Sears Point: Duncan Dayton preview

Point leaders Dayton and Field will try to duplicate Road Atlanta's results this weekend in Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma SONOMA, Calif., July 22 - Although Duncan Dayton has never actually driven in a race at Infineon Raceway before, he goes...

Point leaders Dayton and Field will try to duplicate Road Atlanta's results this weekend in Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif., July 22 - Although Duncan Dayton has never actually driven in a race at Infineon Raceway before, he goes into Sunday's Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race here as one of the favorites to end up on the podium in the LMP 675 class.

The North Salem, N.Y. driver and his teammate, Jon Field of Dublin, Ohio, are tied at the top of the point standings in that division heading into this weekend's race by virtue of their second-place finish in class at the season opener in Sebring, Fla., and their class victory at Road Atlanta June 29.

What's more, Field holds two class track records here. Set last year when he paired up with California driver Rick Sutherland for this race, he holds the qualifying record and the fastest lap of the race mark for the LMP 675 class here, eventually finishing third in class in the 2002 event.

Dayton and Field would like to improve that by two spots this weekend and duplicate their accomplishments at Road Atlanta, when the Intersport Racing team not only won its class but also had its highest overall finish ever, third.

That race was two hours and 45 minutes long just like Sunday's race, so hopefully the distance should suit their Banana Joe's/Highcroft Racing/Goodyear Lola EX257/AER MG #37 well too.

The race, which starts at noon local time on Sunday, will be broadcast live on NBC from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time.

Dayton plans to do the entire nine-race ALMS schedule with Field this year, but last year he was doing a limited schedule and he didn't participate in this particular race. He has tested a Formula 1 car here before though, driving the Lotus that Mario Andretti drove to the F1 championship in the seventies, which Dayton owns.

"But that was only for about 10 laps," Dayton noted.

In addition to his accomplishments in the ALMS, Dayton is very famous in vintage racing. Over the Fourth of July weekend he was a big winner at the Sommet des La Gendes at the Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada, winning the Formula 1 Historic Grand Prix in the same car that he's driven at Infineon Raceway as well as the Formula Classic race.

Dayton is a part owner of another famous vintage race car which just happens to be garaged in Northern California. That car is a 1960 Indy roadster built by Wayne Ewing in A.J. Watson's shop and driven by Al Herman. Called the Joe Hunt Magneto Special, it will appear at the Monterey Historic races in August.

This weekend's tentative schedule calls for practice from 12:20 p.m. to 2:05 p.m. on Friday.

There is another practice session from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by a one-hour autograph session at noon. Another hour of practice follows at 1:45 p.m., with a 20-minute qualifying session at 3:35 p.m.

A half-hour warm-up session will be held at 8 a.m. on Race Day, with the race itself starting at noon. It will be broadcast live on the American Le Mans Series Radio Web at www.americanlemans.com as well as on NBC.

For more information, see www.intersportracing.com, www.americanlemans.com, www.imsaracing.net and www.infineonraceway.com.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Duncan Dayton , Jon Field , Mario Andretti , Rick Sutherland