Saturday, August 11, 2012
Yonge Wins Exciting Lucas Oil ESS A-Main in Front of a Standing Room Only Crowd at Canandaigua
by Dean Reynolds
CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. -- It was a memorable night for many reasons as the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints (ESS) made their annual trek to the Canandaigua Motorsports Park Saturday night.
Local favorite Lance Yonge took the lead back from Justin Barger in lapped traffic to go on to a very popular victory which was his fourth at the track. Also, a record breaking crowd filled the Ontario County Fairgrounds as defending Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart made an appearance.
For Yonge, it was the second time he beat Stewart as the same result happened on 2010 at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park. But, while that will be talked about, what was more important is that Yonge is right in the thick of the championship battle for the 2012 Lucas Oil Crown.
“We got a little lucky tonight, we had a real good car but if the lap cars didn’t get in Justin’s (Barger) way I’m not sure if we could have gotten him.” said the driver of the Johnson Farms #17J. “I wasn’t going to go off the bottom though, that cushion was a real long way around so I was going to stick where I was.”
For Yonge it was his second win of the season and moved him into second in the overall points but what might even mean a little bit more was that it came in front of many family and friends.
“We have so many friends and family here tonight. To win at a track that is so close to home means a lot.” Yonge went on. “We never did win here in the modified for some reason but I really like it here and glad we can do well in the sprint car.”
The battle for the lead was indeed epic between Yonge and current ESS point leader Justin Barger. While Yonge was down low, Barger was using the extreme outside of the ½ mile thrilling the big crowd with some daring moves.
Yonge took the lead from Sammy Reakes IV on lap eight with Barger slipping by on lap 12 and then when a lap car forced Barger into the outside turn two wall, Yonge took the lead back for good on lap 18.
For Barger, it was a disappointing second, but he too had a little luck on his side. With the wall encounter the right rear wheel got bent and in victory lane is tire went flat. He wasn’t sure how many laps he had left.
“Yea, lap cars probably cost us the race but what can you do. The track was wide and real racy and they are racing for spots too.’ noted the driver of the JE Pistons #32. “It was real fun racing with Lance, he deserved it and we will come back and try to get them again.”
While the battle for the lead made news, another story was taking place in the closing laps where defending ESS champ Chuck Hebing and Stewart himself caught the eye of the crowd with a pair of slide jobs on the last lap.
The last pass was done by Hebing in turns three and four coming for the checkers as he nipped the Office Depot #14 for the third place finish.
“I messed up a bit there and allowed him to get by me but he just didn’t get a run down the backstretch so he kinda returned the favor going into turn three.” said Hebing, and then he continued with a laugh. “I’m just glad I didn’t hit him and knock him out of tomorrow’s race! (the Sprint Cup event at Watkins Glen)”
Stewart took fourth which still sees the Columbus, Indiana star winless in four ESS starts. Rounding out the top five was Steve Poirier who made his return after knee surgery. Making up the next five were Reakes IV, Tommy Wickham, Shawn Donath, who needed a provisional to make the starting grid, dash winner Matt Tanner and Paul Kinney.
The original start was a wild one with Cory Sparks spinning near the front of the field which collected several cars. Getting worse were teammates Glenn Styres and Keith Dempster who flipped over each other. Both drivers were ok. Bobby Breen, Ryan Linder and Jared Zimbardi were also involved but they return to start the A-Main. The only other caution was for J.J. Yeley on lap eight when his car jumped out of gear.
ESS/Canandaigua Notes: A big field of 34 sprints filled the pits…Joining Stewart on the special night was Yeley and USAC west coast star Ryan Linder…Mark Tychoniewicz made his first ever ESS start…Bobby Varin and Jason Barney did a double flip at the start of heat one. Both drivers were Ok but their night ended early…Barger had to miss the dash to charge a rear end, where did he get the backup piece? From Tony Stewart…The Lucas Oil Tour will be back at it this Friday night at the Brewerton Speedway and it will also be the final event on the AKS Firearms Top Gun CNY Tour where Hebing leads Barger and Yonge.
Lucas Oil A-Main - Lance Yonge ($1,600), Justin Barger, Chuck Hebing, Tony Stewart, Steve Poirier, Sammy Reakes IV, Tommy Wickham, Shawn Donath, Matt Tanner, Paul Kinney, Mike Stelter, Charlie Donk, Cory Sparks, Patrick Vigneault, Don Adamczyk, Tim Kelly, Jared Zimbardi, Steve Collins, JJ Yeley, Etienne Girard, Bobby Breen, Ryan Linder, Glenn Styres, Keith Dempster.
Lap Leaders - Reakes IV, 1-7, Yonge 8-111, Barger 12-17, Yonge 18-25.
Did Not Qualify - Jeff Cook, Jason Barney, Kyle Dutcher, Kory Gurney, Erica Bell, Mitchell Brown, Dave Wickham, Mark Tychoniewicz, Bobby Varin, Joe Trenca
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heat 1 - Yonge, Sparks, Hebingm Kelly, Poirier, Dempster
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heat 2 - Barger, Tanner, Collins, Stewart, Wickham, Girard
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heat 3 - Adamczyk, Styres, Reakes IV, Linder, Vigneault, Kinney
Dan Willmes Enterprises/Cobra Coaches Dash - Tanner
B-Main - Zimbardi, Breen, Yeley, Donk
Provisionals - Donath, Stelter
Westward Painting Company Halfway – Barger $100
Lee’s Repair Auto and Truck Hard Charger – Donath (15 pos.) $50
Ohsweken Speedway Winners Bonus – Yonge $50
Fondations 55 Pick 5 – Poirier $50
North Eastern Pool and Spa Power Pick – Hebing, Breen $50
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heats – Yonge, Barger, Adamczyk $25
Lucas Oil ESS Points:
1. Justin Barger 1306
2. Lance Yonge 1251
3. Chuck Hebing 1239
4. Paul Kinney 1023
5. Shawn Donath 1016
6. Cory Sparks 935
7. Michael Parent 925
8. Matt Tanner 876
9. Sammy Reakes IV 832
10. Patrick Vigneault 761
The Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints are brought to you by: Lucas Oil, Le Groupe Ultra, SUNY Canton, Universal American, Hoosier Racing Tires, Fondations 4 Saisons, Cobra Coaches, Westward Painting Company, Mach 1 Chassis, Lee’s Repair Auto and Truck, Fondations 55, Eric Varin Roofing, North Eastern Pool and Spa, Car Mate Trailers, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Ohsweken Speedway, Northwood 2 Construction/Lasalle Motorsports, AKS Firearms, Jasmin Peloquin Sport, 730 Truck Stop, Riverside Bar and Grill, FX Chevy and many, many associate sponsors!