The $20,000 AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series championship was up for grabs in tonight's final race of the 1999 season Sunday at Toledo Speedway. Freddie Campbell won the 200 lap battle, but Scott Baker won the championship war by five points.
The $20,000 AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series championship was up for grabs in tonight's final race of the 1999 season Sunday at Toledo Speedway. Freddie Campbell won the 200 lap battle, but Scott Baker won the championship war by five points. Only 30 points separating the top four points-men, Baker (210), Dave Kuhlman (187), Campbell (184) and Glenn Gault (180). All of these men had a chance at taking home the championship.
The championship drama began when sixth place starter, Scott Baker, spun on lap three, relegating him to the rear. Scott was passed on lap 40 by leader Campbell, who was quickly touring the track. Twenty laps later, Scott was involved in a three car accident and lost the snout of his car. At the end of the first segment (lap 99) the Akron, Ohio driver was in 13th position, four laps down. His dreams of his first championship had to be nil at this time. In the final 101 laps Baker's car ran better, losing only one additional lap to Campbell's fast paced run.
Polesitter, Mike Hennessy shot into the lead leaving Campbell in his exhaust. Campbell quickly recovered and on lap 10 took over the lead, which he would never relinquish.
Hennessy ran second until he was finally passed by eighth place starter, Dave Kuhlman on lap 53. At the 15-minute halfway break only five cars remained on the lead lap: Campbell, Kuhlman, Jerry Cook, Hennessy, and Glenn Gault. The remainder of the top 10 were: Harold Fair Jr, Greg Taylor, Steve Seegott, Doug DeGarmo and Dan Ford Jr. There were five cautions in the 99 laps.
Campbell resumed the lead with Kuhlman following closely behind. Jerry Cook, pacing himself, ran a distant third. A heated battle ensued between the three drivers on lap 164. The trio fought nose to tail and side-by-side for the remaining laps. Campbell took home the $6,000 victory. The only other two cars on the lead lap were second place Kuhlman and third place Cook.
Baker won his first Iceman championship in his nine year Iceman career by finishing ninth. Baker had only to finish ninth or better to retain his lead, but for a while that looked bleak. "I thought I was down after I ran into the back of Glenn Gault. I couldn't had a worst night. I'm so proud of my team, they worked so hard tonight & all year to make this championship possible. I have to thank my car owner, Mark Milstein and the crew, Tim Lohr, Gene and Chas Clark and Rich Lushes. Lady Luck must've been smiling on me all year." said the Akron, Ohio driver, "Forgot my sponsors, Sypolt Chevrolet, Miles Farmer Market, Tommy at Hutter Engines and Port City Chassis. Thanks everyone." Scott is only the fourth different Ohio driver to win the championship. It was also his car owner's (Mark Milstein) first championship.
Fred Campbell won his third race of the year tonight, the 19th of his Iceman career. In his winner's interview, the Battle Creek, Mich. driver said his Port City Chassis Monte Carlo was loose throughout the second half. Campbell came within five points of his second consecutive championship by tonight's win.
Dave Kuhlman finished a close second but was unable to get around Campbell. Kuhlman finished nine points behind Baker and four behind Campbell. The Howell, Michigan driver also had the most feature victories in 1999 for the third year running. The driver of the Right Tools/Zeillers Farm Market/HJ Prime Cuts Monte Carlo also led the most laps during the season (298).
Jerry Cook returned to the series tonight after missing the last two races. The Ottawa Lake, Mich. resident is the crew chief for his brother Terry's NASCAR Craftman Truck team. In qualifying Cook recorded his first series fast time, 16.22.
Greg Taylor finished a career high fourth in his unsponsored Monte Carlo. The finish moved the Brooklyn, Mich. driver up four position into a tie for fifth with Steve Seegott. It's a career high finish in points for him.
Steve Seegott finished fifth, tying a career best finish. The driver of the Seegott Inc./Floyd's Service/KEI Car Body Monte Carlo was elated to finish in a car that has crashed just about every time he's raced it this year. The good finish moved him up from eighth into a tie for fifth.
Tracy Potter finished sixth in his first visit to Toledo Speedway. The Karthaus, Penn. driver raced with the Iceman series at his hometrack Clearfield Mountain Speedway when the series was there Aug. 15. Tracy is thinking about joining the series in 2000.
Several cars experienced troubles during the 200-lap feature: Len Couvillon, who injured his back at Angola last week, had a leak around the oil tank and dropped out on lap 3.
Bob Varney dropped out with overheating problems. Claude Plante Jr had no place to go and crashed into his cousin Bob Varney. He dropped out with right front suspension damage.
Mike Hennessy had a great run going until engine failure sidelined him.
Harold Fair Jr broke a hub and lost a tire over turn one. It's the third year during the 200 lap feature that this has happened.
Glenn Gault dropped out with a broken A frame.
Jim Baker crashed during his qualifying attempt and was unable to compete.
Jason Mignogna broke a water pump belt and lost 39 laps in the pits.
Newcomer, Jon Raney, didn't have the race he was hoping for. The Fort Wayne, Ind. driver had a brake rotor problem on the pace lap and was unable to start the event.
ROOKIE CORNER: Dan Ford Jr finished with 160 rookie points to Alan Pinsonneault's 154. It was the closest points finish between rookies, since the award was started in 1994.
Ford Jr won a race at Sandusky in this his rookie season. The driver of the Walt Michals RV Center/Davenport Construction Monte Carlo finished in 11th place tonight.
Pinsonneault suffered through clutch problems during the entire 200 laps but brought his Build A Mold/Trimplas/Moldplas Monte Carlo home in tenth place.
Brett Reaume finished third in the rookie battle. During tonight's race, he broke a rear end on his Westside Performance/Robertson Grand Prix.
Dave Strader only ran half a season and finished fourth in the rookie battle.
Doug DeGarmo completed 1,060 laps this season. This is second highest overall, with only champion Scott Baker completing more (1,095).
Steve Tabor finished eighth despite having brake problems. Tabor will run for rookie of the year in 2000.
Fred Campbell, Dave Kuhlman, Jerry Cook, Greg Taylor, Steve Seegott, Tracy Potter, Doug DeGarmo, Steve Tabor, Scott Baker, Alan Pinsonneault, Dan Ford Jr, Glenn Gault, Harold Fair Jr, Jason Mignogna, Dave Strader, Brett Reaume, Mike Hennessy, Bob Varney Jr, Claude Plante Jr, Len Couvillon, Jon Raney
Unofficial Final Points: Baker, 244; Campbell, 239; Kuhlman, 235; Gault, 208; Taylor and Seegott, 179; Hennessy, 178; Mignogna, 168; Couvillon, 165; Ford Jr and Fair Jr, 160
Former Iceman Series driver, Dennis Strickland won his first Late Model championship Friday night at Toledo Speedway.
by Debi Domby, Southgate, Mich.