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2008   *  Event 1   *  Event 2   *  Event 3   *  Event 4   *  Event 5   *  Event 6   *  Event 7   *  Event 8   *  Event 9   *  Event 10 * 2008 Standings

Ralph "Mahopac Express" Makes it Two-in-a-Row in Event 5

By Edgar Perez

June 28, 2008 - Englishtown, NJ - After over two months of no racing for The East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge presented by Yank Racing Converters Ralph Savarese was none-the-worse for the layoff. Savarese often referred to as Uncle Ralphie has picked up a new nickname, Mahopac Express. That is right, no stops along the way from start to finish. He won them all. He did this for the second event in a row, winning Event 4 and Event 5. Today was no different than any other Corvette Challenge this year with rain. We hate to say the word at all and someone must have said it three times (Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice) and bam, it was here. In the middle of our first time trial I was under the tower and we were being held up. I had no idea why when a track official tells me it is raining at the top end of the track. Just then, I look up to the end of the track and see the rain coming at me down the track. It was a fierce and hard rain but lasted only a few minutes. The squeegee machines were brought out and they dried the track and we were back to racing after about an hour delay. Later on we would be hit with a second rain delay. This one was lighter but lasted longer. Once again the machines dried the track and we were back to racing. Track officials determined that in order to finish the night's racing they would have to go right to first round with only one time trial/qualifier. That left a lot of drivers guessing where their ET would be since the first session was long ago.

For today's Cartek Racing Pro 10.0 Index presented by J&M Motorsports coverage click here.

Round one: 49 Corvette faithful entered the first round of eliminations today bearing the hot weather and the rain delays. Because of the shortened time trial session our Corvette drivers were not as sharp on the dial as normal. Several drivers dialed conservatively and ended up breaking out. For example, Bill Fischer came up too quick in a double breakout with Al Salanitro when he went 11.923 on 12.10 dial but Al only went 13.887 on 13.95 breaking out by less. Dennis Kazimir took his match against Ralph Blauvelt in a double breakout as well. Kazimir going 11.799 on 11.80 dial and Blauvelt 14.057 on 14.15 dial. Yet another pair, Eric Fischer and Steve Pistilli, had a double breakout match. In this one it was closer with Pistilli taking the win with a 13.290 on 13.30 dial while Fischer, needing to make up an RT difference, went 11.944 on 12.01 dial. Points leader Jeanne Linke got away with one when her opponent Tony Cupolo went red. Linke ran out the pass and found she was on the way to breakout with a 13.050 on 13.12 dial. The breakout does not hurt when you already have the win light though. Shay LaScalla and Jim Kovitch had double breakout race and Shay got the win when she went under 12.304 on 12.35 dial but Kovitch went under by more, 14.027 on 14.16 dial. Another double saw Joe Latona take a seat when he went 11.109 on 11.15 dial and Louis Calicchia went 11.944 on 11.95 for the win.

This did not mean we did not have drivers who were dead-on because we did. Right off the bat, our first pair on the track saw Tom Smith run his 1969 Corvette to a dead-on win with a 13.182 on 13.18 dial. He also had the luxury of a red light win with Shawn Cavanagh going -.008 red to him. A few pair later, Joe Signore went dead-on in his C6. Signore dialed 12.65 went 12.658 but did not get the win because Ralph Savarese took a .043 to .124 reaction time advantage to the win with an 11.387 on 11.35 dial. Michael Archibald needed a dead-on pass to take the win against Tony Abbruzze. Arch went 12.206 on 12.20 dial with a .062 reaction time. Abbruzze was better on the tree with a .040 and just off his dial with a 13.047 on 13.00 dial. That adds up to a .019 margin of victory for Arch. Ken Tyler went dead-on but did not get the win. He 12.603 on 12.60 dial against yours truly, Edgar Perez, but it was not enough as he gave up too much on the tree with .152 to my .049 and I was able to get the win with a 10.732 on 10.70 dial.

We talked about Savarese getting the win and now we will look at our other eventual finalist, Rob Farley. He was paired against Tony Buonassisi. Tony took a shot at the tree and came up just short with a -.007 red light giving the win to the former Champ, Farley. Rob did not do too badly on his own however with a .043 on the tree and 11.381 on the 11.41 dial using his 11.50 tune in the '98 Pace Car.

