(LAKEVILLE, Conn.) May 29, 2000 -Jon Fogarty took the pole and the victory at Round 4 of the Barber Dodge Pro Series at Lime Rock Park; thus, netting him a perfect 21 points. He leaves Lime Rock with 61 points toward the $300,000 Career...
(LAKEVILLE, Conn.) May 29, 2000 -Jon Fogarty took the pole and the victory at Round 4 of the Barber Dodge Pro Series at Lime Rock Park; thus, netting him a perfect 21 points. He leaves Lime Rock with 61 points toward the $300,000 Career Enhancement Award given to the Barber Dodge Pro Series champion. Andy Lally continues his perfect podium run, this time to second place. He is now three for three in podiums to starts, having missed the first round of the series. Peter Boss captured his best finish of the year in third place.
Fogarty of Portola Valley Calif., led all 32 laps of the 40-minute race driving his Thomas Fogarty Wines Barber Dodge Reynard. At the start, Fogarty was immediately able to capitalize on a miscue by fellow front row starter Sepp Koster during the pace lap.
"I was taking a pretty slow pace coming out of the chicane waiting for the field to form when Sepp goes by me into West Bend and pulls in front," Fogarty recalled. "I wasn't going until he got in line, so as he slowed down to fall in line, I jumped on the throttle, and that obviously gave me a good advantage into turn-1."
At that point, Fogarty's race went from good to better as the unfortunate Koster went from bad to worse. Matt Plumb made an excellent start, also seizing on the same opportunity that benefited Fogarty and immediately went through a gap into second place followed by Peter Boss. Koster meanwhile slid off the track as he was forced to the outside by the on rushing field. He was able to rejoin, having fallen amongst the mid-field.
As the field sped through West Bend on the following lap, some fluid dropped on the track during the opening lap caught out the hapless Plumb. With West Bend being one of the fastest corners on the Lime Rock Park track taken flat out in fifth gear at 130 mph, Plumb instantly lost grip and crashed heavily into the tire barrier. Plumb emerged unhurt, saying after the race that he had misjudged the severity of the fluid on the track as a standing debris flag rather than a waving flag was being displayed. Several other cars, including the leader Fogarty, came close to going off course as well in Plumb's wake.
Despite two lengthy full course caution periods that eroded Fogarty's lead, the 25-year old who celebrated his birthday five days ago, was able to quickly build a gap over his pursuers.
"I really thought I had a win in the bag at Homestead," said Fogarty with his second Barber Dodge career win now firmly in his hands. "The cars are so equal in this series that you have to do everything right to get the win. I've got full points this weekend, so it's a great result. The car's been great all weekend, and we didn't have any problems or incidents this weekend so it should be in good shape for Detroit."
Lally, of Northport, N.Y. driving the T-One Inc./Oberto Beef Jerky Barber Dodge Reynard, started the race in fifth position, but as is rapidly becoming customary for him, he made the passes count. With ten minutes remaining in the race, Lally built up a head of steam out West Bend and got a run on the inside of Boss into turn-1, Big Bend. Afterwards Boss commented on the fairness of Lally's pass stating that he had given Boss the room to race for the position. From there Lally set off in pursuit of Fogarty, but by then Fogarty had the full distance of the start/finish straight to his advantage.
"I couldn't be happier," said an elated Lally, "more for the consistency and the ability to show some speed out of the box. I am still learning a lot about these cars, and my goal is to stay consistent, scoring points for the championship as well as the rookie of the year title.
"I picked up a bit of a draft coming down the downhill," Lally continued, speaking of his pass on Boss. "I had a car that was pretty good on the braking, and he gave me the room. I almost didn't make it as I slid wide, so it was pretty close."
Boss was pleased with his result despite losing the second position to Lally. Having had a an up and down season to date, the points gained here will serve him well as the Series swings into full speed with the bulk of the races taking place over the coming months.
"I've been qualifying well and finishing up front the last two races, and some things have been out of my control so I haven't finished as well as I would have liked in the other two events," said Boss who hails from Naragansett, R.I. "It's nice to be up here on the podium again so hopefully this will start a turn around for the season."
In the early going of the race, Canadian Michael Valiante, the 1999 Co-Rookie of the Year, was given a stop-go penalty for what had been judged at the time to be a jump start. Valiante duly served the penalty that relegated him from third place to well down the order. Afterwards, Valiante requested that the penalty be reviewed whereupon Barber Dodge Pro Series officials concluded that the penalty had been awarded erroneously do to a fault with the timing and scoring system.
As usual there were great battles for position all throughout the 23-car field. Jonathan Macri of Gormley, Ontario was the Most Progressive Driver of the Race, making up eight positions from his 16th spot to score some much earned points for an eighth-place finish. Koster made up for his bad start by clawing his way back up to the sixth behind a good battle for third through fifth that included Ryan Hunter-Reay in fourth and Alexandre Sperafico in fifth. Jamie Menninga (7th), Marc Breuers (9th) and Brent Sherman (10th) each score their best results of the year rounding out the Top-10.
The Barber Dodge Pro Series moves on to the Raceway at Belle Isle in Detroit, Mich. along with the CART FedEx Series for round 5 on June 18. Round 4 from Lime Rock Park will be televised on ESPN2, Monday, June 12 at 6:00 p.m. EDT.
Championship Points after round 4 at Lime Rock Park:
Fogarty, 61; Koster, 47; Rossoni, 43; Lally, 44; Hunter-Reay, 44; Sperafico 36; Valiante 34; Boss, 30; Matt Plumb, 30; Roger Yasukawa, 28; Thed Bjork, 21; Andre Nicastro, 15; Jamie Menninga, 18; Brent Sherman, 17; Jonathan Macri 16