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Ralph Savarese wins ECS CC Event 1 Warm-up!

By Eric Fischer

March 20, 2010 - Englishtown, NJ - We got our 12th season of the East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge presented by Yank Racing Converters underway today to the tune of a light turnout but that did not stop us from racing. Turnout is often light at our warm-up race as many of our racers either have not yet finished their winter mods or are not too concerned about missing a non-points race. And this year we had a particularly rough winter and some drivers may have opted to sit this one out to spend time cleaning up from last week's brutal rain storm. And some racers even decided it was a good time for a vacation. Our very own coordinator, Edgar Perez was on vacation in sunny Florida. His presence was surely missed, and we all should take a moment to recognize the monumental effort that Edgar puts into this series. Whether he is taking pictures, shooting video, securing sponsors, writing articles, or updating the website, Edgar is the workhorse that truly is the backbone of our series. And yes even while on vacation Edgar was still actively recruiting sponsors, regularly posting on the Corvette forum, and checking in with us on a daily basis. The drivers that did attend got to experience perfect weather for drag racing, low 70* air temp and very low humidity. Now let's get on to the race results:

Runner Up Group Winner
Runner-up Dave Buddendorff Coordinator Bob Trieshcmann, Winner Ralph Savarese, Runner-up Dave Buddendorff and Coordinator Dennis Kazimir Winner Ralph Savarese
Photos by Artie Chin. For over 7,000 Corvette Photos, click here.

Round 1: Thirty-two Vettes made the call for first round. The first pair out was John Panuzzo taking on Artie Chin. Panuzzo got the hole shot advantage .074 to .144, Panuzzo crosses the line first but gives it away when he runs .001 too quick. Chin advances running an 11.758 @ 116.87 on an 11.73. Not one to panic easily, Panuzzo was frantically calling Jeanne to see if she had any pointers to help John end his bad run of luck. Strangely Jeanne didn't answer his call. Next out in a double breakout race, Shawn Cavanagh gets the win over Dennis Kazimir by virtue of his better light, .040 to Kazimir's' .071. Vic Gandhi's .008 light is tough for Ken Tyler for to overcome, Gandhi taking the win on the brakes running an 11.722 @ 109.19 on an 11.70. Ralph Blauvelt has a nice reaction time advantage over Dave Buddendorff (.026 vs. .064) but Buddendorff comes out on top when Blauvelt can't run the number. It's all over at the tree when Rob Farley's .019 light effectively puts an end to Don Peppler's day. Farley, whose stage name is Garley, ran an 11.447 @ 117.87 on an 11.44 while Peppler went 13.262 @ 104.93 on a 13.30. Kyle Burns, a newcomer to our series who drove 5 hours to join us, shows he is no newcomer to drag racing when he cuts an 0.068 light and then wisely slows at the big end to a 14.095 @ 85.31 on a 12.43 after he realizes that Tom Smith wasn't going to run his number (Tom ran a 15.532 @ 93.41 on a 12.78). Louis Calicchia has nice reaction time of .010. Vinny Cupolo responds with a .055 of his own. Calicchia crosses first by a car length or two but goes under by .009, handing the win to Cupola. Ellis Gray gets the advantage at the tree over Mike Archibald, but Archibald gets the win at the stripe when Ellis runs under his dial, Mike goes 11.962 @ 118.43 on an 11.95 and Ellis goes 11.543 @ 118.44 on an 11.56. The next 3 rounds were decided by the dreaded red light. John Milewski, Ken Baranski, and Ralph Savarese advance when their opponents go red. Dave Tortolani scores a perfect light .000 and there is nothing Paul Bogdan can do but watch as Dave drives on by to take the win. John Policastro, who we haven't seen a long time, proves the time off hasn't hurt his game and he lays down a .007 light vs. Al Salanitro's .085. Policastro takes the win running 12.063 @ 105.55 on a 12.00 to Salanitro's 13.754 @ 99.93 on a 13.78. Rob Zona cuts some zzz's at the light, his .652 light is no match for Jerry Muniz's .034 light and Muniz's cruises out to the win. And to finish out this round, your author gets a free pass to the 2nd round when his opponent Gary Hillen goes red.

