Ice Chips, by Debi Domby (June 11) Fred Campbell's prophesied last week that he would turn fast time and take the feature in the AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series race number four. He must've been determined or had a psychic vision as he did ...
Ice Chips, by Debi Domby
(June 11) Fred Campbell's prophesied last week that he would turn fast time and take the feature in the AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series race number four. He must've been determined or had a psychic vision as he did exactly that Friday night at Toledo Speedway.
Campbell turned a 16.184 on the hot and greasy high banked 1/2 mile track to take fast time. Harold Fair was second with a 16.230. Phil Massuch had a career best qualifying run, third (16.427). Len Couvillon, fourth also ran a 16.247. The top three qualifiers in each race receive a contingency of a tire or tires from Goodyear.
Jason Mignogna started on the pole and jumped into the lead ahead of Couvillon, who had shared the front row with him. Mignogna led the first 18 laps with Couvillon taking the point for the next 12 laps. The LaSalle, Ontario driver drifted high on lap 31 allowing fourth place starter, Campbell, to take over the lead. With four laps to go his Port City Chassis Monte Carlo began to experience brake problems and allowed now second place Scott Baker to pull right up on the Battle Creek, Michigan resident's rear bumper. Freddie held on for the victory by a single car length.
E + C d E + C d
In three of the four races in the 1999 AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series season the winner has come from outside the second row. The exception was rookie Dan Ford Jr who won from the pole.
Fred Campbell's two prophesies almost didn't materialize. He was the fast qualifier, but . . . as the race neared conclusion, his brakes faded. At the checkered flag Scott Baker and Campbell were nose to tail, but in the end Campbell prevailed. It was his 17th Iceman career feature win. This breaks the tie he had with Dennis Berry for the most victories on the series. He also broke a fast time tie with Dave Kuhlman. ~~~ Campbell is now second on the Iceman all time fast qualifying list with 14, six behind Berry (20). ~~~ In other news, Campbell finished second to Randy Sweet at Berlin Raceway's Summer Spectacular 200 lap feature last Wednesday.
Is Scott Baker's theme for the season "always the bridesmaid and never the bride"? It probably should be as he finished second again for the third time out of four races. Baker's crew member told me after the race that, "The car handled really well and the only problem they experienced was early in the race when Scott was trailing Phil Massuch, whose car was blowing oil." With the problems suffered by Dave Kuhlman (blown tire) Baker moved into the points lead. He now has a 10-point lead over Len Couvillon and 13 over Kuhlman.
Glenn Gault moved into fourth place in points in his Orange Blossom Special. He finished in the top three for the third time in as many races. The Hubbard, Ohio driver's American Title and Trust/Gault Heating/Tabone's Snow King Monte Carlo moved up six positions in the race tonight and came home in third place.
Len Couvillon was all smiles after tonight's race. For the first time in his Iceman career he led the feature event. The LaSalle, Ontario driver took over the lead from Jason Mignogna on lap 12 in his white #12. He led until lap 30 when Campbell dove low to take over the lead, bringing Dave Kuhlman with him. Couvillon regained the second spot when Kuhlman crashed four laps later. Over the next 23 laps he stayed within four car lengths of Campbell, turning in his best performance of his Iceman career. On lap 59 he moved out of the preferred lower groove and lost three spots. The driver of the Couvillion Auto Machine Shop/Southern Sign Grand Prix would run in the top five the remainder of the race and was running fourth with two laps remaining when Harold Fair Jr passed him for position. On the final lap Couvillon regained the position and went on to finish fourth, tying a career best finish. "The car was a little loose, but not too bad tonight. I finally got my motor problems solved and a lot of other things got fixed over the last week. Hopefully by Auto City I'll have my new engine finished," said Couvillon, who moved into second in points.
Harold Fair Jr had one of those races. He was running fourth when he tangled with Jerry Cook in turn four on lap three and both were sent to the rear. Fair Jr worked his way through traffic and had his Lefthander Chassis/Phil Harper Motorsports Monte Carlo back to third when spotters deemed he tapped Scott Hantz on lap 70, sending Hantz around and Fair Jr back to the rear of the field. With two laps to go he passed Len Couvillon for fourth, but lost it on the white flag lap and finished fifth. "I thought I was going to kill myself out there the last lap. I broke a rear axle going into turn one and just about lost it. I'm lucky all I lost was the one position, it wasn't an easy last lap. I don't agree with the call on(Scott) Hantz and me. I did touch him, but he was already losing it when I bumped him," said the Redford, Michigan driver.
