Sep 6, 2010 02:28 PM EDT
ABC’s of Black Rock’s Fall Sprint Nationals
By RICH VLECK
The highest-paying sprint car race in New York State is just days away from getting underway. In preparation of this highly-anticipated weekend, here is an alphabetical view of Black Rock’s Fall Sprint Nationals registered drivers, expected participants, sponsors and much more.
- Adamczyk, Don- The driver with more ASCS Patriot starts than other driver, “The Williamsville Warrior” has recently turned Black Rock into one of his favorite tracks with a sixth place earlier this year.
- Alain Bergeron- In the most-recent Fall Sprint Nationals in 2006, Bergeron was runner-up and was in shape to pick off his biggest career win. This time around, Bergeron is looking to ride into retirement on top.
-American Racer Tire- In a joint venture between Black Rock and Lias Tire, any driver that buys two American Racer Tires at Black Rock this weekend and wins Saturday’s A-Main and the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals the following week will pocket a bonus $5,000.
- Blake and Bobby Breen- The Breen Boys have been staples at BRS events since 2004, when they were rookies. Both Savannah, NY drivers have a pair of wins and Bobby is one of just two drivers to attend every sprint show there since 2004.
- Bubba Broderick- Likely to be the lone Connecticut competitor, the 20-year-old looks to turn his luck around at BRS after a win this past weekend in Sharon.
- Chuck Hebing- “Cobra” dominated the April event for his fifth win at the 4/10-mile. Hebing was in the mix in the 2006 event before breaking 10 laps in. Hebing is coming off a win this Sunday at Utica-Rome.
- Curt Michael- The six-time URC Champion is the winner of the most recent Fall Nationals, held in 2006. Michael won a thriller that night and called it one of the biggest victories of his career.
- DMI Rear Ends- In a special promotion, a complete DMI Bulldog rear end will be available to the highest finisher in Saturday’s A-Main that is willing to accept that in place of the cash prize. It is likely this prize will go out somewhere in the top five.
- DeWick, Bruce- After two positive runs in what has been a trying season, the former weekly run at BRS in 4-cylinder competition is geared up for his first Fall Nationals.
- Emery, Doug- The Patterson Motorsports No. 33 has been highly visible in 2010, but rarely with owner Doug Emery behind the wheel. The Nedrow, NY driver has entered his name for this weekend to continue his string of solid runs in BRS Nationals.
- Ely, Austin and Shayne- The rookies whose grandfather George was a regular at BRS back in the day will take on their first Fall Nationals. Shayne’s first start was at Black Rock in April.
- Fink, Jared- Jared ran second for much of the August BRS show in just his second start of the season. Fink had a hard flip in that event in 2009 but has plenty of fine runs, dating back to his mini sprint days.
- George Suprick- The 2000 and 2001 winner of Black Rock’s Fall Sprint Nationals, Suprick built his reputation on his accolades at BRS, which includes the 2004 track championship, the only one ever given out. Suprick is an eight time winner at BRS.
- Howland, Bryan- The August winner at BRS, Howland finally broke through at one of the few tracks he has never won at. The now four-time Patriot Champion had his coming out race in the 2004 Fall Nationals, running inside the top-five for much of the event his rookie year and finishing seventh.
- Insinger Race Fuels- One of three title sponsors of the “Triple Sweet 16’s” on Friday Night, this fuel supplier will help to fuel a 16-lap feature that will guarantee one driver a spot in Saturday’s A-Main.
- Justin Barger- The defending ESS Champion already has a $5,000 prize at Black Rock under his belt in 2008. Barger also won that year in April and no question will be a factor.
- Jeff Cook- Despite his recent struggles at BRS, Cook was a major player in the 2004 Fall Nationals, racing from the B-Main into the top-10, when he crashed into the fence that runs along Route 14a. Cook would finish the race that night in ninth.
- Kaszubinski, Dan- In the 2006 Fall Nationals, “Kaz” had an impressive top-five finish piloting Bob Podolak’s car. Back in his own ride this year, Dan is looking for his third win at BRS.
- Kevin Ward Jr.- Likely to be this year’s ESS Rookie of the Year, Ward will make his first sprint car start at BRS. A former 270 micro sprint standout, Ward will look to continue his impressive rookie season.
- Kyle Moffit- Kyle has made just one start at BRS since 2005, but this season he has been a breakout performer, most notably with the Corr/Pak Sprints at Ohsweken, where he had two wins and finished third in points.
- Lewis, Trevor- One of the best shoes in the Northeast, Lewis won the 2004 and 2005 Nationals in dominating fashion and also captured $4,000 for his win in August of 2009. Up until this year, the Upper Black Eddy, PA driver had never finished worst than seventh at BRS.
- Lightning Sprints- Also known as mini sprints, the 1000cc Empire Lightning Sprints will challenge the Central PA Sidewinders in a pair of $1,000-to-win showdowns this weekend.
