NA-F2000: Watkins Glen Highcroft Racing Saturday Report

Lally Gets Second Third in 24 Hours; Dayton Finishes Sixth Sat. at the Glen WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., May 30 - Andy Lally of Northport, N.Y., is nothing if not consistent. Last year he completed more laps than anyone...

Lally Gets Second Third in 24 Hours; Dayton Finishes Sixth Sat. at the Glen

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., May 30 - Andy Lally of Northport, N.Y., is nothing if not consistent.

Last year he completed more laps than anyone else in the U.S. Formula 2000 series: 98.1579% of the total laps possible.

On Saturday morning at Watkins Glen the top two drivers were different than the top two from a similar race here on Friday, but the third-place driver was the same, as Lally brought the Highcroft Racing/Red Line Oil/Maida Bowman BC5 home in third for the second time within 24 hours.

The amazing run not only duplicated Lally's results on Friday but it also duplicated the best previous results of both Lally and the brand-new Bowman chassis in U.S. F2000 competition.

Lally also set the fastest lap recorded by anyone during the race, touring the 2.45-mile road course in 1:15.800, even faster than he'd qualified.

Lally's teammate and car owner, Duncan Dayton of North Salem, N.Y., also made news when he dropped back as far as 25th in the 35-car field and worked his way back up to sixth at the checkered in the other Bowman in the field.

Ryan Hampton won the race with Robby McGehee second. The winner of Friday's race, point leader David Besnard, was right behind Lally in fourth place on Saturday. Tim Duit was fifth, right in front of Dayton. Jon Herb, Steve Rikert, Bobby Oergel and Ryan Jones rounded out the top 10.

Just as he did on Friday, Lally got off to a great start. He gridded ninth, but he was fifth by the end of lap one. He passed McGehee for fourth on lap two just as the yellow was coming out for the polesitter, Marc Antoine Camirand, who hit some oil dry and crashed.

The green came out again on lap four of the 20-lapper, and Lally moved into third on lap five by passing Anthony Simone. That's the same lap that Hampton took the lead, but he dropped back to third on lap eight when McGehee took over the lead and Lally vaulted by him too for second. Lally actually got by McGehee at that point and led for about five turns, but McGehee passed him again before the start/finish line.

Ric Rushton flipped in the inner loop to bring out another yellow on lap nine; he walked to the ambulance. The green came back out on lap 11 but on the restart Lally went from second to sixth.

"I got hung up in the marbles there in turn one and went backwards," he explained afterwards. "The competition was intense. We were three and four wide sometimes in the chicane."

Besnard dropped from fourth to sixth at the same time right before Greg LeMond and Jonathan Bottoms brought out the third yellow on lap 13. That set up a five-lap dash to the checkered which Lally began in fifth spot, but he took third on lap 16 by getting around both Mike Johnson and Simone and that's where he finished, with Besnard nipping at his rear wing until the checkered.

"I knew Besnard was back there, but I think he developed a push," Lally said. "I'm just really, really happy to have two thirds here. My Bowman was great!"

Dayton had an amazing race too. He started 15th but there was a shuffle early and he dropped back to 25th.

"There was a big mess in the chicane and I think I went from 12th to 25th," he said. "Guys were running people into the grass and everything.

"After things got straightened out I just started to pick off a car or two a lap," he added. "My Bowman was great, and so is my team."

Dayton was 16th at the half-way point of the race, 14th on lap 13, and cracked the top 10 by lap 17. The very next lap he moved into seventh, and he advanced into sixth on the next-to-last lap, which is where he finished.

"I had electrical problems on Thursday and Friday, but if we had started off with what we had today on Thursday, we really would have been in good shape," Dayton summarized. "As it is I'll take a sixth-place finish. One Bowman on the podium and the other in the top 10 and almost the top five...considering everything we went through here this weekend, that's great!"

Saturday's race will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Friday, June 19 at 6:30 p.m.

Highcroft Racing has two events in June: June 14 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, and June 28 on the street course in Minneapolis.

The team left for a test session at Mid-Ohio immediately after Saturday's race at the Glen.

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Duncan Dayton , Robby McGehee , Jon Herb , Andy Lally , David Besnard , Ryan Hampton , Mike Johnson , Anthony Simone