JRCS: Sears Point preview

2001 Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro Series Run Second Race at Sears Point Sonoma, CA -- Approximately 100,000 spectators will be watching as 17 drivers prepare to face off again this weekend at Sears Point Raceway in the second race of the 2001...

2001 Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro Series Run Second Race at Sears Point

Sonoma, CA -- Approximately 100,000 spectators will be watching as 17 drivers prepare to face off again this weekend at Sears Point Raceway in the second race of the 2001 Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro Series. The race is scheduled to run at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, during the Dodge/SaveMart 350 NASCAR Winston Cup event. Drivers are competing for a championship purse of $10,000 in cash and a two-race ride with Cape Motorsports in the final US F2000 event at Daytona on September 15 and 16, with an in-car camera provided by Speedvision

Sponsored by Yokohama Tire Corporation, Russell's Triple Crown Series kicked off at Mesa Marin Raceway on May 5 and 6, with 20-year-old Ross Fonferko winning the 60-lap race. Fonferko received $1,500 for his first place finish and picked up an additional $200 for qualifying on the pole. Fonferko, who was the 2000 Russell Rookie of the Year and a graduate of the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School, also recently learned that he will be driving a CART/Toyota Atlantic car for BBGP Racing with sponsorship from Jafco Ventures and Port-a-Cool a in the upcoming Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland on July 1.

"I'm really looking forward to the competition in the second race," said Fonferko. "David (Mayhew) was in my mirrors throughout the entire first race, and knowing who I am up against in this race, it is important that I not only finish, but that I do well."

Currently, Fonferko leads the Series with 25 points. STAART scholarship recipient David Mayhew is in second place with 21 points, and Taylor Fletcher is third with 19 points.

This year's Triple Crown features JoJo and Christine Saunders, a husband and wife team competing against each other for the championship. Christine recently took first and second place in consecutive races in the USAC Formula Russell Championship. However, JoJo, who took 5th place in the first race of the Triple Crown, leads Christine in the pro series 15 points to 7.

The Jim Russell organization created the "arrive and drive" racing series format in the 70's and has produced champions from the U.S., Australia, Russia, Sweden, Canada, Brazil, Japan and England. Past winners include Jacques Villenueve, Emerson Fittipaldi, Casey. Mears, Tommy Kendall, and Memo Gidley. Jim Russell champions have graduated to US F2000, Formula Atlantic, IRL, CART and Formula One.

Founded in 1957, Jim Russell Racing Drivers School (www.russellracing.com; keyword: russell racing) is the oldest and one of the most respected driving schools in the world. Headquartered at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, California, the school provides a full line of driving programs from a half-day Russell Test Drive to its professional racing series. Jim Russell Racing Drivers School is the official racing school of the United States Auto Club. For reservations and more information call (707) 939-7600; toll-free at (800) 733-0345. <pre> 2001 RUSSELL/USAC TRIPLE CROWN PRO SERIES ROUND ONE RACE RESULTS

Pos     Driver                  Points
1       Ross Fonferko           25
2       David Mayhew            21
3       Taylor Fletcher         19
4       Victor Hugo Queiroz     17
5       JoJo Saunders           15
6       John Knudsen            14
7       Cory Turner             13
8       Tim Butler              12
9       Bob Hagerty             11
10      Steve Hill              10
11      Randi Pankratz          9
12      John Shafer             8
13      Phil Kopp               7
14      Christine Saunders      6
15      Kevin McCue             5

-JRR-

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Memo Gidley , Emerson Fittipaldi , John Knudsen , Steve Hill , Taylor Fletcher , Randi Pankratz , David Mayhew , Tommy Kendall