Irvine, California -- Hoover Orsi, driver of the ...
Irvine, California -- Hoover Orsi, driver of the #9 US Print/Toyota/Swift for Hylton Motorsports, earned his first Toyota Atlantic Victory at the Milwaukee Mile, Sunday, also marking the teams first win in Toyota Atlantic competition.
Orsi, a native of Campo Grande, Brazil finished third in his rookie effort at the Milwaukee Mile in 2000, and placed seventh in the 2000 Toyota Atlantic Championship. This year, Orsi arrived in Milwaukee leading the 2001 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship with a pair of back-to-back second place finishes in the first two races of the season at Long Beach and Nazareth.
Topping the charts throughout the rainy weekend and narrowly missing the pole, Orsi started on the front row in second position. Orsi took advantage of a re-start on lap 16 and passed pole sitter Grant Ryley for the lead. Gaining as much as a four second lead, Orsi drove a flawless race. "I knew it was going to be very important to get a good run on the re-starts, that would have been the only place they could pass me. My car was really good, and I was able to keep some distance behind me," said Orsi. The fourth and final full course yellow came toward the end of the race when Frank Danc made heavy contact in turn one, tightening the field for a five lap shoot-out when the final green flag fell on lap 61. Orsi was pursued by second place Ryley and third place Rutledge, but held his lead to the checkered flag with a .198-second margin of victory.
"It is a feeling of relief," said team owner, Keith Hylton. "Hoover drove a great race and we have a strong team. This was imminent, but it feels good. I think we are going to be very strong from here on out."
"This is for Keith, he gave me the opportunity to drive for him, and the resources to win. I am really, really lucky. And also my team is great. Everyone on this team gives 100% and that gives me a lot of confidence." Orsi continued, "When you have a good car, it makes your life a lot easier and you just have to keep your mind concentrated, it makes a big difference."
Orsi's victory marked his fifth visit to the podium in just 15 starts, and extended his points lead by 11, 10 points over second place Tony Ave. "We want to win races, but everyone's goal is the championship. My team is awesome and they know how to win in this series, David (Empringham, Driver Coach) won two Atlantic championships, Richard (Raeder, Team Manager) won an Atlantic championship, and I have a bunch of the guys from PPI who won the Atlantic Championship with Anthony (Lazzaro) in 1999, including Kyle (Brannan -- Engineer) his championship Engineer, so that is definitely our focus -- our goal, and I think so far we have proven we are capable," said Orsi.
Hylton Motorsports will head to The Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, Quebec for round 4 of the 2001 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, taking place on Sunday, June 10th.