ICE CHIPS, By Debi Domby, Southgate, Mich. (July 4) Nineteen AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series drivers and their crews spent Sunday afternoon racing at Flat Rock Speedway in very hot and humid weather (98 /heat index 110 ). The race had been ...
ICE CHIPS, By Debi Domby, Southgate, Mich.
(July 4) Nineteen AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series drivers and their crews spent Sunday afternoon racing at Flat Rock Speedway in very hot and humid weather (98 /heat index 110 ). The race had been scheduled from Saturday night May 8, after persistent rain showers canceled the show.
The final eight laps was worth the heat and the price of admission. The lead drivers changed positions so often and so fast it was impossible to predict who the winner would be. Hint: Glenn Gault.
Flat Rock was recently repaved and the hot temperatures caused very slippery conditions. Doug DeGarmo slid into the turn three wall during his qualifying attempt and rookie Bob Varney backed into the turn one wall. Mike Hennessy was the fast qualifier on the heat slick track with a 12.549 followed by Scott Baker (12.583), Glenn Gault (12.625).
Gault drew the pole position while seventh fastest qualifier Fred Campbell (12.725) pulled the second starting place. The field took the green and eighth place starter, Harold Fair Jr, spun in turn one. The cars were realigned and on the restart Gault jumped into the lead while Jerry Cook aggressively moved his way into second after starting fourth. Second place Campbell slid back to fourth place before dropping into the lower groove.
On lap 26 Cook drifted high and Hennessy moved around him taking over second place. For the next 48 laps Hennessy trailed Gault around the high banked 1/4 mile track. On lap 74 Gault slipped out of the groove in turn 4 and Hennessy took over the lead bringing Campbell with him. Gault fell back to third for 11 laps when he dove under Campbell and took over second.
Hennessy held back the veteran drivers of Gault, Campbell and Baker until lap 93 when Campbell trapped the sophomore driver behind the lapped car of Doug DeGarmo. Gault fought his way back and regained the lead on lap 94. The next lap saw Hennessy take the point back. Baker got into the act and led lap 96 but pushed up in turn one, losing the lead to Gault. The Hubbard, Ohio driver kept his car low for the final three laps to record his first win of the season. Campbell finished a car length behind with Hennessy, Baker and Cook rounding out the top 5.
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Glenn Gault's Orange Blossom Special led the most laps, 76, on three different occasions. The last win for the driver of the American Title & Trust/Gault Heating/Tabone's Snow King Monte Carlo was June 6, 1998 at Toledo Speedway. Today's win moved the Hubbard, Ohio resident up two positions to second in the point standings. "It was very hot out there today and I'm happy to come away with the victory. I'll be glad to get back in my hauler and cool off," said Gault.
After Fred Campbell spun on lap seven, he went to the rear. On his way back up through the field the Battle Creek, Mich. driver had made it back to ninth when he tangled with the lapped car of rookie Brett Reaume on lap 23. Again Freddie went to the rear. By lap 81 the Port City Chassis Monte Carlo took over third. When Mike Hennessy took the lead on lap 74, Campbell followed for second. During the topsy turvy final 10 laps Campbell held every position between first and fourth. The driver of the red #61 led only one lap during the mad scramble in the final eight laps managing to finish second. The second place finish moved Campbell up two positions into third.
The wild driving during the final eight laps denied the sophomore driver Mike Hennessy his first career Iceman victory. The win would've been a popular one as most of the crowd was rooting for him. Although the Chardon, Ohio driver drew the fifth starting position, he was the fast qualifier. He kept his Shooters Bar and Grill Monte Carlo in the top five the entire race. For the first time in his Iceman career Hennessy paced the field when he took the point from a slip-sliding Glenn Gault on lap 74. He withstood heavy pressure from Campbell but a lapped car was his downfall and Hennessy finished third, tying a career best finish. "The lapped cars were a mess out there. We realized they had to go somewhere, but we hoped they would've got out of the way of the lead group. The car was really good, or as good it could've been on a one groove track. The fastest car didn't win today it came in third," said Jim Hennessy, the driver's father.
