Column By: TOBY LAGRANGE / RPW – AFTON, NY – The Short Track Super Nationals have quickly become a premier event in the Northeast for dirt track racers, teams and fans. However, beyond the coveted Dirt Modified feature on Saturday night, the divisions that compete in the opening night of the event are also a must see.
That especially holds true for the CRSA Sprint Car Series. The now 14-year-old, winged Sprint Car Series utilizes national RaceSaver 305 Sprint Car engine rules and allows crate engines to compete. This rules package has allowed many racers a lower cost option of going winged, Sprint Car racing at a variety of tracks throughout eastern, southern and central New York.
Owned by Mike Emhoff, the CRSA Sprint Car Series has been a part of the Short Track Super Nationals since the 2016 season and starting last season, has crowned their series champion in front of the impressive Super Nationals crowd.
Heading into this year’s season finale, veteran Dirt Modified turned Sprint Car driver Jeff Trombley has a stranglehold on the overall point standings. The former Fonda Speedway Track Champion and certain first ballot Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame candidate holds a near mathematical lock on the crown. Looking for what would be his third consecutive series title, Trombley merely has to start Friday night’s 25-lap A-Main to be crowned series champion.
Another driver with vast Dirt Modified experience is 2019 Land of Legends Raceway Mike Emhoff Motorsports 305 Sprint Car Track Champion Darryl Ruggles. Ruggles currently sits in second spot in the overall standings, trailing Trombley by 112 points and holding a 28-point advantage over third place runner Justin Mills.
Mills, who hails a stone’s throw north from the Orange County Fair Speedway, sits in the third spot in his Sophomore CRSA season. The 2018 CRSA Sprint Car Series Rookie of the Year Award winner holds on to third in the heels of nine top ten finishes in the dozen races held so far in 2019.
A trio of young, rising stars in the sports hold down positions four through six. Those drivers include Alysha Bay and Johnny Kolosek who each have one win a piece in 2019 and Sparrowbush’s Emily VanInwegen.
The CRSA Sprint Car Series came to life in 2006 at the hands of Brian Grissel. After a few seasons Grissel turned the keys over to Mike and Deb VanDusen. A few seasons back the series was turned over to Mike Emhoff, who also operates the Patriot Sprint Tour.
The 2016 CRSA event during the Super Nationals at the Afton Motorsports Park would see Kyle Smith best Scott Goodrich and Billy VanInwegen, Jr. for the win. A total of 23 drivers entered the event. In 2017 the event was again held at Afton with Bobby Hackel, IV picking up the win over Josh Pieniazek and Dustin Purdy.
In 2018 the Short Track Super Nationals moved to the Thunder Mountain Speedway where 19 drivers checked in. Taking the win was Dalton Herrick over Tyler Jashembowski and Jeff Trombley.
This year’s event will pay $1,000 to win and $150 to start. It will also crown the 2019 series champion. The night will be presented by CNY Power Sports and Mid State Basement Authorities. In addition to the purse money, extra bonuses were announced this week that will boost the already attractive purse.
The VanDusen’s have put up a $100 bonus for the leader at the half way point. Current CRSA Race Director (and wife) Peter and Dale Meskill have put up $125 in bonuses for the event. A total of $25 will go to the leader of lap five, the second-place runner on lap ten, the third-place runner on lap 15, the fourth-place runner on lap 20 and the fifth-place finisher at the end of the 25-lap event.
When the green flag waves on Friday night at the Afton Motorsports Park, one thing is for sure, all of the stars and cars of the CRSA Sprint Car Series will be in action looking to take home the win on one of the biggest stages of the season.