Detroit Race Report

DETROIT, Mich.(August 7) - Brian Simo, of Carlsbad, Calif., led every lap of the rain-soaked Johnson Controls 100 BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series race to score his third win of 1999, topping runner-up Paul Gentilozzi, of Lansing, Mich., and ...

DETROIT, Mich.(August 7) - Brian Simo, of Carlsbad, Calif., led every lap of the rain-soaked Johnson Controls 100 BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series race to score his third win of 1999, topping runner-up Paul Gentilozzi, of Lansing, Mich., and third-place finisher G.J. Mennen, of Austin, Texas, on the streets of Belle Isle, Mich.

Simo, driving the No. 2 Valvoline Ford Mustang Cobra, started the rain-shortened 26-lap, 61.386-mile race from the pole and was never seriously challenged in the eight laps of green flag racing. Behind Simo, however, the action was wild as the front-runners tried to race fender-to-fender in course conditions that began under a light rain that steadily increased, eventually causing standing water throughout the 14-turn, 2.361-mile circuit.

"I feel bad for the fans, the weather today was just terrible," said Simo. "We 've had some difficult races, and it's nice to put this one behind us. With the conditions, we couldn't have gone back to green flag racing - I had the luxury of a clear track but it still would have been ugly since we had no windshield wipers."

From the first green flag, the battle behind Simo became one of attrition, as first Michael Lewis, in the No. 12 AmeriSuites Mustang Cobra, spun out of his second-place position on lap two, and then second-place running Tony Ave, in the No. 6 Clover Enterprises Chevrolet Camaro, dropped out of contention on lap 14 after making with the Turn Seven wall.

Throughout the 1:13:42.669 race there were two full-course cautions, both for minor incidents but extended due to the weather, including the final 13-lap caution leading to the early checkered flag for the scheduled 42-lap race.

Runner-up Gentilozzi, in the No. 1 Johnson Controls/HomeLink Ford Mustang Cobra, started seventh but advance to third by the first caution on lap four, inheriting second when Ave fell from the action. Mennen, in the No. 4 Smith Eye Wear Mustang Cobra, started eighth and advanced past Chris Neville, in the No. 88 Tomy Bahama Mustang Cobra just before the final fellow flag came out to score his first career podium finish.

"I'd been trying to get by Chris (Neville) most of the race, and finally got by down the end of the straight," said Mennen. "Throughout the race I just wanted to make sure the car didn't break."

DETROIT, Mich. - Results from Saturday's 26-lap, 61.386-mile Johnson Controls 100 BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series race on the Belle Isle street circuit, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out.

1. (1), Brian Simo, Carlsbad, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 26.

2. (7), Paul Gentilozzi, Lansing, Mich., Ford Mustang Cobra, 26.

3. (8), G.J. Mennen, Austin, Texas, Ford Mustang Cobra, 26.

4. (3), Chris Neville, Scottsdale, Ariz., Ford Mustang Cobra, 26.

5. (2), Michael Lewis, San Diego, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 26.

6. (6), Randy Ruhlman, Greensboro, N.C., Ford Mustang Cobra, 26.

7. (17), Steve Pelke, Lansing, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro, 26.

8. (14), Don Sak, West Bloomfield, Mich., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 26.

9. (23), Kerry Alexander, Indianapolis, Ind., Chevrolet Camaro, 26.

10. (24), Tom Coleman, Asheville, N.C., Chevrolet Camaro, 26.

11. (26), James Briody, Cherry Hill, N.J., Chevrolet Camaro, 26.

12. (32), Tomy Drissi, Hollywood, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 26.

13. (5), Tony Ave, Indianapolis, Ind., Chevrolet Camaro, 26.

14. (9), Max Lagod, Barrington, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro, 26.

15. (4), John W. Miller IV, Johnson City, Tenn., Chevrolet Camaro, 25.

16. (25), C. David Seuss, Charlestown, Mass., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 25.

17. (15), Brian DeVries, Grand Rapids, Mich., Ford Mustang Cobra, 25.

18. (10), Leighton Reese, Minnetonka, Minn., Pontiac Grand Prix, 25.

19. (28), Dick Greer, Columbus, Ohio, Chevrolet Corvette, 24.

20. (31), Chet Williams, Chittenango, N.Y., Chevrolet Camaro, 24.

21. (30), Ed Hinchliff, Ypsilanti, Mich., Ford Mustang Cobra, 22.

22. (27), Glenn Andrew, Farmersburg, Ind., Pontiac Grand Prix, 22.