Scott Baker started today's race in sixth place after qualifying second. By lap 28 he had moved to third. The Akron, Ohio driver stayed on second place Mike Hennessy's bumper for the next 63 laps, waiting for a slip from Hennessy. After a tap on his rear bumper on lap 72, Baker suddenly slowed in turns three/four and spun his Sypolt Chevrolet/Miles Farmer Market/Excalibur Body and Frame Monte Carlo on the frontstretch. He went to the rear and had to work his way back through traffic on the greasy track. Baker was one of the five drivers who led in the frenzied final laps and ultimately finished fourth. "That was a wild last few laps, wasn't it? I finally got into the lead and had it set in my mind I was going to go into turn one nice and easy. It didn't happen that way because I slipped out of the groove and Glenn (Gault) got under me. The car was really good and . . fast all the way through the race. I gained points today and got another top 5 finish," said the series points leader.
Jerry Cook finished fifth moving up two positions in the points standings. "The car had a push today and the slippery track conditions didn't help it much." said the driver of the Marco Pizza/UB Machining/Giles Auto Body Thunderbird. Today might possibly be Cook's last Iceman series race. Cook is going to become crew chief for his brother Terry, who drives a NASCAR Craftsman Truck. "I wouldn't say today's my last Iceman race. If I have the date free when there's an Iceman race I'll be back."
For the second week in a row, Steve Seegott got the "Hard Charger Award", moving up 11 positions today. The driver of the Seegott Inc./Floyd's Service/AGA Gas Monte Carlo said prior to the race, "I have to get better at qualifying. Once I'm in the race, I'm fine. I think if I had someone to chase and there's another car to pass, I'd do better in qualifying."
Cars that dropped out: Bob Varney (handling), Harold Fair Jr (crank), Brett Reaume (accident), Len Couvillon (accident), Dave Kuhlman (overheating/broken fan), Dave Strader (handling), Don St. Denis (leaking)
ROOKIE CORNER: Alan Pinsonneault scored his first top 10 finishing ninth, three laps down. He attributed his good run to his "sub" crew chief, Dan DeLisle. "Dan really helped me out there today. My car was loose and Dan was able to give me suggestions on how to overcome some of my problems. He is taking some time off from driving this year and agreed to come help me today since my regular crew chief Dick couldn't be here." said the driver of the Build A Mold/Trimplas/Moldplas Monte Carlo. ~~~ Rookie points leader Dan Ford Jr had a miserable day, spinning twice. After repairing a camber/caster problem Ford Jr returned to the track to finish 12th. ~~~ Dave Strader finished a career high 14th today. Strader was lucky to even be at the track today. After leaving Auto City last week, a tire blew on his pickup wrapping the tread around the axle. The trailer jack-knifed and both the truck and trailer flipped over into the ditch. Both truck and trailer were a writeoff. The racecar survived with minimal damage. ~~~ Brett Reaume's race ended when his car hit the turn three wall and flipped onto the driver's side. Brett was bruised but otherwise okay. The car had considerable damage taking the front clip and right front suspension. ~~~ New to the series was Bob Varney. The Richmond, Mich. driver normally drives limited late models at Owosso and Tri-City and is the cousin of Iceman driver Claude Plante Jr.
AC DELCO/MURRAY'S ICEMAN SERIES RACE #6 FLAT ROCK SPEEDWAY ~~ JULY 4, 1999
Glenn Gault, Freddie Campbell, Mike Hennessy, Scott Baker, Jerry Cook , Steve Seegott, Phil Massuch, Greg Taylor, Alan Pinsonneault, Jason Mignogna, Doug DeGarmo, Dan Ford Jr, Don St. Denis, Dave Strader, Dave Kuhlman, Len Couvillon, Brett Reaume, Harold Fair Jr, Bob Varney
POINTS: Scott Baker, 139; Glenn Gault, 119; Freddie Campbell, 117; Len Couvillon, 114; Dave Kuhlman, 113; Dan Ford Jr, 100; Mike Hennessy, 97; Steve Seegott, 94; Doug DeGarmo, 87; Harold Fair Jr, 86; Greg Taylor, 85; Alan Pinsonneault, 83; Don St. Denis, 74; Brett Reaume, 60