The AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series made their first visit to the beautiful Angola Motor Speedway Saturday evening. Dave Kuhlman has an affinity for taking the first win whenever the series visits a track for the first time. Tonight was no ...
The AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series made their first visit to the beautiful Angola Motor Speedway Saturday evening. Dave Kuhlman has an affinity for taking the first win whenever the series visits a track for the first time. Tonight was no different as Kuhlman recorded his fourth win of the season.
Scott Hantz was the fast qualifier at this, his home track. It was the first time ever in his Iceman career that he had set fast time (14.003). Three other local drivers joined the Iceman cars for tonight's race. John Gearhart qualified fifth, but because he hadn't raced with the series in 1999, he could start no higher than 11th. Rick Everidge qualified tenth and Dave Nester qualified 19th.
Rookie Dan Ford Jr drew pole position with Harold Fair Jr to his outside. The field hadn't completed a lap when Jim Baker Jr's car was forced over the banking in turn three but rejoined the field for the restart. On the second try, Fair Jr outpowered Ford Jr to take the lead, followed closely by Scott Baker and Scott Hantz. The first of 10 caution flags waved over the field on lap two when John Gearhart and Greg Taylor spun on the frontstretch. Gearhart retired to the pits while Taylor rejoined the field at the rear.
Two laps after the restart Hantz passed Fair Jr for the lead on the tight high banked 3/8 mile track. As the leaders were passing lapped cars Scott Baker (fourth) and Dave Nester tangled, sending them both to the rear.
Hantz kept the lead until lap 77 when he and Fair Jr tangled. Both drivers went to the rear. Kuhlman inherited the lead, followed by Baker and Freddie Campbell.
Fair Jr and Hantz had raced their way back to fourth and fifth by lap 86. As the pair came out of turn four on lap 96, Hantz's car rapped Fair Jr's car in the rear and sent him spinning into the infield, bringing out the final yellow. Hantz was sent to the pits for being involved in three cautions.
Kuhlman finished a half straightaway ahead of Baker who takes a 23-point lead over Kuhlman into the final race next week. Dave celebrated his win by giving the track his customary victory kiss. As part of his win he was presented with a very large trophy.
Dave Kuhlman leads the series (for the third year in a row) with the most feature wins. He has four wins this year and a total of 17 in his Iceman career. "New race tracks, got to love them! They are sure fun. It was a good race and the Right Tools/HJ Prime Cuts/Zeillers Farm Market Monte Carlo ran well tonight," said the Howell, Mich. driver. "We accomplished what we set out to do. I gained a point on Scott tonight and I can't worry about what Scott (Baker) does next week. All I can do is go out and win the final race and let the points fall where they do."
Scott Baker got tangled up with a lap car on lap 22 and after being sent to the rear he had to pick his way back to the front. "That lapped car spun me. I could've sworn we still had the rule that when a lapped car spun a lead lap car, the lead lap car got his spot back. I know it was in effect last year, I guess it's a judgement call by the officials," said the driver of the Sypolt Chevrolet/Miles Farmer Market/Excalibur Body and Frame Monte Carlo. "I think we had the car to beat tonight. I had to drive so hard to get back to the front I burnt the tires up," Baker takes a 23-point lead over Kuhlman into the final race at Toledo. The Akron, Ohio driver must finish ninth or better to win his first Iceman championship.
Freddie Campbell came home third in his Port City Chassis Monte Carlo and moved up one position in the point standings. The defending two time champion trails Kuhlman by three points for second and is 26 points away from his third series championship. "We have our other car today. The one I have been driving got sold after Clearfield," said the driver from Battle Creek, Mich.
Mike Hennessy and Dan Ford Jr tangled on lap five, with both cars going to the rear. Hennessy worked his way through the traffic and by lap 77 had his Shooter's Bar and Grill Monte Carlo up to third place. On the restart the right sway-bar broke on the car and several laps later he lost third to Campbell. "The sway-bar was just a strange thing. We don't think it got damaged when we tangled with Dan Ford Jr. We were fifth when we tangled, got all the way back to third. The car made a good showing, 20th to fourth," said the Chardon, Ohio driver.
Jason Mignogna had a new sponsor for tonight, NAPA Auto Parts. The Greensburg, Penn. driver secured sponsorship through three of NAPA's distributors, Golden Auto Parts, JC Automotive and Classic City Automotive. Jason finished fifth tonight in front of a group of his new potential sponsors.
