From Dean Reynolds
VERNON, NY – The Vernon Downs Casino and Resort Hotel was the site for the 2019 version of the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints (ESS) Banquet which brought the curtain down on the 36th Anniversary Season. History was made as 18-year-old Paulie Colagiovanni was crowed the ESS champion which made him the youngest in the history of the club.
With more than 20 different drivers collecting from the over $50,000 cash point fund, with added prizes which included the Lucky Giveaway Program, the total payout for the topped $72,000.
On the strength of his seven wins this past season, the Cicero, NY native won his first title besting Chuck Hebing, Matt Tanner, Jason Barney and Billy VanInwegen in the final points rundown. Not only did he win the overall Lucas Oil title but also claimed the NAPA Auto Parts US Tour, the Ohsweken Speedway Canada Tour, the E&V Energy I90/I81 Series and the Donath Motorworx CNY Speedweek brought to you by Stirling Lubricants title.
The 2018 ESS champion Steve Poirier came to the banquet to hand the championship eagle trophy to Colagiovanni who will now have possession for one year.
Other point titles were claimed by Jordan Poirier who won the Fondations 4 Saisons Quebec Series, Dave Axton took the Cobra Coaches Dash Series, The Danny Willmes Enterprises Lap Leader points was won by five-time A-Main winner Jonathan Preston with Brett Wright winning the Fondations 55 Hard Charger points.
Many special awards were also given out during the night with Tyler Cartier taking the Lane’s Yamaha Rookie of Year and a $500 cash prize. Denny Peebles was chosen as the Most Improved driver in 2019 and also took a $500 cash prize. The Mach 1 Chassis Hard Luck Award went to Team Cobra, Chuck and Kelly Hebing as they received a complete Mach 1 Frame. Despite tough luck that plagued them all year, both still came to every full point event. Doug Emery won the annual Mechanic of the Year award which was voted on by his peers, he received a well-deserved standing ovation once announced.
Scott Holcomb received the prestigious John Zentner Memorial Award. Scott who returned to the tour from a hiatus of over 15 years, made all the events but two from his Granby, Connecticut home. The 2019 ESS Hall of Fame class inductee was Craig “Cricket” Keel. The two-time champion who also amassed 28 career victories will join many ESS greats in the Hall.
Many sponsors that contributed to the point fund were thanked which included: Lucas Oil, Hoosier Racing Tire, NAPA Auto Parts, Donath Motorworx, Ohsweken Speedway, Cobra Coaches, E&V Energy, Fondations 4 Saisons, Fondations 55 and Danny Willmes Enterprises.
Also given a big thank you was cash contributors during the season which was Ground Control Lawn and Snow, E3 Spark Plugs, Car Mate Trailers, Stirling Lubricants and Racing Methanol, Around Town Plumbing and Heating, Pinnacle Employee Services & Lacaillade Masonry.
As the Holday Season approaches the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints would like to thank all the race teams, crew members, sponsors, promoters and most of all the fans for a tremendous 2019 season. The first green flag will wave in April of 2020!
2019 Lucas Oil ESS Banquet Payout (which included over $3,000 in Lucas Oil Product)
Paulie Colagiovanni – $9,348
Chuck Hebing – $8,783
Matt Tanner – $6,448
Jason Barney – $5,173
Billy VanInwegen – $4,973
Shawn Donath – $3,583
Jonathan Preston – $3,623
Davie Franek – $3,373
Jeff Cook – $3,918
Scott Holcomb – $2,748
Denny Peebles – $2,698
Brett Wright – $2,743
Kelly Hebing – $2,353
Kyle Moffit – $2,048
Chad Miller – $1,548
Pete Richardson – $1,948
Tyler Cartier – $2,098
Jordan Poirier – $1,025
Steve Poirier – $925
Danny Varin – $600
Larry Wight – $400
Bryan Cloutier – $305
Josh Pieniazek – $225
Dale Gosselin – $210
Chris Jones – $205
Josh Flint – $200
Dylan Swiernik – $200
Dylan Westbrook – $100
Lucas Wolfe – $100
Scott Kreutter – $100
Lucky Giveaway Program:
ASCS Heads from Brodix – Billy VanInwegen
Winters Rear End – Matt Tanner
Walker Filtration Set of Filters – Davie Franek
Kevin Nouse Designs/K1 RaceGear Drivers Suit – Jeff Cook
Simpson VuDu Helmet – Mike Stelter Racing
Super Gen Products/Champion Power Equipment – Dave Axton
Beyea Headers $750 – Brett Wright
KSE Racing Products Power Steering Pump – Jonathan Preston
ASI Racewear $500 – Denny Peebles
Maxim Racing $500 – Tyler Cartier
ATL Fuel Cells Tail Tank – Pete Richardson
Adirondack Powder Coating – Chad Miller
Schoenfeld Headers – Scott Holcomb, Jason Barney, Jeff Cook
Wings Unlimited – Chuck Hebing, Kelly Hebing, Jason Barney, Jonathan Preston
Other Giveaways: LC Design Hero Cards – Shawn Donath, XXX Race Co. Rock Screen – Kelly Hebing, Area Auto Racing News/Simpson Shoes – Brett Wright, Slade Shock Technology – Pete Richardson.