SANDUSKY, Ohio — Mike Lichty had swept the last two ISMA feature events with relative ease but Friday night he had to contend with a strong running Dave Shullick Jr. for a number of laps before claiming a third consecutive victory.
The side-by side, lead swapping racing between Lichty and Shullick started on lap nine and ended on lap 28 when Shullick’s 94 broke a brake caliper ending the heart-stopping battle out front. Lichty admitted in victory lane that the battle would have continued had Shullick stayed in the fray.
“We were totally a mess in practice to be honest with you,” Lichty said. “Then we went on to set quick time and had a decent heat race. Coming into the feature we really didn’t know what we had because there has been so much rain here. The first 12 – 15 laps the car didn’t feel that well on the track. I wasn’t sure it was because of the fuel load or not. I’d like to thank Louie for racing me clean. I love racing with him and the whole Vic Miller crew.
“When DJ got by me, I knew he was hooked up rolling along good. I was down on the inside pinching myself trying to get back by him. I think I used up a little of the tire. I slipped the tires a bit so I just calmed myself down and got behind him. He checked out about three or four car lengths but we were fortunate enough to reel him back in a bit in traffic. But then he pulled out. I think it would have been a heck of a battle if he’d stayed in.”
Early race leader Lou Cicconi lost the point to Lichty on lap six after several yellows plagued the start of the 40-lapper. Cicconi had a great view of the 84-94 battle from third until Shullick’s demise left him in second but no match for the high-flying Lichty.
“I don’t know how entertaining it was for us when DJ and Mikey outclassed us all,” Cicconi said. “I got first in class! We didn’t do too good making changes today now we’ll have to change a lot. We’ll evaluate tonight and see what’s happening and hopefully we can make some changes to help us keep up.”
Moe Lilje trailed Cicconi by a couple car lengths at race end but he was happy with a podium finish.
“Since my win at Chaudiere we have had some problems but I think we got them ironed out. We started off pretty fast today,” Lilje said. “We got going but the tires and stagger closed up. We didn’t have anything for Mike or DJ, but if there had been a longer green flag run we might have got Louie. But, I had her hung out there the last couple laps so I’m not sure. The run was good enough for a podium and the important thing is we got two good runs for Mr. Reed. And, we have a good piece for tomorrow.”
Mike Lichty, Lou Cicconi, Moe Lilje, Jeff Locke, Charlie Schultz, Kyle Edwards, Trent Stephens, Mark Sammut, Trevor Berry, Matt Marlowe, Jon McKennedy, Johnny Benson Jr., Kyle Vanderpool, Timmy Jedrzejek, Mike McVetta, Dan Lane, Tim Ice, Ben Seitz, Dave Shullick Jr., Bobby Dawson, Ryan Litt, Jimmy McCune, Dave McKnight, Jim Paller, Kevin Jaycox Jr., Ray Graham Jr.