Poirier’s Mistake Pays Off For Friesen
Friesen elected to use the bottom of the speedway for the restart as Poirier pulled in alongside of him. Friesen went to the bottom going into the first turn and skated to the middle while Poirier went to the extreme outside of the speedway to pull even with Friesen. As they completed that lap Friesen led by a nose at the line.
They raced evenly into the first corner then Poirier prevailed off the second corner to take the lead. He opened the gap as they ran down the backstretch while extending the lead off the fourth corner. It looked like that was it for Friesen as Poirier continued to race away.
As they took the two to go sign Poirier was closing quickly on the back end of the field as Friesen lagged behind him. Poirier was perfect on that lap but traffic was quickly coming into to play in the event.
On the final circuit Poirier bobbled slightly in the first turn allowing Friesen to close slightly. Then Poirier did something he never does, he made a mistake in turn three. Poirier ran up quickly on back of a slower car and lost the air on the nose. This pushed his car up the speedway as he nearly went off the top of the track allowing Friesen to drive by underneath to take the lead and then the win.
“What a last corner,” said Friesen. “My heart sank when I saw him (Poirier) cruise by me on the outside. I was trying to maintain, cruise and take it easy. On that last restart he snookered us on the top. I just pulled the wing back and I gained a couple of car lengths, but I thought it was too little too late. He got bottled up in lapped traffic so I’ll take it.”
Poirier was nearly in shock after the second place finish as he admitted making a mistake in the final turn to lose the race. He had pulled the wing back to take the lead from Friesen and that adjustment didn’t pan out in traffic.
“I was pretty aggressive on that last yellow with the wing so I put it back because I was in clean air,” said Poirier, the 2013 Empire Super Sprint (ESS) champion. “When I reached traffic I was pushing a little bit. I just reached Jeff Cook. I tried to run him on the outside and when I tried to go by him on the outside I lost the air on my nose and the car pushed up the race track. I was just hoping to keep the car on the race track. It was a really bad mistake for me on the last lap.”
ESS regular Donath advanced from the 13th position to finish in third. Jessica Zemken advanced from the 16th to finish in the fourth position and Cory Sparks came home fifth after starting in 11th when apparent fifth place finisher Howland was penalized for a rules infraction and placed last.