Mario DomÃnguez Second at Gateway, PacWest Lights 1-2 Mexican driver Mario DomÃnguez finished second the ninth round of the Dayton Indy Lights series, run this sunday at the 1.27 miles Gateway International Speedway oval in Madison, Illinois,...
Mario Domínguez Second at Gateway, PacWest Lights 1-2
Mexican driver Mario Domínguez finished second the ninth round of the Dayton Indy Lights series, run this sunday at the 1.27 miles Gateway International Speedway oval in Madison, Illinois, right outside St. Louis. Mario, driver of car # 17 Del Valle-Corona-Akron-Televisa from the PacWest Lights team, started fourth but almost immediately he and teammate Dan Wheldon, winner, put pressure on the leaders and took their place at the front of the pack. Mario did a very intelligent race since his car was loose in the rear end and he knew he couldn't catch Wheldon who had no such problem. In the last part of the 80 lap race, new zealander Matt Halliday started catching Mario when the mexican's car really got loose. Matt even passed him for a brief time but Mario didn't falter and recovered the place where he ended, only 751 thousandts of a second in front of Matt. Mario's race was a skilfull one since more than once his car was almost sideways in the track and yet he refused to surrender the place. He was widely congratulated on his driving by all at the PacWest team.
After the podium ceremonies, Mario, tired but happy, declared: "It was a very difficult race. The car was very loose in the back, it was very hard to finish. I struggled all the time and then Matt Halliday, who was running third, started closing in. There was a moment when I went about 500 feet with the car virtually sideways and it was a miracle I didn't crash. I am very happy. The strategy was to finish the race at all costs and the battle with Matt was good. The hardest time came at the end. I almost crashed several times but I ended giving the 1-2 to the team. It was the first time in their life they had a 1-2 in a race. Everybody in the team was very pleased and they also were a bit mortified that they couldn't give me a a better car, one that wasn't that loose in the back. I want to thank all my sponsors for believing, Del Valle, Corona, Akron, Televisa and Prodigy, and with this podium w eare donating another 50 thousand pesos to the 'Kids´ Nutritional Race'. Last time around, we went to a small village called San Jerónimo Bonchete to give out the prize. It is great that besides giving México a good result we can somehow help improve the future of its kids. I am very happy and for the race at the Fontana oval I am going to win, it's about time".
This resultad adds 16 points to Mario's account and he now has 95 in the battle for the 2001 championship, with only 3 races remaining in the calendar. Mario is now fourth in the standings, the best mexican in the series. This was his second podium of the year in ovals, the other a second place in Milwaukee in june. For him, it's his 21st time in the points in the last 22 races, and he also has scored in every round this year.