VERNON, N.Y. -- In what is going down in history as the most competitive Empire Super Sprint (ESS) season ever, the word domination has been a rarity. Ontario. N.Y.'s Chuck Hebing brought the word to the forefront with an effort that can only be...
VERNON, N.Y. -- In what is going down in history as the most competitive Empire Super Sprint (ESS) season ever, the word domination has been a rarity. Ontario. N.Y.'s Chuck Hebing brought the word to the forefront with an effort that can only be described as simply that--dominating. Starting in 14th, the driver of the Cobra Custom Homes, Ford powered Maxim took the lead on lap nine and proceeded to lap all but he top eight in the non-stop 25 lap A-main at the Utica-Rome Speedway.
The victory on the nativepoker.com Tour was his second of 2006 and also marks his second career with the 24 year old organization. A sellout crowd filled the large grandstands for the event that was rained out on July 2nd.
"I felt that I had a good car right from the start. We just made some small changes since warm-ups and be feature time it was really hooked up." said the talented driver who celebrates his victories with a wing dance. "I run a tight car, it's pushing all the time and with the track slick like tonight It plays right into you hands. I could put it just about anywhere and I ran it as hard as I could. With these guys, you have to do that because you never know who might be coming."
While running all out from green to checker is Hebing's motto, if he knew how strong he was it could have been a different plan. Russ Bennett's Spectro Oils #65 started on the pole and led the first eight laps. When the lap counter shined nine, it was Hebing in the top spot and he wasn't looking back until the checkered flag.
The race behind the #45 was crowd pleasing with Lance Yonge, Jeff VanDusen, Bennett, Bubby Kerrick and Jessica Zemken swapping spots on each map. It wasn't until lap 13 when Zemken took control of the runner up spot and hoping to chase down the leader. But, with the race going non-stop and Hebing masterfully handling lapped traffic, she would never get the chance. However, the 20 year old lady still thrilled the crowd with a strong second place run to Matt Burdick's checkered flag.
At the finish it was Hebing winning with Zemken second. Yonge won the next battle to claim third with Kerrick taking fourth making it a two-three-four finish for the nativepoker.com sponsored cars. Former Utica-Rome regular Jason Barney brought the Jeff Walton owned #87 in for a fine fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Steve Poirier, Bennett, Alain Bergeron, the last car on the lead lap, the Swiffer backed #7 of Bobby Podolak and Doug Emery.
Taking the Car Mate Trailer heat events were Kerrick, Yonge and Podolak with Poirier winning the Walt's Hobby Dash and Ray Preston taking the KSE Racing Products B-Main
ESS/UTICA-ROME NOTES: - Another fine field of 33 sprints in the pits on a sunny evening--Coming off his recent late model victory at the Adirondack Int'l Speedway, Jason Herrington did return to run the Tom Patterson #33 as a teammate to Doug Emery--Jim Livingston was in the Davis family owned #3 for the first time in 2006--By collecting the hard charger, halfway, A-Main winner's bonus and money earned in the dash, Hebing brought home $1825 in cash for his night's work--.With the stout field, point leader Justin Barger had to use a provisional to start the A-Main--After his big win at Cornwall, Don Sharp Jr. burnt a piston during warm-ups and he was loaded up for the night--The nativepoker.com Tour will make one more stop to the Vernon, N.Y. half-mile on Sept. 3rd--A special three race weekend will kick off this Thursday night with a trip to the Can-Am Motorsports Park followed by visits to Autodrome Granby and Drummond.
** NOTE -- The Empire Super Sprint event at the Canandaigua Speedway on July 22nd was rained out. A rain date could be announced shortly.
Heat 1 -- Bubby Kerrick, Chuck Hebing, Jeff Cook, Jason Barney, Alain Bergeron, Tommy Wickham.
Heat 2 -- Lance Yonge, Steve Poirier, Jeff VanDusen, Jessica Zemken, Warren Alexson, Blake Breen.
Heat 3 -- Bobby Podolak, Russ Bennett, Mike Stelter, Dan Kaszubinski, Doug Emery, Cory Sparks.
Walt's Hobby Dash -- Steve Poirier.
B-Main -- Ray Preston, Michael Parent, Bobby Breen, John Karklin Jr.
Provisionals -- Justin Barger, Billy White
Did Not Qualify -- Nick Fratto, Luke Eriksen, Jim Livingston, Jason Herrington, George Ely, Don Sharp Jr., Matt Norrie, Doug Norrie, Dave Wickham
A-MAIN -- CHUCK HEBING, Jessica Zemken, Lance Yonge, Bubby Kerrick, Jason Barney, Steve Poirier, Russ Bennett, Alain Bergeron, Bobby Podolak, Doug Emery, Cory Sparks, Mike Stelter, Jeff Cook, Dan Kaszubinski, Tommy Wickham, Justin Barger, Blake Breen, John Karklin Jr., Warren Alexson, Michael Parent, Billy White, Jeff VanDusen, Bobby Breen, Ray Preston