NA-F2000: Aaron Justus Takes Phoenix Opener

Aaron Justus of Crestline, Calif. captured Sunday's 50-mile USF2000 National Championship opener at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, leading all but two laps around the 1-mile paved oval. He averaged 78.269 mph in his Forsythe Indeck...

Aaron Justus of Crestline, Calif. captured Sunday's 50-mile USF2000 National Championship opener at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, leading all but two laps around the 1-mile paved oval. He averaged 78.269 mph in his Forsythe Indeck Racing/Torco Van Diemen Ford to beat runner-up Tony Buffomante by less than one tenth of a second! Buffomante actually led laps 15 and 17 in his battle with pole-starter Justus, but was unable to catch him in the closing three laps after a late caution for debris bunched up the field. The victory was the third in the series presented by Speedvision for Justus, who finished 10th in last year's points after scoring wins at Charlotte, N.C. and Braselton, Ga. He leads the 2000 standings going into a pair of road course events at Mosport International Raceway in Canada May 20-21. Justus won the pole for Sunday's race with a lap of 130.119 mph to break Marc-Antoine Camirand's 1999 track mark of 130.006. Camirand trailed Justus and Buffomante to the checkered flag Sunday, while Ian Lacy and Peter Walsh rounded out the "top-five." Irishman Walsh was the highest finishing rookie driver in the field. Arie Luyendyk, Jr., making his initial series start, qualified for the ninth starting spot in the 28-car field but was 22nd in the final rundown. Billy Asaro of Unionville, Ontario, Canada made the biggest move of the race. He started last after posting no qualifying time, then raced his way to sixth.

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , Marc-Antoine Camirand , Aaron Justus , Ian Lacy , Billy Asaro , Tony Buffomante