By DEAN REYNOLDS
VERNON, NY – It was special night for Brewerton NY’s Jason Barney as on Saturday night, November 11th at the Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel he received all his accolades by becoming the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint (ESS) Champion. Knocking on the door for several seasons, Barney put together a flawless campaign to claim his first ever ESS title.
A record payout was distributed to 25 different drivers of over $87,000 of which just over $55,000 was in cash, $15,000 in the Lucky Giveaway Program, $3,000 Mach 1 Frame, $3,000 in Lucas Oil Products with the rest made up of contingency programs.
For the driver of the familiar #87 sprint car where he does much of the fabrication himself, not only did he win the overall Lucas Oil crown, but he also was the NAPA Auto Parts US Tour champion, claimed the 1000 Islands RV Centre Canada Tour, the Insinger Performance Hard Charger crown and the Danny Willmes Enterprises Lap Leader crown. His take home in cash and prizes was $10,680.
Other drivers also claiming point titles and honored on the night were Danny Varin for his Donath Motorworx CNY Speedweek title and also winning the SUNY Canton Series. Steve Poirier won the Quebec Series which is sponsored by his family Fondations 4 Saisons with Dave Axton claiming the Cobra Coaches Dash Series Crown.
Several special awards filled the night with Matt Billings getting the Lucas Oil ESS Outstanding New Comer Award at $500 Cash. The $500 Lane’s Yamaha Rookie of the Year was won by Brett Wright, The Northeast Racing Parts Auction and Trade Show Most Improved driver at $500 was won by Chad Miller. Shawn Donath was picked as the Mach 1 Chassis Hard Luck Award winner where he received a frame from Mach 1. The Lucas Oil ESS Mechanic of the Year Award voted on by the teams was won by Jason Barney’s crew chief Brandon Ahrens.
The annual John Zentner Memorial Award was given to Chad Miller and well received by the filled banquet room. Miller hit over 90% of the shows with many times it was just him and his mom as the crew.
The 2017 Empire Super Sprint Hall of Fame class was made up of Tom Taber and Bobby Parrow. Both drivers claimed many top point standings placings and also amassed 22 career ESS victories. Each driver received a well deserved standing ovation.
Jason Barney and Paul Kinney were recognized for their perfect attendance and each A-Main winner in 2017 was also honored.
Special recognition was given to point fund and major cash sponsors during the season which consisted of Lucas Oil, Hoosier Racing Tire, Donath MotoWorx, Mach 1 Chassis, Einstein Construction Group, Scorpion Security Products, E&V Energy, SUNY Canton, 1000 Islands RV Centre, Cobra Coaches, Fondations 4 Saisons, Insinger Performance Fuels/Sunoco Racing Fuels, Engler Machine and Tool, Car Mate Trailers, Lacaillade Masonry, Ohsweken Speedway, Shuttleworth Asphalt Sealing, Fondations 55 and Danny Willmes Enterprises.
Matt Thomas from Thomas Racing Videos produced and outstanding CNY Speedweek video for the second year in a row and also for the first time, a special champion video.
The annual rules meeting that preceded the awards banquet saw no rule changes with Hoosier Racing Tires voted in for three more years with the same compounds.
Lucky Giveaway Program 2017
Brodix ASCS Cylinder Heads – Brett Wright
Walker Performance Systems Filter System – Chad Miller
K1 Racegear Racing Suit – Jeff Cook
Simpson Safety Vudu Helmet – Patrick Vigneault
Wings Unlimited Top Wing – Matt Billings
Super Gen Products/Champion Generator – Jason Barney
Panther Frameworx $500 Cert. – Paul Kinney
717 Innovations Hood, Nose and Dash Panels – Paulie Colagiovanni
M&W Aluminum Products $500 Cert. – Matt Tanner
Beyea Headers $500 Cert. – Dave Axton
Pancho’s Racing Products $500 Cert. – Doug Emery Motorsports
Sam Reakes Snap-On Tools $500 Cert – Coleman Gulick
Maxim Racing $500 Cert – Shawn Donath
Slade Shock Technology $500 Cert – Kelly Hebing
Adirondack Powder Coating Powder Coat/Rod End Supply – Jonathan Preston
ASI Racewear $500 Cert – Paulie Colagiovanni
ATL Fuel Cells Tail Tank/Schoenfeld Headers/BA Asc – Jonathan Preston
87 Speed Front Axle/Flach Performance Products Radiator – Dave Axton
Keizer Alum. Wheels front hubs, bearings and rotor adapt – Paulie Colagiovanni
Design 500 Nomex Undreewar/Area Auto Simpson Racing Shoes/Highside Racewear Gloves – Shawn Donath
Wings Unlimited Front Wing/Vahlco Wheels Front Wheel – Kelly Hebing
XXX Race Products Front Axle/Highside Racewear Gloves – Paul Kinney
Schoenfeld Headers – Chad Miller
DMI Engine Turn Tool – Jeff Cook
Zemco Headers – Matt Billings
Vahlco Front Wheel – Jason Barney
Wings Unlimited Front Wing/Highside Gloves – Coleman Gulick
Schoenfeld Headers – Doug Emery Motorsports
Vahlco Front Wheel – Patrick Vigneault
Wings Unlimited Front Wing – Matt Tanner
Graphics Girls 250 Hero Cards – Brett Wright
2018 Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints 5Banquet Payouts.
Jason Barney – $10,680
Matt Tanner – $7,912
Paul Kinney – $6,462
Paulie Colagiovanni – $5,657
Matt Billings – $5,972
Jeff Cook – $4,770
Coleman Gulick – $4,202
Danny Varin – $3,130
Steve Poirier – $1,980
Jonathan Preston – $3,947
Chad Miller – $4,540
Brett Wright – $4,632
Shawn Donath – $5,720
Dave Axton – $3,597
Chuck Hebing – $1,193
Kelly Hebing – $2,277
Doug Emery Motorsports – $2,197
Patrick Vigneault – $2,777
Mark Smith – $600
Mike Mahaney – $580
Jordan Poirier – $480
Billy VanInwegen – $455
Alain Bergeron – $455
Darryl Ruggles – $413
Sammy Reakes IV – $405
Chris Jones – $380
Yan Bilodeau – $380
Brandon Kidd – $380
Lucas Wolfe – $300
Carson Macedo – $200
Dylan Westbrook – $100
Jason Shultz – $100
Bryan Howland – $100
Greg Hodnett – $100
Sam Hafertepe Jr. – $100
Larry Wight – $100
Total Payout $87,273
For more Information on the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints:
Android App: Empire Super Sprints