BAD RACER'S LUCK STRIKES MICHAEL TODD DAVID AT START OF GATEWAY ATLANTIC RACE MADISON, Ill. (May 24, 1998) - Michael Todd David and the PDR-Water Joe Racing team successfully overcame a variety of obstacles throughout the weekend...
BAD RACER'S LUCK STRIKES MICHAEL TODD DAVID AT START OF GATEWAY ATLANTIC RACE
MADISON, Ill. (May 24, 1998) - Michael Todd David and the PDR-Water Joe Racing team successfully overcame a variety of obstacles throughout the weekend leading into round three of the 1998 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, but couldn't avoid simple bad luck Saturday at Gateway International Raceway and the Motorola 300. The start of the race was interrupted when John Brooks Ralt RT-40 literally fell apart as the 21-car field was rounding turn four of the four-turn, 1.27-mile oval. Brooks was uninjured but the caution period lasted through lap seven. On the lap eight re-start, David moved high and outside with Derek Hill, of Costa Mesa, Calif., taking an inside line. David moved to within a couple of yards of the outside wall on the back straight-away when Hill drifted up high and his tires crept between David's left-side front and rear tires. Tire contact from Hill followed sending David's PDR/Water Joe Ralt RT-41 into the outside wall. Both drivers were uninjured but the contact damage ended their races. "On the re-start, I went high when most seemed to go low," said David. "I was comfortable using the entire track because the team made such great adjustments before the race. Derek Hill was down low and drifted high. I went as close against the wall as I could but his tire moved between my left-side front and rear tires and I knew it was going to be trouble. I don't think he saw me and I got pinched against the wall and that ended both of our days." A series of technical rule changes, extreme humidity, and thunderstorms throughout the weekend made it a challenge to field a competitive car. When race time neared, however, the PDR/Water Joe team had made the adjustments needed to place a potential front-runner on the grid. "We made good judgment calls before the race after watching the CART and Lights race," said David. "Bob Lobenberg, my driving coach and also an engineer on our team, spoke with Jimmy Vasser and one of Vasser's engineers. They offered some good pointers so we decided to make a few minor changes. It looked like it was going to pay off. We had a good start. I think I had positioned myself well and could make it through the first turn without a problem. But then the first yellow flag was thrown." Although he didn't collect any championship points, David holds fast in ninth place with 16 points in the Atlantic championship standings. The next stop for the PDR Enterprises/Water Joe Racing team in the 1998 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship will be round four on the 1.0-mile oval at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds and the Milwaukee Mile, Saturday, May 30. The Gateway Atlantic race will be telecast on ESPN2, Saturday, May 30 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. PT).
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