Super Sprints bring out crowd to Edelweiss Speedway

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by admin on June 24, 2010

Gasoline powered the horses under the hood, and adrenaline fueled the drivers and crews at the Edelweiss Speedway, with 2,500 onlookers crowded in the stands on a super June 18 evening for one of the stock-car season’s major events.

Although the race card comprised four categories – the Empire Super Sprints, Modlites, Semi Pros and Mini Stocks – it was the Empire Super Sprints, according to Speedway Public Relations Director Martin Belanger, that drew the fans.

“They go fast; they’re spectacular,” he said, adding that though it may sound macabre  when the cars crash, they create a memorable spectacle that the fans simply eat up.

Edelweiss Speedway June 21, 2010

Edelweiss Speedway June 21, 2010

Their enthusiasm enveloped the track.

“I enjoy coming here,” said Lori Cook, whose husband drove Sprint Car No. 10. “The fans are really enthusiastic about sprint cars,” added the Antwerp, New York, resident.

The 600-750 horsepower of the ESS racers demand the need for the massive spoilers that prevent the vehicles from liftoff, as their wheels spin wildly around the sharp curves of the track, with the dust gathering behind them.

“The power of the engine is more than the traction,” said Sylvain Erickson, who drove Car No. 62, explaining the challenge behind the wheel and reveling in the immediacy and sheer speed that gives him a racing high.

Erickson has been driving for almost 30 years and has successfully competed in rallies across North America, including racing on frozen lakes. However, it was only two years ago that he decided to switch to ESS racing. He has yet to win a race with his No. 62, and he said he’s still learning to control his new 600-hp machine.

The ESS event may have been the highlight, but the night marked a major event for Modlite drivers, given that it was a winter qualifying race for Florida in 2011. With the racing season just warming up at Edelweiss Speedway, Belanger recommends it as a great place for a family outing on warm summer evenings.

“It’s a family environment and the races are pretty good,” he said.

Coming up is a Mod race June 25 and a major Canada Day race, which will attract  about 35 to 40 racers to the track, up to triple the norm.

For more information and a race schedule, visit the Speedway website at  http://www.autodromeedelweiss.com.