Newton, Iowa – Belardi Auto Racing’s Peter Dempsey demonstrated fierce determination in yesterday’s Sukup 100 race at Iowa Speedway as he climbed from eighth to fourth position during the 115-lap event.
Dempsey was quick in the morning’s practice sessions on the 7/8-mile banked oval but ended up last on the starting grid after risking a big setup change for the single-car qualifying.
After about 30 laps, he had caught back up to the pack and overtook the No. 2 car of Garcia followed by the No. 26 car of then championship leader Carlos Munoz.
Dempsey had progressed to fourth when the leaders appeared on his tail. He fought hard to keep the leaders behind him throughout the last few laps and was the fastest car on track at the end of the race.
The Irish racer crossed the start/finish line in fourth and was the only non-Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car to finish the race on the lead lap.
“The day started off quite well,” commented Dempsey. “The car felt very good in the first two practice sessions, but we felt we were missing a little bit to have a go at qualifying.
We decided to make some aggressive setup changes to see if we could get a car for pole, and unfortunately, it didn’t work out for us. It was a joint decision between me and my engineer, and we paid the penalty qualifying eighth.
“We changed the car back for the race to where we were in practice and struggled for the first 30 laps, but the car really started to come in mid-race. I made a lot of adjustments with the in-car tools and got to the point where the car was race-able.
We were able to fight our way through traffic to fourth and remain on the lead lap. Overall, I’m quite happy to take a fourth place. The guys at Belardi Auto Racing worked extremely hard all day. I’m looking forward to Pocono now!”
Dempsey gained 32 points for the championship and maintained his fourth place spot in the standings.
Up next for Peter and the Belardi Auto Racing team is the new tri-oval track of Pocono Raceway July 5-7.
Peter Dempsey Racing