23. (29), Jeff Simunaci, Omaha, Neb., Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 20.

24. (11), Bob Ruman, Munroe Falls, Ohio, Chevrolet Camaro, 19.

25. (18), Claudio Burtin, Atlanta, Ford Mustang Cobra, 16, Cond..

26. (12), Lou Gigliotti, Garland, Texas, Chevrolet Corvette, 13, Mech.

27. (21), Craig T. Nelson, Hollywood, Calif., Chevrolet Corvette, 9, Mech.

28. (13), Simon Gregg, Jacksonville, Fla., Chevrolet Camaro, 4, Mech.

29. (16), Peter Shea, Irvine, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 2, Crash.

30. (19), Craig Shafer, Somerset, Pa., Chevrolet Camaro, 2, Trans.

31. (22), Rick Dittman, Prairie View, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro, 0, Mech.

Time of race: 1 hour, 13 minutes, 42.669 seconds.

Average speed: 49.967 miles-per-hour

Margin of victory: under caution

Fastest race lap: No. 6 Ave, 2:01.943 (69.701 mph), lap three

Lap leader: laps 1-26, No. 2 Simo

Cautions: two for 16 laps

Drivers' Championship Point Standings - Eight Race Total

Position, Driver, Car, Points 1, Chris Neville, Ford Mustang, 185 2, Paul Gentilozzi, Ford Mustang, 179 3, Michael Lewis, Ford Mustang, 179 4, Brian Simo, Ford Mustang, 174 5, Johnny W. Miller IV, Chevrolet Camaro, 168 6, Randy Ruhlman, Ford Mustang, 146 7, Leighton Reese, Pontiac GP, 118 8, Steve Pelke, Chevrolet Camaro, 116 9, Tomy Drissi, Ford Mustang Cobra, 108 10, Simon Gregg, Chevrolet Camaro, 106 11, G.J. Mennen, Ford Mustang Cobra, 101 12, Bob Ruman, Chevrolet Camaro, 91 13, Max Lagod, Chevrolet Camaro, 84 14, Lou Gigliotti, Chevrolet Corvette, 82 15, Tom Coleman, Chevrolet Camaro, 82 16, James Briody, Chevrolet Camaro, 79 17, Dorsey Schroeder, Ford Mustang Cobra, 70 18, Don Sak, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 63 19, C. David Seuss, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 43 20, Frank Cioppettini, Chevrolet Camaro, 42 21, Jerry Simmons, Chevrolet Camaro, 38 22, Kerry Alexander, Chevrolet Camaro, 36 23, Claudio Burtin, Ford Mustang Cobra, 36 24, Tony Ave, Chevrolet Camaro, 30 25, Craig Shafer, Chevrolet Camaro, 27 26, Stu Hayner, Chevrolet Camaro, 25 27, Dick Greer, Chevrolet Corvette, 25 28, Glenn Andrew, Pont Grand Prix, 25 29, Bruce Barkelew, Ford Mustang Cobra, 21 30, Peter Shea, Ford Mustang Cobra, 19 31, Bill Gray, Chevrolet Camaro, 19 32, Don Meluzio, Chevrolet Camaro, 18 33, Gary Johnson, Ford Mustang Cobra, 18 34, Kenny Bupp, Chevrolet Camaro, 18 35, Mike Davis, Ford Mustang Cobra, 16 36, Jerry Kinn, Chevrolet Camaro, 13 37, Paul Alderman, Mustang Cobra Cobra, 12 38, Henry Gaudens, Chevrolet Corvette, 12 39, Ted Sullivan, Chevrolet Camaro, 12 40, Chet Williams, Chevrolet Camaro, 11 41, Dan Furey, Chevrolet Corvette, 10 42, Mike Gagliardo, Chevrolet Corvette, 10 43, Jon Leavy, Chevrolet Camaro, 10 44, Brian DeVries, Ford Mustang Cobra, 9 45, Michael Cohen, Chevrolet Camaro, 8 46, Frank Sanchez, Chevrolet, 8 47, Rael, Chevrolet Camaro, 7 48, Craig T. Nelson, Chevrolet Corvette, 5 49, Ed Hinchliff, Ford Mustang Cobra, 5 50, Brad Smith, Ford Mustang Cobra, 4 51, Charlie Webster, Chevrolet Camaro, 3 52, Jeff Simunaci, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 3 53, Joe Freda, Chevrolet Camaro, 2

Manufacturers' Point Standings 1, Ford, 72 2, Chevrolet, 32 3, Pontiac, 5 4, Oldsmobile, 0

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