Bad Wather Leads to Saturday Double-Header

May Motorsports checking in with a racing weekend update. This past weekend was not a race for points, but an opportunity to race with the International Supermodified Association (ISMA). The Friday night 40 Lap race was canceled due to weather and rescheduled for Saturday morning @ 10:30 a.m. There were 33 cars competing for a starting spot in this race of which 27 made the field. The 100 Lap race took place as scheduled on that same day in the evening with 28 cars taking the green flag. Charlie Schultz in the May Motorsports #7 car was 2nd fastest qualifier for both racing events.

Quick top line summary:
40 Lap Event: #7 Charlie Schultz placed 3rd and #77 Tim Ice placed #5th (Podium finish picture enclosed and Charlie 1st one on the left in the black suit holding the water bottle.)
100 Lap Event: #7 Charlie Schultz DNF (Broke Rear End Lap 33) and #77 Tim Ice placed 5th.

The following is the racing recap for both of these events.

Dave Shullick Jr. Takes Friday Fast Forty On Saturday Morning

Winners Circle - Charlie Schultz takes 3rdSandusky, OH – Despite the fact that it was 10:30 Saturday morning at Sandusky Speedway,  Dave Shullick Jr. proved he was wide-awake and ready to go racing. Shullick, starting fourth on the grid, moved by race leader Rob Summers on a lap 5 restart and proverbially never looked back. The 40-lap Hy-Miler ISMA preliminary had been rained out on Friday night and was begun at 10:30 am. It was the fifth different winner and team at the fifth different racetrack to date this ISMA season. Shullick, who exited the last race with mechanical ills, was more than pleased with Booth-61 ride.

“It was a good run, said Shullick Jr. “I wasn’t holding too much back just because I didn’t know where the guys were behind me. I got some hand signals up there in turn one on the cautions and they indicted I had a good distance on them. But, I didn’t really want to let up too much. I feel good about the run. There are a few things we have to work on. The car was tight and I dialed some brake around. I was able to take some push out. I got a good restart on Robbie there and after that I think I found it and the car was real good to the finish. I think if we were clear of traffic, Robbie would have been tough.

“Tonight is a different race. Obviously it’s a long race and it’s at night.  We didn’t really get loose in the 40-lapper so I think we have a pretty good setup for tonight. The track is typically looser during the day. We’ve raced a few Cavalcades during the day here. I think we’ll be good tonight. I like the Hy-Miler. You don’t have to go all out but you go at a pretty good clip. We only have to make a few minor adjustments for tonight.”

Rob Summers took the Holbrook 35 to a second although traffic had prevented him from getting too close at the end. He directed his appreciation to his team, first and foremost, “I’d like to thank Jeff Holbrook and the whole JWJ team – Brian Allegresso, Doc, Mike – everybody just did a heck of a job. I think we’ll be all right in the 100-lapper. If I keep it in one piece I should be okay. We’ll just have to make a few changes for the night race.  I’d like to thank the fans for coming out this morning after last night’s monsoons!”

Charlie Schultz in the 7 CarOhio hotshoe Charlie Schultz was on Summers’ bumper to the end and indicated he was pleased with his car as he looked toward the night’s Hy-Miler.  “I think the car was pretty good.  I think we had more of a long race setup under it for today just to try it. The car came in about half way through the race and the fuel load started coming off the car. It was just a little on the too tight side.  The guys who started up front have a little advantage but coming from back farther back, I think we did pretty good. Tim ended up fifth and me third. I’m pretty happy. The track wasn’t too bad. It actually picked up a lot of grip, especially during the feature. The more we ran, the more rubber was laid down. Should be pretty good show tonight if the rain holds out.”

It took a couple extra laps to get the feature started as Danny Lane flew the yellow for a little spin off turn four and then Lou Cicconi drove the Stout 49 off and on the track to bring out the flag quickly after lap 1.

Summers continued his lead until Kyle Edwards slowed and caused a flag on lap 5. Several cars pitted here including Mike Ordway, Randy Burch, Bob Magner and Ryan Klingelhofer. Edwards and Burch remained pit side when the green fell.

Shullick Jr. wasted no time in making his move around Summers which started in turn one and finished up in turn 4. Shullick was the leader as the 6th lap was complete.

A long green spell ensued and Shoe II cruised out front a formidable pack of Summers, Justin Belfiore, Mike Lichty, Charlie Schultz, Mark Sammut, Gene Gibson, Bob Dawson and Tim Ice. Dropping by the wayside during the racing interval were Cicconi, Jack Smith, Brandon Bellinger, Mike Ordway (with an errant plug wire) and Johnny Benson Jr.

