Sandusky report 2001-07-27

Sandusky, OH - Mike Ordway and the Clyde Booth team have been concentrating their supermodified efforts in wingless events at Oswego Speedway to date. But, Friday night at Sandusky (OH) Speedway the team strapped a wing on the 61 and handily won...

Sandusky, OH - Mike Ordway and the Clyde Booth team have been concentrating their supermodified efforts in wingless events at Oswego Speedway to date. But, Friday night at Sandusky (OH) Speedway the team strapped a wing on the 61 and handily won the 40-lap ISMA feature. Ordway, starting ninth in the 24-car field, pulled into the outside groove and passed some of supermodified's best on his way to his first ISMA win on 2001 in his first appearance. The victory was worth $2400 to the Booth team. Ordway, who has won this Friday event "a long time ago" as he put it, has never won a Hy-Miler 100. Friday's race shows he may be ready to change that. Said Ordway in regard to his win, "The car was really good tonight. These guys make my job look easy. They gave me one heck of a race car. This is the first time we've had the wing on this car this year. It worked out pretty good. Once we got the water cleaned up on the track there, we were able to go outside. We were hooked up. I just ran right on the outside. That's where you gotta go. Everybody runs down low, so you can go right around them. I started ninth, took my time and let it weed out a little. After that red flag I saw Louie Cicconi get underneath me a few times and picked the pace up and took off."

The race might have been a Sunday drive for Ordway, but for some it was a nightmare.

Canadian Randy Ritskes started outside pole for the 40-lapper and took the early lead as polesitter Jim Shirey fell into second.. A scary yellow transpired on lap 6 when something broke on the 7 of Tim Jedrzejek causing a flight off the first turn. Tim was okay. The car was not. The race resumed with Shirey tight on Ritskes' tail, but Randy was beginning to gain a little real estate when another incident stopped the race completely. Coming out of turn four in full race mode, Dave Shullick Sr. and Dave McKnight apparently brushed, sending Shullick Sr. on a wild ride down the front straight and off, landing in much the same spot as Jedrzejek. Shullick was sore, but otherwise alright. His car, however, was badly damaged, possibly dashing the hopes of the defending Hy-Miler champion. Said Shullick later, "McKnight pinched me into the wall when he went by. He moved up on me. His right rear caught me in the left front and turned me into the front stretch wall. I climbed it and the rest is history."

McKnight, who was penalized to the rear for the incident, countered. "I didn't think the call was right by ISMA. They put me to the rear. They said Dave and I touched and I caused the accident. I hear they added my heat race incident to the equation too which isn't right. "

Dave Shullick Jr., incidentally, parked his 38 during the interim with a "very loose car" caused possibly by a bad shock. The race went green with Ritskes still in command. Shirey held off Jamie Timmons, John Payne, Chris Perley and Ordway, who was picking his way through the pack.

Yellow bunched the field again on lap 16 when John Payne and Shirey brushed causing them to spin while Greg Furlong and Brad Lichty were collected in the fracas. Only Furlong was unable to restart.

On this green, Ritskes had the boys bearing down hard and in turn one, Jamie Timmons took the Lane 27 around for the lead. Following him in a methodical manner, however, was Ordway. Timmons was able to hold off the high-flying 61 for four laps before the Fremont, NH driver gained control. That was all she wrote for Ordway as he led the last half of the race with ease. Timmons, however, who had had some bad luck the past few ISMA races, held onto second with all he had, loosing second to veteran Gene Lee Gibson with ten to go.. Jamie said later, "After the past few races we've had - Kawartha - Cayuga, I don't remember the others we've had bad runs at - this is like a win to us. The car was great tonight. Mike(Ordway) had a rocket. I thought Perley was there. I tried to diamond the track. I didn't know if I saw him or not. We just had a good run finally. I have to thank Howie Lane, Essex Seafood, Dr. Mom Says School is Cool and of course my mom and dad." Timmons, 2000 ISMA co-rookie of the year, did an amazing job holding off some competent veterans in Ritskes, then Gene Lee Gibson, Lou Cicconi, Chris Perley and the Dunigan cars of Joe Gosek and Russ Wood who ran a close line behind.

Cicconi's 75 flew the last yellow of the event on lap 28, spinning in the fourth turn.

With eleven to go, the pack nipped at Ordway's heels, but to no avail. Gibson did gain the advantage on Timmons, taking second away from the young New Hampshire driver. Timmons "diamonded" as he put it later, to hold off a persistent Chris Perley. Ritskes, Gosek and Wood were next in line, but it was a fast-moving Dave McKnight who was heading to the front from the rear. McKnight was eighth on lap 31 just ahead of Nokie Fornoro. By lap 33, he was sixth, passing both Gosek and Wood. As the checkereds flew for Ordway who was well out of sight of second place runner Gibson, Timmons was able to maintain third while Perley and McKnight poured on the steam.

Gene Lee was pleased with his run after a long day, "It was a rough night. We started out by spinning twice. In the heat race we got crowded and broke a panhard bar. That put us in the suitcase race. We came up and got that one. We made a stab in the dark on the setup because I haven't been running supers much. I've been in the midgets. This is only my third time this year in this car. We made a couple little changes and basically used the race as a 40-lap hot lap session. The car worked pretty good. We'll just make a couple little changes and hopefully tomorrow we'll qualify good and start up front and not worry about wearing up a rear tire trying to get up through. All in all the way the night started, we had a pretty good night."

Ritskes, Gosek, Wood, Fornoro and Ken Bell completed the top ten. The 24th annual Sandusky Hy-Miler 100 concludes the weekend on Saturday evening.

Heat 1: Randy Ritskes, Chris Perley, Pat Shullick, Brad Lichty, Nick Fornoro, Jack Smith, Burdett Bennett, Rich Reid, Todd Buchanan
Heat 2: Dave McKnight, Dave Shullick, Ken Bell, Denny Fisher, Dave Shullick Jr., Jon Henes, Rusty Ryan, Joey Hawksby(crash), Mark Sammut(crash)
Heat 3: Jamie Timmons, Mike Ordway, Jim Shirey, Russ Wood, Greg Furlong, Tim Jedrzejek, Howie Page, Jennifer Chesbro, Larry Lehnert
Heat 4: Johnny Payne, Lou Cicconi, Joe Petro, Joe Gosek, Joey Payne, Joe Grunda, Howie Lane, Gene Lee Gibson Consi: Gibson, Smith, Jedrzejek, Page, Henes, Reid, Buchanan, Grunda, Chesbro
DNS: Wade Litt mechanical

1. Mike Ordway(61), 2. Gene Lee Gibson(77), 3. Jamie Timmons(27), 4. Chris Perley(11), 5. Dave McKnight(94), 6. Randy Ritskes(16), 7. Joe Gosek(26), 8. Russ Wood(29), 9. Nick Fornoro(4), 10. Ken Bell(32), 11. Pat Shullick(49), 12. Brad Lichty(84), 13. Joey Payne(66), 14. Lou Cicconi(75), 15. Jack Smith(83), 16. Howie Page(18), 17. Jim Shirey(72), 18. Denny Fisher(91), 19. John Payne(67), 20. Greg Furlong(72F), 21. Joe Petro(99), 22. Dave Shullick Sr. (33), 23. Dave Shullick Jr. (38), 24. Tim Jedrzejek(7)


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Series Stock car
Drivers Jack Smith