Hampton goes wire to wire to win Gateway 100. MADISON, Ill., Sunday, Aug. 25, 2002 -- Ryan Hampton completed his domination of the Gateway 100 by leading all 80 laps Aug. 25 at Gateway International Raceway for his first career Indy Racing ...
Hampton goes wire to wire to win Gateway 100.
MADISON, Ill., Sunday, Aug. 25, 2002 -- Ryan Hampton completed his domination of the Gateway 100 by leading all 80 laps Aug. 25 at Gateway International Raceway for his first career Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series victory.
It was the first time in Indy Racing League history -- IRL or Infiniti Pro Series -- that one driver led every lap. Hampton earned his first Infiniti Pro Series victory in his third start in the new Indy Racing League development series.
Hampton also led all three practice sessions for the event and won the pole.
Former U.S. F2000 standout Hampton beat second-place Arie Luyendyk Jr. by 1.9352 seconds on the 1.25-mile oval in the No. 34 Conti-Genoa-Frost Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. He averaged 99.576 mph in an 80-lap race slowed four times for 26 laps by caution periods.
Ed Carpenter was third in the No. 2 Menards/Jack K. Elrod/Futaba/Delphi entry.
"The car kind of started going away at the end of the race," Hampton said. "Then, all of the sudden, the last 10 laps the thing just hooked back up, and it was off and running. It was good. It was exciting. I wish I had somebody to race with, though."
Hampton, from Phoenix, pulled out to a six-second lead by Lap 28. His only real challenge came on restarts and during the final 20 laps of the race, when Luyendyk pulled to within one second. But Hampton held steady, resigning Luyendyk to his third runner-up finish of the season in the No. 5 Luyendyk Racing entry.
"He had a really strong car, and he's done great all weekend," Luyendyk said of Hampton. "We came from the bottom of the time charts to right up where the leaders were running. I'm really pleased with the run; it was great.
"This is the third second of the season, so we're due for a win sometime."
It was a rough day for series points leader A.J. Foyt IV and his . closest pursuer, Cory Witherill, both sidelined by engine problems. . Foyt finished ninth after exiting the race on Lap 63 in the No. 14 . Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing entry, while Witherill's race ended after 42 . laps in the No. 92 WSA Healthcare entry Foyt's lead shrunk from 51 to . 40 points, as Carpenter climbed to second .
"The championship race is affected some, but it's on to Chicago to fix things," Foyt said.
Aaron Fike and Tony Turco were unhurt in a two-car accident on Lap 2, while Gary Peterson was unhurt after hitting the wall on Lap 42.
The next Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series event is Sept. 8 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.