As Shullick was acquiring a lap-car cushion, things behind were fast and furious between Summers, Belfiore, Lichty, Schultz, Sammut, Ice, Gibson, Dawson and Wood.

Yellow for the 8 of Dave Shullick Sr., flew on lap 23 when the car slid into the inner guardrail out back landing in a massive puddle dampening Shoe’s chance at restarting.

After his dad was towed from the watery mess, Shullick Jr. continued on out front with at least one lap car in between a very racy bunch.

With ten laps to go, Shullick and Summers had separated themselves from that pack of Belfiore, Schultz, Lichty, Ice, Dawson, Sammut and Wood.

On lap 33, third place runner Belfiore was apparently fading as Schultz and Lichty and then Ice came by the slowing 98. Justin, coming off a great race at Airborne Speedway, said after the Fast 40, I had a good car. I figured we’d finish in the top 3. Then I developed a fuel problem…started running out around lap 30. We were lucky to make it to the finish.”

The racing continued with no flags, as Justin drifted backwards but was able to maintain speed. As the checkered flew, Shullick Jr. had a healthy lead over Summers, Schultz, Lichty and Ice.

Lichty, the current ISMA point leader, remarked afterwards on his fourth place, “We’ll take it I guess. We never have speed here during the day at Sandusky. That’s one of our biggest flaws when we come to this racetrack especially when we have 100 degrees during the day. We are usually four or five tenths off. We started 6th and finished 4th. We probably had a fifth place car but Ordway and Belfiore dropped out. We’ll take it. The big race – the Hy-Miler is tonight and this car seems to shine at night.”

Ice indicated that he had a time figuring out the track. “The race track is so different on the ends and I got really loose there in the groove. Finally Dawson got by me. I moved up and got to the outside and I got a better grip. I got by Gene too and I kind of run them down a little bit but you had to search around. The track was not very good. I think the weather and the time of day played a role. There was a little bit of water coming out. It’s sure to get better now if we don’t get any more rain. We’re satisfied with fifth for now. We just have to make sure we don’t do that in the next feature.

Canadian Mark Sammut Claims First Career Hy-Miler Win

Tim Ice in the 77 CarSandusky, OH – London, Ontario’s Mark Sammut finally won his first and second winged ISMA features in 2009 after more than a decade of trying. He finished runner-up in ISMA points at year’s end. But, 2010 had not gone as well as the 78 team would have liked. In the first five races of the ISMA season, their best finish had been a sixth, that is until Saturday night’s 33rd annual Hy-Miler Nationals at Sandusky Speedway.  Sammut took the early lead, lost it to fellow Canadian Mike Lichty and then quietly stayed with the 84 until he was ready to reclaim the point. On lap 77 Sammut pulled alongside Lichty. The duo ran side by side until turn four when Sammut plucked the Hy-Miler prize. It was Sammut’s race to lose now, and for the final 22 laps he held on for the biggest win of his supermodified career.  He also became only the second Canadian to win the prestigious Hy-Miler race;  the first being Dave McKnight in 2001. Sammut recapped his road to victory.

“This is something. We had a really bad car all weekend long. We kept messing with it and messing with it. Finally before time trials today we thought it was coming around so we just pushed it a bit in that direction. We had a decent run in time trials. We had a decent run in the heat. I knew then that if we could stick with it we’d have a good car at the end of 100 laps. And we did. It was great.

“I had a touch more when Mike went by me. I knew I couldn’t go that pace and have anything left at the end so I just kind of let him go. I was just hoping I’d get some breaks and get back to him. If we didn’t, there was nothing I could do about it. As it turned out it worked out perfect. We were right where we wanted to be at the end of the race!

How did this win rank in his long career that has included numerous TQ midget wins and championships over the years?

“I was beginning to wonder if we were ever going to win another race, let alone a Classic. To put my name on the same list as some of the guys that have won this race, whether Canadian or American, like the Shoe, Doug Heveron - the list goes on and on - is unbelievable. To be put in the same category with all those guys is amazing.

“I have to especially thank my family. They put up with this all summer long – working on the racecar, going to the races almost every weekend. And then there are my sponsors. They have been with us for what seems to be forever. Curry Steel Erecting, he’s my biggest one and has been for years and years. Wells Foundry and Mobile Striping and Sweeping – they’ve all put us here and if it wasn’t for those three guys we wouldn’t be doing this at all. I have to thank them.”

The race concluded with a series of strange events, some of which helped Vernon, CT driver Rob Summers get to his second runner-up spot in the two races run on Saturday. With six laps to go, Summers was fifth, but by the checkered he was second as several cars ahead of him had or were running out of fuel.

