BREWERTON, NY – It’s had been 17 years since the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints turned laps at the one-third mile Brewerton Speedway. On Friday night they made their return to the Oswego County oval with Justin Barger dominating the 25-lap main-event to score the victory.
“This feels good, last year we ran here and we had engine problems so we didn’t even get to run the feature,” stated Barger in Victory Lane. “To come back here and run as good as we did in the heat race, run good in the dash, and to lead every lap of the feature I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Barger, the defending series champion, entered the night five points behind Steve Poirier for the top spot in the overall chase for the 2010 championship. The win goes a long way toward defending his title.
Barger, in his King Racing Products/Carrillo Connecting Rods No. 32, took command of the event at the green flag from his pole starting position.
“Starting up front is always good,” commented Barger. “We were lapping up to the top ten before the first yellow so I think we were decent. Starting up front always helps though.”
He paced the field while Jason Barney moved into second on lap three and looked to make a move. Barger was battling slower traffic when he just clipped a tire on the inside of the speedway.
“We just touched one of those tires on the bottom when we were in heavy lapped traffic,” said Barger. “We had such good drive off the bottom that I didn’t see anyone the whole race. I wouldn’t have minded that race going green to checkered.”
The caution came out on lap 13 when Jeff Cook caught an implement tire on the inside of the speedway in turn two. Barger, driving a Rider powered Maxim, wasn’t really challenged on the restart as he had numerous slower cars between himself and Barney.
The yellow quickly came out again on the restart as Michael Parent had trouble navigating turn two and he got lightly over on his wing before coming back down on all four wheels. He was uninjured.
The top two remained unchanged as the laps continued to click off. Laps clicked off until lap 22 when the final caution was displayed. This caution gave Barney one final opportunity to get by Barger.
Barger protected the bottom of the speedway in the closing laps while Barney looked to the outside. He was unable to make the move giving Barger, of Montrose, N.Y., his third win of the season and the 21st of his career.
Barney, from nearby Constantia, N.Y., held on to finish second in his self owned No. 87. He made contact with an implement tire and did some minor damage to the front end.
“I must have bent the tow of the front end or something I’m not sure,” said Barney afterwards. “I couldn’t go into the corners and turn like I wanted to. The car would just push up the speedway.”
Barney had one last opportunity with three laps to go on the restart to make a run on Barger with his Schneider Packaging ride but he couldn’t get it done on the outside.
“There was nothing up there on the outside,” commented Barger. “He (Barger) had the advantage of starting up front. He could put a ton of gear in the car and run the bottom. I took some gear out to try and run the top but there wasn’t enough up there.”
Lance Yonge came from the ninth starting position to finish in third. It helps his chase for his third title but he still needs to find a way to change his luck. He started in the last row of his heat race after a bad draw.
“I got to figure out a way to draw better,” said Yonge. “I need to start in the front of a heat so I can get up there with those guys. Right now we are doing it the hard way. It’s tough to catch him when he (Barger) starts on the pole.”
Poirier, of St. Mathieu de Beloeil, PQ., ended the night in fourth while Shawn Donath, driving Doug Emery’s No. 33, to finish in fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Chuck Hebing, Mike Stelter, who earned the WestFront Construction hard charger bonus after coming from 20th., Tyler Rand, Dan Kaszubinski and Tommy Wickham.
ESS/Brewerton Notes – Another solid field of 31 sprints filled the pits and played host to a big crowd…making first ESS starts of 2010 were Davey Sammons, Russ Bennett, Bruce DeWick and Shane Donath, brother of Shawn. Only Sammons was able to crack the A-Main starting line-up…Dave Wickham did a slow roll in his heat but he did return for the B-Main…It’s been since 1993 that ESS last ran Brewerton, the winner then? Roger Horvath.
Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints:
National Parts Peddler Newspaper/SUNY Canton Night.
A-Main – Justin Barger, Jason Barney, Lance Yonge, Steve Poirier, Shawn Donath, Chuck Hebing, Mike Stelter, Tyler Rand, Dan Kaszubinski, Tommy Wickham, Rick Wilson, Blake Breen, Kevin Ward Jr., Ryan Smith, April Wilson, Zach Weigand, Brian McDonald, Paul Pekkonen, Cory Sparks, Jared Fink, Jeff Cook, Michael Parent, Davey Sammons.
Did Not Qualify – Shayne Ely, Austin Ely, Shane Donath, Bruce DeWick, Dave Wickham, Tyler Rice, Russ Bennett, Jami Russell
Lap Leader – Barger 1-25.
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heats:
Heat 1 – Kevin Ward Jr., Shawn Donath, Dan Kaszubinski, Chuck Hebing, Cory Sparks, Rick Wilson.
Heat 2 – Blake Breen, Justin Barger, Jeff Cook, Tyler Rand, Jared Fink, Paul Pekkonen.
Heat 3 – Steve Poirier, Jason Barney, Lance Yonge, Davey Sammons, Ryan Smith, Michael Parent.
Walt’s Hobby Shop/Cobra Coaches Dash – Justin Barger
B-Main – Brian McDonald, Mike Stelter, Tommy Wickham, April Wilson.
Added Starter – Zach Weigand
Ohsweken Speedway Winners Bonus – Barger $100
Cook’s Contracting Services Halfway – Barger $100
WestFront Construction Hard Charger – Stelter (13 pos.) $50
MVCC Aviation Extra – Stelter $50.
HG Associates Fast Time – Barger (14.052) $25
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heats – Ward Jr., Breen, Barger $25