Dorricott Racing Chicago preview

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (July 26, 2000) - The 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship is reaching its midway point and no single driver has a clear advantage. However, the same can't be said among its teams unless one wishes to discount that...

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (July 26, 2000) - The 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship is reaching its midway point and no single driver has a clear advantage. However, the same can't be said among its teams unless one wishes to discount that three of the top-five points leaders headed for Chicago Motor Speedway's Indy Lights race, Sunday, July 30, happen to drive for defending Dayton Indy Lights champion Dorricott Racing. The 97 lap/99.813 mile Indy Lights race around Chicago Motor Speedway's 1.029-mile oval will be round six of the 12-race series and is scheduled to begin at 12:15 p.m. CT. This will be the second Dayton Indy Lights appearance at Chicago and it is the featured support event for the CART FedEx Championship Series Target Grand Prix later that day. The points breakdown is simple but what it means at this stage of the season is anyone's guess. Jason Bright, by virtue of finishing ninth place last weekend at Michigan Speedway in round five, is the new series leader with 57 points. He is being stalked by teammate Casey Mears, of Bakersfield, Calif., and New Zealand's Scott Dixon, each of whom are one point out of first place with 56 points. Michigan race winner Felipe Giaffone, of Brazil, has surfaced as a title contender and is fourth with 53 points. However, much could turn on how successful Dorricott Racing's Townsend Bell fares at CMS. Bell finished fourth Michigan on the heels of finishing second place at Portland a couple of weeks earlier. The points permutations are endless but Bell, who is in fifth place with 43 points, could also emerge from Chicago as the series leader. Bright, of Gold Coast, Australia, is making his first competitive appearance at Chicago. His only major race blemish this season came at the Grand Prix of Detroit on Belle Isle when he failed to finish the race after coming off consecutive second place finishes at Long Beach and Milwaukee. He remedied that disappointment by earning his first career Indy Lights victory at Portland in round four. His momentum carried to Michigan where he left as the Indy Lights points leader. Bright has also qualified well. Besides starting fifth at Michigan in his first career superspeedway race, he opened his Indy Lights campaign by starting third at Long Beach, second at Milwaukee and Portland, and fifth at Detroit. Mears returns to Chicago hot off a second place showing at Michigan Speedway. His taste for "Windy City" racing is skyrocketing particularly after the success he had last year. After qualifying sixth, Mears scored an impressive third place finish. Mears, who is the son of legendary Off-Road World Champion and Dorricott Racing team manager Roger Mears, has become one of the most consistent drivers in recent Indy Lights history. He has only failed to complete one lap in the last 943 Indy Lights laps dating back through the 1999 season. Mears is also but 1.032-miles short of completing every mile since the beginning of the 1999 season with 1433.450 out of a possible 1434.482 miles. Additionally, Mears leads the Bosch Platinum+4 Speedway Challenge with 26 points. Giaffone is his closest challenger with 23 Speedway Challenge points. The winner-take-all $10,000 Bosch award is paid to the driver that earns the most points in the year's five oval track races. Mears won this award last year. Bell, who hails from Costa Mesa, Calif., has crept into the title hunt behind stellar performances at Portland and Michigan. His momentum began building in round two at Milwaukee where started eighth and finished sixth. However, his ability to maneuver around traffic on tight circuits became apparent at Detroit when he delivered a solid seventh place finish after starting 12th. Besides distinguishing himself as the highest finishing rookie, Bell also won the Dayton Daytona "Move to the Front" award for improving five race positions ESPN2 will provide a same day telecast of the Chicago Indy Lights race Sunday, July 30, from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET (8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. PT).

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Casey Mears , Scott Dixon , Townsend Bell , Jason Bright , Roger Mears