Event 9 Winner Paul Bogdan Does It In His First Final
October 31, 2009 - Englishtown, NJ - It has been some time since we have a first-time winner in the East Coast Supercharging Corvette Challenge presented by Yank Racing Converters Corvette Challenge presented by Yank Racing Converters but today was Paul Bogdan's turn. As luck would have it, Bogdan bought himself a trailer and trailered to the track for the first time and the ease of not thinking about breaking, or how he would home if he did, relaxed him enough to carry him through the day. Either that or it was that he entered the Pro 10 Double Index race to add to the car count on the request for help from your author, Edgar Perez. Good karma has its way of getting around. He got the win when Anthony Cupolo went red in a near heads-up dialed. Coverage of the Pro 10 Double index can be found under a separate article.
Photos by Edgar Perez. For over 7,000 Corvette Photos, click here.
37 Corvettes made it for first round and for the most part it went well but the last two pair of cars had to re-run their races due to timing glitches that might be related to debris flying across the timers due to high winds. The first pair on the track was Jerry Muniz vs. Doug Bereczki. Bereczki would leave first with his 14.42 dial and .130 light and Boogieman Muniz would follow with 11.70 dial and .090 light. The pair got to the finish line nearly the same time and Muniz got the win when Bereczki went under his dial by a mere .002 going 14.418. Artie Chin was out next with his 2008 Corvette vs. Ralph Savarese. Incidentally, Chin was out yesterday at a track rental here at Raceway Park working on his lights. Did it work? How does .000 sound? Sounds like defending champ Savarese had been treed despite his .027 light. Chin was able to oust the champ with the light and a 12.195 on his 12.16 dial. Since getting his car back, Savarese has failed to get to the third round in two races. The closest match of the round took place when Vic Gandhi took the win over John Panuzzo by only .0139 of a second. Panuzzo was out first with a .057 light on 12.63 dial and Gandhi followed with an 11.73 dial. Gandhi was also better on the dial going 11.632 and Jpee was 12.662. The Corvette Challenge family would like to wish the best of luck to John and his wife Berta as she recovers from a recent surgical procedure. Sheila Murchan had a tough break when she cut a .001 light but lost when her car ran an 11.307 breakout on 11.50 dial. Shawn Cavanagh, who went .049 green himself, was the benefactor of the breakout. Our points leader, Eric Fischer, paired up round 1 with David Hollingshead who has cooled down some from his early season start but was sitting here with a shot to turn that around. Hollingshead would leave first with 13.84 dial and would leave with a .129 light. Fischer would follow with an 11.73 dial and the tree advantage with a .084. He then finished the run with an 11.754 and the win light as Hollingshead's closer to his dial run of 13.858 was not enough to make up for the light. Our series has a nice mix of racers competing for points and racers who don't or what I like to call future rookie of the year candidates. Today was tough for all the non-points racers except for Russ DeLibero and Tommy Michalkowski. Russ, dialed 13.64 in his backup car, advanced when Ralph Blauvelt went -.009 red on his 14.20 dial. Michalkowski rode a near perfect run of .041 light and dead-on 11.606 to win over Gary Hurta. Fate was not as good for James Veltidi who fell to Rob Farley after giving Farley just over 2 tenths advantage on the tree and you just cannot do that to Rob. Dennis Kazimir went -.024 red to Michael Archibald. Shay LaScalla went -.115 to Tad Archambault (of course she was already a rookie contender). And finally Chris Young, who did not sign up for points this year due to work commitments, lost to Edgar Perez when Perez went .004 green and then watched at the top end as Young, who was driving Savarese’s car, could not run his 11.51 dial. This pair was one of our reruns.
The other rerun was Paul Bogdan, our event winner, and Al Salanitro. Bogdan went .023 green to Nitro's .026. Bogdan's 11.605 was closer to his 11.50 dial while Nitro was 13.964 on 13.84 dial and took the win. Anthony Cupolo, driving his recently acquired '75 Corvette, would face Don Peppler, Jr, shifter extraordinaire. Peppler had the tree advantage, .072 to .077 but Cupolo would work the top end better for the win with an 11.617 @ 111.19 on 11.55 dial to Peppler's 13.662 on 13.50 dial. Other drivers who entered the race today who could not advance were Louis Calicchia, David Tortolani, Frank Fiori, Ron Higgins and Neil Vernarelli.
