Toronto, Ontario, CAN. (July 16, 2000) - Buddy Rice and the Chardon, Ohio-based DSTP Atlantic team took a quick jump to the front, led nearly half of the race and eventually finished second in today's seventh round of the 12-race 2000 CART...
Toronto, Ontario, CAN. (July 16, 2000) - Buddy Rice and the Chardon, Ohio-based DSTP Atlantic team took a quick jump to the front, led nearly half of the race and eventually finished second in today's seventh round of the 12-race 2000 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship at the Molson Indy Toronto. Rice started fourth, moved up to second on the first lap and took the lead on lap 16, in a race-long battle that saw Bordin slip past after a late-race restart and cross the finish line just .546 seconds ahead. Rice set the fastest lap of the race (1:07.521) and continues to lead the drivers' championship points standings.
"We're real happy with our result today," said Rice, who has placed second or higher in every race he has finished this year. "We scored some more points and it keeps us on top of the championship. Andrew had a great car on cold tires, especially on the initial start and on all of the restarts. Our car seemed better on the longer runs, once everything came up to temperature. On the final restart, Andrew went to the outside and I held the inside. I gave him just enough room, like he did for me earlier in the race. It would have been easy to block him, but there wasn't any point to taking us both out. With more green laps, we could have taken another run at him. But, it was a good, clean run. Once again, DSTP prepared a great car for the race. I think we'll have another strong run in Trois Rivieres."
With four separate caution periods, the 35-lap race was slowed for a total 18 yellow flag laps. Bordin led the first 15 laps from the pole starting spot until Rice passed him on lap 16 going into turn three. The track went yellow for four laps, green for one lap, then yellow again for ten laps on lap 20 to clean-up some fluids from the car of Cemal Yelkin. Bordin slipped past Rice on the restart before another yellow flag came out for two laps. With just three laps remaining, Bordin held the lead just narrowly ahead of Rice, who finished nearly three seconds ahead of third place finisher Dan Wheldon.
"This was really a great race today," said Dede Rogers, team owner. "Buddy drove a brilliant race and second place keeps us on top of the points standings. While we always prefer to win, I'm very happy for Andrew. This team did such a terrific job this weekend, especially considering the unpredictable weather we encountered. We're looking forward to Trois Rivieres and another great Canadian race."
Rice now leads the 2000 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship by seven points over Bordin (98 - 91). Out of seven races this year, Rice has three wins, two second place finishes, two DNFs (resulting from contact from other competitors while leading or in second position), five podiums, one pole and three fastest race laps. He is the only repeat winner in Atlantic competition this year and has led more race laps than any other competitor. His Atlantic record includes four wins (Nazareth (1998), Homestead, Long Beach, Cleveland (2000)), 19 top fives, 13 podiums, four poles and seven fastest race laps.
The race will be televised via espn2 on Sunday, July 23, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT), with an encore presentation on Thursday, July 27, at 4:00 a.m. (EDT). Round eight of the 2000 CART Toyota Atlantic season takes place on July 30 at the Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres, outside of Montreal, in Quebec, Canada.