Cicconi Claims Hy-Miler Nationals Victory
SANDUSKY, Ohio - In the early hours of Sunday morning, the frontstretch of Sandusky Speedway turned into a big party after Lou Cicconi captured his first Hy-Miler Supermodified Nationals win by holding off Moe Lilje in a classic ISMA Supermodified event.
Cicconi started on the outside of the front row and would take over the top spot from Jeff Locke on lap 16 of the 100-lap event. Ciccone held on to the lead as the red flag flew after 37 laps for rain that surprisingly popped up over the track.
After a three and a half hour delay for the rain to stop and dry off the track, Cicconi brought the field back to the green flag.
Cicconi kept leading lap after lap while working his way through lap traffic. Behind him, Bobby Santos, Mike Lichty, Moe Lilje and DJ Shullick were trying to chase down the leader.
Lichty would fall of the pace with a mechanical problem on lap 65.
With 20 laps to go, while in heavy lap traffic, Santos tried to make a move for the lead, but Cicconi wasn’t going to give up the top spot.
On lap 82, Santos began to fade and Shullick took over the second spot.
With seven laps to go, Shullick would go to the outside of Cicconi going into turn one, but couldn’t get the bite needed to make the pass. Lilje then challenged Shullick for the second spot and would get by him with four laps to go.
Lilje tried to chase down Cicconi, but it was he ran out of laps as Cicconi gets the win.
After the checkered flag, Lilje got alongside Cicconi to congratulate him but the two touched and spun in turns one and two. Cicconi joyfully walked to victory lane with is car being pushed behind him.
“I think half of the battle for me was the starting spot. I just knew if I drove smooth and precise, they weren’t going to pass me,” Cicconi said after the race. “I didn’t know if the lap traffic was going to hurt me, because my car wasn’t good on the outside. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.”
Cicconi was very focused on getting through the lapped traffic, that he didn’t know when he was being challenged for the lead.
“I don’t know who was beside me. I just heard the noises and the flashes,” Cicconi admitted.
What does the win mean for Cicconi?
“It means everything, man. I almost won this race before but got in a crash and came close a couple of other times, but never got it,” Cicconi said. “Now, I finally did it.”
Lilje was hoping to give Cicconi a run for the win, but was still smiling with his second place finish.
Shullick, who was the fast qualifier, came home third.
Lou Cicconi, Moe Lilje, DJ Shullick, Jeff Locke, Ben Seitz, Kyle Edwards, Jon McKennedy, Bobby Santos, Mark Sammut, Trent Stephens, Bobby Dawson, Dave McKnight, Rob Summers, Trevor Berry, Alison Cumens, Matt Marlow, Kevin Feeney, Mike McVetta, Charlie Schultz, Mike Lichty, Ed Witkum, Ryan Coniam, Jim Paller, Eric Lewis, Otto Sitterly, Tim Ice, Timmy Jedrzejek, Kevin Jaycox