August 26, 2000 - Following a heavy crash in qualifying yesterday, Indeck/Forsythe driver Billy Asaro will be unable to compete in either of this weekend's USF2000 races at the Watkins Glen road course in New York. The eighteen-year-old driver ...
August 26, 2000 - Following a heavy crash in qualifying yesterday, Indeck/Forsythe driver Billy Asaro will be unable to compete in either of this weekend's USF2000 races at the Watkins Glen road course in New York. The eighteen-year-old driver walked away from the wreck, but the car is too badly damaged to be able to race this weekend.
The crash happened during the second qualifying session of the day, when thirty-four drivers were vying for starting positions in Sunday's race. Earlier in the day, Billy had been disappointed to have qualified nineteenth for today's race.
"We've been struggling with pace all year," Billy said. "The team knows there are problems and we're all searching for answers, but every time we come out to a race we're fighting to keep up. The result from the first session wasn't acceptable, so in the afternoon I really pushed hard."
With a slightly revised set up, Asaro and his Primus Racing teammates found the cars a little faster.
"We were moving in the right direction," said team engineer John Hayes, although everyone recognized there was still some way to go.
Billy put his head down and went as hard as he could, managing to shave nearly two seconds from his earlier time, but was still only fifteenth on the grid. He was trying to wring even more from the car when the crash occurred.
At the final corner of the eleven-turn 3.4-mile (5.4km) circuit the back of the car began to slide. As he adjusted to correct, the back wheels suddenly grabbed pointing the car straight to the wall at the exit of the turn. The car slammed into the foam absorbers nose first, the impact so hard that people around the track heard it over the sound of the engines. The car and the impact absorbers did their jobs, however, protecting the driver who walked away unscathed.
"I don't really know what to say," Billy said afterwards. "I had to push like crazy to try to get a decent starting place and it cost me. I needed some good finishes to end the season, but you can't do that when you start from way back.
"The team has a test coming up and Jon Baytos (owner of Primus Racing) said we're going to try some new things and see if we can find out what's holding us back. I really hope we find something because everyone here wants to do well and I think we're all getting frustrated."