Jason Barney Takes Top Spot in Lucas Oil
Empire Super Sprint Visit to Thunder Mountain Speedway
By MIKE MALLETT
CENTER LISLE, NY – Jason Barney was disappointed with his seventh place finish
on Friday in the opening night of action for the Lucas Oil Empire Super
Sprints. On Saturday he made some changes and that proved to be just what
he needed as he went on to lead all 25-laps to score the win in the E&V
Energy, NAPA Auto Parts and Mach 1 Chassis feature at the Thunder Mountain
Barney and the team tried some different things and those changes seemed to
make the difference as it helped propel him to his first win of the season and
his second of his career at Thunder Mountain.
“This is awesome,” said Barney. “We haven’t had the greatest start to the
season. No fault other than it’s the way things go. I love these
guys and I love this race team. I like to settle in my ways.
Tonight this is a brand new race car with an engine we didn’t know anything
about. It’s a completely new shock package and it’s just awesome how fast
we got things going. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going.”
Barney got the lead in the first corner of the race after starting second by
going three-wide between pole starter Jeff Cook and third place starter Joe
Trenca. He powered his way through the middle to have the lead at the
exit of the second turn.
“Luckily we’ve had two good starting positions,” stated Barney. “Starting
up front tonight was good. We’ve been so good here and we found something
that works good here. We’ve won from 12th but I don’t think we could do
it again. The competition is so good now. You have to start in
front of them. It’s not easy.”
Cook stayed within striking distance applying heavy pressure during the first
few laps of the race before a caution was necessary as Jonathan Preston and
Matt Tanner got together in the middle of turns three and four.
On the restart Barney jumped back out the lead with Cook fending off challenges
from Franek and Mark Smith. Both drivers were looking to wrestle the
second spot away from him to no avail.
On lap eight Josh Flint got into the third turn wall after losing his brakes
bringing out the second caution as he came to a stop. A couple of
attempts were made at the restart before action got back underway.
Barney took advantage of the restart going single-file to get away from Cook
and company. He was able to run his line on the speedway allowing him to open
up a lengthy gap on the race for second.
Barney hit heavy traffic with 10 circuits remaining in the feature.
Rather than run the line he preferred on the bottom, he took his No. 87 to high
groove on the speedway. He worked his way through traffic without issue
while the battle for second picked up.
“I knew somebody was going to freight train me on the top,” said Barney.
“I figured Davie would be right there. I had to get up there and
block that lane. I didn’t feel like I was any faster, but I felt like if
I left it open I was going to get beat.”
Cook couldn’t shake Franek with Chuck Hebing adding himself to the mix with
only a handful of laps remaining. Hebing, who started 12th, found the
top-side to his liking which allowed him to steadily move forward as the laps
Hebing pressured both Cook and Franek put couldn’t find a groove to make a pass
with both the high and low lanes full of cars as the three battled in
traffic. Franek eventually made a move to get by Cook on the high-side to
take over second with three to go.
Barney made no mistakes over the final laps allowing him to take home his first
win of 2019. Franek, of Wantage, N.J., backed up his third on Friday
night with a second at Thunder Mountain.
“Second sucks even more,” joked Franek after being asked about finishing second
after not being happy with third the night before. “Tonight was a lot of
fun. Lapped cars were doing their deal racing and stuff like that.
I felt we had a really good car all night. We really just didn’t
Cook rebounded from a long night on Friday to finish in the third position
after starting on the pole. He was upbeat after being able to score the
“I wasn’t looking forward to starting on the pole,” mentioned Cook. “I
guess it had a little bit to do with the finish. The car was good, but I
made some mistakes like I normally do. Hopefully we can get the rust
knocked off and get her going here.”
Hebing crossed the line in the fourth position with Smith being credited with
fifth after Brett Wright was docked two positions at the end of the race for
jumping a single-file restart.
A field of 31
sprints in the pits for the Lucas Oil ESS return to Thunder Mountain after
several years. A large crowd filled the
Lucas Oil ESS/Mach 1 Chassis
A-Main – Jason
Barney ($2,260), Davie Franek ($1,035), Jeff Cook ($885), Chuck Hebing ($655),
Mark Smith ($555), Steve Poirier ($470), Brett Wright ($530), Paulie
Colagiovanni ($445), Joe Trenca ($410), Chad Miller ($400), Billy VanInwegen
($385), Josh Pieniazek ($320), Paul Kinney ($300), Scott Holcomb ($350), Denny
Peebles ($300), Kyle Moffit ($325), Dustin Purdy ($300), Josh Azzi ($100),
Edward Kelley ($100), Shawn Donath ($300), Thomas Radivoy ($300), Pete
Richardson ($350), Jonathan Preston ($350), Matt Tanner ($300), Parker Evans
Did Not Qualify – Kelly Hebing, Alex Vigneault, Cory
Sparks, Tyler Cartier, Scott Goodrich.
E3 Spark Plugs Fast
Time – Smith, Tanner, C. Hebing $25
Car Mate Trailers
Heats – Colagiovanni, Franek, Cook $25
Around Town Plumbing
and Heating Halfway – Barney $50
Pinnacle Pole Award
– Cook $50
Fondations 55 Hard
Charger – Holcomb (10 pos), $50
B-Main – Preston $50
Ground Control Last
Car Lead Lap – Peebles $25
Ground Control 11th
Place Finish – VanInwegen - $25
Laser Art Studio/Cobra
Coaches Dash – Wright $100, Flint $75, Richardson $50, Moffit $25.
Ashley Lynn Winery
Podium – Barney, Franek, Cook $10
Hoosier Tire – Barney
For more Information on the Lucas Oil Empire
Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints are brought to you by: Lucas Oil, Mach 1 Chassis, NAPA Auto
Parts, Hoosier Racing Tires, Donath Motorworx, E3 Spark Plugs, Ground Control
Lawn and Snow, Car Mate Trailers, Fondations 4 Saisons, Ohsweken
Speedway/Canadian Sprint Car Nationals, Cobra Coaches, Fondations 55, E&V
Energy, SUNY Canton, Pinnacle Employee Services, AroundTown Plumbing &
Heating, Engler Machine and Tool, Kevin Nouse Design/K1 Racegear, Winters
Performance, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Lacaillade Masonry, FX Caprara Ford/Chevy,
ASI Racewear and many, many associate sponsors!!