Seekonk race report 2002-05-05

Seekonk provides Lou with ISMA feature two number. Seekonk, MA. Lou Cicconi dazzled the Seekonk Speedway crowd on Sunday with a display of driving excellence for the second straight day. Lou, who reeked havoc on the field on Saturday night, was...

Seekonk provides Lou with ISMA feature two number.

Seekonk, MA. Lou Cicconi dazzled the Seekonk Speedway crowd on Sunday with a display of driving excellence for the second straight day. Lou, who reeked havoc on the field on Saturday night, was right back at it Sunday afternoon as he darted in and out of traffic to win his second straight ISMA feature of 2002. Scott Martel, who took up the early lead, bound and determined to make up for last year's last lap loss, fell victim to first Dave McKnight and then to Cicconi as the race approached the midway mark. Lou swept by McKnight in a breath-taking maneuver on lap 38 to go on for the $3,000 paycheck on third mile Seekonk oval. Lou credited his two-day success story to some others in victory lane.

"It was a great race," said Lou. " The car was really neutral. It ran just great. I just took my time and drove just like I did last night. I really want to thank my father and Tom Chrisman who works on Howie Page's car. They built the car for me. They've worked so hard it's unbelievable. And, then there's my crew, Tim, Ed, Wayne and Matt..They also did a great job. I couldn't do it without them. And, finally thanks to my girlfriend Barb, who fed us all."

Last year's ISMA champ, Dave McKnight, who ran top three most of the 75 laps said later, "This race was better than yesterday. Yesterday we just missed it. Hat's off to Louie...he did a good job. I know they're chasing the championship and we're trying to repeat too. We've got some homework to do. Louie's picked up the pace. We've got to pick up the pace a little bit more. We had a little bit of motor trouble there at the end. We were running a little hot. I'm happy. The team did a good job. The car ran good. We finished second. We're all in one piece. We'll head to Chemung and then Oswego. That's the place I love to run."

Russ Wood, who worked his way up through a real racing crowd, was happier with Sunday's finish. "Third is better than last night. We're happy with it. Our car wasn't too good when we got here. We made a lot of changes. My car was getting better and better and we're just happy to come out of it alive. Traffic was okay today. Sometimes it works for you and sometimes it works against you. It was pretty normal during this one. Our race went pretty good." Attrition claimed a few early victims, but 24-car were slated for the starting grid. Newcomer Ryan King scratched his number 6 just as the field was being pushed away, leaving 23 to battle for the Seekonk prize. Jamie Timmons took up the lead from his outside front row starting spot but quickly lost it to Scotty Martel who started fifth.

On lap 6, one of only two cautions to fly, occurred when the 72s of Eric Shirey came around off turn three. Shirey restarted and the pace picked up with Martel the leader, followed closely by Timmons, Dave McKnight, Steve Knowlton, Brad Lichty, Jen Chesbro and Greg Furlong.

Working his way up quickly was Cicconi, as action broke out everywhere on the race track. Cicconi, Joe Gosek, Greg Furlong, Jon Gambuti, Russ Wood and Chr is Perley could be seen running two and three wide as they moved forward. Martel was tackling the tail of the field by lap 15 as the pace proceeded fast and furious. The team cars of McKnight and Brad Lichty chased Martel as Liquid Lou slipped into fourth just head of Joe Gosek and Greg Furlong Cicconi had moved into third just ahead of Lichty and Gosek when the second and final yellow flew for Gosek himself who lost a left front tire. Gosek was able to make the change and get back at the tail as the race resumed. The green was out. The lap cars were weeded out from between the front runners and the race was on. Martel had McKnight and Cicconi two wide behind him, but the Bradford, Mass. man was able to hold them off until lap 36 when several lap cars provided the pick for McKnight who gained the top spot, with Cicconi picking up second and Martel dropping back to third when the traffic cleared.

McKnight only led two laps before Cicconi flew by and that was all she wrote for the Aston, Pa. veteran. But, the action was far from over. As Cicconi flitted through lap cars, McKnight, Martel, Russ Wood, Lichty, Furlong, Mike Ordway, Chris Perley and Steve Knowlton battled for position, lap after lap, in heart-stopping fashion.

In and out, side by side, high and low the pavement pounding supers held the attention of everyone on hand.

The final 25 laps clocked off in rapid succession with Lou putting a few lap cars in between his car and the second place runner McKnight, who laid chase as best he could. Russ Wood moved into third as Martel slowed considerably with a broken hub later deemed the cause.

In the waning laps, with Cicconi, McKnight and Wood the top three, Lichty moved past the ailing Martel for fourth, but Mike Ordway wasn't quite through racing either and on lap 71 he grabbed the fourth place spot from Lichty. To make matters worse for the hapless Martel, Greg Furlong and Chris Perley were able to get by in the last two laps. Cicconi flew under the checkers well out front of McKnight, Wood, Ordway and Lichty. Furlong, Perley, Martel, Steve Knowlton and Jon Gambuti rounded up the top ten field.

The next outing for the ISMA contingent is a new venue at Chemung Speedrome in New York's Southern Tier on May 24, followed by a trip north to Oswego Speedway for the annual Jim Shampine Memorial 50 lap winged and 50 lap non-winged May 25 show.

-isma-

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