Iceman SLM Series Mansfield race one report

The Iceman Super Late Model Series began their season, Saturday night at the newly renovated Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. Defending series champion, Jr. Hanley won the 100-lap feature. The Iceman series' top eight qualifiers pulled for ...

The Iceman Super Late Model Series began their season, Saturday night at the newly renovated Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. Defending series champion, Jr. Hanley won the 100-lap feature.

The Iceman series' top eight qualifiers pulled for position with sixth place qualifier, Mike Smith drawing the pole position. Tonight's race marked the first SLM race for M Smith, who normally races Legend cars. Sharing the front row with M Smith was third year driver Kyle Edwards. At the drop of the green flag, Edwards immediately jumped into the lead. This was the first time Kyle has ever led an Iceman race.

The first of six cautions came out on lap nine when Donnie Hill spun in turn one, negating Edward's large lead of a half straightaway. As the cars circled the track under caution M Smith's car developed a valve cover fire. He was through for the night.

When the race resumed the top six cars raced in close nose to tail formation. On lap 26 Edward's reign on the point came to end when his Bellman Oil/LA West Monte Carlo and second place Jason Mignogna's NAPA/Sign Shoppe Monte Carlo tangled. The pair were sent to the rear. 1997 Iceman Champion, Glenn Gault, took over the lead, followed by Jr Hanley.

Gault fought Hanley's advances for six laps, but on lap 33 Hanley dove low and outpowered the American Title & Trust/Gault Heating/Tabone's Snow King Monte Carlo for the lead. Hanley then lengthened his lead to about a half straightaway for the remainder of the race.

Meanwhile one of the best races on the track was between Harold Fair Jr and Barry DeSalve Jr. Fair Jr's #71 Monte Carlo handled better through the corners and he'd pull alongside DeSalve Jr's #5 Monte Carlo. The #5 would pull ahead of the #71 on the straightaways. The race between DeSalve Jr and Fair Jr went on for 65 laps. The pair raced tightly until Fair Jr's car dropped out of the race with an assortment of problems.

A little deeper in the pack was the ongoing battle between Mike Hennessy and Mignogna, which started on lap 33. During the final 20 laps the pair caught up to Greg Taylor and the trio then ran side-by-side, and nose to tail, until the end of the race. Taylor won the battle between the three with Mignogna outracing Hennessy.

1999 Iceman Champion Scott Baker returned tonight in the familiar blue #74 of Jim Baker (no relation). Scott is without an Iceman ride this season. The Akron, Ohio driver gets the Penske Shock Move Up award after starting 12th and finishing third.

At the checkered flag it was Hanley ahead of Gault by a half straightway. They were followed by Scott Baker, Greg Taylor, and Jason Mignogna.

NOTES:

Mansfield Motorsports Speedway has really changed since the Iceman series was there two years ago. The comments overheard were "awesome", "gorgeous", "beautiful". Over this past winter the track has gone through a metamorphosis and has become quite the showplace. A new wall that tilts back towards the racing surface has been installed along with new fencing and cabling all the way around the track. In the center of the half mile oval is a new pit road, a 1/4 mile, and a Figure 8 track. Also new is a scoreboard. Dramatically improved is the new lighting system. Night-time racing on the high banked 1/2 mile is nearly as bright as during the day. Between turn two, the backstretch and turn three there are 92 lights on three posts. Uncounted was the lights on the rest of the track. Fans are treated to having a well lit grandstand. Grass has been planted in the infield and behind the grandstands. Further improvements are an ongoing project. This track must be seen to be appreciated, especially if you had been there previously.

The Iceman cars had just made their way onto the track for their 100-lap feature when the lights went out on the track because of a generator problem.

Although Jr Hanley was the second fast qualifier, he started seventh because of his draw. He quickly moved through the field. "I really like this track and plan on being here when the series comes back next month. Larry Zent (car owner) gives me a great car every time I run and I'm glad he lets me drive it. I'm just the driver of the car and don't put any money into it," said the driver of the Big Rigs/Rick Cole Monte Carlo. When asked about whether Mansfield should try to get an ASA race he replied, "This series (Iceman) and the others like it that run 100 or 200 lap races are just as good as ASA, and it doesn't cost as much." The Oakville, Ontario driver had a good couple days as he also won a Sunoco Late Model series race Thursday at Angola Speedway in Indiana.

Glenn Gault who led six laps during the race finished second. "I thought I had something for Jr right after he got around me, but the car kept getting looser and looser as the race went on. Because of this I changed my line and then I started losing the brakes. It was a good run," said the Hubbard, Ohio resident. "I'm not sure how many Iceman races we're going to make this year. I'm running the entire Hooter's Northern Series this season. I'll have to check my schedule because I'd like to go to the next race at Baer Field. I really like that track," said the driver of the American Title & Trust/Gault Heating/Tabone's Snow King Monte Carlo.

Scott Baker was one of two drivers driving borrowed cars. Baker was in Jim Baker's (no relation) car for tonight's race. The Akron, Ohio driver doesn't have an Iceman car this year. It's not the first time the two Bakers have paired together as a team. Scott, who was running for the championship in 1993, blew his engine in hot laps and Jim in a sportsmanship offer let Scott drive his car. Tonight's finish was the best for the race team. "I didn't get many hot laps in and spent the first half of the race getting used to Jim's car. The car was a little too tight all race long. The car ran good for its first night out," said Scott. He plans on running five Hooter Northern races this season with his Bullitt Racing team.

