By Curtis Berleue
VERNON, NY – For the 14th time this season, a different winner was sitting in Empire Super Sprints victory lane at the end of the night on Friday. This time, it was Matt Farnham picking up his first win of the season in the make-up event from August 4 at the Utica-Rome Speedway.
With all qualifying aside from the B-Main complete coming into the night, it was Sammy Reakes IV and Danny Varin who brought the field to the green flag.
Varin shot out to the initial lead off turn two, with Jordan Thomas in tow from his 4th starting spot. As the lead duo pulled away from the pack, a pair of 10’s in Jeff Cook and Paulie Colagiovanni were waging war for the third spot.
On lap 5, Colagiovanni was able to squeeze by Cook on the extreme high side of turn two and secure the third spot.
A lap 6 restart would allow Colagiovanni to continue his march from the 10th starting spot as he slipped past Jordan Thomas for the number two spot. Through multiple restarts, the running order remained unchanged as it seemed to take Colagiovanni a handful of laps to get going each time.
Then, on a restart with 12 to go, Colagiovanni was able to keep his momentum up around the high side and slip past Varin to take the lead.
The lead was short lived, however, as on another restart tight racing between Varin and Colagiovanni led to Colagiovanni going over the bank in turn 2, and then after he got back on the track, exiting again over the bank between turns 3 and 4 into the woods and ending his night.
Through each restart, Matt Farnham had quietly worked his way into the top 3, and with 7 laps to go, he took the second spot from Jordan Thomas and set his sights on Varin for the lead. With 3 to go, Farnham began slowly closing the gap, and as the duo took the white flag, Varin appeared to run out of fuel, handing the lead and the win to Matt Farnham.
“The car was great all night long,” said Farnham. “In the feature we were alright, lost a couple spots early on but the car kept getting better as the race went on.”
Jordan Thomas was in the mix all night, and ended up coming home second as the checkered flew.
“We’ve been really good as of late,” said Thomas. “The cautions were really killing me, the car wasn’t taking off great and Varin was getting good starts, Paulie was and I was just getting eaten up.”
Rounding out the Ashley Lynn Winery podium was Shawn Donath, who at one point had gone over the bank and re-joined the field at the rear.
“I hooked something over there, and thought I was flipping over, the car was on two wheels,” said Donath. “After that, it was dig, dig, dig. Just can’t quit and keep digging.
Qualifying for the night had been completed on August 4th before the rain came, and 20 cars returned to complete the night’s action at Utica Rome.
The next scheduled event for the Empire Super Sprints is tonight, Saturday September 9th at the Weedsport Speedway in Weedsport, NY. For the latest news, information, and schedule updates regarding the Empire Super Sprints be sure to check the series website (www.EmpireSuperSprints.com) and follow along on Facebook (Empire Super Sprints), Twitter (@ESSprints) and Instagram (@empiresupersprints).
The Empire Super Sprints would like to thank the following series sponsors for their continued support: Rifenburg Contracting Corp, PJC Spray Foam, Hoosier Racing Tire, Cobra Coaches, E&V Energy, Fondations 4 Saisons, Pinnacle Investments, LLC, Lacaillade Masonry, Inc., FX Caprara, ASI Racewear, Lanes Yamaha, Ashley Lynn Winery, Bicknell Racing Products, DirtTrackDigest.com and LC Design.
The ESS Road Ahead:
Saturday, September 9 – Weedsport Speedway – Weedsport, NY ($2,000 to Win)
Saturday, September 16 – Ohsweken Speedway – Ohsweken, ONT ($10,000 to Win Canadian Sprint Car Nationals, no points)
Friday, September 22 – Outlaw Speedway – Dundee, NY ($4,000 to Win Outlaw Fall Nationals)
A-Main: 1. #7NY-Matt Farnham; 2. #79-Jordan Thomas; 3. #53-Shawn Donath; 4. #01-Danny Varin; 5. #10-Jeff Cook; 6. #36-Logan Crisafulli; 7. #56V-Billy VanInwegen; 8. #17-Sammy Reakes IV; 9. #90-Matt Tanner; 10. #24-Bobby Hackel IV; 11. #13T-Trevor Years; 12. #13-Keith Ganholm; 13. #33-Lacey Hanson; 14. #10C-Paulie Colagiovanni; 15. #7C-Dylan Swiernik; 16. #41R-Dalton Rombough; 17. #6K-Kyle Dutcher; 18. #87B-Jason Barney; 19. #28P-Jordan Poirier; 20. #67-Steve Glover; 21. #22-Jonathan Preston (DNS); 22. #1HD-Cory Sparks (DNS)
Awards & Contingencies:
PJC Spray Foam Hard Charger Award ($50): #53-Shawn Donath (+9)
PJC Spray Foam Reverse Hard Charger Award ($50): #17-Sammy Reakes IV (-7)
Pinnacle Investments Last Car Running ($35): #33-Lacey Hanson
Pinnacle Investments 11th Place (5 gallons fuel): #13T-Trevor Years
Ashley Lynn Winery Podium Finish (bottle of wine): #7NY-Matt Farnham; #79-Jordan Thomas; #53-Shawn Donath