IRL: Dick Simon Phoenix report - best showing ever

Dick Simon Racing & Stephan Gregoire had their best showing ever in their third season together. Stephan was in control of the race and led 9 laps--before getting pushed by one of the slowest cars on the racetrack--proving that he and the...

Dick Simon Racing & Stephan Gregoire had their best showing ever in their third season together. Stephan was in control of the race and led 9 laps--before getting pushed by one of the slowest cars on the racetrack--proving that he and the team can win the 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Cup! Dana Point, Ca., March 23, 2001: Dick Simon Racing and Stephan Gregoire had their best race weekend ever in their third racing season together. Gregoire qualified fourth on Saturday in his new Dallara/Oldsmobile Roush/Firestone, his best qualifying position ever since he started his IRL career in 1996 and the best for the tandem Gregoire/ Simon. Also in the pre-race morning warm up Stephan demonstrated that he would be a real race contender by finishing second. "We were fast all weekend declared Stephan Gregoire a few hours after the race. "I hope that our showing in Phoenix will attract additional sponsors and that in three weeks I'll be able to win our first race in Miami". Stephan Gregoire driving his Tokheim/Jack K. Elrod Company/Nada Guides Dallara started the season opener from the second row. Right away in the race Stephan was extremely competitive and had only one goal, to win his first IRL race. "My car was handling so well, thanks to the time we devoted to preparing the race on Friday" declared Stephan. "When I took the lead I knew I was poised for victory. I knew no one was able to take this first win from me. Today we had the car, the engine, the tires and the crew to make the difference." On lap 119 Stephan took the lead and kept it during 9 laps before stopping for his second and final pit stop of the day. When he left the pits the Flying Frenchman was third and immediately on the gas to regain his leading position. "Unfortunately someone hit me in the back and since I had cold tires, it was impossible to control the car. It was like driving on ice. I tried to limit the damages but I hit the wall and ended my day. Of course this was really frustrating especially when you know that you had the best team and the best car of the weekend. The driver that hit me was a few laps behind me! Well, we announced before the race that we would be fast and we were. That was the weekend that Dick Simon Racing needed to score its first win. Now we have to regroup and concentrate on our next race in three weeks at Homestead/Miami" said a very disappointed but confident Stephan. "Of course I am disappointed said Dick Simon, owner of Dick Simon Racing after the race. "We had it covered! Our hard winter work paid off and as we announced to our sponsors during the winter, Dick Simon Racing is now in contention to win races. We also want to thank all the race fans and the IRL stakeholders that gave us their blessing over the weekend in Phoenix and especially the ABC commentators that explained to millions of TV viewers nationwide during the live telecast, why we had to put a question mark on our car for this race. We are actively seeking a replacement primary sponsor. Our team can offer the best marketing package and I hope to be able to sign additional sponsors before Miami." Dick Simon Racing will try to repeat the Phoenix performance again in three weeks in Miami and offer their first win to their dedicated associate sponsors, Tokheim; Jack K. Elrod Company; Nada Guides and Mooney Aircraft." -Dick Simon Racing

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Stephan Gregoire , Dick Simon