Fourth place finisher Greg Taylor had brake problems also. "I lost my brakes during hot laps and backed the car into the wall. Thankfully it was just sheet metal damage. Then during my qualifying run the brake pedal went to the floor and I spun again. Both times it happened without warning, so I was worried about the brakes all race long. They held up, thankfully, even though they were a little squishy at the end," said the driver of the Jim's Collision/Grace Ann's Lackey Diner/Jon's 4th season Tavern Monte Carlo.

Jason Mignogna after running as high as second early in the race, finished fifth. "Kyle pushed high going into (turn) one and then cut down to protect his position and we came together. I thought it was just a racing deal. The car was fast tonight. Unfortunately I used up my brakes getting back to the front and really didn't have much left when I got to Mike (Hennessy) and Greg (Taylor). I got around Mike near the end of the race," said the Greensburg, Penn. driver.

Mike Hennessy was the other driver in a borrowed car tonight. He destroyed his familiar #27 at Winchester several weeks ago and thought he was going to have to sit out the 2002 season. Then came the phone call from the defending Iceman rookie of the year driver, Randy Triplett, to drive his Wendy's/Dr. Pepper Monte Carlo. "I just got the car yesterday and today's the first time I drove it. I ran out of brakes as I crossed the start finish line and slid into the wall. The car's not hurt too bad. This is the first time this team has ever finished on the lead lap. I'd like to thank Randy for letting me driving the car. It's a great car and hopefully he'll let me race it again," said the Chardon, Ohio driver.

Harold Fair Jr was the Holley Fast Qualifier for the sixth time in his Iceman career. The Canton, Mich. driver said over the scanner just before his Royal Truck and Trailer/Appleton Power Rack and Pinion/Lefthander Monte Carlo dropped out that he was without brakes, clutch and power steering.

The 28 laps that Kyle Edwards led tonight were the first on his three year Iceman career. He finished ninth after making repeated pitstops to repair his car after tangling with Jason Mignogna.

Art Rozane was another driver that had brake problems. "I had brake problems most of the race. I finally lost them all the way on lap 64 and had to drop out. We had the wrong gear for the track, but this is our first time here so now I have better idea what the track's like and we'll get the right one for the next Mansfield race," said the driver of the MCM Management Grand Prix.

Doug DeGarmo returns to the series after a couple seasons absence. Where everyone else was having brake problems tonight, the Highland, Mich. driver had an overheating problems. He finished 10th, his third Iceman career top 10.

ROOKIE CORNER ... Barry DeSalve Jr was the Rookie of the Race finishing a Iceman career best seventh. It's only the fifth race on the series for the Penfield, Penn. driver. DeSalve Jr ran as high as fourth in his Tri-County Performance/Clarion Sinter Metal/Jim's Custom Collision Monte Carlo before tangling with fellow rookie Jack Smith. ~~~ Jack Smith from Massilon, Ohio takes over driving duties in the car formerly driven by Doug Ehret. Doug moved to North Carolina and his father Dave combined his team with Jack Smith's operation. "I really like template cars. They're more of a "driver's" car rather than relying on down force like the outlaw cars. I'm looking forward to the next Iceman race. I've raced ASA in the past and practiced a NASCAR Busch car in the past." ~~~ Mike Smith (no relation) had a interesting start to his super Late Model career. The Legends driver was in his first SLM race tonight and drew the pole position. Not a bad way to start. The Akron, Ohio driver was forced out of the race when his valve cover came loose and caught on fire. "The fire didn't hurt any thing, thankfully. I didn't get to run long, but I had a lot of fun while I was out there. We really don't have a sponsor, so I probably won't run the full Iceman series this year, but I hope to be able to run the three Mansfield races." ~~~ You would think that a series that is in its 16th season of competition (and 298 drivers) would've had a driver with the last name of the "Smith" before tonight, but Jack and Mike are the first. Also strangely there's never been a Jones to race in the series either.

Donnie Hill returned to the Iceman series but dropped out with mechanical problems on lap 49. He hopes to run the two other Mansfield shows.

ICEMAN SUPER LATE MODEL SERIES
Mansfield Motorsports Speedway
July 15, 2002

Finish:
Jr. Hanley, 100; Glenn Gault, 100; Scott Baker, 100; Greg Taylor, 100; Jason Mignogna, 100; Mike Hennessy, 100; Barry DeSalve Jr, 100; Jack Smith, 100; Kyle Edwards, 100; Doug DeGarmo, 99; Harold Fair Jr, 65; Art Rozane, 63; Donnie Hill, 49; Mike Smith, 9

Cautions: 6.

Points:
Hennessy, 218; Fair Jr, 213; DeSalve Jr, 211; J Smith, 209; DeGarmo, 205; Hanley, 133; Gault, 122; Mignogna, 121, Baker, 119; Taylor, 117

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Series Stock car
Drivers Rick Cole , Jack Smith , Mike Smit