Junior Hanley Ends Season on Winning Note Brian Ross Captures Second Championship in Three Years Clermont IN (October 21, 2001) - Junior Hanley ended the 2001 Kendall Late Model Series season on a winning note by recording his sixth ...
Junior Hanley Ends Season on Winning Note
Brian Ross Captures Second Championship in Three Years
Clermont IN (October 21, 2001) - Junior Hanley ended the 2001 Kendall Late Model Series season on a winning note by recording his sixth consecutive victory. Hanley driving the Big Rigs Truck & Trailer Maintenance / Rick Cole Enterprises Chevrolet passed Mike Garvey on lap 57 and then cruised to victory at Indianapolis Raceway Park in the Key Advantage 125. Hanley won $5,750 for his second consecutive victory at IRP.
"It's great to finish the year with a victory here at Indianapolis, " said Junior Hanley in victory lane. "It was a fun racing side-by-side with Mike (Garvey)," added Hanley.
At the drop of the green flag Mike Garvey grabbed the lead followed by Glenn Gault, Andy Ponstein, Jeff Lane and Hanley. When the leaders crossed the finish line, the championship battle took a serious twist. Peter Cozzolino was involved in a multi car accident losing several laps in the pit area and eventually finishing 24th. Bobby Parsley, Mike Hennessy, Kenny Tweedy and Scott Baker were all involved in the first turn altercation.
When racing action resumed, Garvey started to build a healthy lead over the second place machine of Gault as Hanley began his charge to the front pack. Hanley wheeled the number 66 underneath Jeff Lane for fourth place on lap 14 and six laps later passed Ponstein for third. Hanley then caught Gault's number 32 machine and went around him on lap 26.
As Hanley moved into the runner-up slot, Garvey continued to pace the 33-car starting field. Brian Ross started the event in the 29th position after having mechanical problems in qualifications; he elected to start a backup machine of Matt Hagans. At the 46th lap mark, Ross advanced to the 12th position.
After nearly a ten-lap battle for the lead, Hanley was able to complete the pass on Garvey for the lead on lap 57. Hanley began to pull away easily from the field and then on lap 69, Garvey slowed and dropped on pit lane. Garvey finished in the 22nd position.
The remainder of the event, Hanley easily cruised to victory, with Scott Hantz taking runner-up honors and Brian Ross finishing third. Ross' third place finish allowed him to capture his second title in the last three years. Jeff Lane and Chet Fillip were fourth and fifth. Andy Ponstein and Scott Neal finished the race in the second and third positions, both they failed post-race inspection and were regulated to 32nd and 33rd positions.
"Thanks to Matt Hagans for loaning us a backup car! None of this would have been possible if Matt wouldn't have done that." On September 22, Hagans and Ross were involved in an accident at Anderson Speedway. "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. All season long we had the goal of being the first ever two-time Kendall Late Model Series Champion, so this is an awesome feeling. I want to thank everyone involved this season and hopefully we can come back next year and win it again!
Peter Cozzolino in the A & A Manufacturing Chevrolet was the Contractors Underground Fast Qualifier. Joel Kauffman in the LA West Luxury Vehicles Chevrolet was named Hubler Group Rookie of the Race. Junior Hanley was the Jasper Engines & Transmission Crew Chief of the Race. Brian Ross collected the Lane Automotive / ISKY Cams Hardcharger honors after gaining 26 positions in the event. Junior Hanley collected the Kingen Interstate Express Lap Leader Bonuses.
In the three support events in the Key Bank Racing Festival, David Stremme was the winner of the Outlaw Late Models, with Jack Dossey winning in SuperTrucks and Chuck Barnes taking top honors in Street Stocks.