IPS: Nashville: Race summary

Witherill dominates for victory in Nashville. LEBANON, Tenn., Saturday, July 20, 2002 -- Cory Witherill dominated the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series race July 20 at Nashville Superspeedway, earning his first career victory in the Indy Racing ...

Witherill dominates for victory in Nashville.

LEBANON, Tenn., Saturday, July 20, 2002 -- Cory Witherill dominated the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series race July 20 at Nashville Superspeedway, earning his first career victory in the Indy Racing League's new development series after leading 68 of the 77 laps.

Witherill, from Los Angeles, beat second-place Arie Luyendyk Jr. to the finish line by 8.502 seconds in the No. 92 WSA Healthcare Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. His lead approached 15 seconds during the race after he took the lead from Luyendyk on Lap 10. Witherill never trailed thereafter, averaging 161.991 mph in a race with no caution periods.

"The car was perfect," Witherill said. "I could put this car anywhere. This track is definitely a setup track. I talked with my engineer trying to figure out the fast way around here, and I guess we did."

USAC standout Aaron Fike finished third in the No. 91 Hemelgarn Racing entry. A.J. Foyt IV, winner of the inaugural event on July 7 at Kansas, finished fourth in the No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing entry. USAC standout Ed Carpenter rounded out the top five in the No. 2 Menards/Jack K. Elrod Co./Futaba/Delphi Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.

Pole sitter Ronnie Johncox finished last in the 12-car field after encountering a loss of oil pressure on Lap 27, forcing an unscheduled pit stop that ended his race.

Luyendyk, who started second, passed Johncox for the lead on the first lap in the No. 5 Luyendyk Racing entry and stayed out front until Lap 10.

Witherill, a full-blooded Navajo, started fifth and climbed to second by Lap 5. On Lap 10, Witherill ducked under Luyendyk in Turn 1 for a lead he never would relinquish.

"The car was great," said Luyendyk, son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk. "We had a little bit of a push throughout the whole race, but it was definitely predictable. The car was hooked up. I didn't have anything for Cory today. Obviously he had a really great car, but hopefully we'll get up there in Michigan."

2001 Indianapolis 500 starter Witherill took the lead from Foyt in the series standings, 87-84, with the victory.

The next Infiniti Pro Series event is July 28 during the Michigan Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway, a 2-mile oval that is the longest on which the series will race this season.

-irl/ips-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , Cory Witherill , A.J. Foyt IV , Aaron Fike , Ronnie Johncox , A.J. Foyt , Ed Carpenter , Arie Luyendyk Jr.