AUTO RACING ANALYSIS RACEFACTS BULLETIN AUGUST 9, 1998 Team 1-2 finishes for Ford-powered cars took place in two classes in the PSCR WSC/GT series Sunday at Mosport Park and in the CART Fed Ex series at Mid-Ohio. Adrian ...
AUTO RACING ANALYSIS RACEFACTS BULLETIN
AUGUST 9, 1998
Team 1-2 finishes for Ford-powered cars took place in two classes in the PSCR WSC/GT series Sunday at Mosport Park and in the CART Fed Ex series at Mid-Ohio. Adrian Fernandez and Scott Pruett finished 1-2 in Patrick Racing Ford-powered Reynard 98I entries on Firestones in the Miller 200 at Mid-Ohio; the victory was Fernandez' third in CART competition, second win of 1998 and first on a permanent road course. Ford-powered Riley & Scott Mk 3 WSC entries from Dyson Racing finished 1-2 at Mosport Park, with James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger winning from teammates Dorsey Schroeder and Elliott Forbes-Robinson. The victory was the third consecutive of 1998 in PSCR WSC for the Weaver/Leitzinger pairing, joining wins at Lime Rock and Road Atlanta. Dyson Racing has won three of the four 1995-1998 Mosport Park WSC races, failing to win only in 1997 when Rob Morgan and Ron Fellows teamed to win in a Ferrari. Ferraris finished fifth and sixth overall and third and fourth in WSC on Sunday, with Didier Theys/Fredy Lienhard fifth and Wayne Taylor/Eric Van de Poele sixth; Wayne and Eric remain 1-2 in 1998 PSCR WSC points. After suffering their first loss of the PSCR season at Road Atlanta, the Ford-powered Panoz GTR1 team finished 1-2 in class and third and fourth overall, David Brabham and Andy Wallace winning for the fourth time in 1998; teammates Eric Bernard and Raul Boesel followed. PTG BMW won the GT2 and GT3 classes, the team's fourth consecutive sweep of same-race GT2 and GT3 wins. Marc Duez and Canadian Ross Bentley finished eleventh overall and won GT2 in their BMW M3 by a lap over the Schumacher Porsche. The win was the third consecutive for Duez in GT2 and the fourth straight for PTG BMW. Bill Auberlen and Mark Simo finished ninth overall in their PTG BMW M3 and won GT3 by a lap over teammates Bentley and Peter Cunningham in a PTG 1-2; the third-placed Porsche was ten laps behind the GT3 winner. The GT3 win was the second consecutive for the Auberlen/Simo pairing. With the 1998 Mosport Park GT3 victory, PTG now has won EIGHT consecutive SportsCar GT3 races (beginning with Pikes Peak 1997), the longest GT3 "team" win streak ever achieved, eclipsing the old record, seven consecutive wins, posted by Kent Racing's Mazda RX-7s, from Portland 1981 through the 1982 Daytona 24 Hours, inclusive. Paul Gentilozzi (Autolink Rocketsports Chevrolet Corvette) won his seventh 1998 SCCA NTB Trans-Am Series victory by winning the Watkins Glen Trans-Am event Saturday. Gentilozzi's seven 1998 wins (in ten races) rank tied for third ranking on the all-time Wins Per Season list with Mark Donohue (1971), Scott Pruett (1987), Willy T. Ribbs (1985), and Bob Tullius (1978 Category I). If Gentilozzi wins each of the season's three remaining events, he can tie the second-ranking season win total of ten achieved by Mark Donohue in 1968. Tom Kendall's record eleven-win 1997 season is out of Gentilozzi's reach. The victory was the tenth of Gentilozzi's Trans-Am career as he became the fourteenth driver to achieve "double digits" in Trans-Am victories. The victory was the 21st for the Rocketsports team in Trans-Am competition, sixth-ranking all-time. Rocketsports has now won nine of the ten 1998 Trans-Am races (two with Bill Saunders) and seven consecutively. Gentilozzi "opened" the 1998 SCCA NTB Trans-Am Series season with NINE consecutive Fastest Lap honors, a new Trans-Am Fast Lap streak record, but Stuart Hayner ended that streak with Fast Lap at Watkins Glen in his Westward Ho Casino Chevrolet Camaro. Hayner qualified fourth but was late for technical inspection and started 42nd. He finished third, and the 39-position improvement set an all-time Trans-Am record, eclipsing the 37-position improvement achieved by Buzz Dyer and his AMC Concord on June 14, 1982 at Portland when Buzz started 48th and finished eleventh. Amazingly, another driver achieved the third-ranking all-time position improvement: Bill Saunders (Autolink Rocketsports Chevrolet Corvette). Bill missed qualifying due to business commitments and started 41st; he finished sixth, on the lead