HAMPTON TAKES SECOND-STRAIGHT IN CHARLOTTE F2000 THRILLER
CONCORD, N.C. – Ryan Hampton, of Glendora, Calif., took his second U.S. F2000 National Championship victory in as many races in one of the most exciting races in series history at the Charlotte Motor Speedway VisionAire 500k Weekend. Robby McGehee, of St. Louis finished second.
Hampton, driving the No. 88 American Instruments/Body Abuse Tatuus Ford, started from the pole and led 10 laps of the 30-lap, 48.0-mile contest which featured 15 official lead changes. After taking the lead with two laps remaining, Hampton saw McGehee draft the No. 2 VisionAire/Energizer Tatuus Ford alongside in turn three of the final lap, but surged ahead to win by 0.054-second, averaging 113.12 mph.
"Charlotte has treated me real well since I've taken three of my four wins here," said Hampton. "It was a dogfight of a race at the end and he was in good position and trying hard. It was just an awesome race."
McGehee, who led for 12 laps, actually nosed ahead in turn three before being overpowered to the checkered flag.
"Ryan (Hampton) and I were working well together at the end of the race but we just didn't have the legs to get by," said McGehee. "After a couple of disappointing finishes it's nice to be back up here on the podium, especially since our sponsor, VisionAire, is the event sponsor for the IRL race."
Andy Lally, of Northport, N.Y., led the first two laps and was in the hunt for the win for much of the event, but an oil pump failure put him out with just two laps left. Lally's departure opened up the door for Sam Hornish Jr., of Defiance, Ohio, to take his first podium finish after starting 15th.
Points leader David Besnard finished fourth, and ran the fastest lap in F2000 series' history (135.447 mph) during the race. He was followed by Bobby Oergel, of Palmetto, Fla. Hampton's win moved him to within 19 points of Besnard in the season standings (273-254), and McGehee moved into third, with 188 points. Larry Oberto took his second-straight "B" Class win for older cars.
Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond finished 11th before catching a plane to France for the completion of the cycling classic.
CONCORD, N.C. -- Results from the 30-lap, 48.0-mile U.S. F2000 National Championship Round 10 race, part of the VisionAire 500k weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, class, car, laps and reason out (if any). 1. (1), Ryan Hampton, Glendora, Calif., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 30. 2. (3), Robby McGehee, St. Louis, Mo., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 30. 3. (15), Sam Hornish Jr., Defiance, Ohio, F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 30. 4. (4), David Besnard, Sydney, Australia, F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 30. 5. (5), Bobby Oergel, Palmetto, Fla., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 30. 6. (7), Steve Rikert, Rhinebeck, N.Y., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 30. 7. (8), Marc-Antoine Camirand, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Can., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 30. 8. (9), Tim Duit, Edmond, Okla., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 30. 9. (6), Mike Johnson, Gainsville, Ga., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 30. 10. (11), Alejandro Garcia, Venezuela, F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 30. 11. (13), Greg LeMond, Medina, Minn., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 30. 12. (18), Ric Rushton, Santa Fe, N.M., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 30. 13. (23), Jeff Smith, Terre Haute, Ind., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 30. 14. (17), James Yott, Montreal, Quebec, Can., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 30. 15. (19), Larry Oberto, Seattle, Wash., F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 30. 16. (26), Ennis Bragg, Swainsboro, Ga., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 30. 17. (20), Christian Coggins, Atlanta, Ga., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 30. 18. (28), David Bleke, Whiteland, Ind., F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 30. 19. (27), Wilmer Valentin, Bayamon, PR, F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 29. 20. (25), Billy Puterbaugh Jr., Brownsburg, Ind., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 29. 21. (2), Andy Lally, Northport, N.Y., F2A, Bowman BC5 Ford, 28, MECH. 22. (16), Tom Wood, Calgary, Alberta, Can., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 28. 23. (24), Anthony Simone, Stouffville, Ontario, Can., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 27, MECH. 24. (12), Rolando Quintanilla, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 13, MECH. 25. (14), Duncan Dayton, North Salem, N.Y., F2A, Bowman BC5 Ford, 12, ACC. 26. (10), Jonathan Bottoms, Buffalo, N.Y., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 12, ACC. 27. (21), Jon Herb, Indianapolis, Ind., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 4, MECH. 28. (22), Joey Scarallo, Hauppauge, N.Y., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 0, DNS. 29. (30), Larry Vatri, Canal Winchester, Ohio, F2B, Swift DB-6 Ford, 0, DNS. 30. (31), John Miller, Edina, Minn., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 0, DNS. 31. (29), Larry Foyt, Houston, Texas, F2A, Tatuus Ford, 0, DNS. Time of race: 25 minutes, 27.548 seconds. Average speed: 113.122 miles-per-hour Margin of victory: 0.054-second Lap leaders: Laps 1-2, No. 5 Lally; laps 3-4, No. 88 Hampton; lap 5, No. 2 McGehee; lap 6, No. 88 Hampton; lap 7-9, No. 5 Lally; lap 10, No. 88 Hampton; laps 11-17, No. 2 McGehee; lap 18, No. 5 Lally; laps 19-20, No. 88 Hampton; laps 21-22, No. 2 McGehee; laps 23-24, No. 5 Lally; laps 25-26, No. 88 Hampton; laps 27-28, No. 2 McGehee; laps 29-30, No. 88 Hampton. Fastest race lap: David Besnard, 0:42.526 (135.446 mph), Record Fastest qualifier: No. 88 Hampton, 0:43.970 (130.998 mph)