Ice Wins MSA Non Wing Thriller at Sandusky

Tim Ice in the 77 Car Wins at SanduskyComing off an injury just six weeks ago at Lorain County veteran racer Tim Ice kept the pedal down and stayed out of trouble to win a wild one at Sandusky (OH) Speedway in the Midwest Supermodified Association (MSA) special Non Wing Challenge race. Finishing third in his heat race, Ice would set sail from the seventh starting position for the special 50 green flag laps feature event. Drawing several strong cars from the Oswego (NY) area, as well as several MSA regular teams, Ice would have his work cut out for him, however, he was not to be denied. By the end of the 50 lap marathon Ice would roll his bright red trademark May Motorsports Advanced Auto Parts mount into the winners circle capturing his second career MSA checkered flag in front of a thrilled and excited crowd of fans. From start to finish this 50 lap feature quite possibly could go down as the most bazaar in MSA history.

Pole sitter Jack Smith would bring the field of 21 fire breathing Big Block Monsters to the start with Gene Lee Gibson along side. When the green flag dropped Gibson immediately shot to the lead with Oswego regular Otto Sitterly on his heels. Gibson wasted little time as he started laying down some very fast lap times until lap 14 when he developed engine issues. Suddenly slowing on the front stretch and trying to get to pit road Gibson was tagged by Joe Gosek who sailed off turn one and into the grass outside the track bringing out the yellow flag that would turn red. Both cars where now eliminated from action. Randy Burch and Trent Stephens also where caught up but made some quick repairs and rejoined the field at the tail. Now in command on the restart Sitterly started putting down some amazing lap’s times of his own. At lap 38 coming through turn one and two Sitterly and the lapped car of Burch would make contact sending both spinning, bringing out the second caution of the night and ending Sitterly bid for the win sending him to the trailer. Coming back to the green for the restart it was now Shawn Gosselin, Dave Gruel, Ice, Dave Shullick Jr., and Pat Lavery rounding out the top five. Just after the restart Gosselin and Gruel would touch wheels going into turn one racing for the lead. Gosselin shot straight up into the air and flipped wildly off the track and out into the grass area outside of the racing surface. Gruel’s car came to rest in the middle of the race track and the red flag would fly immediately freezing the field. After some very extensive clean up by the Sandusky track crew the cars where re-fired and lined up. It was now Ice, Shullick Jr., Lavery, Jack Smith, and Trent Stephens whom had come from the tail, with just 12 laps to go. When the green was redisplayed Ice stood on the gas and blistered through turn one. Shullick Jr. hung right with the cagey veteran and made a challenge inside of ten laps to go, however Ice held the proffered line and maintained the top position. Before Shullick Jr. could mount another charge Stephens had disposed of both fifth and fourth moving into third. Stevens seemed to have the fast car as he moved to the outside of Shullick Jr. and the two fought wheel-to-wheel for the second position. As these two went at it Ice was able to maintain his perfect line and open up a little giving himself some breathing room. On the white flag lap Ice was in cruise control and paced to the checkers. Shullick Jr. would beat Stephens to the flag for second. Lavery and Smith would round out the top five in the MSA special event.

With Horses provided by Fast Racing Engines and still wearing the cast support for the broken wrist from Lorain Ice was very pleased with the win. “It was a wild race,” stated the many time Late Model Stock Car Champion. “We had a pretty decent car, there were some cars that where a lot faster, Gosek and that six car where really good. We just kept maintaining and try to keep the car underneath us, it just kept getting a little better and a little better. There was that one point where I tried so hard to get around those two cars in front of me, they were holding me up really bad and I just couldn’t get it. Then they got in that wreck just after that restart. I just missed that wreck, it was so close. I was going to stay right on that 50, I saw him get under the 26 car. Then he wiggled, so I backed off a little. I guess at the end, they (Shullick and Stephens) where there and I just decided to go to the bottom. If they were going to beat me they would have to go to the outside. It’s a lot like the Late Models without the wing, you just have to be careful how you get in the corners and accelerate. The wrist is doing pretty good, it’s been six weeks so it’s getting better,” finished the Champion driver.

“It was a crazy one, I don’t know how we got through it with all the wheels still on,” said runner up Shullick Jr. “We were in about three wrecks, I don’t think there are many scratches on the car, we were pretty lucky. It was a good race, the cars where really racing hard. We did not have a great car, but it changed two or three times during the race. It was tight to start, then it got loose, then it got looser, it was just really weird to drive the car. It was really our first full race on the car, and now we have something to build on. I heard Trent there once or twice; on the restart the car was good for the first five laps. After that it just kept getting looser and Ice was able to get away a little bit. I had one run on him in turns one and two one time. If I could have gotten off four better I probably could have passed him, but I was never really good off four,” finished the former MSA Champion.

Youngster Stephens was happy with third and also had some thoughts. “It was a crazy race. Between missing all the wrecks and trying to pass all those cars again, it wore me out. By the end of the race I was pretty tired. The car was really, really good, then the left front spring broke. So, we had to replace that, by the time I got back up front I didn’t have any tire left. I need to thank the crew they where awesome, they fixed the car in a pinch. We need to thank the fans, Kevin Jaycox, and all the Oswego guys, this was really cool. I tried the bottom the whole race and it was working, but when I got to first and second they were down there so I had to go high. It was kind of working; I couldn’t get through the center of the turns on the outside. Third place, coming from the tail, after starting eighth, I can’t complain too much,” finished Stephens.

22 cars were on hand for the second annual Sandusky MSA Non Wing Challenge race, as all MSA regulars received 20 show up points towards the MSA Championship which will be decided in two weeks at Lorain County (OH) Speedway. The three heat winners included Gosek, Stephens, and Brian Sobus.  Shullick Jr. set fast time with a lap of 16.044 around the track by the lake setting a new Non Wing track record. The race was slowed by just four cautions flags in which two turned red flag. MSA points leader Charlie Schultz was sixth, Bob Reis was seventh in the Stout team car No. 49, Jim Paller, Brandon Fisher, and Kody Graham rounded out the top ten. Coming down to the wire Schultz holds a lead over the 49 car, while Stephens is third and Ice fourth just three points out of third spot in MSA Championship points. It will all end in two weeks, who knows what will happen.

Next up and our last race will be at Lorain County Speedway on Sat., October 2nd.

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