LEXINGTON, OHIO (August 13, 2000) -- Team KOOL Greenâ€™s Jeff Simmons and Jonny Kane both battled back from early race incidents that dropped them to the back of the field to claim valuable points in todayâ€™s Dayton Indy Lights race at Mid-Ohio.
LEXINGTON, OHIO (August 13, 2000) -- Team KOOL Green’s Jeff Simmons and Jonny Kane both battled back from early race incidents that dropped them to the back of the field to claim valuable points in today’s Dayton Indy Lights race at Mid-Ohio. Simmons overcame an early race spin to finish sixth, while Kane fought back from an incident with Felipe Giaffone to finish 10th.
Rookie Townsend Bell, who started second, got past slow-starting pole-sitter Jason Bright to score his initial win in the series. Bell beat points leader Scott Dixon, who started 8th, by .381 seconds. Jason Bright followed Dixon in third, with Tony Renna and Casey Mears coming home in fourth and fifth.
Dixon continues to lead the championship with 93 points after seven of 12 races. Townsend Bell is now second with 80 points, followed by Jason Bright with 72 points and Casey Mears with 69 points. Simmons is seventh overall with 42 points, while his teammate Jonny Kane is 10th with 35.
JEFF SIMMONS, #26 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20:
(Started 6th / Finished 6th ; Currently 7th in the standings with 50 points)
“I don’t know exactly what happened on the start, but it went well for me. It looked like the inside line guys got held up for some reason. (Simmons, starting 6th, was in the outside line). So I was able to slip past Mears and Jonny (Kane). Then I was able to make a late move on Jason (Bright) and pick up another spot. The car was really good and I think I was the fastest guy out there at the time. I was closing on Giaffone and my plan was to get close in Turn One, get a good jump out of Turn Two, and pass him down the back straight. Unfortunately, I lost it going into to Turn Two. I’m not sure if it was a brake problem or what. The pedal got longer and longer throughout the race and I had to adjust the brake bias to keep them from locking up. After that, it was just a matter of fighting my way back up. I could have done with a few less yellows because they cut down on my opportunities to make up some positions.”
JONNY KANE, #27 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20:
(Started 3rd / Finished 10th : Currently 10th in the standings with 35 points)
“That was a messed up start. Bright (polesitter) didn’t take off on the start, so Bell took the green flag. I couldn’t believe they gave us a start, because basically the whole left side of the grid got penalized by the pole man not being able to get away. I tried to get by Jason once I realized his car wasn’t running properly. He forced me onto the grass so there was no way past there. That dropped me to fifth place on the start. In my opinion, it should have been a wave off.”
“I got close to Giaffone and he braked very wide, which made me think he saw me coming. Then he started to take the racing line, and I had to brake harder to avoid him once I saw him coming across. I ended up hitting my front wheel against his rear wheel. That was about it. I came to the pits and the Team KOOL Green crew was able to put on a new steering arm and get me back out without losing a lap. But it was a struggle to make up any positions, especially with all the yellows. We got a couple of points, but it’s not what we wanted.”