SYRACUSE, NY – It all began in 1983 and now in 2018, the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints (ESS) is ready to embark on their 35th Anniversary Celebration. A total of 28 full point events in New York and Canada anchor the season with nine more extra purse special shows making for an exciting 2018 campaign.
Brewerton, NY’s Jason Barney won his first ever ESS title last year taking home just shy of $9,000 cash from the record $55,000 cash point that was handed out at the annual awards banquet. The chase for this year’s 35th Anniversary titlist starts on Friday night, April 20th at the Outlaw Speedway, the ESS run full point event will pay $3,000 to win and $300 to start. The chase for the overall Lucas Oil championship will end on Saturday, Sept. 22nd at the Fonda Speedway with the annual Kramer Williamson Memorial.
This year, all full point events will post a minimum winner’s share of $2,000 with a minimum of $275 just to take the green flag. In what has been ESS tradition, all cars that enter a full point event will take home cash with tow money paid to all DNQ’s.
The overall Lucas Oil ESS points is the main goal and point fund paid at seasons end. However, there are several other point fund titles to shoot for as well. NAPA Auto Parts is back as the sponsor of the US Series Point Fund, for the second year in a row, 1000 Islands RV Centre is backing the point fund for all Canadian Events. New for 2018 is the E&V Energy I90/I81 Series while Fondations 4 Saisons returns as the sponsor for the Quebec Series and Cobra Coaches also back funding the Dash Series point fund.
Points is also earned during the year for drivers that pass cars in each A-Main and the top three that do pass the most will take home cash thanks to Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance Fuels. Also, the top three drivers that lead the most A-Main laps will receive cash bonuses thanks to Danny Willmes Enterprises.
In what has become one of the most popular traditions on the Lucas Oil ESS Tour is now the Sixth Annual Donath MotorWorx Central New York (CNY) Speedweek. Five nights of winged sprint car action that starts this year on Wednesday, July 4th and caps off on Sunday, July 8th. Each event will pay a minimum of $2,500 to win with $300 to start. For the second year in a row thanks to Donath MotorWorx, the top 10 in points will share from the point fund with $1,000 going to the champion.
ESS purses paid out to the teams are one of the largest of any 360 organization in the country and that is bolstered even more by many nightly sponsors. Special thanks to Car Mate Trailers, Engler Machine and Tool, Hoosier Racing Tires, Sunoco/Insinger, Ohsweken Speedway and the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals, Fondations 55, Pinnacle Investments, SUNY Canton, Lacaillade Masonry, Around Town Heating and Plumbing and Ashley Lynn Winery for adding to the totals. A few more sponsors are being worked on before the season lid lifter on April 20th.
Barney is back and ready to defend his 2017 title but the list of challengers look strong for the upcoming season. Matt Tanner, Paul Kinney, Paulie Colagiovanni and Matt Billings rounded out the top five in points last year and all are back taking on the full tour for this year.
Other teams looking at running the full or most of the tour include Jeff Cook, Coleman Gulick, Steve Poirier, Mike Mahaney, Jonathan Preston, Chad Miller, Shawn Donath, Brett Wright, Dave Axton, Parker Evans, Alex Vigneault and Kelly Hebing.
Fans can also expect these top drivers at many events on 2018 which include last years winningest driver Danny Varin, Chuck Hebing, Billy VanInwegen, Larry Wight, Yan Bilodeau, Mark Smith, Chris Jones, Jordan Poirier, Dalton Herrick, Dan Douville, Sammy Reakes IV, Clay Dow, Keith Granholm, Pete Richardson, Josh Flint, James Hanson, Tyler Rand, Josh Azzi, Denny Peebles and others!
The first drop of the green flag is a few days away and the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints are ready to showcase the 35th Anniversary of exciting winged sprint car action.