VALLEE JONCTION, QUE – Canadians know all about the term hat trick, well Steve Poirier did just that following up his two wins on dirt Friday and Saturday by also winning on the asphalt at Autodrome Chaudiere on Sunday. The win was worth $3,252 making a clean sweep of Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint action in this past weekend in Quebec.
Sunday afternoon marked the fifth time the ESS has taken to the asphalt. For the seven time champion, Poirier swapping dirt tread for asphalt slicks wasn’t really in the plans. But after attempting for the first time last year to put on a show in front of his local following he found the different surface to be fun.
“It’s funny, I got into sprint car racing to go fast on dirt. I never really thought I would put one on asphalt, it never really interested me,” he said as a matter of fact. “When the event moved to Quebec, the track really wanted me to be here so I wanted to do that for them. As soon as I ran some laps I didn’t realize how much fun this was.”
Fun quickly turned into the quest to win and that was the goal Sunday at Chaudiere. Winning his heat and then drawing the pole from the four car redraw the plan was set. “It was a good draw but we don’t have a lot of notes and we saw how fast Matt (Billings) was last year so we didn’t know what was going to happen.” Poirier said.
When the green dropped, Poirier did take off into the lead with Patrick Vigneault and Billings following. The two drivers didn’t let Poirier pull out at all and on lap 14 the race outlook changed dramatically. Vigneault was trying to make a move in lapped traffic when all of a sudden his sprinter looped around bringing out the race’s only yellow.
This put Billings on the outside of Poirier and all eyes were watching. When the green flew, they were side by side going down the front stretch into turn one. Billings was hoping to have the same outcome as one year ago when he drove around the outside of Poirier.
Billings was hoping the move would stick but Poirier pulled out coming off turn two. For Billings he felt that was his chance. “I drove her in deep!” he exclaimed, “I knew that was pretty much going to be my chance unless something happened to Steve. He was fast, we were fast but it’s tougher to pass on asphalt when you’re the same speeds.”
The closing laps saw the front two in lapped traffic but Poirier made his moves with precision to claim the popular win over Billings and Jordan Poirier who had to rebuild his car after a flip the night before at RPM. Rounding out the top five were Shawn Donath, who actually used dirt tires, and Alex Vigneault.
The next five was made up of Patrick Vigneault coming back from his spin, Chad Miller, Yan Bilodeau, Dan Douville and Dale Gosselin.
Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints Autodrome Chaudiere – Steve Poirier ($3,252), Matt Billings ($2,252), Jordan Poirier ($1,652), Shawn Donath ($1,456), Alex Vigneault ($1,229), Patrick Vigneault ($1,126), Chad Miller ($937), Yan Bilodeau ($887), Dan Douville ($862), Dale Gosselin ($837), Brett Wright ($812), Guillaume Neiderer ($787), Ray Sitterly ($762), Scott Holcomb ($737), Dave Axton ($737).
Fondations 55 Heat Events – Heat 1 – Steve Poirier ($100), Shawn Donath ($50).
Heat 2 – Matt Billings ($100), Patrick Vigneault ($50).
Lap Money – Steve Poirier ($115), Matt Billings ($115), Jordan Poirier ($115), Alex Vigneault ($92), Patrick Vigneault ($69), Shawn Donath ($69).
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