KENDALL TAKES FLAG-TO-FLAG PHOENIX TRANS-AM WIN PHOENIX, Ariz. (April 19, 1997) -- Tom Kendall drove his No. 11 All Sport Body Quencher Ford Mustang Cobra to a flag-to-flag win at Phoenix International Raceway, the three-time and defending ...
KENDALL TAKES FLAG-TO-FLAG PHOENIX TRANS-AM WIN
PHOENIX, Ariz. (April 19, 1997) -- Tom Kendall drove his No. 11 All Sport Body Quencher Ford Mustang Cobra to a flag-to-flag win at Phoenix International Raceway, the three-time and defending Trans-Am titlist's 17th career victory.
Kendall, who started on the pole after posting a record qualifying lap of 58.259 (93.307 mph), survived several close calls while lapping traffic but was never seriously challenged for the lead, finishing 0.680-second ahead of Brian Simo, in the No. 22 Valvoline Mustang Cobra.
"The car was really pretty good for the whole race," said Kendall. "Our goal was to have an uneventful race, and with the exception of some dicey moments with lapped traffic, we did what we set out to do."
Simo, who started the 67-lap, 101.17-mile race second, tied his previous career- best finish, holding off his hard-charging teammate Dorsey Schroeder, who scored the final podium position, finishing 0.120-second behind Simo.
"I was wondering if Tommy (Kendall) was pacing himself," said Simo. "At times I was beginning to catch him but our lap times were virtually identical from lap-to-lap. I was driving the entire race as fast as I could each lap."
Schroeder, winner of last year's Phoenix race, started his No. 12 Raybestos Mustang Cobra fourth and quickly passed Michael Lewis for third on the opening lap, holding the position for the remainder of the one hour, 14 minute, 13.728-second race to give Ford a 1-2-3 podium sweep and an 18 to five lead in the Trans-Am Manufacturers' Championship point standings.
"We didn't think we could finish the race on one set of tires," said Schroeder. "These guys (Kendall and Simo) ran real hard and if they would have pitted I wouldn't have. At the end I had more of my tires left but I just couldn't find a way around Brian."
Finishing fourth after a last lap, last corner pass of Mike Borkowski was Lewis, driving the No. 55 Autocon Mustang Cobra. Lewis also earned the Raybestos Rising Star of the Race award, while Jon Gooding, who finished sixth in the No. 16 Mountain Dew Mustang Cobra, earned the CIPA Mirrors Pass Of the Race Award for his mid-race pass for sixth on Leighton Reese, in the No. 66 Fieldworks Pontiac Grand Prix. Seventh-place finisher John Miller IV earned the OPTIMA Batteries Quick Charger Award from moving up nine positions from his 16th-place start.
With the win, Kendall, who also earned the DynoMax Turn On The Power Award for his impressive performance, boosts his lead in the Drivers' Championship point standings to 18, 67 to 49 over Simo. Gooding is third with 48 points, followed by Schroeder, 43; Paul Gentilozzi, 41; Greg Pickett, 39; Bill Saunders, 36; Miller IV, 34; Borkowski, 29; and Peter Shea, 26 points.
PHOENIX, Ariz.--Results from Saturday's 67-lap, 101.17-mile Trans-Am Championship race at Phoenix International Raceway, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out (if any). 1, (1), Tom Kendall, Santa Monica, Calif, Ford Mustang Cobra, 67. 2, (2), Brian Simo, Carlsbad, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 67. 3, (4), Dorsey Schroeder, Osage Beach, Mo., Ford Mustang Cobra, 67. 4, (3), Michael Lewis, San Diego, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 67. 5, (6), Mike Borkowski, Middlebury, Conn., Ford Mustang Cobra, 67. 6, (5), Jon Gooding, Longwood, Fla., Ford Mustang Cobra, 67. 7, (10), Leighton Reese, Eden Prairie, Minn., Pontiac Grand Prix, 67. 8, (12), John W. Miller IV, Johnson City, Tenn., Chevrolet Camaro, 67. 9, (13), R.J. Valentine, Hingham, Mass., Chevrolet Camaro, 66. 10, (8), Greg Pickett, Alamo, Calif., Chevrolet Camaro, 66. 11, (7), Bill Saunders, Dallas, Texas, Chevrolet Camaro, 66. 12, (14), Max Lagod, Barrington, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro, 66. 13, (15), Bob Ruman, Monroe Falls, Ohio, Chevrolet Camaro, 60. 14, (11), Paul Gentilozzi, Lansing, Mich., Chevrolet Camaro, 58. 15, (9), Dino Crescentini, Torrance, Calif., Chevrolet Camaro, 52. 16, (17), Jim Maguire, Glendale, Ariz., Chevrolet Camaro, 51. 17, (18), Peter Shea, Newport Beach, Calif., Chevrolet Camaro, 37, mech. 18, (16), Jim Briody, Cherry Hill, N.J., Chevrolet Camaro, 9, mech.
Time of race: 1 hour, 14 minutes, 13.728 seconds. Average speed: 81.776 mph Margin of victory: 0.680-second Lap leaders: No. 11 Kendall, laps 1-67 Fastest race lap: Paul Gentilozzi, 0:59.470 (91.407 mph)