SIMMONS SAILS TO PRO SERIES WIN AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY (Joliet, Ill. - September 11, 2005) Jeff Simmons won Sunday's excitement-filled Menards Infiniti Pro Series race at Chicagoland Speedway, holding off five challengers late in the...
SIMMONS SAILS TO PRO SERIES WIN AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY
(Joliet, Ill. - September 11, 2005) Jeff Simmons won Sunday's excitement-filled Menards Infiniti Pro Series race at Chicagoland Speedway, holding off five challengers late in the Chicagoland 100 after several cars were eliminated in an early-race accident.
It was the fifth series victory for Simmons, a former Indianapolis 500 starter, the third this season. The race featured three-wide racing and Simmons' last-lap pass of Marty Roth.
"I wasn't sure if we wanted to lead on the last lap, but that turned out to be right," said Simmons, who won by 0.2306 seconds. "It's not often that you're able to get those last-lap wins.
"It was very exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time."
Pro Series newcomer Sarah McCune tried to become the first woman to win a race in the Indy Racing League's development division, having won the pole for the Chicagoland race. She was in the lead on the sixth lap when Jay Drake attempted a pass to her inside on the backstretch.
By the time they reached the third turn they were out of room. They touched four times before McCune's car spun backward up the track in the path of the other nine cars.
The rear of McCune's car hit series points leader Wade Cunningham, and her car landed on top of his. No one was injured.
Bobby Wilson and Chris Festa also were collected. Drake drove away, but he wasn't able to keep pace with the leaders. He finished the 67-lap race two laps down.
"I thought we were doing a good job running at the front," McCune said. I don't know what happened. I know (Drake) was all the way under the white line and we got together. It's not the way you want any race day to go, especially not when you're leading.
"I'm OK, I just wish we could've had two women in Victory Lane like we had two women start from the pole for the Indy Racing League."
Simmons led a race-high 25 laps. He finished second in this event last year. Roth scored a career-best second-place finish in the series.