McQuarrie Wins Russell/USAC Triple Crown Race At Sears Point Raceway Sonoma, CA -- Under sunny California skies, Tyler McQuarrie of Walnut Creek, CA, won Round 1 of the 1999 Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro Series presented by Yokohama in ...
McQuarrie Wins Russell/USAC Triple Crown Race At Sears Point Raceway
Sonoma, CA -- Under sunny California skies, Tyler McQuarrie of Walnut Creek, CA, won Round 1 of the 1999 Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro Series presented by Yokohama in association with Buyacom Computer Corporation at Sears Point Raceway. The 21 year old racer returns to England on Monday to prepare for his next race at Croft where he will continue his quest to be the top American driver in the Formula Vauxhall Series.
"It is so great to come back home and win in front of all my family and friends that have supported me while I have been racing in Europe," said McQuarrie. "We have been struggling to stay in the top 10 in Vauxhall and this win is just what I needed." McQuarrie is competing in the Triple Crown as part of his prize package for winning the 1998 USAC Formula Russell Championship. The other part of the package was a free trip to England to compete in the Jim Russell World Scholarship, which he won. His "Scholarship" is a fully funded season in Formula Vauxhall as the factory driver representing all the Jim Russell Racing Drivers Schools.
McQuarrie qualified off-pole to Nathan Smith of Escalon, CA, in an exciting, down-to-the-wire qualifying session that saw both drivers setting their best lap time on the final lap of the session. Smith in his Nelson Staffing Solutions / Wine Country Motorsports sponsored Formula Russell did a great job timing the drop of the green flag just right to cleanly take the lead going into the first corner with McQuarrie second and Dave McEntee of Novato, CA, in third. Smith lead the first lap, but as the fourteen car field came around again, McQuarrie drove along side Smith in Turn 11 under braking to take the lead which he would hold for the rest of the race.
Smith and McQuarrie pulled away from the rest of the field and stayed nose to tail for the first half of the 30 minute race. The battle for third was intense as McEntee worked hard to keep is Edaten.com sponsored car ahead of Napa, CA, driver Chris Pettet who was apply all the pressure he could. On lap six, Pettet got by McEntee going up the hill into Turn 2.
McEntee now had to fend off the advances of Warren Washer who had made his way past Timothy Barber (5th on the grid) and Toshi Kanamoto (6th on the grid). Washer, driving the Cupertino Services sponsored car, moved past McEntee on lap ten and stayed ahead for the next eight laps until McEntee got a great run off of Turn 11 and drafted by Washer at Start/Finish to reclaim fourth place.
The race looked to be going all McQuarrie's way. He had a five second lead and set the fastest race lap with a 1:16.897. Then Todd Clark looped his Buyacom Computer Corp. Russell car on lap 16 in Turn 2. The pace car came out for two laps to extract Clark from the tires using up valuable time and allowing Smith, Pettet, Washer, and McEntee to close up on McQuarrie along with the rest of the field.
On lap 18, the pace car lights went out and McQuarrie jumped on the gas leaving Smith and Pettet in his wake. McQuarrie took the restart with a white flag and five car lengths on Smith and Pettet. McEntee and Washer were several more car lengths behind Pettet.
As they came around for the checker, McQuarrie went too deep into the final turn and had to drive wide to gather up the car. Smith came within a few feet of McQuarrie's gearbox, but could not take advantage of the moment because Pettet had started to pull along side trying to pass for second. Smith shut the door on Pettet, but that move cost him a chance to get a run at McQuarrie for win.
McQuarrie crossed the line 1.080 seconds ahead of Smith in second and Pettet a car length back in third. McEntee beat Washer to line to round out the top five. McQuarrie takes home a check for $1,500.00 while Smith and Pettet earned $750.00 and $250.00 respectively. Brad Snodgrass prepared the winning car and received the "Pro-Mechanix Award" from Mechanix Wear, a sponsor of the Jim Russell mechanics Training Program. Drivers are competing for cash and prizes worth $20,000.00 and a test day in a US F2000 car provided by Yokohama Tire Corporation.
Tyler McQuarrie will return from England on July 25 to defend his points lead when the second round of the Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro Series picks up at Sears Point Raceway during the American Le Mans Series.
Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro Series Points Standings After Round 1 of 3
1. Tyler McQuarrie 20 6. Timothy Barber 6 2. Nathan Smith 15 7. Toshi Kanamoto 4 3. Chris Pettet 12 8. Bob Hagerty 3 4. Dave McEntee 10 9. David Farley 2 5. Warren Washer 8 10. Patrick McDowell 1