Summers acknowledged the fact in victory lane. “It was quite a race. I was really surprised to finish where we did. We were fighting a hanging throttle for most of the race. The throttle was giving me a real headache. The car was set up good. Eric Lewis helped us out today. He was a real big help. Brian Allegresso, Doc, Caswell, Russ Wood, JWJ, Jeff Holbrook – all those guys. Two seconds - it was a great weekend!”

Third place finisher Jeff Locke acquired the podium spot on the last lap when Mike Lichty’s 84 began to fade gasping for fuel. Locke, in only his second year of competition in the big block supers was very happy.

“What a great race. I’m glad the fans stuck around. This is an awesome place to come to. There’s a lot of tradition and it’s a real honor to be in the top three on the podium here tonight. I have to thank Richard Witkum. He had to stay home this week and I know he’s wishing he were here right now. But, we did it. I’d like to thank my father obviously. I wouldn’t be here without him. He believed in me when not a lot of people did. So that’s the reason I’m here. The car is starting to run better. R&R Competition Engines builds awesome motors with awesome horsepower. This is unbelievable. I love it.”

To say that there was a full day of racing at Sandusky Saturday would be an understatement. Starting with the rained out 40-lapper bright and early at 10:30 am and ending with the last checkered 12 hours later, there was something for everyone.

Mark Sammut sat outside of Ben Seitz as the field lined up to start the 33rd running of the Hy-Miler Nationals. The sky, unfortunately, was darkening and once again threats of rain played a key role in the events unfolding. Sammut wasted no time in taking the initial lead and Mike Lichty soon tucked in behind.

Jim Paller brought out the first of too many yellows on lap 9 and joined Michael Barnes and Craig Rayvals, already in the pits. Jim would come back but not for long.

Mike Lichty tried to battle by Sammut on the restart to no avail but he’d get another chance 3 laps later when the 19 of Trent Stephens brought out the second flag.

Dave Shullick Jr., the day’s fastest man, moved into third on this restart but the two Canadians out front pulled away to their own battle.  Behind Shullick a torrid race was developing between Ben Seitz, Russ Wood, Johnny Benson Jr. and Charlie Schultz.

Lap 26 saw a yellow for Charlie Schultz, who had to be considered a strong contender for the win. Mike Ordway Sr. also pitted here having problems with the Miller 1. He returned at the tail.

Leader Lichty took off trailed by Sammut, Shullick Jr., Seitz, Benson, Wood, Randy Burch and Lou Cicconi and the race was able to maintain a fast flow until two consecutive yellows flew on lap 33 which put Schultz, Dave Shullick Sr. and Mike Ordway Sr. all out of the race due to mechanical ills.

On the restart of lap 33, Shullick Jr. dove past Sammut and headed for leader Lichty, but by lap 40, Lichty was able to pull away a bit until on lap 41 when Jon Henes hit the wall in four sending fluid onto the track. With 40 completed laps, refueling took place. Concern was now developing as to what the weather was going to do. The sky was beginning to light up in the distance. The hot, humid day was predictably going to produce more rain. When, was the question. Eleven more laps would complete the race according to rules. The decisions here, as to how much fuel to load, may have made critical to the race’s finishing order.

The green flag produced some scurrying for position behind Lichty and Shullick as Sammut had Randy Burch, who had started 18th, hot on his tail. Russ Wood looked to be playing the Hy-Miler game to his liking as he now moved into fifth around Seitz, Benson and Rob Summers. Cicconi and Tim Ice were right behind this trio.

Lichty and Shullick crossed the line at the halfway mark several car lengths head of the seven-car train behind them. The race was over if the rain came now. But it held off.

On lap 60, the 08 of Kyle Edwards slowed and was trying to dive into the pits just as the leaders approached creating one scary moment. But everyone got by cleanly and Edwards was pushed in.

On the restart, it was Lichty, Shullick Jr., Sammut, Burch, Wood, Seitz, Benson, Summers, Ice, Cicconi and Locke. Moments later, a huge gasp went up from the crowd as the 61 of Shullick Jr. slowed and headed into the pits off turn 4, out of contention.  The lower shaft in the rear end had broken, costing Shoe II a possible double victory. Car owner Clyde Booth said later, “We should have changed that after the wreck at Toledo and we didn’t. You change everything you think you should but just missed it. But, that happens.”

Now an onslaught of yellows flew fast and furious as position mattered on every lap as the skies lit up. On lap 63, fifth and sixth place runners Ben Seitz and Johnny Benson collided, sending Seitz into the inner rail, a massive puddle and out of the race on the flatbed. Benson was able to pit and re-enter.

