posted August 12, 2001 07:27 PM
BICKNELL, CHRYSLER, DEVOS AND CICHOCKI REPEAT – DAVE RUSSELL TAKES FIRST 2001 CHECKERED AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY
Action at Merrittville Speedway on Saturday night was definitely hot – so hot that Doug Rose’s Green Momba Jet Car ignited an old mustang on the front stretch in front of a cheering crowd in the packed stands. Fans in attendance were also treated to great racing in all classes - Lloyd Cichocki took home the street stock feature – his last as a bachelor as Lloyd will be married next week – although rumour has it he’ll show up for his feature. In a near photo finish, Steve Devos wrestled the lead away from Bill Bleich as they came across the start/finish line. In other last lap action, Dave Russell won the dwarf feature after race leader Bill Perry collided with a lapped car. Randy Chrysler made it two in a row at Merrittville Speedway taking home the checkered in the Sportsman feature, and Pete Bicknell made it too many to count with his modified win.
Darren Zumpe took the lead from Bill Wade out of turn four in the street stock feature, to lead the first lap. Lloyd Cichocki moved into second spot on the third lap. Chris Crawford had some trouble on the fourth lap, flying off the back of the speedway, and Jerry Deschamps and Bill Wade tangled as they slowed down for the yellow. Zumpe and Cichocki were side by side on the restart, but Zumpe pulled ahead. Kirk Wilson had some troubles and came to rest on the back straightaway, but got moving again as the yellow flag came out. Cichocki grabbed the lead on the restart. Bernard Nieberg, an invader from Ohsweken Speedway flew through the pack and landed in third spot on lap eight, after starting 18th. Aaron Vasas ran into some major engine problems as it burst into flames in turn three on the 11th lap. Cichocki held the lead on the restart. Mark Pigeon needed a bump start on the front straight, and got it by another driver as he stalled. Cichocki came around to take the checkered and was followed in by Zumpe, Nieberg, Peter Reid and Mike Dooley.
Rookie driver Kellie Mason held the pole for the dwarf car feature and held the lead for the first lap. Bill Perry came up and relieved her of the position out of turn four on the second lap. After five laps the top five were: Perry, Dave Russell, Ray Webber, Chris Rimmen and Wally Billing. Current points leader Lee Webber was sitting just outside the top five in sixth spot. Wayne Robins and Howard Manges tangle in turn two on lap seven, bringing out the first caution. Lee Webber moved into fifth spot on the restart. Perry – who has battled all season long in his new racer - ran into lap traffic with only one lap to go. As the field came out of turn four looking at the checkered, Perry ran into lapped car Derek Bredin and went into the wall, costing him the win. Russell took his first feature win of the season and was followed in by Lee Webber, Wally Billing, Ray Webber and Scott Billing.
Mike Ward took the early lead in the prostock feature, with Bill Bleich hot on his tail. AJ Schulz and Rick Baker tangled in turn four of the first lap, bringing out the first yellow. Bleich used the high side of the track to get around Ward for the lead on the second lap. Steve Devos crept up to sit in third spot on lap seven. Devos got around Ward for second on lap nine, leaving him just six laps to catch the leader. Chris Ellis spun into the infield on lap 11, bringing out the second caution, and closing the gap between Bleich and Devos. Devos made it up to Bleich's tail on the final lap, and went high out of turn four, to get Bleich at the line, by only inches. Ward finished third and Baker and Sargent rounded out the top five. The feature win marked Devos' 100th career win.
The Mechanics put on a race during intermission in an event organized by fellow street stocker Al Smith. These guys really put on the show with Wally Staples in the 11z1 of Darren Zumpe taking the checkered after Dave Gifford in wife Darlene’s 34c street stock led the majority of the laps.
