Different Car - Same Result - Savarese Wins Event 6
July 11, 2009 - Englishtown, NJ -
The East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge presented by Yank Racing Converters completed its sixth race of the 2009 season today. No stranger to the winner's circle, three-time champ Ralph Savarese, using a borrowed car, persevered once again to take the win and close up the points gap between himself and the points leader (yours truly), Eric Fischer. His opponent Mike Archibald was just a newbie a year and a half ago and with steadfast determination has rowed his way to his second career final (he drives a stick). It was a beautiful day for racing and we had our Corvette Challenge running in conjunction with our Pro 11.50 Index and Pro 8 Shootout classes as well.
Edgar Perez, John Panuzzo, Ralph Savarese, Michael Archibald (and son) and Bob Trieschmann
Winner Ralph Savarese
Photos by Artie Chin. For over 7,000 Corvette Photos, click here.
Round 1: 52 Corvettes made the call for first round. In the first pair out, Artie Chin must have been a bit rusty as his .423 reaction time put an early end to his day, allowing Doug Bereczki to advance to round 2. Bill Fischer Sr. was out next and had a nice .067 reaction advantage over Tony Abbruzze, but Sr.'s car couldn't run the number and Tony advances running a 13.073 @ 91.84 on a 13.06. Redlight-itis must have been contagious as the next pair out featured a double red, one driver with the worst red light of the round and the other driver with the best red light of the round. The first or worst rule applies in this case and unfortunately for Nick DeRossa, he left first with a -.304 foul allowing John Panuzzo to advance with his -.013 foul. Michael Archibald, arguably the most improved driver of the year, earns his win at the tree with a .099 reaction time to James Veltidi's .287. Arch's reaction time advantage was too much for Jim to overcome. In a battle of 11.50 cars, Rich Shuleski gets the tree advantage to take the win over Shawn Cavanagh, Rich running an 11.585 @ 107.8 to Shawn's 11.499 on an 11.42.
In a pivotal match this round, Ralph Blauvelt took out the 3 time champ Rob Farley. With near equal reaction times, Ralph Blauvelt with a .071 to Farley's .072, Ralph put together a very nice package running a 14.091 @ 97.83 on a 14.08. Farley appeared to have traction problems and could not run the number running an 11.514 @ 117.26 on an 11.44. Tough break for Farley, we all hate it when he loses. Yeah right. Blauvelt also won the 50/50 to boot. Dave Tortolani scored the best reaction time of the round to put the mild mannered but always tough Don Peppler Jr on the trailer, no wait, he drives his '67 to the track. Dave had a .027 RT and ran an 11.259 on an 11.16 to Peppler's .093 RT and 13.334 @ 104.60 on a 13.30. Ron Higgins also had a great light, the third best of the round .051, putting an end to Paul Bogdan's day. Bruce Kopcko showed no mercy on this author's brother-in-law Greg Errion, with Kopcko coming out on the winning end of a double breakout race, Kopcko breaking out by .046 less than Errion. Alfred Salanitro scored the second best RT of the round .044 to put Anthony Cupolo on the trailer. Cupolo was driving his '75 Vette instead of his very familiar '63 split window. With all due respect, ahem, in the "battle of the turtles", both James Peins and Sheila Murchan had uncharacteristically slow RT's but fortunately they were nearly the same (in the .300 range) so the race was on. In the end Peins got the win when he ran closer to his dial than Sheila. That's okay because later in the day Sheila left "turtle" status for good when she broke into the 11's for the first time.
In the final pair of this round, this author was handed the win when Frank Fiori went .024 red. And that seems to be the theme of this round. Nine pair in total (more than 33%) were decided by the dreaded foul. Panuzzo, Ellis Gray, Dennis Kazimir, Bob Trieschmann, George Chambers, Jonathon Avellino, Rob Petyo, and Eric Fischer all advanced due to their opponent's red light. And Edgar Perez advanced when last weeks event winner Louis Calicchia broke the beams at the line before the tree was activated.
