Neon Charity Challenge - Detroit Race Two

PPG Neon Charity Challenge Presented by Yazaki Race Two, Sunday, June 18, 2000 Belle Isle, Mich., (June 18, 2000) --The second race of the PPG Neon Charity Challenge Presented by Yazaki ran this morning prior to the Tenneco Automotive Grand...

PPG Neon Charity Challenge Presented by Yazaki Race Two, Sunday, June 18, 2000

Belle Isle, Mich., (June 18, 2000) --The second race of the PPG Neon Charity Challenge Presented by Yazaki ran this morning prior to the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit. The competition between 22 of Detroit's community leaders and media personalities featured exciting, clean racing action and raised $380,000 for the Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL). Race winner Doug Peterson, president, 3-Dimensional Services, took the lead on lap 11 of the 12-lap, 30-minute event after battling to the front from his eighth starting position. Peterson placed second in Saturday's PPG Neon Charity Challenge race and predicted a win today. The 22-car field of equally prepared 2001 Neon ACR models raced at 9:45 a.m. following a morning shower, which left the 2.346-mile street circuit with drying conditions. "It was a great race," said Peterson, a second-year veteran of the Neon Charity Challenge. "It was dry on the hot line, but wet off of that and not much grip on the track. We drive a different line than the CART cars and you look for grip, especially at Turn Three, where it was quite slick. I didn't get the lead until the next to the last lap, but the last lap is the one that counts." "This event was absolutely the ultimate, the pinnacle of everything," added Peterson. "I can't think of anything better than racing for charity in Detroit with the Neon program. It's an adrenaline high." Johnny Edwards, Planet 96.3 FM sponsored by Nabisco, took second place in today's event after racing to fifth place yesterday. Edwards, a morning show host in Detroit, started sixth and quickly moved into second place where he ran for most of the race before being passed by Peterson. When Peterson went for the lead, Edwards followed, relinquishing Robert Kleinman to third. "I turned the air conditioner off today and that made the car go faster," joked Edwards, when asked about his strategy today. "It was wet out there which made everyone have a whole new strategy. I got through the bottleneck of traffic from the inverted start but got hit three times. I thought Turn Three would be a nightmare, but there were no cautions. For this race you just had to keep your line. The cars are so equal, you have to take the opportunity when you see it. Our Neons are different than the other cars out here this weekend. We do have places to pass. The podium finish is great and it beats going home covered in mud. We're covered in champagne instead." Kleinman, racing for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America, returned from a disappointing race one, in which he spun into the Turn Three tire barrier and proceeded for the remainder of the event with a 30-foot strand of orange netting trailing the car, making him a crowd favorite at every turn. He started from the outside of row one and quickly took over the top spot, before missing a shift on lap 10 and falling to third position. "I kept seeing Doug (Peterson) and Johnny (Edwards) in my mirrors, so I had to drive hard," said Kleinman. "One time Johnny tried making a pass and I saw him slide off a little. Then about halfway into lap 10 I missed a downshift and they both got by me. Yesterday I hit the tirewall, so today I'm glad to be on the podium," he added. Tony Domiano Jr., president, Tony Domiano Auto Dealerships, shuffled through the field for much of the race, maintaining his fourth-place starting position at the drop of the checkered flag after holding off a charging Bob Stander, vice president and general manager North America, Johnson Controls, Inc. Stander, pole sitter and winner of Saturday's race, started from the 22nd position after the field was partially inverted. Charging through the pack of equally prepared Neon's, Stander gained 17 positions to finish in fifth place. Sharing in the excitement of the PPG Neon Charity Challenge Presented by Yazaki were representatives from PAL, who gave the command for drivers to start their engines, wave the green flag to start the race, and participated in the victory celebrations that included the presentation of a check for $380,000 which was raised through this race to benefit PAL. "The PPG Neon Charity Challenge Presented by Yazaki is a win-win program - first for all the participants and organizations, it is an opportunity to be a great corporate citizen," said Bob Wildberger, senior manager of NASCAR operations for Dodge. "Secondly, it's an opportunity for Dodge to showcase a great car and the biggest winner of all are the PAL children of Detroit." The success of the PPG Neon Charity Challenge Presented by Yazaki series continues as nearly $1.4 million has now been donated to the PAL charity since 1997. Today's caution-free race was the first in Neon Charity Challenge history to have all competitors finish the race, with 19 of 22 on the lead lap. The final event on the 2000 Neon calendar will take place at Road

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Series Charity
Drivers Doug Peterson