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2004   *  Event 1   *  Event 2   *  Event 3   *  Event 4   *  Event 5   *  Event 6   *  Event 6   *  Event 7   *  Event 8   *  Event 9   *  Event 10   *  Event 16   *  Event 11 * 2004 Standings

Ralph Savarese gets the win in Event 7 and John Panuzzo goes to the Bracket Finals

Englishtown, NJ, 09/04/04 - It is Labor Day weekend 2004 and Corvette racers were laboring the ninety degree heat in full force with a bracket race and a Pro 8 heads-up race. The East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge saw Ralph Savarese return to the winner's circle, John Panuzzo taking the points lead to earn a Summit ET Bracket finals appearance, the first C6 in our series and the return of The Vette Doctors Pro 8 Shootout for third race of the season. The Pro 8 will be covered separate but Mike Mitchell won his second in a row running mid 8-second passes on the way. Click here for Pro 8 Results.

Runner-up John Panuzzo Bob Trieschmann, runner-up John Panuzzo, winner Ralph Savarese Winner Ralph Savarese
Runner-up John Panuzzo Bob Trieschmann, runner-up John Panuzzo, winner Ralph Savarese Winner Ralph Savarese

Something in the air was foul today; in the first round that is. Fourteen of the 33 first round races were decided with the red. Hard to believe as it may, event winner, Ralph Savarese did not benefit from one of these reds. Instead he was the benefactor of a late light as he easily caught his first round opponent and hit the brakes crossing the traps at 91.63 MPH for the win. In round two however, Savarese would get his opponent, David Hollingshead, to go early lighting the red light with -.029 giving him the win. He did not need it though as he cut a .010 light of his own, earning him the number one seed in the ladder for the next round. Because of the number one seed and an uneven number of cars in round three, Savarese got the bye run and the free pass to round four. Savarese came up against Bill Driber in round four, who put up a good package with .054 with a 13.801 on 13.78 dial, but it was not good enough. Savarese was showing he was determined to go on with a .023 tree and 11.611 on 11.58 dial as I am sure he tapped the brake to tighten up the finish line to a .0217 margin of victory. In round five Savarese faced another hot driver, Vic Gandhi. This race was over early as Gandhi's light was unusually late, much to his and everyone else's surprise, allowing Savarese to again ride the brake coasting through at 89.82 MPH. With only three drivers remaining for the semi-final round and each already having received a bye run, Savarese's number one ladder qualifying position earned him a second bye, this time with a free pass to the his 11th career Corvette Challenge final.

Event 7 Ladder
On the other side of the ladder, John Panuzzo came in at the number 15 seed and had to work his way up. Panuzzo was a the benefactor of the barrage of reds in the first round when Tony Buonassisi went red as Panuzzo cut an .088 with a 12.946 on 12.93 dial. In round two, Panuzzo was wiping the sweat of his brow as he got away with one. Rookie Glenn Murphy slapped a .010 light against him but at ran too quick on his 13.20 dial taking the stripe by .199 but breaking out by .086. Panuzzo's .123 ended up getting him to the next round but in the 15th spot on the ladder. He corrected his light issue in the third round cutting a .048 to his opponents .213 giving JP the opportunity to not run it out at the top end while moving onto the next round. The next round put him against Tony Abbruzze. With just over a second difference in the dials, Abbruzze would go first but he left too early cutting a close to perfect, -.017 bulb, lighting Panuzzo's win light. In the fifth round, it was Panuzzo's turn for a bye. In typical Panuzzo racing style, he saved the car and opted out of the run and sat the car, awaiting his semi-final opponent. In order for Panuzzo to make it into his second final in a row and fourth of the season, he would have to face Edgar Perez. Raceway Park announcer, Nick Goldman, promised a good match up but Panuzzo again was the benefactor of a red when Perez cut an even closer to perfect -.006 bulb, lighting the Panuzzo win light again. Panuzzo again wiped the brow as his car spun when he left causing a .093 light and a non-Panuzzo like run .04 over his dial as Perez ran just .011 over his dial and on to the final he went. Semi-final video (3.5 MB)

Interestingly, the two drivers in the final are tied for career finals appearances with each one appearing in their 11th final. So we know neither driver is going to suffer butterflies and we are going to get a great race. Panuzzo would leave first with a 12.99 dial to Savarese's 11.59 dial. No red this time, Panuzzo would appear to have gotten a good jump on Savarese with a .023 light but Savarese, no slouch on the tree today, jack-hammered the tree with an almost perfect .002 light. Both drivers know how to handle the top end so it would be tight for the full 1,320 feet. Savarese ran .011 over his dial using his .013 package to cross the finish line just .0076 ahead of Panuzzo who ran .003 under trying to keep his opponent from the stripe. Final Video (4 MB).

