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2008   *  Event 1   *  Event 2   *  Event 3   *  Event 4   *  Event 5   *  Event 6   *  Event 7   *  Event 8   *  Event 9   *  Event 10 * 2008 Standings

After 5 Years, Edgar Perez Gets the Win in Event 6

By Edgar Perez

July 12, 2008 - Englishtown, NJ - It has been five years since I have had to write about myself taking a win. I have to tell you, it is going to be more fun this time around having been so long ago. Even better than that however, is that I can say the forecast called for no rain for the sixth East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge presented by Yank Racing Converters of the 2008 season. One dark cloud came by and nearly 100 Corvette racers said "Hey! Get outta here cloud!" and it moved along. We needed three classes to get the 98 Corvette drivers to the track but we did it. This is just 3 short of our record 101 racers. The action gets better as our incoming points leader suffered an early exit and left an opening for 3-time champ Ralph Savarese to take over the points lead on a tiebreaker. The Corvette Challenge, along with the Pro 11.50 and the Pro 8 Shootout classes were on the calendar and Corvettes were in full force.

For today's The Vette Doctors Pro 11.50 Index presented by Russ DeLibero Emerald Financial Resources coverage click here.

For today's American Racing Headers Pro 8 Shootout presented by J & M Motorsports coverage click here.

Round one: There were 59 Corvettes entered first round today in our Corvette Challenge, nearly 50% more than the last race and it was great to see some of our racers returning to race. Particularly, Randy Lane was given the okay to race after his recent surgery and he even took a first round win despite having car trouble when Tommy Michalkowski went -.026 red aginst him for the win. That played into today's winner and I will tell you how when we go to round two. Doug Bereczki was back with his 1987 Corvette all fixed up and ready for battle. He cut a .025 light but could not carry it to a win as he broke out going 14.376 on 14.45 dial. The benefactor was ken Rammer, with is 1986 Corvette who went .064 and also broke out but by less going 13.112 on 13.14 dial. Neil Vernarelli was back for the first time this season with dad's '57 and was a bit out of sorts but got the win when Rich Shuleski, driving his 2002 Corvette instead of the '96 Grand Sport, went red -.070. Vernarelli was a winner in his first competition pass of the year with a 13.705 on 13.51 dial. The "Money-Man", John Trescott returned after missing a race but he could not escape round 1 woes that have bitten him since his finals appearance in Event 2 this year. He went -.008 red sending Ray Sztabnik in his 1976 Corvette to round 2 with a 13.268 on 13.25 dial. Our quickest car in the brackets was David Shen who came out to attempt to qualify for the Pro 8 Shootout but came just .08 seconds short of meeting the minimum 9.99 et so he was in the brackets for free. It had been some time since Dave bracket raced with us but he does still know how. His 1965 Corvette ran 10.081 on 10.08 dial. That is a dead-on run for Shen, the defending Pro 10.0 Champion. Had it not been for Gary Hillen going red -.025, Shen might have had trouble taking the win as he had a .258 reaction time. We have to cut him some slack as he normally races a pro tree which is a little different. Hillen was a decent 12.229 on 12.20 dial while taking the loss.

10.0 racer Troy Nikola was out to try the 11.50 class and entered the brackets too and got himself a real nice break. He was off with a .190 light but had some trouble the car and slowed. His opponent, Samson Sweeting, dialed 11.50 and ran too quick going 11.393. The breakout made Nikola a winner with a 13.698 @ 83.56 on 11.25 dial. Tough break for Samson. Another tough break went to Cartek's Max Hormilla. Max cut the tree to "the max" with a .002 reaction time. Joe Signore was his opponent and was off with a .102, however, both drivers broke out, Signore 12.530 on 12.55 dial and Hormilla 11.478 on 11.50 dial. That is a .002 margin of victory for Signore. Points leader Jeanne Linke was up against "Mr Mojo", Frank Schear and used her .088 to .157 reaction time advantage to take the win. Mojo was not giving her the red light win as we have seen in the past from so many worthy opponents, but he gave he too much green at the tree instead. I scavenge the race results looking for obvious blunders or tight races and his a nice pair. Ralph Blauvelt dials his 1988 Corvette at 14.13 and runs 14.171, just .041 over. He packages that with a .013 light. So you can say with a .054 package, (number over dial added to reaction time) this man can win some rounds. Well, not if you are up against the "Mahopac Express", Ralph Savarese coming off back-to-back event wins. Savarese goes 11.385 on 11.37 dial and .034 green. So his package is even better with a .049 and the win. The "Express" was out of the station with a .005 margin of victory. That must look like a mile compared to the .0011 margin that Michael Archibald took over Tony Buonassisi. These two finished at 110.15 MPH each so they are even going the same speed. How close is that? It has got to be a bumper sticker! Tony was off first with a 12.85 dial and .066 light. Archibald followed with a 12.18 dial and .072 light. At the end Arch made up the RT differnce with a 12.314 closer to dial run and Buonassisi with a 12.991. Awesome match!

