Dan DeCosmo's Taj MaHO Raceway

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On Saturday April 15, 2000 the final MARC Production & Modified events of the 1999-2000 season took place at the Taj MaHO on the white surfaced Bucktrack in Suffield CT owned by Dan DeCosmo. This event coincided with the 20th running of the East Coast Championships.

Production Class consisted of 15 entries and the tag team of Mark McQueeney and Dave Kaiser both of Connecticut would prove to be too much for the rest of the field. Last years MARC production champion Mark McQueeney edged his buddy Dave Kaiser (this years Production Class Champion) by sections, passing Dave with 5 seconds left in the final heat when Dave fell off just prior to the main chute. Jeff "Hoss" Phoenix of upstate New York took home some hardware for his 3rd place finish over 1999-2000 MARC director Mike Martyn of Connecticut. Wayne Wallace of NY came up 2 laps shy of Mike for 5th while Harvey Goodwin of New Jersey had early mechanical problems and had to settle for 6th. The cut off for the main was 163 laps and Erik Eckhardt of Connecticut was at 162 in 7th, Brian Jones of Pennsylvania was at 161 in 8th, Benny Leyro of New York was at 160 in 9th and Peter Monemvasitis of Connecticut was at 159 in 10th. Ten laps back from there was newcomer Paul Avis of New Hampshire at 149.1 along with MARC regular Gerry Cullan of Massachusetts who also ran 149.1 to tie for 11th. Brian Skidmore of Massachusetts was 13th with a 143.8 and Arnie Hernandez took time away from filming the event with his wife Isabel and was 7 sections behind Brian at 143.1 in 14th. Tim Catterson of upstate New York ran a 142 and finished 15th today.

Modified Class was next and Todd Duda of Massachusetts took top qualifying position at 2.609 and never looked back while breaking Dan DeCosmoís streak of 3 wins in a row in MARC competition. Joe Dausa of Florida had a solid run and placed 2nd while Dan worked through some mechanical problems and salvaged a 3rd for the day with a quick motor change between heats. John Pileggi of Massachusetts qualified 3rd and ran a strong race to finish 4th and locked up 2nd place in the MARC Modified series Championship. Bruce Beaulieu of New Hampshire had some car problems and finished 5th with a 505 while Victor Feliciano of New York a.k.a. (Victor from Brooklyn) had major car problems and finished 6th. "Hoss" would finish 7th while Peter Monemvasitis would edge out Rob Hayes of Massachusetts by 1 section for 8th ending Robís bid to battle for 2nd in the series with John Pileggi . Ron Miller of Pennsylvania would round out the top ten at 212 laps while Wayne Wallace came in 1 lap back in 11th and 1 lap further back was Dave Kaiser in 12th. Erik Eckhardt turned 205 laps in 13th and Mark McQueeney was 1 section ahead of Brian Jones of Pennsylvania in 14th with a 204.5. Mike Martyn ran 16th with 197 laps while Willy Goodwin of Pennsylvania ran 1 less for 17th. Justin Kudelka of Massachusetts was 18th with 193 laps and Brian Skidmore took 19th with 187 laps. Tim Catterson edged out Harvey Goodwin by 4 sections for 20th and Paul Avis ran 158 laps to post a 22nd and Gerry Cullan had difficulties in 23rd with 103 laps.

Polymod was on tap next on the 21st Century Clubman layout and 12 racers took to the track. Willy Goodwin of "another galaxy" took TQ with a 2.409 just a tick behind the track record of 2.392 seconds set 2 years ago by Roger Porcelli of New Jersey. The main was extremely fast and Victor Feliciano came off the first gutter down one to Todd Duda and then mounted a charge to take the win by 8 laps over Todd Duda in 2nd with 415 laps. Harvey Goodwin was 8 laps further back in 3rd at 407 while Bruce Beaulieu had some mechanical problems once again and settled for 4th. Willy Goodwin finished 5th in what he called "the roughest heat Iíve ever seen". Ron Miller was 1 lap back in 6th. Dan DeCosmo took 7th with a 222 while Wayne Wallace "new daddy of twins" (rumored to be in his last race for quite some time) was 8th with 214 followed by Brian Jones in 9th with 211 laps. Benny Leyro rounded out the top ten with 204 laps while Joe Dausa had car problems and settled in at 11th just ahead of Justin Kudelka in 12th.

Racing continued bright and early Sunday morning with Unlimited up first. Ten racers had machinery ready to roll and Victor Feliciano TQíd with a 1.807 over Dan DeCosmo at 1.809 and Joe Dausa at 1.829. Todd Duda borrowed Dan's Cheetah and ran 533 laps to victory over Victor with 506 laps. Dan ís P2 was the only car in the main to run sub 2 second laps on every lane but was just too much of a handful to post a strong total and he had to settle for 3rd with 489 very fast laps. Brian Jones spent some time in the pits and settled for 4th. Harvey Goodwin took 5th followed by Ron Miller in his first Unlimited race and Hoss in 7th also in his first Unlimited race. Justin Kudelka borrowed a car and guided it into 8th while last yearís winner Joe Dausa broke early and took 9th. Willy Goodwin customized "blew up" his or should we say Danís motor and took 10th.

Fifteen racers lasted long enough to make it to the start of Super Stock on Sunday afternoon. Joe Dausa took TQ with his Panther at 3.194 about 1/10th off the track record of 2.9 held by Victor Feliciano with his Life~Like car. Joe Dausa started out smooth and steady in the gutters and turned up the wick in the center lanes to win by 15 over Bruce Beaulieu who made the main in each race he entered over the weekend. Wayne Wallace took 3rd with a nice run just sections ahead of Victor Feliciano in 4th. Todd Duda missed the main by just a section and ended his day in 5th followed closely by Harvey Goodwin in 6th and Hoss in 7th. Ron Miller edged Dan DeCosmo out of 8th by a lap and Dan took 9th over Justin Kudelka in 10th less than 2 laps back. Brian Jones was 11th followed by Mark McQueeney in 12th, Rudy Rowson in 13th, Tim Catterson in 14th and "Wild" Willy Goodwin exited early and finished 15th.

This was the 1st year that I wrote letters to all manufacturers and distributors requesting prizes for our event, I would like to thank the following for their generous support and urge all racers who attended to let these folks know by thanking them when they place their next order. Thanks again to Bobs Super Products, Rabbit Racing, Quicker Engineering, Wizzard, R.E.H. Distributing, Slottech, Ford Publishing, and Ron Miller.

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