From Dean Reynolds
SYRACUSE, NY – The final checkered flag of the 26th Anniversary season for the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints (ESS) will be waved on Saturday night, November 21st at the Holiday Inn Carrier Circle in Syracuse, NY. It will be the “Night of Champions” as a total of six different point championships will be awarded with the total over $35,000 in cash!
Headlining the gala affair will be the crowning of the Lucas Oil Champion Justin Barger. The Montrose, NY star collected four A-Main victories and 17 top ten finishes in 21 events total in route to his first ever ESS championship. The 25 year old driver of the Cortlandt Auto Body #32 narrowly missed his first title shot on 2003 to Mike Lutz but put together an incredibly strong season to collect all the accolades in 2009.
Barger also won the Gater Racing News Lap Leader title and finished in the top five in three of the other four point categories. The banquet room of some 150 guests will be honoring Barger in joining fellow ESS champions Gordy Button, Jeff Taylor, Mal Lane, Mike Woodring, Lutz, Lance Yonge, Alain Bergeron and Steve Poirier.
The very lucrative series in a series, the Northwood 2 Construction/LaSalle Motorsports Canadian Sprint Car Series was decided in the very last event at the Ohsweken Speedway. Passing some of the nation’s best sprint car drivers Jeff Cook collected his one and only A-Main victory of 2009 and it was enough to nip Alain Bergeron in collecting the Canadian Series title. Cook took third in the overall points in what was his most successful season ever.
New for the 2009 season was the very special seven race SUNY Canton Series with events held at the Utica-Rome Speedway, Can-Am Motorsports Park, Mohawk International Raceway and the Fonda Speedway. Just like Cook’s scenario, former ESS champion Lance Yonge picked up his only A-Main of 2009 in the final event at Fonda. The victory enabled him to take home this series title for the Penn Yan, NY pilot.
WestFront Construction took over title sponsorship of the Hard Charger Series for ’09. By virtue of a late season charge, defending ESS champion Steve Poirier passed more cars than anyone else from May to September to collect this point title, his third in a row.
The point titles didn’t stop there for the St. Mathieu del Beloeil, Quebec star as he won the Cobra Coaches Dash Series for the second year in a row. He beat Yonge and Bergeron for the dash series championship.
Other special awards will fill the night which include the Jereco Competition Engines Rookie of the Year/Outstanding New Comer award, the Brodix Cylinder Heads Hard Luck Award, the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints Mechanic of the Year award, the Mal Lane Award of Excellence and also the prestigious John Zentner Memorial Award.
Registration begins at 9AM, the rules meeting will be held from 10-2 in the Gemini Room. Cocktail hour is from 5:30-6:30 with dinner until 8:00. The awards presentation is from 8:00 to 9:30 with DJ Pat LaPage taking it from there until midnight. After hours will be at Lucy’s Lounge with the Gemini Room turning into the VIP room to the last person standing.
For more information please log on to www.empiresupersprints.com where the banquet dinner order form is ready to download. All is welcome from competitors, crew members and fans in rooting some of the best sprint car drivers from the US and Canada.
Saturday, November 21st is the date, Holiday Inn Carrier Circle is the site…it’s the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints annual Awards Banquet and it what has become tradition for 26 years. It will be excitement guaranteed!!