WHELDON SWEEPS SEBRING F2000 FINALES, CLAIMS NATIONAL TITLE
Englishman Dan Wheldon is the 1999 USAC/SCCA Formula 2000 National Champion after sweeping last weekend's pair of races on the 3.6-mile Sebring International Raceway road circuit in Florida. Wheldon, who also earned the 1999 Formula 2000 "Road to Indy" Oval Crown Championship, clinched the National title with his 15-lap victory on Saturday, then added another 15-lap triumph on Sunday in his Jayhard/Primus Racing Van Diemen Ford. "I've won a lot of races, but never won a championship in my life," said the 21-year-old Wheldon. "The car was great this weekend the minute we pulled it out of the trailer. Sebring is definitely my favorite track anywhere." Trailing Wheldon on Saturday were Andy Lally, Mark Dismore, Jr., Marc-Antoine Camirand and Daniel Muniz. Camirand needed a third on Saturday to retain any hope of catching Wheldon for the crown. Wheldon led all 15 laps and averaged 87.740 mph to beat Lally by just over six seconds. On Sunday, Wheldon again assumed command at the start but lost the lead to Jeff Wright on the 12th lap. Wright, however, spun off course on the final lap, allowing Wheldon to lead the last lap, averaging 81.508 mph for the 15-lap distance. Muniz finished just over four seconds back, with Dismore third, T.J. Bell fourth and Rolando Quintanilla fifth. Guy Cosmo of South Setauket, N.Y. captured the American Continental Championship for older cars with a 13th-place finish in Sunday's race. Cosmo had relinquished the ACC lead to Mike Durand after a spinout on Saturday but reclaimed the top spot with Sunday's performance.
USAC/SCCA FORMULA 2000 CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL STANDINGS
1. Dan Wheldon 315 6. Bobby Oergel 195 2. Marc-Antoine Camirand 266 7. Daniel Muniz 184 3. T.J. Bell 199 8. Jonathan Bottoms 145 4. Mark Dismore, Jr. 199 9. Rolando Quintanilla 141 5. Steve Rikert 198 10. Aaron Justus 132