In only his third start for the Lynx Racing team, Vancouver BC native David Rutledge, 21, parlayed his fourth-place qualifying spot and a faultless race into a second-place finish in the CART Toyota Atlantic support race at this weekend's Toyota...
In only his third start for the Lynx Racing team, Vancouver BC native David Rutledge, 21, parlayed his fourth-place qualifying spot and a faultless race into a second-place finish in the CART Toyota Atlantic support race at this weekend's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
His result, combined with his fifth-place finish in the opening race of the season at Homestead, have elevated Rutledge to fifth place in the points. Homestead winner Buddy Rice, who drove for Lynx in 1998-99 and is now with DSTP Motorsports, scored his second win in a row and leads the championship points battle with 60. Daniel Weldon is in second with 50 points, followed by Andrew Bordin with 34 and Rocky Moran Jr. with 31.
"The Lynx team gave me a really good car for the race, and I was able to run a pace that kept me in touch with the leaders which let me take advantage of their mechanical problems toward the end of the race," said Rutledge. "Considering that the team has a new driver and two new engineers, things are coming together really well and our testing program is starting to produce some good results. There are still a few things to work on, but I think we'll definitely be in the hunt at every race this season."
Rutledge's teammate, Mike Conte, 31, of Seattle, assumed the role of 'bad-luck lightning rod' this weekend. After rupturing a water hose in qualifying on Friday, he moved up to 12th in final qualifying Saturday morning. In the race, he passed one car on the start and when the race was immediately yellow-flagged, he was rammed from behind by another competitor. The contact broke his rear wing mount, bent the rear suspension and damaged the gear selector.
"It was definitely a case of just soldiering on and hoping to finish," said Conte. "I couldn't reliably change gears and the bent rear suspension made the handling very unpredictable, so all things considered I think finishing 13th is an accomplishment. We have quite a long break between now and the next race and we'll continue making progress with our testing program."
Lynx Racing graduate Memo Gidley, substituting for Player's/Forsythe driver Patrick Carpentier this weekend qualified 10th on the grid for tomorrow's CART FedEx race. Stepping into the car with no testing, Gidley out-qualified Player's teammate Alexandre Tagliani as well as many other top drivers. Gidley drove for Lynx in 1997-98 and recently completed his rookie orientation for the Indy 500 in less than 80 minutes at a speed in excess of 214 mph.
4:30 p.m. (ET) ESPN2
5:00 a.m. (ET) ESPN2 (repeat)
Next CART Toyota Atlantic Race
June 3 Miller Lite 225 / The Milwaukee Mile
1.0-mile oval Milwaukee, Wisconsin.