Dana Scores Top 5 in His First Oval Race
INDIANAPOLIS, IN, MAY 28, 2001: Driver Paul Dana of Indianapolis delivered a strong performance in front of his home-town crowd at Indianapolis Raceway Park's "Night Before the 500," which was actually held Sunday afternoon due to rain delays. Driving the #44 Forsythe Racing/CAPCO Abrasives/Klein Tools/Mate Precision Tooling car, Dana qualified eighth and finished fifth in round six of the U.S. F2000 National Championship.
"I'm pretty pleased with where we ended up, considering how little experience we had," Dana said. "The first time I had ever driven on an oval was Wednesday, when we did an afternoon test at a track in Pittsburgh on the way back from Watkins Glen. So when we unloaded here in Indy we were pretty slow, and the rain left us with almost no track time to dial the car in."
"Luckily, we did learn a few things and my car got better during the race, so I was able to run strong when some other guys started to fall off."
Dana held his position on the start and advanced one place when the pole sitter crashed on lap two. Dana then battled hard with the sixth- and fifth-place drivers before getting by both of them to begin closing on the lead pack.
"I had a great scrap with Mike Potekhen and Jeff Harrison. It was a blast, but it cost us time and the leaders pulled away. I was able to drop them and close on Luyendyk in fourth, but I just ran out of laps."
With the reshuffled points Dana is still in 10th place overall but advances to fourth in the "Greg Moore" Rookie of the Year standings.
Next up for Dana and the AIM Autosport crew is the double header at the U.S. Road Racing Classic at Mid-Ohio June 9-10.
"With the podium finish last week at the Glen and now another top five this week, we're really starting to gather momentum. Hopefully we can keep it up."