By Curtis Berleue
VERNON, NY-| As the calendar on the 40th Anniversary season for the Empire Super Sprints turns to August, the tour is right back in action with another doubleheader weekend, this time at the Utica Rome and Fonda Speedways.
First up on Friday, the tour heads back to the Utica Rome Speedway for the third time in 2023. Back in May, it was Paulie Colagiovanni who found victory lane at the Vernon, NY ½ mile oval. Then, as part of CNY Speedweek, it was Danny Varin who came out on top in June. With both drivers continuing to show speed late into the season, a repeat performance is not out of the question though a strong contingent of drivers is expected to be on hand looking to make sure that doesn’t happen.
The following night, the tour heads just east down the thru-way to Fonda Speedway for its second visit of 2023. In one previous visit this year, it was Shawn Donath who found victory lane. Donath has not finished outside of the top 10 on any given night since June and currently sits second in the points standings just 3 points back of leader and defending champion Jordan Poirier.
Saturdays visit to the Fonda Speedway will also be the annual Earl Halaquist Memorial. Each year, the Earl Halaquist Memorial is held in honor of one of the most accomplished sprint car drivers in the Northeast, Earl Halaquist. Competing across NY, NJ, PA, VA, NC, MD VT, Canada and more, Halaquist amassed 53 URC wins and six championships.
Halaquist, a World War II veteran, was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, IA in 2000 before his passing in 2001.
Former Executive Director of the National Sprint Car HoF and fellow inductee Thomas Schmeh is once again spearheading a lap sponsorship program. Laps are available to purchase through Thomas via Facebook message or email to firstname.lastname@example.org and 100% of the money collected goes directly to each lap leader.
A special thank you goes out to Kinney’s Kar Kare for presenting Friday night’s dash at Utica Rome, and Herrington Farms for Saturdays dash at Fonda. Information for start times, admission prices and nightly order of events for this weekend’s races can be found on both tracks social media pages and webpages, along with the ESS social media pages.
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:
Friday, August 4 – Utica-Rome Speedway – Vernon, NY ($2,000 to Win)
Saturday, August 5 – Fonda Speedway – Fonda, NY ($2,000 to Win)
Friday, August 25 – Autodrome Granby – Granby, QC ($3,000 to Win)