SBRS: CART Ladder System 2002-07-29

Allmendinger lengthens Barber Dodge point lead with vancouver victory. INDIANAPOLIS (July 29th, 2002) - American AJ Allmendinger continued his dominating ways as he captured his fifth victory of the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series season Sunday at...

Allmendinger lengthens Barber Dodge point lead with vancouver victory.

INDIANAPOLIS (July 29th, 2002) - American AJ Allmendinger continued his dominating ways as he captured his fifth victory of the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series season Sunday at Concord Pacific Place during the Molson Indy Vancouver and extended his point lead over fellow American Marc Breuers. Brazilian Rafael Sperafico and Canadian Dan Di Leo finished on the podium in second and third place, respectively. American Danica Patrick, making only her third start in the Pro Series, and Breuers rounded out the top five.

Allmendinger, starting on pole, would lead the 18-car field into Turn One on the start, but a melee behind him would quickly bring out the yellow flag. Memo Rojas and Leo Maia would collide, putting an end to both drivers' day. During the contact, Rojas' transmission was split open causing fluid to spill on the racing line. As the field made their way through the debris, Cleveland winner Davy Cook lost control and hit the Turn Three wall. In avoiding Cook, four other cars piled into one another, nose to tail. Aurelio Lopez and Piero Rodarte would retire from the race due to the secondary incident. The subsequent traffic jam was cause enough for Pro Series officials to display the red flag.

When the race resumed, Sperafico wasted no time in passing Di Leo for second place on Lap 6. Just one lap later, Sperafico completed his charge from his seventh place starting position, passing Allmendinger for the lead in Turn Six. The battle was not over as Allmendinger planted himself on Sperafico's gearbox and made several attempts to get back by, finally retaking the lead on Lap 12 in a daring Turn One pass. From there, the Hollister, California resident stretched out his lead over the remaining six laps to take the checkered flag by 2.782 seconds.

"Wow, that was an exciting race," commented an obviously excited Allmendinger. "I love racing with Rafael. We race each other close and tight but clean. I got a good run on him coming through the Turn 10, 11 and 12-complex and made a move to the inside going into (Turn) One. He pushed me down close to pit wall but still gave me plenty of room."

With another win in hand and an increased point lead, Allmendinger has thoughts about clinching the title at the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio in early August.

"I am really looking forward to going to Mid-Ohio in two weeks," observed Allmendinger, who made his professional debut a year ago at the race. "I've come a long way and learned quite a bit in the last year. It would be special to clinch at Mid-Ohio and I am really going to work hard at making it happen. At the same time, I'm sure everybody else is going to be trying hard to stop me. There is a lot of work still to be done."

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About this article
Series Atlantic , Barber Pro , Other open wheel
Drivers Aurelio Lopez , Davy Cook , Memo Rojas , Marc Breuers , Piero Rodarte , Rafael Sperafico , Danica Patrick
Teams ART Grand Prix