ICE CHIPS by Debi Domby, Southgate, Michigan It was a hot and sultry night when the AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series made their eighth annual appearance at Sandusky Speedway, Saturday, June 5. Dan Ford Jr, who is a candidate for Rookie of the...
ICE CHIPS by Debi Domby, Southgate, Michigan
It was a hot and sultry night when the AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series made their eighth annual appearance at Sandusky Speedway, Saturday, June 5. Dan Ford Jr, who is a candidate for Rookie of the Year, led all 100 laps and came home the victor of tonight's race. It was only his fourth career start on the traveling circuit.
Freddie Campbell led the field in qualifying with a lap of 18.000, followed by Dave Kuhlman (18.28) and Scott Baker (18.39). This year's top eight starting positions are determined by a blind draw of top eight qualifiers. Dan Ford Jr drew the lucky number one and put him on the pole. Harold Fair Jr who is the rookie's (Ford Jr) technical advisor, drew the number two.
Ford Jr took the point by turn one ahead of Glenn Gault and Harold Fair Jr. A yellow flag immediately flew (lap two) when Don St. Denis spun in turn two. The race continued with few changes as there was only one groove on the narrow track. Eight cautions marred the fast paced race. The most notable was when Fred Campbell, tired of making feints at Glenn Gault, stomped on it going into turn one, lap 65. Campbell shot past Gault but was unable to make the turn and slid high on turn two and went over the embankment. Veteran Gault made a last ditch attempt for the win on the restart of the final caution (lap 96) when Ford Jr drifted high in turn three and was able to get alongside the leader. The rookie outgunned the veteran coming out of turn four, resuming the lead for the final four laps.
Dan Ford Jr became the first rookie to win a race on the Iceman Series since Chas Howe won at his home track of Auto City on August 8, 1993. Ford Jr's win comes in his fourth outing and before he rolled into Sandusky Speedway this afternoon the rookie had never even laid eyes on the track. The Carleton, Michigan driver became the second youngest winner in the 13-year history of the Iceman Series at 23-years, 3 months. The youngest winner on the series was Lonnie Rush Jr at 21-years, 3 days (also in his fourth race on the series). After the race a normally quiet Dan Ford Jr excitedly expressed his feelings, "I have to thank all my sponsors, Walt Michals RV Center/Davenport Construction/Behlem Building Systems/AK Collectibles. My Tico Motors engine ran great tonight. The car basically ran itself thanks to Harold Fair Jr who helped me with the setups. My crew and my dad did a great job setting up the car. Of course, I have to thank my mother, who prays for my safety, and the whole field. She couldn't be here for my first win because she was at Flat Rock with my brother Regan who was running Figure 8's there."
Glenn Gault aboard his Orange Blossom Special drove a steady race and was only seriously challenged once, by Campbell late in the race. The Hubbard, Ohio driver finished second in his American Title and Trust/Gault Heating/Tabone's Snow King Monte Carlo.
Mike Hennessy drove to his career best finish tonight, third place, in his Shooters Bar and Grill Monte Carlo. The Chardon, Ohio driver said, "It was a really good race, but there was absolutely no second groove, the only hope of advancing was if the leaders made a mistake. I wore out my right rear tire trying to pass Glenn (Gault). I just hung on at the end."
Dave Kuhlman who hoped to win his fourth race in a row had to settle for fourth place. Kuhlman driving his Right Tools/Zeillers Farm Market/HJ Prime Cuts Monte Carlo said, "I had a good night. The car's in one piece. I came out with a top five finish and considering there was only one groove that's not too bad."
Scott Baker lost several positions when he attempted to pass Fred Campbell on the slippery second groove. He ultimately finished fifth in his Sypolt Chevrolet/Miles Farmer Market/Excalibur Body and Frame Monte Carlo. "There just wasn't a second groove out there tonight. I got fifth, which isn't bad, but not as good as we thought we'd get tonight. We'll be at Toledo next Friday ready to go," Baker said after the race.
