Behind the Wheel
Kings Without Wings
CICCONI RETURNS TO A.C. BOARDWALK HALL VICTORY LANE; KYLE LICK IS SURPRISE 600 MICRO FEATURE VICTOR; SLINGSHOT AND CHAMP KART FIELDS SET FOR NAPA AUTO PARTS FINALE SATURDAY
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ February 2, 2013 . . . Lou Cicconi, Jr., Lester, Pa., rebounded after suffering a blown engine in his originally assigned car, climbed behind the wheel of a Three Quarter midget owned by BJ MacDonald that he had previously driven to two wins inside Boardwalk Hall and picked up the win in the 30-lap NAPA Auto Parts Indoor Race Weekend headliner Friday night. Kyle Lick of Catasauqua, Pa., utilized patience, avoided pitfalls that claimed several leaders over the last five laps of the 20-lap 600 Micro feature, and dirt tracked his way to the biggest win of his career. Cicconi made his bid for the lead against fellow front row starter Ted Christopher with a daring outside pass following a mid-race restart, then held off a late race charge by first time Indoor TQ starter Jimmy Blewett to preserve the win. “This was a great win,” said Cicconi. “With the blown engine this morning, the win helps pay for it. It’s good to be back in this car, it’s like an old pair of shoes. They still smell good when you put them back on,” Cicconi said. Runnerup Blewett moved from the fifth row at the start to finish a solid second. “I have to thank the fans for coming out tonight,” said Blewett. “This win is for my grandfather. He bought the car for me, and is recovering from open heart surgery. This should cheer him up,” Blewett said. Ryan Smith, Christopher, and Erick Rudolph rounded out the top five. Rudolph survived a mid-race brush with the wall to rebound for a top five placing. Ryan Preece, Anthony Sesely, Ryan Tidman, Tim Buckwalter and Paul Lotier completed the top ten in the TQ Midget feature. “These are dirt cars but there are only five or six of us who actually ran on them on dirt last year,” said 600 Micro feature winner Lick. Needless to say he was driving one of them. Matt Janisch took the lead from his pole position at the start of the 20-lap 600 Micro feature with Kyle Hieber challenging initially. By lap eight, Lou Cicconi Jr. and Erick Rudolph passed Hieber to move in on Janisch. As the laps unreeled, Janisch kept the lead despite a driving car that seemed to be developing a loose condition. The first key moment of this race came on lap 14 when Rudolph, who had moved by Cicconi for second and was challenging Janisch for the lead, went around in a spin. Then, on the restart from this mishap, Janisch and Cicconi collided in front of the field. Elevated to the front of the pack by these turns of events was Rob Vivona but his stay in front was a short one; he crashed on the next lap. This turn of events elevated the unlikely duo of Brandon Azzallina and Kyle Lick, who had started the race from the seventh row, to the front row for a four lap sprint finish. Lick grabbed the lead, but Erick Rudolph was on his tail. Lick held off Rudolph to score the biggest win of his career.
Rudolph blistered TQ time trials with a time of 8.312 seconds, a full two tenths of a second quicker than his nearest rivals. Glen Reen (8.518), Anthony Sesely (8.523), Ted Christopher (8.525) and Ryan Preece (8.567) comprised the balance of the top five time trialers. Seventy-two entries took time.
Rudolph also was quickest in the 600 Micro timed lap sessions with an 8.928 circuit. Lou Cicconi (9.007), Rob Vivona (9.047); Jason Ormsby (9.101) and Pat Bealer (9.174) rounded out the top five qualifiers.
Among the fifty-six Champ Karts entered, Justin Bonsignore raced his way to a 9.326 lap, best of the pack. Chris Daley (9.475), Shawn Solomoto (9.561), Zach Smith (9.591) and Mike Perry (9.619) wrapped up the fast five.
Gary Hieber ran a 9.917 lap in the Slingshot class to set quick time. Brett Bieber (10.332), Mike Butler (10.350), Jesse Hartman (10.362) and Kurt Bettler (10.388) completed the top five from among thirty-eight entries.
