Lance Yonge Conquers ESS/URC Shootout at Syracuse. by Dean Reynolds SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Empire Super Sprint standout Lance Yonge took advantage of lapped traffic to sweep by United Racing Club's Becca Anderson on lap eight to go on to dominate the...
Lance Yonge Conquers ESS/URC Shootout at Syracuse.
by Dean Reynolds
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Empire Super Sprint standout Lance Yonge took advantage of lapped traffic to sweep by United Racing Club's Becca Anderson on lap eight to go on to dominate the first ever ESS/URC Shootout held during Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds. The inaugural 360 sprint car event marked the first time the winged machines ran in actual competition at the "Moody Mile" since 1994.
The $35,000, 20 mile event sponsored by the National Parts Peddler Newspaper brought out the best from the two very successful organizations. The new millennium marked the seventh season for the ESS/URC Challenge Series and the $5000 to win event held on the Syracuse mile was the largest one day purse in the history of both clubs. "This is an incredible feeling!" exclaimed Yonge who won over
$5500 with lap money and bonuses. "This was the goal for Malcolm (Mal Lane, the car owner) and I. Syracuse is such a big deal and we prepared for this event for a long time. Then, to win it makes this special."
Yonge timed fourth fastest out of 27 cars but the top four in times were inverted for the 20 mile event which gave hom the pole starting spot. Starting alongside the former DIRT big and small block star was Anderson who was aboard her Bill Turpin/Fred Kennedy owned #56X. On the start, Anderson got the jump from the outside to be recorded as the leader on lap one.
"I tried to get into turn one first but we were on harder tires and I just couldn't get the bite to outrun her." noted Yonge on the start. "I went in deep hoping to get under Becca but I got the car too sideways so I decided to back off and try to hang with her until I got heat in the tires." =20
Anderson's Weidel Realtors backed mount indeed pulled out on Yonge and teammate, as well as fast timer, Greg Coverdale in the early stages. But, as the laps clicked on, both Yonge and Coverdale started to reel in the URC female star on each lap.=20 With six miles in the books, slower traffic became a huge factor and it was now a three sprinter race for the lead.
Yonge pulled alongside several times with Coverdale just waiting for the right break to make is move as well. On the eighth circuit, the Lane's Yamaha #5 found the right line and Yonge slipped by Anderson with Coverdale following right behind. Just seconds after the pass was made, Anderson's bid to re-take the lead was dashed as she came into contact with a lapedp car causing her sprinter to spin around.
Under the caution the race took another twist as Coverdale also pulled off the track making lap 8 unkind to the URC teammates.=20 URC's Mike Haggenbottom and Dave McGough took up the chase on Yonge for the restart but in the next several laps, the Gaerte powered, Stealth chassis sprint showed it's power. Yonge opened up what would be a full straitaway lead until the next caution nine laps later.
"I didn't realize that I had a big lead like that." admitted Yonge afterwards. "I tried to run this race like the Outlaws do, you just go as hard as you can each lap. The car felt good so I just kept it to the floor all the way around. With all these good cars and drivers I just figured someone was right behind me so I wasn't going to pace myself."
Yonge was clearly on his way to making this is own deal until a lap 17 caution that involved the Brian's, Cliff and Bill Jr.=20 That yellow turned into a red flag re-fueling stop. That put McGough, who took over second on lap 14, and Haggenbottom again on Yonge's rear bumper. But, just like the lap eight restart, Yonge again pulled out and the last three miles were trouble free for his fourth win on the 2000 season.
"Having some experience here does help. You need to be prepared, it is so fast and you need all the combinations to click. Luckily we had everything just the way we wanted right from the start." noted Yonge who took second in the ESS points for the 2000 season. "We never changed the car from hotlaps, not one bar, tire, shock, nothing...heck, I didn't even eat because I was afraid it might change the weight in the car! Tim Hatt did our body work and that was a big help, the car just stuck too the track which actually made it easy to drive. I just have to thank everyone, this is the biggest win ever and to have it here at Syracuse is amazing!"
Yonge took the checkers comfortably ahead of former URC champion in McGough. Haggenbottom brought the Bostic Motorsports #6 in for third. Canadian ESS star Rick Wilson came from ninth to finish in fourth ahead of 2000 ESS champion Mike Woodring. Rounding out the top ten were URC veteran Kramer Williamson, driving the Tom Patterson #33, four-time ESS winner in 2000 Dan Kaszubinski, current URC point leader Brian Seidel, who started in 17th, Mike Lauterborn and Doug Emery.
The caution on lap eight that involved Anderson also saw Bill Brian Jr. looped around. Both restarted. On lap 17, Cliff Brian had his left rear tire explode with brother Bill also spinning at the same time which ended his fine run from the back after the earlier yellow.
Taking the Walt's Hobby Shop fast time award and $500 cash was Coverdale to blistered the mile in 26.497 seconds which was over 135 mph. The Keen Speed Shop outside pole award of $300 was earned by McGough with a 27.010 time.
ESS/URC Shootout Notes: A total of 27 cars took time...Woodring and Wilson entered two cars for the event...13 cars from URC, 11 ESS regulars as well as three cars that normally run the ELS circuit made up the field...Coverdale's fallout was due to a broken bracket the holds the steering inside the cockpit...motor troubles hindered the efforts for URC stars Curt Michael and George Suprick, both dropped out before the checkered flag...Fred Kennedy and John Karklin Jr. did not qualify with Ray Preston using his guaranteed starting spot to make the grid...16 cars finished the event with 13 still on the lead lap.
<pre> ESS/URC Shootout: Lance Yonge, Dave McGough, Mike Haggenbottom, Rick Wilson, Mike Woodring, Kramer Williamson, Dan Kaszubinski, Brian Seidel, Mike Lauterborn, Doug Emery, Rick Hart, George Ely, Mike Stelter, Becca Anderson, Carmon Carnibucci Jr., Randy Years, Curt Michael, Cliff Brian, Bill Brian Jr., Greg Coverdale, Scott Holcomb, George Suprick, Scott Pursell, Midge Miller, Ray Preston. Did Not Qualify - Fred Kennedy, John Karklin Jr. Lap Leaders - Anderson 1-7, Yonge 8-20.