Race re-cap show now available – Schimsk Takes Checkered At Miller Race 1 Round 7

Tooele, Utah, Saturday, October 2 – Ryan Schimsk took his Dodge Viper ACR-X to an easy Dodge Viper Cup win from pole position while epic battles broke out behind him in the first of two Viper Cup races at Miller Motorsports Park.

“This will help us in the championship,” said Shimsk, who is just behind Ben Keating in the overall standings.

Front row qualifier Ralph Gilles fell behind second-row starters Keating and Charlie Putman early in the race as the three drivers fought for the runner-up position.

Gilles, only four hundredths of a second behind Schimsk in qualifying, continually challenged Putman into Turn One of the East Course, while Keating ran on the ragged edge in a vain attempt to catch Schimsk. All four drivers had best laps within a half second of each other, with Keating, Putman and Gilles blanketed by only a tenth.

Keating eventually spun and dropped to fourth several seconds behind Putman and Gilles, but was tantalized when Gilles half-spun out of the ever-exciting Turn One on the last lap of the race. Gilles turned the bobble into a spectacular 360 in a big cloud of desert dust as he got the Viper pointed in the right direction. He blasted off just in time to retain his place on the podium. Keating tried to catch him, but the checkered flag intervened.

“I had to check up as I was coming up behind Charles [Putman] and I got deep into the gravel,” Said a smiling Gilles, “But I used my Jeep off-roading skills to wheelspin back on.”

Meanwhile, back in the pack, Keith Verges, a winner at Pocono, was making up time after starting last, eventually finishing fifth–his best lap time tied with Gilles for second fastest of the race.

There was more excitement in Turn One courtesy of Michael Von Quilich who did his own half-spin after getting loose as he tried for the umpteenth time to go under Jim Stout for fifth place. Guest Driver Rob Pacione went off the outside of the turn to stay clear of the action. Both cars continued but Pacione stopped at the pits for a quick check of his right front suspension. Von Quillich ended up eighth, behind Ted Hughes, while Pacione finished last.

Kurt Sollberger, Connie Bogan, Eric Galerne and David Mazyck were ninth through twelfth in the race, respectively.

The second of the two Dodge Viper Cup races is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

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