Round 2: "Redlight-itis" continues into round 2 as Dave Tortolani threw away his #1 seed by going .099 red. This allowed Bruce Kopcko to advance and to check his tune by running a slightly too quick 13.001 on a 13.05. Panuzzo must have forgotten his meds as his pedestrian .485 RT followed by a .002 breakout suggests that maybe he should leave the driving to his hired guns (we love 'ya JPee). JPee's tardiness was a gift to Archibald who also had a not so great light of .164 and ran quite a bit over his dial running a 12.542 on a 12.27. Tony Abbruzze advances when Dennis Kazimir goes .026 red. Tom Smith smacks down a round best .017 light and runs a 12.839 on a 12.82 to take out James Peins. That's a very nice .036 package. Rich Shuleski continues to fine tune his 11.50 tune-up and with a .099 RT and running 11.55 on an 11.50 he takes out Bob Trieschmann who had an RT of .134 and ran a 12.935 on a 12.90. In a double breakout race, Gino Spina gets the nod over Al Salanitro when Spina breaks out the least, 12.699 @ 105.61 on a 12.75 to Salanitro's 13.681 @ 95.91 on a 13.78. Ralph Savarese and Ron Higgins both advance when their opponents light the dreaded red light. This author advances over Russ DeLibero when DeLibero gets a .045 RT advantage, but Fischer chases him down and takes the win.
Round 3: With thirteen drivers left Kopcko gets the bye and is out first scoring an awesome .007 RT and running a 12.99 on a 13.01. That's probably the best package of the day (.027). Your author and Savarese are out next. This is a pivotal round for me as a win would allow me to extend my lead over the competition. A loss would allow Savarese to do what he does best, go rounds every week, win a race or two, and before you know it he is the champ yet again. Savarese got a huge RT advantage .049 to my .111 but I was able to catch him at about the 1200' mark. Not wanting to breakout I took a "Farley Slide" but I took off too much handing the win to Savarese who crossed the line first by .003. Savarese ran a 12.786 @ 109.71 on a 12.67 and I ran an 11.677 @ 111.23 on an 11.62. Thanks to my old man, Bill Fischer Sr, for allowing me to use his car for this race and probably the rest of the year while some "issues" are worked out on my car. Next up Pete LoPresti has trouble running the number allowing Higgins to advance. Ron Higgins is a great racer who after some tough luck was glad to have gone some rounds again. In a very tight race, Abbruzze leaves first with a very nice .048 light. Our tireless leader Perez answers with a shot of his own, a .030 light. Both drivers run it all out and Edgar gets the win when he runs closer to his number resulting in an MOV of .036. Archibald and Bereczki both have lazy but equal lights but Archibald runs dead on to take the win. Shuleski puts together a better package to take the win over Tom Smith. In the final pair Spina leaves first with a .027 but Avellino hands him the win when he goes .201 red.
Round 4: Spina has the bye and must have had traction problems as he ran a 12.904 @ 106.10 on a 12.75 [take note of this for the next round]. Higgins was a bit anxious (just a bit) and goes .004 red handing the win to Shuleski who runs it out to an 11.484 on an 11.50. Savarese uses a .066 reaction time advantage at the tree to take an easy win over Kopcko. Archibald and Perez are out next. Neither driver has a stellar reaction time (.104 for Arch and .122 for REDGAR), but Arch does another awesome job of running his number to take the win running a 12.246 on a 12.22 to Edgar's 10.515 on a 10.45.
Round 5 - Semi-final: Four cars left and we are into the semi's. Archibald and Spina are out first. Spina is on a hot streak and has stealthfully been going many rounds this year. He is not signed up for points, but if he were he would be a contender for Rookie of the Year. Spina leaves first and smacks out an amazing .003 RT. Arch is in trouble when his RT is a .139. What should have been an effortless win for Spina was not when he again could not run the number. Traction problems must have got the best of him as he ran a 12.97 on a 12.75. Arch runs another very consistent 12.305 on a 12.26 to take the win crossing the line first with a MOV of .041. Savarese is now in the groove and leaves first with a .036 RT. It's all over when Shuleski leaves with a much slower .162 and Savarese chops that points lead down to just 3.
