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2001 * Event 1 * Event 2 * Event 3 * Event 4 * Event 5 * Event 6 * Event 7 * Final Standings

2001 Corvette Challenge Drag Racing Series

John Mackey wins Event 5

John Mackey winner of Event 5 sporting Simpson Racing Shoes. John Mackey of Brick, NJ became the 5th different winner of the 2001 Cartek Corvette Challenge Drag Racing Series held at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ on October 6, 2001.  The day started out rainy and cold.  Many drivers were concerned with the weather but still showed to race in this huge growing event for Corvette Drivers.  Mackey went 5 rounds to win the event that started 27 drivers.  Mackey faced some tough competition along the way including the runner-up, Ron Heisler who scored a perfect .500 light in the first round.  The stage was set for two quick Corvettes in the final.  Mackey went first in the right lane with a 12.00 dial against Heisler's 11.17 on the left.  Mackey reacted to the tree swiftly with a .546 and took the win a few seconds later when Heisler went red with a .410 light.  These races are tough and you have to be "on the tree" to go as far as these drivers did.  John Mackey had the best of the tree in the final.  Mackey finished his run out coasting to a 12.506 ET while Heisler "ran it out the back door" with an 11.13 breakout as well.  This was the third event in a row that was settled by a red light final.  That shows how tough the competition is.  Interestingly, John Mackey is one the key organizers of this event which gives drivers of all levels of experience an opportunity to race their Corvette's in an exciting series of events.  He can also be found as a featured driver in Corvette Challenge Web page in the Meet the Racer section.  We hope to continue these events for many years at Raceway Park.

The John Panuzzo Jr. Memorial Trophy was award to Ron Heisler for the best reaction time in the first round.  Ron had a .500 perfect light in the first round that left his opponent, Edgar Perez, with his back against the wall and a loss by one tenth of a second.  Bracket racers know that the tree is the most important part of a race.  A good reaction time can put your opponent's back to the wall so practice, practice, practice.  John Mackey presented the award to Ron as John Panuzzo was unable to attend this event due to a previous engagement that was rescheduled to this date due to the recent unfortunate September 11 happenings.  Congratulations go to Ron.

The point standings showed a lot of rumblings in the top ten with Ron Heisler and Vic Gandhi moving into the top 10 dropping Mark Ramos and three other drivers tied for tenth.  Mark was back in his own Corvette for this event.  The top 5 (jacket winning positions) was virtually unchanged with Bill Martinson and John Panuzzo not at the event but taking advantage of their vacation points allowed per the Corvette Challenge Rules.  Don't let their lead discourage you as drivers have earned as many as 7 points in one event and there are two left.  Be sure and ask for you vacation points per the rules if you did not make it to Event 5 on October 6, 2001, before the next event.


If you took electronic photos and want to share, please email mail to Edgar Perez at
Event photos, pictures and more courtesy of:
Mike Moran |

Thanks to our sponsors who make this possible.
Simple Man Racing for Event Sponsorship
Ocean Cruisers First Round Trophies
John Panuzzo for the Best Reaction time Trophy
Cartek for overall sponsorship

modified: December 31, 1969 - 7:00 pm

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