Dorricott Racing goes 1-2-3 at Gateway

MADISON, Ill. (Sept. 17, 2000) - - Dorricott Racing put on a show that was second to none at Gateway International Raceway, Sunday, Sept. 17, when it clearly dominated round 10 of the 12-race Dayton Indy Lights Championship in scoring an...

MADISON, Ill. (Sept. 17, 2000) - - Dorricott Racing put on a show that was second to none at Gateway International Raceway, Sunday, Sept. 17, when it clearly dominated round 10 of the 12-race Dayton Indy Lights Championship in scoring an unprecedented Indy Lights race finish of first, second, and third place. Pole sitter Townsend Bell, of Costa Mesa, Calif., led the Dorricott charge in flying flag-to-flag for his second Indy Lights victory of the season. Bell corralled his first career Indy Lights win in June at Portland International Raceway. Meanwhile, teammates Casey Mears, of Bakersfield, Calif., and Australian Jason Bright finished second and third place, respectively. No three-car team in the 15 year history of Indy Lights has ever swept the top three spots in a single race. Furthermore, no team in recorded motorsports history has ever finished first, second, and third place in a race with each respective car number in the sequential order of one, two, and three. Bell drives the No. 1 DirecPC Lola. Mears is in the No. 2 Dorricott Racing/Sooner Trailer Lola, while Bright drives the No. 3 car for Dorricott Racing. Bell crossed the finish line 6.757-seconds ahead of Mears after leading all 79 race laps race around Gateway's 1.27-mile oval at an average speed of 125.507 mph. Of utmost important to all three Dorricott drivers, series leader Scott Dixon failed to finish the race. Bell's race start was near text book perfect. The 25-year-old Bell held his position on the green flag near the middle on the front straight-away. Dixon, who started on the outside pole, was forced to take an outside line entering turns one and two. This allowed Bell to slip back to the low side of the track and comfortably secure his lead. Bright, who started fourth, held onto fourth but Mears lost ground from seventh on the grid to ninth due to slower cars in front of him. The 16-car field was stretched enough by lap three that Mears was able to catch and pass Chris Menninga for eighth place on lap eight. The race resumed on lap 28 with Mears going on the aggressive behind amazing passing through thick traffic. Mears first sped past Brazilian Felipe Giaffone for sixth place. He then zeroed in on Tony Renna and passed him for fifth place on lap 29. Mears' passing tantrum continued on lap 30 when he dueled for position with Mexico's Mario Dominguez before leaving Dominguez in his "jet wash" for fourth place. Dorricott Racing had assumed positions one, three, and four on lap 31 with Bell slowly pulling away from all. Bell's lead over Simmons by lap 44 was 1.029-second. It increased lap-by-lap to 1.549-seconds on lap 56 when Simmons oddly experienced the same fate as Dixon. Simmons was exiting turn three when he lost traction and spun rear-first into the outside wall of turn four. Simmons was uninjured but his car was severely damaged. This re-shuffled the field again with Bell, Bright, and Mears taking over first, second, and third place, respectively. The race re-started on lap 63 with Bell taking a substantial jump on Bright and Mears. Mears, however, found a clear inside line and passed Bright for second place in turn one. The final 15 laps saw Bell increase his lead over Mears and Bright by the lap, while Mears and Bell were left unchallenged for their positions. By virtue of failing to score any points at Gateway, Dixon's lead was cut by more than one-half with two races remaining. Bell earned 22 championship points including one bonus point for winning the pole and one point for leading the most laps. Bell leaped back into championship contention and only trails Dixon by 20 points, 134-114. Mears resurfaced as a bonafide Indy Lights title contender by earning 16 points and improving to third place in the championship with 107 points. Bright kept his Indy Lights championship hopes alive from his 14 points for third place. Bright is in fifth place with 91 points and is still mathematically capable of winning the championship albeit slim. Regardless, Bright was awarded two Dayton Daytona racing tires as the Dayton Rookie Award recipient. Bell scored a near-perfect "10" in terms to "bonus" awards. Besides taking home a $25,000 race purse, Bell received two Dayton Daytona racing tires and a $1,000 bonus for being the top qualifier. He placed his DirecPC Lola on the pole with a track record time of 0.28.625 = 159.721 mph. The fastest lap of the race was turned in by Bell with a time of 0.29:113 = 157.043 mph on lap 67. This added a $1,000 bonus to Bell's payday as recipient of the MCI WORLDCOM Fast Pace Award. He was also honored with the Racing For Kids Award and a $500 bonus. An additional $1,500 will be presented to a local children's hospital in Bell's name. Bell continues to lead all newcomers for Rookie-of-the-Year honors because of a 23 point margin over his closest challenger and teammate, Jason Bright, 114-91. Bell took over the lead in the Bosch Platinum+4 Speedway Challenge with 58 points, 13 points ahead of Casey Mears. The winner-take-all $10,000 Bosch award is paid to the driver that earns the most points in the year's five oval track races. Race results, team, and sponsor information are available on Dorricott Racing's official web site, http://www.dorricottracing.com. Round 11 of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship will be through the streets of downtown Houston, Texas, in the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston, Sunday, Oct. 1.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Casey Mears , Scott Dixon , Townsend Bell , Mario Dominguez , Tony Renna , Jason Bright