We should have been on a ladder this round but the two re-runs in round 1 threw everything off and we could not use the computer generated ladder. Incoming weather forced the track to make a decision to run us without a ladder instead of spending valuable time doing one manually so it was race the driver next you and we were off to the races. Four of the nine pairings ended by red this round. Shawn Cavanagh was out before the tree was activated and sent Bob Trieschmann to round three. Tom Smith, who had the bye run in round 1, went -.088 red allowing Paul Bogdan to the next round. Gary Hillen, -.031 and Tad Archambault, -.021 also went red and Russ DeLibero and Anthony Cupolo advanced on the gifts. Artie Chin's .000 was not of any help to him as he went far from perfect with a .201 light and Jerry Muniz was able to take advantage and defeat him with a .117 light of his own and advance. Vic Gandhi chopped down the tree with a .013, best of the round, and took the win when Michalkowski could not duplicate his round 1 performance. Tommy went .146 green and broke out going 11.590 on 11.60 dial. Gandhi was riding high with an 11.658 on 11.63 dial and moving on. Points leader Eric Fischer faced another tough match, Ellis Gray. He was quite successful building on the lead with .018 light and 11.757 @ 112.29 on 11.71 dial when Ellis left with .115 light and broke out going 11.613 on 11.64 dial. Edgar Perez used a .030 green to force Dave Buddendorff to break when Dave went 13.329 on 13.45 dial while Perez went 10.587 on 10.49 dial.
Now we are down to 9 racers and Paul Bogdan would face Russ DeLibero. DeLibero, who is considering running for points and rookie honors next year, would leave first with a 13.67 dial but left too early lighting the red for him and the win for Bogdan with a -.086. Bogdan, dialed 11.50 saw the red and did not leave hard and run it out as he did not need to. Cupolo would face point leader Eric Fischer this round. Fischer would leave with an 11.74 and Cupolo would follow with 11.53 dial. The tree got away from Eric as he went .158 green while Cupolo went .033. That spelled trouble for the points leader. Cupolo took the win with an 11.552 @ 112.07 and Fischer did all he could do going dead on with a zero, 11.740 on the 11.74 dial but left too much room with the tree and was done for the day. The next pair contained Jerry Muniz and Rob Farley, who is on a tear marching to toward the top of the points and having back to back event wins. Muniz would leave first with 11.70 dial and Farley would follow with 11.47 on the window. Muniz took the edge on the tree, .082 to .094. Then he took the win light with a dead on 11.703 run as Farley breaks out going 11.467 @ 114.61. This ensured Fischer would hold the points lead one more event as Farley has just moved into second in the standings in the prior round. Bob Trieschmann would get to leave first on Edgar Perez with a 12.92 dial to Perez's 10.50. Trieschmann was off clean when his win light came on as Perez went -.115 red and did not run out the pass. Vic Gandhi got the bye as the number 1 seed and did not run a full pass to advance as he did not need to.
Five racers left. Bogdan gets Trieschmann this round. The drivers are off green and race to the finish in a double breakout run. Bogdan got the better of it as he went 11.485 on his 11.50 dial and Trieschmann went 12.869 @ 107.18 on his 12.92 dial. The next pair, Jerry Muniz, dialed 11.70, and Vic Gandhi dialed 11.60, would be decided by red. Muniz left -.036 red allowing Gandhi, who went .030 green, to advance to the next round. Having the win light on afforded Gandhi a test run and he found he was a little quick going 11.585 @ 113.96. Anthony Cupolo would get the bye this round and would go .175 green and 11.563 @ 115.20 on 11.51 dial on the free pass.
Round 5 - Semi-final:
Only three left for the semi-final round. One race and one single. Cupolo would have to face Gandhi while Bogdan would take the bye into his first Corvette Challenge final. Is this a bracket race or a heads up race? The dial-ins seem to be getting closer every pair. Gandhi would be out first 11.57 to Cupolo’s 11.54. It was over in an instant however as Gandhi lit the red with a -.025 and Cupolo chopped the tree down with a .002 light. He ran the out the free win with an 11.510 @ 116.10. Bogdan sat out the bye.
Round 6 - Final:
As stated, Bogdan was in his first Corvette Challenge final. Cupolo, had been here before once. He came out a winner in that appearance back in Event 8 of 2007 in his 1963 Split Window Corvette. Here the dials are off by only 1 hundredth of a second. Cupolo, 11.51, would get to leave first and Bogdan, 11.50 would follow. It was over right away though as Cupolo, who had just cut a .002 in the prior round, lit the red, -.094 and Bogdan was a winner. Bogdan was green with a .082 on his side. He saw he win light, breathed a sigh of relief and proceeded to run an 11.271 @ 120.00 on his 11.50 dial. It was his quickest run of the day and the fact that it was too quick did not matter as he already had the win. Bogdan's Corvette, a 1997, is equipped with a 427 cubic inch motor put together by himself and is naturally aspirated. Congratulations to Paul Bogdan on his first win.
