Three Straight For Dave McKnight In ISMA Action Nelles Corners, Ont. - A different day. A different country. A different race track. Same winner. Dave McKnight has won the last three straight ISMA events. One in Ohio, one in New York and one in...
Three Straight For Dave McKnight In ISMA Action
Nelles Corners, Ont. - A different day. A different country. A different race track. Same winner. Dave McKnight has won the last three straight ISMA events. One in Ohio, one in New York and one in Canada. The third, at Cayuga Speedway, was just as sweet as the rest. Before a home country crowd Sunday, Dave McKnight of Brampton, Ontario, took the lead of the ISMA 50 lapper from Joey Payne on lap 28 and sailed off to his third straight and fifth win of the season. His win also put the Patco Team one step closer to their year's goal.. the ISMA title.
Said McKnight in victory lane, after a somewhat pecular "donut" attempt with his supermodified, " My crew told me to do something spectacular if I won this one so I did a donut in the grass. The car was good again. What can I say again about the Patco Motorsports 94 race team? This is an awesome car. Last night Lancaster. Today Cayuga. It's just an awesome season we're having.
As I've said we're focused on the championship and the guys have given me a great car to get the job done. Brad's pounded it into me to take care of the car. Hats off Brad for putting this team together. What a great guy to drive for. It's taken our team three or four years to gel, but, now three nights-three straight wins. It's just unbelievable. I hope it continues. "I'd like to thank Doug Holmes. He's given us a great engine program. And, also Paul at Forest and Forest, and Glenn. We've got two great engine programs right now and those guys have given us excellent, excellent engine performance. Since we got onto the motor programs, and the got the reliability, this year, this has given us the opportunity to work on the chassis and make it go better and better. Again, I just can't believe the season!"
Joey Hawksby Jr. took the initial lead of the afternoon event, but was soon chased down by perennial Cayuga winner, Joe Gosek. Gosek powered by the Minetto, NY driver in the third turn on lap 15.
Gosek looked to have another Cayuga victory in his sights while Joey Payne, Dave McKnight, Jim Shirey and Lou Cicconi had other ideas.
Joey Payne was the first to launch an attack on Gosek and Payne actually got by the Oswego driver of the Dunigan 26 at one point, but Gosek came right back.
At the midway mark, Payne shot by Gosek a second time and this time it stuck. Dave McKnight took over second as Gosek appeared to be in trouble. He was. and on lap 27 he was into the first turn wall and out of the race. Joe said later that the crew had found a large hole in his right rear tire, the second of the day. The cause as unknown. The outcome not a happy one for Gosek. Back in action, Payne and McKnight dueled for the lead as they began to circle lap cars. On lap 28, McKnight pulled by Payne for the lead and headed for victory lane. Back in the pack, Hawksby, Jim Shirey, Ryan Coniam and Jamie Timmons ran nose to tail, but coming awake was Chris Perley in the 11.
By lap 33, Perley had moved by Timmy Jedrzejek for seventh. After incurring the wrath of the racing gods in the past few races, Perley was ready to atone. He was fifth on lap 37 behind Coniam. On lap 42 he was fourth, ready to challenge Jim Shirey for third.
A lap 43 yellow flew for a spin by the 38 of Doug Kells. The field bunched behind McKnight with seven to go, but three lap cars sat between the 94 of the leader and the 66 of Payne in second.
McKnight easily resumed the lead, but Perley was soon on Payne's bumper. On lap 48, Perley claimed second, but time ran out for a challenge on McKnight. Payne, Coniam and Shirey continued to the checkered in the top five.
Perley said later, "The cautions helped us get up through a little easier, but I don't think they would have helped us catch Mr. McKnight over there. I don't know what we're going to do to catch Dave. Seems as many times as he's been in victory lane lately, he could find it first off instead of parking down in turn one over there(referring to McKnight's failed donut attempt). We're psyched. It's been so long since we've had a good finish. I didn't think we'd be up here for a while. We were a little loose at the beginning, so I waited. We've got something to work on now. We've been struggling. Joey was fun. It was fun racing today.. It was fun again. I like it when it's fun."
Joey Payne, who had a pair of top fives over the two-race stint said, "The car we running the past couple weeks was the one we wrecked real bad at Toledo. That car has been pretty much junk. We've been fighting a push all along, so we jumped in this car. It's loose. But I can drive a loose race car. It's tight I hate. We just have to work on it...get the car set up better. We'll be there. I want to congratulate Dave McKnight. Those guys have really stepped up to the plate and now they're kicking some butt. We hope to challenge them here pretty soon."
A fourth place finish for Burlington, Ontario's Ryan Coniam, son of supermodified legend Warren Coniam, was a most impressive one. In only his three appearances in the Lichty 84, he has finished no less than eighth, with a second in his first-ever run. Said Coniam modestly, "A top five with these guys is great. The Patco team does a great job. They have put together great equipment. That's obvious. Dave's car is always a strong car. I just thank them very much for giving me the opportunity to run such a good car. I was hoping for maybe a few more spots tonight, but it was good all in all. I hope to be back in the car, but we've got a pretty busy sprint car schedule - we're running five nights on Labor Day weekend alone, but maybe after that, towards the end of the year when my schedule lightens up a tad."
Jim Shirey, who has been struggling to get back to his old form, said, after a fifth, "We're going in the right direction. We got a tenth last night at Lancaster, staying on the lead lap.. We found out what we did wrong at Lancaster and we corrected it today. Things are starting to come together. I think the last five or six shows, we've been in the hunt and we've just got to keep building on that. I'd like to go to New England, but our tow rig just isn't up for that. Maybe if I can work something up to share a rig, I'll be up."
NOTES... Russ Wood and Lou Cicconi suffered motor problems, Johnny Payne, broken shock tower, Howard Page, radius rod....ISMA has a week off before heading for Lee USA Speedway and Oxford Plains, Maine, August 17 and 18.