Round 6 - Final: The stage is set and it's the veteran Savarese vs. the apprentice Archibald. Arch has made steady progress and his hard work and tenacity have paid off to land him his second final round appearance having won the first, 2007 Event 3. Savarese has been in so many finals that we have all lost count. Let's just say IT'S A LOT! Savarese leaves first with a .060 light. The battle is on when Arch responds with a stellar .007 light. Arch quickly catches Savarese and pulls a ¾ length car lead that he maintains throughout the race. At the finish Savarese sees that Arch is going to cross first so he dumps it and gets on the brakes. Arch takes a bit too much win stripe and breaks out going .032 under his dial. Arch takes a bit too much win stripe and breaks out going .032 under his dial. Arch ran a 12.228 @ 110.14 on a 12.26 to Savarese’s 12.684 @ 99.85 on a 12.66. Savarese gets the win by doing a great job at the finish line.. Congratulations to both drivers, Savarese for winning his, like, 2000th win and Archibald for his second ever final round appearance.
Corvette Challenge Points Update
Eric Fischer holds the points lead for the third race in a row. He earned three today to bring his total to 22 to accompany his two event wins. Ralph Savarese's event win him vaults him to second place now with a total of 20 points. He came into the race tied for sixth so this was a nice jump for him. Last race winner Louis Calicchia fell third from second as a result of his rolling through the lights in round 1 today. David Hollingshead and Bob Trieschmann came in tied and go out tied only a position lower tied for fourth now. Ellis Gray also lost a position as a result of Savarese’s jump from sixth to second. Gray now holds the sixth position in points. There is just one race left before Raceway Park invites our Top 4 drivers to the 29th ANNUAL P.C. RICHARD & SON ALL AMERICAN JET CAR NATIONALS at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Englishtown, NJ. The event will be held on Wednesday night, August 5, 2009. We will likely need to go into the all of our tiebreakers to get the four drivers. Remember we are not being assigned a negative number for each race to aid in tie breaking. Here is a refresher on the points system if you need help on what the negative number means.
2009 Points information
The 2009 East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge, Anger Management Racing Pro 8 Shootout, Cartek Racing Pro 10 and Anger Management Racing Pro 11.50 class points will be officially kept by Raceway Park and will also appear on this website. You MUST sign up for points if you wish to compete for the Championship. You do not have to sign up for points to participate but you do have to sign up for
points to be eligible for POINTS prizes. The 2009 East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge presented by Yank Racing Converters is a part of the Raceway Park Sunoco Saturday Points Series.
Points are earned only for the class in which you compete. Any driver can chose to
sign up for any and all classes (Corvette Challenge or any of three "Pro" classes), separately. If you plan on competing in the Raceway Park Points Series for 2009 the points will be as follows;
Please Note, this points system only applies to the Corvette Challenge (Bracket) series. Pro 8 Shootout, Pro 10 Double-Index and Pro 11.50 Index have a different points system.
By signing up for points by the first points day you will receive 1 point.
By staging your car in the first round of eliminations, you will receive 1
For each round you win during eliminations, you will receive 1 point.
Tie breaker positions are as follows
Number of elimination wins
The rating point system (also called power points) will be in effect at the end of our fifth race on our schedule. At the end of each race starting with the fifth, you will be
assigned a number based on what position you are in the points standings(or tied for). That number will
be represented as a negative number next to your total points. Lower number is better. For example if in the first
week of the rating system you hold the number one position, you will be assigned a -1. If the following week you are in 3rd
place you will be assigned a -3. Your total negative number will be -4. If a driver
finished in fourth place (-4) week one and then first in week 2 (-1) and you both
have the same number of points, you will win the tie breaker because you have a -4
vs. his/her -5. Confused? Contact Edgar Perez and I can try to explain better .
A Run-off on the last day of Points.
