Marne, MI-To date in ISMA, Team Dunigan has won three of the four events run, with Saturday night's 50-lapper at the Berlin Raceway going to a strong-running Randy Ritskes in the 29. An exciting 3-car battle ensued throughout most of the...
Marne, MI-To date in ISMA, Team Dunigan has won three of the four events run, with Saturday night's 50-lapper at the Berlin Raceway going to a strong-running Randy Ritskes in the 29. An exciting 3-car battle ensued throughout most of the event, however, with Joe Gosek and Pat Abold right on Ritskes' tail definitely knocking on the door with a heavy fist. For Ritskes it was his first feature of the season and the first in his new ride. Gosek, his teammate, had a second- his second for his season with two wins also to his credit.
Said an extremely happy Ritskes in victory lane, "The car was really good in the hot laps and the heat race. My crewman Eric actually tried to tighten the car up a little more and I didn't want him to. Now, I'm really glad he did. The car was on the verge of being loose, but it stayed pretty good. Thanks to my crew! Joe and Pat kept showing on restarts, but one I got a groove going, I was a really comfortable one and hard to pass me on. It was a lot of fun." Lou Cicconi took the first lead in the ISMA 50 at Berlin but relinquished it to a hard-charging Denny Fisher on lap 5. Coming on hard behind Fisher was Randy Ritskes, however, not to be denied after a couple close ones earlier this year.
Ritskes only let Fisher lead one lap before he charged by for the point out back on lap 6.
The first of only several stops came on lap 15 when Jon Henes blew a motor accumulating Dave Hooper and Wade Litt in the process. While the cleanup ensued, a red and a refueling took place. Hooper and Henes did not return. Ritskes was well in command over Joey Payne and Randy Sweet on the restart, while Joe Gosek, Lou Cicconi and Pat Abold were heading rapidly forward. At the halfway mark, Denny Fisher, running ninth, flew his 81 off the backstraight into the water-filled gully off turn three. Another red dropped while Fisher and the car were removed from the embankment. Several cars used the time to pit including Joe Petro, Dave Shullick Jr. and Pat Shullick. The restart gave the fans a heart-stopper when Gosek and Abold ran up, side-by-side onto leader Ritskes' tail end. Ritskes was finally able to break free slightly of the duo by lap 31, but another yellow flew on lap 33 for a spin by Randy Sweet, causing the scenario to be replayed. Ritskes saved his trump cards to show one more time when the yellow flew for the last time on lap 42. Gosek made a bonsai attempt off turn two of that restart, but to no avail
Joe Gosek commented later, "Randy deserved this one. That car has been fast. I almost had him on the restart, but I was only good for about two or three laps, then I just loosened up there. I had to make a stab at him on the end there, but I couldn't make it. It had to be a good race. Pat was right there. So, we're happy. We'll take second again."
Although the top three were the main attraction, Joey Payne, Lou Cicconi, Scott Martel and Dave McKnight were keeping it interesting just off the front. An almost dead heat occurred when Payne and Cicconi came to the line, but it was Cicconi by a nose for fourth. "I'm just glad to have both cars in one piece," said Payne later of his and his teammate George Brothers' finish. "I gave it all I had coming off four when I knew Lou was there. I thought I had him, but I knew it was close."
At the checkered, it was Ritskes by a couple car lengths, Gosek, Abold, Cicconi and Payne the top five.
Said Pat Abold, a happy third place finisher, "It was a great race. It was a lot of fun. We were a little bit tight, but I think we're getting a lot closer with this car. I'll take a third place and I know we can go forward with the car."
Scott Martel, Dave McKnight, John Payne, Jamie Timmons and Timmy Jedrzejek rounded out the top ten.
PIT NOTES... Jon Henes actually had an axle break, taking out the oil pan and many other parts on his #36... Denny Fisher's accident was caused when his right rear tire dropped off the pavement in the back. He ended up on top of the tire barrier which kept him out of the water. His car was badly damaged, however, and was in pieces in the pits at closing time ... Ken Bell lost an oil line on the 31...Dave Shullick Jr. had a bad tire which caused him to enter the pits several times...Galesburg Speedway is next up on Sunday evening for the ISMA tour.
<pre> SUMMARY ISMA EVENT #4 JUNE 17, 2000
Heat 1: Pat Abold, Dave McKnight, Denny Fisher, Joey Payne, John Payne, Wade Litt, Jack Smith, Doug Saunier, Willie Stutzman (crash), Mark Sammut (dns spun bearing)
Heat 2: Joe Gosek, Dave Shullick Jr., Nick Fornoro, Randy Sweet, Scott Martel, Joe Petro, Dan Soule, Brad Lichty, Ken Bell
Heat 3: Randy Ritskes, Lou Cicconi, Timmy Jedrzejek, Jamie Timmons, Pat Shullick, Doug Saunier (77), Jon Henes, George Brothers, Dave Hooper Consi: George Brothers, Brad Lichty, Dan Soule, Jon Henes, Dave Hooper, Ken Bell, Jack Smith, Doug Saunier
ISMA 50: 1. Randy Ritskes (29), 2. Joe Gosek (26), 3. Pat Abold (61), 4. Lou Cicconi (4), 5. Joey Payne (06), 6. Scott Martel (14), 7. Dave McKnight (94), 8. John Payne (16), 9. Jamie Timmons (97), 10. Timmy Jedrzejek (91), 11. Brad Lichty (84), 12. Joe Hawksby Jr. (21), 13. Pat Shullick (49), 14. Wade Litt (07), 15. Dan Soule (32), 16. Randy Sweet (76), 17. Joe Petro (99), 18. Denny Fisher (81), 19. Dave Shullick Jr. (38), 20. Nick Fornoro (5), 21. George Brothers (6), 22. Jon Henes (36), 23. Dave Hooper (17), 24. Ken Bell (31)