Oswego race report 2001-09-01

Oswego, NY - Brampton, Ontario's Dave McKnight lengthened his win streak at Oswego Speedway Saturday night to four straight by copping the Budweiser ISMA Super Nationals for what also was his sixth ISMA win of the season. The victory was worth ...

Oswego, NY - Brampton, Ontario's Dave McKnight lengthened his win streak at Oswego Speedway Saturday night to four straight by copping the Budweiser ISMA Super Nationals for what also was his sixth ISMA win of the season. The victory was worth $5,000 to the Patco number 94 team. In the companion Price Chopper Limited Nationals 50, Brockville, Ontario's Craig Rayvals was a first-time winner of the 10th annual running of that event in his 94 limited.. Russ Stoehr waited until the last lap of the 25-lap Bud Light midget championship to steal away the victory from Bobby Seymour, but no one doubted that he was capable.

Dave McKnight had a 3-race ISMA win streak at Oswego Speedway coming into Saturday night's ISMA Super Nationals. When the smoke cleared, McKnight was in victory lane for the fourth time at Oswego in a row, the sixth time this season in ISMA competition and tightened his grip on the ISMA point title. In one of the most exciting 50 lap winged super events in memory, McKnight took over the lead on lap 39 when Lou Cicconi and Joe Gosek tangled while fighting for the lead. McKnight was fighting the duo also, and had actually passed at least one of those cars when the yellow flew. After assuming the lead, McKnight was chased to the checkereds by Nokie Fornoro but never gave in. "Four in a row. Wow. Unbelievable." said Dave McKnight in a tumultuous victory lane ceremony. I hope this habit continues. It was a great run there, but I was sorry to see Lou and Joe get together, but that was a race for the win - three guys running flat out. It was anybody's race. We got into heavy traffic and Joe and Louie got together. I was there for the kill. It would have been a dice right to the checkered if they stayed in, that's for sure. What can I say. The whole Patco team, Doug Holmes - all did a good job. It's a team effort. They all work hard. We'd really like that championship. There were a lot of stout cars here today. It was still anybody's race. I'm sure the fans must have enjoyed this one. It was great."

It was newlywed Randy Ritskes who took up the initial lead in the ISMA super event as Ritskes started on the pole and came away with the point at the green. Joey Hawksby took up the second spot with Ken Bell, Mark Sammut and soon Joey Payne and Joe Gosek battling behind.

A quick yellow flew on lap 9 for a simple spin by Jamie Timmons who restarted at the rear.

Ritskes found Gosek bearing down on him on the restart after the Oswegonian got by Hawksby. Coming up quickly, was McKnight from his twelfth starting spot, but so was Lou Cicconi, who had started three spots ahead. By lap 13, Gosek took the lead from Ritskes and he tried to run off, but Ritskes, Cicconi and McKnight stuck like glue. The boys were creating some fantastic moves as traffic began to meet them head on.

Cicconi got by Ritskes on lap 16 and headed for Gosek. Cicconi, a master of traffic, dove high and low around slower cars as he tried to get at the flying 26.

The crowd watched in amazement as McKnight joined the duo up front. With no stops, Gosek, Cicconi and McKnight darted in and out of traffic at top speeds as Nokie Fornoro, Randy Ritskes, Chris Perley, Joey Payne and Ken Bell were doing likewise not far behind. Dave Shullick Jr. came in on Bell's tail to make it more interesting as the racing continued everywhere on the track. Lap 32 saw Cicconi make a low move on Gosek and "Liquid Lou" came away with the lead as McKnight was nailed to Gosek's bumper. The speed never stopped, the excitement never waned. The race was closing in on ten to go, when suddenly Cicconi was low and came up on a slower car. Gosek seized the opportunity to go around, but Cicconi moved up to maneuver around the car in front. Gosek collected Cicconi sending both to the outer foam, but in the meantime, McKnight had watched what was happening and he gassed it and got by. Cicconi was on the hook. Gosek was at the rear and McKnight had a hold on the lead as a lap 39 restart was flagged away. Said Cicconi in regard to the incident, "Well, Gosek spun me out and I hit the inside fence. The lap car was out front. It had been racing us instead of letting us go by. We were both fighting for the spot and I know it wasn't intentional. It's unfortunate. We were having a good run. It was fun to that point."

Another quick yellow flew here for Doug Saunier in McKnight's team car 84 did a 360 and kept it going. Unfortunately, for Saunier, he took up his spot at the rear for causing the yellow to wave.

McKnight now had Nokie Fornoro, Ritskes, Chris Perley and Joey Payne to contend with, but Payne quickly dropped by the wayside with an electrical problem on lap 40.

It was McKnight's race to lose now and although pressured by Fornoro to the end, McKnight was in command as he has been at Oswego in the past three outings. Ritskes, Perley and Russ Wood would chase McKnight under the checkered and in a unique 3-wide victory lap, McKnight was joined by Fornoro and Ritskes in a display that thrilled the crowd after the race was concluded.

Fornoro said afterward, "It was a great race. McKnight is a sly dog. I was saving a little bit, but so was he. I didn't expect to finish second, only because I had a dream that I was running second with Dave leading and I passed him on the white flag lap and won. I'll still take second. The crew works hard. We have a skeleton crew. We did fine with the equipment we have. We're behind the times in the motor department."

A jubiliant Randy Ritskes, a bridegroom just two days previous, stated, "Steve, Sharon and guys work so hard all year and it can get depressing. But, to come to Oswego where their friends are and my friends are, it's nice to show people that the 16 really can go. We did everything we could. We had the motor wide open. This is Dave McKnight's race track for a couple more years maybe, until we catch up to him. We're trying hard. We're gaining. What a way to start the marriage off."

Perley and Wood finished the top five A three-time winner of the ISMA Super Nationals, Chris Perley, said simply, "We would have won if we didn't have three cars in front of us. We picked the wrong lanes. We passed people. They passed us back. We passed people. They passed us back. It was a good race at a fast pace. We wore out our tires. I'm happy with fourth. It was the first time out with this car...new motor and all. The crew did a great job. Now, we'll take the hat off and see what happens tomorrow."

Russ Wood, who had wrecked in a heat and had to use his guaranteed spot to just get into the race, was overjoyed with fifth. "Well, we started 26th and finished 5th. My car was pretty good. I went as far as I could, taking my time getting around some lap cars. I needed about another 20-25 laps. I just started too far back." Bell, Mike Ordway, Timmy Jedrzejek, Dave Shullick Jr. and Scotty Martel completed the top ten. -os

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