Eric Fischer, 1998 Corvette in Green, on his way to the final, cuts himself a .005 reaction time, best of the round, and nearly took a loss when he broke out on his 11.90 dial running 11.892 @ 109.93. He was able to take the win because Bob Hollingshead broke out worse going 12.818 on 12.99 dial. I, on the other hand, needed a little bit of help from Ron Higgins to advance in my match. For the second week in a row, I was paired with Ron, who I happen to see at the Wawa on race mornings when we are picking up our morning treat and I am filling The Red Sled with Wawa Super fuel (I think I gave up my secret there). Higgins was off with a .040 reaction time 12.01 dial. I waited and left on the 10.80 dial with .097 light. Last week, Ron ran dead-on against me but I got him on the light. This time I was in trouble. I was able to catch Ron who had spun some and pass him and tap on the brake as he was well off his dial this time with a 12.449 @ 109.00. I finished the run with a 10.906 @ 117.87.

Other racers who were not able to advance were W. Tad Archambault, Steve Pistilli, Tony Abbruzze, Mike Campbell, Pete Lopresti, Bob Rosenberg (How about now? You have something to say?, Gary O'Connell, Bill Fischer, Louis Calicchia, Mike Calicchia, Al Salanitro, James Peins, Shawn Cavanagh, Jerry Muniz, Ellis Gray, Gary Hurta and Joe Donnelly.

Runner Up Group Winner
Runner-up Eric Fischer Corvette Challenge racer Vic Gandhi who won Raceway Park's Real Street Eliminator tonight. Winner Edgar Perez
Photos by Mike Roberts. For over 5000 Corvette Photos, click here.

Round two: We were on a ladder this round with 30 Corvettes remaining. Incoming points leader, Jeanne Linke, would be paired with Eric Fischer. Eric was not going to suffer the red against the leader and was sure to go green as his Corvette. Jeanne was away first and lit the red, -.007 giving Fischer the win. Fischer was .107 on the tree and ran 11.901 on 11.91 dial to show it was no fluke with Jeanne taking him seriously enough to leave early. The door was open for a few drivers to try and take that lead. Savarese was one and Paul Bogdan and Bob Trieschmann, (the birthday boy), had an outside shot to get around Linke and Savarese if they can win the event. All three, Savarese, Bogdan and Trieschmann, would advance with wins in this round. Bob Trieschmann, 4th, would face Dave Tortolani. Trieschmann took the tree battle with a .028 to .054 and was closer on the dial as well. His 1998 Metallic Purple C5 covered the quarter in 13.124 seconds on 13.10 dial while Dave went 11.587 on 11.51 dial. Paul Bogdan (3rd) was paired with Frank Fiori. Before they left I mistakenly said to Paul he was in 5th place and he corrected me saying he was 3rd. I then asked who he had and he said Fiori. I said "not anymore" and he said just wait. Fiori did his job on the tree getting the .103 to .135 reaction time advantage. A race too close to call and neither driver wanted to give up the stripe thus both broke out. Fiori was 12.946 on 12.98 dial. Bogdan was going to the next round breaking out by less, going 11.492 on 11.50 dial. Savarese (2nd) managed to stay in as well. He would face Ken Tyler who said to me if he won it is "T-Y-L-E-R" for the article. He left with a .192 light and as we said before, that is like cake to Savarese who was .058 on the start. Tyler could not run the number and the Express was leaving the station to round 3 with now 14 round wins in a row. Rob Farley, focusing on 11.50 index as well as brackets would add a little red to the radar blue, white and yellow Corvette. A -.018 ended his day in the brackets today. Ray Sztabnik took the win from Farley with a .099 tree and 13.339 on 13.26 dial. Michael Archibald lost with a .008 reaction time but because he broke outgoing 12.159 on 12.18 dial. His opponent, Joe Latona, was dead-on, 11.115 on 11.11 dial with a .089 light. Ron Leader went .013 but lost his round by the same fate when he went 11.746 on 11.75 dial. Joe Signore would go .038 on the tree to get that win from Leader. As mentioned in round 1 wrap up, Randy Lane was having issues with his car all day. He was unable to bring the car into the second round. This was key to me as I was paired with Randy. I hate to take a win that way but I will. I went for it all on the competition single and the result was a red, -.005 light and 10.766 on 10.80 dial at 122.89. David Shen cut a better light on full tree this round going .056 and 10.12 on 10.08 dial to eliminate Neil Vernarelli who went 13.798 on 13.68 dial and .056 light. This round spelled doom for Mike Hoffman, Troy Nikola , Jim Kovitch, Don Peppler Jr., Chris Haase and Andrew Sabatello.

