LAFARGEVILLE, N.Y. – SUNY Canton/Einstein Construction Group Speedweek for the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints shifted north on Friday night to the Can-Am Motorsports Park for night number three. New Jersey invader Davie Franek scored the win in the 25-lap E&V Energy Tour of the States/SUNY Canton Series for his first full tour point show victory.
Franek passed tour regular Jason Barney on a late race restart to take home the $2,125 victory on the slick surface of the North Country oval.
“When it’s slick it comes down to the car setup and being smooth,” said Franek. “It is frustrating because everyone is good in a sprint car on a fast race track but when it slicks off like this you got to be on your game and the wins are a lot more memorable.”
Barney stared on the pole for the event with his Pit Stop Convenience Stores No. 87 grabbing the lead away from Paul Habeck as they raced into the first turn at the green. Barney remained the leader down the backstretch with Rolling Wheels Raceway winner Stewart Friesen advancing into the second spot.
Friesen went to the high-side of turns three and four and took the lead away from Barney as they exited the corner on lap one. From there Friesen raced out in front with Barney staying close behind him as he set a quick pace early in the feature.
By lap six the pair found themselves in slower traffic. Barney took full advantage as Friesen struggled to navigate his way through. Barney dove low in the first turn as Friesen looked high on a slower car. Friesen bobbled exiting the second corner and Barney slid by for the lead.
Friesen remained in pursuit of Barney on his back bumper as they continued to work through slower traffic. At the halfway point lapped traffic was heavy with Barney and Friesen together and Franek beginning to emerge as a threat after starting in the eighth position.
The top three remained unchanged as the battle through traffic until lap 21 when things took a drastic turn at the front of the field. Friesen slowed with mechanical problems and came to a stop in the second turn necessitating the only yellow of the race.
“After the dash we knew we had a really good car,” said Franek. “You had to make something happen on the start and we kind of did that and got a few positions. From there we settled in. I noticed when we got to lapped traffic we gained on Stew and Jason and then yellow came out.”
With Friesen out of the picture, Franek lined up next to Barney on the front row for the green. Barney got a better start than Franek as they came off of turn four. He dove to the bottom of turns one and two opening the top groove for Franek. Franek used that lane to drive by Barney as the raced to the backstretch.
“My tires cooled down there under the yellow pretty nice and I took it in there under one of the pace laps. “ stated Franek. “The car was pretty stuck all race. It was either do that or end up second and we are standing here.”
After he took the lead, Franek checked out through turns three and four leading the final three circuits for the win and the top spot in Speedweek points.
Barney, of Brewerton, N.Y., came home in the second position. He knew he made a mistake entering too low on the speedway as the raced into the first turn. He didn’t think anyone could roll the outside around him.
“This is better than third,” said Barney. “I’m disappointed for my guys. We knew we had a good car and they gave us the front row for the feature. We knew he (Franek) was the car to beat and he had a good car all night. I stumbled on that last restart and was a little too timid getting into one. He rolled around us and we ended up second. We’ll take second.”
Chuck Hebing finished in the third position a night after losing his top wing at Rolling Wheels. The Ontario, N.Y., driver started fifth and ran a steady race never falling out of the top five over the course of the event.
“We had a decent car tonight,” commented Hebing. “I don’t think we had anything for Davie or Jason. It was pretty good but we’ll try some stuff to see if we can get a little better for tomorrow night.”
Local favorite Jeff Cook finished in the fourth spot after starting ninth and Cory Sparks advanced from the 15th position to race his way into the final spot in the top five at the checkered flag. Rounding out the top ten were former Can-Am winner Sam Reakes IV, the female duo of Jessica Zemken and Paige Polyak, Paul Habeck and Matt Tanner.
ESS/Can-Am Notes – A nice field of 26 sprints for what was now night #2 of Speedweek…George Suprick, Lee Ladouceur, Clint Ide, Michael Parent and Paul Pekkonen were new entries…Friesen was found to have magneto problems that caused his drop out…Franek’s other ESS win was a non-point event just a few weeks ago at the New Egypt Speedway
SUNY Canton/Einstein Construction Group A-Main – Davie Franek ($2,125), Jason Barney, Chuck Hebing, Jeff Cook, Cory Sparks, Sammy Reakes IV, Jessica Zemken, Paige Polyak, Paul Habeck, Matt Tanner, Kevin Ward Jr., Steve Poirier, Paul Kinney, Michael Parent, Lee Ladouceur, Yan Bilodeau, George Suprick, Mike Stelter, Zach Weigand, Tim Axton, Dave Axton, Clint Ide, Joe Trenca, Stewart Friesen.
Did Not Qualify – Paul Pekkonen, Steve Hutchinson Jr.
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heat 1 – Franek, Friesen, Reakes IV, Habeck, Tanner, Stelter
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heat 2 – Zemken, Hebing, Kinney, Trenca, Ward Jr., Ide
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heat 3 – Cook, Barney, T. Axton, Polyak, Sparks, Ladouceur
L&J Landscaping/Cobra Coaches Dash – Franek
Lacaillade Masonry B-Main – Suprick, Poirier, Parent, Bilodeau
Westward Painting Company Halfway – Friesen $100
Insinger Performance Fuels Hard Charger – Sparks (10 Pos.) $50
Fondations 55 Pick 5 – Sparks $50
Lacaillade Masonry B-Main – Suprick $50
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heats – Franek, Zemken, Cook $25
Go Nuclear Late Models Go Fast Award – Friesen (17.928) $25
Bitner Automotive Blistering Fast Time Award – Friesen (17.928)