DOBSON AND DONOHUE DOMINATE MOTOWN; DOBSON CAPTURES DODGE CHALLENGE CUP DETROIT (June 8, 1997) - David Donohue and Dominic Dobson captured rounds five and six of the Super Touring Championship at the ITT Automotive Grand Prix at Belle Isle,...
DOBSON AND DONOHUE DOMINATE MOTOWN; DOBSON CAPTURES DODGE CHALLENGE CUP
DETROIT (June 8, 1997) - David Donohue and Dominic Dobson captured rounds five and six of the Super Touring Championship at the ITT Automotive Grand Prix at Belle Isle, and Dobson captured the $5,000 bonus for winning the Dodge Challenge Cup. Donohue went wire-to-wire in race one, and Dobson moved past pole sitter Donohue on the start of race two and sped to victory lane.
Dobson finished second in race one in his PPG Dodge after chasing Donohue's Pac West Dodge the entire 15-lap distance. Donohue, who captured the pole for both Super Touring races, trailed Dobson off the starting line in race two, and appeared headed for a second place finish and the Dodge Challenge Cup before making heavy contact with the McCormick Lines-LCI Honda of Crompton on the final lap. He recovered to finish sixth.
Donohue's fast start in race one was slowed quickly when Darren Law spun in turn two on lap one in his INTRAX BMW, bringing out the first caution. Crompton was able to find his way around the CEC Antera BMW of Randy Pobst on the opening lap. Pobst later retired with engine failure while running fourth.
On the restart, Crompton stayed close to the leading Dodges and trailed them to the checkered flag. Peter Cunningham finished fourth in the Red Line Oil/H.A.R.T. Honda. David Welch finished fifth in the Red Auto Leasing Ford, taking the Independents' Challenge victory.
"The PacWest Dodge Stratus was really on the money this weekend," said Donohue. "For me the first race was picture perfect. I didn't have the greatest start in the second race, but in the first race I got a reasonably good start. It was good to have the Dodges up front for both races.
While Dobson was taking the top spot from Donohue in race two, Cunningham out-muscled Crompton for third from his fourth starting position. The top four pulled away from the field in a tight pack.
Crompton and Cunningham made contact on lap seven, Cunningham went head-first into the tire barrier, sustaining heavy front end damage. He was taken to the hospital and released.
The race was restarted on lap 11 of the 12-lap event. The top three battled for position, and Crompton saw his opportunity in turn 13, moving under Donohue. The two came together, with Donohue hitting the tire barrier.
"Unfortunately, David and I made contact; I feel bad about it," said Crompton. "David is very dissatisfied with the result as I would be. I had a quick pace around the left hander, and knew it was a marginal move, but I dived down inside knowing that there was very high risk involved. I feel bad for him and his team because they've done a very good job this weekend. But my job description is race driver; I see a hole and go for it."
"The second race I flubbed the start; Dominic got up front and I really couldn't do much with him," said Donohue. "I don't think I need to address what happened at the end. I don't care to comment."
Crompton took second and Welch moved up to third. The Mazda of Bob Schader and the Honda of Forrest Granlund trailed them.
"I'm tickled to come away with the Dodge Challenge Cup in the PPG Dodge for the second year in a row,' said Dobson. It's a bonus; not something I had high hopes for, not after David dominated qualifying. It's very unfortunate what happened to David, taking him out of contention in the second race."
"I was able to get ahead of him in the second race," added Dobson. "Our cars are so evenly matched, so once I got out in front, it was kind of the situation in the first race for me, there is nothing you can do."
Dobson and Donohue remain in contention for the $50,000 bonus offered by Dodge to the driver who can capture three race victories and two poles in the four races at Belle Isle and Cleveland.
Crompton was excluded from the results of the second race after a review of the incidents involving Cunningham and Donohue. With his fifth and second place finishes, Welch won the Independent's Challenge. Bob Schader finished second in the Independents' Challenge in his Schader Motorsports Mazda.
In the Driver's Championship, Dobson leads with 97 points, followed by Donohue with 94. Crompton is third with 91. Cunningham is fourth with 85 points. Schader leads the Independent's Challenge with 67 points. Pobst trails him with 59.
ESPN2 will broadcast the two Detroit Super Touring Car Championship races on Sunday, June 15, at 3:30 p.m. ET (12:30 PT) ###