From Dean Reynolds
WEEDSPORT, NY – It’s a winning stretch for the record books. Sprakers, NY’s Jessica Zemken collected her third Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints (ESS) A-Main victory in a row and her fifth on the 2010 season with a victory at the Cayuga County Fair Speedway on Sunday night.
While she was all smiles in victory lane, she knew that a little luck helped her to win the National Parts Peddler Newspaper sponsored ESS program. Former two-time champion Steve Poirier led the first 20 laps from his pole starting spot. The Quebec star had a strait away lead on Zemken when he pulled in the infield with motor woes. The girl simply known as JZ inherited the lead and that was end of this storyline with her Corr/Pak Merchandising backed Maxim.
“I will admit that we got a little luck on our side tonight. Steve (Poirier) had the race won. We were fast but I wasn’t going to catch him. But, this was the new car and I felt comfortable in it for the first time.” said Zemken afterwards. “Luck is part of racing but we really have been on a good stretch here with ESS. Five wins is amazing and I beat the boss (Tony Stewart) again!”
The former Sprint Cup Champion was making his second ESS appearance of the year and once again he was watching the car he owns piloted by the young lady who has been taking the Northeast 360 circuit by storm.
Jason Barney came from his eighth place starting spot to come home with a strong second which was a good rebound from last weekend. “This makes up for the tough weekend we had last week.” said the driver of his self-owned Schneider Packaging Maxim #87. “The car was good on long runs, it just kept getting faster. That caution late ended my chance for the win but I’m happy. We needed this finish and hopefully we can keep it going as the season moves on.”
For Stewart, he came from his sixth place starting spot to collect his second third place finish with ESS. “I had a ball, I really enjoy running these winged cars and I’m glad we did well. But, we need to do something to beat her!” said the Columbus, Ind. star and driver of the Old Spice Eagle. “I’m sure I’m never going to hear the end of it in the car, she’s my ride home. I’m happy for her, I do this for fun but I like to see her do well and she really has been on a good run as of late. I know, I keep looking at her tail tank!”
For Poirier, it looked to be his first win on the season but when he pulled in the infield on lap 20 so did his chances. “Something broke in the motor. I don’t think its major but if I stayed on the gas I would have blown it all up.” said the driver of the FM Industries #28FM. “It’s a tough year so far, sometimes the car hasn’t been good but we have ok finishes, tonight the car was perfect and then the motor goes bad. It’s part of racing.”
Following the leading threesome to the stripe was Davie Franek but he was put back two spots for jumping on the lap eight restart. This moved defending champ Justin Barger to fourth and Auburn, NY’s Bryan Howland up to fifth. Franek was credited with sixth with Bobby Breen, Dylan Swiernik (who came from 17th), Lance Yonge and Dan Kaszubinski rounding out top ten.
Just two cautions slowed the action, lap eight for Chuck Hebing who slid off turn one and for Tyler Rice who made heavy contact with the turn two wall and almost flipped over on lap 22.
ESS/Cayuga County Notes: A good field of 29 sprints were pit side for ESS’ first visit in five years…The sprints paid host to a packed grandstands…Making first starts of 2010 were Howland, Jared Fink, Chris Muhleisen with big block modified campaigner Mike Mahaney, aboard the Gary King owned mount, and Austin Ely making first ever ESS starts. Only Ely failed to crack the starting lineup…Tim Kelly’s horrible luck continues with a heavy wall encounter during his heats and was done for the night…Next week the Lucas Oil Tour heads to Ohsweken Speedway to take on the Corr/Pak sprints for another Northwood 2 Construction/LaSalle Motorsports Canadian Sprint Series event.
Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints
National Parts Peddler Newspaper A-Main – Jessica Zemken, Jason Barney, Tony Stewart, Justin Barger, Bryan Howland, Davie Franek, Bobby Breen, Dylan Swiernik, Lance Yonge, Dan Kaszubinski, Blake Breen, Chuck Hebing, Shawn Donath, Jeff Cook, Tommy Wickham, Kevin Ward Jr., Zach Weigand, Mike Stelter, Mike Mahaney, James Hanson, Tyler Rice, Steve Poirier, Jared Fink, Chris Muhleisen.
Did Not Qualify – Shayne Ely, Tim Kelly, Austin Ely, Dave Wickham, Curtis Bradshaw.
Lap Leaders – Poirier 1-20, Zemken 21-25.
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heats:
Heat 1 – Tyler Rice, Justin Barger, Zach Weigand, Bobby Breen, Shawn Donath, Jared Fink
Heat 2 – Steve Poirier, Chuck Hebing, Jason Barney, Davie Franek, Blake Breen, Dylan Swiernik.
Heat 3 – Jessica Zemken, Tony Stewart, Bryan Howland, Dan Kaszubinski, Lance Yonge, Tommy Wickham.
Dick Carbery/Cobra Coaches Dash – Steve Poirier.
KSE Racing Products B-Main – Kevin Ward Jr., Jeff Cook, Mike Mahaney, Chris Muhleisen.
Added Starters – Mike Stelter, James Hanson.
The Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints are brought to you by: Lucas Oil, Northwood 2 Construction/LaSalle Motorsports, SUNY Canton, 730 Truck Stop, Hoosier Racing Tires, Les Constructions Ultra, Cooks Contracting Services, Fondations 4 Saisons, Car Mate Trailers, The National Parts Peddler Newspaper, WestFront Construction, Cobra Coaches, The Ohsweken Speedway, Mohawk Racing Parts, Engine Research, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Total Race Supply, Riverside Bar and Grill, Coffrage Daniel Lampron, Mohawk Valley Community College, FX Chevy and many, many associate sponsors.