Another collision occurred on the restart when the 49 of Cicconi and 37 of Locke brushed in 2. Both restarted but Randy Burch’s pass of Mark Sammut for second was negated in the process.

Finally, after three attempts, the next restart stuck and Lichty led Sammut and now Burch to the green. On lap 64 Johnny Benson called it a night and pitted.

Another long green streak saw Lichty and Sammut pull away again while Burch held off Wood, Summers and Ice. Not many cars had survived this long.

All eyes were on the front pair now as lap after lap Sammut tried to get by Lichty and finally on lap 77, Mark made the pass off turn four to become the last leader the 100-lapper would see. He immediately put his foot into it putting a lap car between his 78 and Lichty’s 84.

On lap 96, it appeared evident that Sammut was headed for his first Hy-Miler win. Randy Burch, in a strong run, nailed Lichty for second when all hell broke loose. First, Russ Wood’s 29 in fourth, slowed and pitted. He was followed by Burch and Danny Lane, who also moved in for a gulp of fuel.

By lap 97, it was Sammut, Lichty, Summers, Locke and Ice out front by virtue of some low fuel cells. But someone else up front was getting down to fumes – Lichty. He tried to hold on but couldn’t as first Summers and then Locke moved in for the kill. Lichty settled for fourth as Ice claimed fifth. During the victory lane ceremonies, raindrops began to fall, too late for some, but not enough to dampen Mark Sammut’s parade!

Fourth place finisher Mike Lichty was the first to admit he was praying for the drops to fall earlier.

“ First off, hats off to Sammut. That’s awesome for him to win. We were so good right from the get-go to probably lap 60 right when Sammut started closing in and got by us. Caution after caution after caution. I don’t know what happened to the tire but right after the last restart we just got so loose and we junked the tire. There is nothing left of the right rear. Man, I wanted to win this one so bad. And, we had the car for it. We ran out of fuel coming down for the line and Jeff Locke got us for third there. I don’t know. We’ll just try it again next year. I was thinking after half way, seeing the lightning and saying man, rain, rain. The bugs were so bad I lost tearoffs. I couldn’t see. It was a complete disaster for us. But, we’ll take it. A fourth this morning and a fourth tonight. There was something definitely weird with the track. Usually we never get loose here. When I got by Sammut at the beginning I noticed he set the car up tight. It definitely paid off for him. We’ll have to go back to the drawing board and see what we have heading for Delaware.”

Tim Ice had a bittersweet description of his fifth place, which he felt could have been a fourth.

“I thought I was pretty decent but on that last restart I got jumped before the green and then he (37) ran into my left front wheel on the way by. No one seemed to see that. It was on the rim the last lap. I lost a spot on that. I was lucky to finish. I guess you take your chances. Maybe I’ll have to do that someday. Earlier in the race when somebody jumped, they put him to the tail. That’s where the 37 should have gone.

“I still don’t think the track conditions were very good this weekend. This just isn’t what we used to have here normally. I think all and all it was a pretty good race. There was a lot of hard racing. It was hard to pass so you saw a few get together out there. I don’t think anything was deliberate, just hard racing. My thing was I got the nose wing bent up early and I got a little tight. I was still able to get in the top five and pull away from that bunch.”

Randy Burch, Russ Wood and Bob Magner were the last cars in the lead lap in sixth through 8th. Dave Duggan and Lou Cicconi Jr. rounded out the top ten, 1 lap down.

SUMMARY Saturday, July 24, 2010, Sandusky Hy-Miler

Fast Time: Dave Shullick Jr. 14. 493.

33rd Hy-Miler Nationals. 1. Mark Sammut (78), 2. Rob Summers (35), 3. Jeff Locke (37), 4. Mike Lichty (84), 5. Tim Ice (77), 6. Randy Burch (52), 7. Russ Wood (29), 8. Bob Magner (41), 9. Dave Duggan (51), 10. Lou Cicconi (49), 11. Danny Lane (97), 12. Johnny Benson Jr. (74), 13. Ben Seitz (17), 14. Kyle Edwards (08), 15. Dave Shullick Jr. (61), 16. Bobby Haynes Jr. (44), 17. Gene Lee Gibson (0), 18. Trent Stephens (19), 19. Jon Henes (36), 20. Jack Smith (09), 21. Dave Shullick Sr. (8), 22. Charlie Schultz (7), 23. Mike Ordway (1), 24. Jim Paller (64), 25. Craig Rayvals (04), 26. Brandon Bellinger (02), 27. Michael Barnes (70)

Next up … back to points racing this upcoming Saturday at Lorain County Speedway.

Follow Charlie and Tim of May Motorsports throughout the 2010 season!