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Rob Farley Wins Event 1 Season Opener

by Rob Farley

03/20/10 - Englishtown, NJ - The weather for the first race could not have been any better today for the Anger Management Racing Pro 11.50 Index season opener. With all the recent snow and rain the Northeast has been blasted with, who would have thought we would have a sunny mid-seventy degree day. Today's race was the first ever warm-up race with no points with the class expanding to a full 11-date schedule in 2010. Our generous sponsors ensured there was a full payout. This was the perfect opportunity for everyone to get some seat time. Today's event had eleven racer's come out of hibernation and take advantage of today's warm-up. After the second qualifier, you would have thought there would have been more drivers in the 11.50's or going under since there were no points. There were only four driver's that qualified in the 11.50's, three driver's qualified in the 11.60's, three driver's qualified in the 11.70's and one driver in the 12's. The driver with the top speed during qualifying was Gary Hillen. His 2008 ZO6 hit 121.27 mph.


Ellis Gray took the number 1 qualifying position today with an 11.544 and he was followed by Paul Bogdan 11.581, Jerry Muniz, 11.581, John Hadyniak 11.592, Eric Fischer 11.608, Rob Farley 11.633, Marc Hinkes 11.668, Gary Hillen 11.704, Rich Shuleski 11.746, Tommy Michalkowski 11.774 and Anthony S. Cupolo 12.024.

Runner Up Group Winner
Runner-up Eric Fischer Bob Trieschmann, Winner Rob Farley, AMR's Tommy Michalkowski, Runner-up Eric Fischer, Dennis Kazimir Winner Rob Farley
Photos by Artie Chin. For over 7000 Corvette Photos, click here.

2010 Race 1 Ladder

Round 1:

The first two drivers to start off the 2010 season were John Hadyniak (4) racing his 1973 Red White and Blue Corvette. John was facing off with Rich Shuleski (9). Rich brought his 1996 Grand Sport for today's event. With both drivers staged and excited to start off our new season, Rich left first with a -.014 red light. John left the line with a .236. Both drivers made this a time shot. John ran an 11.535 @ 114.84 mph with Rich crossing the finish line at 11.713 @ 120.76 mph. The next pair is no strangers to this class. First to the line was Eric Fischer (5) racing his father's clean White C5 while his Corvette is under construction. Eric is racing our class sponsor, Anger Management Racing's Tommy Michalkowski (10). Can it be? Another red light? Tommy left first ending his day with a -.030 red light. Tommy made a full pass with an 11.755 @ 123.45 mph. With Tommy leaving a little early, Eric had a free pass to round two. Eric left the line with a .083 and crossing the finish line at 11.542 @ 111.62 mph.

The next pair to battle it out on the 1320 was Marc Hinkes (7) driving his bright Yellow, "bug attracting", 2006 C6. Marc had many, or should I say his car was attracting all the bugs in the lanes. Marc was paired up against Paul Bogdan (2) racing his home built 427. We have mentioned this in the past, for those that don't know. Paul built his own engine, late model computer swap and rebuilds his own transmissions. I am sure I left out a few other skills he has. Both drivers are staged deep and ready for the flash of the tree. The tree flashed and Paul was out first with a .043 reaction time to Marc's .094. Paul crossed first trying to stay ahead of Marc but broke out with an 11.462 @ 112.16 mph to Marc's winning 11.591 @ 120.52 mph. The next driver to the line had the bye run because he was the number one qualifier. This person is no stranger to being the number qualifier. That would be Ellis Gray (1) who is also a Supporting sponsor for this class with his Heating and Air Conditioning business, Cool Aid Inc. With no pressure on Ellis for this run, Ellis had a .068 reaction time and ran 11.609 @ 118.34 mph.

Some thought they were seeing double when the next pair of Black C6's rolling up to the line. One Corvette is a six speed ZO6 driven by Gary Hillen (8) and the other, Jerry Muniz in his 2005 C6 (automatic). Both drivers are staged deep with the flash of the tree; Gary is out first with a .077 to Jerry's sleepy .152. Jerry was able to tighten it up on the top end to a near dead on pass. Jerry crossed first with an 11.511 @ 114.30 mph to Gary's great top end battle of 11.599 @ 118.56 mph. The last pair to finish complete first round was Rob Farley (6) in his 2009 five-time Champion Pace Car going up against Anthony Cupolo (11). This is not the Anthony Cupolo some of you may be thinking of, it is his son; Anthony S. Cupolo. Welcome to the class. Anthony was not able to make to the starting line giving Rob a time shot. Rob left the line with a -.039. At the end of the 1320, the boards had an 11.615 @ 119.16 mph. Rob has not run any quicker then this pass all day during qualifying. Walter Frey, the track announcer, made a comment wondering if Rob had an 11.50 in the car today. We will find out next round if it has it.

