DOWNS EARNS HIS FIRST VICTORY OF THE SEASON, WEISERG TAKES L2 MILLVILLE, NJ JUNE 27 Matt Downs got around polesitter Frankie Montecalvo in turn one at the start and never looked back, taking his first win of the season in Round 6 of the...
DOWNS EARNS HIS FIRST VICTORY OF THE SEASON, WEISERG TAKES L2
MILLVILLE, NJ JUNE 27 Matt Downs got around polesitter Frankie Montecalvo in turn one at the start and never looked back, taking his first win of the season in Round 6 of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship at the Mazda Festival of Speed Presented by VisitFlorida.com at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
The caution-free, 34 lap event saw fast, close racing and numerous passes throughout the 16-car field, including a march up the charts by #8 Anthony Nicolosi . But once he got around Montecalvo (#66 Gunnar Racing) Downs only saw the action through his rear view mirror luckily for him, not as close as his competitors would have liked.
"It's fun!" smiled Downs, driving the #12 Eurosport Racing/Hormel Élan DP02 in Lites 1. "We got a little spoiled last year when we won a couple of times, but this year it was like, man, we can't win! And now we've won, so hopefully it's a good omen. Frankie raced me really clean he's a 19 year old kid, but he did a really great job. And then for some reason, I was able to pull away. Charlie (Shears, #21 Inspire Motorsports/US Builders) was catching me I think he would have had me, I think Nicolosi would have had me, but the race ended, so I'm thankful for that!"
For Nicolosi (Performance Tech/Medical Connections), starting 8th and finishing 2nd Sunday was a mid- course correction on a season that started well, with a second place finish in the first race of the year, but has been plagued by mechanical issues since.
"When I have a good car and the team always gives me a good car - but when nothing's going wrong and it's in my control, I can definitely get to the front and even win a race," said Nicolosi. "I've taken poles, I've got the seconds and thirds so I'm very happy at the moment. But if I can have a good car at Utah, I'd like to do the same thing!"
John Weisberg, in the #75 BERG Racing/REDCOM West WR1000 in Lites 2 returned the late pass favor to Lee Alexander (#23 Factory 48 Motorsports) in Saturday's race, it was Alexander getting by Weisberg with two laps to go for the L2 win. Sunday, it was Weisberg's turn.
"Our motor was off all through the race I had no straightaway speed, so I was just trying to keep up my speed as much as possible through the corners, pressuring Lee," said Weisberg. "Luckily, at the end there, we caught a little traffic, which brought him back to me. He made a mistake in turn eight and I got around him and that was it. It's great to be on the top step again!"
The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship continues July 9 - 11, with Rounds 7 and 8 held in conjunction with the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park.