Jason Mignogna led over three times as many laps as he had in his previous 45 races. Prior tonight the Greensburg, Penn. driver had led two laps on two different occasions (Sandusky 1995 and Toledo 1996). Tonight the driver of the Mignogna Auto Body Grand Prix led a total of 18 laps. "The longer we ran under green the looser the car got. During that long run it got really bad, the tire stagger was off. It wasn't a bad race, I got to lead some laps and had another good finish," said Mignogna after the race.
Don St. Denis returned with his Taurus this week after repairing the Dart Machine/ComPac #30 from a hard wreck at Toledo in the series' opener. The Windsor, Ontario driver drove a steady patient race and finished seventh. It has been nearly a year since St. Denis has finished in the top 10.
Phil Massuch had a busy weekend planned, the Iceman race tonight and the ARCA Bondo/MarHyde series race at Michigan Speedway Saturday afternoon. Massuch was first qualifier and held onto the top spot for seven cars. He ultimately placed third, his career best Iceman qualifying run. The Lansing, Mich. driver started on the inside of the second row and was running sixth when officials called him into the pits to check for a possible oil leak. Massuch finished eighth, tying his career best finish.
"We had an oil pump break in qualifying for the first race and it damaged engine. There's a new engine in the car for today's race. We had the oil tank overfilled, so we drained a little off when they made us pit," said John Flannery the owner of the Condad Heat Treatment/Pierce Race Engines/BOC Gases/Woodie Manufacturing Monte Carlo. Massuch didn't have as good of day in the ARCA show, finishing 28th, after dropping out on lap 61 with a vibration.
Scott Hantz was running second when he spun his EMF Corporation/Angola Motor Raceway Monte Carlo. After restarting at the rear the Pleasant Lake, Ind. driver fought his way back to finish ninth, the last car on the lead lap. Scott joked after the race, "It seems like I'm always doing doughnuts lately. I'm starting to get a little dizzy."
Dave Kuhlman's blown tire on lap 34 while going for the lead sent the Right Tools/Zeillers Farm Market/5 Point Embroidery Monte Carlo hard into the wall. His 18th place finish dropped the Howell, Mich. driver from first to third in points, 13 behind Scott Baker who has 93 points. After a preliminary check at the track the crew thought they took a front clip.
Without any doubt the driver with the absolutely worst luck this year is Jerry Cook. He's suffered various mechanical problems in both his Iceman and outlaw late models in the six races he's run this year. The driver of the Marco Pizza/UB Machining/Giles Auto Body Thunderbird probably thought he hit bottom last week when he had engine problems and couldn't even run the Iceman race at Sandusky. His racing misfortune continued tonight. Cook and Harold Fair Jr spun on lap three and both were sent to the rear. Cook made it back to ninth when he pitted during the caution for Kuhlman's wreck. He returned to the track but only made three-quarters of a green flag lap when the right rear wheel came off and flew over the wall. The Ottawa Lake, Mich. driver's #21 slammed into the wall and according to the crew took a rear clip. He finished 19th.
Mike Hennessey broke a shock on lap two which later broke the upper A frame on lap 54. He finished 17th, the only other car to fall out of the race.
ROOKIE CORNER: Dan Ford Jr was again the top finishing rookie. He was running in tenth place, one lap down at the checkered flag. + Brett Reaume, after suffering through multiple mechanical problems the last few races, appears to have his troubles solved and finished a career high 12th, two laps down. + Alan Pinsonneault finished 15th, five laps down. Pinsonneault, in only his second full year of racing, is doing a good job on tracks he's never seen before.
AC DELCO/MURRAY'S ICEMAN SERIES RACE #4 Toledo Speedway, Toledo, Ohio, June 11, 1999
Fred Campbell, Scott Baker, Glenn Gault, Len Couvillon, Harold Fair Jr, Jason Mignogna, Don St. Denis, Phil Massuch, Scott Hantz, Dan Ford Jr, Doug DeGarmo, Brett Reaume, Jim Baker, Steve Seegott, Alan Pinsonneault, Greg Taylor, Mike Hennessey, Dave Kuhlman, Jerry Cook, Dave Strader (DNR)
Top Ten Points: Scott Baker, 93; Len Couvillon, 83; Dave Kuhlman, 80; Glenn Gault, 79; Dan Ford Jr (R), 74; Fred Campbell, 68; Jason Mignogna, 65; Harold Fair Jr, 62; Doug DeGarmo, 61; Mike Hennessey, 57