Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma, CA -- After capturing the pole in qualifying, Frank Dancs, Hillsborough, California, easily captured the first race of the Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro Series. Dancs finished the 24-lap race, presented by Yokohama,...
Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma, CA -- After capturing the pole in qualifying, Frank Dancs, Hillsborough, California, easily captured the first race of the Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro Series. Dancs finished the 24-lap race, presented by Yokohama, with a victory margin of 4.668 seconds, winning the first place prize of $4,000, plus an additional $300 for the "Pole to Checker Award."
Starting from the pole in this race turned out to be an important advantage because Dancs not only earned the extra the extra money, but he earned an extra point, for a total of six points in the series. "I have learned over the years how to qualify better," said Dancs. "I no longer need a rabbit to get a good lap. And thanks to my mechanics, the car was perfect through every corner, which allowed me to get a good lead pretty early."
Through the Pro Mechanix Award, presented by Mechanix Wear, Dancs' mechanics will share a $250 gift certificate.
The real excitement of the race came from Camilo Zurcher, from Bogotá, Columbia. Zurcher climbed from a starting position of 10th and passed three drivers in the first lap. By lap eight, he was fifth. Zurcher continued to push his way through the field of identically-prepared Formula Russell cars to overtake two more cars to finish second.
"I was just concentrating on finishing and passing as many cars as I could," said Zurcher. "The track was slippery and there was a lot of rubber in the turns, so I had to change my style of driving a little to accommodate those conditions."
Chasing Zurcher, Timothy Barber, the youngest driver in the race, set the fastest lap, at 93.79 miles per hour on lap 18. Barber finished third. "My mechanics set up a great car," said Barber. "I just hung in there and caught a break at Turn 10, which allowed me to overtake Nathan."
Second fastest qualifier Nathan Smith, who was racing on a scholarship, ran second until the final four laps of the race, when Zurcher made a textbook pass on Turn 7 to overtake him. He was later overtaken by Barber on Turn 10. The second race in the series is at the Sonoma Grand Prix at Sears Point Raceway on July 23, 2000. Drivers are competing for a championship prize, which includes $10,000 in cash and a ride in a US F2000 car at the Petite LeMans event at Road Atlanta with an in-car camera provided by Speedvision. <pre> 2000 RUSSELL/USAC TRIPLE CROWN PRO SERIES RACE RESULTS Pos Car # Driver Sponsor Hometown Points 1 11 Frank Dancs Buyacom Computer Corp Hillsborough, CA 6 2 16 Camilo Zurcher Bogotá, Columbia 4 3 8 Timothy Barber San Francisco, CA 3 4 7 Nathan Smith Sierra West Air/Cogdill Escalon, CA 2 5 6 Cory Turner Bakersfield, CA 1 6 18 Brian Snyder ETDC Oil Pumps/FF Santa Barbara, CA 0 7 10 Jeff Oppenheim Sonoma, CA 0 8 4 Bob Hagerty Beaumont, TX 0 9 12 Max Toy B6 Prod/Miracle Auto Body Danville, CA 0 10 20 Leonardo Maia TPF Software Oakland, CA 0 11 17 Kirk Morrison Ultranectar.com San Francisco, CA 0