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Third final appearance in a row for Ralph Savarese as he gets the win in 2002 Cartek Corvette Challenge Event 6

Event 6 Winner
Front: Bob Trieschmann, John Mackey, winner Ralph Savarese, runner-up Corky Heisler and Dennis Kazimir and Rear: Sponsors Frank Schear, (Mr Mojo) and John Panuzzo
Front: Bob Trieschmann, John Mackey, winner Ralph Savarese, runner-up Corky Heisler and Dennis Kazimir and Rear: Sponsors Frank Schear, (Mr Mojo) and John Panuzzo
Event 6 of the 2002 schedule was held on Saturday August 31, 2002. The forecast called for rain all day the prior Friday and Saturday at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ. The weather was not a factor like the storm that Savarese is brewing. For the third Cartek Corvette Challenge final in a row, Ralph Savarese was present. Unlike the prior two, this time, Savarese would taste the sweet victory. After getting the bye into the finals, Savarese came to the line with an 11.80 dial on the car. His equally potent opponent would be Corky Heisler from Pittsburgh PA. That is right, Corky came down from Pittsburgh. Corky dialed 11.18 and would concede the head start to Savarese. Another pair of 85 Corvettes in the final. Both drivers leaving with cautious lights would decide the race at the top end. In a double break-out final, Heisler at 11.124 was not as good as Ralph's 11.778 as Savarese broke out by the smaller margin and took the stripe for the win. Savarese, inarguably the hottest Corvette Challenge driver after 6 events has closed the points gap from 9 points at the end of Event 2 to just 1 point after points leader Edgar Perez went out in the second round, also in a double break-out race against Tom Finzel of Clinton, MD. Finzel hit the tree hard with a .529 light and Perez broke out trying to catch him.

Savarese joked after the event saying of his three recent finals appearances, "I have to stop getting my picture in the E-town paper & on the net with AWFUL RT's under it." Ralph's lights in the finals have been on the conservative side though I would not call them terrible. On a more serious note, Savarese had these comments of the Corvette Challenge, "I think our series (Cartek Corvette Challenge) is one of the best in the country. Great turnout, great track, great sponsors & prizes, great atmosphere and most of all great people. Win or not, it's always a lot of fun." Congratulations again to Ralph. This is Savarese's second career Corvette Challenge victory as he also won Event 7 of the 2001 season. Ralph was also the winner in this years Top 4 Event held July 31st which featured a showdown of the top points getters for 2002

This was Corky's 2nd trip to Englishtown this year. His first, in March, did not fair him as well. Corky had just finished putting the engine in the and had it make it's maiden voyage at E-town. The numbers were not impressive at all, but he met Ralph and John Mackey and was impressed with both their 11 second C4's. Heisler especially liked the rollbar in Mackey's car and made a separate trip in June to visit Neverlift Motorsports for the same rollbar. After missing the next 4 events, Heisler was ready for Event 6. Heisler immediately felt his day would go better after meeting with Savarese, Mackey and John Panuzzo. His first run left not only himself but Savarese astounded as he ran an 11.22 @ 121 MPH fresh off the trailer. He follow it up with an 11.21 and the day just got better. Not only better ET's but winning round after round in eliminations. Heisler said "I kept on going round after round. I was in awe of this days events. Then in the semi-finals, I saw an 11.13. In the final an 11.12 was the icing on the cake, even though I came in 2nd place to Ralph, who deserved the win with a ever so slightly better reaction time." in retrospect of the day. After having time to digest it all and recollect himself, Corky said about the series, "It was one of the best days of my life. I ran my best times to date, the car ran great, won some money, and trophies, and met some great people from the Challenge and the (Corvette)forum." We thank you for making the trip from Pittsburgh to race with us Corky.

The lone semi-final competition, as Savarese sat out the round with a bye, brought us a very valuable reminder. Rich Shuleski of Parsons, PA dialed his '96 Grand Sport in at 12.20 against Heisler. The drivers reaction time was off by only .038 second with Heisler getting the advantage. In a double-break out result, Shuleski broke out by more than Heisler and Heisler was awarded the win. The lesson learned is that although Shuleski's driver side window read 12.20, the dial on the official board read 12.30. Had the official dial been set correctly, the outcome of the race may have been very different. It is important that we check the dial on the board or just above the "christmas tree" before we fully stage. It is the driver's responsibility to check. Shuleski stated the "track was well prepped" and he was happy he was able "to go a few rounds again after getting used to the car again, after all the mods in the off season" of which an LT4 hot cam was a primary part. Shuleski would also like to thank his friends at Morgantini Racing in Wyoming, PA for making his GS a great set of heads, the other primary component of this 11 second LT4. Shuleski managed to get the LT4 engine to run an 11.99 ET during time trials. Shuleski is a previous winner of the 2001 Cartek Corvette Challenge Event 4 and you can read about that at Rich's Grand Sport is also featured on the flyer for the series that was produced by Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Shuleski commented to organizer Edgar Perez, "It's great to hang out with everyone at the track. It's always a pleasure seeing everyone. You guys are doing a great job with the series." Thank you Rich and your wife Jaymie for all of your participation.

Today's event featured 71 cars making first round. Don't miss the next Cartek Corvette Challenge event on Saturday September 21, 2002. Please note this event is an AM event with gates opening approximately 9 AM.

Some statistics from Corvette Challenge Event 6

Time # % Ladder for Event 6 featured Rich Shuleski, Vic Gandhi, Jim Finnessey, Danny Gonzalez, Ralph Savarese, Corky Heisler, Tom Anderson, Mike Carr and John Mackey
11 3 4%
12 27 38%
13 35 49%
14 5 7%
15 1 1%
Total 71 100%
(above) dial-in times for 1st round.

