Lee, NH - Weather tried to stop the Lee ISMA event Friday night, but it lost this time and Pat Abold won. Just at race time, drops of intermittent rain were felt at the third-mile, semi-banked Lee, NH oval. ISMA officials waited for the right ...
Lee, NH - Weather tried to stop the Lee ISMA event Friday night, but it lost this time and Pat Abold won. Just at race time, drops of intermittent rain were felt at the third-mile, semi-banked Lee, NH oval. ISMA officials waited for the right opportunity and with the driver's approval, the green dropped. Fifty laps into the event, the rain came harder and this time, the rain won. Pat Abold, out front since lap 3 and holding off the advances of team Dunigan most of the way, deservedly took the win, his first of the season and a proud moment for his car owner/builder Clyde Booth, whose racing roots delve deep in New England. Pat became the sixth different ISMA winner on the circuit to date. The win was worth $3,800 for the team.
"This is good, very good," said Pat, standing in a slight drizzle. "It's an advantage to start up near the front, but the car was pretty good. It was a little bit tight and that's what you needed here tonight. We got one. We'll take them any way. I don't know if it was raining harder near the end, but it felt like it was getting a little slick out there. Traffic was getting a little tough near the end there, but the car was working good in traffic and it's over. We were lucky to get it in."
Twenty-seven cars graced the pits for the annual Campers' Inn Classic with Timmy Jedrzejek, back in the saddle after a bad Sandusky crash, Mike Ordway, in the Brothers 6 and Scotty Martel took the torrid heats.
Timmy J and Ordway, a four-time winner of this same event, started out on the front row, but a three-car melee with Brian West, John Payne and Joe Chillemi, driving the Hooper 17, all involved. Payne received the brunt of the wall-banger, after that team had spent until that morning doing repairs from a bad crash at Cayuga.
Rain began to spit and sputter again and the cars were brought into the pits for refueling, just in case.
When it let up again, the large crowd voiced their approval as the cars were sent back out. Jedrzejek led the first two laps, but Pat Abold brought the Booth 61 around the 91 and he was off. Mike Ordway, Randy Ritskes and Lou Cicconi chased Abold, but his lead lengthened on each quick lap.
A four-way battle for second soon ensued with Ritskes, Jedrzejek, Joe Gosek and Scotty Martel as the race began to play out. By lap 21, the 29 of Ritskes was reeling in the leader, while his teammate, Gosek was reeling him in. Traffic began to play a role by the lap 25 mark and for a few laps, Ritskes and Gosek were looking for ways to get around Abold and the chase was on. Scotty Martel got by Timmy J by lap 38, for fourth while Chris Perley made a like move shortly thereafter. Dave McKnight and the 7 of Brian Wood were still in the hunt for a top five as the race moved rapidly by.
On lap 42, Abold was still weaving through lap cars while Gosek finally made his move around Ritskes. The second yellow of the race flew moments later for the 5 of Nick Fornoro who was in the grass off turn four. Fornoro restarted and the race at the front restarted also.
It was Abold, Gosek and Ritskes nose to tail, but one more yellow flew on lap 47 as drops of rain could be seen under the lights. This flag was for the 31 of Bobby Timmons.
Flagman Jerry Kritzman dropped the yellow on lap 50 as the safety of the drivers is of the utmost importance and the rain was becoming dangerous to the drivers of the fast, slick-tired machines.
The race was declared over, 25 laps from the original finish, but Pat Abold, Joe Gosek, Randy Ritskes, Scott Martel and Chris Perley, ran equally hard for their top five spots. Dave McKnight, Brian Wood, Timmy Jedrzejek, Dan Soule and Joey Payne, completed the top ten.
Said point leader Joe Gosek after the flag fell, "We would have liked to stayed out there, but Pat had a pretty strong car. At that point in the race, he had the better car and he deserved to win if we couldn't go the distance. I got Randy in traffic when he got loose. In traffic we might have had a shot at Pat too, because out in the open, we didn't have much for him. Although if we'd gone 25 more laps, you never know. He was a little bit better, but not by a whole lot. I was figuring with 15 or 20 to go, I would have to really hustle. I might be able to gain on him but it would have taken time. It was cool Pat won. Too bad we had to checker it before the end for the fans. We'll take second."
Hometown hero Scott Martel was overjoyed with his fourth place, "It was a good run. We were fast. I figured I had a good shot to win. It's good to run well in front of a lot of my sponsors and a lot of my fans. I think there were a lot of people up there rooting for me. At least I think there were - they told me they were. It's nice to be close to home and have a good run. It's tough to catch those Dunigan cars. But, running fourth is good, and I'm happy.
Abold earned a guaranteed spot in the ISMA Super Nationals at Oswego Speedway on Sept. 2 by virtue of his win.
LEE ISMA SUMMARY
Heat 1: Tim Jedrzejek, Mark Sammut, Brad Lichty, Dave McKnight, Nick Fornoro, Dan Soule, Jim Shirey, Brian West, Larry Record
Heat 2: Mike Ordway, Lou Cicconi, Joe Gosek, Joey Payne, Jamie Timmons, Brian Wood, Denny Fisher, Joe Chillemi(dnf)
Heat 3: Scott Martel, Randy Ritskes, Pat Abold, Chris Perley, Bob Smith, Ken Bell, Bob Timmons Jr., Johnny Payne, Jon Henes
ISMA CAMPERS INN 50(rain-shortened from 75): 1. Pat Abold (61), 2. Joe Gosek (26), 3. Randy Ritskes (29), 4. Scott Martel (14), 5. Chris Perley (11), 6. Dave McKnight(94), 7. Brian Wood(7), 8. Tim Jedrzejek(91), 9. Dan Soule(32), 10. Joey Payne(06), 11. Lou Cicconi(4), 12. Nick Fornoro(5), 13. Bob Smith(67), 14. Denny Fisher(81), 15. Mark Sammut(78), 16. Bobby Timmons Jr. (31T), 17. Mike Ordway (6), 18. Jamie Timmons(97), 19. Jim Shirey (72), 20. Brad Lichty(84), 21. Ken Bell (31), 22. Jon Henes (36), 23. Larry Record 979), 24. Brian West (15), 25. Joe Chillemi (17), 26. Johnny Payne (16).