Maia dominates in Portland (Oakland, CALIFORNIA) June 23 - Leonardo Maia of Oakland, California, delivered a flawless performance in the Barber Dodge Pro Series race at Portland International Raceway on Sunday, leading from flag to flag to take...
Maia dominates in Portland
(Oakland, CALIFORNIA) June 23 - Leonardo Maia of Oakland, California, delivered a flawless performance in the Barber Dodge Pro Series race at Portland International Raceway on Sunday, leading from flag to flag to take his third win of the season. The win caps off an outstanding weekend for the second year Barber Dodge driver, as he extended his lead in the championship by scoring twenty three points with twenty for the win, two for qualifying, and one for carding the fastest race lap, which also set a new track record. The twenty-three point result is the first ever for any driver since the Pro Series began rewarding a point for fastest lap in 2002.
"This was a great weekend for me. At the start, I didn't even want to look back, I just wanted to get out of there as fast as I could," said Maia. "Towards the middle of the race, I had a pretty good gap to David Martinez, but then he started catching me a bit, so I bumped it up again in the late stages of the race. This is my second time to race here in Portland, and it's a great track. Its really a big rhythm track, and even though I was running alone, its got so much variety in the track that it kept me busy the whole race."
The start of the race was waved off as Memo Rojas prematurely ducked behind Maia before start/finish. On the second try, the field received the green flag and Maia got a good jump to take the lead through the festival chicanes. There was a big melee behind the Californian taking out several drivers including Memo Rojas who was in second place in the championship. Maia didn't look back and began building his lead over second place David Martinez. The Mexican was breathing down Maia's neck for the first two laps, but the gap between the two began to increase with every lap. Maia's lead was up three seconds by the halfway point and it looked like he would just cruise to his third victory of the year. With three quarters of the race completed, some of the corner workers began to report a light drizzle on the front half of the track. Just when it looked like weather would play a part in the race, the rain stopped. Maia still led but with the checkered a few laps away, his lead began to shrink. Martinez was able to close the gap to 1.8sec during the final laps of the race but was never able to challenge Maia for the lead. The checkered flag waved as Maia pumped his fist in the air overjoyed with his dominating performance.
Maia now heads to Cleveland with a 25 point advantage over fourth place finisher Dan DiLeo, and a 35 point lead over Rojas. Round six of the Barber Dodge Pro Series will take place at the Burke Lakefront Airport in the heart of Cleveland on the 5th of July.