posted September 03, 2001 02:06 AM
BICKNELL, BRACHMANN, SARGENT, CICHOCKI AND WEBBER 50TH ANNIVERSARY CHAMPIONS AT MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY
Hoosier Tire Canada and Bicknell Racing Products were there to celebrate as Merrittville Speedway crowned it’s 50th Anniversary Champions with Pete Bicknell taking a record 15th Modified title. Chad Brachmann made it 3 in a row with this year’s Sportsman Points Championship, Lee Webber made it 2 in a row in the dwarf division while Ken Sargent took the pro stock points championship and Lloyd Cichocki – even after missing a night off to get married – captured the street stock honours.
In racing action, Bicknell won the Johnny Spencer Memorial modified feature after starting third in the race, leading 47 out of the 50 laps. Chad Brachmann nailed the win in the Sportsman feature after sliding into the lead with six laps to go, and was awarded the Sterling Silver Trophy by Fran & Ken Walsh dedicated to the memory of Bill Willard Sr. Mike Ward took his first ever pro stock win at Merrittville Speedway while Bernard Nieberg made his second appearance at Merrittville Speedway in the street stock division, and came out to win the feature. Denny Lindberg won the Canadian Motor Racing Historical Society 10-lap feature, after being sent tail in the fifth lap. All feature winners received gift packages from Hoosier Tire Canada on Bicknell Racing Products night.
Brian Jacobi took the early lead in the street stock feature. Back in the pack, Lloyd Cichocki, Kirk Wilson and Darren Zumpe, all challengers for the points race, were neck and neck. On the third lap, Wilson tangled with Jerry Deschamps on the front stretch, leaving Deschamps disabled in turn two bringing out the caution a lap later. On lap five the pack took the front
straight four wide, but managed to avoid any major incidents. Mike Dooley pulled into the lead on lap six. With seven laps to go Deschamps came to rest high in turn two, bringing out the second yellow of the race. Top five on the eighth lap were Dooley, Cichocki, Peter Reid, Darlene Gifford and Kirk Wilson. Bernard Nieberg found himself in third spot on the restart,
charging through the field. Nieberg challenged for the runner up spot and nailed it with two to go. On the back straight, he drove past Dooley to take the lead. A caution came out on the last lap as a car lost the handle in turn four. Nieberg ran away with the lead and was followed to the checkered by Dooley, Cichocki, Wilson and Zumpe.
Nolan King took the early lead in the dwarf feature, after stalling it while they were lining up. Chris Rimmen ripped the lead away from him before they finished the first lap, and started putting some distance between himself and the field. Ray Webber sat in second on the third lap, but Jeff Johnson pulled along side him and passed him on lap four. Lee Webber was already
into fourth spot after only five laps had been completed. Lee Webber pulled up into third spot on lap eight. Dave Russell got around Wayne Robins on lap nine. The tenth lap found Scott Billing barrel rolling down the front stretch, after clipping Ken Robins who slowed on the front. Billing flipped about a half a dozen times, before coming to rest near his father’s car.
Robins was checked out by the ambulance, but Scott Billing walked away. Both cars were towed from the track. Rimmen had the lead for the restart, but had a left rear flat. Rimmen was notified that he had the flat, but he chose to stay out. Johnson flew to the lead on the restart, as Rimmen started falling back. Russell moved into third spot with only three laps to go. Ray Webber
lost the handle in turn four, leaving a two lap dash for the checkered. Russell was triumphant in the dash and was followed in by Johnson and Lee Webber.
John Lowe took the early lead from Al Moffatt as Ken Sargent broke on the start, and had to be pushed into the pits. By taking the green on the race, he was able to clinch the points championship. Dan Gilbert moved up to challenge Lowe for the lead, but fell back after two laps. Mike Ward moved into second as Gilbert went too high in turn four, and fell back. Gilbert
spun out in turn three on lap six, and then Moffatt and Rick Baker got together in turn four, on the caution. On the restart, the field went three wide, continuing that way through turns three and four, but couldn’t hold it on the front as Bill Bleich and Lowe spun into the hay bales in the infield. Ward nabbed the lead after Bleich and Lowe spun. Ward held onto the lead to
the checkered flag and his first ever win at Merrittville Speedway. Steve Devos finished second and was followed by Shawn Keus, Jeff Dayman and Dan Shoop.