Round 2:

This round will have an even car count. Every driver will have to race another driver. The first two drivers to determine who will advance and who will be sitting in the stands will be Eric Fischer (5) going up against Marc Hinkes (7). With both drivers going deep, the tree flashed before both drivers were ready. This had a huge effect on there reaction times. Eric was able to get out first with a .200 to Marc's .762. Marc's gave it everything he had. Marc tried to push Eric out hoping for him to break out. Eric was able to win another round with his 11.739 @ 102.11 mph to Marc's 11.627 @ 120.46 mph. The next pair of racer's to battle it out to advance to the next round was Ellis Gray (1) and John Hadyniak (4). With both drivers staged. Ellis staged deep and John staging shallow, the tree flashed and John left the line with a .227 to Ellis's .068. With both drivers charging to the finish line, Ellis was able to cross first with an 11.594 @ 112.94 mph to John's 11.553 @ 114.40 mph. The last pair to complete round two was Rob Farley (6) and Jerry Muniz (3). Today started off with some stress for Jerry with his battery deciding to not work. Jerry was able to replace the battery and race today. Both drivers staged deep and were sitting on the edge of there seat for the flash. Rob left first with a .054 to Jerry's .108. This was a top-end battle to the finish line. With both drivers using there skills to make sure they cross first without breaking out. This is where the excitement starts. With both drivers staring at each other at the stripe not knowing who won until they were able to see the win light on the wall for Rob. Jerry crossed second with an 11.590 @ 113.33mph to Rob's winning 11.585 @ 112.19mph.

Round 3:

This round had three drivers to determine who will go to the finals. The first pair to the line was Ellis Gray (1) and Rob Farley (6). Rob lost the lane choice flip. Rob is in the left lane with Ellis in the right lane. Both drivers are staged and the tree flashed. The best two reaction times of the day thus far for this class prove that both drivers were giving it there best to move on. Rob was able to leave first with a .022 to Ellis slower .027. Rob was able to hold the lead all the way to the 1,000 foot mark and it was game on. Rob was able to tighten it up to a .003 margin in his favor to win the round. Rob crossed first with an 11.573 @ 115.48 mph to Ellis's losing 11.571 @ 118.57 mph. The last driver to run this round was Eric Fischer (5). Eric had a bye run and made a full pass. Without being worried about breaking out, Eric ran 11.404 @ 118.13 mph.

Round 4: Final Round

While in the lanes cooling down, Rob felt that this round would be payback from Eric. Rob passed Eric in points at the last Corvette Challenge of 2009 and then became the 2009 Champion. With this in mind, Rob is thinking that Eric will come out swinging and hope for a knock out. Both drivers staged slow and cautious to make sure that they are exactly where they need to be to hit the tree. The tree flashed and Eric was out first with a -.007 red light. Rob left the line with a .010 reaction time and ran it out to a 11.496 @ 119.33 mph to Eric's 11.873 @ 114.57 mph. Rob would like to thank ECS for building and installing a new forged 346 two weeks before this event. Rob would also like to thank, AMSOIL, NO-WET and NY Speed & Machine.

Awards and Payouts Today

  • Winner Rob Farley earned a payout of $130 in addition to the winner trophy
  • Runner-up Eric Fischer earned a payout of $65 in addition to the runner-up trophy
  • Semi-Finalists Ellis Gray received $30
  • Number 1 Qualifier Ellis Gray received a plaque for his 11.544 qualifying run
  • Ellis Gray received the Best Reaction Time plaque for the best winning reaction time in the first round at .068

2010 Points Standings

The warm-up race is in the books and now the drivers that have entered the points chase will be doing just that next week and for the following 10 races. It is not too late to join the points chase so be sure and sign up at the track before the first round of eliminations at your next race.

Rank Name R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 R11 Wins Rounds Avg Qual
1. Ellis Gray 0 117 154 210 263 339 394 471 548 646 769 2 20 11.529 
2. Eric Fischer 0 98 212 310 433 470 561 616 616 670 765 2 22 11.539 
3. Rob Farley 0 51 145 145 240 315 369 445 503 557 634 0 16 11.544 
4. Paul Bogdan 0 51 83 120 174 174 250 288 404 519 553 2 12 11.583 
5. Tommy Michalkowski 0 31 83 156 189 247 279 311 363 435 487 0 8 21.479 
6. Richard Shuleski 0 10 41 73 150 202 315 368 400 433 465 1 8 11.660 
7. Gary Hillen 0 0 0 112 148 201 273 327 359 412 445 1 9 13.779 
8. Marc Hinkes 0 36 94 149 203 235 273 305 359 396 432 0 4 11.570 
9. Anthony S. Cupolo 0 32 63 117 149 263 317 429 429 429 429 2 10 11.677 
10. Jerry Muniz 0 74 110 142 214 246 279 311 346 378 429 0 5 11.706 
11. Ron Higgins 0 52 83 134 166 217 249 280 313 345 377 0 3 12.284 
12. Shay LaScalla 0 54 126 160 160 173 210 210 210 210 284 0 5 11.600 
13. Peter Huff 0 73 73 105 136 167 167 201 235 235 235 0 2 11.884 
14. Andrew Volponi 0 33 33 33 65 97 129 160 193 204 204 0 0 14.199 
15. John Hadyniak 0 35 110 141 141 141 141 141 141 141 141 0 2 11.561 
16. Dr. Ron Leader 0 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 0 0  
17. Gene Paterno 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  
18. Vic Gandhi 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  
19. Tom Sabolevsky 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  

Next Two Races

We race two weeks in a row so it is about to be hectic! The next race is March 27, 2010 followed by the April 3rd race. Both Saturday's as usual. Please keep an eye out on our home page, and the , the Drag Racing section of The Corvette Forum and your email for news, updates and polls.

Visit the Drag Schedule at 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, Dennis Kazimir and Rob Farley. We'd be reduced to time shots only without our sponsors - many thanks for the continued support of

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