posted September 23, 2001 09:16 PM
CHRYSLER, CICHOCKI, SWING & WARD TAKE FINAL 2001 MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY CHECKERS
Merrittville Speedway wrapped up it’s 2001 50th Anniversary Season on Saturday night with a bang – literally – as a demo closed out the four feature event. 2001 Street Stock Points Champ Lloyd Cichocki led the last 21 laps of the feature to take home the final checkered of the season. Randy Chrysler led 40 of the 50 laps in the sportsman feature and came home with the win. Jim Swing took the honour in the 4-cylinder feature, leading from just before the halfway mark in the race. Mike Ward took his second pro-stock feature of the 2001 season on Saturday night and regular street stocker Chris Crawford won the small car demo derby at the end of the night, outlasting 15 other competitors.
The Candyman Mike Dooley took the early lead in the street stock feature. Caution number one came out on the first lap as Brian Jacobi (49j) and Tom Maude (53t), got together in turn four. The yellow came back out on the restart, as four more cars were collected in the same corner. Darren Zumpe and A.J. Lewis got together on the front stretch of lap six, but managed to hold it together. Kevin Reichel rolled coming out of turn four on lap seven, bringing out the red flag. On the restart, Dooley and Cichocki were duking it out, but Dooley managed to hold onto the lead. After 18 laps the field was down to 13 cars. Cichocki started to smoke on lap 21. Caution on lap 27 as Greg Ayers met the wall in turn two. Cichocki lead lap 29, pulling ahead of Dooley by a hair. With ten laps to go the top five were Cichocki, Dooley, Zumpe, Kirk Wilson and Dave Flanigan. Cichocki held the lead on the restart, and with only five laps to go had a strong lead on the field. Cichocki held it to the checkered and was followed in by Dooley, Zumpe, Wilson and Flanigan.
Pete Cosco and Justin Haers started the sportsman feature on the lead row, but Haers was quick to take the lead. The yellow came out on the first lap as Guy Bougie, Garry Moreash and John McKinney got tangled in turn four. Haers regained the lead on the restart, but Cosco was right on his back bumper. Randy Chrysler started moving up on the outside of the track, sliding into third spot on lap four. A caution came out on lap 10 as Glenn Styres found himself turned around and looking at the pack coming into turn four. The yellow came back out on the restart as John VanHorn, Moreash and Doug Spiece tangled in turn four. Chrysler jumped into the lead on the restart. On lucky lap number 13, Bougie and Lipsitt got together. Bougie had to be cradled off the track. Chrysler chose the outside line on the restart, and it helped as he held the lead. At the halfway mark Chrysler was leading and was followed by Cosco, Chad Brachmann, Stewart Friesen and Wayne Conn. On a lap 34 caution, current sportsman trail leader and 2001 Merrittville Speedway Sportsman Points Champ Chad Brachmann stalled in turn two, ending his season at Merrittville prematurely. Scott George scooped fourth spot on lap 37, and into third on lap 39. Chrysler held it to the line and was followed in by Friesen, George, Conn and John Christian.
The 26 car field of 4-Cylinders were next to take to the track. Rob Wagner took the early lead in the feature, but collided with Norm Mark on the straightaway, collecting four other cars and bringing out the first yellow. Paul Rochelle took the lead on the restart, but Adam Smuck quickly took it away from him. Blair Young moved up into second spot on lap 2. Wagner was back up to fifth spot on lap 10. Jim Swing was in third spot on lap 16, and making his move on Young. He got second on lap 19 and into first on lap 23as Smuck smucked the wall bringing out the second caution. Swing easily took the lead on the restart. The top three at the halfway mark were Swing, Young and Doug Erskine. Mark was up to third spot by lap 23. The yellow came out on lap 35. Young made a play for the lead on the restart, but couldn’t get it. The yellow came back out n lap 37 as Roger Shenstone spun her out in turn four. Swing held it to the checkered and was followed in by Young, Mark, Andy Tallach and 222.
Bill Bleich took the early lead in the 25-lap pro-stock feature. Dave Gifford brought out the first yellow as the driveshaft fell out of his car on the front straightaway in the second lap. Ward was bumping Bleich on the restart, and finally made it around him on the back straight of lap six. Dan Shoop got around Bleich as Bleich nearly went off the track. Ward had a straightaway lead on the field by lap 13. The top five with five laps to go were Ward, Shoop, John Lowe, Bleich and Stan Zanchin. Lowe pushed Shoop high coming out of four on the second last lap and clinched second spot. Ward took his second checkered of the season followed by Lowe, Shoop, Bleich and Zanchin. Rick Baker, Tom Emery and Dave Gifford rounded out the field.
Thanks are extended to all Merrittville fans, drivers, race teams and staff for your tremendous support during the 2001 race season. Merrittville Speedway paid special tribute to our friends in the US and our thanks go out to Daniella Fabiano for her beautiful singing, to Prima Wrap of St. Catharines for their generous contributions of lapel ribbons, and to the Thorold Professional Firefighters for holding a boot drive and collecting $2035 - proceeds will go directly to the firefighters families in NY.
Get geared up for the 2002 51st Season of racing at the annual Merrittville Speedway awards dinner and dance in January 2002 – call the Speedway at 905-892-8266 or visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com for information.