Other drivers who did not make it out of the first round included, Ken Rammer, James Peins, Peter Lopresti, Dave Buddendorff, Don Peppler Jr., Bob Hollingshead, Rich Shuleski, Mike Calicchia, Gary O’Connell, and Doug Bereczki.

Runner Up Group Winner
Runner-up Rob Farley Group Winner Ralph Savarese
Photos by Edgar Perez. For over 5000 Corvette Photos, click here.

Round two: In this round, former Champion Rob Farley is paired with John Hadyniak, our two most colorful cars. Farley left on him at the tree with a .027 to .069. Hadyniak had trouble running his number however and Farley got to show him his "Farley Slide" when he crossed the finish line with an 11.595 @ 96.55 mph on 11.36 dial. Current Champ Savarese was paired against Chris Young. Young one of our quickest bracket racers, dialed 9.90 compared to 11.32 for the "Express". That train left the station with a .029 light and Young was behind at the start with a .068 light. He coupled that with not being able to run the number going 10.021, more than a tenth off, which allowed Ralph to take the win with an 11.355 on 11.32 dial at 113.16 mph. In this round, 7 of the 12 pair were decided by red light. They ranged from -.002 for Ron Higgins who sent me to the third round, to -.201 for Michael Archibald who gifted Paul Bogdan to the third round. In between those red numbers was the -.125 reaction time of Vic Gandhi who left too early to, you guessed it, Jeanne Linke. She would have been tough to beat without a good tree anyhow as she went dead-on with a 7 on her 13.05 dial with a .055 light. Shay LaScalla kept pace in a tight race with top 5 driver Steve Pistilli. She got Pistilli on the tree with a .071 to .103. Steve would have to stay ahead and just barely broke out with a 12.254 on 13.26 dial and LaScalla was headed to her first third round of the year. Max Hormilla got the luck of the draw for the first round getting a bye run but would have to face Frank Fiori in this round. Fiori left with a .075 light and got the win shortly thereafter when Max went -.071 red. Dan Swadis Jr. was back after a long absence and made to the second round where he faced Bob Trieschmann. Trieschmann got the win when Swadis slowed on his dial despite having the reaction time advantage. Other drivers not advancing included Kimberly Rudolf-Turchyn with her new C6 stick, Tom Smith, Bob Rosenberg (whatcha gonna say now?) and Ellis Gray.


2008 Event 5 Ladder

Round 3: Now with 12 cars remaining, the winners of this round would make it "into the money". Defending Champ Ralph Savarese is first on the track with Frank Fiori. Savarese is all business with another great light, .027. Fiori would leave first with a 12.92 dial and .132 light. For the average racer that is not too bad a gap but for the Mahopac Express, that is like leaving Frank in the caboose. Even if Frank goes dead-on that would have given Ralph a tenth and that is too much for the three-time and defending Champ. Savarese takes the win with an 11.495 on 11.35 dial @ a braking 108.18 mph. David Tortolani squares off with Bob Trieschmann next. Trieschmann leaves first with 13.24 dial a d.027 light . Tortolani follows with 11.41 on the window and .063 light. Trieschmann however breaks out giving Dave the win. Dave went 11.424 on that .41 dial for the win. Al Salanitro would face Paul Bogdan next with Al leaving first with 13.88 dial and .026 tree. Bogdan had trouble making his pass and was well over his dial so Salanitro coasted to a win with a 14,189 @ 98.64. The two leading women of the Corvette Challenge would pair this round. Both are rookies in the Corvette Challenge but Linke, our points leader, has been in the sport longer and showed it when she left with a .003 reaction time and ran 13.161 on 13.06 dial as LaScalla was late on the tree laving Linke lots of room up top. Dennis Kazimir, enjoying quite a day was able to advance when his .019 light bettered Louis Calicchia’s .045 light. Dennis ran 11.855 on 11.83 dial to boot! Final pair was Rob Farley against me. I thought I had a shot to beat the Champ when I won the coin toss and sent Farley to uncharted waters...the left lane. Maybe it had an effect as he left me a huge opening with a .110 light. Too bad I was late too with a .125 of my own. No Farley slide from this side that I can tell but he was dead-on 11.377 on 11.37 dial and was off running 10.70 on 10.67 dial.

