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Antwerp’s Cook has big race on his mind

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Jeff Cook has one record-setting performance at Can-Am Motorsports Park in LaFargeville, but he would like to be in another. Being in the winner’s circle on Saturday night when the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) invade the speedway would be just fine.

The Antwerp native set the fastest lap for an ESS race car in 2010 during hot laps. While he says the record is nice, winning a sprint-car race is his ultimate goal. Cook has been competing for several years on the ESS circuit and has 12 feature wins. The sprint cars are considered one of the fastest race cars on dirt surfaces.

“We raced Tuesday night at Rolling Wheels Raceway (in Elbridge) on Tuesday night,’’ Cook said. “I was second in my heat race and finished 14th in the feature. I’ve been struggling this year with the race car.’’

Chuck Hebing won Tuesday’s race. He was declared the winner although Jessica Zemken won the race, but her car failed post-race inspection.

Cook said he started out racing a pure stock at the Evans Mills Speedway several years ago. He switched to a sprint car because he liked how fast the cars would go.

“My father-in-law (Adrian Flath) competed for many years in a sprint car,’’ Cook said. “I also have a great uncle (Guy ‘Shorty’ Robinson) who was a race-car driver at area tracks many years ago.

Before the Can-Am race, the sprint cars will race tonight at the Mohawk International Raceway in Akwesasne.

The sprint cars have been competing at Can-Am since 1987. In 33 events at the speedway there have been 19 different winners. Cook is hoping that number is 20 with him in the winner’s circle Saturday night.

“This is our busiest time of the season as we will have raced six of the last eight days come this weekend,’’ Cook said.

While the sprint cars highlight the race program on the Budweiser Shootout program Saturday night, racing will also be held in the modified, sportsman, late models and the pro stock divisions. Racing gets under way at 6:30 p.m.

ESS is just one of the race divisions scheduled to be flagged tonight at the Mohawk International Raceway. Frenchies “Chevy Runs Deep’’ modified series is also on the schedule along with racing in the sportsman, mod lites and bandits divisions.

Evans Mills Speedway has a regular racing program on Saturday night along with an endure race in the final event. The Brockville (Ontario) Speedway also has a regular race program Saturday night, while Oswego Speedway’s King of Wings IV highlights the Saturday night card. Cornwall (Ontario) Speedway will hold a regular race program Sunday night, including a powder puff race for female drivers.

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