HAVANA, Illinois - Like an old top 40 rock ‘n’ roll radio station back in the day, the hits just kept coming for Nostalgia Super Stock at the Central Illinois Raceway Fall Festival September 12.
“He’s a wild child,” said Larry Quinn about Mike Cicciarelli, who set two club records during the event, but not before overcoming three episodes of adversity first.
Larry Quinn, Springfield, IL (far lane) in his stick shift Pontiac “Blast From The Past” taking on
Mike Cicciarelli, Brownburg, IN and his stick shift Ford Failane “Can’t Get No Satisfaction”
Quinn, a 50 year veteran in the sport, was more than a little out of order himself after suffering a severe abdominal cramp while adjusting his transmission in the ‘Blast From The Past’ 1962 Pontiac. However, he recovered from that to figure prominently in subsequent events.
But first things first.
The atmospheric conditions were again almost unfit for human habitation after sundown but excellent for making horsepower with ambient air temperatures as much as 45 degrees cooler than a week before. The humidity was correspondingly drier with density altitudes of 600 feet on Saturday morning and less during the evening, even going down into negative values.
However, the same old delays appeared, broken engines spilling fluids on the track requiring long clean up periods. The left lane was especially beat on as the cleanup crew used substantial amounts of acetone, the aroma of which hung over the finish line area. The scheduled five sessions for NSS were reduced to three.
No matter to Cicciarelli as his 1966 ‘(Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ Ford set an all-time (26 years) company record for 1/8-mile low elapsed time at 5.48 in the program’s first session. However, a backfire on the starting had broken the engine starter which had to be replaced by crew chief Dan Hare during a between sessions thrash. In addition, Cicciarelli’s battery charger failed, forcing him into a search-and-borrow mission.
In the modified Chicago-style format, the two cars closest in a side-by-side run qualified for the overall final and there were several pairs of contenders.
Bob and Diana Durling are the proud owners of this beautiful 63 Plymouth Sport Fury. Bob does the driving and wrenching. - Craig Pfohl along with his dad Richard and Andrea Stoner keep this Sox And Martin Barracuda spotless. Judging by this photo “Fish do Fly”.
In session one, Bob Durling’s ‘Teacher’s Pet’ 1963 Plymouth and Craig Pfohl’s ‘Lil Boss’ 1967 Plymouth Barracuda each ran 6.62 although not against each other, as the running order became scrambled due to confusion while going into the staging lanes. The closest match was between Marty Bittle’s 1964 Plymouth and Milt Shreindl’s ‘Full Tilt’ 1965 Dodge, 6.43 to 6.46, respectively.
For session two, Durling and Pfohl did pair up and lower the difference to 0.02 with 6.66 and 6.68, respectively. John Rousset in the ‘Hard Days Night’ 1964 Plymouth and Mike Therrein in the ‘Chi Town Shaker’ 1968 Dodge Dart were also within two at 6.35 and 6.33 on the scoreboard. But in the final race of the final session, Quinn and Cicciarelli, who have a special teacher/student relationship, set more club history.
This fine 1968 Dodge Dart Hemi “Chi Town Shaker” owned and Driven by Mike Therrien of Elmhurst, IL.
His daughter Alison is his crew chief.
Some drama occurred following the burnouts, as Cicciarelli again broke his reverse gear shift lever as he had done last week and had to be pushed back to the starting line. “I guess we’ll need a better weld on that thing,” quipped Hare.
Leaving first at 0.0918 compared to 0.2840 for Quinn, Cicciarelli kept his slight edge through a picture-perfect side-by-side race, stopping the finish line clock at 5.5423 compared to 5.5498 for Quinn, so much for all the 0.02’s and 0.03’s. But the big news was that was the quickest 1/8-mile side-by-side contest in club history.
The final runoff was anti-climactic, as Cicciarelli left better at 0.0691 and made another clean pass at 5.5798 at 124.25 mph. Quinn left better at 0.1978 but immediately headed for the center of the track and had to back off to 6.4501 at 86.40 mph.
But the mood could not have been better in the post-race celebration with club members, guests and staff congratulating Cicciarelli on his accomplishments. “This will keep me awake at least until I-74,” jokingly said Cicciarelli, who needed to start his journey back home.
Rousset just missed his quest to break the 10 second level, running the 1/8-mile equivalent of 6.35 in each of the first two sessions before completely going up in wheel spin in the third.
The cars hanging out together in the pits
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