Report by Debi Domby, Southgate, Mich. The AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series put on another great show for the fans Friday night at Toledo Speedway. Scott Baker became the fifth different winner in the Iceman's seventh race of the season. Baker...
Report by Debi Domby, Southgate, Mich.
The AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series put on another great show for the fans Friday night at Toledo Speedway. Scott Baker became the fifth different winner in the Iceman's seventh race of the season.
Baker for the second week in a row set fast time with a 16.11. Freddie Campbell (16.17), Dave Kuhlman (16.32), Claude Plante Jr (16.33), Mike Hennessy (16.34), Harold Fair Jr (16.41), Scott Hantz (16.43) and Jason Mignogna (16.49) rounded out the top eight qualifiers who would draw for their starting positions. Claude Plante Jr drew the coveted pole position.
Plante Jr jumped into the lead and took off. By lap six he had a half straightaway lead on second place Dave Kuhlman. Kuhlman and Scott Baker hooked up together and closed in on the leader's rear bumper by lap 12. The trio outpaced the rest of the field by a straightaway until the first caution fell on lap 33 for a spin by Len Couvillon.
During the caution Plante Jr's Wynn Distributing Monte Carlo was black flagged for a suspected leak. The leak was confirmed and Plante Jr returned to the rear of the field after his crew repaired the leak. A short red flag was waved so the crews could clean the windshields of the cars.
The race resumed with Dave Kuhlman leading followed by Baker, Freddie Campbell, Jerry Cook and Mike Hennessy. One lap later (34) the yellow flag flew when the cars of Steve Seegott, Dan Ford Jr, Alan Pinsonneault became involved in an accident in turn four. Harold Fair Jr was involved and he was sent to the rear.
A patient Baker bided his time behind Kuhlman until lap 56 when the pair came upon several tightly bunched cars battling for position. When Kuhlman opted to get behind Plante Jr, Baker took the low route and snaked under and around the cars and came out as the leader.
Kuhlman dogged Baker on the remaining 44 laps and at time the Howell, Mich. driver would make a run for the lead. The Akron, Ohio resident brushed off Kuhlman's attempts and retained his lead. Kuhlman made one final attempt in the waning laps but to no avail. The win tonight was the first for Scott Baker in over two years.
The AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series races are getting better and better. The competition among the drivers has tightened up. There are always several different individual races going on throughout the field and at times fans have a problem of where to look. Keep up the good work guys!
Scott Baker had been dubbed "Harry" (ala Harry Gant) by series tech man Earl Bonner because he had had four second place finishes out of the six races run this year. Tonight's win was his sixth career victory on the Iceman series, his first since June 23, 1997. "The car was great right off the trailer. I knew I had a good shot at the win, starting fifth tonight. The lapped cars played a big part in the outcome of tonight's race. Traffic posed a problem out there tonight but I knew as long as I kept my car glued to the bottom I could hold off Dave (Kuhlman)," said the driver of the Sypolt Chevrolet/Miles Farmer Market/Excalibur Body and Frame Monte Carlo. Baker's fast time tonight was his second in a row and seventh of his Iceman career. The win increased his lead over Freddie Campbell by 24 points with three races remaining.
Dave Kuhlman led 23 laps in tonight's race. His season total of 210 laps is 110 laps more than rookie Dan Ford Jr and 118 more than Freddie Campbell. "This was the first time back to Toledo for our new-old car. I was concerned about Toledo because this new car design has been acting so much differently than the old car. We have had such a solid fast setup for Toledo in the past. The new car has been slightly loose with the old setups every time out and it was again at Toledo. We tightened it up a little before tonight's feature and the car was excellent for the 1st half of race. It was unfortunate that a driver about to be lapped refused to heed the move over flag. Who knows what the outcome of the race would've been if he had moved over," said the driver of the Right Tools/Zeillers Farm Market/HJ Prime Cut Monte Carlo.
Scott Hantz made a rare appearance tonight with the Iceman Series. Hantz battled most of the race with Freddie Campbell and Jerry Cook. The trio put on a terrific race for almost half the race until Cook and Hantz tangled the duo were sent to the rear. Hantz driving his EMF Monte Carlo came home in fourth.
Did anyone else notice that when Jerry Cook goosed his engine it seemed to be the signal for all drivers to start their engines??? It seemed that way since all the other drivers started up their cars at that moment.
Cook, on furlough from his position of crew chief with his brother's (Terry) NASCAR Craftsman Truck team, rejoined the series for tonight's race. While the Ottawa Lake, Mich. driver's car sat on the frontstretch during an autograph session the battery in the his Marco Pizza/UB Machining/Giles Auto Body Thunderbird exploded in a loud pop. The crew pushed the car to the pits and a new battery was installed. Cook finished fifth.
Glenn Gault waged a battle throughout the entire 100 lap feature with newcomer David Stremme. The pair swapped positions several times during the course of the event with Gault's American Title and Trust/Gault Heating/Tabone's Snow King Monte Carlo taking over the sixth spot on the final lap. "The car was too loose in qualifying and too tight during the race," said the driver of the Orange Blossom Special.
David Stremme was a welcomed addition to Iceman series. The South Bend, Ind. driver drove a clean race in his initial start with the Iceman Series. Stremme's hometrack is Kalamazoo Speedway and he also races with the Kendall Indiana Late Model Series (a templated LM series in Indiana with rules much the same as Iceman). Stremme's AMPCOR/Winchester Speedway/Performance Tech Monte Carlo carries the number 35. He's the first driver in the 13 year history of the series to run this number.
It was good to see Jim Baker back. We thought he was done for the season after a wreck at Auto City. A loose car hampered his return tonight and he finished 14th. Also returning after missing a couple of races was Claude Plante Jr.
There were 22 cars in the pits tonight. Rob Varney Jr hot lapped but was unable to make the feature because of mechanical problems.
ROOKIE CORNER: Brett Reaume hung in there tonight despite being beset with problems to take home top rookie honors. In hot laps he had a brand new fuel pump break. The Canadian driver just barely got his qualifying lap in before qualifying ended. Then in the feature the driver of the Westside Performance Grand Prix had the bolt in the right front lower control arm work loose. He finished 15th. ~~~ Alan Pinsonneault was in an accident in turn four where the right side of his car got peeled off. The driver of the Build A Mold/Trimplas/Moldplas Monte Carlo returned to the race after several pitstops and eventually dropped out on lap 92 with handling problems. ~~~ Rookie points leader, Dan Ford Jr was involved in the same accident with Pinsonneault but damage too great on his Walt Michals RV Center/Davenport Construction Monte Carlo and he retired from the event. ~~~ Dave Strader blew a tire and suffered front suspension damage. The crew worked hard to get Strader back on the track but he was unable to run at speed so he retired to the back pits.
Don St. Denis is no longer with the Iceman series. He was suspended indefinitely for unsportsmanlike conduct.