Freddie Campbell in his Port City Chassis Monte Carlo was able to move back to sixth after his spin on lap 65. "My car was really good tonight. Unfortunately we had one veteran driver out there tonight who was mirror driving. I swear he spent more time looking at me in the mirror than looking at the 99 car ahead of him. If he would've forgotten about me being there he probably could've got around Ford. Watch me next week, I predict that I will take the feature and fast time," a perturbed Campbell said.
Len Couvillon finished sixth in his self-sponsored Couvillion Auto Machine Shop/Southern Sign Grand Prix. "Something broke in the rear end about lap 64. I could barely give it any gas at all without the car wanting to break lose. I'm still a little down on power, but I'm working on it," said the driver from LaSalle, Ontario.
Jim Baker tied his career best finish of eighth tonight. The Rochester Hills, Michigan driver has entered two races this year and in both races finished eighth. "I lost the rear stagger and it took five laps for the car to come in. Unfortunately that last caution came out with four to go and I just hung on."
Greg Taylor had a hard weekend last week, with a couple crashes. Tonight he finished ninth. "The car's still not quite right, but we're working on it. The car had a push in it, but at least this week the car finished in one piece. Now we can work on the setup for next week," said the driver from Brooklyn, Michigan.
Steve Seegott had a mirage of problems. First he broke a transmission in hot laps; then a broke oil pump; next came a pesky oil leak during the feature that caused the Chagrin Falls, Ohio driver to lose a dozen laps in the pits. Seegott came back and was running decently when the car suddenly whipped around and crashed on the backstretch ending a thoroughly lousy night. "We took about all of the left front suspension. You should see how bent the trailing arms are. We've got a lot of body work to do this week, both on this car and the one we wrecked in Toledo last week," said the driver of the Seegott Inc./Floyd's Service/KEI Car Body Monte Carlo.
Two new drivers were on hand tonight. Kyle Edwards is a rookie on the Kendall Indiana Series and was running 11th when he dropped out with engine woes in his Sweet Manufacturing/RSB Motorsports/Kabkins Airport Limousine Monte Carlo on lap 30. He finished 18th. ~~~ Also making his initial appearance on the series was Bobby Duecker. The Chippawa Lake, Ohio driver finished 11th, on the lead lap, aboard his Chippawa Roofing Monte Carlo. Duecker is planning on running a couple races with the series at Toledo later this year. Richard Duecker, Bobby's father, has driven on several occasions with the series.
ROOKIE CORNER: Alan Pinsonneault almost didn't make the race as the crew busily replacing the clutch of his Build A Mold/Trimplas/Moldplas Monte Carlo. The Belle River, Ontario driver had only one practice lap and his two qualifying laps on the tight 1/2 mile before the start of the feature. He finished 14th. ~~ Blemheim, Ontario's Brett Reaume experienced mechanical problems' and was forced to finally retire his Westside Performance/Robertson Grand Prix. He was listed as 16th at the checkered.
Jerry Cook's night finished during hot laps when he blew the engine. The Ottawa Lake, Michigan driver said he will be back Friday at Toledo. Jerry has had lousy luck this year with engine and transmission problems. Cook has yet to finish an Iceman feature and has only finished one race aboard his outlaw Marco Pizza/UB Machining/Giles Auto Body Thunderbird.
RACE #3 - SANDUSKY SPEEDWAY AC DELCO/MURRAY'S ICEMAN SERIES
Dan Ford Jr, Glenn Gault, Mike Hennessey, Dave Kuhlman, Scott Baker, Freddie Campbell, Len Couvillon, Jim Baker, Greg Taylor, Jason Mignogna, Bobby Duecker, Doug DeGarmo, Don St. Denis, Alan Pinsonneault, Steve Seegott, Brett Reaume, Harold Fair Jr, Kyle Edwards, Jerry Cook (DNS)
Points after race #3 Dave Kuhlman, 72; Scott Baker, 69; Len Couvillon, 61; Dan Ford Jr (R), 58; Glenn Gault, 56; Mike Hennessy, 48; Doug DeGarmo, 46; Jason Mignogna, 45; Fred Campbell, 43