SBRS: Di Leo wins at IRP

(Indianapolis, Ind.) May 13, 2001 -- Second year driver Dan Di Leo recorded his first win in Skip Barber Race Series competition with a victory in Round 4 of the Formula Dodge National Championship at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Di Leo took...

(Indianapolis, Ind.) May 13, 2001 -- Second year driver Dan Di Leo recorded his first win in Skip Barber Race Series competition with a victory in Round 4 of the Formula Dodge National Championship at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Di Leo took advantage of a rare miscue by Scott Presti to assume the point on lap 16 en route to the checkered flag. For Di Leo, who started from third, the win marks the Canadian's second trip to the podium in series play. Presti, who finished in tenth, led 16 of 18 laps and appeared to be the lock before a wide sweep in traffic caused him to lose positions. Dan Kraus earns a hard fought second place result ahead of Barber-CART Karting Scholarship winner A.J. Allmendinger, who finished third for the second time in two days.

Today's race action was remarkably close as over half the field was tripping within one second of the fastest lap time of 1:40.527 sec, set by Warwick, New York's Dan Kraus. Kraus had his best showing ever in National Championship competition, advancing from 11th at the start to take the second place bounty. A.J. Allmendinger continues to shine, as he earns his third podium in his first four car races.

The Californian karting champion is now the early season points leader.

"I'm really pleased with how things have gone," said Allmendinger. "The series is all about consistency and I'm really happy to be where I am. I'm learning more every round and it's paying off."

For Di Leo, the win couldn't come at a better time.

"I guess I could say that this win is overdue, but I'm just happy to have gotten it," said a pleased and relieved Di Leo. "It was a hard fought race. I tailed Presti for most of it and when he left an opening late, I knew I had to take it. The win definitely helps my confidence going onto Grattan."

For Julio Campos, who started sixth, today was a lesson in hard luck. The Brazilian crashed into the wall on lap 6, bringing about a full course yellow for two laps as the field ran under the safety car. At the restart, Presti re-established the lead followed by Di Leo, Kraus and Allmendinger in extremely tight formation. The quartet would engage in nose-to-tail action for the majority of the race.

Early on, Juan Manuel Polar went off track on the first lap in the Carousel causing him to drop back to 16th. The wily Peruvian rebounded smartly, picking his way back to fourth place with an amazing drive through the field. Barber-CART Karting Scholarship winner Tommy Contino also drove a strong race. Though he started in fourth and would finish sixth, Contino was running consistently swift lap times. Californian Landon Yee, who started way back in 18th, also cherry-picked positions, advancing to fifth before scaling back to an eighth place result.

The Formula Dodge National Championship resumes for Rounds 5 and 6 at Grattan Raceway on June 29 - July 1.

<pre> FINAL RESULTS FORMULA DODGE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 4 INDIANAPOLIS RACEWAY PARK MAY 13, 2001 ALL DRIVERS IN FORMULA DODGE R/T 2000 ON MICHELIN TIRES

FINISH  CAR#    DRIVER  RESIDES LAPS    POINTS
1       22      Dan Di Leo      Markham, Ontario, Canada        18      20
2       87      Dan Kraus       Warwick, New York               18      16
3       37      A.J. Allmendinger Hollister, California         18      14
4       63      Juan Manuel Polar Peru                          18      12
5       44      Grant Maiman    New London, Wisconsin           18      11
6       31      Tommy Contino   Hesperia, California            18      10
7       68      Leonardo Maia   Oakland, California             18      9
8       39      Landon Yee      San Rafael, California          18      8
9       10      Scott Presti    Naples, Florida                 18      7
10      75      Brian Rivera    Miami, Florida                  18      6
11      4       Curt Andrews    Plymouth, Wisconsin             18      5
12      8       Levi Simoes                                     18      4
13      24      Tophie Stewart  Carmichael, California          18      3
14      34      James Gue       Roswell, Georgia                18      2
15      86      Robbie Montinola Laguna Beach, California       18      1
16      62       Ben Moore      Naples, Florida                 18      0
17      71      Burt Frisselle  Kihei, Hawaii                   18      0
18      6       Jonathan Bomarito Salinas, California           18      0
19      66      Michael Curtiss Alexandria, Virginia            18      0
20      94      Chip Bryant     New Braunfels, Texas            13      0
21      98      Julio Campos    Brazil                          8       0

-BARBER

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers James Gue , Julio Campos , Leonardo Maia , A.J. Allmendinger , Burt Frisselle , Skip Barber , Grant Maiman , Jonathan Bomarito , Chip Bryan , Juan Manuel Polar , Robbie Montinola , Michael Curtis