ESS Memorial Weekend Spectaculars at Fonda and Utica-Rome

ess 2011 empire super sprints

ess 2011 empire super sprintsFrom ESS

SYRACUSE, NY – Even though the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint (ESS) 2012 season kicked off very successfully on April 28th at Can-Am, the 29th Anniversary Tour now kicks into high gear with the annual Memorial Day Weekend stops at Fonda and Utica-Rome.


The annual Earl Halaquist Memorial will once again be held at the “Track of Champions”, the Fonda Speedway.  The winner of the 25 lap A-Main will collect a cool $2,000 which will bring a full field of winged machines to the MontgomeryCounty oval.


Last year Justin Barger made it three consecutive wins when he won the Memorial event.  Steve Poirier made the championship run very exciting by winning the event in Sept. last year falling just shy of the title to the “Cobra” Chuck Hebing.  All three teams are expected to be on hand however it will be a “game time” decision to see if Poirier is recovered enough from his knee injury.  If not, Kevin Loveys will be aboard the #28FM.


Many local stars will be in the Fonda pit area as well such as Jessica Zemken, Bobby Varin, Kory Gurney, Josh Pieniazek, Warren Alexson, Jami Russell and more.


Fans will also be in for a special treat from Noon-3 at the Winners Circle Restaurant right near the speedway with the annual car show.  They can see the sprints of Cory Sparks, Mark Zemcik and Luke Munroe along with a special display of a former Lou Lazzaro modified.  The Winners Circle will also sponsor the Cobra Coaches Dash.


The next night it’s off to the popular half-mile in Vernon, NY, the Utica-Rome Speedway for the first of four visits in 2012.  Hebing and Poirier have put on memorable duels at the Gene Cole owned facility and the fans will come in droves hoping for another exciting event. Walt’s Hobby will be celebrating 25 consecutive years in sponsoring with ESS with the backing of the Cobra Coaches dash event.


Coming into the weekend newly crowned as the “Honey Badger”, first year sprint campaigner Sammy Reakes IV is the ESS point leader by virtue of his win at Can-Am.  Stiff competition on both nights will come from Shawn Donath, Lance Yonge, Jeff Cook, Matt Tanner, Patrick Vigneault, Michael Parent, Paul Kinney, Kevin Ward Jr., Dylan Swiernik, Jason Barney, Anthony Cain, James Hanson, Mike Stelter, Joe Trenca, Etienne Girard, Paul Habeck, Charlie Donk with welcomed entries of 32 time ESS winner Dan Kaszubinski and Robbie Stillwaggon along with others.


Making appearances at Utica-Rome will be Larry Wight, Doug Emery, Jimmy Stitzel and hoping to make the trip north the legendary Kramer Williamson.


Memorial Weekend is in honor to those that have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  The very best of America’s Race Cars will be out in force putting on a show at two well known dirt facilities and continuing with the tradition of excitement guaranteed!!


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Past Empire Super Sprint Winners at Fonda Speedway


July 18, 1987 John Brutcher
Sept. 14, 1991 Bobby Parrow
Aug. 2, 1992 Tom Taber
Oct. 15, 1994 Craig Lane
July 21, 2007 Justin Barger
Aug. 5, 2008 Justin Barger
May 24, 2009 Doug Emery
Sept. 26. 2009 Lance Yonge
May 29, 2010 Justin Barger
Sept. 25, 2010 Justin Barger
May 28, 2011 Justin Barger
Sept. 24. 2011 Steve Poirier


Past Empire Super Sprint Winners at Utica Rome Speedway
May26, 1986 Dave Kelly
July 27, 1986 Bill Peri
May 25, 1987 Gordy Button
Oct. 3, 1987 Mike VanDusen
June 11, 1989 George Sifo
July 9, 1989 Rob Hart
Aug. 20, 1989 Mal Lane
July 8, 1990 Bob Podolak
Aug. 11, 1990 Jeff Thomas
Aug. 9, 1992 Lance Yonge
May 29, 1994 Bobby Parrow
May 26, 1996 Mike Woodring
Sept. 1, 1996 Mike Woodring
Sept. 2, 2001 Steve Dow
Sept. 1, 2002 Dan Kaszubinski
Oct. 9, 2002 Doug Emery
May 25, 2003 Mike Lutz
July 6, 2003 Justin Barger
Aug. 31, 2003 Justin Barger
May 30, 2004 Jeff VanDusen
July 4, 2004 Dan Kaszubinski
Sept. 5, 2004 Lance Yonge
May 29, 2005 Dan Kaszubinski
July 3, 2005 Mike Stelter
Sept. 4, 2005 Lance Yonge
May 28, 2006 Steve Poirier
July 23, 2006 Chuck Hebing
Sept. 3, 2006 Jeff VanDusen
May 27, 2007 Justin Barger
July 1, 2007 Chuck Hebing
Sept. 2, 2007 Steve Poirier
May 25, 2008 Jason Barney
July 6, 2008 Jason Barney
Aug. 31, 2008 Steve Poirier
May 24, 2009 Jessica Zemken
July 6, 2009 Dan Kaszubinski
Sept. 6, 2009 Jason Barney
May 30, 2010 Jessica Zemken
July 4, 2010 Jessica Zemken
Sept. 4, 2010 Chuck Hebing
May 29, 2011 Steve Poirier
July 3. 2011 Chuck Hebing
Aug. 17, 2011 Chuck Hebing
Sept. 4, 2011 Shawn Donath