Round 2: Sixteen cars left and let's call this the red light round. Five out of 8 runs were decided by at the tree by a red light this round. Fischer, Cupolo, Chin, Savarese, Cavanagh, and Buddendorff all advance as their opponents go red. It would seem Milewski's .064 light over Policastro's .208 light would get him the win but that was not the case as Milewski couldn't run the number. Policastro gets the win running a 12.072 @ 105.19 on a 12.00 to Milewski's 13.153 @ 106.76 on a 12.88. Next out, Kyle Burns leaves first and scores an awesome .028 reaction time, but Gandhi responds with an even better .011. But problems must have ensued for Gandhi as he runs nowhere near his number, and Kyle advances running a 12.844 @ 99.44 on a 12.45. The next pair out Archibald gets a huge 1 tenth holeshot advantage over Muniz, but Muniz gets the win, running closer to his number 11.519 @ 109.36 on an 11.50 to Arch's 12.28 @ 105.79 on a 12.04.

2010 Event 1 Ladder

Round 3: Redlight-itus continues as 50% of round three was decided by the dreaded red-light. Buddendorff and Cavanagh both advance when their opponents Muniz and Policastro go red. Chin had a nice .058 light compared to Savarese's .121, but Chin breaks out. Chin ran an 11.738 @ 113.63 on an 11.75 to Savarese's 11.053 @ 122.62 on an 11.05. And in the final pair of the round, Kyle Burns is out first with a .008 and this author responds with a not too shabby .028. It's a race to the finish and in a double breakout race, I break out less running an 11.517 @ 116.69 on an 11.57 to Kyle's 12.496 @ 108.89 on a 12.55. Congrats on a great first showing Kyle we hope you come back for more. And bring some friends!

Round 4 - Semi-Final: Down to the final four. Due to a computer glitch I don't have the results data for round four. I can only tell you what I know. In the first pair out Savarese was victorious over Cavanagh. In the 2nd pair, since I was a participant I have a little more knowledge. Short and sweet I gave it away with a red light -.058. Buddendorff advances. Just in case you weren't counting, that's three consecutive red lights in Buddendorff's favor. But that's racing, some days the breaks come your way but more often than not they go the other way.

Round 5 - The Final: It's a C3 vs. C5 battle, the white carbureted car vs. the EFI'd Satan. Dave Buddendorff was next vs. the three time champ and veteran multi-time event winner Savarese. Buddendorff with his 13.02 dial leaves first with .098 green. Buddendorff is hoping for another red light win but not this time. Savarese leaves with a near equal .088 green. This means the race will be decided at the top end. And indeed it was a very close race, with Savarese taking the stripe by just a nose and Buddendorff breaking out by .003. Savarese runs an 11.042 @ 117.31 on an 11.04 to Buddendorff's 13.017 @ 104.32 on a 13.02. Savarese takes the win for his umpteen millionth event win!

Corvette Challenge Points Update

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.
2010 Corvette Challenge Standings
Corvette drivers page with more driver information

Rookie of the Year Update

We have a rookie class of six drivers thus far for 2010. Please be sure and sign up if you are rookie to throw your name in the hate. Sign up at the track up in the control tower room 103.
Rookie of the Year Standings

Awards Handed Out at this Event

  • won the 'Best Winning Reaction Time - 1st Round plaque presented by Raceway Park for the best winning reaction time in the 1st round. was quickest on the tree with the win light in the 1st round when with a .000 reaction time.
  • won the 'Almost Perfect Award' with a loss in the 1st round with the red light closest to .000 (Almost Perfect). 's light was 0.000 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.
  • won the CCDV 'Closest to Dial Award' by running only .000 off his dial. was awarded a plaque and free tech card for a future race from Corvette Club of Delaware Valley.
  • won the 'Ohh so Close Award' presented by Raceway Park when being edged out in the 1st round by the smallest margin of victory of .0000. That number is the MOV number on your time slip. Although suffering a loss in the 1st round by the smallest Margin of Victory, earned a plaque from Raceway Park.
  • All winners of the first round were awarded a trophy. With 42 cars making this event (combined Corvette Challenge and Pro class(es)), we sure gave out quite a few trophies or 1st Round Trophy Upgrade Program credits.

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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