RICE MAKES IT FOUR STRAIGHT NAZARETH WINS FOR LYNX RACING AT ROUND 2 OF KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP NAZARETH, Pa., April 25, 1998 - Rookie Buddy Rice, of Phoenix, Ariz., took his second straight pole of the season and went on to blister...
RICE MAKES IT FOUR STRAIGHT NAZARETH WINS FOR LYNX RACING AT ROUND 2 OF KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP
NAZARETH, Pa., April 25, 1998 - Rookie Buddy Rice, of Phoenix, Ariz., took his second straight pole of the season and went on to blister the field Saturday at the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota at Nazareth Speedway, for his first series victory at Round 2 of the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship.
Rice, who started from the pole at the Long Beach season-opener, jumped out quickly on the opening lap, smoothly ran through lapped traffic on the .946-mile oval, and went on to beat runner-up Andrew Bordin, of Woodbridge, Ont., by 12.371 seconds, in the 60-lap race. Rice drove his Lynx Racing Ralt RT-41 to the team's second straight victory of the season, following teammate Memo Gidley's victory at Long Beach. Rice covered the 56.76-mile race in just 27:27.352, averaging 124.039 miles-per-hour, to pick up his $20,000 winner's share of the guaranteed $85,000 race purse. Rice kept alive the winning streak for Lynx Racing, following Alex Barron's victory last year, and Patrick Carpentier's back-to-back victories in 1995-1996.
Bordin, in the B.D.J.S.-Millenium Data Systems Ralt RT-41, started second, but was passed by Lee Bentham at the first turn. Bentham, of Richmond Hill, Ont., however, had to pit on lap 28 to replace a blistered tire. Once back in second place, Bordin held his position to claim his second straight runner-up finish. Matt Sielsky, of Northbrook, Ill., pushed Bordin near the end, closing the gap to just a car length, before finishing a career-high third. The victory moved Rice into third in the points standings with 25. Gidley, who finished fourth in the race in his Lynx Racing Ralt RT-41, continues to lead the championship with 33 points, followed closely by Bordin at 32.
"Traffic made it a little difficult, but the car was good in traffic and we set it up to pass and run with the other cars," said Rice. "I was able to get a bit of a lead and back off just a bit to conserve my tires, which was a problem for a lot of guys, including my teammate who had to pit to change a tire. I'm really happy to keep up the Lynx winning streak at Nazareth, and to prove that my pole at Long Beach wasn't a fluke."
Bordin's second straight second-place showing proved his debut at Long Beach wasn't a fluke, as well.
"It was a fun race," said Bordin, who raced last season in Indy Lights. "With the traffic, you've got to be careful because a lot of people are moving around in front of you. My race could've been over pretty fast. There was a lot of lap traffic. I'm going for the championship so I just went conservative. It was better that way."
Sielsky, in the D&L Racing-LCI International/Emerald Financial Ralt RT-41, started fifth and worked his way up to an impressive third-place showing. His efforts earned him the $1,000 "KOOL Move of the Race" and the $1,000 "Yokohama Now You've Got Control" award.
"For my first time here at Nazareth, I learned quite a bit. I learned how to deal with traffic," said Sielsky. "About 10 laps into the race, I broke a brake pad and I lost brakes on one side of the car. If there had been a few more laps, despite the brake problem, I would have challenged Bordin for second place."
Rice posted the fastest race lap at :23.541 to earn the $1,000 "MCI Fast Pace Award," along with the $1,000 "KOOL Rookie Challenge" award for being the top rookie finisher.
David Rutledge, of West Vancouver, B.C., drove his Binder Racing-TTF-Player's Ralt RT-41 to a career-high fifth-place finish. Bentham, in the Player's Forsythe-Player's/Indeck Ralt RT-41, worked his way back to a sixth-place finish. David Pook, of Long Beach, Calif., finished seventh in his Hylton Motorsports-U.S. Print Swift 008.a, while Mike Conte, of Seattle, finished a career-high eighth in his World Speed Motorsports-RedLine/Microsoft Ralt RT-41, after starting at the back of the 21-car field.
The Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Saturday, May 2, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., ET. Round three of the 13-race KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship continues Friday, May 22, in Madison, Ill.
NAZARETH, Pa. -- Results from Saturday's 60-lap, 56.76-mile KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship race at Nazareth Speedway, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, base purse, laps and reason out. 1. (1), Buddy Rice, Phoenix, Ariz., Ralt RT-41, $20,000, 60 laps. 2. (2), Andrew Bordin, Canada, Ralt RT-41, $13,000, 60. 3. (5), Matt Sielsky, Northbrook, Ill., Ralt RT-41, $9,000, 60. 4. (4), Memo Gidley, San Rafael, Calif., Ralt RT-41, $7,000, 59. 5. (13), David Rutledge, Canada, Ralt RT-41, $6,000, 59. 6. (3), Lee Bentham, Canada, Ralt RT-40, $5,000, 59. 7. (17), David Pook, Long Beach, Calif., Swift 008.a, $4,000, 58. 8. (22), Michael Conte, Seattle, Wash., Ralt RT-41, $3,500, 58. 9. (12), Mark Tague, Laguna Hills, Calif., Ralt RT-41, $3,000, 58. 10. (9), Michael David, Corona, Calif., Ralt RT-41, $2,500, 58. 11. (6), Case Montgomery, Salinas, Calif., Swift 008.a, $2,000, 58. 12. (14), Ted Sahley, Cleveland, Ohio, Swift 008.a, $1,800, 58. 13. (7), John Rutherford, Ft Worth, Texas, Swift 008.a, $1,700, 58. 14. (19), Eric Lang, New York, N.Y., Ralt RT-41, $1,600, 57. 15. (11), Andrea Delorenzi, Italy, Ralt RT-41, $1,500, 56. 16. (18), Zak Brown, Indianapolis, Ind., Swift 008.a, $1,000, 54. 17. (10), Rob MacDonald, Canada, Swift 008.a, $900, 46, mechanical. 18. (8), Derek Hill, Costa Mesa, Calif., Swift 008.a, $700, 40, mechanical. 19. (16), Robert Sollenskog, Antioch, Ill., Swift 008.a, $500, 33, mechanical. 20. (21), Alexandre Tagliani, Canada, Swift 008.a, $300, 16, overheat. 21. (15), Cam Binder, Canada, Swift 008.a, 13, overheat.
Race statistics: Time of race: 27 minutes, 27.352 sec. Average speed: 124.039 mph. Margin of victory: 12.370 sec. Lap leaders: Rice, 1-60. Cautions: one, for six laps. Point leaders (after 2 of 13 rounds): Gidley, 33; Bordin, 32; Rice, 25; David, 16; Delorenzi, 16; Sielsky, 14; Hill, 12; Rutledge, 11; Imhoff, 11; Lang, 11; Bentham, 10; Montomery, 10. Next race: May 22, Madison, Ill.