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Sawyer takes opening race honors in Empire State Series


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Sawyer takes opening race honors in World Products Empire State Series


DUNDEE, N.Y. (April 9) – The third time proved to be the charm for Joshua Sawyer and the World Products Empire State Series.


Sawyer won for the first time in his IMCA Modified tour career as the twice-rescheduled event fi­nally got the 10th annual series started Saturday afternoon at Black Rock Speedway.


Josh Van Tassell and defending champion Chris Fleming drew the front row for the feature. For Van Tassel that was quite an accomplishment as he’d barrel rolled in hot laps, but his crew did a masterful job and had the car ready to go by race time.


Fleming jumped out to the lead as a rash of early cautions kept the field close. On lap three, things settled down and Fleming and third starting Eddie Sites hooked up and opened up a gap on the field as they battled back and forth for the lead.


This lasted until lap 12 when something let go in the rear of Fleming’s ride and he came to a halt in turn one. On the restart it was Sites, Sawyer, Gary Roberts, Van Tassell and Scott Bennett mak­ing up the top five.


Sites held the lead until lap 18, when Sawyer made his move in turn one with Ryan Scott com­ing through for second. Scott had pitted on lap three and had raced steadily back through the field.


Sawyer and Scott then swapped the lead until Sawyer took over for good on lap 22. On the final lap coming to the checkers Sawyer almost lost it coming out of turn four, but managed to hang on and score his first ever series victory.


Rounding out the top five were Scott, Sites, Roberts and Kevan Cook.


The North Country Custom Rookie of the Race Award went to Jason Sullivan.


The Black Rock show had been postponed from April 2 and then from April 8 because of cold weather. The next event on the World Products Empire State Series schedule is Sunday, May 29 at Skyline Raceway in Cortland.


Feature Results – 1. Joshua Sawyer; 2. Ryan Scott; 3. Eddie Sites; 4. Gary Roberts; 5. Kevan Cook; 6. Josh Van Tassell; 7. Mike Wilmot; 8. Brandon Carvey; 9. Robert Compton; 10. Mark Grif­fin; 11 Jason Sullivan; 12. Scott Bennett, 13. Mike Van Dyke; 14. Chris Fleming; 15. Mike Smith; 16. Joe Bennett, 17. Brad Weaver; 18. Matt Roberts; 19. Rich McNeal; 20. Rich Karlnoski; 21. Jerry Lobdell Jr.


Heat winners were Sites, Smith and Scott.



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