Steve Poirier Collects First Checkered in '07 as the Empire Super Sprints Makes a Return to Woodhull. WODDHULL, N.Y. -- In his first full season behind a winged sprint car, St. Mathieu de Beloeil, Quebec's Steve Poirier collected five A-Main...
Steve Poirier Collects First Checkered in '07 as the Empire Super Sprints Makes a Return to Woodhull.
WODDHULL, N.Y. -- In his first full season behind a winged sprint car, St. Mathieu de Beloeil, Quebec's Steve Poirier collected five A-Main victories including the famed Canadian Sprint Car Nationals. A total of eight events in on the tour brought to you by Jacobs Motorsports for 2007, the FM Industries Maxim has found its way to the winner's circle and it came as the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) made its return to the Woodhull Raceway for the first time since 2000.
For Poirier, it could have been just a simple change in fames and a change in luck. "The Eagle is a good car, but we just decided to switch to the older Maxim and here we are in victory lane. I don't know if this is what we needed but I just needed a change." said the driver who is finally showcasing a smile. "I won all my races last year in this car and the first time out here we are again."
For Poirier and many of the winged sprint cars in the pits, it was their first time taking on the high banks of Woodhull and showing the class of talent at each ESS show, only one caution was thrown all night which was for a sprinter that lost power. A big crowd filled the spacious grandstands and gave a huge ovation to the French Canadian collecting the winning laurels.
"This track is real neat, it is a lot of fun to drive. You can go way up on the banks, the middle and even down low." Poirier continued on his maiden trip to Southern, N.Y./Pa. border. "Tim (Kelly) got under me once so I decided to go low and it seemed just a little bit better. They told me he was right there all race so I'm glad it worked out this week."
What Poirier was referring to was the challenge by the 13 time ESS winner, Tim Kelly aboard his Vi-Kel backed #12. By virtue of the nightly pill draw, Poirier started the 25 lap A-Main on the pole with Kelly starting in third. On lap two, Kelly swept by Mike Stelter and began his pursuit of Poirier.
"I was trying. There were some laps where I get a run on him and then there were laps he would pull away a bit. I was hoping for lapped traffic but that caution (on lap 13) came out just at the wrong time." said the driver from Rock Stream, N.Y who is back part-time on the ESS tour after two seasons off to start a business. "It feels good to run strong though, we had some motor troubles at the beginning of the year but now we might have something for the guys. It was a fun race and we gave it a shot."
Indeed Kelly did just that, slower traffic did come into play on the closing laps but this week Poirier wasn't going to let this one slip through. "Last week I think it was driver error, me being too conservative with the slower cars, I wasn't going to do that again." dead-panned Poirier.
At the finish, Poirier was ahead by just a few sprint lengths over Kelly and with the victory he takes over the ESS overall point lead. Justin Barger was home third with the AEM #32, Michael Parent collected his first ever top five finish with a fine fourth with another strong run by Jared Zimbardi to round out the top five. The next five was made up of Lance Yonge, Jeff VanDusen, Bill Bailey, who was making his first start of 2007 in the Rick Dumigan sprinter and earned the Lane's Yamaha hard charger bonus after starting in 16th. Another first time start by Gary Troutman and he ran very well taking ninth with Cory Sparks rounding out the top ten.
The lone caution of the evening was on lap 13 when third place running Mike Stelter simply lost power. He tried to restart but his sprinter wouldn't fire.
Taking the Car Mate Custom Built Trailer heats were Zimbardi, Parent and Jeff Cook, the Van Pelt Collision/TW Recovery/Walt's Hobby Dash was also won by Poirier.
ESS/WOODHULL NOTES: Also making his first ESS start of 2007 was Chris Muhleisen who was bringing out a brand new car...Tommy Wickham headed pit side just before the four abreast parade lap and didn't take the green flag...During the night, Poirier collected $1850 in cash and $2,475 total with winner's contingencies....The ESS return to Woodhull after seven years was very successful and a return visit in '08 to Vern Wasson's facility is already set...Next weekend it will be a tale of two provinces and one state as ESS visits the Autodrome Edelweiss Speedway in Quebec on Friday, the Frogtown Int'l Speedway on Saturday and the second visit to the Cornwall Motor Speedway on Sunday. Edelweiss will pay $2,000 to win and $375 to start with the Cornwall event $2,000 to win and $300 to take the green.
Heat 1 -- Jared Zimbardi, Steve Poirier, Cory Sparks, Justin Barger, Lance Yonge, Bill Bailey
Heat 2 -- Michael Parent, Tommy Wickham, Jeff VanDusen, Chris Muhleisen, Bubby Kerrick
Heat 3 -- Jeff Cook, Mike Stelter, Normand Beaudreault, Tim Kelly, Gary Troutman, Alain Bergeron, Rich Van Keuren
Van Pelt Collision/TW Recovery/Walt's Hobby Dash -- Poirier
Did Not Start -- Wickham
A-MAIN -- Steve Poirier, Tim Kelly, Justin Barger, Michael Parent, Lance Yonge, Jeff VanDusen, Bill Bailey, Gary Troutman, Cory Sparks, Alain Bergeron, Jeff Cook, Normand Beaudreault, Bubby Kerrick, Chris Muhleisen, Mike Stelter, Rich Van Keuren.