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2010   *  Event 1   *  Event 2   *  Event 3   *  Event 4   *  Event 5   *  Event 6   *  Event 7   *  Event 8   *  Event 9   *  Event 10   *  Event 11 * 2010 Standings

Savarese Over Gray In Event 4 Nail Biter

By Edgar Perez

April 24, 2010 - Englishtown, NJ - It was a fine day of racing for the 4th of 11 races for the 2010 season of the East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge presented by Yank Racing Converters that leads up to the Top 16 Gambler's invitational race at the end of the season. This race is the third in the points chase. 45 racers made it out for first round of eliminations and with three Pro classes running alongside of the Corvette Challenge we saw a total of 70 race entries with several drivers entering multiple classes.

Runner Up Group Winner
Runner-up Ellis Gray (Go Flyers) Runner-up Ellis Gray Winner Ralph Savarese Winner Ralph Savarese
Photos by Edgar Perez. For over 7,000 Corvette Photos, click here.

Round 1

The first pair down the track was on the way at roughly 2:15 pm and included Rookie of the Year contender Vincent Cupolo and one of our series coordinators Dennis Kazimir. With the temperature reading a comfortable 70 degrees Cupolo dialed his C3 Corvette in at 10.12 while Kazimir would get the head start with a 13.69 dial on his C4. Kazimir gives s slight reaction time advantage to Cupolo with a .108 to .086. Kazimir could not run his dial and Cupolo would run him down at the top end slowing to 10.295 at 119.82 for the win. In our last article we talked about what it means to run dead-on so you will know what it means when I say we had two drivers do it round 1 and both took wins to advance to the next round. Paul Bogdan, also running the 11.50 index, dialed 11.50 against Artie Chin dialed 11.13. Paul was late on the tree with a .181 but you would not know this because Chin was even later with a .358. Chin was well off the dial as well and Bogdan cut it close at the top-end taking a .1703 margin of victory running dead-on with a 7 @ 110.85. Our other dead-on driver was Delaware's Frank Fiori dialed 12.80 chasing Mark Fielbs dialed 14.75. Fiori's 12.801 @ 103.32 and .081 reaction time were good for the win over Fielbs who broke out with a 14.633 @ 93.88. As usual we had some real close races and the closest of them all was a mere .0029 of a second. This race involved Ellis Gray and Al Salanitro. Gray, also running the 11.50 index, dialed 11.50 and would chase Salanitro dialed 13.68. Nitro would nail Gray to the tree with a .032 to .089. He would get to the finish line first but broke out running 13.657 while Gray broke out as well going 11.479. Gray's breakout was the lesser of the two by only .0029 and he gets the win because in a double breakout the driver that breaks out by the least gets the win. We often call that the "first or worst" rule. Doug Bereczki and Mike Bogdan were also involved in a very close finish race. Bereczki would leave first with a 14.26 dial followed by Bogdan with a 12.37 dial. Bereczki would light the green slightly better with a .089 and Bogdan was off with a .133. At the finish, Bereczki 14.369 got him to the line 0.0067 second ahead of Bogdan's 12.441.

In a match between Ken Baranski and Bruce Kopcko, Baranski lit the red light by only -.003 but it was enough to give the win to Kopcko who would run 12.944 @ 103.3 mph with a .122 light for the win. Frank Schear would suffer the same fate when he went -.009 red against Vic Gandhi who would breathe a sigh of relief as he went -.014 red himself but Schear, dialed 12.98, would do it first to his 11.60 dial and in this type of racing, the driver that goes red first, loses the match, , yet another reference to the "first or worst" rule. It was an unusual light day for reds as only two other drivers would take themselves out of competition with red lights and we have seen much more in the past. Those drivers were John Panuzzo, -.042 and Bob Trieschmann who was -.061 on the tree allowing Ralph Savarese to move on to the next round as if he needed any help doing so but nonetheless, the best drivers have a way of bringing out the worst in other drivers. The best light of round went to Russ DeLibero who went .010 green but failed to get a win when he broke out big time on his 13.48 dial going 13.399 @ 104.29 mph. It was one of the double breakout matches however and his opponent, Eric Fischer, ran under his 11.60 dial the least going 11.565 @ 114.91 for the win. Our best winning reaction time went to Louis Calicchia who went .020 green this round against Rich Shuleski who went .171 green and Louis was able to carry that tree advantage to a win ending Shuleski's day. Ron Higgins let a great .021 reaction time against Ken Tyler get away from him when he had trouble getting his C4 Corvette to run the number he dialed going 12.271 on 11.99.

