ICE CHIPS by Debi Domby (June 26) Auto City Speedway hosted the AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series Saturday night. This annual visit was run under hot, sticky conditions but it was one of the best races ever run at the odd shaped track by ...
ICE CHIPS by Debi Domby
(June 26) Auto City Speedway hosted the AC Delco/Murray's Iceman Series Saturday night. This annual visit was run under hot, sticky conditions but it was one of the best races ever run at the odd shaped track by the traveling series. The tightly contested battle was won by Fred Campbell. It was his second consecutive Iceman win. For the fourth time this season, Scott Baker came home in the bridesmaid position.
Harold Fair Jr was the early leader with polesitter Claude Plante Jr following. Phil Massuch took over second from Plante Jr on lap nine and pressured Fair Jr for the lead for the next 53 laps.
There were terrific battles going on throughout the field. Dave Kuhlman was busily trying to pass Jerry Cook for fifth place. Kuhlman tried everything to get around Cook and finally accomplished the pass on lap 46. He set sail for the top four cars of Fair Jr, Phil Massuch, Scott Baker and Fred Campbell, who were running nose to tail.
Fair led the parade of battling cars until lap 62 when he spun out in front of the oncoming field. Second place Massuch slid into Fair Jr's car. Involved in the melee were Jason Mignogna, Jim Baker and Don St Denis. Fair, Massuch and St. Denis rejoined the rear of the field. Mignogna and Baker hit head on and dropped out of the race.
Scott Baker, who had been running third, took over the point. Dave Kuhlman had worked his way to second and began testing Baker high and low for the lead. Baker and Kuhlman were tightly followed by Campbell and Len Couvillon. When Kuhlman tried to pass Baker on the high side, while Couvillon tried to get under Baker. The quartet of Baker and Kuhlman, and Couvillon & Campbell ran in formation for several laps. On lap 74 Couvillon car's slid up into Kuhlman and the duo almost went over turn one/two. Both cars recovered but not before Campbell and Jerry Cook passed them both. Campbell got a high run on Baker and took over the lead on lap 80.
Fred Campbell's win tonight extended his series high victories record to 18. The driver of the Port City Chassis Monte Carlo also recorded his third fast time in a row tonight. "Boy that was an exciting race, wasn't it?" said the driver from Battle Creek, Michigan. "I spent most of the race just saving my brakes, since this track is so hard on them. I have to go over and congratulate the number 12 car (Len Couvillon). He was awful fast out there and probably deserved to win. I wasn't worried too much about Scott (Baker) after I passed him, but the 12 car, him I was worried about. I knew he and Kuhlman almost crashed but the crew told me he was working his way back and I was just waiting. I'd like to think I could've held him off, but he really was hooked up."
What is stopping Scott Baker's Sypolt Chevrolet/Miles Farmer Market/Excalibur Body and Frame Monte Carlo from winning? It's not that he's having bad luck, he's actually having his best season in eight years in the Iceman series. In five races he's finished second to Dave Kuhlman twice and Fred Campbell twice. His other finish is a fifth. The Akron, Ohio driver leads Canadian Len Couvillon by 13 points and Dave Kuhlman by 15.
Jerry Cook has definitely broke his string of bad luck. It started last week when he finished third at a 100-lap race at Flat Rock Speedway. Friday night he was 14th in an ARCA Bondo/MarHyde race. Tonight Cook started fifth and battled with the leaders most of the race. Although all the cars had glowing brakes, the Ottawa Lake, Michigan driver's were a bright red nearly right from the start. "Cookie crumbs" of brake pad came off the car as the Marco Pizza/UB Machining/Giles Auto Body Thunderbird dove into the corners, leaving a shower of sparks in his wake. "We had a little bit of brake left at the end. Not much, just enough to slow the car in the corners. I finally got my good engine back and it ran well. The car was a little tight, but it was a great night!."
Dave Kuhlman had to replace the front clip after blowing a tire and slamming into the wall two weeks ago at Toledo Speedway. "The car came in real nice tonight. Port City Chassis did a fine job putting Wanda back together for me. I thought I had a good chance at the win tonight but it was unfortunate that Couvillon slid up into me," said the driver of the Right Tools/Zeillers Farm Market/5 point Embroidery Monte Carlo.
