Nilton Rossoni likes the Homestead-Miami Speedway --a lot. In the three times he has raced here, he's twice been atop the victory podium. He had to go backwards, however, before passing Jon Fogarty for the lead on lap-42. After starting ...
Nilton Rossoni likes the Homestead-Miami Speedway --a lot. In the three times he has raced here, he's twice been atop the victory podium.
He had to go backwards, however, before passing Jon Fogarty for the lead on lap-42. After starting fourth, he dropped back to sixth and was in eighth just before half distance, after making slight contact with Sepp Koster, losing his nose cover in the process. It appeared to spell the end of his race, but rather than throw in the towel, he methodically went about cutting his losses.
"The key for me was passing Sperafico," said the Curitiba, Brazil native. "After losing the nose cover, I just had to refocus and break the draft."
Regain focus, he did. From lap 18 of the 49, Rossoni took no prisoners on his way to the lead. At an average of every three laps, the former Formula Chevrolet Brazil race winner regained a position, and was visibly the fastest car on the track. That fact he verified on lap 47, setting the fastest lap of the race at 0:43.129 for an average speed of 117.860 mph around the 1.412-mile modified oval.
Jon Fogarty led 39-laps, the most of the three race leaders. Unfortunately for Fogarty, he yet again came up short. After passing pole-sitter Andre Nicastro on lap 2, Fogarty, of Portola Valley, Ca. inched away from the field lap by lap. By lap 27, his gap over then second-place driver Peter Boss was 3.752 sec., the largest it would ever be. Lurking in the shadows was a flying Rossoni. On lap 32, Rossoni passed Boss to find himself 2.9 sec. behind Fogarty. The next time around, the gap was 1.09 sec.
Then the pair came upon some backmarkers and Rossoni made his move.
"Everything was going well, until I caught up to slower traffic," Fogarty remarked. "Nilton got by the backmarkers and I didn't. From there the draft was broken, and I ran out of laps just as we were catching traffic again."
Series debutante Andy Lally scored the last podium spot. Lally had been fast all weekend, claiming to be at ease with both the Barber Dodge Reynard 98E and the Homestead track. He came in to the event with his own expectations, but certainly not with the pressure of those with plans to race the full season. Might those plans have changed following this result?
"When my sponsor T-One, Inc. saw what I can do, they signed on for one more race (probably the next round at Nazareth)," said an enthusiastic Lally. "I didn't even know I was going to be running here until this last Wednesday. Everything just clicked for me. The crew, the coaches, and everybody was just great. I'm happy to be here."
There were many other exciting battles all through the field as cars were often three and four wide down the straights and into the corners. Ryan Hunter-Reay was the biggest mover through the field moving up to eighth from his 16th starting spot. Matt Plumb was also on the move as he dashed up to fourth after beginning ninth.
Points After Round 2
Rossoni, 40; Fogarty, 30; Valiante 22; Plumb, 22; Aleandre Sperafico, 18; Koster, 18; Thed Bjork, 17; Hunter-Reay, 16; Boss, 14; Lally, 14; Roger Yasukawa, 12; Jamie Menninga, 7; Nicastro, 7; Brent Sherman, 6; Tommy Fogarty
2000 BARBER DODGE PRO SERIES RACE
Homestead, Florida March 25, 2000
<pre> PS/CAR/ DRIVER/ HOMETOWN/ PTS./ PURSE/ LAPS STATUS 1/36/ Nilton Rossoni/Curitiba, Brazil/ 20/ $12,000/ 49/ Running 2/52/ Jon Fogarty/Portola Valley, Calif./16/ $8,000/ 49/ Running 3/62/ Andy Lally/Northport, NY/ 14/ $6,000/ 49 / Running 4/17/ Matt Plumb/Unionville, Penn./ 12/ $4,000/ 49 / Running 5/11/ Thed Bjork/Vretstorp, Sweden/ 11/ $2,500/ 49 / Running 6/8/ Peter Boss/Narragansett, R.I./ 10/ $2,000/ 49/ Running 7/5/ Sepp Koster/The Netherlands/ 9/ $1,800/ 49/ Running 8/31/ Ryan Hunter-Reay/Boca Raton, Fla./ 8/ $2,200/ 49/ Running 9/20/ Alexandre Sperafico/Brazil/ 7/ $1,600/ 49/ Running 10/53/ Tom Fogarty/Copco Lake, Calif/ 6/ $1,500/ 49/ Running 11/95 Michael Valiante/Vancouver,Canada/ 5/ $1,400/ 49/ Running 12/23 Marc Breuers/Gladwyne, Penn./ 4/ $1,300/ 49/ Running 13/4 Brent Sherman/ North Barrington, Ill./3 $1,200/ 49/ Running 14/25 Kip Gulseth/Manitowoc, Wisc./ 2/ $1,100 49/ Running 15/19 Sara Senske/Kennewick, Washington/ 1/ $1,000 49/ Running 16/28 Andre Nicastro/Rio de Janeiro, Brazil/1/$500/ 49/ Running 17/7 Jamie Menninga/Pella, Iowa/ $500/ 49/ Running 18/82 Jonathan Macri/Gormley, Canada/ $500/ 49/ Running 19/26 Rhonda Trammell/Pittsboro, Ind./ $500/ 49/ Running 20/22 Jay Ricci/Grosse Pointe, Michigan/ $500/ 49/ Running 21/21 Jon Vannini/Hillsborough, California/ $500/ 48/ Running 22/12 Keith Dusko/Red Bank, New Jersey/ $500/ 47/ Running 23/44 Sam Hancock/London, England/ $500/ 45 Running 24/33 Milka Duno/Caracas, Venezuela/ $500 34 Running 25/9 Roger Yasukawa/Santa Monica, Calif./ $500 24 Gearbox
RACE LENGTH/49 LAPS OF 1.412-MILE CIRCUIT FOR 69.188 MILES
AVERAGE RACE SPEED/ 103.402 MPH FASTEST LAP/NILTON ROSSONI/00:43.129/LAP 47 NEW RECORD
MARGIN OF VICTORY/ 1.481 SEC.
AMB Identification & Timing Systems