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2003   *  Event 1   *  Event 2   *  Event 3   *  Event 4   *  Event 5   *  Event 6   *  Event 7   *  Event 8   *  Event 9   *  Event 10   *  Event 11 * 2003 Standings

John Panuzzo wins his 3rd East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge

It had been more than three months since the last East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge race. But today, Saturday June, 28, 2003, we finally got off our second race of the season. The weather cooperated with a break in humidity but it was still hot. Density altitude hovered over 2500 feet most of the day and drivers were far off their best times. Thankfully, bracket racing is not about the fastest times but about the consistent dialers, (and the lucky ones too). Today John Panuzzo, Somers, NY, was the one to survive the event attended by 99 racers. In the 7th round, Panuzzo was in the final against Ellis Gray in a rematch of the 2002 Event #8 race. This time, though, it was Panuzzo who was victorious. Panuzzo got the better of Gray at the tree with a .553 and ran a 13.14 on a 13.11 dial in fairly close race. The win vaulted Panuzzo to the number two spot in the points chase. Gray stated, "I picked the worst time for my worst light" but if you are going to have a bad light, it is better to have it in the last round rather than the first round. Panuzzo also won the Gamblers race on the previous night as well as two other Corvette Challenges in addition to many runner-up finishes.

It was not an easy day for Panuzzo as he mourned the loss of a good friend, Dave Ramsden, today but still managed to focus on racing. Panuzzo would like all to know that "this race was for Dave".

On the way to the win, Panuzzo ran a perfect dial-in running his number with a ZERO. See the video by clicking on the link, John Panuzzo perfect dial-in

Mike Erickson and his 99 Corvette
Winner John Panuzzo Runnerup Ellis Gray, Organizer Edgar Perez and Winner John Panuzzo Runnerup Ellis Gray

Points leader Joe Blass maintained his points lead by going to the 6th round before being ousted by, now second place, John Panuzzo. Interestingly, the fifth round featured a rematch of the first event's final when Blass again faced Mike Erickson and again took the win over him. Although Erickson went to the fourth round, he did not impact the points chase as he is not a points racer and has earned himself the nickname of "The Spoiler" as he continues to take out points racers.

Today's event featured 91 cars making first round with 99 racers present. One of the drivers, Lance Richardson, made the trek down from Syracuse, NY this morning leaving home at 4:30 AM for the race for his first Corvette Challenge race. Although Lance did not make it past first round, he did enjoy the event. Also notable today was Bill and Eric Fischer will no longer share the newly stroked LT4-A as Eric showed up with a beautiful 1998 Fairway Green C5. Our next race will be on July 12, 2003 at 3 PM.

Quick 4 Racers Provide a Preview to the next Quick 4

The Vette Doctors Quick 4 racers, Bill Maloney and Mike Romain were out with their 9 second cars and treated us to a preview of the next Quick 4 when they lined up together for a couple of grudge runs. Maloney, after his first time trial, captured his first 9 second time slip running 9.96 in his Vette Doctors prepared big motor on nitrous. Romain just getting his car back after a super paint job, black paint with purple and blue mix, was there with his nitrous sniffing big cube motor of his own prepared by Cartek Racing. In three racers, each driver encountered some issues. The best one was when Maloney beat Romain to stripe in thrilling 9.93 (no issue that time for Bill) to 10.2 race. Both drivers will be back for the next Quick 4 August 16, 2003 at 9 AM. Good luck drivers.

Dave Ramsden Remembered

Corvette drivers paid their last respects to friend Dave Ramsden who passed away June 5, 2003 in a tragic accident. Drivers held a procession up the return road for Dave and we are sure he was watching from above. Dave's brother John and sister Linda, came to witness the gesture along with some very close personal friends of his. A message from Dave's wife, Debbie, was read to the all. If you would like to make a donation to the Dave Ramsden Brick fund to place a brick at the Corvette Museum forever in his memory, please contact the Museum at 1 800 53-VETTE and ask to make a donation to the Dave Ramsden Brick Fund.

Some statistics from Corvette Challenge Event 2

Congratulations to the drivers that made the ladder in round 4. Making the ladder means these drivers got down to the final 16 or less of the event by winning 3 rounds. This week's ladder featured 12 drivers. Good job drivers. congratulations to Sheila Murchan who made here first ladder of her Corvette racing career.

Event 2 for 2003 ladder, Edgar Perez, Bill Fischer, Sheila Murchan, Ellis Gray, John Panuzzo, Joe Blass, Mike Erickson, Bob Hollingshead, Bob Sebrowski, Vic Gandhi, Bill Martinson

Summary of driver Dial-In times

Time 10 11 12 13 14 15 Total
# 3 9 27 39 11 2 91
% 3% 10% 30% 43% 12% 2% 100%

Other Awards Handed Out at this Event

  • Event winner John Panuzzo went home with $250 cash, a $100 gift certificate from Pro Torque and the winner trophy.
  • Runner-up Ellis Gray went home with $125 cash, a $50 gift certificate from Pro Torque and the runner-up trophy.
  • Semi-finalists included Vic Gandhi, who won $60 cash.
  • John Gurrieri won the 'John Panuzzo Jr. Memorial' trophy and $50 cash presented by Team Panuzzo Racing for the best winning reaction time in the 1st round. John Gurrieri was quickest on the tree in the 1st round when his RT was .008.
  • George Esposito won the 'Almost Perfect Award' presented by Marotta Racing when he took himself out in the 1st round with the red light closest to .500. George Esposito's light was 0.00 and for that he earned a $25 Tech Card gift certificate usable on a future to Raceway Park courtesy of Lenny Marotta and Marotta Racing .
  • Dan Swadis won the 'Closest to Dial Award' Trophy presented by Boweryboy Racing by only .001 off his dial.
  • Ohh so Close Award of Zaino productsJim Kovitch won the 'Ohh so Close Award' presented by Zaino when he was edged out in the 1st round by the smallest margin of victory of .0202. That number is the MOV number on your time slip. Although he lost in the 1st round by the smallest Margin of Victory, Jim Kovitch earned a Zaino starter package that includes Z1, Z2, Z6, Z7 and a polish pad.
  • All winners of the first round were awarded a trophy sponsored by United Racing. With 99 cars making at this event, United Racing gave out quite a few trophies or 1st Round Trophy Upgrade Program credits.

East Coast Supercharging 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 $270. The winner, Doug Ring, co-owner of East Coast Supercharging, received $135 while the other $135 was donated to the St. Peters church in Jersey City to Sister Grace for the Toys for Teens & Tots fund from the East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge. We thank Jaymie Shuleski for making the rounds to collect the money. The 50/50 will be held at each of the ECS 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 Corvette Challenge racer to participate. Raceway Park officer, Tim Blair, thanks the Corvette Challenge racers and their fans for supporting the Toys for Teens & Tots. To date we have donated $288 to the organization. Thank you for your continued support.

Corvette Challenge Multimedia

Visit www.challengevideos.com for videos of today's event.

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
East Coast Supercharging | United Racing | The Vette Doctors | Team Panuzzo | Spectrum Voice & Data | Simple Man | EnviroLution | CCDV | Mufflex Performance | CFM Racing | Tortolani Racing | Boweryboy Racing | Marotta Racing | RMS Racing | Pro Torque | Zaino Bros | Perez Web Design |

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