By Dean Reynolds
CANTLEY, QUE – It was Friday the 13th and at the witching hour, Cornwall, Ontario’s Brian “Slim” McDonald is to turn 39. So what did the veteran driver do for his birthday? He led all 25 laps to win the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints (ESS) event at Autodrome Edelweiss Speedway. The win in the Northwood 2 Construction/LaSalle Motorsports Canadian Sprint Car Series event was his third career and netted him over $2,200 in the Engine Research A-Main.
While if you look at the box score with the WestFront Construction XXX leading all 25 laps you think this was a cake walk…that was just not the case. He did get the jump on his outside pole mate Chuck Hebing but the war was on soon after.
In the early stages it was Hebing putting on the pressure with Kevin Ward Jr., and Dan Kaszubinski close behind. When Hebing spun around on lap 17 it was Kaszubinski and Ward continuing with the chase which saw the top three finish a mere few car lengths from each other.
“The car was fast, I could run the cushion just about wide open but I knew I couldn’t make a mistake.” said the driver who has won several small block modified events at the 1/3rd mile oval. “I knew Chuck and Dan were right there. Heck Dan got under me with one to go but I just had to be smart with the slower cars and make him make the move.”
Indeed, with the white flag waving, Kaszubinski tried the sprint car “slide job” on McDonald and pulled even for a split second but coming off the turn McDonald pulled out slightly. “The way the cars were on the last lap he was going to have to make a really good move to get around. I’m just glad it worked.” McDonald said. “The car has been fast most of the year, it’s just been ‘stupid’ luck. But, this is a big win, my whole family is here and I’m glad I could give them a big win.”
Kaszubinski and Ward were battling with Hebing for many laps until Hebing’s misfortune on the 17th circuit. The Syracuse, NY star who was looking for career win #31 was trying all grooves.
“I tried every pass in the book. I was getting good runs and I think if that caution on lap eight didn’t come out I might have been in position to get the lead early and then let them chase me.” noted Kaszubinski who started in eighth.
“The track was fast and I drove the car hard, it’s the first time I really felt comfortable in the car and we had a chance. Man I wanted that win but we will take second, it’s a good run for us. We have struggled a lot this year but right before I crashed at Mohawk and tonight I think we have found something”
Even though McDonald, Kaszubinski and Hebing were making the headlines, the 16 year old Port Leyden rookie driver was right there waiting for his opportunity.
“I had a chance, especially right there in the end, I was on both of them!” exclaimed Ward Jr. who drives the WPC backed Maxim. “I need for them to make a mistake but they are really good drivers. I will take third, this is the best of my career. I’m real happy, I just wanted a top five so we will definitely take third”
Following the front trio who finished right under a blanket was defending champion Justin Barger and Alain Bergeron. Rounding out the top ten were Steve Poirier, who earned the hard charger bonus after starting in 14th., Tommy Wickham, Lance Yonge, Chris Jones and Hebing after his late spin.
ESS/Edelweiss Notes: A solid field of 26 sprints played host to a big crowd…Making his first start of 2010 was Doug Banks who’s part of the Wilson Racing stables…Just a horrible visit for Jason Barney as the Brandon Warner #10B just didn’t fire all night. After looking over every part of the motor and fuel system the team was forced to head home skipping the Quebec Nationals the next night…April Wilson rolled over during her heat event but came back to qualify through the B-Main…It’s already confirmed that ESS will be back at least for two visits at Edelweiss for 2011.
Engine Research A-Main – Brian McDonald ($2,225), Dan Kaszubinski, Kevin Ward Jr., Justin Barger, Alain Bergeron, Steve Poirier, Tommy Wickham, Lance Yonge, Chris Jones, Chuck Hebing, Jeff Cook, Lee Ladouceur, Paul Pekkonen, Donald Lemire, Devin Caron, Daniel Lampron, Mike Stelter, April Wilson, Michael Parent, Rick Wilson, Zach Weigand, Dale Gosselin.
DNQ – Jason Barney, Michael Forcier, Doug Banks, Sylvain Erickson.
Lap Leader – McDonald 1-25.
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heats:
Heat 1 – Kevin Ward Jr., Brian McDonald, Lee Ladouceur, Zach Weigand, Paul Pekkonen, Dale Gosselin.
Heat 2 – Chris Jones, Justin Barger, Dan Kaszubinski, Alain Bergeron, Steve Poirier, Donald Lemire.
Heat 3 – Chuck Hebing, Tommy Wickham, Rick Wilson, Lance Yonge, Jeff Cook, Michael Parent.
Grampa’s Garage Appraisals/Cobra Coaches Dash – Brian McDonald
KSE Racing Products B-Main – Daniel Lampron, Devin Caron, Mike Stelter, April Wilson.
Engine Research A-Main Bonus – McDonald $275
Ohsweken Speedway Winner’s Bonus – McDonald $100
Cook’s Contracting Services Halfway – McDonald $100
WestFront Construction Hard Charger – Poirier (8 pos.) $50
MVCC Avaiation Extra – Wickham $50
HG Associates Fast Time – McDonald (12.025) #25
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers – Ward Jr., Jones, Hebing $25.