SBRS: Simoes wins Round 3 of Formula Dodge National Championship action

Levi Simoes proved a quick study at returning to form in Formula Dodge National Championship action at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Simoes, who missed Rounds 1 and 2 at Sebring last month, showed few signs of rust in Round 3 this morning. The ...

Levi Simoes proved a quick study at returning to form in Formula Dodge National Championship action at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Simoes, who missed Rounds 1 and 2 at Sebring last month, showed few signs of rust in Round 3 this morning. The second-year driver battled and bested a group of 21 racers -- including polesitter Landon Yee and Barber-CART Karting Scholarship winner A.J. Allmendinger -- for his maiden win of 2001. Yee and Allmendinger joined him on the podium with second and third place results.

The 2.5-mile 15-turn road course lent itself to several drafting and passing opportunities. Brazilian racer Julio Campos, twice on the podium at Sebring, took the point from Yee and Simoes early on. Then a multi-car crash involving Curt Andrews, Chip Bryant, James Gue and Brian Rivera on lap-5 stopped the race. After the clean-up and restart, Campos set the pace. He held the point over Tophie Stewart and Landon Yee before an off-track forced him to fall to tenth. Yee assumed the race lead from Campos but was only holding it for Simoes. The 1-5 race leaders often ran in tandem tripping down the remaining laps. Ben Moore III, also a Barber-CART Karting Scholarship winner, was hanging tough in sixth but a miscue in turn-3 of lap-12 caused him to lose several positions and his momentum for the afternoon. Simoes continued to ward off aggressive overtures from Yee and Allmendinger right down to the checkered flag and his 0.06-sec margin victory. Following the 1-2-3 order to the flag were Scott Presti and Stewart in fourth and fifth. Presti ran a poised race and also set the fastest lap with a time of 1:40.866 sec.

Allmendinger ran another spirited contest. The former Karting Champion fell as far back as sixth but fought his way back to the front to secure a podium spot, his second in three rounds. Leonardo Maia, who suffered a dismal qualifying result in an abbreviated session due to rain, rebounded to advance from 18th and finish in sixth. Earlier in the day Maia detected a handling problem with his car which, after consulting with instructors and mechanics, resulted in him getting a new ride.

The Formula Dodge National Championship resumes with Round 4 set for tomorrow afternoon from Indianapolis Raceway Park.

<pre> FINAL RESULTS FORMULA DODGE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 3 INDIANAPOLIS RACEWAY PARK MAY 12, 2001 ALL DRIVERS IN FORMULA DODGE R/T 2000 ON MICHELIN TIRES

FINISH/CAR#/DRIVER/RESIDES/LAPS/POINTS 1/8/Levi Simoes/18/20 2/39/Landon Yee/San Rafael, California/18/17 3/37/A.J. Allmendinger/Hollister, California/18/14 4/10/Scott Presti/Naples, Florida/18/12 5/24/Tophie Stewart/Carmichael, California/18/11 6/68/Leonardo Maia/Oakland, California/18/10 7/44/Grant Maiman/New London, Wisconsin/18/9 8/98/Julio Campos/Brazil//18/8 9/6/Jonathan Bomarito/Salinas, California/18/7 10/63/Juan Manuel Polar/Peru/18/6 11/71/Burt Frisselle/Kihei, Hawaii/18/5 12/86/Robbie Montinola/Laguna Beach, California/18/4 13/59/ Ben Moore/Naples, Florida/18/3 14/66/Michael Curtiss/Alexandria, Virginia/18/2 15/22/Dan Di Leo/Markham, Ontario, Canada/16/1 16/31/Tommy Contino/Hesperia, California/12/0 17/87/Dan Kraus/Warwick, New York/11/0 18/75/Brian Rivera/Miami, Florida/4/0 19/34/James Gue/Roswell, Georgia/4/0 20/4/Curt Andrews/Plymouth, Wisconsin/4/0 21/94/Chip Bryant/New Braunfels, Texas/4/0

- Andrew Torres

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