NA-F2000: Andy Lally to Appear at Pennzoil Motorsports

Lally to Sign Autographs at Pennzoil Motorsports '99 On Saturday Afternoon, Jan. 16 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. NORTHPORT, N.Y., Dec. 23 - A racing expert has chosen Andy Lally of Northport, N.Y., as the favorite to win the U.S. Formula 2000...

Lally to Sign Autographs at Pennzoil Motorsports '99 On Saturday Afternoon, Jan. 16 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

NORTHPORT, N.Y., Dec. 23 - A racing expert has chosen Andy Lally of Northport, N.Y., as the favorite to win the U.S. Formula 2000 national championship in 1999. Race fans who attend the Pennzoil Motorsports '99 show at the Fort Washington Expo Center in Fort Washington, Pa., on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 16 can meet this rising star in "Autograph Alley," where he's scheduled to sign autographs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The U.S. Formula 2000 series is a primary training ground for future open-wheel superstars. It's considered to be two steps below Indy cars.

As a member of Duncan Dayton's dynamic Highcroft Racing team headquartered in New Milford, Conn., Lally, 23, finished fourth in the U.S. F2000 national championship in 1998 with the brand-new Bowman BC5 F2000 chassis.

His plans for the 1999 season are still up in the air. If he does return to the F2000 series in 1999, however, Calvin Fish thinks he has a good chance to be the titlist.

Fish, the chief instructor of The Mid-Ohio School, a TV commentator and the 1987 champion of a series above F2000, Atlantics, said just that when Lally was honored with the prestigious Mid-Ohio School Driver Achievement Award at the F2000 series' year-end banquet. This award is presented annually by The Mid-Ohio School, a professional driving school based at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

"When the coaches analyzed all of the criteria for The Mid-Ohio School Driver Achievement Award, Andy was the obvious choice," Fish said. "His dedication and attitude toward improving all facets of his profession mark him as a driver who will succeed in the upper echelons of the sport. His competitiveness and racecraft in this very intense season were remarkable, especially when developing an all-new race car. It was just a few bad breaks which kept Andy from scoring several wins. Clearly, if Andy returns to the series next year, he would be the favorite to take championship honors."

In determining the award recipient, nine factors were judged. They were: on-track decision making, racecraft, sportsmanship, the driver's desire to improve, his ability to accept feedback, his improvement in general, his technical understanding of the sport and his race car, his consistency and his off-track professionalism.

In 1998 Lally helped to develop the Bowman BC5 chassis, a car built in England which debuted last January. Lally recorded nine top-10 finishes in the 14 events in 1998, including six podium finishes. He was fourth overall in the Oval Crown point standings as well as the national championship point standings at the end of the year.

Together, Lally and his teammate and team owner, Duncan Dayton of North Salem, N.Y., propelled Highcroft Racing Ltd. to runner-up in the overall point standings for prep shops in 1998 with 33 points.

For more information on Highcroft Racing, fans can visit the Highcroft Racing website at www.pitpass.org or call (860) 350-3660. Information on the Pennzoil Motorsports show is available at www.aarn.com/motorsports or by calling (609) 888-3618 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The show's hours are from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15; from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16; and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 17. The expo center, which features 270,000 square feet of exhibit area, is located off exit 26 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

"The only thing that might keep me from attending Pennzoil Motorsports '99 is if my business in Florida earlier that week would keep me down there longer than I anticipate," said Lally. "I'm going to do my best to come, because it sounds like a great opportunity to meet a lot of new people and have some fun. Everything I've heard about the show makes me anxious to attend and see what it's all about for myself, and I thank Lenny Sammons, Earl Krause and Joe Pratt for the invitation to participate."

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Series GENERAL , OPENWHEEL