Steve Seegott finished seventh and receives the Hard Charger Award for moving up nine positions despite an engine disadvantage. "I'd like to thank my crew for their hard work today, especially Mike Houser for getting the engine to work on seven cylinders and Jason Clapp for the tonight's set up. They made a great car out of nothing. I thought I had it when the car lost that cylinder this afternoon but everyone gave 150 percent," said the driver of the Seegott Inc./Floyd's Service/Shaker Auto Lease Monte Carlo. The crew's hard work tonight gained their driver one position in the point standings moving him into eighth.
Harold Fair Jr led four laps and was unhappy with one of his fellow competitor's driving style tonight. "I can't believe how some drivers race you. I really hate it when they won't stay in one line and keep drifting up into yours when you're trying to race them. I don't have a problem with the series regulars. This part-time driver and I have trouble, just about every time we race together," said the driver of the Lefthander Chassis/Phil Harper Motorsports/Lettering Inc. Monte Carlo.
Glenn Gault lost his brakes with about 20 laps to go. The Hubbard, Ohio driver nursed his American Title & Trust/Gault Heating/Tabone's Snow King Monte Carlo home, one lap down in ninth.
They made history tonight when Steve Tabor took the track. Tabor drives the K-Automotive/MOPAR Dodge Avenger - the first Chrysler product to ever run in the history of the series (137 races). The car is co-owned by NASCAR Craftsman Truck driver/owner Bob Keselowski. Tabor is making a return to racing after a nine-year hiatus from driving. The Linden, Mich. driver is planning on running for Rookie of the Year in 2000. Steve ran two races at Toledo with the Iceman series in 1988. when he, finishing seventh in both races.
Three local drivers joined the Iceman Series regulars for tonight's race, but none of them fared well in the race. Dave Nester from Edon, Ohio tangled with Scott Baker early in the race and later retired with engine problems. Rick Everidge retired with an overheating problem. John Gearhart dropped out on lap two after tangling with Greg Taylor. Gearhart later won the 50-lap late model race.
Len Couvillon suffered a blown right brake caliper, which in turn blew the right rear tire in the final hot lap session. The LaSalle, Ontario's Couvillion Auto Machine Shop/Southern Sign Monte Carlo sailed over the turn three banking and came to rest in the sand trap at the bottom. A new caliper could not be found and the crew rebuilt the broken one. Couvillon finished 20th, and lost one position in the point standing.
Jim Baker's race didn't start the best when he and Mike Hennessy appeared to tangle on the initial start, with Baker sliding off the track in turn three. "Actually, I don't think we touched. I think I caught him weaving or something out of my eye and moved over. My right front wheel dropped off the track and I just drove over the edge. Didn't really hurt it ... maybe knocked the toe in out a little. If we get another clutch, I'll be there Sunday," said the Rochester Hills, Mich. resident.
Dan Ford Jr took home the rookie of the race honors this week in his Walt Michals RV Center/Davenport Construction Monte Carlo. He carries an eight-point lead into the final race over Alan Pinsonneault. This is the best rookie of the year battle ever in the series since Mike Hunter beat Harold Fair Jr in 1995 by 12 points. ~~ Alan Pinsonneault reported that the brakes on his Build A Mold/Trimplas/Moldplas Monte Carlo were just about gone. ~~ Brett Reaume's Westside Performance/Robertson Grand Prix suffered a pushing problem for the last few races. After he qualified, he got one of his fellow competitors to take his car for a spin. Whatever they found must've helped, because although the car still pushed some, it was much better. ~~ Dave Strader said he is driving one of the older Howe cars that are quite a bit heavier than the other cars.
Next week is the final Iceman race of 1999 will be a 200-lap feature with a 15-minute break at lap 100. The race will pay double points with the winner of the event receiving a bonus five points. Five drivers have a chance at achieving the championship. Current points leader, Scott Baker needs only to finish ninth or better to take home his first series championship. Dave Kuhlman, Freddie Campbell, Glenn Gault and Mike Hennessy also have a chance at winning the title.
AC DELCO/MURRAY'S ICEMAN SERIES Angola Motor Speedway August 28, 1999
Dave Kuhlman, Scott Baker, Freddie Campbell, Mike Hennessy, Jason Mignogna, Dan Ford Jr, Steve Seegott, Harold Fair Jr, Glenn Gault, Greg Taylor, Alan Pinsonneault, Scott Hantz, Brett Reaume, Doug DeGarmo, Dave Strader, Dave Nester, Jim Baker, Steve Tabor, Rick Everidge, Len Couvillon, John Gearhart
POINTS: Baker, 210; Kuhlman, 187; Campbell, 184; Gault, 179; Hennessy, 160; Couvillon, 153; Mignogna, 144; Seegott 137; Taylor, 135; Fair Jr, 134