HORSES FOR COURSES Part 2: The Race -- The Streak Ends, But On A Positive Note.... (May 1 / Nazareth, PA) -- Lynx Racing's streak of four consecutive victories in the KOOL/ Toyota Atlantic support race at the Nazareth Speedway ended...
HORSES FOR COURSES
Part 2: The Race -- The Streak Ends, But On A Positive Note....
(May 1 / Nazareth, PA) -- Lynx Racing's streak of four consecutive victories in the KOOL/ Toyota Atlantic support race at the Nazareth Speedway ended today when Buddy Rice, who won this event from the pole last year but was able to qualify no better than ninth this time, coped masterfully with a rapidly-disintegrating right rear tire to bring his #19 Lynx Racing Swift 008.a home in sixth place. "We made a massive setup change the night before the race, and it made the car much better, but we never had time to fine-tune it," said Rice. "The car was great in the first part of the race, but during the yellow flag period the tires cooled off and they just never came back in properly. About fifteen laps from the end I noticed that the right rear tire was starting to blister, and in the final laps I was literally coasting though the corners. Even so, this new direction holds a lot of promise for the future, and I'm sure once we do a little more testing, we'll be back to running up front." Combined with his fourth-place finish in the season-opener at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, this leaves Rice sitting third in the championship battle with ten races to go. In the lead is Anthony Lazarro, who won the Nazareth race from the pole, with 38 points. Long Beach winner Alexandre Tagliani, who DNF'd at Nazareth, is second with 21 points. Rice is third with 20, followed by 1998 Atlantic champion Lee Bentham with 18 and Kenny Wilden with 17. Mike Conte, for whom Lynx Racing fields a car, qualified 16th, but also benefited from the new setup developed for Rices car and moved steadily up through the field in his #17 Lynx Racing/White-Black Design Swift 008.a to finish tenth. He did not finish at Long Beach, so this result leaves him in a tie for 16th place with Masaoki Nagashima. "The car felt better in the race than it did throughout practice and qualifying, but we still don't have quite enough mechanical grip to move up further in the pack," said Conte. "To make such a significant change the night before the race goes against all conventional racing wisdom, but the engineering talent on this team is so good that it was immediately apparent we were headed in the right direction when we went out for our 15-minute warm-up before the race. It was a gamble that, combined with the team's skill, determination and hard work, paid off." Lynx Racing, owned by Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, is a unique driver development program now in its ninth year of operation. The team's mission is to seek out young drivers with championship potential and provide them with the finding, resources and training to realize that potential. Lynx currently competes in the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship with drivers Buddy Rice and Mike Conte, and in the Star Mazda Championship with Sara Senske. ___________________________________
For further information on Lynx Racing and its drivers, please visit the team's web site at www.LynxRacing.com ___________________________________
KOOL/Toyota Atlantic races are televised on a tape-delay basis on ESPN2. The schedule for the Nazareth race is as follows. All times are Eastern):
Sunday, May 9 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. First broadcast Tuesday, May 11 1:30 a.m. - 2:30 a.m. Repeat Thursday, May 13 2:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m. Repeat