Niki Coello goes flag-to-flag in Saturday Miata Cup at Road America
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 2, 2003) -- Niki Coello, of E. Troy, Wis., started from the pole and led flag-to-flag in Saturday's SCCA Pro Racing Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires, part of the Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America. Point leader Chip Herr, of Litiz, Pa., and Izzy Sanchez, of Mountain View, Calif., completed the top three.
Coello, driving the No. 81 PouredFoundations.com Mazda Miata, started from the pole and never looked back. He survived a shower on the back section of the course on the last lap to hold on for a 1.717-second win over Herr, averaging 84.345 mph over the race's 28.336 miles.
"My plan was to get a good start, get ahead and to never look back," said Coello, who captured his first series win. "The first couple of laps they were pretty close to me, mainly because of the draft. I kept looking forward, trying to run smooth, consistent laps and it paid off."
Herr started fifth in the No. 24 Warwick Autopart Performance entry, but drafted with Payton Wilson to catch the lead pack. When Tony Coello, brother of the winner, skidded off course and out of second place on lap six, Herr moved up to capture the runner-up spot.
Sanchez, visiting the Atlantic Tour from California, started and finished third in his No. 80 California Driving Adventures entry.
Wilson, of Gainesville, Va., finished fourth after dropping back on the final lap in the rain. Shawn Dewey, of Townsend, Del., completed the top five. Ryan Pilla, of Amagransett, N.Y., started 34th and advanced 23 positions to finish 11th, earning the Sunoco Hard Charger Award.
Round Six of the Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires Atlantic Tour will take the green flag Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. (CDT).
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