Shuleski of Wilkes-Barre, PA became the 4th different winner of the 2001 Cartek
Corvette Challenge Drag Racing Series in as many events. Rich driving his
recently purchased 1996 Grand Sport coupe with Red interior, had to win 6 rounds to
be crowned the eliminator winner. The competition along the way was not
easy. Rich had to be a killer on the tree all day particularly when he had to
race one of the top five drivers, John Panuzzo. Rich beat Panuzzo with .514
light and running within .05 of his dial in. Panuzzo said later, Rich's
package was quite something. The final was no easy task for Rich either.
Rich had to race Al Betz of Warrington, PA. While Al is not new to racing, he
has been away from the sport since 1971. I think we can say Al has shaken the
rust off and is now ready to make some waves. As the drivers lined and got
ready to race, the tension was building in the stands as each racer had come with a
supporting cast (Rich's wife Jaymie and Al's friends Tony Buonassisi and
Rose). Al had the head start with a 13.60 dial on his 1999 Nassau Blue Coupe
over Richs' 13.05 dial in the LT4. Al went a little early with a .486
light. When Rich saw the red, he could not help but to lurch forward and go
red himself knowing the once your opponent goes red, you have won the race and it
really did not matter. Bracket racing is a tough sport as it is a game of
execution and you have to "be on" all day to win one of these eliminators.
Rich and Jaymie are true fans of the racing and the Corvette Hobby. They make
the 2 hour trip to the Raceway
Park in Englishtown, NJ often. They are also active Northeastern Pennsylvania Corvette
Club members and Jaymie sits on the board of the club. One time they had a
wedding to attend the night of a Corvette Challenge and raced first, then went to
the reception. Al is also active in a Corvette Club. Visit the Corvette Club of Delaware Valley to check
out their activities.
Jim Kovitch of Blauvelt, NY won the John Panuzzo Jr. Memorial Trophy with a
.514 light in the first round. Jim is no newbie to racing and is a contender
at every event with his 35th anniversary coupe. Jim had the task of racing the
defending event winner, Bill Maloney of Toms River, NJ. Bill went red with a
.496 heartbreaking loss.
The point standings took a bit of a shaking as only two of the drivers in the top
ten went to the Semi Finals. Dave Tortolani went into the event tied with Bill
Martinson and Panuzzo. Panuzzo lost to the event winner in Round 3 but
Tortolani and Martinson won 5 rounds each keeping. them tied. The other
top 5 drivers, former leader, Bob Trieschmann, lost in the 3rd round, and Maloney
lost in the 1st round to the Kovitch and his award winning light.
After the race a group of the driver and significant others enjoyed dinner at The
Chapter House in Howell, NJ. This consisted of some the locals as well as Rich
and Jaymie and a quite a few others who travel long distances to these races.
I thank you all for coming to the Corvette Challenges. It really makes me
happy to see all of you come out and take part in something that I enjoy. If
you have not come to one of these events, there is still time. We have three
more scheduled with the next one being October 6th. This is a night race which
means the track will open for us at 3 PM with elimination rounds starting around
Thanks again to all that came. Also a special thanks to the The Vette Doctors for continues support of
the Corvette Challenge. They came to race with 15 cars from Long Island.
Event 4 photos, pictures and more courtesy of:
John Porter | Tony Buonassisi | Mike
Moran | Frank Schear (Mr Mojo) | JD |
This was a rescheduled event from that was originally scheduled and almost run on
August 4, 2001. Unfortunately it rained that day. However we had a good
time. You can see pictures of the August 4th event by clicking this link to the August 4th review.