. "I really didn't want to see any yellows, especially that one (lap 15) late." noted Preston. "I felt like I was keeping a good pace and was getting through the slower cars without any trouble. But, when the yellow comes out you know that there will be somebody starting right behind you looking to pass the leader. I didn't know who it was but I didn't see anybody get alongside so I guess we were fast enough."

With the green dropped, Preston's Gambler was up to the challenge as he opened up some distance again and on his way to victory. Coffey made a switch to his older Gambler and it did the trick to collect second place money with Wilson thrilling the hometown crowd with his charge from 15th to take third. Wilson earned the Walt's Hobby Hard Charger bonus. Rob Dietrick came home in fourth with Scott Holcomb taking fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Bergeron, current ESS point leader Mike Woodring, Doug Emery, Bubby Kerrick and Lance Yonge.

The first caution on lap nine was for a multi-car spin involving R.C. Faigle, Bobby Seidel, Dick Spadaro and Kris Dow. All returned to the action. On lap 15, rookie Shawn Felt looped his sprinter out in turn two.

Taking the Brodix Cylinder Heads heat events were Preston, Coffey and Faigle with the Price Paving/Plooy's Performance Products/Walt's Hobby Dash won by Steve Dow.

ESS NOTES: A field of 22 sprinters made the Friday night tow to the St. Lawrence Seaway area...The win by Preston makes him the 13th different winner in 24 events run on the ESS Tour 2000...Preston took home $1690 for his night's effort...Everyone from the ESS family would like to thank the Kirkland Family for the royal treatment during our two visits in the year 2000 and look forward to our return in 2001. <pre> RESULTS: Heat 1 - Ray Preston, Steve Dow, Lance Yonge, Randy Years, Rick Wilson, Shawn Felt. Heat 2 - Bill Coffey, Dan Kaszubinski, Bubby Kerrick, Mike Stelter, Scott Holcomb, Bobby Seidel. Heat 3 - R.C. Faigle, Doug Emery, Alain Bergeron, Rob Dietrick, Mike Woodring, Kris Dow. Price Paving/Plooys Performance Products/Walt's Hobby Dash - S. Dow A-MAIN - RAY PRESTON, Coffey, Wilson, Dietrick, Holcomb, Bergeron, Woodring, Emery, Kerrick, Yonge, Kaszubinski, Years, S. Dow, K. Dow, Seidel, Faigle, Stelter, Dick Spadaro, Don Sharp Jr., Felt, George Ely, Bob Podolak.

Lap Leader - Preston 1-20. Walt's Hobby Hard Charger - Wilson (12 pos.) $50 Vicomp Graphics Halfway - Preston $50. Winners Bonuses: Car-Mate Dealers $50, Pro Shocks $100, Comp. Tire East $75, Total Seal $50, Griffin Thermal Products $50, Hank's Performance Products $50, Bicknell Racing Products $35, Behrent's Performance Warehouse $30, Red's Speed Shop $25. Other Bonuses: Weld Racing Hard Luck - Faigle $75. Design 500 - Sharp Jr. $100, Holcomb $50. Penske Shocks - Holcomb $150. C&R Racing Radiators - Years $50. Bailey Racing Products - Faigle $35. Total Seal - Yonge $30. Thunder Mtn. Wings - Coffey $20. Powder Birns - S. Dow $10. Dave Ely Racing - Yonge, Kaszubinski, Emery $10. Lauterborn Electric - S. Dow $10.

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Series Sprint
Drivers Bill Coffey