Makin’ Tracks – Long Can-Am Night as Wolfe Howls – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

Empire Super Sprint Speedweek started off in a conceptual nature a few years ago when someone had an idea to do something that hadn’t been done before in Central New York…run five nights in a row.

Well, the concept became a reality and has simply taken off.

The latest edition started at Can-Am Motorsports Park on Wednesday night and toss in a DIRTcar Tour event with it and you have what would be considered an appealing event.

It was a tale of two features as Lucas Wolfe dominated the Sprint Car portion. It appeared the old adage “traffic is the great equalizer” wasn’t exactly accurate. He had such a huge lead in the green-to-checker near eight minute 25 lapper, that Mark Smith trimmed the deficit, but wasn’t going any further than second.




Meanwhile, in the Sportsman event local favorite Taylor Caprara grabbed the lead from Dave Marcuccelli at the midway point of the 30 lapper and was pretty comfortable.

However, a yellow on lap 29 saw a double-file restart and Marcuccelli led, then Taylor rallied and took over before the M1 ended Caprara’s hopes. It was a sensational last couple of laps.

It’s good to see Can-Am popping back to life and it was rocking on Wednesday.

The pits were so packed that haulers were unloading in the driveway outside the pit gate. Later many moved to the infield as there simply wasn’t room at all in the regular pit area.

34 Sprints were in the house, well over 40 Sportsman, 10 Pro Stocks and maybe a dozen or so Thunder Stocks (more like Four Cylinders).

The night started off okay other than the fact the Sprint guys were really concerned with tire wear as it appeared to be excessive early on.

Prelims were over a little before 9 p.m. so there was an expectation of an early night.

However, it must be me, but I’ve never gotten out of Can-Am at a decent hour.

The decision was made to do track work to see if the wear and tear on the Sprint tires would be alleviated. It apparently worked as cars had multiple lanes and rubber held up for the 25 lap main.

The only tough part was it took over an hour so the Sportsman hit the track just after 10 p.m. and as so likely happens a major pile up (and I mean major) as Todd Root’s car was hit a ton at least twice and Josh Reaume (saying it was the hardest hit of his career) ended up on his top on top of Root. It took a while to clean up, but by 10:20 p.m. the action was back underway.

By the time victory lane ceremonies were over by 10:50 p.m. the Sprints were up. It was minutes before 11 p.m. and I think the pushing off, four-wide and pace laps took longer than the eight minute green to checker feature.

It was well worth the trip as track conditions were smooth and dust really wasn’t an issue.

Pit Stops

Chuck Hebing called it a night even before it started as he had a rocker arm problem and loaded it up quickly..

Mike Hagenbottom was up from the Jersey-Pennsy area and was a surprise addition to the field…

Lucas Wolfe is only running Can-Am and Canandaigua before heading home to run 10 straight nights of 410 Pennsylvania Speedweek activities…

Brett Wright had a motor rebuild recently and won his heat over Jeff Cook and Wolfe…

Sportsman driver Kevin Poetries (who ran the Pinty Tour in Canada) slipped behind the wheel of a dirt car early this season after a long time on asphalt. He ran away with his consi and moved well in the feature…

Tyler Thompson was moving from deep in his consi, but got in trouble and eventually finished eighth….

Nick Krause finished third in his consi and ran near top ten in the main before sliding up the track and getting shuffled in the late going…

There was a huge puddle on the high side of four and one Sportsman got up there and from where I was sitting down in turn one it appeared he had struck water barrels and exploded them. Turns out…just a big puddle of water…

Wonderful moving moment in the draw for the Sprints. Jeff Cook saluted the memory of two teens that had recently drown in Lake Ontario. The teens were racing family members as one was the son of Sportsman driver Jeff Stevenson…

First time I’ve seen a draw where the pole is the final and only remaining position to be drawn. Mark Smith, second from last for the draw, had the chance of eight or one. He drew, smiled and it was a pretty good poker face. However, 1 was left for Wolfe who finished third in his heat, but started on the pole…

Marcuccelli said, “It was an ugly win and Taylor had it covered tonight.”

Caprara said, “I thought I had it there at the end.”…

Smith came from eightg to second in just seven laps of the Sprint main…

Several vendors on site including Nutmeg Collectables, the ESS trailer, Danny Varin shirts and books, Lucas Wolfe apparel as well as the track stands…

Good food, quick service and decent prices. Hey, the chicken tender combo had a ton of fries…

It was great visiting with R.C. Faigle and his brother “Moose”. They are major players in the Lucas Wolfe 360 ride. I met them back in the late 80’s when I wrote for the Oswego Speedway program. They had helped out with Jimmy Winks and Doug Duncan, along with Fred and Ron Graves, Mike Ordway and Eddie Bellinger Jr. and even Jimmy Ferlito and Ronnie Wallace. Also met and talked with engine builder Jim DeLucia for the first time. Great visit reminiscing…

Patrick LaPage always says he likes to be in my column. So, I looked through the pits and wondered where Patrick was as he has been racing everywhere this year. I discovered he was doing a PR event for Fulton as his car, along with others, were on display at the Sunoco Fulton Ethanol facility. There Pat, you got in my column again…

So moving forward I refuse to even look at weather predictions for the upcoming weekend. This has been ridiculous and it is getting to a point that I just need to go to a race when it is nice as you never even know anymore if you are going to see anything on the weekend.

News, comments and stuff to foley395@hotmail.com.