NA-F2000: Mid-Ohio Andy Lally notes

Lally's Stirring Charge Ends Prematurely Saturday at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 8 - Andy Lally of Northport, N.Y., put in an amazing charge from 14th to eighth on the first lap of the caution-filled 22-lap U.S. Formula 2000...

Lally's Stirring Charge Ends Prematurely Saturday at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 8 - Andy Lally of Northport, N.Y., put in an amazing charge from 14th to eighth on the first lap of the caution-filled 22-lap U.S. Formula 2000 race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Saturday afternoon.

Laps two through five were run under yellow but when the green flew again on lap six the Northport, N.Y. star put the Highcroft Racing/Red Line Oil Bowman BC5 into seventh by passing Marc-Antoine Camirand going into the keyhole. He ran in seventh for the next seven laps, mostly as the third driver in a six-car train around the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course.

Unfortunately Lally's spectacular drive came to a premature end when he was pinched into the frontstretch wall on a restart on lap 14.

"Someone slept on the green," Lally said after the race. "I don't know how it all happened exactly, but I got driven into the inside wall with nowhere to go. The whole side of the car was gone. I ended up going across the track and had contact with Ric Rushton too. It was really a shame."

Lally ended up 37th in the 47-car field in the final race results. The event was won by David Besnard over Robby McGehee, Tim Duit, Jonathan Bottoms, Camirand, Bobby Oergel, Sam Hornish Jr., Anthony Simone, Joey Scarallo and Guy Cosmo. The event was a companion race to the Miller 200 CART FedEx series event.

As fast as Lally was flying in the early stages of the race, there was no telling where he might have finished had his racing luck not run out prematurely.

"The start was great," Lally agreed. "I was able to go from 14th to eighth on the first lap by late-braking and taking the outside line. That part of the race was great for us; I only wish we'd have been able to keep going. Hopefully things will go better at Atlanta."

Highcroft Racing's Duncan Dayton of North Salem, N.Y., is looking forward to Atlanta too. He started 22nd Saturday and ended up 44th after being involved in an accident with Alejandro Garcia in turn 10 on the very first lap.

"It bent the right upper wishbone; I drove it back to the pits," Dayton said. "It's unbelievable. I just want to finish a race and have some fun."

Greg LeMond, Steve Rikert and Mike Johnson know just how Dayton feels. Johnson only made one lap too, while Rikert and LeMond were involved in a separate accident before they even made one circuit.

Matthew Smith of Lafayette, Calif., joined the Highcroft team in a "one-off" arrangement for this event. He ended up 25th with his Bowman, which was sponsored by U.S. Print, Paladin & Associates and Revo Sunglasses. He qualified 39th. He was making his first pro F2000 start, and he was competing in only his second race at Mid-Ohio ever.

On Saturday morning Lally qualified 14th and Dayton 22nd.

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Duncan Dayton , Robby McGehee , Marc-Antoine Camirand , Guy Cosmo , Andy Lally , David Besnard , Mike Johnson , Matthew Smith , Anthony Simone , Sam Hornish Jr.