Round 4: Final six started with Dave Tortolani against Al Salanitro. Salanitro let this one get away as he was better on the tree .035 t0 .171. He went under his 14.00 dial by .002 and Tortolani was on the way to the semi-final round with an 11.42 on 11.40 dial. Rob Farley would face Dennis Kazimir. Farley was .105 on the tree but only after Dennis had left -.032 red and Farley was on the way to the semi-final as well. Number 4 seed on the ladder would face number 13 and this was important because the winner of this round would get the bye into the final with only three cars left next round. It was the third meeting of the season for Champion Ralph Savarese and points leader Jeanne Linke. On their two previous meetings, Savarese went red to here each time. Would this be the one where he turns that around? They lined up with Linke dialed 13.12 after just dialing 13.06 the prior round. Savarese would take the tree second with an 11.36 on the glass. Linke was off with a .109 light, far later than any other of her lights today. Savarese, slapped the tree with another great light, .013....and it was green! Once again, you leave the door that wide open for the Champ, he will make you pay and he ended Linke's day and now was gaining on her in the points standings picking up this point and the bye point on the way to the finals.

Round 5 - Semi-final: Rob Farley, two-time Champ, would have to get past one more driver if he was going to meet three-time Champ, Savarese in the final. The cars were close to dead-even dialed with Tortolani at 11.40 leaving just .03 before Farley dialed 11.37. As they left, Farley caught and passed Tortolani quickly with a .036 to .122 reaction time advantage. Tortolani trying to make up for the RT difference broke out with an 11.389 @ 119.16 while Farley took the "Slide" and went 11.421 @ 114.41. Savarese sat out his bye run and awaited the news of his final round opponent. The stage was set for the previous Champions to meet.

Round 6 - Final: These two drivers had met in the finals before. Three times in the past. Three times Farley was the winner. They may have met in earlier rounds but we don't have those records handy. So Farley, two-time Champion with a 3-0 record in the finals would face Saverse, three time Champion. This one was almost heads-up as well. Farley would leave first with 11.37 dial and Savarese, almost the same time, at 11.36. These two could see what was going on at the start and it was Savarese with a .057 to .079 reaction time advantage. Side-by-side they went and each carefully trying to gauge the other's top end move. Neither wanted to give up the stripe. Savarese took the stripe and the win though both drivers broke out. Farley went 11.347 on 11.37 and Savarese 11.340 on 11.36 dial. The result was a .003 margin of victory for Savarese. We would not expect anything less from these two Champions. It was a great race and the result is both gained ground in the points standings as Champions do. Congratulations to Ralph on the back to back wins and Farley on his first final this year. So now the Mahopac Express has two in a row. Who is going to derail this locomotive?

Corvette Challenge Points Update

Rookie Jeanne Linke comes out of today's race holding the points lead by only 1 point now. Ralph Savarese took advantage by eliminating Linke in the quarter-final and as a result chews up three points of her lead. Earlier not fully committed to the full season, it is safe to say, Savarese is reconsidering. Bob Trieschmann is now in third place with 15 points and an event win which is the tie breaker over Paul Bogdan who also has 15 points but no event wins thus far. Steve Pistilli holds on to the 5th place in the standings with 14 points. Rob Farley's finals appearance puts him just outside of the Top 5 in the sixth spot with 13 points.
2008 Corvette Challenge Standings
Corvette drivers page with more driver information

Rookie of the Year Update

Doing as she has being doing all season, rookie Jeanne Linke added to her rookie points lead. She now holds a 22 to 8 point lead over Shay LaScalla. This rookie race is becoming a runner-up race with such a big lead for Linke but let's not throw in the towel yet. Mike Calicchia holds the third spot just 3 points behind LaScalla. To the rookie class of 2008, do not despair, it not over till it is over. Keep at it and let's see where the chips fall at the end of the season.
Rookie of the Year Standings

Spectrum Equipment Service Gear Jammer Award Update

Steve Pistilli remains in the gear jammers lead with 14 points so far this year. Frank Fiori's performance today moves him to second place however with 10 points and closing on Pistilli. Ken Tyler and Ken Gallasio remain tied with 9 points each. Spectrum Equipment Service once again sponsors the "Gear Jammer of the Year" award, presented at year-end banquet to the racer with most points in his/her manual transmission Corvette.
Gear Jammer Standings.

