GRANBY, QUE – There’s no place like home for Steve Poirier. He captured his eighth career Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint victory at the Autodrome Granby on Friday night tying him with Mike Woodring all-time at the facility. It was his first victory at his former home track since August of 2014.
He wasted little time getting to the point from his fifth starting spot going on to take the win in the Einstein Construction Group Tour of Canada/Fondation 4 Saisons Quebec Series feature. It was also the first leg of the Northwood 2 Construction Quebec/Ontario Sprint Car Challenge Weekend
“Granby has always been really good to us over the years,” stated the St. Mathieu de Beloeil, Que., talent. “I’m pretty comfortable here. I know when we tweak the car good then I know we are going to do good here.”
Paul Kinney started on the pole and led the field after one circuit was complete. Poirier was in tow as he secured second from fifth on the same lap.
From there it was a two car battle at the front of the field.
Poirier worked the high-side with Kinney showing strength on the bottom of the race track. They remained glued together with each staying in their lane. On lap three Poirier was able to edge in front as they came off of the fourth corner to take the lead.
“I saw that they worked the topped and I talked to Steve Bernard who has been really good here this year,” said Poirier. “He told me there would be a top. We adjusted for the top. Honestly I’m not too good at running the inside, especially here so we adjusted and the top was there.”
Poirier stretched his lead over Kinney to a few car-lengths until they reached slower traffic on lap six. At that point Kinney drew back in and was able to pull up alongside once again as they battle each other and the lapped traffic.
Several times Kinney got ahead of Poirier in traffic only to see him shoot back by on the top side of turns three and four. On lap nine they were even as they raced three-wide in traffic when Kinney caught the back of another car and had three wheels off the ground. As he recovered Poirier opened the lead.
Poirier was masterful in traffic on the outside, especially in turns three and four. He was willing going to way around the top while everyone hovered through the middle and on the bottom.
“That was pretty hairy because we caught traffic in a hurry,” said Poirier about the battle with Kinney. “I wanted to stay on the outside. The lapped the cars were kind of in the middle and a couple didn’t know where to go. Some of them stopped my run and Paul got by me on the inside. If the lapped cars starting running the outside I would have been in trouble. I knew I had to drive it hard on the top if I wanted to make it happen.”
The only caution flag was necessary on lap 20 as Kinney’s car lost power and came to a stop at the exit of turn two negating his second place position on the race track. At this point Shawn Donath inherited second but he too experienced issues with an overheating race car causing him to head to the pits.
Green came with Poirier on the outside as Dylan Swiernik lining up to his inside. Poirier fired perfectly and pulled away from Swiernik who was forced to contend with a hard charging Jason Barney. The defending champion went on to score $2,575 for the win while Barney nipped Swiernik at the line for second after he started back on the outside of the fifth row.
“The driver didn’t do a very good job in the middle of the race,” stated Barney, of Brewerton, N.Y. “Once we had that caution I was able to settle down and talk myself back into doing the right things. I made a couple adjustments on the race car and we were really good those last five laps. We came here to have a good run. We wanted to stay as close to Steve (Poirier) as we could and we were as good as we could get.”
Swiernik, who was making his first start of the 2016 season, was elated with his third place finish. The Port Leyden, N.Y., pilot moved forward from sixth to end up on the podium.
“This is all we could ask for,” commented Swiernik. “We were hoping for a top ten so to come out with a top three, we are ecstatic. This is about the best thing that we could have had happen.”
Yan Bilodeau, of Victoriaville, Que, had a strong outing as he was able to finish fourth while Matt Tanner road the top to finish fifth after he started 15th.
ESS/Granby Notes – A big field of 27 cars in the pits with 16 made up of American drivers…Making first starts were Swiernik, Jordan Poirier, Lee Ladouceur, Alain Boisvert, Dale Gosselin, Paul Pekkonen, Guillaume Neiderer and Kyle Fraser…Only 3 cars of the 24 starters did not finish the A-Main…Michael Parent and Alain Bergeron were not in the field due to motors not being done in time.
Lucas Oil A-Main 25 Laps – Steve Poirier ($2,575), Jason Barney ($1,425), Dylan Swiernik ($1,025), Yan Bilodeau ($855), Matt Tanner ($790), Jeff Cook ($985), Paulie Colagiovanni ($705), Jordan Poirier ($645), Lee Ladouceur ($660), Alain Boisvert ($625), Parker Evans ($610), Chris Jones ($595), Dale Gosselin ($525), Tim Axton ($515), Mike Stelter ($510), Chad Miller ($305), Dan Douville ($500), Paul Pekkonen ($500), Brandon Kidd ($500), Guillaume Neiderer ($500), Dave Axton ($325), Paul Kinney ($525), Shawn Donath ($525), Kyle Fraser ($500).
Did Not Qualify – Ray Sitterly, Denny Peebles, Alex Vigneault
Car Mate Trailers Heat 1 – Cook, Stelter, Swiernik, Bilodeau, Gosselin, Douville
Car Mate Trailers Heat 2 – S. Poirier, Kinney, Ladouceur, Fraser, Pekkonen, Kidd
Car Mate Trailers Heat 3 – Donath, Barney, T. Axton, Boisvert, Taner, J. Poirier
Quebec Dash – S. Poirier
Lacaillade Masonry B-Main -. Jones, Colagiovanni, Evans, Neiderer
Buy-In – D. Axton, Miller
Quebec Dash – S. Poirier ($500)
Insinger Fuels Hard Charger – Colagiovanni (14pos.) $50
Engler Machine and Tool Halfway – S. Poirier $50
E&V Energy – Ladouceur, Cook $50
Lacaillade Masonry - Jones $50
Ohsweken Speedway 21st Anniversary – D. Axton $50
Fondations 55 Pick 5 - Tanner $35
Beard Sewer and Drain Best Time – Cook, Kinney, Jones $25
Car Mate Trailers Heats – Cook, S. Poirier, Donath $25
911 Restoration – Ladouceur, Evans $25
Lucas Oil ESS 7-12 Challenge – None $200 at Drummond June 4th .
Hoosier Tires - Barney $200
Vahlco Wheels - Cook $190.
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The Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints are brought to you by: Lucas Oil, Mach 1 Chassis, Einstein Construction, SUNY Canton, NAPA Auto Parts, Hoosier Racing Tires, Donath Motorworx, Insinger Performance, Car Mate Trailers, Fondations 4 Saisons, Beard Sewer and Drain, Cobra Coaches, Westward Painting Company, Fondations 55, E&V Energy, Panther Frameworx, YorkMont Auctions,, Engler Machine and Tool, Northwood 2 Construction,Brodix Cylinder Heads, Lacaillade Masonry, FX Chevy, ASI Racewear and many, many associate sponsors!!