AKWESASNE, NY – The wins just keep coming for Steve Poirier. The St. Mathieu de Beloeil, Que., driver swept the week with the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints (ESS) one week ago in Quebec and on Friday night he stayed hot as he dominated the 25-lap A-Main at the Mohawk International Raceway on Friday night for his third consecutive victory.
Poirier wasted little time getting to lead. From there he dominated the feature lapping up to the top ten for his fourth win of the season and the 57th of his career. The feature padded his point lead as he pursues his seventh series championship. His win also earned him points toward the NAPA Auto Parts Tour of the States as well as the Einstein Construction Group Tour of Canada and SUNY Canton Series.
“This is pretty incredible,” stated Poirier after the victory. “We’ve found a setup with this car that I really like. It seems that luck is on our side. We had a good draw tonight. The wind is at our back right now. We could not ask for anything better right now.”
Jordan Poirier beat Dave Axton into the first turn to put himself in front at the start. He was able to lead the first circuit before the only pause in the action came before a second lap could be completed. Jeff Cook caught an implement tire exiting turn four which caused his No. 10 to get upside down. He wasn’t hurt but his car suffered extensive damage ending his A-Main after he captured the Cobra Coaches Dash win.
Steve re-fired from the outside of the second row when the race returned to green flag conditions. He immediately went to the top of turns one and two advancing from fourth to the lead as he blasted by Jordan on the exit of the second corner.
“I tried the outside a little bit in my heat race and I saw that it was tacky up there,” commented Poirier. “My plan right away was to try and sneak by them on the outside on that restart. Jordan doesn’t have as much experience as I have. He could have driven his car in deeper. I just used everything I had to make my move on the cushion. After that it was easier because I was up front and I could take my time.”
With that move Steve immediately opened up a sizeable advantage over Jordan and the rest of the field. It didn’t take long for Steve to catch the back of the field which forced him to get up on the wheel. Steve had to use multiple lanes as he maneuvered his way through traffic.
He continued in traffic as Jordan and Tim Axton swapped the runner-up spot back and forth. At the midway point Axton was able to finally wrestle the position away from Jordan while Steve continued to hold a comfortable lead.
While Steve worked to increase his lead the race behind him was a good one as Axton, Jordan and Jason Barney worked one another over. They wrestled for position with each other while also navigating the traffic at the backend of the field. Axton’s lane on the bottom proved to be the right way to go as Jordan and Barney were unable to steal the second spot away from him.
With only five laps left, Poirier’s lane on the top began to give up which saw him start to struggle to get by traffic. He worked over Yan Bilodeau, who was running 11th, for several laps. He was never able to put him down a lap. Even with the struggles Poirier’s lead was insurmountable for the rest of the competition.
“For a while the outside was better,” he said. “I could run deep on the outside and I felt okay. The last five laps, once I got to Bilodeau, he raced me back on the inside. I thought the bottom was starting to take rubber. I didn’t want to go down there because we didn’t setup the car to do that.”
When all was said and done he went to earn his seventh career victory at the northern New York track. Axton had his best career finish with the series as he came home in the runner-up spot. For the Auburn, N.Y., driver it was like a win as he had ups in downs in his career. He’s in his third full season of action with the club.
“This is a win for me when you run against such great drivers like Steve Poirier,” Axton said. “This is always a fun race to come to. I’m really happy for our team. This car was so locked down on the bottom. With my Donath Motorworx Engine I got a good fire on that restart. Racing with Jordan and Steve is something. This is great.”
Jordan was able to hold on for a third place run. He has only a handful of starts with third also being his best career finish in 360 Sprint Car action.
“This is incredible,” stated Jordan. “I can’t thank Steve and Kevin Loveys enough for putting me in this car. Last week at Drummond we had the same car but didn’t get the results. Tonight it was absolutely awesome.”
Barney earned his fifth top five finish on the season as he finished in fourth with Chuck Hebing piloting Patrick Vigneault’s No. 55 to a fifth place finish.
ESS/Mohawk Notes – A solid field of 24 sprints in the pits at the beautiful North Country facility…Devin Caron made his first start of 2016…Chad Miller had a motor expire during the timed hot laps. He was loaded and heading home early to change engines for Utica-Rome…Jordan Poirier and Guillaume Neiderer were doing double duty with the Quebec Mini Sprints where Poirier won and Neiderer finished right behind.
Mach 1 Chassis A-Main 25 Laps – Steve Poirier ($1,600), Tim Axton ($1,000), Jordan Poirier ($810), Jason Barney ($630), Chuck Hebing ($615), Paul Kinney ($760), Matt Tanner ($455), Shawn Donath ($420), Devin Caron ($435), Yan Bilodeau ($500), Brandon Kidd ($385), Dave Axton ($520), Parker Evans ($300), Paulie Colagiovanni ($315), Chris Jones ($310), Jonathan Preston ($355), James Hanson ($300), Keith Granholm ($275), Guillaume Neiderer ($275), Paul Pekkonen ($300), Denny Peebles ($325), Tommy Wickham ($275), Jeff Cook ($300)
Did Not Qualify – Chad Miller
Lap Leaders – J. Poirier 1, S. Poirier 2-25
Car Mate Trailers Heat 1 – Colagiovanni, Bilodeau, Tanner, Kidd, Cook, Pekkonen
Car Mate Trailers Heat 2 – S. Poirier, T. Axton, Barney, Donath, Preston, Hanson
Car Mate Trailers Heat 3 – Hebing, Caron, D. Axton, J. Poirier, Jones, Kinney
Westfront Construction/Cobra Coaches Dash – Cook, Preston, Kinney, Pekkonen, Jones, Hanson
Westfront Construction/Cobra Coaches Dash – Cook ($100), Preston ($75), Kinney ($50), Pekkonen ($25), Jones ($25), Hanson ($25)
Insinger Fuels Hard Charger - Kinney (9 pos.) $50
Engler Machine and Tool Halfway – S. Poirier $50
E&V Energy - Bilodeau $100
Ohsweken Speedway 21st Anniversary - Peebles $50
Fondations 55 Pick 5 - Hebing $35
Beard Sewer and Drain Best Time – Tanner, S. Poirier, Hebing $25
Car Mate Trailers Heats – Colagiovanni, S. Poirier, Hebing $25
911 Restoration – Caron, Kidd $25
Lucas Oil ESS 7-12 Challenge – None - $200 at Utica-Rome June 12.
Hoosier Tires – D. Axton $200
Vahlco Wheels - Kinney $190.
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The Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints are brought to you by: Lucas Oil, Mach 1 Chassis, Einstein Construction Group, SUNY Canton, NAPA Auto Parts, Hoosier Racing Tires, Donath Motorworx, Insinger Performance, Car Mate Trailers, Fondations 4 Saisons, Beard Sewer and Drain, Cobra Coaches, 911 Restoration, 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!!