LAS VEGAS- Sunday, October 29, 2000- A season of perfect top-ten finishes was guaranteed today as Terri Hundertmark brought home a tenth-place finish in the ...
LAS VEGAS- Sunday, October 29, 2000- A season of perfect top-ten finishes was guaranteed today as Terri Hundertmark brought home a tenth-place finish in the #4 Wholesale Tire Distributors/ Michelin/ Racing For Kids/ MsSpeed.com/ TCR Panoz here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). The season-finale Women's Global GT Series Grand Prix of Las Vegas presented by Race Rock, closed out the Indianapolis resident's season with her sixth top-ten finish in the six WGGTS events. Though starting tenth, the perfect record was not easy.
"I got hung out on the start by being on the outside," reflected Hundertmark on her start. "I just couldn't find a hole to get the car to the inside. By the time we got to the infield several cars had gotten around me and I knew I was going to have to fight hard to make my way back up."
Hundertmark had qualified 11th in the field but a late withdrawal by another driver moved her to the tenth position. In this case, bettering her starting position hurt the WGGTS rookie. The one position advance moved her from the inside- preferred- line to the outside of the track. Five cars were able to get past the gold #4 Panoz as she struggled to bring the car onto the racing line. Through constant effort Hundertmark was able to battle her way up to the tenth position.
"The race was tough and the car was starting to push about half way through the race. We got another top-ten finish for Michelin and Racing For Kids and that was important to me. My parents and family are here this weekend and it is the first time they have watched me race in person. That meant a lot to me."
The top-ten performance was a bright spot on a busy weekend for Hundertmark. In Thursday testing, the Colorado-born driver took the orange #6 off the track doing heavy damage to the car forcing a change to the #4 entry. To closeout her visit to Las Vegas, she will be married to CART crew chief Dave Popielarz on Monday.
"I definitely want to thank all the guys at the Panoz Racing School, the WGGTS, at Michelin and Dr. Panoz for giving us a really strong year to show how competitive women drivers can be," offered Hundertmark on her 2000 race season. "We finished in the top-ten every race, the top-ten in points and got a top-five at Road Atlanta. I am proud of that because this series is so tight and there are some good drivers out there. The Women's Series is a huge example of how to make it in racing; start at the Panoz Racing School, through the WGGTS and work your way up to the ALMS. That is my goal and how I am planning to get there."
As the sole female spokesperson for Racing For Kids, Hundertmark helps raise awareness of the health-care needs of children in the communities in which she races. Racing For Kids, has raised over $1.5 million since its creation.