Gentilozzi wins as Kendall slows in Portland

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Paul Gentilozzi won the Albertsons 100 today with a pass at the start of the final lap, taking the race by 31.129 seconds over Tomy Drissi. The two were followed by Jorge Diaz Jr in third place, with Joey Scarallo and Tommy Kendall rounding out...

Paul Gentilozzi won the Albertsons 100 today with a pass at the start of the final lap, taking the race by 31.129 seconds over Tomy Drissi. The two were followed by Jorge Diaz Jr in third place, with Joey Scarallo and Tommy Kendall rounding out the top five.

Paul Gentilozzi.
Photo by Adriano Manocchia.
Gentilozzi and teammate Kendall started from the back of the pack today due to an infraction of the wings on their Rocketsports' Jaguars. Their disqualification of his qualifying times gave the pole position over to the no. 5 Alien Vs. Predator Jaguar of Tomy Drissi.

Diaz Jr. started second, right next to Drissi. As the green flag was waved, everyone was cleanly through the first few corners. Kendall and Gentilozzi were already moving up through the field after the first lap, up to seventh and ninth, respectively.

Drissi opened up a ten-car-length lead as he completed the second lap of the 51 lap race. However, Greg Pickett moved around Diaz and into second place and started to catch Drissi.

By the fifth lap, the Rocketsports Racing duo was up to third and fourth, with Kendall leading Gentilozzi. The top five were all Jaguars, no surprise there.

Three wide going into turn one, and Pickett came out the leader as he passed Drissi through the Festival Curve. Gentilozzi then passed Pickett as they started lap 11.

Drissi had moved back to fourth, trying to find a way to pass Pickett. Diaz Jr. took the Puerto Rico Grand Prix Jaguar to pit road for a flat tire; the crew made a quick change and he was back on track. Randy Ruhlman seemed to be having grip issues with his car and moved down to eighth place after gaining positions in the first laps of the race. Mike Davis in a Mustang was out of the race with a broken left rear axle.

After 23 laps, it was still Gentilozzi leading Kendall by 0.879-seconds while Ruhlman pulled off the track over on the west end of the track.

Halfway through the race, the Rocketsports teammates had pulled out a 32-second lead over Pickett and Drissi. Gentilozzi slammed the door on Kendall going down the backstretch as Kendall tried to make a pass for the lead.

Drissi passed Pickett for third place going into the Festival Curve at the start of lap 30. Teammates Scarallo and John Baucom were now into the top five.

Kendall bumped Gentilozzi going into turn seven for the lead and made it stick; he pulled out a lead from his boss with 14 laps to go.

With four laps to go, the best battle on the track was between the teammates of Scarallo and Baucom separated by eight tenths of a second.

Kendall started to smoke out of the left front of his Jaguar. With two laps to go, Kendall stayed on the track with his car running on half the cylinders, but had to pull off at the end of pit road, letting Gentilozzi around for first place.

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