2008 Event 6 Ladder

Round 3: Now with 15 left, we would have a bye run that went to our number 1 qualifier, Eric Fischer with his .005 light first round. He did it again on the single with a .015 light and again was really close on his dial going 11.877 on 11.88 on his way to the next round. Bogdan came back and asked me to repeat what I said and I was humbled. He went on to end Joe Latona's day with a .012 light and 11.632 on 11.50 dial. Latona broke out trying to catch him. Did I mention, the Bogdan 427 cid C5 was being hot lapped as he was going rounds in the 11.50 index as well? When will it end? Can he double up? Trieschmannís day ended when he went -.005 red to Ken Rammer. Rammer driving his C4 Corvette went .130 on the tree and ran it out the back door going 13.078 on 13.12 dial. Oddly, Trieschmann ran the same ET, 13.077 on 13.10 dial. This was the first of four consecutive reds. Next on the red was Joe Signore. He went -.027 sending Sztabnik to the next round. Ray was late on the tree going .213 so he must have been wiping his brow feeling pretty lucky right now. Ed Mowton was next on the red tree. He went -.019 giving Tom Smith a pass to the next round. Another brow wiper, Smith was way off on the tree to the tune of .296. If there is a lesson to be learned here it is do not take yourself out with a red. The final red of the round went to the Mahopac Express himself. Savarese, who hardly ever gets chased, was up against David Shen. Savarese went -.005 to Shen who went red right after him but it did not matter as Ralph went first. Savarese checked his dial going 11.31 on 11.33 dial. Shen, went 10.09 on 10.08 dial and was on to the quarter final. I was next against Wayne Hagopian in his 2006 Corvette. Wayne was off first with .128 light and 12.50 dial. I followed with a .111 on 10.76 dial after having run that the round before. I was able to catch Wayne and I had another win light going 10.813 @ 123.81, slower than I expected with a slight spin. Wayne went 12.587 @ 111.18. The final pair was a double breakout run with Anthony Cupolo and Ken Gallassio, two New Yorker's. Gallasio had the tree advantage, .132 to .209. Both drivers took to the finish quicker than they predicted. Cupolo was closer going 11.920 on 12.03 dial and Ken went 12.080 on 12.25 dial.

Round 4: The final eight. The money round. Eric Fischer is up first again Rammer. Rammer would dial 13.00 would leave first and cuts a .067 reaction time. Eric, killing the tree, cuts a .019 reaction time. He then takes advantage of the lead and runs 11.932 @ 104.28 on 11.86 dial. Rammer's 13.13 was not enough. I get Bogdan this time who I am sure is ready to make me eat my words from round 2. He looks a little tired from running both classes..still in both. His 11.50 dial affords him the right to leave first and he left with a .176. I left after him with my 10.76 dial, not much better, .160. Hey, I was tired too! I haven't been this far in a long time in a Corvette Challenge. Well Bogdan was off his dial going 11.846 leaving me some room so I lifted and ran it through the stripe with a 10.932 @ 115.44 and another yellow light on my side of the wall at the end of the track. Ray Sztabnik would advance to the semi-final when he bettered Tom Smith the C3 battle. He was better on the tree and dial to advance. Ray went .126 and 13.305 on 13.26 dial while Tom went .225 and 13.685 on 13.32 dial. 10.0 racer David Shen got the better of Tony Cupolo in the battle of C2's. Tony left first with .129 and 11.95 dial. Shen left with a .080 light and 10.08 dial. Shen took the stripe by .01 running 10.110 @ 131.70 while Cupolo broke out trying to stay ahead of him, 11.818. The semi-final was set with three generations of Corvette ready to try to bring home the gold sticker.