The main event of the NAPA Auto Parts weekend is Saturday, Feb. 2 with the TQ Midgets racing for 40 laps in the Gamblers Classic, the most prestigious Indoor race of the season. The 600cc Micros compete in their second feature of the weekend, joined by Slingshots and Champ Karts for a four-division feature. Action starts at 7:00 p.m. A one hour Fan Fest, during which time ticket holders will be invited to trackside to meet and greet the drivers who will be competing in the Saturday night racing action, will be held. At the end of the Saturday night action, Len Sammons Motorsports Productions will crown its Fatheadz Eyewear Indoor Season champions in TQ Midget and Champ Kart classes. The Series incorporates earlier indoor events at Baltimore, Md., and Providence, R.I. with results of the Boardwalk Hall races.
NAPA AUTO PARTS TQ Midget Feature (30 Laps): 1. Lou Ciconi Jr.; 2. Jimmy Blewett; 3. Ryan Smith; 4. Ted Christopher; 5. Erick Rudolph; 6. Ryan Preece; 7. Anthony Sesely; 8. Ryan Tidman; 9. Tim Buckwalter; 10. Paul Lotier; 11. Mike Iles; 12. Billy Pauch; 13. Mike Lichty; 14. Matt Janisch; 15. Marc Rogers; 16. Glen Reen; 17. Rowan Pennink; 18. Joe Lord; 19. Shawn Nye; 20. Carl Medeiros Jr.; 21. Chad Jones; 22. Zach Bealer; 23. Tim Proctor; 24. Andrew Nye.
TQ Midget Heat Winners: Tim Buckwalter, Rowan Pennink, Ryan Smith, Jimmy Blewett.TQ Midget Match Race Winner: Ted Christopher.
600 Micro Feature (20 Laps): 1. Kyle Lick; 2. Erick Rudolph; 3. Brandon Azzalina; 4. Luke Thomas; 5. Mark Yoder; 6. Jimmy Carpenter; 7. Jack Conover; 8. Tyler Walton; 9. Matt Janisch; 10. Ken Andreas; 11. Jonathan Cortright; 12. Kyle Hieber; 13. Pat Bealer; 14. Rob Vivona; 15. Lou Ciconi Jt.; 16. Jason Ormsby; 17. Phil Durham; 18. Steve Walters; 19. Stephen Kemery; 20. James Morris.600 Micro Non-Qualifiers: Justin Moensch, Jerry Mack, Greg Smith, Steven Bracall, Shelby Harper, Jerry Schott, Matt Seavey, Mike Fillbrunn, Sierra Weaver, Tim Ilug, Louie Horvath, Stephen West, Jimmy Weiss.
Champ Kart Top 16 Qualifiers (Transferred To Saturday A Main): 1. Justin Bonsignore; 2. Chris Daley; 3. Shawn Solomito; 4. Zach Smith; 5. Mike Perry; 6. DJ Shaw; 7. Anthony Colando; 8. James Folds; 9. Ron Midford; 10. Todd Crenshaw; 11. Kevin Elliott; 12. Brandon Rusczek; 13. Cody Sieber; 14. Gavin Soraghan; 15. Missy Ford; 16. James Hayden.
First Champ Kart Heat (Top 3 To Saturday A Main): 1. Danny Bouc; 2. Cody Slattery; 3. Douglas Stearly.Second Champ Kart Heat (Top 3 to Saturday A Main): 1. Glen Meisenhelder; 2. Tim Sullivan; 3. Joey Milza.
Slingshot Top 12 Qualifiers (Transferred To Saturday A Main): 1. Gary Hieber; 2. Brett Bieber; 3. Mike Butler; 4. Jesse Hartman; 5. Kurt Bettler; 6. Rejean Plante; 7. Robert Hocker; 8. Ben Whitaker; 9. Jimmy Spellmon; 10. Mark Sensenig; 11. Eddie Strada; 12. Troy Langendoerfer.
First Slingshot Heat (Top 4 To Saturday A Main): 1. Cody Kline; 2. Anthony Perrego; 3. Steve Yankowski; 4. Frank Yankowski.Second Slingshot Heat (Top 4 To Saturday A Main): 1. Simon Egan; 2. Vern McLaughlin; 3. Brandon Azzalina; 4. Danny Spellmon.
Race results story created by Steve Barrick
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