Congratulations to the drivers that made the ladder in round 4. The ladder means each driver won 3 rounds. This week's ladder featured 9 drivers of which 4 were in their first 4th round of the season. Again you can see how this series is open to all to win. Good job drivers.

Cash and Prizes awarded drivers courtesy of our sponsors.

  • Event winner Ralph Savarese went home with $200 cash and gift certificates for a free dyno tuning session at Cartek Racing and a $100 gift certificate from Pro Torque and the Event Winner Shore Motorsports sponsored Trophy. Shore Motorsports is located in Howell, NJ and can be reached at 732-370-2067 or on the web at Cartek Racing is in Garwood, NJ and can be reached at 908-317-4496 or on the web at
  • Runner-up Corky Heisler went home with $100 cash, a $50 gift certificate from Pro Torque, the "Money Back Runner Up Award" for $20 cash from Boweryboy Racing and the event Runner-up Vette Doctors sponsored Trophy. The Vette Doctors are located in Amityville, NY and can be reached at 631-841-0779 or on the web at Pro Torque, in Bohemia, NY can be found at or by calling 631-218-8700.
  • Rich Shuleski was the sole semi-finalist and won $50 cash.
  • All winners of the first round were awarded a trophy sponsored by CFM Racing. With 71 cars making 1st round Chris Coriell, Frank Schear, (Mr Mojo) and Mike Moran gave out 37 trophies.
  • Walden Farms gift package Steve Row of Gaithersburg, MD won the Closest to Dial Award sponsored by Walden Farms by running a 11.998 on a 12.00 dial. Please notice you do not have to win the round (Row broke out)in order to win this prize. Unfortunately, Steve could not go home with his prize as it was not at the track but the prize consisting of a beautiful gift package from Walden Farms filled with low calorie low carbohydrate products will be shipped to his home. You can purchase Walden Farms products at local grocery stores or on the web at
  • Ohh so Close Award of Zaino products John Policastro of Saddle River, NJ won the "Ohh so Close Award" sponsored by Zaino when he was edged out in the 1st round by the smallest margin of victory. That number is the MOV number on your time slip. Although he lost in the 1st round by the smallest Margin of Victory, John earned a Zaino starter package that includes Z1, Z2, Z6, Z7 and a polish pad. Policastro missed his name being called so he did not pick up his package and will be pick it up on his next visit to the track. Zaino products can be purchased online at or at Shore Motorsports on Route 9 in Howell.
  • Mike Wicks of Harleysville, PA won the Almost Perfect Award sponsored by Roybuilt Racing when he took himself out in the 1st round with the red light closest to .500. Mike's light was .480 and for that he earned a $50 gift certificate to the Raceway Park Souvenir store donated by Roy Johnson of Roybuilt Racing .
  • Art Sabatino and John Panuzzo Artie Sabatino of Union, NJ won the "John Panuzzo Jr. Memorial Trophy" donated by Team Panuzzo Racing for the best winning reaction time in the 1st round. Artie was quickest on the tree in the 1st round when his RT was .509 taking the win when his opponent broke out by .002. Oh did I mention his opponents name is just above here winning the "Closest to Dial Award". Congrats Art.

Points Standings after 6 events

The Points race is now as tight as it was on day one with Savarese trailing Perez by just one. There was some shuffling within the top ten and one driver fell off as Tony Pugliese fell out and Vic Gandhi came in. The top 10 battle continues to heat up with six drivers having enough points to be in the 10 spot but Joe Conover gets it by virtue of the tie breaker. Points standing can be seen on the left of this page and points scoring rules can be seen at

Cartek Corvette Challenge helps Toys for Teens & Tots

The 50/50 raffle was held at the track and the racers and spectators hopeful of winning the money while helping out a worthy organization put together $320. The winner received $160 while the other $160 was donated to the St. Peters church in Jersey City to Sister Grace for the Toys for Teens & Tots fund from the Cartek Corvette Challenge. Special thanks go to Jaymie Shuleski and Mariana Trieschmann making the rounds to collect the money. The 50/50 will be held at each of the Cartek Corvette Challenges this year. Please see Jaymie or Mariana in the staging lanes if they do not find you first. You do not have to be a racer to participate. Raceway Park officer, Tim, thanks the Corvette Challenge racers and fans for supporting the Toys for Teens & Tots. To date we have donated $911.50 to the organization. Thank you for your continued support.


Final Video (1.2 MB)| final photo by Pat O'BrienPat O'Brien's 233 Photos (if your car was there, Pat got pictures of it) | Edgar's Photos | Photos by Gabe, (MrNuke) |

We couldn't do it without our sponsors

The Corvette Challenge gives thanks to all of its supporting sponsors for whom without this series cannot be possible. Thanks go out to

modified: December 31, 1969 - 7:00 pm

Series Sponsors
East Coast Supercharging
East Coast Supercharging

Yank Converters
Yank Racing Converters

Simple Man Racing
Simple Man

CFM Racing
CFM Racing

Pro Torque converters
Pro Torque

Pro 11.50 Index

Fisher Automotive
Fisher Automotive, 506 East Main Street
Bound Brook, N.J. 08805
(732) 469-0986

AMP Racing
AMP Racing

Thrust Performance
Thrust Performance, 928 Route 9 South
South Amboy, N.J. 08879
(732) 952-2238

Cool-Aid Company
Cool-Aid Company

Best Western, East Brunswick
Best Western,
East Brunswick, NJ

Pro 10.50 Index

Anger Management Racing
Anger Management Racing

Van Wickle Auto Supply NAPA

Point Pleasant

Spring Lake Heights


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