Round 5 - Semi-final: That is right the final four had three generations. David Shen (C2) would face Eric Fischer (C5) in the first pair. Shen was relieved he did not have to face the "leprechaun" loaded Sled. What he forgot was that Green is the color of he Leprechaun and he was facing the Green C5 driven by Fischer. Eric, dialed 11.80, was off with a .047 light. Shen could not wait any longer on the 10.08 dial he wore all day and lit the red giving Fischer the win light. He ran a 10.105 @ 131.59. The naturally aspirated C2 ran very consistent all day but it was over now. Not a bad day for him though earning his first semi-final appearance in the brackets. Fischer was the winner with an 11.851 on 11.80 dial. I have to be honest, my last light was bad. I stopped at the pits to pick up a drink and dog for energy and headed out for the next round. My opponent, Ray Sztabnik (9C3) was also in his first semi-final appearance. He would get a two and a half second head start dialed 12.26. The drink and dog helped and I was out with a .026 light on the 10.76 dial. Taking advantage of the tree I was able to slow to not chance a breakout. Ray's 12.292 was great but the light hurt him. I took the win with a 10.83 @ 115.07. I was on my way to my 11th final against Eric Fischer in his third.

Round 6 - Final: It had been two years since I had been to a final and five without a win. Fischer's last final was in 2006 and his only Corvette Challenge win had come in 2005. This is not to say either of us would take the other lightly. One thing is for sure, a C5 would get the win. We get a bad rap for not winning but we were winning this one. I opted to keep the 10.76 on the car for the final. Eric would dial it up .04 from last round with an 11.84 dial. I went left and Eric right. As we were under the tower, I was thinking I had gone farther than I have in a long time and how I could not lose to nicer or better driver if I had to lose today. I was not aware how great he was on the tree today until I was writing the article. As the light dropped, he took off green but it was .142 as he spun the tires bad and far. My tree came down and I did the same thing but not as bad. My light was .142 but I caught Eric and continued up the track and began to pull away. Eric continued to spin before finally hooking around the 330' mark. At the end of the track the clocks lit 12.298 on the 11.84 pass for Eric and the win light on my side. 10.911 @ 117.81 is what was on my board. In retrospect, I should have tried to work a loser writes the article deal. Of course Eric is a great help with the Corvette Challenge and he would have done it anyway if I asked. So a C5 and I am elated it is mine. This was a big day for me coming on the heals of winning he LSX Showdown at Atco a few weeks back. I guess I am having a good month.

Corvette Challenge Points Update

We have a new leader who is not so new to the lead. Three-time Champion, Ralph Savarese takes the points lead on the tie breaker. Both he and Jeanne Linke have the same number of points, 24, but Ralph has two event wins which is the first tie breaker and Linke has one. Paul Bogdan continues his stellar year and holds on to third place with 19 points while Bob Trieschmann holds 4th with 18 points. Eric Fischer's runner-up appearance moves him into the fifth position for the season. Steve Pistilli and Rob Farley are tied for 6th with 15 points while I break into the top 10 for the first time in years in eighth with 14 points. Al Salanitro holds ninth with 13 points. Four drivers have 12 points, Louis Calicchia, Kenneth Gallasio, Frank Fiori and Tom Smith. Calicchia gets credit for 10th place on the tie breaker however. You will notice in the points standings drivers now have a negative number next to their points. These negative numbers are called "Power Points" and are used as the second tie breaker after event wins. For more on points system you can view the "Rules and Prizes" page at Remember our Top 4 drivers will be invited to the 28th ANNUAL P.C. RICHARD & SON ALL AMERICAN JET CAR NATIONALS August 6th after our next race. It could be any of these drivers.
2008 Corvette Challenge Standings
Corvette drivers page with more driver information

Rookie of the Year Update

Although rookie Jeanne Linke went out in the second round, she added to her rookie points lead as she earned 2 points today for a total of 24. Shay LaScalla, in second place, did not make today's race and remains 2nd in the chase as Mike Calicchia was not able to score a first round win and trails LaScalla now by two points. With five races to go, it is looking very difficult to catch Linke. She has put together a very good season with her incoming experience and John Panuzzo owned Corvette. Keep at it and let's see where the chips fall at the end of the season.
Rookie of the Year Standings

Spectrum Equipment Service Gear Jammer Award Update

Steve Pistilli remains in the gear jammers lead with 15 points but is beginning to see the gap closed by several drivers. There are four now tied with 12 with Tom Smith scoring 4 points today to get into that tie. Pistilli lost ground to Smith and the other three tied for second. Ken Gallasio scored 3 to get to 12 while Frank Fiori scored 2 to get to 12. Anthony Cupolo alos gained ground with today's best shifty performance with 4 points and now has a total of 8. Spectrum Equipment Service once again sponsors the "Gear Jammer of the Year" award, presented at year-end banquet to the racer with most points in his/her manual transmission Corvette.
Gear Jammer Standings.