Len Couvillon finished fifth after battling for the lead in the later stages of the race. "I really love this track and had a great time out there tonight. If I had loosened my car up a little it would've been faster. It's a tough track for brakes and I lost most of mine by lap 30. I didn't mean to hit Dave (Kuhlman) but I drove in too hard and didn't have enough brakes. When Dave turned into me to keep from going over the bank, it straightened me out too. Otherwise I would've spun," the driver of the Couvillion Auto Machine Shop/Southern Sign Grand Prix said.
It was one of those days for Steve Seegott. The crew had to fix an oil leak and replace a radiator in hot laps. Then the old radiator cap wouldn't fit the new radiator. The crew finally got everything fixed and Steve brought his Seegott Inc./Floyd's Service/AGA Gas Monte Carlo home in sixth place. "We just had all kinds of problems today. Then I messed up in qualifying, getting loose. That messed up my other lap. Things turned around in the feature and the car was great," said the driver from Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Harold Fair Jr led the most laps tonight but blew a right front brake caliper on lap 62. The last 25 laps a strange green fire was seen in the right front wheel, covering most of the hub area. And cause the flame? "We broke the brake line and it dripped onto the hot rotor. I broke the shifter when I spun on the oil on lap seven. I'm lucky I finished I didn't have any brakes at the very end," the driver of the Lefthander Chassis/Phil Harper Motorsports Monte Carlo.
ROOKIE CORNER: Alan Pinsonneault gets the honorary Rookie of the Race award. The driver of the Build A Mold/Morton Industries/Signs and More Monte Carlo had no practice laps since he arrived at the track just before qualifying. "I'm glad we had these two weeks off. We replaced everything on the car it seems but tonight's car was best I've had all season. Every week something different would go wrong so we just decided to start over. I just didn't get any laps before the race and had to use the beginning of the race for practice." said the young Canadian driver. ~~ Dan Ford Jr suffered a flat tire and lost four laps in the pits changing the tire. He finished 14th, one position behind Pinsonneault. ~~ Brett Reaume also arrived at the track late and didn't get any practice. He had a sway bar problem in qualifying. During the feature a brake caliper locked up and then the bolt in the rear end came out. He finished 21st.
Dave Strader made his first Iceman start. The Ann Arbor, Mich. driver was at Toledo two weeks ago but didn't race after melting his distributor wires. Tonight the red #9 got tangled up with Dan Ford on the start and retired to the back pits. He returned to the race but Iceman rules state once a car goes into the back pits the driver is considered out for the remainder of the race.
Phil Massuch was running second to Harold Fair Jr when Fair Jr spun. Massuch's ST Suspension Technologies/Pierce Racing Engines Monte Carlo dropped out a few laps later with suspension problems. ~~ Also in the wreck was Jason Mignogna and Jim Baker, who hit each other head on. Mignogna said he only had radiator and sheet metal damage. Baker told me that he had the wreck missed but hit some liquid and slid head on into Mignogna's car. He went on to say he might be done for the year because he didn't have the finances to repair the damaged suspension.
Claude Plante Jr (who recently got engaged to Shelly Cavanaugh) returned after blowing an engine in race #2. Plante Jr lost 22 laps in the pits fixing an ill handling car.
** Stan Boyd made his first start of the season but dropped out on lap 32 with ignition problems.
** Steve Sauve made a start but handling problems hampered the Saginaw, Mich. driver's run. He pitted for adjustment on a loose race car, but couldn't help the car much and finished seventh.
** Greg Taylor's purple and green unsponsored #25 had power steering problems but he soldiered on to a eighth place finish.
AC DELCO/MURRAY'S ICEMAN SERIES RACE #5 AUTO CITY SPEEDWAY, JUNE 26, 1999
Fred Campbell, Scott Baker, Jerry Cook, Dave Kuhlman, Len Couvillon, Steve Seegott, Steve Sauve, Greg Taylor, Mike Hennessy, Harold Fair Jr, Glenn Gault, Don St. Denis, Alan Pinsonneault, Dan Ford Jr, Doug DeGarmo, Claude Plante Jr, Phil Massuch, Jason Mignogna, Jim Baker, Stan Boyd, Brett Reaume, Dave Strader
Points: Scott Baker, 117; Len Couvillon, 104; Dave Kuhlman, 102; Glenn Gault, 94; Fred Campbell, 93; Dan Ford Jr (R), 86; Harold Fair Jr, 78; Mike Hennessy, 74; Steve Seegott, 74; Jason Mignogna, 73