CICCONI CLAIMS SECOND CAREER GAMBLER’S CLASSIC FEATURE EVENT
Lou Cicconi Jr. joined some elite company by winning Saturday night’s
Gambler’s Classic 40-lap TQ-Midget feature at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic
The Aston, Pa., veteran became only the second driver in the eight
year history of the race to have won the Gambler’s Classic twice. Cicconi,
who collected $5000 for the 40-lap victory, won the event in 2006. Joey
Payne is the only other driver to have won twice (2004 and 2007).
“It’s all because of the crew,” Cicconi said. “They work hard in
giving me a great car. I love racing in this event, and I’m very proud that
I won it with Tony Stewart here.”
Stewart made an unannounced visit to Boardwalk Hall to watch both
nights of racing action.
Cicconi defeated Mike Stefanik of Coventry, R.I., while Stewart
Friesen of Niagra-on-the-Lakes, Ontario, was third, Ryan Smith of
Kunkletown, Pa. was fourth and Mike Lichty of Innerkip, Ontario, was fifth.
It appeared early in the main event as if Mike Tidaback had the
upper hand over the field. Tidaback jumped into the lead over Friesen at the
start of the race and led until he was involved in a multicar crash on lap
Friesen inherited the lead as a result of the crash, while Smith,
Stefanik and Cicconi followed closely behind.
Cicconi went into passing mode on the restart as he blitzed by
Stefanik and Smith for third and second, respectively, on the restart.
Then, on lap 11, he passed Friesen for the top spot.
The race was stopped on lap 19 when a multi-car incident on the
backstretch saw Tidaback’s car catch fire. Track personnel extinguished the
fire and Tidaback escaped without serious injury. Other top drivers involved
were Davey Hamilton, Mike Iles, Matt Janisch, Jeff Kot and Glenn Heverin.
Stefanik hounded Cicconi for a few circuits until he lost second to
Friesen on lap 32. However, Friesen slid high in turn three, which allowed
Stefanik to sneak under for the runner-up spot.
Heat races for the TQ-Midgets went to Chris DeRitis, Iles, Stefanik
and Cicconi. Ian Cumens and Tim Adams won consolation events. Danny Shirey,
Randy Cabral, Bruce Leote and Mike Lichty won semi-qualifying events.
Kyle Hieber of Langhorne, Pa. was victorious in the Herr’s Snack
Bowl 25 for Slingshots. The 17-year-old high school junior led the entire
Jim Houseworth was second, followed by Gary Hieber, Todd Dippel and
AJ Roderick of Chardon, Ohio, won the National Guard 25 for Champ
Karts. It was his first win at Boardwalk Hall.
Justin Bonsignore was second, followed by Chris Daley, Bobby
Timmons and Ron Midford Jr.
TQ-Midget Feature Finish, 40 Laps:
1. Lou Cicconi Jr; 2. Mike Stefanik; 3. Stewart Friesen; 4. Ryan Smith; 5.
Mike Lichty; 6. Joey Payne; 7. Russ Bailey; 8. Timex Morgan; 9. Ted
Christopher; 10. Christopher Allen; 11. Don Zrinski; 12. Ian Cumens; 13.
Steve Craig; 14. Rob Vivona; 15. Chris DeRitis; 16. Matt Janisch; 17. Mike
Tidaback; 18. Davey Hamilton; 19. Mike Iles; 20. Jeff Kot; 21. Glenn Heverin;
22. Paul Lotier Jr.; 23. Robin Johnston; 24. Tim Adams; 25. Tim Buckwalter;
26. Billy Pauch
Champ Kart Feature Finish, 25 Laps:
1. AJ Roderick; 2. Justin Bonsignore; 3. Chris Daley; 4. Bobby Timmons; 5.
Ron Midford Jr; 6. Evan Beaulieu; 7. Nick Hadden; 8. Bryan Shields; 9.
Andrew Swisher; 10. Gavin Soraghan; 11. Andy Burkholder; 12. Paul McCollum;
13. Adam Gage; 14. Coby Cressinger; 15. Eric Zeh; 16. Keith Blumenstein Jr.;
17. Todd Root; 18. Steve Milford; 19. Shawn Solomito; 20. Norm Hynes; 21.
Kyle Ellwood; 22. Tammy Smith; 23. Timmy Solomito; 24. Tracy Blumenstein.
Slingshot Feature Finish, 25 Laps:
1. Kyle Hieber; 2. Jim Housewith; 3. Gary Hieber; 4. Todd Dippel; 5. Shannon
Smith; 6. Michael Glass; 7. Brandon Azzalina; 8. Chris Grbac; 9. Matt Hearn;
10. Stan Friedman; 11. Matt Carman; 12. Anthony Perrego; 13. Molly Chambers;
14. Kurt Bettler; 15. Jesse Hartman; 16. Tim Manieri Jr; 17. Tiffany Wambold;
18. Paul Lotier Jr.; 19. Clay Butler; 20. Rickey Yetter; 21. Bobby
Dumchowski; 22. Marc Daniels; 23. Brandon Mullins; 24. Joel Smith.
Disqualified: Ben Whitaker.
Source: Jerry Reigle
/ Gambler's Classic