Corvette Challenge Team Challenge Cup

Amazingly there was no change to the team standings after this race. Ralph Blauvelt's Bracket Masters holds first place with 60 points. The team scored 10 points to reamin in first place aided by Anthony Cupolo's 4 points and 3 each from Ed Mowton and Joe Latona. Bracket Masters actually widened their lead over 2nd place Mistress and the Mayhem led by Chris Haase. Mayhem came in trailing by 4 points and leaves trailing by 10. The biggest points earning team today was Dave Tortolani's Vapors. They come in with 36 and scored 15 total to leave with 51 though they remained in 5th place. The team sent two drivers to the final. Edgar Perez scored 7, Eric Fischer 6 and 2 points were added from tied drivers Tortolani and Ron Leader for the total of 15.

Current Team Standings

TeamTeam NameTeam CaptainPoints
T01 Ridin' Dirty Ralph Savarese 96
T08 Bracket Masters Ralph Blauvelt 93
T02 The Eliminators John Trescott 91
T07 Mistress and the Mayhem Christopher Haase 87
T04 Vapors David Tortolani 86
T06 SKAM ARTISTS John Hadyniak 81
T05 CCDV Douglas Bereczki 67
T03 Sgt Peppler's Donald Peppler, Jr. 64
click to see drivers on each team
Click if you cannot see Team Challenge Cup Standings

Awards Handed Out at this Event

  • Eric Fischer won the 'John Panuzzo Jr. Memorial' trophy presented by Team Panuzzo Racing for the best winning reaction time in the 1st round. Eric Fischer was quickest on the tree in the 1st round when his RT was .005.
  • John Trescott won the 'Almost Perfect Award' with a loss in the 1st round with the red light closest to .000 (Almost Perfect). John Trescott's light was -0.008 and was rewarded a trophy from Old Bridge Township Raceway Park recognizing the effort put forth to try and capture a perfect light but just slightly red.
  • David Shen won the CCDV 'Closest to Dial Award' by running only .001 off his dial. David Shen was awarded a trophy and free tech card for a future race from Corvette Club of Delaware Valley.
  • Tony Buonassisi won the 'Ohh so Close Award' presented by Zaino when being edged out in the 1st round by the smallest margin of victory of .0011. That number is the MOV number on your time slip. Although suffering a loss in the 1st round by the smallest Margin of Victory, Tony Buonassisi earned a Zaino starter package that includes various Zaino products.
  • All winners of the first round were awarded a trophy . With 98 cars making this event, we sure gave out quite a few trophies or 1st Round Trophy Upgrade Program credits.

Next Two Races

August 2, 2008 - The seventh points race of the season for our Corvette Challenge racers. We will also host the third point race for The Cartek Racing Pro 10.0. Gates to open around 2:30 PM. This day is also the day for the 22nd Annual East Coast Show & Go in the 1st session. The biggest event of its kind which features three activities, a huge Corvette Show, Autocrossing and of course, Drag Racing. While not a Corvette Challenge event it is a Corvette event you don't want to miss.

August 9, 2008 - The eigth points race of the season for Corvette Challenge bracket races. It will be a full day with two additional classes. The American Racing Headers Pro 8 Shootout returns its second race and The Vette Doctors Pro 11.50 goes at it for their third race of the year. Gates to open around 8:30 AM. You may want to also double up on this day as our session will also host the Super Chevy magazine Show & Go. This event will be covered by Super Chevy. Turnout was light last year but we are hoping for better turnout this year as the event conincides with our Corvette Challenge. If you want more racing, the afternoon session will feature the QTP EFI race series including the Quick Time 8 heads-up class for LS based GM vehicles.

Visit the Drag Schedule at to view Raceway Park's schedule for other events and days for test and tuning.

As always, we couldn't enjoy our passion for racing without the tireless efforts of our coordinators - Edgar Perez, Bob Trieschmann and Dennis Kazimir We'd be reduced to time shots only without our sponsors - many thanks for the continued support of

Corvette Challenge - East Coast Supercharging | Yank Racing Converters | Team Panuzzo | Corvette Club of Delaware Valley - CCDV | Spectrum Equipment Service | The Blair Family | Simple Man | QTP - Quick Time Performance | Carroll's Rod & Racecraft | Kooks Custom Headers | CFM Racing | Tortolani Racing | Anger Management Racing | | | Romar Fabrication | Zaino Bros | Pro Torque | Perez Web Design

Pro 8 Shootout - American Racing Headers | Carroll's Rod & Racecraft | PM Construction

Pro 10.0 Index - Cartek Racing | J&M Motorsports | Best Western, East Brunswick, NJ | ECSracing | M & B Performance

Pro 11.50 Index - The Vette Doctors | Russ DeLibero Emerald Financial Resources | Wild Rover Racing | DeFelice Chevrolet Parts .

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