Roll over two of the evening happened in the vintage car feature. Harold Sonnenberg rolled his vintage car, after clipping Daryl Bray in the infield. The car rolled once and both drivers were fine. Denny Lindberg lead the race until the halfway point when he spun out and brought out the caution, but came back up to the lead by the last lap. Lindberg took the checkered and was followed in by Lowrey Siemens, Bill Tripp, Don Ledingham and Hector Beliveau.
Brad Gravestock took the early lead in the Sportsman feature, as Dennis Giancola fell back to battle Rob Knapp for second spot. The pack started bumping pretty good through turns one and two, but Garry Moreash was the only casualty, finding himself in the rail. The yellow came out. Giancola gave Gravestock a good chase on the restart but couldn’t catch him. Tim
Jones sat back in third spot, looking for a way around Giancola, and found it on lap 15. Pete Cosco spun into the infield on lap nine and got hung up, but the yellow didn’t come out as he was clear of the racing surface. By lap 12 Chad Brachmann was up to fifth spot. Gravestock broke and headed to the pits with ten to go, leading the most laps he’s lead all season. Brachmann
found himself in second spot by lap 16, only to have the pack slowed by a caution. The top five were Jones, Brachmann, Wayne Conn, Randy Chrysler and Boyd MacTavish. Brachmann nailed the lead out of turn four on the restart, as Randy Chrysler started putting a push on and found himself in second spot. Brachmann took the checkered and clinched the 2001 Sportsman Points Championship. Chrysler finished second, Jones finished third; Boyd MacTavish and Wayne Conn rounded out the top five.
Don Spatorico took the early lead in the Johnny Spencer Memorial Modified Feature. Pete Bicknell who started in third spot for the 50-lap event moved up to take second away from Greg Panunte on lap two, and stole the lead out of turn four on the third lap. Spatorico battled back, but couldn’t get around the Pillsbury car. Debris on the speedway brought out a caution on
lap seven. The top five were Bicknell, Spatorico, Panunte, Robbie Krull and Fred Carleton. Krull moved up into third spot on the restart, and pulled Jamie Turner up with him. Fred Carleton Jr. and Scott Harris tangled in turn two, bringing out the second caution. Turner moved up into third spot on lap nine, while Fed Carleton nabbed fourth on the tenth lap. The yellow came out on lap 11 as Spatorico broke on the back stretch and came to rest in turn three. Scott Wood was up to seventh spot on lap 16, after starting tail to the field. The top seven cars had a good lead on the field by the halfway mark. Wood moved into sixth on lap 27. Turner started catching Bicknell on lap 30, but couldn’t get around the lapped traffic as well as Bicknell.
Robbie Krull pulled up into second spot on lap 23. Wood was up to fourth on lap 36. The top five with ten to go were Bicknell, Robbie Krull, Wood, Turner and Billy Krull. Wood slid under Robbie Krull for second spot on lap 47. The yellow came out on lap 48 as Rick Richner broke and came to rest in turn two. Robbie Krull clipped him as he went by, and finished his night two laps early. Scott Wood restarted in second position with a front left flat, and managed to hold second spot. Bicknell won the feature and his 15th Merrittville Speedway Points Championship. Wood finished second and was followed in by Turner, Billy Krull and Carleton.
Join us next weekend at Merrittville Speedway WJJL 1440 AM Old Time Rock & Roll Radio presents 2nd Annual International Dwarf Car Championship + Open Wheel Wide Open II & 25 lap events for the street stocks and the 4 cylinders. For more information call the Speedway 905-892-8266 or visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com