By MIKE MALLETT
BREWERTON, N.Y. – Dylan Swiernik had a stellar beginning to the 2013 season with the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints. The Port Leyden, N.Y., driver earned a series win in Quebec and was near the top of the point standings. That all changed after a hard crash at the Lebanon Valley Speedway in June forced him to his backup car.
The backup didn’t have the same drive as the primary car forcing to team to scramble for a replacement which they got in a new GF1 Chassis. The purchase has paid off as Swiernik has got his season back on track including a win on Friday night at the Brewerton Speedway in the Today’s Options 25-lap A-Main with the Empire Super Sprints.
Swiernik did something not many people been able to do the past few weeks. He passed Steve Poirier on the outside the speedway on a restart for the lead and eventually the win. In a race that also paid points for the SUNY Canton Series.
“Last week at Canandaigua Steve (Poirier) was running real quick and we were both running a good race. We checked out on the field, I ran up on him on the outside and we got together but that’s racing,” said Swiernik. “It was a tough deal but we came out tonight, he was the one I had to pass for the lead and I made sure it was clean this time.”
Poirier started on the front row of the A-Main allowing him to quickly take the race lead. He led lap one while Swiernik moved into the runner-up position a lap later.
Poirier charged away from the field on the outside lane opening up a half-straightaway lead by lap five. Then things changed though as he caught the tail end of the field allowing Swiernik and company to close in on him.
Swiernik was right on Poirier’s bumper in traffic on lap 10 when Patrick Vigneault spun in turn four causing the yellow flag to come up. Swiernik would make his move on the restart.
As the field came to the green flag in double-file formation, Poirier elected to use the inside groove while Swiernik had the top side. This proved to be the difference maker as Swiernik powered by Poirier at the exit of the second turn to take the lead.
Swiernik ran away from Poirier while he battled with Jason Barney and Larry Wight. He was leading in lapped traffic on lap 18 as the caution came out again. This time it was for Sammy Reakes IV as he spun in turn two.
Swiernik used the outside on the restart with Poirier alongside of him on the bottom. Like the restart he took the lead on, Swiernik again powered away on the outside of the speedway.
Swiernik got one final test when the red flag came out on lap 22 after Shawn Donath flipped after contact with Etienne Girard as his rear-end locked up and he stopped in turn three. Donath walked away unscathed with damage to his racecar.
Swiernik had a new challenger on the races final restart in Wight. Wight, a regular Modified driver at the track, attempted to use the bottom groove to gain an edge on Swiernik in the final three laps. He couldn’t get it done as Swiernik drove on to the win.
“From the get go we were fast on the outside,” said Swiernik. “I watched Stewart Friesen here the last time running through the middle as smooth as could be. I was wondering throughout the race if the bottom was starting to come in but I just stuck to my guns on the outside.”
Wight settled for a second which to this point is a career best finish for him in competition with the Empire Super Sprints.
“Really didn’t want to see that caution come out,” said Wight. “He was getting worse and worse on the top and I was trying to hold it down coming off of four because there was a lot of bite for me on the bottom. I think we would have really had a shot if the caution didn’t come out.”
Poirier faded back to finish in third at the final checkered after leading the first half of the race. Poirier admitted he made a mistake on that restart when he gave up the lead.
“That was a mistake,” stated Poirier. “When I ran the top in the early part I felt like the lapped cars were racing me on the inside and that there was good moisture down there. I thought it might be good to do the restart on the inside because you don’t have the same momentum that I might slow the car up in turn one. I got into turn one and spun the tires and saw him on the outside. It was a bad mistake.”
Paul Kinney started 14th and managed a fourth place effort while Barney continued his string of solid finishes bringing his No. 87 home in the fifth spot.
ESS/Brewerton Notes – A solid field of 31 sprints filled the pits…All teams were sporting special Michael Parent Get Well decals made by Alex Vigneault and Dace Axton…ESS sponsor Schneider Packaging also sponsored the night with over 150 employees on hand…Next up for the Lucas Oil Tour is a first ever visit to the I-88 Speedway on Tuesday, Aug. 27th.
Lucas Oil A-Main – Dylan Swiernik ($1,700), Larry Wight, Steve Poirier, Paul Kinney, Jason Barney, Bryan Howland, Jeff Cook, Charlie Donk, Tommy Wickham, Lance Yonge, Cory Sparks, Patrick Vigneault, Kevin Ward Jr., Joe Trenca, Mike Stelter, Jared Fink, Etienne Giard, Shawn Donath, Sam Reakes, Jessica Zemken, Chuck Hebing, Matt Tanner, Paul Habeck.
Did Not Qualify – Dave Wickham, Scott Wagner, Curtis Bradshaw, Dave Axton, Vinnie Vitale, Kyle Dutcher, Bob Gray, Steve Hutchinson
Lap Leaders – Poirier 1-10, Swiernik 11-25
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heat 1 – Donath, Wight, Porier, Reakes IV, Cook, Tanner
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heat 2 – Zemken, Yonge, Sparks, Girard, Kinney, Ward Jr.
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heat 3 – Hebing, Barney, Donk, Swiernik, Howland, Trenca
LB Motorsports/87 Speed/Cobra Coaches Dash – Wight
Lacaillade Masonry B-Main – T. Wickham, Habeck, Stetler, Fink
Added Starter – Vigneault
Westward Painting Company Halfway – Swiernik $100
Ohsweken Speedway Winners Bonus – Swiernik $100
Fondations 4 Saisons Hard Charger – Vigneault (11 pos.) $50
Fondations 55 Pick 5 – Barney $50
North Eastern Pool and Spa Power Pick – Barney, T. Wickham $50
Lacaillade Masonry B-Main – T. Wickham
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heats – Donath, Zemken, Hebing $25
Go Nucear Go Fast Award – Poirier (13.714) $25
Jimmy D’s Speed and Machine Fast Time – Donath (12.955) $25
The Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints are brought to you by: Lucas Oil, Le Groupe Ultra, SUNY Canton, Mach 1 Chassis, Today’s Options, Hoosier Racing Tires, Fondations 4 Saisons, Cobra Coaches, Westward Painting Company, Fondations 55, Camara Slate, North Eastern Pool and Spa, Lacaillade Masonry, Car Mate Trailers, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Ohsweken Speedway, Dover Brake and Clutch, FX Chevy and many, many associate sponsors!!