FOUNTAIN, Colo. - Dan Wheldon, of England, clinched the Road To Indy Oval Crown Championship in dominating fashion at Pikes Peak International Raceway, leading the U.S. F2000 National Championship event flag-to-flag. T.J. Bell, of Sparks, Nev.,...
FOUNTAIN, Colo. - Dan Wheldon, of England, clinched the Road To Indy Oval Crown Championship in dominating fashion at Pikes Peak International Raceway, leading the U.S. F2000 National Championship event flag-to-flag. T.J. Bell, of Sparks, Nev., and Andy Lally, of Northport, N.Y., completed the top-three. Wheldon, who was fastest in every session on the weekend in the No. 5 Jayhard/Primus Racing Van Diemen Ford, took the lead at the start and never looked back in the 50-lap, 50-mile contest that went caution-free. Wheldon took his fourth win of the season, his second on an oval, by 1.954 seconds averaging a record 128.250 mph. Wheldon's win clinched the championship of the Road To Indy Oval Crown, which is made up of the series' five oval races. The driver who had never seen an oval prior to 1999 finished with a 140 to 90 point advantage over Steve Rikert, who finished 11th. "It's great to win the Oval Championship, and mentally, this has been one of the toughest weekends," said Wheldon, 21. "After losing ground to Marc-Antoine (Camirand) in the championship, we had to have a good weekend. Everything we did this weekend worked. I pushed really hard for the first 25 laps and the car kept working well." Bell, of Sparks, Nev., tied his career-best finish of second after starting sixth in the No. 23 El Dorado/MiR/Feature Graphics Van Diemen Ford. The 18-year-old battled with Lally for the position at the race's mid-point, and reeled Wheldon in toward the end of the race. "I really closed the interval on the start of the white-flag lap and then caught traffic in turn two," said Bell. "Cape Motorsports gave me a great car. I think if we would have had a yellow, it might have happened. I might have caught (Wheldon)." Lally started fifth in the No. 72 Tyrolean Auto Sport Carbir Ford and moved to second by lap three. A clear track hurt Lally, who had set his car up for traffic. "The race was the total opposite of what I figured," said Lally, who had his fourth top-five in the last five races. "I completely burned off the right rear of the car. If I could have seen it in the mirror, I would have pitted to change it. T.J. (Bell) and I had a great battle halfway through, but after he got by, I just tried to hold on to the podium." Mark Dismore, of Greenfield, Ind., set the fastest race lap at 130.937 mph and finished fourth, followed by Jonathan Bottoms, of Buffalo, N.Y. Marc-Antoine Camirand, who started 13th, moved up to finish sixth to take the Taylor Race Engineering "Shark" award. Despite his effort, Camirand lost his points lead in the 14-race overall championship to Wheldon, who now leads 253 to 248 with two races remaining.
FOUNTAIN, Colo. - Final results from Saturday's 50-lap, 50-mile U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision Round 12 race, the final round of the Road To Indy Oval Crown with finishing position, starting position in parenthesis, driver (Rookie), hometown, class, car, laps complete and reason out, if any. 1. (1), Dan Wheldon (R), England, F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 2. (6), T.J. Bell, Sparks, Nev., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 3. (5), Andy Lally, Northport, N.Y., F2A, Carbir Ford, 50. 4. (8), Mark Dismore (R), Greenfield, Ind., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 5. (12), Jonathan Bottoms, Buffalo, N.Y., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 6. (13), Marc-Antoine Camirand, Trois-Rivieres, Can., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 7. (11), Harold Primat (R), New York, N.Y., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 8. (3), Tom Wood, Calgary, Alberta, Can., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 50. 9. (9), Bryce Miller (R), Bernardsville, N.J., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 10. (16), Bobby Oergel, Fresno, Calif., F2A, Mygale Ford, 50. 11. (7), Steve Rikert, Rhinebeck, N.Y., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 50. 12. (15), Daniel Muniz (R), San Jose, Costa Rica, F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 49. 13. (18), Galen Puccini (R), Simi Valley, Calif., F2A, Carbir Ford, 49. 14. (4), Rolando Quintanilla, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 48. 15. (10), Tommy Constantine (R), Scottsdale, Ariz., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 47. 16. (19), Lance Spragins, Wichita Falls, Texas, F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 46. 17. (14), Larry Foyt, Houston, Texas, F2A, Tatuus Ford, 36. 18. (2), Ryan Hampton, Glendora, Calif., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 14, MECH. 19. (17), Michael Simpson (R), Apple Valley, Calif., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 7, MECH. 20. (22), Tom Sporney (R), Parker, Colo., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 0, DNS. 21. (20), Kyle Burts (R), Tomball, Texas, F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 0, DNS.
Time of race: 23 minutes, 23.500 seconds. Average speed: 128.250 mph Margin of victory: 1.9539 seconds Lap leaders: Laps 1-50, Dan Wheldon Fastest race lap: Mark Dismore, 0:27.494 (130.937 mph) Fastest qualifier: Dan Wheldon, 0:27.744 (129.757 mph) Cautions: None