Discuss this race here.

Panuzzo Earns Summit ET Bracket Finals Spot

With John Panuzzo going to the final and picking up 7 points, he vaulted Rob Farley into the points lead thereby earning the honor of representing all Corvette Challenge racers in the Summit ET Division 1 Bracket Finals. The race will be held at US13 Dragway, Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Rain date is Oct. 3. If you have the opportunity, please go to the race and support John Panuzzo. Chris Young will be going down with him. Farley came in with the lead in points but lost in the first round when Ray Bruno, in the beautiful C1, treed him with a .011 light and finished the package running .009 over his 12.97 dial. Farley represented us in the 2003 Bracket Finals subbing for then points leader and eventual 2003 Champion, Joe Blass. 2003 Bracket Finals results.

First C6 Sees Drag Strip Action at E-town

We were treated to the first C6 in action today. Dave Busch, co-owner of Cartek Racing, brought out his 2005 Precision Red Coupe. Busch was out getting some baseline runs before making modifications to the C6. Unfortunately, the new LS2 is heavily protected with features to keep the car under control like traction control and torque management which prevented Busch from getting some good 400 hp capable runs. It is only a matter of time before Busch and company get in there and unleash the power. Burnout video. Launch video.

Summary of driver Dial-In times

Time 10 11 12 13 14 Total
# 1 7 21 26 12 67
% 1.49% 10.45% 31.34% 38.81% 17.91% 100%

Clubs and Rookies

Team CCDV continuted dominance of the Club Challenge Cup standings with Edgar Perez earning the team the bonus points by not going down until the sixth and semi-final round. Team CCA1 had three drivers at the race but neither managed getting out of round one. CCDV gained nine points for attendance to CCA1 earning three. With the new club points system doing its part to keep the race close, CCA1 really needs to step it up and get more members out to the races to make a late season surge. Hey Al, where are the Voshell's?Club Challenge Standings.

The rookie leader prior to the beginning of the race, Lynwood King, did not make the event leaving the door open for a lead change and two drivers took advantage of it. Rick White came in with 10 points and went to the second round earning three today moving him into a first place "points" tie with George Geipel who went to the second earning two. The tie is only a virtual tie as Geipel has a better tiebreaker number so officially, Geipel is the leader. See rookies denoted with (r) in the standings.

Other Awards Handed Out at this Event

  • Event winner Ralph Savarese went home with $250 cash, a $100 gift certificate from Pro Torque and winner trophy.
  • Runner-up John Panuzzo went home with $125 cash, a $50 gift certificate from Pro Torque and runner-up trophy.
  • Semi-finalists included Edgar Perez and who won $60 cash.
  • Edgar Perez won the 'John Panuzzo Jr. Memorial' trophy and $50 cash was presented by Team Panuzzo Racing for the best winning reaction time in the 1st round. Edgar Perez was quickest on the tree in the 1st round when his RT was .006.
  • Louis Calicchia won the 'Almost Perfect Award' with a loss in the 1st round with the red light closest to .000 (Almost Perfect). Louis Calicchia's light was -0.002 and was rewarded a trophy from Old Bridge Township Raceway Park recognizing the effort put forth to try and capture a perfect light but just slightly red.
  • Dave Tortolani won the 'Closest to Dial Award' by running only .003 off his dial. Dave Tortolani was awarded a trophy from Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
  • Ohh so Close Award of Zaino productsKeith Conner won the 'Ohh so Close Award' presented by Zaino when being edged out in the 1st round by the smallest margin of victory of .0207. That number is the MOV number on your time slip. Although suffering a loss in the 1st round by the smallest Margin of Victory, Keith Conner 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 74 cars making this event, United Racing gave out quite a few trophies or 1st Round Trophy Upgrade Program credits.

Next race

We race again on October 9th with gates opening at 1 PM for us. This date will also host the annual SLP Customer Appreciation Day in the morning session. SLP is one of sponsors so please support them by visiting Customer Appreciation Site and racing this event. Please note our session will begin while the SLP session is still going on and we will make the effort to accommodate racers in both events. Visit http://www.racewaypark.com to view the schedule.

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 $252. Half of the collection, $162, 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. However, the winner of the other $162 James Peins. To date we have donated $131, $258, $186, $146, $125, $485 and $126 for a total of $1,457 to the organization for 2004. Thank you for your continued support.

Corvette Challenge Multimedia


To see pictures of the event click on David Levine's pictures

Videos

Videos from the starting line by Edgar.

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 | Marotta Racing | CCDV | Mufflex Performance | Quick Time Performance | Neverlift Racecraft | SLP | Furnakit.com | CFM Racing | Tortolani Racing | Anger Management Racing | FINEST RACING | Pro Torque | Zaino Bros

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