Toledo, OH - "Liquid" Lou Cicconi lived up to his nickname Friday night at Toledo Speedway. The Aston, Pa. driver used his wiles to slide by Russ Wood, Joe Gosek and finally race leader Pat Shullick between laps 24 and 28 to take command of the ...
Toledo, OH - "Liquid" Lou Cicconi lived up to his nickname Friday night at Toledo Speedway. The Aston, Pa. driver used his wiles to slide by Russ Wood, Joe Gosek and finally race leader Pat Shullick between laps 24 and 28 to take command of the 75-lap ISMA event. Lou, then, avoided a lap 35 pileup which took out many of his challengers to go on to victory. The win was Cicconi's first of 2001 on the ISMA circuit, making him the fourth different winner in as many events.
"This win was great. It was awesome. I'd really like to thank my father, who broke his back putting this car together for me and Tim Ryan and Eddie Landers really did a good job for me today. They actually keep the car in Syracuse and maintain it. They do a really good job. When we got here we were a little behind the eight ball. Everyone pitched in and we made it work. To win here before a great crowd like this reminds me of when my brother Bob used to race. I'd like to follow in his footsteps."
"We were fortunate to get through that incident there. It was scary We got a little bit lucky tonight." said second place finisher Dave McKnight, "We did what we had to do to get out of there. We were lucky to get out in one piece. The car was good. We were able to close in a bit on Louie toward the end, but we just burned up the right rear. We had nothing for him at the end. All in all, the car was great and we're in one piece. My congratulations to Lou, hats off to my team. A victory last week and a second today, who knows what tomorrow will bring. You have to finish to win that title and that's what we're shooting for this year."
Joe Gosek, third place finisher indicated, "It's an awesome track here at Toledo. I'd like to thank all the fans for coming out and watching these two classes of open wheel cars. The sprints put on a good show and I hope we did too. It was a good race and I hope we'll have another one next year. It's great to see this many people out at this doubleheader. My car had a push all day at practice and then it went away in the main. It was loose from lap one. In the last twenty, it just went away bad. When you spin the tires, you can't get a hold of the race track. Third is our best this year, so third is keeping us in the hunt. We'll try to get them tomorrow." After a great field of supermodifieds, thirty-five strong, were pared down to a 24-car starting field, Ohioan Pat Shullick and New Hampshire's Joe Petro held the front row.
Shullick grabbed the early lead trailed by Scott Martel and Petro. Lap 8 saw a spin by the 88 of Mark Buonomo while the 16 of Randy Ritskes pitted for a flat left rear.
Joe Gosek was next to move up when he took second on lap 13 from Martel while Shullick led. Petro looked to be heading backwards and on lap 16, yellow flew for his 99 after a brush with the back inside wall.
Pat Shullick settled back into the front spot on the green while Gosek, Russ Wood, Joey Payne and Cicconi challenged near the lap 25 mark.
Cicconi was a man on a mission as he drove his 75 by Payne, then Wood, then Gosek. On lap 28, Lou put his car beside the 49 of Shullick and was by. And, gone. By lap 35 Lou was well out front and was heading toward the tail of the field, when all hell broke loose. The 84 of Doug Saunier broke a hub just as the leaders approached, creating mayhem up front. Cicconi, Gosek and McKnight got by, others did not. "I was the first one at the accident," said Cicconi later,"I slowed as I saw what was happening. Others weren't as lucky." In the melee that ensued, Joey Payne, Russ Wood, Saunier and Scott Martel met with the hook or flatbed. Martel was able to get back into the fray in the lengthy cleanup, but the others were done. Martel would only last a couple more laps and then he too, ended his night.
After the green, Cicconi had Gosek as his main challenger, with McKnight getting by Pat Shullick on lap 42. Chris Perley and Timmy Jedrzejek moved into the top five, soon thereafter.
With 25 to go, Cicconi had put some real estate between his 75 and the cars of Gosek, McKnight, Perley and Timmy J. McKnight put Gosek in third on lap 60. Things got a little interesting toward race end, when some slower cars made for some dicey traffic duels in the waning laps.
But the last five laps flew by quickly for Cicconi as he passed under the checkered all alone. McKnight was pretty much alone in second while Gosek, Perley, Timmy J and Ken Bell ran nose to tail in the next four spots. Heats went to Jedrzejek, Cicconi and Joey Payne. A scary accident took Dave Shullick Jr. out of the running in the second heat.. Dave Jr. had jumped behind the wheel of his dad's 33 after loosing a motor in the 38 after he and Chris Perley set identical fast times of 13.60 in time trials. He then crashed that car hard into the wall when a tire went down. The 13-car consi went to Howie Lane.
<pre> SUMMARY Fast time: Chris Perley and Dave Shullick Jr. (13.60)
Heat 1: Timmy Jedrzejek, Scott Martel, Pat Shullick, Joe Petro, Howie Page, Jennifer Chesbro, Randy Sweet, Mark Buonomo, Baldy Baker Jr, Joe Grunda, Ray Graham Jr.
Heat 2: Lou Cicconi, Dave McKnight, Russ Wood, Ken Bell, John Payne, Jim Shirey, Howie Lane, Denny Fisher, Jon Henes, Willie Stutzman, Dave Shullick Jr.
Heat 3: Joey Payne, Chris Perley, Jack Smith, Joe Gosek, Jamie Timmons, Randy Ritskes, Mark Sammut, Joe Hawksby, Doug Saunier, Rich Reid, Buzz Kormos Consi: Howie Lane, Randy Sweet, Mark Sammut, Mark Buonomo, Doug Saunier, Denny Fisher, Baldy Baker, Joe Grunda, Willie Stutzman, John Henes, Buzz Kormos, Rich Reid, Joe Hawksby.
Toledo 75: 1. Lou Cicconi(75), 2. Dave McKnight(94), 3. Joe Gosek(26), 4. Chris Perley(11), 5. Tim Jedrzejek(7), 6. Ken Bell(32), 7. Pat Shullick(49), 8. Jack Smith(83), 9. Randy Sweet(76), 10. Jim Shirey(72), 11. Mark Sammut(78), 12. John Payne(67), 13. Denny Fisher(81), 14. Jamie Timmons(27), 15. Scott Martel(14), 16. Joey Payne(66), 17. Russ Wood(29), 18. Doug Saunier(84), 19. Howie Page(18), 20. Howie Lane(97), 21. Randy Ritskes(16), 22. Mark Buonomo(88b), 23. Joe Petro(99), 24. Jen Chesbro(33).