- M&W Aluminum Products- The Syracuse, NY company was quick to sponsor a “Triple Sweet 16” for this event back in the winter. A major supplier for much of the sprint car world, it is likely the winner of their feature will be running their components.
- Mike Emhof Motorsports- The third “Triple Sweet 16” race sponsor will have tires, parts and fuel available at their trailer this weekend.
- National Racing Alliance- The Ohio-based sprint car organization has joined in on this weekend’s efforts by adding their sanction to the event. It is likely at least a few invaders from the Midwest will be invading the Finger Lakes.
- Nouse, Kevin- The veteran sprint car shoe from Central PA visited Black Rock for the first time back in April, charging up from the B-Main to finish in ninth. A better starting spot could put the Stoltzfus No. 00 in the mix.
- Original Pizza Logs 600cc Micro Sprints- The micro sprints will be a part of both nights of action this weekend. A strong car count is expected for this new series that has put on a pair of fine shows at BRS already this season.
- Ohsweken’s Corr/Pak Sprints- Ohsweken Speedway will shut down this weekend in support of the Fall Nationals. The event will serve as a precursor to their Canadian Nationals, held the following week.
- Poirier, Steve- The “Fireball” is warming up as the weather begins to cool down. The two-time ESS champion is working on his third title after another win Friday at Can-Am, but for this weekend will focus on capturing his first win at BRS, where up until this April he had not finished in the top-five.
- Parent, Michael- The youngster from Granby, Quebec looks to turn his luck around at BRS as he continues to solidify his strength in his sprint car career.
- Qualifying Procedures- the return of the Fall Nationals brings with it unique qualifying formats for each night. On Friday, each sprint driver will run a pair of heats, where the starting lineup for the second round will be the inversion of the first set. The night will conclude with “Triple Sweet 16’s”. On Saturday, time trials will be in the process but passing points will also be factored in the heats to help line up the field for dashes, C-Mains and B-Mains.
- Rick and April Wilson- The Joyceville, Ontario drivers are planning their return to BRS for the first time in a number of years. For April, it will be her first start at Black Rock while Rick returns to BRS for the first time since a wild creek jump off turn three in 2005.
- Ray Preston- The veteran from the other side of Seneca Lake has not run a sprint event in months but could make his return this weekend at a track he has made 34 sprint car A-Main starts at.
- Stelter, Mike- Making the quick trip south from Ontario, NY, Mike will see if he continues his streak of fine runs in major events. Stelter was a solid third in the 2005 Earl Halaquist Memorial.
- Stillwaggon, Robbie- The youngster driving for Fred Kennedy has sent in his registration and is set for his second Nationals. Robbie was a rookie in 2006 but this time around should be much different for the Burlington, NJ driver.
- Tim Kelly- A runner-up finish for the most local driver back in April has put the 1997 BRS winner in the picture this weekend. Fresh off his long-awaited return to Victory Lane at Eriez Sunday, another win for the No. 12 would be highly popular amongst the crowd.
- Tim Hogue- The Medford, NJ driver has registered for the Fall Nationals and looks to represent the Garden State Well. Hogue was strong in the BRS shows in 2007.
- Undercards- Along with the mini and micro sprints, stock car racing will also be present on the weekend, with a FWD 4-cylinder Enduro to end each night. The RWD 4-cylinders will be part of the show on Friday that has a purse that pays each position double would it would on a normal Friday Night. The Street Stocks have a big event on Saturday paying $1,000-to-win.
- Vern Wasson- Wasson will make his first Fall Nationals attempt this weekend. In what has been a steady improvement this season, this relative newcomer to the sprints should be a factor all weekend long.
- Weller, Josh- In perhaps his finest season in a sprint car, Weller will chase after his biggest career win at a track where he has seen some success. His last start at BRS was an eighth in 2008.
- Wickham, Dave and Tommy- The cousins from vastly different racing backgrounds should be in attendance this weekend. Dave has been running much stronger of late with a new chassis while Tommy has fought mechanical problems and is hoping to turn it around.
- X-Factors- What will the racing surface look like each night? At beginning and end? Will there be a loaded heat race? Will a driver gamble on fuel to claim the $5,000 top prize? What other big names will show up?
- Yonge, Lance- Another local favorite, the two-time ESS Champion goes after a win that has just eluded him on multiple occasions. Lance leads all active drivers with 43 career top-10s in a sprint car at the track where he was a Big Block Champion in the late 80’s.
- Zemken, Jessica- Jessica won her heat in the 2006 Fall Nationals and since then has consistently run well at BRS. The last five finishes for “JZ” have been top-five finishes and with 2003 Fall Nationals Winner Mike Woodring now wrenching on the car, she should be only better.
- Zimbardi, Jared- “The Juice” won at BRS in 2007 and has three other top-five finishes since that time. This is undoubtedly Zimbardi’s best chance to contend in the Fall Nationals.