ESS: Rolling Wheels report

Becca Anderson Sweeps ESS/URC Night at Rolling Wheels. by Dean Reynolds ELBRIDGE, N.Y. - For Houston, Delaware's Becca Anderson, it was a near perfect night as she dominated the Empire Super Sprint/United Racing Club Challenge Series event at...

Becca Anderson Sweeps ESS/URC Night at Rolling Wheels.
by Dean Reynolds

ELBRIDGE, N.Y. - For Houston, Delaware's Becca Anderson, it was a near perfect night as she dominated the Empire Super Sprint/United Racing Club Challenge Series event at the Rolling Wheels Raceway Park. The talented URC driver won her heat, dash and the 25 lap $2500 to win A-Main in the event held Saturday night during the 29th annual Super DIRT Week.

Anderson drove the Bill Turpin/Fred Kennedy owned Buckley built sprinter to her sixth career sprint feature win and her first in the ESS/URC Challenge Series. The event mark the seventh time the very successful Challenge Series visited the 1/2 mile kwown as the "Fast Track".

"This is a big win in my career. I like coming up here and to win a Challenge event is pretty cool." said Anderson, who lead the final 18 laps of the A-Main. "The track was slick but the crew really got the car dialed in. We tried some things during the dash and it seemed to work. I drove the car pretty much as hard as I could all race."

ESS veteran George Ely, who ironically drove in the very first race at Rolling Wheels 31 years ago, lead the first three circuits. Local favorite Bobby Podolak, an ESS winner in 2000, then took over the top spot after starting in sixth. =20

Anderson started outside pole but faded a bit early before rejoining the lead group and then passing Podolak as lap seven was in the books. While her Weidel Realators sponsored #56X was strong, she was to receive a strong challenge from fellow URC runner Mike Haggenbottom aboard the Bostic #6.

Haggenbottom started in eighth but would move into the runnerup slot by lap 15 to challenge Anderson in hopes of collecting his first ever ESS/URC Challenge Series win. Haggenbottom closed in on each lap when he used a "slide job" technique to pass Anderson in turn three on lap 17. Luckily for Anderson, the yellow lights would shine just as the pass was being made. To make the closing stages even more exciting, Greg Coverdale who came from 21st and 12th starting Mike Woodring were right there in hopes for a mistake by the leading duo.

"Mike (Haggenbottom) surprised me, I didn't realize he was that close." noted Anderson on the mid-race drama. "I was trying to pace myself and then he passed me. I was lucky the yellow came out and I knew I had to run harder."

Becca did run harder and three late race restarts also came to her aid. Everytime the green flag would wave, she opened up a good sized lead on Haggenbottom who needed laps to get his momentum. That story came true as the final five laps indeed went green and it was a shootout to the finish.

Several times Haggenbottom dived under Anderson but he just didn't have enough to slip up a groove and in front of the leader. "I saw him a couple of times there at the end." said Anderson on the late race drama. " I just tried to keep a good pace up top so he didn't get by me. He gave it his best, he ran me clean. It was a good race. I just wish we had a little better luck earlier today, but this is big win to have." As Anderson noted about her battle in a three car lead pack at the New York State Fairgrounds before making contact with a lapped car earlier in the day.

At Dave Farney's checkered flag, Anderson took the win over Haggenbottom, Coverdale, Anderson's teammate, was right there in third with 2000 ESS Champion Woodring a close fourth. Bully Hill Sprint Nationals champion George Suprick was fifth, URC's Bill Brian Jr. took sixth with Syracuse ESS/URC Shootout winner Lance Yonge capping off a great 12 hours by taking seventh. Veteran Fran Hogue was eighth with current URC point leader Brian Seidel ninth as ESS' Ray Preston rounding out the top ten. Four cautions and one red slowed the pace: Dave McGough and Don Sharp Jr. came together in turn one on lap 12, Jon Eldreth spun on lap 17, Bobby Podolak saw his night end with his sprinter on it's side on the restart for the red flag. Bill Coffey stopped on lap 18 and Kris Dow spun around on lap 20.

URC swept the four heats with Anderson, Tim Hogue, Haggenbottom and Fran Hogue taking the wins. ESS Quebec runner Alain Bergeron won the C-Main, Coverdale took the B-Main with Anderson winning the four lap Walt's Hobby Dash.

ESS/URC Challenge Notes: A fine field of 49 sprints filled the pits...26 cars from ESS with 23 from URC...of the 24 A-Main starters 14 were from URC and 10 from ESS...Bubby Kerrick was a flip victim during the B-Main...Engine woes for Curt Michael, Doug Emery and Matt Gerber which saw their mounts loaded early...The next ESS/URC Challenge event will come Saturday night, November 4 with a visit to the Delaware Int'l Speedway.

<pre> RESULTS: Heat 1 - Becca Anderson, George Suprick, George Ely, Brian Seidel, Rick Wilson. Heat 2 - Tim Hogue, Bill Brian Jr., Kramer Williamson, Kris Dow, Midge Miller. Heat 3 - Mike Haggenbottom, Don Sharp Jr., Mike Woodring, Bill Coffey, Jon Eldreth. Heat 4 - Fran Hogue, Bob Podolak, Ray Preston, Dave McGough, Dan Massey. C-Main - Alain Bergeron, Steve Dow, Bubby Kerrick, R.C. Faigle. B-Main - Greg Coverdale, Lance Yonge, Scott Holcomb, Trevor Lewis. Walt's Hobby Dash - Anderson. Did Not Qualify - Bergeron, S. Dow, Kerrick, Faigle, Dick Spadaro, Justin Barger, Rick Hart, Randy Years, Doug Emery, Curt Michael, "Crash" Nash, Darrell Bragman, Fred Kennedy, Rob Dietrick, Mike Stelter, Scott Pursell, Pete Green, Shawn Felt, Howard Singer, Dan Kaszubinski, Bobby Seidel, Matt Gerber, John Barnett, Cliff Brian. A-MAIN - BECCA ANDERSON, Haggenbottom, Coverdale, Woodring, Suprick, Brian Jr., Yonge, F. Hogue, Seidel, Preston, Wilson, Holcomb, Massey, Eldreth, Bergeron, Sharp Jr., K. Dow, Lewis, T. Hogue, Coffey, Podolak, Williamson, Ely, McGough. Lap Leaders - Ely 1-3, Podolak 4-6, Anderson 7-25.

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Justin Barger , Becca Anderson , Bill Coffey
Teams Williams