NA-F2000: Title still up for grabs at Mid-Ohio

FAIRFIELD, N.J. (August 1, 2001) - The U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision returns to action August 11, 2001 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, as part of the Miller Lite 200 weekend, featuring the CART FedEx ...

FAIRFIELD, N.J. (August 1, 2001) - The U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision returns to action August 11, 2001 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, as part of the Miller Lite 200 weekend, featuring the CART FedEx Championship.

As North America's premier open-wheel training series, the U.S. F2000 National Championship enters the final three races of the 2001 campaign with the title still to fight for. The top-12 drivers maintain a mathematical chance of the title, and the top-six are within striking distance.

Leading the championship is Billy Asaro, of Unionville, Ont., Canada. After crashing in the opening round at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Asaro has looked dominant at times. Driving the No. 69 Key Motorsport/POPS Van Diemen Ford, he has captured six podiums, including five in a row, and three consecutive wins. Having already captured The Road To Indy Oval Crown Championship, after finishing on the podium in all three rounds, Asaro is looking to become the fourth consecutive driver with both the Oval Crown and the National Championship in the same year.

Behind Asaro, a group of three drivers have repeatedly swapped positions in pursuit of the championship. Currently second in the championship is rookie Jason LaPoint, of Woodburn, Ore., in the No. 89 Infinity Motorsport/Regency Aviation/TrackMagic Van Diemen Ford. LaPoint, got a good start to the season, capturing his first-ever pole and podium finish in just his second career race. Following some trying races during the middle of the season, LaPoint has recently rebounded with three consecutive second place finishes, to re-ignite his title aspirations. Tied for position behind LaPoint in the championship, are rookie teammates Doug Bell and Peter Gray. Bell, of St. Albans, England, surprised everyone at the opening round of the season capturing the pole and the win in his first-ever U.S. F2000 race. Unfortunately, Bell was unable to build on this performance until the series arrived at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in June. Driving the No. 3 Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, Bell won and finished second, to return to the top half of the championship standings. Gray, of Aberdeen, Scotland, has been the model of consistency in 2001. Driving the No. 2 Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, Gray has finished in the top-10 eight times in 10 races and been on the podium three times. In addition to fighting for the championship, the trio of LaPoint, Bell and Gray are battling for the prestigious Greg Moore Rookie of the Year award.

Not to be left out of the championship equation are Memo Rojas, Piero Rodarte and Tonis Kasemets. Rojas, of Mexico City, Mexico, led the standings in the early stages of the season, and has proved he has the skill to challenge for the championship in the No. 15 Telmex Van Diemen Ford. Rojas' teammate, Rodarte, driving the No. 55 Telmex/Sico Van Diemen Ford, got off to a slow start, but turned the season around at Indianapolis Raceway Park in May, when the Mexico City, Mexico native captured his first-ever win. The man to beat of late though has been Tonis Kasemets, of Mundelein, Ill. Early in the season, Kasemets showed good pace in qualifying, but was unable to get the desired results. Following a mid-season switch to Pabst Racing Services and missing a round to test, Kasemets has been stellar. Driving the No. 6 MK Ind/Flexovit/TMI/TAC.com Van Diemen Ford, Kasemets has captured three poles and three wins in the last four rounds, and moved into title contention.

The 2001 U.S. F2000 National Championship continues with Round Eleven, August 11, 2001, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on the 2.258-mile road course.

U.S. F2000

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Memo Rojas , Tonis Kasemets , Greg Moore , Billy Asaro