NA-F2000: Justus wins oval crown in grand style at IRP

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 23, 2000)-- Aaron Justus, of Crestline, Calif., won Round 11 of the U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision Night Before the Grand Prix at Indianapolis Raceway Park, capturing the Road To...

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 23, 2000)-- Aaron Justus, of Crestline, Calif., won Round 11 of the U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision Night Before the Grand Prix at Indianapolis Raceway Park, capturing the Road To Indy Oval Crown Championship. Marc-Antoine Camirand, of Trois-Rivieres, Que., Can. and Piero Rodarte, of Mexico City, Mexico completed the top-three. Driving the No. 32 Forsythe/Indeck/Torco Van Diemen Ford, Justus secured his first U.S. F2000 championship winning the Oval Crown Championship leading flag-to-flag at IRP. Starting on pole, Justus got a good start holding off both Rodarte and Camirand into the first corner. The trio soon separated themselves from the rest of the field. The field was bunched up on lap six for caution, after Ian Lacy and Billy Asaro made contact in corner two. On the lap 11 restart, Justus held off a determined Camirand for the lead. The lead trio soon became evenly spaced out until the second caution on lap 29, for Larry Vatri brushing the wall in corner two. On the lap 33 restart, Justus once again held on to the lead. With two laps remaining, Camirand closed in on Justus. On the last lap Camirand attempted to pass for the lead on the inside of corner four. Justus left Camirand room to race, but held on to win by a margin of 0.093 second. The win is Justus' fifth of the season, including all three Road To Indy Oval Crown races. In addition to the wins, Justus led all but two laps on the three oval races. Justus retains the overall points championship heading into the season-finale at Road Atlanta next weekend. "This is the perfect way to win the Oval Crown Championship, " said Justus. "It's hard to believe that two years ago I was at home wondering if my racing career was over. The next step is to go to Road Atlanta and win the overall championship." Camirand, driving the No. 96 Key Motorsport Van Diemen Ford, kept his title hopes alive with a strong second-place finish on the 0.686-mile oval. Starting third, Camirand moved into second place at the start of the race. On all three restarts Camirand challenged for the lead, but was never able to make the pass on the inside stick. The podium finish was Camirand's seventh of the season and moves him back into second in the overall standings. "I tied to make clean pass on Aaron [Justus] at the end of the race," said Camirand. "The car got better as the race progressed. I played with my front bars and I had great car at the end. The result means I still have a chance in Atlanta. I'll go and just try to have fun." Driving the No. 55 TelMex/Sico/Yumuri/Elf Van Diemen Ford, Rodarte captured his first-ever podium finish with a strong race. After losing second place on the opening lap, Rodarte stayed with lead duo the remainder of the race. Battling a first gear problem, Rodarte was threatened on each of the restarts but held the position the entire race. "This result is fantastic," said an overjoyed Rodarte. "I saw that couldn't catch those guys at the end, so I concentrated on getting my first podium finish." Completing the top-five was Peter Walsh, of Cork, Ireland and James Eaton, of Toronto, Ont., Can.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Race results for Saturdays 50-lap, 34.30-mile U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision Round 11 Race and Final Round of The Road To Indy Oval Crown Championship, part of the Night Before the Grand Prix, with finishing position, qualifying position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car, laps completed and reason out.

<pre> 1. (1), Aaron Justus, Crestline, Calif., Van Diemen Ford, 50. 2. (3), Marc-Antoine Camirand, St. Leonard, Quebec, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 3. (2), Piero Rodarte(R), Mexico City, Mexico, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 4. (10), Peter Walsh(R), Cork, Ireland, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 5. (12), James Eaton(R), Toronto, Ontario, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 6. (13), J.W. Urlin(R), London, Ontario, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 7. (6), Memo Rojas Jr.(R), Mexico City, Mexico, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 8. (8), James Hanson(R), Leeds, England, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 9. (16), Daniel Muniz, San Jose, Costa Rica, , Van Diemen Ford, 50. 10. (15), Tommy Constantine, Scottsdale, Ariz., Van Diemen Ford, 50. 11. (9), Jeff Harrison(R), Grapevine, Texas, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 12. (14), Harold Primat, France, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 13. (18), Tony Buffomante, Streamwood, Ill., Carbir Ford, 50. 14. (11), Joey Scarallo, Haupauge, N.Y., Van Diemen Ford, 50. 15. (17), Tom Wood, Calgary, Ariz., Van Diemen Ford, 50. 16. (23), Michael Simpson, Apple Valley, Calif., Van Diemen Ford, 49. 17. (21), Kyle Burts, Tomball, Texas, Van Diemen Ford, 48. 18. (19), Aaron Ellis(R), New Palistine, Ind., Van Diemen Ford, 48. 19. (22), Larry Vatri, Canal Winchester, Ohio, Swift DB-6 Ford, 35, CONTACT. 20. (5), Billy Asaro(R), Unionville, Ontario, Van Diemen Ford, 19, CONTACT. 21. (4), Arie Luyendyk Jr.(R), Holland, Van Diemen Ford, 12, CONTACT. 22. (20), Carl Russo(R), Ft. Collins, Colo., Van Diemen Ford, 12, CONTACT. 23. (7), Ian Lacy, N. Las Vegas, Nev., Van Diemen Ford, 5, CONTACT.

Time of race: 27 minutes, 14.168 seconds. Average speed: 75.561 miles-per-hour Margin of victory: 9.3000 seconds Lap leaders: # 32 1- 50 Aaron Justus Fastest race lap: Aaron Justus, 0:21.342 (115.715 mph)

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Marc-Antoine Camirand , Harold Primat , Memo Rojas , Piero Rodarte , Carl Russo , Aaron Justus , Aaron Ellis , Tom Wood , Tommy Constantine , Ian Lacy , Billy Asaro , Tony Buffomante , Mike Simpson , Arie Luyendyk Jr.