Fort Worth, TX: In one of the most spectacular races in Indy Racing Northern Light history, Treadway Racing driver Robby McGehee gave series competitor Scott Sharp a run for his money in a final mad dash for the checkered flag at the Texas Motor...
Fort Worth, TX: In one of the most spectacular races in Indy Racing Northern Light history, Treadway Racing driver Robby McGehee gave series competitor Scott Sharp a run for his money in a final mad dash for the checkered flag at the Texas Motor Speedway today. After starting from 14th position on the grid, McGehee ran through the field to lead the race twice, but was held of on the white flag lap by Sharp, who crossed the finish line no more than 0.059 seconds ahead of young McGehee. It was the closest finish in Northern Light Series history, as well as McGehee's best series career finish to date.
Not to be outdone, Japanese driver Shigeaki Hattori, making his Northern Light Series debut today ran an excellent race-coming from 26th position on the grid due to rained out qualifications, all the way through the field to 5th place, before relinquishing three positions near the end to finish the race in 8th position. In response to his efforts of being the driver with the most track position improvement-MCI WorldCom awarded him the "Long Distance Award with a monetary value of $10,000.
After battling some of the worst racing weather the series has ever seen, the teams of the Northern Light Series were able to start the Casino Magic 500 this afternoon at 12:00 p.m. local time, due to a weather cancellation the night before. Not long after the race was underway, league officials red flagged the event due to a small cloudburst, which held off continuation for approximately 30 minutes. Un-phased by the delay, both Treadway drivers ran a hard charging event and a clean race for a spectacular finish and two top 10 finishes.
The fastest race in Indy Racing Northern Light Series history-boasting an average speed of 169.182 mph (beating Montoya's record at the 2000 Indianapolis 500) McGehee sped his way up the series points ladder to settle into 9th position overall. "I told my team I was going to win my first race here in Texas," stated the 26 year-old St. Louis, Missouri resident. "This is such a great racetrack and I am glad that I get one more chance at it this year.'
'The Mall.com car was fantastic and I really have to thank my crew for putting together a car that could really dominate on the track. At the end I got around Dismore and set my sights on Sharp. I tried to take the outside line on him the last few laps, but I was traveling more distance than he was since he was in the inside, and it showed coming off the corners. I should have done everything I could to get a low line on him, but I guess I learned that lesson the hard way today. It was really fantastic racing today and the three and four-wide action must have been great for fans, because it was really fun for us as well."
Hattori, who had the most impressive drive to the front, was hindered early on with a stop and go penalty for violation of pit speed. Undaunted, he slowly battled his way to the front of the field, running a smooth and consistent race for his first venture of the year. "It was a good race," he stated after climbing out of his #55 Epson entry. "The car was excellent and I have to thank my mechanics for doing an excellent job. I am not sure what happened with the pit speed violation. I used my rev limiter, but the officials said we were four to five miles per hour over. I haven't raced in a really long time, and I am happy with the 8th place finish and enjoyed racing today." He is currently 31st in the point standings due to no prior series starts.
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