Lynx Racing Houston race report

It started as it began, with Andrew Bordin of Woodbridge, Ontario and David Rutledge of Vancouver BC qualified - and finishing - 1-2 in the CART Toyota Atlantic 2000 season finale at the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston. Rutledge's...

It started as it began, with Andrew Bordin of Woodbridge, Ontario and David Rutledge of Vancouver BC qualified - and finishing - 1-2 in the CART Toyota Atlantic 2000 season finale at the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston. Rutledge's Lynx teammate, Mike Conte, was credited with a 14th place finish after an eventful race. Atlantic's 2000 series Champion, Buddy Rice, a former Lynx driver now competing for DSTP Motorsports, finished third. The results of the Houston race bring Rutledge's notable accomplishments to one win from the pole in Montreal, three second-place finishes (Long Beach, Laguna Seca and Houston) and a fourth on the oval at Milwaukee. The Lynx team is completely confident that Rutledge's performance in 2000 is just the beginning of a process that will see him fulfill the promise he has already shown when he enters his second year as a Lynx driver in the 2001 season. "We went into the race, as always, to win, but after that it was important to finish well and set the tone for our off-season testing and next season, which we did," said Rutledge. "I feel that I've evolved tremendously as a driver and a person in my first year with Lynx, and that the team has really come together into an organization that can again - as it has done in the past - dominate a season, win a championship and graduate a driver to CART. I'm extremely fortunate that that driver is myself, and I'm very proud to be part of this terrific team." Mike Conte's race includes involvement in an early altercation when another driver ran into him from the side, a visit to the pits to repair deranged bodywork, a climb back up through the field to as high as 9th and a subsequent suspension failure resulting from damage suffered in the original accident. "It was a wild way to end a season, which, overall, was pretty good with a lot of top-10 finishes," said Conte. "The team gave me a really good car this weekend, and even with my visit to the pits to repair damage they got me out on the lead lap and I was able to start moving back up through the field. Unfortunately, one of the front suspension pieces must have been damaged in the original incident, and it collapsed halfway through the race and sent me into the tire wall as a passenger. I'd like to thank the Lynx crew and engineers for all their hard work this season, and to say that, like David, I'm proud to be part of this team." In other Lynx action, the team's female driver, Sara Senske, qualified 13th and finished 11th in the Barber Dodge Pro Series support race at the Petit Le Mans Presented by Audi at Road Atlanta. Her season will end with a stand-alone race at Homestead Motor Speedway in Florida next weekend. "We did some extra maintenance and preparation that my car needed, and it made a huge difference to the handling and my confidence to really throw it into a corner," said Senske, 21, of Kennewick, Washington. "This is an intensely competitive series, and the cars are virtually identical in terms of performance, so to score my best finish of the season so far gives me a lot of momentum going into the season finale. I thought I knew how to drive a race car when I started racing in the Barber Dodge Pro Series, but I've learned a tremendous amount, and I'd like to thank Lynx for the opportunity, and all the people at the series for their help in turning me into a better racer." Sunday's 43 lap Toyota Atlantic race is scheduled to be televised on ESPN2 on Sunday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m. eastern with a repeat broadcast on Tuesday, October 10 at 5:00 a.m. Viewers in Canada can watch the race on CTV Sportsnet on Monday, October 9 at 7:00 p.m. in all regions. Barber Dodge races are also broadcast on ESPN2; check your local listings.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers David Rutledge , Buddy Rice , Andrew Bordin