ESS: Tour 2004 calendar is set

Empire Super Sprints Tour 2004 is set With 32 Dates: Purse Increase Awaits all Competitors. SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Empire Super Sprints (ESS) Tour 2004 will be bringing exciting sprint car racing to four states and two Canadian provinces which...

Empire Super Sprints Tour 2004 is set With 32 Dates: Purse Increase Awaits all Competitors.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Empire Super Sprints (ESS) Tour 2004 will be bringing exciting sprint car racing to four states and two Canadian provinces which will see some of the best sprint car pilots in the northeast vying for over half-a-million dollars in prize money. A total of 32 races dates have been set up at 18 race tracks from Quebec to Knoxville, Iowa in making the Tour 2004 one of the most looked forward too schedules in the long history of the 360 sprint car organization.

All competitors in ESS competition will notice another purse increase coming their way in each full point show. The 25 lap A-Main will now pay $1500 to win with $1000 set up for second, $400 for tenth and now a solid paying $250 to take the green. Teams that follow at least 2/3rds of the tour will be guaranteed $100 tow money of they do not qualify for the feature event.

With the Car-Mate Trailers winner's bonus of $50, the Engler Machine and Tool $25 to win heat events, the Brodix Cylinder Heads halfway bonus of $50, the Lane's Yamaha hard Charger bonus of $50 and the $100 to win Walt's Hobby Dash Series event it is possible a driver could take home $1,775 is cash on a particular evening.

Some of the season highlights for this year is the return of the Evans Mills Speedway, now re-named Thunder Alley Speedpark, after a 15 year hiatus with ESS for two Thursday night events. Billy and Charlie Caprara have done wonders in bringing the historical facility bringing it back to life. Under the promotion of Andy Harpell, the Five Mile Point Speedway is back on the schedule after 14 years and the winged warriors will help kick off the National Quarter-Mile Dirt Track Weekend. The Caprara's will bring ESS back to the Can-Am Motorsports Park twice after one year off and the Bicknell family is doing the same at Merrittville with one big event in June.

Mercer Raceway Park and the Thunder Mountain Speedway will host first ever ESS events in 2004. The Utica-Rome Speedway is now under the leadership of Chip Burdick and the fast half-mile will once again host the sprinters on each summer holiday weekend for three big events. Multiple bookings will find the stars and cars at Autodrome's Granby and Drummond, the Cornwall Motor Speedway, Brockville Ontario Speedway and the Little Valley Speedway for full ESS point shows. Ohsweken, Frogtown and Edelweiss will showcase one ESS point show during the year.

Many special events with added purses will also make the 2004 Tour even more special. The sixth annual Bully Hill Vineyards Fall Sprint Nationals at the Black Rock Speedway in September will head the list on Sept. 10 & 11. The $40,000 two-day event will see over $4,000 to the winner of the 35 lap finale with ESS' best on hand hoping to claim the biggest chunk of gold. The Brodix Tournament of Champions will see it's sixth time running the 360 national event and ESS is proud to be a part in all six events. On August 7 and 8, the best 360 pilots from coast to coast will converge at the famed Knoxville Speedway to be gunning for the $4,000 top prize.

Other special events on the schedule is the "Great Race" for 360 sprint cars which will be held at the Mercer Raceway Park just one week after the Bully Hill Nationals on Sept. 18. ESS will be joining several other 360 groups in the $3,000 to win, $300 to start event which is hoping to be another premiere event of it's kind in years to come. ESS' first visit to Mercer on May 15th kicks off the tour this season with all the top teams joining forces with the National Racing Alliance sprints and Mercer's own 360's as a big part of the Western Pa. Sprint Car Championships.

On August 14th ESS will again be a big highlight of Watkins Glen weekend with a special visit to Black Rock for the $2,095 to win Earl Halaquist Memorial. Along with Black Rock's own sprints and the Patriot Sprint Group, the event looks to be an exciting challenge. The annual visit to Super DIRT Week and the Rolling Wheels Raceway on Oct. 9 for the ESS, United Racing Club, PSG Challenge will see $3,000 going to the winner of the 25 lap event. Finally, on the way out to Knoxville, ESS will join Sprints on Dirt and the URC for a 360 challenge at the fast track known as the Hartford Speedway Park in Hartford, Michigan.

A total of 21 years of professional sprint car action and with stars such as Justin Barger, Dan Kaszubinski, John Karklin Jr., Lance Yonge, Bubby Kerrick, Alain Bergeron, Doug Emery, Mike Stelter and some 30 others chauffeurs from New Hampshire to Quebec to Pennsylvania, the Empire Super Sprints Tour 2004 will be excitement guaranteed!! For more information on the exciting Tour 2004, fans can log on to www.empiresupersprints.com .

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Series Sprint
Drivers Justin Barger