Salem, IN (November 19, 2001) & ...
Salem, IN (November 19, 2001) — After Brian Ross finished third at Indianapolis Raceway Park in the season finale on October 21, he captured the 2001 Kendall Late Model Series championship. It was the second title in three years. This season, Ross won two events, produced 15 top-five finishes and only failed to finish one race.
“We had the goal of being the first ever two-time Kendall Late Model Series Champion, so this is an awesome feeling, “ said Ross after winning the title. I want to thank everyone involved in making this possible.”
It was far from an easy road to the championship for Ross and the number 42 team. They started off the season very consistently with third place finishes at Anderson Speedway in April and in the inaugural event at Shady Bowl Speedway in Ohio. Ross was able to produce 12 consecutive top-five finishes this season.
As smooth as the year started off, Ross went through a rough time the last three events. He was unable to finish at Anderson on September 22 after contact with Matt Hagans. Then at Salem, the Wade Construction Chevrolet climbed all the way to third position, when the second place machine of Peter Cozzolino bounced off the fourth turn wall and Ross couldn’t avoid dropping him to a 15th place finish.
After qualifying was finished at the season finale at IRP, Ross was 13th of the 48 cars on hand, but motor problems forced him to start on the tail of the field in backup machine of Matt Hagans. After patiently working his way toward the front of the pack, Ross was able to finish in the third position, which secured the 2001 championship.
“Thanks to Matt Hagans for loaning us a backup car! None of this would have been possible if Matt wouldn’t have done that. It shows what a great friend and kind of person Matt is for letting that incident just be a racing deal and loaning us the car today.”
After enjoying the championship for almost a month, here are the thoughts of 2001 Kendall Late Model Series Brian Ross.
“Winning the 2001 Kendall Late Model Series Championship means a tremendous amount to everyone involved with the race team. We’re close to winning the title the first two years and finally got in done in 1999. Then went to run ARCA last season, but when we came back this year, it was a whole different level of competition.”
“I don’t mean any disrespect to Brian Rievley; we had some great battles on the track, but this season the level of competition was at the highest level I have ever seen. Peter (Cozzolino), Scott (Hantz) and Kenny (Tweedy) were right there all season long!”
“At the start of the year we only planned to run a limited schedule. We didn’t feel we had financial backing to compete all year. The first few races we stayed out of trouble and were then leading the points! It was an unbelievable feeling winning at my home track of Plymouth! We managed to stay out of trouble most of the year, until the final three races. They were able to close in on us in the standings, but we pulled it together and we’re able to hold them off.”
“I want to thank Phil “Dirt” Wade and Dan Coyer for their hard work all season. They spent a lot of nights at the shop and made a lot of sacrifices to be part of this championship. Phil really stepped up towards the end of the season, with taking care of the tire bill on top of the fuel he purchases for the team. I also want to thank my family and all of the fans that made this possible!”
Ross and the 2001 Championship team are considering racing in the Snowball Derby in the first weekend of December. For 2002, Ross’ plans are still undecided.