Other racers making early exits this round were Tom Smith, Marc Marsico, Ralph Blauvelt, Peter S. LoPresti, Rob Petyo, John Milewski, Ray Sztabnik, Shawn Cavanagh, Wayne Hagopian and Tommy Michalkowski, pulling triple duty today running the CC, Pro 10.50 and Pro 11.50.

Round 2

Forty-five first rounders left us with 23 second rounders and we were on a ladder. Louis Calicchia's .020 in round 1 would seed him number 1 and would earn him a bye run this round. He was last on the track and ran 11.60 @ 118.52 on the free pass with .111 light. Kyle Burns from Massachusetts, who we talk to on Corvette Forum all the time, brought down his street driver to give our series a try and he survived round 1 and would face Vic Gandhi in round 2. He would leave first dialed 12.40 and would cut a .025 light followed by Gandhi dialed 11.60 with a .082 light. Burns went on for the win running 12.564 @ 104.15 bettering Gandhi’s 11.831. Bruce Kopcko would face Gary Hillen and would get the win when Hillen lit the red light going -.014. Kopcko made his pass running a dead-on 12.891 on 12.89 pass. Two other drivers went red this round giving wins to their opponents. Bill Fischer Sr, driving son Eric's Green C5 nicknamed "the Pickle" (for obvious reasons), would go -0.037 sending Ellis Gray to the next round and Peter Huff would go -0.096 red allowing Mike Campbell to advance. The senior Fischer did not mind as he went on riding the Pickle in the Trophy Marathon which he went on to win King of the Hill in. After a nearly one year hiatus the Pickle is now finally sorted out and is ready for 11.50 duty. Meanwhile the younger Fischer, Eric was driving dad's car one last time and would get a win this round when his opponent, Don Peppler Jr. would breakout on his 13.35 dial going 13.157. I am sure both drivers were surprise to see such a large breakout by Peppler. Fischer stated that he was on the brakes at the 1000' ft because he knew there was no way he was going to catch Peppler. The closest race of the round involved Doug Bereczki and Jin Russo. Bereczki was .008 on the tree to Russo's 0.024. With that light and a 14.371 on 14.31 dial Bereczki took the win by a 0.0193 margin. That .008 was the best light of the round. David Buddendorff would use a 0.036 light to defeat Jerry Muniz who was late to launch with a 0.257 reaction time. Ralph Savarese would cut a .039 light and run 11.018 on 10.95 dial to take the win over Michael Archibald. We had two Cupolo's left this round and two left after this round with brother Vincent and Anthony taking wins over Paul Bogdan and Joe Rizzo respectively.

2010 Event 4 Ladder

Round 3

Burns would face Kopcko this round and would be the first pair out. Kopcko dialed 12.88 is out first with a .117 light but Burns followed with a 12.36 dial and best of round .032 reaction time. Kopcko ran .02 under his dial trying to stay ahead while Burns took the win with a 12.404 @ 110.65. Vincent Cupolo would face Eric Fischer next. Cupolo, easily the quickest car in the round with a 10.09 dial would watch Fischer leave on his 11.53 dial. The lights were near identical with Fischer slightly better .053 to .058 so it would be the better dialer to get the win. That would be Cupolo with a 10.101 @ 122.52. Ellis Gray would eliminate fellow CCDV club member Mike Campbell next with an 11.494 on 11.45 dial by a 0.0613 margin. Savarese would eliminate the other Cupolo, Anthony, with a 10.98 on 10.93 dial with a .051 reaction time and a 0.0558 margin of victory. And the closest match of the round was yet to come. Bereczki would face Tyler next. Bereczki leaves first with a 14.2 dial and .055 light. Tyler dialed 12.45 would leave next with a .086 light. Tyler's 12.498 was closer to the dial and was enough to allow him to cross the finish line just 0.0025 of a second ahead of Bereczki to advance to the next round.

Round 4 - Quarter-Final

Six driers left for our quarter final round. Burns would face Tyler first. The drivers are dialed very close. Tyler, 12.45, would leave first and Burns, 12.36 would be next. Burns has been winning the tree all day this time was no different. He took a .046 to .062. Even running dead-on did not help Tyler overcome the tree disadvantage. Tyler was 12.451 on the 12.45 dial but Burns was 12.374 on the 12.36 and it was enough for him to take the win by 0.0036. This was the closest pair of the round. Next up were Ellis Gray and Vincent Cupolo. Gray nails the tree with a .028 and Cupolo was late with a .143 light. Then Ellis proceeds to lay a dead-on pass going 11.467 on 11.46 dial easily eliminating Cupolo to move on to the final as he has a bye in the semi-final. The next pair, the pride of Mahopac, as both drivers are from Mahopac, NY. Savarese and Calicchia would face off. Calicchia dial 11.55 and leaves green with .093. Savarese dials 10.96 and leaves with a round-best .016 reaction time. Savarese crosses the finish line with a 10.971 while Calicchia breakout 11.508 allowing Savarese to move on.

