7.18.14 Empire Super Sprints Results - Dirt Racing Report

7.18.14 Empire Super Sprints Results

DUNDEE, N.Y. – It’s been a year of first for Jared Zimbardi. The long-time sprint car driver captured his first ever 410 sprint win earlier in the season at Lernerville Speedway and on Friday night he notched his first ever Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint 25-lap A-Main victory.

Zimbardi, of Bradford, Pa., got the jump early in the E&V Energy Tour of the States feature and led the entire distance pocketing $1,500 for the win at the Yates County Speedway.

“It’s just been a long time, we started with the Empire Super Sprints in 1997 then our paths kind of split,” commented Zimbardi. “It’s just nice to get an ESS win under our belt. It’s pretty cool, I’m very happy.”

Zimbardi placed second in his qualifying event earning him a spot in the redraw for the feature starting line-up. As a result he started in the second position with Paul Habeck on the pole. At the green Zimbardi and Habeck raced side-by-side for the lead until they got to turns three and four where Zimbardi powered to the lead on the outside.

From that point Zimbardi raced away with Tommy Wickham grabbing the second position away from Habeck on lap three. Zimbardi opened the edge on Wickham to nearly a straightaway as the race reached lap five.

The top two remained unchanged as Zimbardi continued to pace the field. His lead was negated on lap nine as the caution was displayed for Dave Axton as he slowed with mechanical problems. This set up a double-file restart. On the first attempt at green Clint Ide spun going into the first turn creating a single-file situation for the following green flag.

Zimbardi remained the leader at the green flag and stayed there as the race reached the half-way point. Wickham still ran in second with Kevin Ward and Habeck resuming their battle for the third position. Then, before lap 14 could be completed, the final caution was shown as Ide spun a second time in turn one.

The double-file restart put Wickham alongside of Zimbardi for the start. Zimbardi once again powered to the lead with Wickham in tow. Wickham searched around but Zimbardi was too strong and retained the lead as the race reached the 10 to go point.

Zimbardi was challenged by traffic from lap 18 on. He was up to the task as he worked high and low to maneuver through the slower cars. He was flawless over the final seven laps to score the victory in his Bundle of Warmth sponsored No. 35.

“I wasn’t sure how good the car was because I didn’t hear anybody, but you never know with these things because you can lose them just like that,” said Zimbardi. “The key was not to make any mistakes. The double-file can be tricky too. You never know when the other guy will time it just right and beat you to the line. So it keeps you on your toes.”

Wickham, driving an Einstein Construction Group sponsored car, finished in the runner-up spot. It was the best finish of the season for the Constantia, N.Y., driver with the Empire Super Sprints. He had a strong car early and late but made too many changes in the middle of the race to challenge Zimbardi for the win.

“Once he got to lapped traffic he was gone,” said Wickham. “He got me on those restarts so we need to work on those a little. This feels great though. We’ve had some struggles there at Speedweek so it feels good to come home a lot better.”

Steve Poirier worked by Steve Collins on the final lap to finish in third. The St. Mathieu de Beloeil, Que., driver advanced from the 11th spot to earn the final position on the podium.

“He was using the high lane and I could kind of use the middle lane,” said Poirier about the battle with Collins. “I kind of used the lapped car there at the end to the help me get by him for third.”

Collins, of Belfast, N.Y., settled for the fourth position with New Jersey invader, Robbie Stillwaggon, rounding out the top five in the A-Main.

Lucas Oil A-Main – Jared Zimbardi ($1,625), Tommy Wickham, Steve Poirier, Steve Collins, Robbie Stillwaggon, Matt Tanner, Jeff Cook, Stewart Friesen, Jason Barney, Paul Kinney, Paul Habeck, Darryl Ruggles, Scott Kreutter, George Suprick, Parker Evans, Tim Axton, Steve Hutchinson, Kevin Ward Jr., Clint Ide, Chuck Hebing, Dave Axton, Alysha Ruggles.

Lap Leader – Zimbardi 1-25

Car Mate Custom Built Trailer Heat 1 – Stillwaggon, Hebing, Cook, Kinney, Tanner, Ide, A. Ruggles, Barney
Car Mate Custom Built Trailer Heat 2 – Ward Jr., Zimbardi, Suprick, Habeck, T. Axton, Friesen, D. Axton
Car Mate Custom Built Trailer Heat 3 – Evans, Collins, Wickham, Poirier, D. Ruggles, Kreutter, Hutchinson

Lane’s Yamaha/Cobra Coaches Dash – Hebing

Westwart Painting Company Halfway – Zimbardi $100
Insinger Performance Fuels Hard Charger – Barney (9 pos.) $50
Fondations 55 Pick 5 – Stillwaggon $50
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heats – Stillwaggon, Ward Jr., Evans. $25.

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