SCORES EMOTIONAL ATLANTIC CITY WIN
As Joey Payne of Fairlawn ,
N.J. , circled the Boardwalk Hall following a victory in Saturday night’s
“Gambler’s Classic” presented by Pepsi M&R Midget (Three Quarter Midget and
600cc Micro-Sprint) main, his joy was never more evident. Payne’s win was
worth over $6,000. However, this one was not about the money.
Payne bested fellow Supermodified standout Lou Cicconi of
Aston Pa. , by less than a car-length in the 40-lap main. Payne became the
first driver to win two headline events since Len Sammons brought racing
back to Boardwalk Hall following an absence of two decades in 2003.
And he did it by beating his best friend.
“It was just awesome,” said an elated Payne, who led the
entire distance (Cicconi surged ahead during a pair of mid-race restarts
only to have his bids negated by cautions). “I’d rather race with Lou than
anyone else in the field. We grew up together.”
Payne, a winner of a ‘Roaring 20s’ qualifier on Friday night,
started from the pole and fought off the challenges of Canadian Stewart
Friesen before Cicconi, who started 13th, took over second place for good on
Cicconi spent the remaining 17 circuits trying to work by Payne. On the
final lap, he darted to the inside, falling just feet shy of the win.
Asphalt Modified star John Blewett III of Howell, N.J., drove
from 16th starting position (as the B-Main winner) to place third, ahead of
Canadian Mike Lichty and 360 OTC World of Outlaws Late Model Series star
Rick Eckert of York, Pa., both of whom rebounded from spins to earn top
Ryan Smith of Kunkletown, Pa., drove from sixth starting
position to win the 25-lap Slingshot main. Smith earned $1,500 for his
second straight “Gambler’s Classic” triumph. He took the lead on lap four
and was never headed. Matt Carman of Flemington, N.J., was second, ahead of
Jim Housworth of Riegelsville, Pa, Scott Goodrich of Middletown, N.Y., Kyle
Rohner of Bushkill Falls, Pa.
Mooresville, N.C.’s Bob Baker topped the 25-lap Sr. Champ
Kart main. After passing fifth, Baker took the lead on lap 11 and pocketed
A large crowd jammed Boardwalk Hall for the event, run in conjunction with
the Motorsports 2007 Show presented by VP Racing Fuels at the Atlantic City
(N.J.) Convention Center. The show continues through until 5 p.m. on Sunday.
CLASSIC” RACE SUMMARY
M&R MIDGET FEATURE FINISH: JOEY PAYNE, Lou Cicconi Jr., John Blewett
III, Mike Lichty,
Rick Eckert, Rob Vivona, Danny Shirey, Mike Tidaback, Stevie Smith, Scotty
Smith, Stewart Friesen, Mike Iles, Matt Janisch, Marc Rogers, Tim Adams,
Curtis Friesen, Jeff Heotzler Sr., Bill Unglert, Ted Christopher, Matt
Seavey, Heath Hehnly, Bubba Broderick, Bob Watkins Jr., Cody Darrah, Jeff
HeotzlerJr., Mike Osite.
SLINGSHOT FEATURE FINISH: RYAN SMITH, Matt Carman, Jim Housworth,
Scott Goodrich, Kyle Rohner, Ronnie Smykla, Marc Daniels, Jamie Yannone,
Scott Ferrier, Rich Kuiken Jr., Nick Pecko, Ben Whitaker, Kyle Hieber, Jesse
Hartman, T.J. Etchison, David McCullough, Bill Van Inwegen Jr., Paul Lotier
Jr., Nick Wean, Ray Woodall Jr., Tiffany Wambold, Gary Hieber, Michael
Butler, Steve Whary, Bill Weaver.
SR. CHAMP KART FEATURE FINISH: BOB BAKER, Brett Stratford, Nick
Herriven, Chris Lamb, Timmy Solomito, Larry Stolzenberg, Rudy Pinkham, Greg
Robinson II, John Beatty, Chris Kennedy, Coby Cressinger, Stephen Moran,
Shawn Solomito, Alan Purser, Barry Hausman Jr., Eddie Larsen, Chris Daley,
Steve Hricko, Kyle Harvell, Tammy Smith, Andrew Swisher, David Pantanella,
Kevin Eyres, Vinny Delaney, Eric Lewis.
January 13, 2007