Round 5 - Semi-Final

Savarese would face Burns while Gray gets the bye to the final. Burns dials 12.32 and Savarese drops it a little to 10.94. Burns leaves green but not the better green of the pair. Savarese has the advantage, .055 to .071. Burns crossed the finish-line first with a 12.314 but does not get the win light. He broke out and Savarese took the win. His breakout was by .006 and he took the stripe by .012 so there was a little room there for the win but very difficult to judge such a small margin. Great race from two great drivers. Ellis Gray makes the bye run and take a tree hit only. I guess he could not go any further because he knocked it done (figuratively) with a .002. This was the best light of the entire eliminations of any driver.

Round 6 - Final

This is Savarese's 26th final round appearance in the Corvette Challenge. He record is 19-6 coming into the round. The man knows how to win. Gray is in his 7th final. He comes in with a 2-4 record in the final. Gray also know how to win as it is not easy to get to this many finals in this series. The dials are 11.42 for Gray and 10.95 for Savarese. Gray leaves first with a .041, not as good as his .002 the round before but still a good light. Savarese, was better, much better, .004. Gray is in trouble at the tree. The tree was too much for Gray to recover from as his 11.464 @ 118.45 would not be enough and Savarese would take the win with an 11.009 @ 118.59. The margin was close at 0.0222. The win bring Savarese’s finals record to 20-6 and Gray's to 2-5. Oddly these two had never met in the final until today. Congratulations to both finalists and all the participants.

Corvette Challenge Points Update


2010 Corvette Challenge Standings
Corvette drivers page with more driver information

Rookie of the Year Update

We have a change in the lead for Rookie of the Year for 2010. Vincent Cupolo moves to the lead after scoring 4 points today. He now holds a 1-point lead over Russ DeLibero with a total of 9 for the season. DeLibero, who exited round 1, has a total of 8 for the season. Rob Petyo and Peter Huff follow each with 5 points. Marc Marsico rounds out the top 5 with 4 total for the season. We still have 7 points races for the season and you can still throw your hat into the chase. We normally go 6 rounds per race so that means 42 opportunities to score.
Rookie of the Year Standings

Gear Jammer Award Update

Ken Tyler continues his great start to the season and continues to hold the lead in the Gear Jammer's Award. His four points today give him a total of 11 for the season. The 11 puts him 4 in front of Frank Fiori who held his second position with 2 points today. Three-time Gear Jammer winner, Don Peppler Jr. is still at close range with 6 for the season in third place. Tad Archambault and Peter Huff round out the Top 5 with 5 points each. Same as the rookie chase, there is a lot of time left in the season to throw your name into the hat.
Gear Jammer Standings.

Awards Handed Out at this Event

  • Louis Calicchia won the 'Best Winning Reaction Time - 1st Round plaque presented by Raceway Park for the best winning reaction time in the 1st round. Louis Calicchia was quickest on the tree with the win light in the 1st round when with a .020 reaction time.
  • Ken Baranski won the 'Almost Perfect Award' with a loss in the 1st round with the red light closest to .000 (Almost Perfect). Ken Baranski's light was -0.003 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.
  • Frank Fiori won the CCDV 'Closest to Dial Award' by running only .001 off his dial. Frank Fiori was awarded a plaque and free tech card for a future race from Corvette Club of Delaware Valley.
  • Al Salanitro 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 .0290. That number is the MOV number on your time slip. Although suffering a loss in the 1st round by the smallest Margin of Victory, Al Salanitro earned a plaque from Raceway Park.
  • All winners of the first round were awarded a trophy. With 70 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 now go into a 42 day hiatus before our fifth race (4th for points) of season. We get the entire month of May off and return to the track on June 5, 2010. The subsequent race will also have a month long break as we then race on July 10, 2010. Please keep an eye out on our home page, www.corvettechallenge.info and the , the Drag Racing section of The Corvette Forum and your email for news, updates and polls.

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 our sponsors;

Corvette Challenge - East Coast Supercharging | Yank Racing Converters | Corvette Club of Delaware Valley - CCDV | Simple Man | QTP - Quick Time Performance | CFM Racing | CorvetteGuys.com | Pat's Installation Pro Torque | Perez Web Design

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  • Congratulate the Corvette Challenge drivers on www.corvetteforum.com. This link is for all four class event winners.





 
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