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Steve Poirier Finally Breaks into Drummondville Victory Lane Sweeping both Lucas Oil ESS Events

By Dean Reynolds

DRUMMONDVILLE, QUE – St. Mathieu del Beloeil, Quebec’s Steve Poirier has been regarded as the very best dirt modified driver to come from the French speaking province. When he made the switch to winged sprint cars on the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint (ESS) circuit he was looking at his home tracks to pick off victories.

Until this past Saturday, the driver of the FM Industries #28FM has never visited victory lane at Autodrome Drummond. On a big night, Poirier first took the make-up event from the June 5th rain out and then followed it up with wild outside passes to claim the night cap.

With the victories he has now regained the lead in the overall points as well as gained valuable markers for both the Northwood 2 Construction Canadian Sprint Car Series and the Fondations 4 Saisons Quebec Five Star Series.

“It’s been a little weird why we haven’t won until now here at Drummond. They have changed the track over the years but I still have a lot of laps here.” said Poirier. “A few times I had a good

car but I would start in the back, when I did start up front the car was off a little.”

In the make-up 25 lap finale Chuck Hebing and Justin Barger brought the field down for Eric Potvin’s green with Hebing’s snake-skinned #45 XXX getting the jump. The Ontario, NY star lead for the first eight circuits before the key moment of the event that changed the entire outcome.

On the ninth circuit Hebing was coming up to the lapped car of James Hanson and decided to take the outside lane. A lane opened up for the then running second place Poirier and it was three wide in turn two. Contact was made with both Hebing and Hanson getting the worse of it. Hebing’s damage was enough that he had to be towed to the pits.

This gave a clear track for Poirier and he lead the final 16 laps without any further troubles. His point rivals, Justin Barger (leader coming in) and Lance Yonge, were right behind in the running order. While they were fast they didn’t have enough to muster any challenge.

“It got tight there in turn two (on lap 9). There was some room on the bottom but it closed up. You don’t want to make contact but it happened.” the winner noted afterwards. “The track seemed to be fast only on the bottom so I just stayed there and hoped no one could go around me.”

For Barger, it was a front row opportunity that slipped away. “We just didn’t get a good start and fell back to third.” The driver of the Cortlandt Auto Body #32 said. “We had a fast car but not enough to get Steve, there’s another race tonight so we will try to get better.”

As for Yonge and his Johnson farms #17J, who was third in points, having the guys he’s chasing just in front kept the fight for the overall championship close. Taking fourth was Dan Kaszubinski followed by Quebec Nationals runner-up Kevin Ward Jr. in fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Alain Bergeron, Anthony Cain, Devin Caron, Michael Parent, and Brian McDonald.

ESS/DRUMMOND Race #1 Notes: Only Jessica Zemken and Normand Beaudreault were unable to start the event from June 5th. Zemken was racing out west while Beaudreault blew his engine Friday night at Granby…Jeff Cook was a flip victim on a lap nine restart, he was Ok…Lee Ladouceur got a ride in the Brian McDonald back up while David Renaud drove the Tyler Rand #84.

In the second A-Main it was again Hebing on the pole with fellow Ontario, NY resident Mike Stelter alongside. Hebing again got the jump and took control of the event which went green until lap 18 for a spinning Alain Bergeron.

This lone caution set up a wild final seven laps. Hebing was comfortable on the bottom but what he didn’t know was that Poirier was making passes on the extreme outside of the track, a groove that seemed to get faster as the event went on.

On the green it was Hebing leading just one more circuit before a cushion hugging Fondations 4 Saisons #28FM went around for the lead and eventually the checkered flag in front a cheering crowd.

“I was just running the bottom following Chuck and Dan (Kaszubinski) but it wasn’t the way to get a win.” Poirier mentioned. “I then saw a shadow on the outside of me so I knew someone was out there and they were close to me so I gave it a try. It was the way to the front, my car was just so fast especially in turns three and four. I didn’t lift at all.”

While a second place is normally good for any driver, for the chauffeur of the Cobra Coaches #45 it was looked at as two chances that got away. “We got a little help in the first race and he (Poirier) found a better line in the second race. What can you do?” Hebing simply summed it up.

Kevin Ward Jr. came home in third after starting in eighth on the restart, the young 16 year old has grown a liking to the Drummondville oval. Barger took fourth with Kaszubinski taking his second top five finish on the night.

The next five was made up of Yonge, Bergeron, who rallied from the lap 18 caution, Stelter, Chris Jones and Parent.

ESS/DRUMMOND Race #2 Notes: A total of 28 cars were in attendance…Making his first ever sprint car start was modified star Francois Bernier who looked very good as the teammate of Poirier…Jeff Cook took out his backup car and finished in 11th in the A-Main…After the two wins, Steve Poirier now has the lead in all three point groups going into Sunday nights event at Le RPM Speedway.

Fondations 4 Saisons Quebec Five Star Series A-Main (June 5th) – Steve Poirier, Justin Barger, Lance Yonge, Dan Kaszubinski , Kevin Ward Jr., Alain Bergeron, Anthony Cain, Devin Caron, Michael Parent, Brian McDonald, Chris Jones, Lee Ladouceur, Daniel Lampron, Donald Lemire, Zach Weigand, Dale Gosselin, Chuck Hebing, Jeff Cook, James Hanson, Michael Forcier, David Renaud.

DNS – Jessica Zemken, Normand Beaudreault. DNQ – Kayle Robidoux.

Lap Leaders – Hebing 1-7, Poirier 8-25.

Ohsweken Speedway Winners Bonus – Poirier $100
Cook’s Contracting Services Halfway – Poirier $100
WestFront Construction Hard Charger – Ward Jr. (9 pos.) $50.
MVCC Aviation Extra – Bergeron $50
HG Associates Fast Time – Poirier (16.427) $25

Fondations 4 Saisons Quebec Five Star Series A-Main – Steve Poirier, Chuck Hebing, Kevin Ward Jr., Justin Barger, Dan Kaszubinski, Lance Yonge, Alain Bergeron, Mike Stelter, Chris Jones, Michael Parent, Jeff Cook, Francois Bernier, Tyler Rand, Brian McDonald, Lee Ladouceur, Tommy Wickham, Anthony Cain, Dale Gosselin, Devin Caron, Zach Weigand, Paul Pekkonen, Shayne Ely.

Lap Leaders – Hebing 1-20, Poirier 21-25.

Did Not Qualify – Curtis Bradshaw, Daniel Lampron, Michael Forcier, Jake Langlois, James Hanson, Donald Lemire.

Heat 1 – Alain Bergeron, Dan Kaszubinski, Chuck Hebing, Anthony Cain, Kevin Ward Jr., Lee Ladouceur.
Heat 2 – Steve Poirier, Justin Barger, Chris Jones, Jeff Cook, Michael Parent, Tommy Wickham.
Heat 3 – Lance Yonge, Mike Stelter, Francois Bernier, Tyler Rand, Brian McDonald, Shayne Ely.
Cobra Coaches Dash – Lance Yonge
B-Main – Devin Caron, Dale Gosselin, Zach Weigand, Paul Pekkonen.

Ohsweken Speedway Winners Bonus – Poirier $100
Cook’s Contracting Services Halfway Bonus – Hebing $100
WestFront Construction Hard Charger – Ward Jr. (10 pos.) $50
MVCC Aviation Extra – Bergeron $50
HG Associates Fast Time – Hebing (16.145) $25
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heats – Bergeron, Poirier, Yonge $25.

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.