Motorsport.com driver Davy Cook won an exciting Barber Dodge race at the CART Cleveland Grand Prix. It was Cook's first victory in the Barber series, and took him into the second position in series points. Cook was surprised with his results, ...
Motorsport.com driver Davy Cook won an exciting Barber Dodge race at the CART Cleveland Grand Prix. It was Cook's first victory in the Barber series, and took him into the second position in series points. Cook was surprised with his results, calling it a perfect weekend at a track that he doesn't rate as one of his best. He was thrilled with the win, saying: "This is the best day of my life!"
Cook started from the pole position but was beaten to the first turn by outside front row starter Josh Beaulieu. The first turn crash that seems inevitable at Cleveland put the field behind the pace car for a few laps, and when the green flew again, Cook stuck to the tail of Beaulieu's car and passed him going into turn one on lap 7. Cook pulled out to a three second lead in the middle stages of the race, while Beaulieu faded back into the field, and Julio Campos and Marc Breuers fought over second place.
As the race was winding down, Campos had put down the challenge from Breuers, and the two of them were narrowing the gap to Cook. Behind them, series points leader A.J. Allmendinger had broken free from a race-long battle with Rafael Sperifico and was rapidly closing on the three lead cars.
With three laps remaining, Rhonda Trammel and Jon Vaninni collided while battling for tenth place to bring out the race's second caution period. When the crash couldn't be cleared in time, the race finished under the yellow flag with the order unchanged. An impressive run by Leonardo Maia took him back to sixth place (where he had started), even though he fell out of the top ten in the early laps.
Finishing seventh was Bobby Rahal's young protege Danica Patrick, who ran as high as sixth (from a 14th place start) before Maia passed her during his charge. Patrick was in only her second Barber race, having also finished seventh the week before in Toronto. Rounding out the top ten were Piero Rodarte, Memo Rojas and Josh Rehm.