Portland: Race notes

Grabs 26th Career Trans-Am Victory in Albertsons Trans-Am 100 PORTLAND, Ore. (June 19, 2004) -- It was a study in déjà vu all over again as Paul Gentilozzi won Saturday's Albertsons Trans-Am 100 at Portland International Raceway. Gentilozzi,...

Grabs 26th Career Trans-Am Victory in Albertsons Trans-Am 100

PORTLAND, Ore. (June 19, 2004) -- It was a study in déjà vu all over again as Paul Gentilozzi won Saturday's Albertsons Trans-Am 100 at Portland International Raceway. Gentilozzi, who started 14th in the No. 3 Jaguar R Performance XKR due to a technical infraction in qualifying, drove from last to first to record his second-straight Motorock Trans-Am Series victory this year. It was also Gentilozzi's 26th career victory, tying him with Tommy Kendall for second on the all-time win list, just two victories behind the legendary Mark Donohue.

Tomy Drissi (No. 5 AVP, Only in Theaters Jaguar XKR) finished second, ahead of Jorge Diaz, Jr. (No. 8 Puerto Rico Grand Prix Jaguar XKR). Joey Scarallo (No. 06 Toyo Tires/ROH/Group A Autotrend Chevrolet Corvette) recorded his best career finish of fourth. Kendall (No. 11 Jaguar R Performance XKR) gave Jaguar's stock-block, fuel-injected, overhead-cam, four-valve AJ-V8 engine its best Series finish. Kendall also set the race's fastest race lap on lap seven, a record 1:14.398 minutes (95.277 miles per hour), and also the first for the new engine.

"We picked our way through the field and everyone else was really kind," said Gentilozzi, who equaled a feat he pulled off in his last victory here, in 1992. Gentilozzi was assessed a similar penalty in that race. "Early in the race, I knew I had to press Tommy (Kendall).

"I passed him in traffic, but I hit a curb a bit too hard and heard a loud 'bang,'" added Gentilozzi. "We broke a front sway bar and the car was ugly after that. Tommy got back past me and we waited in second for our chance."

That chance came when Kendall (No. 11 Jaguar R Performance XKR) fell out of the lead due to a cooling system failure just one lap before the finish of the 51-lap event.

"This victory is bittersweet," said Gentilozzi. "We're just doing this for fun this year and not running all of the races. Kendall will win some races this year. There's no doubt about that."

Drissi, who had earned his first career pole on Friday when Gentilozzi was disqualified, led the first eight laps before falling behind the charging Gentilozzi.

"I was shocked it went green all the way," said Drissi. "I think the BFGoodrich Tires were a lot better than I though they would be. I took it a little too easy. I think I have a lot of car left. I was waiting for the yellow that never came. I'm happy where I finished."

Diaz suffered a wheel failure due to debris on track late in the event. He pitted, took on a new tire, and drove from one lap down to finish third.

"We pitted, and when we saw those two Jaguars (Gentilozzi and Kendall) go past us, we thought our race was over," said Diaz. "We came out a lap down and my father kept calling out the lap times. We just kept gaining position by position and we're proud of our effort.

"We are dedicating this to my sister Monique, who recently survived cancer," added a tearful Diaz. "This trophy is for her."

The caution-free race ran in a record one hour, six minutes and 25.348 seconds at an average speed of 90.709 miles per hour.

The Albertsons Trans-Am 100 will air in one-day, tape-delayed basis on HDNet Sunday, June 20, at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) as the lead in to the Champ Car World Series broadcast. A highlights package from Portland will also air in the popular "Dangerous Curves" timeslot on Spike TV on Sunday, June 27 at 1:30 p.m. on both the East and West Coasts. Please check local listings for availability and times in other areas.

The next race for the Motorock Trans-Am Series is scheduled for Sunday, June 27 at Infineon Raceway as part of the NASCAR Nextel Cup weekend at the Northern California Road Course.

* Tommy Kendall (No. 11 Jaguar R Performance XKR) and Paul Gentilozzi (No. 3 Jaguar R Performance XKR) were forced to charge from the back of the field during Saturday's Albertsons 100 due to separate technical difficulties. Gentilozzi's No. 3 Jaguar R Performance XKR was disqualified after timing first in qualifying due to a technical infraction, while Kendall's team elected to make an engine change after qualifying. Interestingly, both were at the front of the field just 10laps into the 51-lap race.

* Tomy Drissi's Rocketsports squad had its hands full as well this weekend, as it had to change a clutch just prior to qualifying. They worked on the car for much of the session on pit road before sending Drissi out to earn the pole, his first in Trans-Am competition, in the No. 5 Alien Vs. Predator, Only in Theaters Jaguar XKR.

* Brandon Davis and his father, Mike, celebrated Father's Day weekend Saturday by competing together in the Albertsons Trans-Am 100. The elder Davis finished 14th after a mechanical failure in his No. 11 ACS Express Racing Ford Mustang, while youth ruled when the younger Davis finished 11th in the No. 99 SpyOptic/ACS Express Ford Mustang. Interestingly, it was the younger Davis' Trans-Am debut.

* 2002 Trans-Am Champion Boris Said, who usually drives for Davis, is acting as Brandon Davis' driving coach. "Boris has been working with him, teaching him how to drive and how to do the setup,"said M. Davis. "They've run in the same car and he's right there with Boris. Boris has 30 years experience, so Brandon has a lot of catching up to do. They antagonize the hell out of each other."

* Other father and son duos in attendance at Portland included: Max (No. 83 Hypermax Chevrolet Corvette) and J.A. Lagod, John (no. 86 MAP Quality Engineering Ford Mustang) and Gary Baucom, and Paul Gentilozzi and his two sons Tony and John.

* While the Davis' plan to spend Father's Day withfamily, the rest have work to do, and will stay here to work on their cars prior to the next Trans-Am race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., June 27.

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Series Trans-Am
Drivers Boris Said , Tomy Drissi , Paul Gentilozzi , Brandon Davis , Mark Donohue , Tommy Kendall , Jorge Diaz