By Dean Reynolds
WEEDSPORT, NY – To say Sunday nights victory for Lance Yonge at the New Cayuga County Speedway was desperately needed might be stretching it a bit, but for the Penn Yan, NY veteran it was welcomed. Holding off Jason Barney for the entire 25 lap A-Main Yonge took the checkered flag which marked his 36th career in Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint competition tying him for second with the legendary Mal Lane for second on the all-time win list.
Yonge’s big break on the night was drawing the pole position at a track that he’s very familiar at. “Drawing the pole was huge tonight, the best groove was the bottom and I wasn’t going to leave the bottom for all 25 laps.” summed up the driver of the Johnson Farms #17J. “I just set up the car for there and hope it would work. I wasn’t sure if the top would come in but that’s what I had planned.”
At the drop of the green flag Yonge got the jump on Barney but the race was quickly red flagged when Dylan Swiernik lost a wheel and with the field checking up Shayne Ely had contact with another car and ended up rolling over in turn three. That red flag was the only time any light other than green we to be used for the A-Main.
On the restart Yonge again got the lead over Barney and held to plan by sticking to the bottom. With the preferred line taken, Barney’s Schneider Packaging #87 tried to use a higher lane in turn three to make his moves.
“I saw Jason (Barney) up there, he had a good run on me a few times especially when we got to the lapped cars.” Yonge noted. “But, If I could get off the corners, especially turn four I thought I would be ok.”
Barney’s lane did work as he took over the lead when lap 13 was scored but Yonge got him back going into turn one. After that Yonge seemed to get through the slower cars just a little bit quicker and on to the important win.
“We needed this, it’s been a tough start to the season but tonight it all worked out. The car was good, the motor ran well, we didn’t have any troubles at all.” Yonge said. ‘To win at one of my home tracks where I ran a modified and to have so many friends here makes it mean even more.”
For Barney, the second place finish was welcomed as well. He was to tackle the full ESS tour for the first time but a hurt motor in the very first event put a damper on the plans.
“It just feels good to even finish a race, but to finish second to Lance means we had a good race.” said the quiet Brewerton, NY chauffeur. “I think we even might have had a better car. I could get runs on him, especially turn three but when my front wing broke I really had no chance after that.”
However, there was smiles afterwards in the Barney camp. “It’s still a very good run for us, to have my sponsors and friends here makes it special. We will get on the tour here and see if we can keep the luck going.”
It was a quiet third place finish for Jeff Cook with the battle up front but it was big monkey off his back. Cook had tour championship hopes back in April…what has transpired was a string of bad luck and bad finishes. This was his first top five all year.
“I’m not going to lie, the confidence was taking a hit. I was going to be happy just to go over the scales for once (ESS weighs the top 5 after the A-Main).” said the driver of the Northcountry Welding #10. “To actually go to victory lane in third was a bonus. It has been just a horrible year and I just hope this will get us going.”
Shawn Donath and Steve Poirier rounded out the top five. The next five were Chuck Hebing, who holds a slim lead over Donath in the overall point fight, Charlie Donk, Matt Tanner, Tommy Wickham and Jared Zimbardi.
ESS/New Cayuga County Notes: A field of 24 sprints were on hand for ESS’ return to track now under the promotion of Eric Kingsley…James Hanson lost a motor during the heats and was out for the night…An interesting note, Shayne Ely is the grandson of George Ely and Frank Mears, two drivers that roamed the Weedsport oval more than four decades ago…Next up for the Lucas Oil Tour is the second ever visit to the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park on Friday and then the make-up for the June 11 rain out at the Fulton Speedway.
Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints A-Main – Lance Yonge, Jason Barney, Jeff Cook, Shawn Donath, Steve Poirier, Chuck Hebing, Charlie Donk, Matt Tanner, Tommy Wickham, Jared Zimbardi, Alain Bergeron, Bryan Howland, Mike Stelter, Paul Habeck, Dave Wickham, Kevin Ward Jr., Cory Sparks, Jared Fink, Tyler Rand, Michael Parent, Dylan Swiernik, Shayne Ely.
Did Not Qualify – Kory Gurney, James Hanson
Lap Leaders – Yonge 1-12, Barney 13, Yonge 14-25.
Car Mate Custom Built Trailer Heat 1 – Donath, Cook, Hebing, Barney, Zimbardi, Ward Jr.
Car Mate Custom Built Trailer Heat 2 – Howland, Bergeron, Yonge, Poirier, D. Wickham, Stelter
Car Mate Custom Built Trailer Heat 3 – Tanner, T. Wickham, Swiernik, Donk, Fink, Rand
Schneider Packaging/Cobra Coaches Dash – T. Wickham
Engine Research B-Main – Parent, Habeck, Sparks, Ely
Westward Painting Corp. Halfway – Barney $100
WestFront Construction Hard Charger – Habeck (6 pos.) $50
Ohsweken Speedway Winners Bonus – Yonge $50
Mohawk Racing Parts Pick 5 – Poirier $50
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heats – Donath, Howland, Tanner
HG Associates Fast Time – 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, Westward Painting Corporation, 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, Riverside Bar and Grill, Coffrage Daniel Lampron, Jasmin Peloquin Sport, FX Chevy and many, many associate sponsors.