All eyes were on the pit gate waiting for the return of sportsman points leader Chad Brachmann whose car broke during hot laps. Brachmann drove all the way back to North Tonawanda to pick up his back up car, and did the return trip in less than an hour and a half – this put him in the race at the back of the pack. Pole sitter Wayne Conn took the early lead as the green flag fell. Boyd MacTavish took advantage of the fast outside line to land in third spot after six laps. Pete Cosco spun himself into the infield on turn four, bringing out the first and only caution of the sportsman feature. Tim Lipsitt moved into second spot on the restart, but MacTavish was quick to relinquish him of the position. Tim Jones broke into the top five on lap seven and into third spot on lap eight. Brachmann had moved up into eighth position by lap 10. The top five at ten laps were: Conn, MacTavish, Jones, Lipsitt and Randy Chrysler. Chrysler moved into fourth spot on lap 12 and into third on 14. Chrysler grabbed the top spot on lap 17, as Brachmann broke into the top five. The top five on lap 20 were: Chrysler, Conn, MacTavish, Jones and Brachmann. MacTavish moved Conn out of second spot with only two laps to go. And with one to go Brachmann broke on the front straightaway, making it two cars in one night, and leaving him tail to the field. Chrysler made it two in a row at Merrittville and was followed in by MacTavish, Conn, Jones and Lipsitt.
Jamie Turner easily took the early lead in the modified feature, leaving Paul Ashton and Luke Carleton to duke it out for the runner up spot. It took Carleton two laps, but he made it around Ashton, only to break in turn one on the third lap, and have to go tail. Turner retained the lead as Todd Gordon popped into second spot in turn one. Scott Wood used the outside of the track to land in third spot on the fourth lap, just looking for a way around Gordon and found it on lap eight. By lap 11 Pete Bicknell was in fourth spot. Turner ran into lapped traffic on lap 18, just as Bicknell overtook Gordon for third spot. The lapped traffic proved to be the bane of both Turner and Wood as Bicknell used it to catch up to them and pass them both by lap 25. Bicknell ran away with it from that point. Wood moved up and passed Turner on lap 28. On lap 20 the top five cars were: Bicknell, Wood, Turner and Gordon. Bicknell took yet another checkered and was followed in by Wood, Turner, Gordon and Billy Krull.
The night finished off with the spectacular show from Doug Rose and his Green Momba Jet Car. An old mustang provided from 406 Auto Parts was the victim of the night as the jet car fired up and ignited the mustang to the delight of everyone in the stands.
Next Saturday night the VSM Abrasives SOS Sprint Cars make their first visit to Merrittville Speedway. It’s an Auto F/X night at the races as a full card will be on slate as well. For more information, call The Speedway at 905-892-8266 or visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com
Street Stock: Lloyd Cichocki (8c), Darren Zumpe (11z), Bernard Nieberg (0), Peter Reid (05), Mike Dooley (310c), Jason Harper (19jr), Jerry Deschamps (f30), Greg Ayers (17), Kevin Kocarik (7k), Paul Plant (31a).
Dwarf: Dave Russell (88), Lee Webber (17), Wally Billing (37), Ray Webber (77), Scott Billing (31), Chris Rimmen (7x), Jeff Johnson (63), Mark Brighton (33), Dave Ackler (7), 1s, Kellie Mason (14), Wayne Robins (48), Carl Ballinger (53), Nolan King (55), Derek Bredin (117), Bill Perry (9), Rob Bredin (116), Frank Blajszczak (54), Ken Robins (22), Howard Manges (12), John Wrobel (6), (99).
Prostock: Steve Devos (13), Bill Bleich (108), Mike Ward (95w), Rick Baker (78), Ken Sargent (25), Dan Gilbert (400), Al Moffat (17kt), John Low (28), Jeff Dayman (5), Tom Green (150, Herb Hunter (95h), Chris Ellis (17), AJ Schulz (88).
Sportsman: Randy Chrysler (21k), Boyd MacTavish (93), Wayne Conn (4c), Tim Jones (9), Tim Lipsitt (29), Adam Ferri (1), Garry Moreash (124), Gary Kruchka (21), Chad Chevalier (12), Brian Elliotson (30), Pete Cosco (17c), Rob Knapp (Y2K), Bobby Davidson (73), Shawn Sliter (71s), Brad Gravestock (90), Guy Bougie (67), Dennis Giancola (13), Chad Brachmann (3b).
Modified: Pete Bicknell (42), Scott Wood (38), Jamie Turner (11), Todd Gordon (8EH), Billy Krull (Z1), Fred Carleton (96), Robbie Krull (123), Rick Richner (26), Don Spatorico (65), Dan Miler (22), Ken Cosgrove (9), Paul Ashton (3a), Don Turner (39), Chris Ricker (13), Luke Carleton (21), Ken Winfield (82), Greg Panunte (19jr) and Fred Carleton Jr. (96b).