Thompson, CT - It was a picture-perfect weekend at Thompson's Xtra Mart World Series of Racing, especially for Chris Perley and Joe Gosek. Perley, in the Vic Miller 11, ran away with his only win of the ISMA season in the 50-lap finale and...
Thompson, CT - It was a picture-perfect weekend at Thompson's Xtra Mart World Series of Racing, especially for Chris Perley and Joe Gosek. Perley, in the Vic Miller 11, ran away with his only win of the ISMA season in the 50-lap finale and Gosek was officially crowned the 2000 ISMA champion in his Paul Dunigan number 26. Gosek took second place in the feature to cap off his season. Perley started ninth on the grid and worked his way to challenge leader Randy Ritskes on lap 35. After a restart, one lap later, Perley drove by the 29 off turn three and was gone. Perley's ISMA victory followed a third place finish in the Thompson pro stock event which preceded the winged super feature.
Said the "Rowley Rocket" after his popular Thompson win, "Vic (Miller) tightened up the car so much today that I thought I'd have to pit early. But, I guess he's been around the game so long that he knew. He set it up not to my liking and that's what the car needs I guess. I hated the car, but it ran awesome and that's all we needed right? We waited until the end of the year to win and we had a good run. I just had to come up through the field and pace myself. The car stuck right there. I didn't know I had built up such a lead, but I wasn't about to slow down for anything. I want to say it's been great running here at Thompson Speedway. We always have a good time here even though I've come up a little short. It was great to bring one home today. Everybody did a good job. Since I didn't make it this year in the pro stock, I'd like to thank the pro stock guys too. They gave me a great car today." Joe Gosek trailed Perley in second, but had quite a battle with Dave McKnight for much of the latter stages of the race. Joe said briefly as the program moved on to the modified tour event, "Second is better than third This is a good way to end the season. Another consistent finish. Team Dunigan worked all weekend to get me a car that was raceable. I'm looking forward to the banquet and accepting the championship. It's been a long time and I'm proud of it."
And, Dave McKnight also said quickly, "The Patco guys did a great job today. We had to come a long way through the field and third isn't bad. We had a great year. My hats off to Chris Perley for winning today and to Joe Gosek for winning the championship. We'll come back next year... I want a title!." John Payne and Bob Timmons Jr. led the way for the ISMA feature, just one of 7 run on Sunday, but Payne was an early mechanical ills send him into the pits.
Randy Ritskes took up the point as Payne pitted and looked to be on a mission as he built up his lead over Bob Timmons, Brad Lichty, Joe Petro and Joe Gosek.
Lap 7 saw Joey Hawksby Jr. pit out of the event with a broken wing strut., bunching the field.
Ritskes was off again in the lead but was slowed again on lap 11 for a spin by Jamie Timmons and for another yellow for Lou Cicconi off turn four. When the race went green, Ritskes was in command but moving up to second was teammate Joe Gosek as Bob Timmons, Lichty and Petro held off a charging Chris Perley. Perley was up to third by lap 11 while Bob Timmons fell back to fifth as Nick Fornoro came by.
On lap 22, Mike Ordway's run fell victim to a spin with a trip to the pits the result.
By the midway mark it was Ritskes, Gosek, Perley, Fornoro and Bob Timmons with the man on the move, Dave McKnight. McKnight had had a broken shock mount prevent him from qualifying on Saturday and used his ISMA option to start scratch on Sunday. He was up to fifth by lap 29 behind Fornoro. Gosek and Perley were the men to watch at this juncture as they fought for second while Ritskes appeared to be loosing ground to the pack.
Lap 35 found Mark Sammut and George Brothers flying the yellow while Jamie Moo re and Scott Martel pitted for tires. Sammut went on the hook joining eight of his compatriots already out of the action.
Ritskes was in trouble now as the restart came with 15 to go. Perley was all over him and on lap 36 the Rocket launched past Ritskes to take the lead. Ritskes got a chance to retaliate on lap 37 when the 06 of Joey Payne, who had won the midget 25 earlier in the day, flew the yellow. Payne pitted and restarted at the rear. Doug Boisvert followed Payne on the restart of the same lap.
Ritskes' challenge of Perley never materialized, however, as Perley shot away from the pack on the second restart. By lap 40, Ritskes looked to be fading with tires a probably cause as Gosek and McKnight had gone by with Howard Page, and Nick Fornoro making a pass soon thereafter.
On lap 45, Perley was lost in lap traffic while McKnight and Gosek battled for second, side by side, wheel to wheel. Howard Page, Fornoro and Danny Soule, in a rebuilt 32 from Oswego Classic's famous fire of 1999, were top five.
The double checkereds fell for Perley as a huge "Rowley Rocket" contingent were on hand among the SRO crowd on hand. Gosek, McKnight, Page and Soule stayed top five with Fornoro, Ritskes, Brad Lichty, Joe Petro and Bob Timmons Jr., completing the top ten in the ISMA finale.
ISMA's award banquet is scheduled for Nov. 11 in Syracuse, NY. which will officially end the race season.
<pre> WORLD SERIES ISMA SUMMARY Saturday, Oct. 14 Heat 1: Chris Perley, Joe Gosek, John Payne, Howard Page, Doug Boisvert, Randy Sweet, Dan Soule, Lou Cicconi, Tim Gareau, Eric Lewis Heat 2: Mark Sammut, Scott Martel, Bob Timmons Jr., Joe Petro, Jamie Timmons, Ken Bell, Jamie Moore, Brian West, Dave McKnight(dnf), Bob Witkum (dnf). Heat 3: Randy Ritskes, Brad Lichty, Mike Ordway, Nick Fornoro, Joey Payne, Joey Hawksby, Jerry Curran, Bob Smith, George Brothers Consi: Lou Cicconi, Eric Lewis, Bob Smith, Brian West, George Brothers, Tim Gareau, Bob Witkum. McKnight dns, used ISMA option. XTRA MART ISMA 50: 1. Chris Perley(11), 2. Joe Gosek(26), 3. Dave McKnight(94), 4. Howie Page (18), 5. Dan Soule (32), 6. Nick Fornoro (5), 7. Randy Ritskes (29), 8. Brad Lichty (84), 9. Joe Petro (99), 10. Bob Timmons Jr. (18), 11. Joey Payne (06), 12. Jamie Moore (88), 13. Scott Martel (14), 14. Doug Boisvert (66), 15. Brian West (15), 16. Bob Smith (67), 17. Mike Ordway (61), 18. Ken Bell (31), 19. George Brothers (6), 20. Mark Sammut (78), 21. Eric Lewis (28), 22. Lou Cicconi (4), 23. Jerry Curran (24), 24. Jamie Timmons (97), 25. Randy Sweet (76), 26. Joey Hawksby (21), 27. Johnny Payne (16).