lap, a "position improvement" of 35 spots. Gentilozzi and teammate Saunders (sixth at Watkins Glen) are 1-2 in points (285-215); a team has scored a 1-2 in Trans-Am points five times. McCall Racing with Chevrolet Camaros leads with two such results; Scott Sharp won the 1991 title with Jack Baldwin second, and the duo reversed the result in 1992. The first "team 1-2" was scored by DeAtley Racing and its Chevrolet Camaros driven by David Hobbs and Willy T. Ribbs in 1983. The C & C Chevrolet Beretta team of Tom Kendall and Chris Kneifel finished 1-2 in 1990 Trans-Am points. Roush Racing achieved a 1985 1-2 by Wally Dallenbach, Jr. and Willy T. Ribbs in Roush Mercury Capris. Brian Simo (Valvoline Racewerx Ford Mustang Cobra) finished second. Brian Simo's sixth runnerup finish without a victory is just one short of tying the record for most runnerup finishes before a win. Tom Kendall achieved seven runnerup finishes (1987 Long Beach, Kendall Mercury Capri; 1989 Long Beach, Cleveland, Des Moines, St. Petersburg and 1990 Sears Point and Dallas (Addison) in C&C Chevrolet Berettas before winning in his 21st start, July 7, 1990 at Cleveland. The all-time Trans-Am record for MOST RUNNERUP FINISHES WITHOUT A WIN IN A COMPLETED CAREER is held by Ed Leslie; he posted six runnerup finishes in a 25-start Trans-Am career spanning the 1967 through 1970 seasons. Rookie Chris Neville (ARCO Derhaag Chevrolet Camaro) finished fourth, extending his lead for 1998 Rookie of the Year honors as he ranks third in points with 213, two points behind runnerup Saunders. In the season's ten races, Neville has been the highest-finishing rookie five times versus Bruce Qvale's four. Terry Cook (PBA Thorson Chevrolet) became the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series' second consecutive first-time winner Saturday by winning the Flemington event. Cook, 23rd in 1997 Truck points in a 14-start campaign, competed in three series races in 1996 and has mounted a full-season effort in 1998. Cook is 30 (DOB: February 26, 1968) and is a veteran of Flat Rock Speedway ARCA Late Model competition; he won the Flat Rock ARCA Late Model title in 1990 and ranked second in 1991 and fifth in 1992. Making a big impression was the sixth-place finish of 24-year old John Blewett III (Greenfield Dodge Ram). Blewett took over the truck in 21st spot, the final truck on the lead lap, at halfway and made a strong run through the field. Blewett is a three-time Flemington track champion (1996 and 1997 Modified titles, 1997 Late Model champion) and won the 1996 NASCAR Winston Racing Series Northeast Region championship. John is a contender for the 1998 Flemington Modified title and is also competing on a limited basis on the NASCAR Modified Tour. NASCAR's Pepsi 150 Watkins Glen Busch Grand National North event was won by Chevrolet Monte Carlo driver Kim Baker after 24-year-old Brad Bennett, first across the line, was assessed a one-lap penalty following an incident with then-leader Kelly Moore. Baker is a road racing veteran; as far back as 1976 he was the SCCA Solo II A Modified National Champion driving a SuperVee. In 1981 he won the Road Atlanta SSC Runoffs after taking the SCCA Northeast Region's SSC championship driving a Fiat X1/9. Driving a Chevrolet Corvette, he won the 1984 Road Atlanta SSGT Runoffs to become a two-time National Runoffs Champion. Baker has been a class and overall winner in nine SCCA showroom stock, USEC, or World Challenge endurance events and also won a "sprint distance" World Challenge event at Lime Rock in 1992. Baker was runnerup in the 1992 SCCA World Challenge championship and third in the 1986 SCCA U.S. Endurance Championship driving Corvettes. Two other road racing veterans placed in the Top Ten; Joe Pezza, the 1990 PSCR Speedvision Cup Sports and 1994 PSCR GTO champion, finished third, while Brian Simo, SCCA Trans-Am veteran, finished eighth.
Jeff Gordon (Dupont Hendrick Chevrolet Monte Carlo) won Sunday's Watkins Glen Bud at the Glen NASCAR Winston Cup event, his second consecutive victory in the event and third consecutive win in a Winston Cup road course race. The win was Gordon's third consecutive in the series and series-leading seventh of 1998, achieving the feat in race #20 of 1998. Jeff has been the first driver to achieve seven wins in each of the last four Winston Cup seasons.
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