Raceway Park is the official keeper of points. On the Saturday after a race, we
will post preliminary point standings on this website. Complete and official
points will be posted here after Raceway Park posts them on Tuesday following a
race. Power points will not be updated until Tuesday. It is the driver's responsibility to ensure points are calculated correctly. Discrepancies must be reported to Raceway Park before the next race's points are calculated in order to get credit for the points
At our last race, rookie Gary Hillen runner-up to build a big lead in the chase for the Rookie of the year. This race he went out first round leaving the door open for the others. He does leave with the points lead in the rookie standing with a total of 12 points. Bruce Kopcko however took advantage of the opening when he went to round 4 before being eliminated. His 4-point performance brings him right on Hillen's tail trailing by one point with a total of 11. None of our other two rookies in attendance made it out of round 1. Artie Chin remains in third place with 8 points followed by Mike Bogdan with 5. Our only other rookie, Bob Bearn, did not make the event and remains in fifth place with 4 points.
Rookie of the Year Standings
Spectrum Equipment Service Gear Jammer Award Update
Don Peppler, Jr escapes with the lead in the Gear Jammers standings but he came close to losing the lead with Michael Archibald's runner-up performance today. Peppler did not get out of round 1 but leaves with 14 points and the lead thanks to the tiebreaker points. Archibald's 6 point day brought him right up to number 2 in the Jammer chase with 14 points as well missing the lead by only 14 tiebreaker points. Gary Hillen falls to third position with 12 points leading Tom Smith with the same number of points, thanks to a three point day, by only nine tiebreaker points. Peter LoPresti kept pace with Smith scoring three points of his own today keeping him in the fifth position with 10 points for the season. None of our other gear jammers today were able to advance past round 1.
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 their manual transmission
Gear Jammer Standings.
Awards Handed Out at this Event
Dave Tortolani won the 'Best Winning Reaction Time - 1st Round' plaque presented by Raceway Park for the best winning reaction time in the 1st round. Dave Tortolani was quickest on the tree with the win light in the 1st round when with a .027 reaction time.
Bill Fischer won the 'Almost Perfect Award' with a loss in the 1st round with the red light closest to .000 (Almost Perfect). Bill Fischer's light was -0.052 and was awarded a plaque from Old Bridge Township Raceway Park recognizing the effort put forth to try and capture a perfect light but just slightly red.
Bob Trieschmann won the CCDV 'Closest to Dial Award' by running only .004 off his dial. Bob Trieschmann was awarded a plaque and free tech card for a future race from Corvette Club of Delaware Valley.
Don Peppler Jr. won the 'Ohh so Close Award' presented by Zaino when being edged out in the 1st round by the smallest margin of victory of .0017. That number is the MOV number on your time slip. Although suffering a loss in the 1st round by the smallest Margin of Victory, Don Peppler Jr. earned a Zaino starter package that includes various Zaino products.
All winners of the first round were awarded a trophy. With 78 cars making this event, we sure gave out quite a few trophies or 1st Round Trophy Upgrade Program credits.
Next Two Races
July 25, 2009 with the gates opening 9:30 AM. This will be our sixth and final points race to determine the driver who will be invited to the Wednesday not PC Richard & Son Show on August 5th. Best of luck to all the drivers.
August 22, 2009 with gates opening at 9:30 AM. This will be our seventh points race of the year. Race day will also feature the fourth race of the year for the Pro 8 Shootout and Pro 11.50 Index. Come be a part of the excitement with three classes running on the same day.
Also don't forget that August 1, 2008 is the annual Corvette Show & Go at Raceway Park. The once a year event for Corvettes only that features not only drag racing, but also the largest Corvette Show of it's kind and something we don't get a chance to do most of the year and this race the cones on the autocross course. Check out the flyer at http://www.corvetteexpress.com/showngo2009.pdf
Visit the Drag Schedule at www.racewaypark.com to view Raceway Park's schedule for other events and days for test and tuning. Come out and race or just enjoy the racing action.
As always, we couldn't enjoy our passion for racing without the tireless efforts of our coordinators - Edgar Perez, Bob Trieschmann, Dennis Kazimir and Rob Farley. We'd be reduced to time shots only without our sponsors - many thanks for the continued support of