Corvette Challenge Team Challenge Cup

Ralph Blauvelt's Bracket Masters team holds the first place in the Team standings with 50 points for the second race in a row. Rob Farley (6) and Jeanne Linke (4) help to ensure of this. Chris Haase’s' Mistress and the Mayhem moved up 1 spot to second with 46 points. Louis Calicchia, Frank Fiori and Paul Bogdan each contributed 3 points to make this move. John Trescott's Eliminators falls to third place this week while Dave Tortolani's Vapors was the biggest mover upward gaining three positions to reach the 4th spot in the Standings.

Current Team Standings

TeamTeam NameTeam CaptainPoints
T01 Ridin' Dirty Ralph Savarese 96
T08 Bracket Masters Ralph Blauvelt 93
T02 The Eliminators John Trescott 91
T07 Mistress and the Mayhem Christopher Haase 87
T04 Vapors David Tortolani 86
T06 SKAM ARTISTS John Hadyniak 81
T05 CCDV Douglas Bereczki 67
T03 Sgt Peppler's Donald Peppler, Jr. 64
click to see drivers on each team
Click if you cannot see Team Challenge Cup Standings

Awards Handed Out at this Event

  • Vic Gandhi won the 'John Panuzzo Jr. Memorial' trophy presented by Team Panuzzo Racing for the best winning reaction time in the 1st round. Vic Gandhi was quickest on the tree in the 1st round when his RT was .027.
  • Anthony Cupolo won the 'Almost Perfect Award' with a loss in the 1st round with the red light closest to .000 (Almost Perfect). Anthony Cupolo's light was -0.003 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.
  • Tom Smith won the CCDV 'Closest to Dial Award' by running only .002 off his dial. Tom Smith was awarded a trophy and free tech card for a future race from Corvette Club of Delaware Valley.
  • Eric Fischer won the 'Ohh so Close Award' presented by Zaino when being edged out in the 1st round by the smallest margin of victory of .0566. That number is the MOV number on your time slip. Although suffering a loss in the 1st round by the smallest Margin of Victory, Eric Fischer earned a Zaino starter package that includes various Zaino products.
  • All winners of the first round were awarded a trophy . With 58 cars making this event, we sure gave out quite a few trophies or 1st Round Trophy Upgrade Program credits.

Next Two Races

July 12, 2008 - The sixth points race of the season for Corvette Challenge bracket races. It will be a full day with two additional classes. The American Racing Headers Pro 8 Shootout returns to attempt its first full event and The Vette Doctors Pro 11.50 goes at it for their second race of the year. Gates to open around 9:30 AM.

August 2, 2008 - The seventh points race of the season for our Corvette Challenge racers. We will also host the third point race for The Cartek Racing Pro 10.0. Gates to open around 2:30 PM. This day is also the day for the 22nd Annual East Coast Show & Go in the 1st session. The biggest event of its kind which features three activities, a huge Corvette Show, Autocrossing and of course, Drag Racing. While not a Corvette Challenge event it is a Corvette event you don't want to miss.

Visit the Drag Schedule at www.racewaypark.com to view Raceway Park's schedule for other events and days for test and tuning.

As always, we couldn't enjoy our passion for racing without the tireless efforts of our coordinators - Edgar Perez, Bob Trieschmann and Dennis Kazimir We'd be reduced to time shots only without our sponsors - many thanks for the continued support of

Corvette Challenge - East Coast Supercharging | Yank Racing Converters | Team Panuzzo | Corvette Club of Delaware Valley - CCDV | Spectrum Equipment Service | The Blair Family | Simple Man | QTP - Quick Time Performance | Carroll's Rod & Racecraft | Kooks Custom Headers | CFM Racing | Tortolani Racing | Anger Management Racing | WheelHQ.com | CorvetteGuys.com | Romar Fabrication | Zaino Bros | Pro Torque | Perez Web Design

Pro 8 Shootout - American Racing Headers | Carroll's Rod & Racecraft | PM Construction

Pro 10.0 Index - Cartek Racing | J&M Motorsports | Best Western, East Brunswick, NJ | ECSracing | M & B Performance

Pro 11.50 Index - The Vette Doctors | Russ DeLibero Emerald Financial Resources | Wild Rover Racing | DeFelice Chevrolet Parts .

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