Corvette Challenge Points Update
Eric Fischer increases his points lead over Ralph Savarese and keeps Rob Farley at an equal distance with the both collecting the same amount of points today. Fischer's points total of 31 is now two better than both Farley and Savarese. Farley moves into second due to his two event wins to Savarese's 1 this season as both he and Savarese have the same number of points. Louis Calicchia, despite his first round exit, holds on to the fourth position though he now has Bob Trieschmann right on his tail. Both drivers have 26 points but Calicchia’s event win this year breaks the tie for the fourth slot. Trieschmann’s round 4 appearance bumps him over now fifth place racer Ellis Gray who scored two points today. Bogdan's win moves him to the seventh overall position from the 11th he was in after the last race. Michael Archibald (22), David Hollingshead (21) and David Tortolani (20) round out the top 10. Two points races to go to close the year. Let's go racers.
2009 Corvette Challenge Standings Corvette drivers page with more driver information
Rookie of the Year Update
With two races to go, Gary Hillen holds the rookie points lead with 16 for the season. He scored two points today to build it over Bruce Kopcko who could not make his second event in a row and sits in second with 13 points back by three. Artie Chin's two points bring him within one of Kopcko now with 12 total for the year. Mike Bogdan sits in fourth with 6 total but he holds the biggest prize of them all as his wife just gave birth to a "bouncing baby boy". Congratulations to the Bogdan family.
Rookie of the Year Standings
Spectrum Equipment Service Gear Jammer Award Update
Michael Archibald scored two points today to build on his lead and bring his season total to 22. Tom Smith, who also scored two today, now moves into second place with 17 total for the season. Don Peppler Jr, who exited round 1 and is the only winner of this award ever, falls to third with 16. Gary Hillen stays in fourth and keeps pace with the leader. He also has 16 points but loses the tie breaker to Peppler. Peter LoPresti holds fifth with 13 despite missing today.
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 their manual transmission
Gear Jammer Standings.
Awards Handed Out at this Event
Artie Chin won the 'Best Winning Reaction Time - 1st Round plaque presented by Raceway Park for the best winning reaction time in the 1st round. Artie Chin was quickest on the tree with the win light in the 1st round when with a .000 reaction time.
Frank Fiori won the 'Almost Perfect Award' with a loss in the 1st round with the red light closest to .000 (Almost Perfect). Frank Fiori's light was -0.002 and was awarded a plaque from Old Bridge Township Raceway Park recognizing the effort put forth to try and capture a perfect light but just slightly red.
Dennis Kazimir won the CCDV 'Closest to Dial Award' by running only .001 off his dial. Dennis Kazimir was awarded a plaque and free tech card for a future race from Corvette Club of Delaware Valley.
John Panuzzo won the 'Ohh so Close Award' presented by Zaino when being edged out in the 1st round by the smallest margin of victory of .0139. That number is the MOV number on your time slip. Although suffering a loss in the 1st round by the smallest Margin of Victory, John Panuzzo earned a Zaino starter package that includes various Zaino products.
All winners of the first round were awarded a trophy. With 43 cars making this event (combined Corvette Challenge and Pro class(es)), we sure gave out quite a few trophies or 1st Round Trophy Upgrade Program credits.
Next Two Races
Corvette Challenge returns November 14, 2009 after at 9:30 AM. This will be our ninth of ten points races of the year. Race day will also feature the fourth race of the year for the Pro 8 Shootout and our Pro 11.50 classes. Come be a part of the excitement with three classes running on the same day.
Corvette Challenge returns November 21, 2009 after at 9:30 AM. This will be our tenth and final points races of the year. Race day will also feature fifth and final points race for our Pro 8 Shootout and Pro 11.50 classes as well. This will also be the final racing Saturday of the season for Raceway Park. Time to start thinking about the banquet. In case you have missed the news, our Top 16 Gamblers Invitational race will be moved to the beginning of next year as we have done the past two years due to rainouts being made up at the end of our regular season.
Visit the Drag Schedule at www.racewaypark.com to view Raceway Park's schedule for other events and days for test and tuning. Come out and race or just enjoy the racing action.
As always, we couldn't enjoy our passion for racing without the tireless efforts of our coordinators - Edgar Perez, Bob Trieschmann, Dennis Kazimir and Rob Farley. We'd be reduced to time shots only without our sponsors - many thanks for the continued support of