Lichty Dominates Steel Palace ISMA Run

Mike Lichty in victory lane Saturday night at Oswego (N.Y.) Speedway.
Mike Lichty in victory lane Saturday night at Oswego (N.Y.) Speedway.
Mike Lichty in victory lane Saturday night at Oswego (N.Y.) Speedway.

OSWEGO, N.Y. — Mike Lichty had an almost perfect night at the Oswego Speedway Saturday night, winning his heat, the 60-lap ISMA Super Nationals feature and top money in the Steel Palace Challenge, a mini-point series for ISMA’s three events at the famed lakeside oval.

The only thing Lichty didn’t get was fast time, which Ohioan Dave Shullick garnered with a blistering 14.972 second lap around the five-eighths-mile oval. But since he is not an IMSA regular, Shullick was handicapped to 12th on the grid, setting up a crowd pleasing dash through the field to second, with “Liquid Lou” Cicconi, a very impressive Alison Cumins and outside front row starter Robbie Summers trailing. Ben Seitz, David Gruel, Chris Perley, Ray Graham and Tim Jedrezejk rounding out the top 10.

The initial start saw four cars crash in turn two but on the next try polesitter Joey Payne prevailed over Summers, with Lichty settling into third. By lap four the Canadian had blasted to the lead and built up a huge lead before a lap 21 yellow for debris. In the meantime, Cicconi had moved from fourth to second, with the duo then leaving the field when the green returned.

By the time the yellow flew again on lap 50 for Payne’s blown engine, Shullick, who kept getting faster and faster, was third and immediately dispensed with Cicconi on the restart. But that was as far as he got, as Lichty had jumped to a solid lead and his only problem turned out to be a squirrelly lapped car.

“I think we had the faster car today,” said Shullick. “It was free for the first 15 laps but then it tightened up and we were good. Someday we’ll start up front and give them a run.”

“I knew he was coming, so I just stayed calm and kept the left rear under me,” reflected Lichty. “I was scared of everyone and really used the car hard on that last restart for the first couple of laps. Then I almost lost it when we got to that last lapped car, because we were loose and he was all over the place.”

Polesitter Andrew Schartner claimed the 75-lap small-block supermodified feature over point leader Russ Brown, up from sixth, and 10th starting Kraig Heroth.

Jay Andrews got the lead away from Schartner momentarily in traffic but a lapped car spun and took Andrews and Mike Bond out, with Schartner regaining the point after evasive action kept him out of the melee. Jack Patrick moved from 15th to claim fourth with front row starter Jason Simmons fifth.

“This is big!” declared North Carolina resident Schartner, who commutes weekly. “I’ll buy a seat on the airplane for this trophy if I have to.”

Frank Fischer won the ATQMRA feature for winged TQs on the shorter Oswego oval, running down early leader Matt Roselli on lap eight and then holding off Ryan Tidman, up from the third row. Ian Cumans and Joey Bailey rounded out the top five.

The finish:

Mike Lichty, Dave Shullick Jr., Lou Cicconi, Alison Cumens, Rob Summers, Ben Seitz, Dave Gruel, Chris Perley, Ray Graham, Tim Jedrzejek, Mark Sammut, Ed Witkum Jr., Jeff Locke, Mike Keeler, Dan Bowes, Bobby Chartier, Joey Payne, Mike McVetta, Brandon Bellinger, Joey Trenca, Ryan Coniam, Lou LeVea Sr., Jon McKennedy, Tim Ice, Bobby Magner, Danny Shirey