NA-F2000: Morioka Charlotte Saturday story

For more information: Linda Mansfield, lindamansfield@CompuServe.com Morioka to Start Third Saturday Night In Charlotte FF2000 Race CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 26 -Zak Morioka and the Kentucky Fried Chicken/A.M.E. Sports Van Diemen ...

For more information: Linda Mansfield, lindamansfield@CompuServe.com

Morioka to Start Third Saturday Night In Charlotte FF2000 Race

CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 26 -Zak Morioka and the Kentucky Fried Chicken/A.M.E. Sports Van Diemen Quicksilver Ford No. 27 will start third in Saturday night's U.S. Formula Ford 2000 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

He started and finished third in Friday's FF2000 race here.

Going into Saturday's race, Morioka is one point behind Buddy Rice in the overall point standings and six ahead of Rice for the oval championship, which will be determined after the results of Saturday's race are made official.

Under hot and muggy conditions, Andrea DeLorenzi won the pole for Saturday's race in the 38-driver field with a lap at 44.033 seconds (130.811 mph), which was a tick off the qualifying record he set Friday. His Tatuus has been consistently fastest here.

Morioka's time was a 44.459-second lap for a speed of 129.558 mph. That's faster than he went during time trials Friday for the first race, where he ended up with a lap at 44.785 seconds (128.61 mph).

In order, the top five in time trials for Saturday's race were DeLorenzi; Friday's race winner, Ryan Hampton; Morioka; Rice and Augie Pabst III.

"I went as fast as I could go, but I couldn't catch the Tatuus in time trials," Morioka said. "Because of its design, it can always beat a Van Diemen in a straight-line drag race, and this oval has long straightaways.

"We made a lot of changes with our car since yesterday's race, and we're running even better now," he added. "We're running as little wing as we can with it still being safe. My cold is better today than it was yesterday too, so we'll just hope for the best. As far as I know we're probably not going to run the happy-hour practice session to save both me and the car."

The 30-lap/48-mile race is scheduled to get the green flag at 6 p.m.

It is the second half of a doubleheader presented by Spawn, a New Line Cinema movie, and it is a supporting event to the VisionAire 500 Indy Racing League program. -30-

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Buddy Rice , Ryan Hampton