ES: Adirondack: Dion Ciccarelli race notes

Dion Ciccarelli Records Career Best East Series Finish: Seventh At Adirondack Beaver Falls, N.Y. (July 28, 2007) - A season of frustration was quickly forgotten on Saturday night when Dion Ciccarelli finished seventh at Adirondack International...

Dion Ciccarelli Records Career Best East Series Finish: Seventh At Adirondack

Beaver Falls, N.Y. (July 28, 2007) - A season of frustration was quickly forgotten on Saturday night when Dion Ciccarelli finished seventh at Adirondack International Speedway. Ciccarelli, a second-year driver from Severn, Maryland, eclipsed his previous best finish, which was tenth last season at the Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl.

Driving the No. 84 Star Sales/Operation Gratitude Chevrolet, Ciccarelli was not happy early in practice, which was delayed by rain showers in the central New York region. While practice was held, qualifying was nixed in the compressed race day, with the field lining up for the 150-lap race in the order of points. Ciccarelli started the race sixteenth.

"We started practice and the front end was chattering and moving all around, but by the end of practice we got it pretty fast," he said before the race. "We made some changes before the race and we hope they'll work out. I love the track, it's so different from anything else we run on. You're always turning, you have to be real careful with the throttle, and you have to always stay on top of your game because there's no time to relax. It's fun, and I'm optimistic about the race."

When the green flag flew, Ciccarelli gave the Jamerson Motorsports effort its best ride since last fall's Toyota All-Star Showdown. Running with the lead pack, he ran on the lead lap the entire race and ran eleventh with just thirty laps to go. In those last few laps, he picked up four more positions to get his best finish in two years racing Busch East, seventh.

"We really needed a night like this," he said after the race. "I wasn't sure what to think at the start of the race because we weren't that good in practice. But we had Jimmy Burns help us out this week and the whole team worked so hard even though we haven't been getting the results to show for it. Tonight we got a seventh-place finish and we're very happy. I'm exhausted but I'm very happy, and I think this will be the start of a good stretch of races for us. Larry and Beth Jamerson have bought all the equipment we need to do this, now we're starting to get the job done."

Going into the race, Ciccarelli wasn't sure how the car was going to perform over 150 laps.

"This car has always had issues getting through the middle of the corner," he explained. "So I was doing some crazy trail-braking, bringing it to the bottom and jumping on the gas, jerking the car al over the place just getting it to corner. But I found if I was patient, just trying to stay with the leaders through the corners, I could stay with them. Once I found a rhythm, I could run with them all day. I just had to stay on the bottom of the track. If I got on the outside I was in trouble, so I just had to make sure I got to the bottom as fast as I could after each restart."

Next up for the Jamerson Motorsports team is its second visit to Lime Rock Park, the 1.53-mile road course in northwest Connecticut. Last year, Ciccarelli ran well there before a parts failure stranded him on the track just a few laps from the finish.

"The road course for us is just a fun time and a different experience," he said. "I've only done in my whole life, but I'm very much looking forward to going back. We'll go and camp out at the track and have fun, and hopefully have a good race as well. We're heading home with a car in one piece and - finally - the finish we deserve, so we're very happy."

-credit: jm

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Series NASCAR