Speed Channel's broadcast of spellbinding Johnson Controls 100 launches 2002 Trans-Am television package. CLEARWATER, Fla. (April 19, 2002) -- One of the most spectacular race finishes in the 37-year history of the Trans-Am Series will highlight...
Speed Channel's broadcast of spellbinding Johnson Controls 100 launches 2002 Trans-Am television package.
CLEARWATER, Fla. (April 19, 2002) -- One of the most spectacular race finishes in the 37-year history of the Trans-Am Series will highlight the first Trans-Am telecast of the 2002 season when last Sunday's Johnson Controls 100 from Long Beach, Calif. airs on SPEED Channel on Saturday, April 20, beginning at 5 p.m. ET.
The 2002 season opener featured a riveting final-lap shootout between three-time and defending Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup champion Paul Gentilozzi (#3 Johnson Controls Jaguar XKR), Boris Said (#33 Applied Computer Solutions Panoz Esperante) and 2001 Trans-Am Series Rookie of the Year Justin Bell (#40 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette). At various times during the concluding lap, Said, Bell and Gentilozzi each held the lead, and at one point, the trio went three abreast down the back straightaway of the 1.97-mile street circuit before Gentilozzi pulled ahead for a 2.832-second victory.
The 90-minute SPEED Channel broadcast will feature several looks at the decisive final moments of the race, which also included a last-lap incident between Said and Bell that caused Bell to spin off-course, costing him a possible podium result. He finished eighth, while Said righted himself in time to take runner-up honors behind Gentilozzi.
"That last lap is going to be great for everyone watching it on TV," said Gentilozzi following his 24th career Trans-Am victory, which ranks him third all time. "All I had to look at was Boris [Said led the race from Lap 27 until taking the white flag on Lap 44], until the final two turns.
"This is Trans-Am racing at its best. This kind of racing puts it all in perspective. It's the final turns of the last lap and three different brands are all battling for the victory."
Said noted: "You wait around all winter for the season to start, and then Long Beach finally comes and we have one of the best Trans-Am races in history to open the season.
"I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what the race looks like on television. All I thought about while I was driving home was, 'I wish we could go out there and do it again, because it sure was a lot of fun'."
Following Saturday's initial broadcast, the Johnson Controls 100 will re-air on Monday, April 22 at 1 p.m. ET and on Friday/early Saturday, April 26 at 1 a.m. ET.
The Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup continues with Round 2, the Victoria Day Trans-Am Weekend, May 17-19 at Mosport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. The May 19 Trans-Am Series feature will air live on SPEED Channel, beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
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