IRL: Oldsmobile Motorsport Pikes Peak Race Notes

FOUNTAIN, Colo. - Greg Ray has a clear view of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League championship after a dominant performance today in the Colorado 200 at mile-high Pikes Peak International Raceway. Ray reprised his winning effort in last June's ...

FOUNTAIN, Colo. - Greg Ray has a clear view of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League championship after a dominant performance today in the Colorado 200 at mile-high Pikes Peak International Raceway. Ray reprised his winning effort in last June's Radisson 200 at PPIR, taking the pole and leading 146 of 200 laps to score his third victory in four races - all on one-mile ovals. Ray took the lead for good on lap 183 when race leader Mark Dismore pitted for fuel. He beat runner-up Davey Hamilton to the checkered flag by .445 seconds. Dismore finished third, while Colorado resident Buddy Lazier was fourth, the last driver on the lead lap. "I wish we would race here a few more times this year!" Ray exclaimed after scoring Team Menard's seventh victory, the most among all IRL teams. "The wind was the biggest factor today. It really changed how the car reacted from one end of the track to the other." Ray knocked Scott Goodyear off the top of the championship standings by scoring 53 points - three for the pole and 50 for the victory - and now leads by 44 points with two races remaining. Goodyear, hampered by a broken water line fitting, finished 21st. "We're not doing anything different than we did at the beginning of the season," Ray reported. "Our race strategy is getting better, our pit stops are getting better. I have confidence in the car and the team, and a lot of patience." Ray led an Oldsmobile sweep of the top ten positions as the only Infiniti-powered entry finished three laps behind the winner. Oldsmobile's IRL Aurora V8 engines enjoyed another perfect reliability record at Pikes Peak, with no reported mechanical problems. The race was slowed by three caution periods - two for accidents and one for debris on the track. There were no injuries, and 21 of the 24 starters were running at the finish. Davey Hamilton posted his fourth Top Five finish in four races at PPIR. "When we came out of the pits after the last stop, I got beside Greg and ran wheel-to-wheel with him for a few laps, but just didn't have enough to get by on the outside," Hamilton explained. "He was a little faster in traffic, and I was faster in clean air." "We're not going to give up on the championship," Hamilton vowed. "Finishing second the last two years felt great, but you always want to win. We're going to fight all the way to the end." Dismore was delighted with his third-place finish. "It's nice to be here after knocking the wheels off in Dover," he laughed. "This really catapults us forward in the championship. If a couple of these guys have a hiccup, we're right there. I think I had a little more downforce than Greg and Davey, but I couldn't do anything with them on the straightaways." After a four-week respite, the race for the Pep Boys Million will resume on the high-banked 1.5-mile oval at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 26.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Buddy Lazier , Davey Hamilton , Mark Dismore , Scott Goodyear