PORTLAND, OR., (June 25, 2000) - Team KOOL Green's Jeff Simmons was the third driver in a rookie sweep of the podium at Portland International Raceway. Simmons chased runner-up Townsend Bell and race winner Jason Bright across the finish line.
PORTLAND, OR., (June 25, 2000) - Team KOOL Green's Jeff Simmons was the third driver in a rookie sweep of the podium at Portland International Raceway. Simmons chased runner-up Townsend Bell and race winner Jason Bright across the finish line. Bright's margin of victory in the 38-lap race was 0.354 seconds to claim his first career Indy Lights win.
Scott Dixon, who finished 11th, retains the lead in the standings with 56 points. Bright jumps from third to second overall with 53 points, while Casey Mears follows in third with 40. Simmons moves from eighth in the standings to fourth overall with 36 points, followed by Mario Dominguez with 35 and Kane with 32.
The race broadcast will be shown on ESPN2 next Sunday (July 1st) at 5:30 p.m. ET.
JEFF SIMMONS, #26 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20:
(Started 6th / Finished 3rd ; Currently 4th in the standings with 36 points)
"Team KOOL Green did a great job this weekend. I'd say that we had a car that was just as good as the leaders. I could feel how good the car was on the start. I didn't really have a run on anybody, but I knew where I could brake. I was able to get around a few guys on the outside. I had to back off really quick because someone was going to come across and chop off my nose, which would have ended our race pretty early. Somebody tapped me from behind [Jonny Kane], but I didn't think there was any damage. It turns out there wasn't. After that, I was chasing those guys [Jason Bright & Townsend Bell] the whole time. I was right on them, but it's really tough to pass because when you got into the fast corners you would lose the downforce. You just couldn't get a good run on them. I started to make a couple of mistakes in the middle of the race on a couple of shifts. I'm not sure if we had a problem with the gearbox or not. It didn't want to come out of gear, to go into the next gear. That's why I dropped back from the leaders. They started to fight with each other and I was able to climb back into the fight myself. I just didn't have enough time to put together a really good run to make a pass."
JONNY KANE, #27 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20:
(Started 3rd / Finished 17th ; Currently 6th in the standings with 32 points)
"I didn't get off to a very good start. Everybody got bottled up into the slowest part of the first corner. I had the KOOL car in a traffic jam. It's a bit like being on the freeway when someone hits the brakes and it all goes back. I got caught out a little bit and ran into the back of Jeff [Simmons], damaging the front wing. That really wasn't the big problem. I could still run with the wing like that and do pretty competitive times. We also had a misfire in the engine, which started on the warm-up laps. It seemed to clear itself, but it came back again after a couple of laps. The engine would not pull at all. I was only just getting into top gear on the straights, so there was no way I was going to hang on for any points at all. It turns out that the problem was a broken sparkplug lead."